Monthly Archives: September 2016

Best golf wearables : GPS watches and swing analysers

Knock shots off your handicap with these top wearables

Investing in a golf GPS watch or a swing analyser is a great way to slash shots off your handicap, and we couldn’t imagine going back to guessing which club to hit without the data to back it up.

Wearables and golfers have long been bedfellows, and for those desperate to shave a few digits off their handicap can really find benefits through technology. Using a GPS watch can help golfers make better decisions, and the price of technology has plummeted in the last year, making the tech affordable for everyone.

Best GPS golf watches

It’s not just GPS watches and glorified range-finders either. Systems like GameGolf and Zepp are helping golfers get more out of their practice time, and both systems promise* to offer unprecedented insights into your game – and most importantly, actionable information to become a better golfer.

*Miracles not guaranteed.

Garmin Approach S20

best golf watch

Designed to be worn away from the golf course, as well as providing GPS distances on it, the Approach S20 offers fitness tracking and smartwatch notifications. On the golf course, there’s support for 40,000 worldwide courses with distances to front, middle and back displayed next to a map of each green.

You can call up hazard and lay-up distances for any hole through the context menu, keep score on the watch using a super nifty tracker, and the watch claims to record every shot you take on the course – although we found that hit and miss to say the least. You’ll get two big rounds of golf from the battery – and up to 8 weeks as a standard smartwatch.

Check out our full Garmin Approach S20 review for more details.

$199.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Garmin Approach X40

best golf watch

OK – there’s a lot of Garmins on this list, but the company is turning out golf wearables at a rate of knots, and they’re very different. The X40 band is kind of aimed at female players, but it also features dedicated GPS run tracking and heart rate data.

While it’s no Garmin Approach S6 in terms of golfing details, you still get 35,000 courses, pin position details, shot detection, hazards, shot measuring, smartphone notifications, fitness tracking and 24/7 heart rate.

$249.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Arccos Golf

best golf watch

Taking the fight to GameGolf is the impressive Arccos Golf package, which uses club-top receivers to track every shot on the course. Unlike its big rival, however, you don’t need to physically tap before taking every shot, with shots automatically detected by your smartphone. In return you get handicaps derived from each aspect of your game, showing you where you can pick up shots, as well as average distances for every club.

It’s not perfect, not every shot is recognised, but it blends into the background allowing you to get back into your game. Arccos is currently being tested at Wareable and the full review will follow.

$199, arccosgolf.com | Amazon

TomTom Golfer

Best GPS golf watches and swing analyzers

The original TomTom Golfer was one of our favourite GPS golf watches, thanks to its packed suite of features and great value. There’s no colour display but the 168 x 144 monochrome screen offers course graphics and a green view mode for checking out the position of the flag. It also offers score recording, distance measuring and the calories you’ve burned during your round.

With a 10 hour battery life, the TomTom Golfer should have enough power for a society day 36 hole competition and if it rains, no worries – the Golfer is 5ATM water resistant.

Now the company is back with the TomTom Golfer 2. However, we’ve had issues with the Golfer 2’s shot recognition, which detracts from an otherwise brilliant watch. Want our advice? Pick up the original Golfer for a cut price on Amazon.

$129.99, tomtom.com | Amazon

Game Golf LIVE

Best GPS golf watches and swing analyzers

Another wearable analyser, GameGolf is brimming with professional endorsements with Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and some bloke called Barack Obama all using it. If that wasn’t enough, GameGolf even boasts design by Yves Behar, the creative director of Jawbone.

GameGolf comes in two parts, a wearable sensor which mounts on your belt, and a series of sensors that mount onto the top of your club. When you’re about to play a shot just touch the club element to the sensor, and play your shot. When you get home Game Golf shows every shot and the success rates in each part of your game, so you can identify the areas your need to work on.

The first update – Game Golf LIVE – has just been released, which adds real-time shot tracking so it becomes more useful out on the round. It connects to a smartphone app so you can get yardages to the pin while you’re stood over the ball – which increases Game Golf’s usefulness on the course.

$299, gamegolf.com | Amazon

Zepp 2 golf sensor

best golf swing analyzer

Zepp 2 is a clip-on device that attaches to your glove when you’re on the course or hitting on the range. The array of sensors notes everything from the speed of your hands to the tempo of your forward and backswing, before showing your data in the app which flashes up in less than a second after you’ve hit the ball.

You can then review the data, look at visual charts of your shots, and even compare them to professional’s swings to see where you’re going wrong. There are also heaps of tuition videos from pros tailored to the area of your swing you’re struggling with.

When paired with a smartphone, the app will even use the built-in accelerometer to track hip movements: a crucial element of a consistent swing and the Achilles heel of many a weekend golfer.

Excitingly, the CEO of Zepp, Jason Fass, revealed to Wareablethat the company will have its technology built into clubs in 2016.

$149, zepp.com | Amazon

Garmin TruSwing

Best golf watch

We haven’t tested the TruSwing yet so this all comes with a big caveat, but we felt it would be remiss of us not to mention Garmin’s new swing analyser. The TruSwing clips to the club and communicates with its range of golf watches to offer feedback on your swing. What’s more, you can look at a 3D map of your technique in the Garmin Connect app. We’ll be testing it fully in the coming weeks.

$149.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Microsoft Band 2

Best GPS golf watches and swing analyzers

Microsoft’s original GPS wristband enjoyed a golfing update, in partnership with equipment giant TaylorMade – and the sport now has pride of place on the follow-up wearable, too. Just sync your local course to the Health app and you can get yardages to the front, centre and back of the green – just like any GPS golf watch.

The Microsoft Band 2 will also keep your score as you go along, and the band can even differentiate between a practice swing and a proper shot, and you can override the scoring if you need to as well. At the end you get a scorecard that blends calories burned and heart rate data. It also works with TaylorMade’s myRoundpro platform for detailed maps of your shots and an analysis on your performance.

$249.99, microsoft.com | Amazon

SkyCaddie SW2 GPS Watch

Best golf GPS watch

For those looking for some extra help on the course without breaking the bank, the SkyCaddie SW2 GPS Watch is a surprisingly powerful golf watch. As well as coming pre-loaded with data on 35,000 courses, it can also act as a smartwatch displaying calls and messages and works as an activity tracker to boot.

$128, American Golf | Amazon

Hole 19

OK so it’s not a wearable, but Hole 19 has become a staple of the Wareable golf line-up. Firstly, it turns your Apple Watch or Android Wear device into a GPS golf watch by piggy-backing off your smartphone. Secondly, it’s an awesome golf community where you can post photos of your rounds and add your regular playing buddies and keep track of how they’re doing.

Free, iOS/Android, hole19golf.com

Garmin Approach S6

OK it’s a double header for Garmin, but the Approach S6 is the daddy of golf watches. The Garmin Approach S6 has built-in mapping for 40,000 international courses, and will display yardage to the pin and a top-down view of the hole on its colour screen.

In a new addition, the S6 will also provide information on your swing, helping you to achieve a more consistent performance, and Garmin Connect, which is one of the best platforms for running stats analysis.

The only problem is that you’ll need to spend the equivalent of a top-end driver on a device that tells you how far to hit one.

$389, garmin.com | Amazon

(wareable.com, https://goo.gl/wYhSzS)

Lenovo Yoga Book Gets Unboxing Treatment – Video preview

Lenovo’s hotly-anticipated Yoga Book still hasn’t shipped to consumers in the U.S., but our colleagues at Windows Central managed to get a unit in commercial packaging and unbox it. In a 10-minute video, Windows Central’s Zac Bowden set ups and goes hands-on with a Windows version of the Yoga Book, testing its travel-free Halo keyboard, included Wacom pen and ability to convert from laptop to tablet modes.

Available in both Android and Windows 10 versions, the Yoga Book is the first laptop to ship with a Wacom pen digitzer in lieu of a physical keyboard. You can use the included stylus to write directly on the digitizer or scribble with real ink on the included notebook and have the system capture your strokes through the paper. The 10-inch, bendback 2-in-1 starts at $499 and $549 respectively, depending on the operating system.

Lenovo Yoga Book

In his video, Bowden starts by pulling back a flap on the packaging that, appropriately, opens like a book. Inside, he finds the Yoga Book protected by a couple of pieces of thin plastic, a box containing the microUSB charger, a paper notebook, a stylus and several ink tips for the stylus. The notebook has a magnet on its back which allows it to attach to the Wacom digitizer without shifting around while you write on it.

Yoga Book

Bowden tests the Yoga Book’s Halo keyboard, which has no travel but offers an audible clicky sound and some haptic feedback; he makes a number of typos before learning how to enter text accurately. He notes that the Fn key and CTRL key are in reversed positions and that the touchpad appears to stick.

Later, Bowden tries scribbling on the Wacom digitizer with the included stylus and says that it feels more natural than writing on a screen. He also shows close-ups of the Yoga Book’s attractive watchband hinge and its ability to fold into tent and tablet modes.

Image result for Lenovo Yoga Book Gets Unboxing Treatment

We look forward to thoroughly testing the Yoga Book in our lab sometime in the next few weeks. The laptop is available for pre-order on Lenovo.com now, with orders shipping in October.

(laptopmag.com, https://goo.gl/bGPQ7P)

Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus Comparison – Clash of the Generations!

Xiaomi has always been a top-notch manufacturer, hasn’t it? The smartphones maker from the ancient Chinese Land has always given a tough time for other international brands like Apple and Samsung. We’re not here to talk how great is Xiaomi; rather, we’re here to witness a great battle between the two generations, a fight between Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus for the prestige of being called as Xiaomi’s ultimate effort. Both generations are worthy of the title, but only one can be called the best.

So, without further wasting your time, let’s dive in the sea of differences between the three terminals:

Note: For a fair comparison we are selecting the Pro version of Xiaomi Mi 5, instead of the standard variant.

Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus Comparison – Every Difference You Need To Know

Design & Appearance

In Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus, all three of them are entirely different from each other. Mentioning the appearance first, Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus is the biggest of all variant following Xiaomi Mi 5S and the most compact Mi 5. Inthickness, the Mi 5 wins the race with only 7.3 mm thin (1 mm less than Mi 5S and 0.7 mm than 5S Plus). Here’s a table mentioned below, highlighting the physical factors of the three contestants:

Even the chassis of both generations varies. The previous generation is molded from Glass (Standard Mi 5) and the rare ceramic material for Mi 5 Pro. Due to the ceramic body, Mi 5 is much lighter than the other two competitors. However, the new generation follows the footstep of Mi 5 standard with all metal, unibody.

xiaomi-mi-5-vs-xiaomi-mi-5s-vs-xiaomi-mi-5s-plus

The button placement seems to almost same in Xiaomi Mi 5 and Mi 5S. The change can only be witnessed with the home screen button, as Mi 5S button invaginates due to the ultrasonic fingerprint reader. Meanwhile, Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus is totally diverse from its brothers. Maybe that’s because of those three touch-based buttons. It looks like that instead of following Mi 5; the 5S Plus passes the heritage of Redmi series.

111

Comparing the rear of all three specimens, Mi 5 remains the most charming smartphone. It is due to its ceramic design along with those 3D curves further exaggerating the terminal’s beauty. The new generation is similar to the old one due to the fact both Mi 5S (camera layout, although inverted) and Mi 5S Plus (3D curved back) possessing some of their’s predecessor characteristics. Moreover, they are also different from the ancestor because of unibody design for Mi 5S andDual camera layout for Plus. Sadly, none of them features Gorilla Glass Protection. It’s still a fantasy for Xiaomi lovers.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi 5 (Pro)

Hardware & Performance

We all know that the new Mi 5S is among one of the smartphones which featureSnapdragon 821 as the heart of the flagship. The Plus variant has the same SoC but with better speed clock (up to 2.35 GHz). No doubt, they are better as compared to it’s older brother Xiaomi Mi 5 as Snapdragon is an upgrade toSnapdragon 820. The differences within the two SoC are not that much but still the gap in the performance, and the benchmark is tremendous.

Both generations can be appreciated because of their memory. Xiaomi Mi 5S and Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro integrates the same amount of RAM which is 4 GB. But Mi 5 Plus takes the lead here due to it’s generous 6 GB of RAM. All three brothers unite when it comes to internal storage has all have variants which feature maximum storage of 128 GB (UFS 2.0 Flash), which is quite a heck of space. We found it quite surprisingly in this war of Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus that none of the product highlights a MicroSD card. Even these terminals have same GPU ‘Adreno 530’, the new generation is merely overclocked. It’s true that unity is the strength.

Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S

You may think that Mi 5S Plus even beats the other two smartphones in battery timing. Although Mi 5S Plus has a massive battery, still, we can’t neglect the large display and 6GB RAM. of it. Regarding battery all three reasonably tie while supporting QC 3.0.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus

Screen & Display
Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S

This section is not so specially. Moreover, it’s a disappointment. No doubt, Xiaomi is good in rendering excellent high-resolution screen. We get to see a Full-HD resolution in all three contestants. Although Mi 5S Plus takes an advantage here with a larger screen, it lacks brightness (550-nits) as compared to Mi 5 and Mi 5S (600-nits). We said disappointment, as we expected Plus variant to be 2K. When will see a 2K Xiaomi smartphone? Maybe soon. ?

Meanwhile, Mi 5S leads this category in  Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus comparison. Why? The hotshot sports the worldwide trending 3D Touch Display which is the selling point of the flagship.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi 5S

Connectivity & Features

Speaking of connectivity, it retains the same configuration like it was in Xiaomi Mi 5: Dual SIM, 4G LTE, Bluetooth v4.2, WiFi, GPS, NFC, and others.

Variety comes with the fingerprint reader as Mi 5S Plus, and Mi 5 features a simple fingerprint reader on the back and front, respectively. However, Xiaomi Mi 5S beats both by introducing the world’s first ultrasonic fingerprint reader. Isn’t it interesting?

More importantly, all of the phones have IR blaster and runs on Android 6.0 (MIUI 8).

Winner: Xiaomi Mi 5S

Camera

The most vivid difference you can find in Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus is the camera. Mi 5S Plus is Xiaomi’s first flagship device which utilizes the dual camera, and no doubt, it will bring a big leap in Xiaomi’s camera quality as compared to Mi 5 and 5S. Even the camera of Mi 5S is special as it’s ultra light-sensitive.

Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S

From the official specification, Mi 5S has another plus point, which is the ability to record 1080p video at breathtaking 120 fps. At last is the Mi 5 which make use of sapphire lens camera and also yields some detailed pictures.

Winner: None

Price

If you guys ask us about the pricing, we would recommend Xiaomi Mi 5S as it’s the cheapest (not than Mi 5 standard version) plus it point out the most features like 3D Touch, light sensitive camera. The original price of Mi 5 Pro version was  2699 RMB, but because of two new flagship devices launched, it has dropped the price to 2399 RMB.

Selecting the version depends on upon you. If you want more RAM than Mi 5S Plus will perfectly suit you. If you need a much elegant phone, the old Mi 5 (Pro) version with ceramic hood is the best.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi 5S

Conclusion

It’s time to choose an overall winner of Xiaomi Mi 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S vs. Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus looking at the categories, and it is:

Overall Winner: Xiaomi Mi 5S

Reasons:
  • 3D Touch
  • Light sensitive camera
  • Ultrasonic fingerprint reader
  • Price

So, do you agree with us? Let us know by leaving a comment!

(xiaomitoday.com, https://goo.gl/CMRYsE)

Panasonic Lumix GH5 Preview

At Photokina 2016, Panasonic announced the development of its new flagship Micro Four Thirds camera, the Lumix GH5. This preview sums up what we know about this promising compact system camera so far.

Design

Based on the prototype/mockup shown at Photokina, the Panasonic Lumix GH5 looks a lot like the current GH4 model. The camera’s external dimensions appear to be very similar, which may mean that you will be able to use your existing accessories with the GH5, once it hits the shelves in early 2017 – although this has yet to be confirmed. There are a few subtle changes though. The focus-assist/self-timer lamp has moved up a little to be in line with the ‘GH5’ inscription, the handgrip appears to have been slightly redesigned, and the shutter release is now sitting in a more centred position at the top of the grip. The top-mounted controls are almost identical to those of the Lumix GH4, but the Fn1 button has been repositioned to make room for the Movie record button, which now sits right behind the exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity control buttons. The white balance button, power switch, mode dial and drive mode dial all appear to have remained in the same spots where they were on the GH4. The placement of the mockup within the showcase did not allow us to see whether any major changes have been made to the arrangement of the rear-mounted controls and the LCD screen, but we can confirm that the Panasonic GH5 will continue to have two – front and rear – control dials.

Sensor

Being a Micro Four Thirds camera, the Panasonic GH5 will of course come equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The exact specifications are unknown, but given that Panasonic says the camera will offer an 18-megapixel ‘6K Photo’ mode – more on that in a minute – it is safe to assume that the full resolution of the sensor will be in that ballpark. This means a slight but probably noticeable increase over the GH4’s 16-megapixel imager.

Video

Where the Panasonic GH4 offered Cinema 4K recording at 24fps and UHD at 25/30fps, the Lumix GH5 is upping the ante by boasting 4K movie capture at up to 50/60fps, enabling users to shoot slow-motion video in 4K resolution. Not content with increasing the maximum frame rate, Panasonic is adding the ability to record 10-bit 4:2:2 video internally. This is big news as the current GH4 can only capture 10-bit 4:2:2 footage on external recorders, with the internal recording being limited to 8 bits. The now-familar ‘4K Photo’ mode is also present and correct – meaning you can extract approximately 8-megapixel stills from a 60fps burst.

6K Photo Mode

Talking about the development of the GH5 at Photokina, Panasonic revealed it will have a ‘6K Photo’ mode, which means the ability to extract 18-megapixel stills from a 30fps burst, with an aspect ratio of either 3:2 or 4:3. (We must say that while the term ‘6K’ is rather loosely defined, applying it to an 18-megapixel image seems a bit of a stretch, as the longer dimension of an 18-megapixel photo is quite a bit less than 6,000 pixels – but there you go.)

Accessories

As we said, we expect that you will be able to use most of your GH4 accessories with the new GH5. In terms of new stuff, Panasonic were showing off a sophisticated-looking, hotshoe-mounted audio rig alongside the camera, which might be a lower-priced alternative to the existing (but rather pricey) DMW-YAGH professional audio video interface.

Availability

The Panasonic GH5 will be released in the first half of 2017. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.

(photographyblog.com, https://goo.gl/WGgnXD)

Mevo by Livestream camera review

PROS

  • Real-time editing of streamed or recorded videos
  • Intelligent automatic editing algorithm
  • Decent video and audio recording
  • Simple, lightweight design

CONS

  • Auto-editing can be a bit too aggressive
  • 1-hour built-in battery life

A year or so ago, live streaming events was more of a fad that only the very tech savvy or very social user would do. As we near the close of 2016, however, we look back at how the Internet has been flooded by this type of “democratized” broadcasting, ranging from sports and music events, to political debates, to witnessing crimes as they happen. But while live streaming has mostly been associated with smartphones, there is always a need for more professional, but still accessible, recording devices. That’s where the Mevo camera from Livestream comes in, developed by the company whose very name is synonymous to its purpose.

Design

Canisters are the new black. From the Amazon Echo to Google’s OnHub, cylindrical devices are in these days. The shape exudes simplicity, elegance, and space efficiency, all at once. And for devices with speakers, 360-degree reach. While the Mevo doesn’t really take advantage of the latter, it looks great all the same.

By no means is the Mevo camera a large device. It may even be dwarfed by its companion iPhone. measuring only 2 inches on it diameter and standing only 2.5 inches high, the Mevo is design to be petite, lightweight, portable, and almost inconspicuous. And while you can hold it in your hand, it really isn’t best used as such.

For one, the Mevo doesn’t exactly boast of superb image stabilization to rival that of more professional cameras. For another, its design seems to lean more towards being propped up on flat surfaces or on stands. The detachable bottom mount of the camera, which hides access to the built-in microSD card slot, has provisions for a monopod, a.k.a. the notorious selfie stick, and, using an adapter, a tripod. While no one will really stop you from using the Mevo like a handheld action cam, given its special features, it is best to keep the camera steady and unmoving.

20160926_071311

Other than the camera lens itself and the microphone grille at the front, the Mevo’s soft rubber-coated body is unbroken by anything else, with the USB port for power conveniently hidden in the base mount instead. On the top, however, sits the one and only button to be found on the camera, used for both power and starting or stopping video capture. This is surrounded by a 24-color LED ring around the edge to indicate the camera’s status.

Specs

Stripped of its design and software features, the Mevo is pretty much a glorified Internet camera, though you’d be hard-pressed to find one that has a 4K sensorand a decent, though not excellent, stereo microphone.

The Mevo boasts of an unnamed 12.4 megapixel Sony 4K image sensor, though there’s a huge caveat to that we’ll get to later, and an Ambarella A9SE processor. Despite the 360-degree shape, the lens doesn’t really go that far, but does at least reach 150 degrees. The camera doesn’t have speakers, because that’s not really its purpose, but it does have dual analog MEMS mics to handle audio recording. Alternatively, you can also record audio via the paired iPhone.

20160926_071312-960×720
20160926_071347-960×720
20160926_071402-960×720
20160926_071405-960×720
20160926_071432-960×720

The Mevo is a camera built for livestreaming so, naturally, it possesses connectivity. In particular, it sports a Wi-Fi connection that can be used either for an ad-hoc hotspot or for connecting to an existing Wi-Fi network. Creating its own Wi-Fi connection is necessary to connect to an iPhone to utilize the smartphone’s LTE connection, in instances where there is no available network. But since the quality of streaming is dependent on the Internet connection, an independent Wi-Fi network is recommended for best results. That said, an Internet connection isn’t required at all to use the Mevo, as it can easily save recorded footage directly to a microSD card. Mevo even ships with a 16 GB card out of the box.

Battery life will naturally be a concern with this livestreaming camera, and here the Mevo presents a mixed bag. The 1,200 mAh battery is paltry and can only power the Mevo by itself for a good hour, maybe even less. You’d be better off using the three-meter long USB cable to connect to a power source from the get go. Or perhaps Livestream would really want you to buy the $250 Mevo Boost accessory, which not only gives you an extended 5 to 10 hours of life with a 12,000 mAh battery, it also includes an Ethernet port for a faster, more stable Internet connection if available.

20160926_073127

The magic trick: 4K but not quite

While on paper the Mevo is indeed capable of capturing video in full 4K, in reality, it only records and streams in 720p. Now, before you get disappointed, even enraged, at that revelation, first hear out how the Mevo actually works its magic.

While the camera does see in full 4K, that 4K is akin to a stage or a TV set, if you will. And like on any stage or set, the camera isn’t always capturing the whole seen, but sometimes focuses only on a specific area or fraction of the set. In fact, there are sometimes multiple cameras that switch between views and angles. Mevo emulates that setup in an almost magical fashion, zooming in on faces, panning to new, interesting areas, and switching to where the action is. To be able to focus on sections and areas while still keeping a decent 720p quality, you’ll need to start with an even higher resolution. Hence the 4K.

20160926_073305

That zooming and panning and switching is where the Mevo’s biggest strength lies. While you might be able to do the same with the basic camera app on your iPhone, that results in jumpy, jagged, and clearly unprofessional transitions. Mevo, on the other hand, puts you on the director’s chair, from the comfort of your iPhone or iPad.

Yes, you still do all the gestures on your iPhone’s screen, the transitions try to emulate the equivalent behavior from professional multi-camera setups. Pinching to zoom in or out, for example, has a smooth easing animation. Tapping on a spot, usually on a face or item, cuts to that area as if switching cameras. These subtle effects give an element of professionalism you wouldn’t find on any smartphone camera app, livestreaming or otherwise.

img_2247-1280×720
img_2249-1280×720
img_2251-1280×720
img_2252-1280×720
img_2253-1280×720

Things become even more impressive when you let Mevo itself be the director. Yes, you can let the camera decide where to zoom, cut, or pan for you. You pre-select up to six focus points that Mevo will keep an eye on. Utilizing top-secret algorithms, Mevo can follow faces and movements to determine where the action, or talking, is happening. Doing an interview by yourself with no one to operate Mevo for you? Simply put the camera on autopilot and it will do its best to focus on who’s talking, zoom in if needed or out to take in the whole scene.

Performance

Well, that’s the theory and, impressive as it may sound, it has to match reality if it is be of any significance. And how does it fare in practice? Just as impressive as the theory! At least in majority of the use cases and situations.

As earlier mentioned, the Mevo doesn’t really benefit from an optical image stabilizer nor does it have a super sophisticated image sensor. As such, it suffers the same faults as many smartphone cameras, but consequences aren’t as severe. While smartphone cameras should ideally perform well in any scenario, most of the Mevo’s use cases happen in well-lit environments, like broadcasting events, shows, or interviews. Exceptions would be concerts or events that are designed to be dimly lit as well as interviews in darker rooms. But even then, the Mevo’s camera performance drops down to average rather than outright poor.

This fun ride on top of Modobags was documented by the Mevo:

This is how the Mevo performed well in the controlled environment of Audi’s VR Experience demo room:

Audio recording might actually be a bigger concern, though in our time with the Mevo, the livestreaming mini studio handled everything we threw at it very well. There are some imperfections, however, and at times it ends up sounding a bit hollow. The biggest factor that will determine the mic’s performance is distance. Even with stereo mics, the Mevo isn’t all that powerful and quality degrades sharply after a few feet. The upside is that you can adjust gain settings via the iPhone app or, if judged to be better, even use the iPhone’s mic as the audio source, which opens up the setup to more accessories, like a higher quality external microphone.

As for the “director” feature, it just works! In manual mode, the controls are responsive with no delay between gesture and corresponding camera transition, other than the appropriate animation, of course. The panning and cuts and zooming all happen smoothly, without awkward jumps and cuts, producing a video that seems to have gone through post-editing instead of being streamed live. The algorithm-based auto mode, however, is perhaps a bit too sensitive, and we ended up with some cuts in areas that the camera doesn’t even need to look at. Fortunately, this is a software issue that can be refined and fixed later on with a firmware patch rather than hardware that has to be replaced at great cost. For perfect focus, cuts, and transitions, ideally you will want someone behind the smartphone to tap, pinch, and swipe as needed. But when you are a one-man or woman crew, then the Mevo at least offers you the next best thing an intelligent, competent, and maybe a wee too aggressive, director inside your iPhone.

Wrap-up

Although it was off to a slow start, livestreaming has quickly caught on to become a worldwide tech phenomenon, both as an entertainment medium as well as a tool for information dissemination. And while there are some cases that you will have to make do with what you have, that is, your smartphone, bigger events and stages call for better equipment. And that doesn’t mean you need to burn through your budget for one.

The Mevo by Livestream camera sits between smartphones, even the higher end ones, and professional recording rigs, both in capabilities and in price, selling for $399 a pop. And while some smartphones, like the LG V20, for example, might arguably produce higher quality video and audio, that isn’t exactly where the Mevo is at. What Livestream has done is to put a mini video editing studio in the palm of your hand, almost literally, offering real-time editing while streaming, putting you, or the Mevo, in the director’s chair. And in that regard, the Mevo performs admirably and is unrivaled by anything in the market.

(slashgear.com, https://goo.gl/5EKK8o)

GMC Acadia Denali or Cadillac XT5: Buy This, Not That

A few months ago, we took a look at the Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon Denali, asking which is more of a Cadillac: The GMC “Cadillac of trucks” model or an actual Cadillac. The answer? Cadillac. Not the GMC one, the real one. Anyway, both of General Motors’ big trucks come with a price tag size to match: An entry-level Yukon Denali starts at $48K, while the Caddy has a $72K buy-in. So despite their king-of-the-road status, these models a somewhat limited appeal. If you don’t have the funds, or frankly, the space in your driveway, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

But you know what don’t have limited appeal? Midsize crossovers. From people-movers built for families, like the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer, to luxury stalwarts like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus RX, buyers are over the moon for tall, comfortable trucks, even if they’ll never spend a minute off the pavement.

2017 GMC Acadia Denali | Justin Lloyd-Miller/Autos Cheat Sheet

And GM has made big changes in that department. The SRX was Cadillac’s best-selling model, but it had barely been changed since its introduction in 2009. The GMC Acadia was even older; it debuted in 2007, and has soldiered on since, getting its last major update in 2013. They’re both new for 2017, and both sharing a platform, a new version of GM’s Epsilon II architecture. Like the Yukon, the Acadia has a much lower buy-in compared to the Cadillac — $31K versus $39K — but in top Denali trim, its $45K buy-in puts it right in XT5 territory. So can GMC one-up Cadillac in this smaller segment? That’s what we’ll try to find out in this latest segment of Buy This, Not That.

2017 GMC Acadia | Justin Lloyd-Miller/Autos Cheat Sheet

The Acadia has turned over a new leaf for 2017, and is easily the best its ever been. Our Justin Lloyd-Miller spent some time with it earlier this year, and concluded “… regardless of what trim you choose, you can count on the new Acadia to be better behaved, more fuel efficient, offer better driving dynamics, and be easier to live with.” The 2017 model is 7.2 inches shorter than the outgoing SUV, which helped it shed a whopping 740 pounds. Despite the downsizing and shrinking, it’s still a formidable people-mover, with better powertrain options, optional third-row seating, and an overall better ride.

Power now comes from either a 2.5 liter inline-four that puts out 190 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque, or a 3.6 liter V6 that 310 horses and 210 pound-feet of torque. Naturally, the Denali comes standard with all-wheel drive (a $2,000 option on base SLT models), and the bigger motor. A comprehensive safety suite, heated and ventilated leather seats, HID projector beam headlamps, and LED daytime runnings lights come standard too.

2017 Cadillac XT5 interior | Cadillac

The Cadillac XT5 has been on sale a while longer, but is no less new or important to is brand. No third-row seating is optional, but there’s plenty of room for five adults to sit comfortably. Mid-level Luxury trim starts at $45K just like the Denali, and buyers get heated and cooled leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, Bose eight speaker sound system, and a host of electronic aids too. But where the Caddy stands out is its interior; virtually every surface is covered in open-pore wood, aluminum, or leather. Its quiet cabin makes it feel like a luxury model, and its styling — inside and out — helps it stand out from the pack.

The Verdict:

2017 Cadillac XT5 | Cadillac

The good news is that GM’s new midsize luxury SUVs are both great. The bad news it that this one really boils down to your preferences. We like the XT5, but it’s competing against really attractive offerings from Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche, and BMW, among others. On the other hand, the Acadia stands out against competition from Ford, Toyota, and Honda, but $45K is a lot to ask in its segment, and at the end of the day, having its range-topper deep in luxury territory probably won’t peel any prospective Porsche or Audi buyers away.

If you’re an up-and-comer that needs an SUV that can handle family duty as easily as a professional truck that can impress clients, the GMC is your best bet. It’s a little bigger inside inside and out, and has plenty of clever storage bins. But if you want a taste of world-class luxury, American-style, go for the Cadillac. In this rematch, we’ll just have to call it a draw.

(cheatsheet.com, https://goo.gl/JlfHQy)

Denon AVR-X4200W A/V Receiver Review

PRICE $1,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Very solid amplifier performance
DTS:X, Dolby Atmos on board with seven-channel power and nine-channel processing
Good streaming-audio client performance and ergonomics
Minus
Ho-hum remote
Firmware/feature upgrade process is clumsy

THE VERDICT
Denon’s latest-generation upper-echelon AVR does all of the most current modes, sources, and processings very competently indeed, with ample audio power and fully up-to-date video abilities.

Full disclosure: Denon holds a special place in my hi-fi heart, because the brand’s former parent company, Nippon Columbia, brought me to Japan for my first time, on a sort of mini–press junket cooked up by the firm’s U.S. marketing guru. When I say mini, I mean it: It was just myself; Ken, the marketing guy; colleague Ken Pohlmann; and the late consumer electronics editor Bill Wolfe, whom I already knew well through long associations at titles like Video, Car Stereo Review, and (Plain Ol’) Stereo Review (S&V’s precursor).

I don’t remember the official excuse for the trip—some digitalaudio development, no doubt— but in retrospect, I’m pretty sure it was Ken’s way of consuming his remaining marketing budget in congenial company. It was an epic trip: We endured an incredible 23-hour Boeing 747 incarceration (due to a polar turnaround for a medical emergency somewhere back in steerage), a major typhoon immediately after arrival, and some insanely inebriated, four-hour traditional Japanese dinners that left my folded legs nearly useless, followed by next-morning technical briefings at 7:30. There would be subsequent Japan trips, but none to equal the first.

140703-avr-x4200wbk-e2-product-left_1024x1024

Anyway, the point of all this is—there isn’t any point, except that Denon’s latest A/V receiver line is now upon us, sampled here by the AVR-X4200W, the brand’s next-to-next-to-top model: precisely the sweet spot for high-end value, in my view. As with so many other AVRs, its list of features is far too long to even abridge here, but the highest points are Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, Auro-3D (an optional $199 software update available direct to the receiver via the internet), and Audyssey MultEQ XT32. That last one includes Audyssey’s Platinum suite of Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ options plus a couple of subwoofer-EQ offerings—as well as the company’s largely forgotten Dynamic Surround Expansion mode, or DSX, about which I’ll say more later.

You also get the usual Wi-Fi networkability, AirPlay and Bluetooth wireless options, and Spotify Connect, along with hooks for expansion into Denon’s proprietary HEOS wireless-multiroom ecosystem, DLNA-compatible streaming-audio readiness (including DSD playback), and a whole lot more.

The Setup
Denon’s layout for its latest line is fairly conventional: drop-down frontpanel door and just two big knobs, for a clean front panel. But the rear panel is quite the forest, with no fewer than 11 speaker-connection multi-way pairs and a goodly number of legacy connections, including three composite-video inputs (for vintage gamers and laserdisc enthusiasts, I suppose?) and dual component-video paths. Add to that a full HDMI complement (all 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 4K ready) and the usual analog and digital audio jacks. Since my hookup, initially at least, consisted almost entirely of HDMI and speaker cables, connection was quick and easy nonetheless.

916denonrec.bac.jpg

That said, as an Atmos design, the AVR-X4200W has up to 9.x-channel surround processing but with only seven power-amp channels on board. For my 5.1.4 Atmos layout, this necessitated external amplification for at least one channel-pair; I used my ever-willing 7 x 150 power amp’s Nos. 6 and 7, supplied from the receiver’s preamp outputs. This is in fact a 15-RCA-jack, 13.2-channel grouping, accommodating a DSX- and Atmos/DTS:X-compatible layout without switching cabling—I think. (I’ve been doing this for decades, and I’m not positive. Imagine a first-time buyer? I can’t.) The Denon’s complexity of setup options is no worse than any other similar A/V receiver’s, and its manual and onscreen guides mitigate it better than some. Nevertheless, the ever-ascending complexity of home theater worries me. Still, given the general performance advantage of 5.1.4 Atmos versus 5.1.2, having nine-channel processing aboard a seven-channel receiver like this provides a good choice for the not-quite-yet-committed Atmos seeker who wants to keep all options open for the future while keeping budget in check today. We would do well to see more AVRs like this.

Aside from plugging in a Nile delta of speaker wires and a handful of HDMI cables, initial setup consisted entirely of running the Audyssey auto-setup/EQ program, which accepts up to eight different mic placements to derive the fullest picture of room acoustics. Doing so took a solid 45 minutes, and it returned the results I’ve come to expect from multiple Audyssey runs on various gear: Channel levels, crossovers, and distances were all spot-on or very nearly so, and a corrective EQ, with Audyssey’s Reference option, focused imaging and tightened bass in familiar ways.

avrx4200w_da_xl

Elsewhere on the software front: My sample reported its firmware as up to date, but it notified me upon a subsequent turn-on that a free “feature update”—Auro-3D—was available by checking the Denon website. This rather unspecific adviso (it’s a big website) led to a substantial bit of online poking around without success, so I reverted to Denon’s marketing folks, who e-mailed me a direct link (and a code to sidestep the $199 upgrade fee). I ultimately did find the link on Denon’s homepage, accessible from a small, bottom-of-page “Upgrades” button in the Customer Service section—Denon needs to make this easier to find, says I. The install procedure required entering (at the computer) a few provided codes and the unit’s serial number, plus a rather complete product registration, and then took about 20 minutes to download. But the AVR-X4200W restarted with Auro-3D on board, as well as an onscreen hookup guide, tutorial, and amended owner’s manual.

The Performance
I can dispense with the receiver’s qualifications as both a two-channel amplifier and a multichannel amp straightaway: It’s excellent. Denon rates it as “125 + 125 watts” while making no mention of all-channels power, an omission in which Brand D is far from alone. Whatever the case, the AVR-X4200W had no problem delivering satisfying levels from two-channel material, or movie- and music-surround programs, at high levels in my room. A punchy stereo recording like Keith Richards’ accidentally audiophile Main Offender CD produced solid thwack and grind in full-range (subwoofer-less) playback, all while retaining the surprising clarity and presence incorporated within Keef’s (as usual) rather buried vocals. A big-band-funk multichannel extravaganza like the Jaco Pastorius memorial/tribute Word of Mouth Revisited (SACD) yielded similar satisfactions: Horn stabs and slapped bass were snappy and butt-kickingly full of impact, while drummer Mark Griffith propelled everything with sharp, transient energy filled with ambient cues.

denon-avr-x4200w-silver

A quick tour of established movie scenes confirmed equal virtues with film sound. The AVR-X4200W delivers ample real-world power to all channels for real-world loudspeakers in real-world rooms—at full quality. I make this evaluation because my own rather quirky but highly effective loudspeaker array is, at a guess, 2 to 3 decibels less sensitive than the typical home theater designs of today, yet even a torture test like the densest Black Hawk Down sequence sounded just fine at my preferred serious-viewing level, some 4 or 5 dB below reference.

(To be fair, the Denon shares this amplifier competence with most midrange-or-up AVRs I’ve experienced in recent years. While I still think that all-channels-driven power is a worth-knowing measure of power supply robustness and general over-engineering, it just isn’t a big deal for reproducing actual soundtracks via actual speakers, because all channels essentially never go full-scale simultaneously, in-phase. Or at least, as Gilbert & Sullivan would say, almost never. )

Eager to experience DTS:X, I cued up Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, the slight but nicely produced Tina Fey vehicle. The Denon dutifully selected DTS:X mode (no firmware update required because the receiver is X compatible out of the box, yay), and it delivered the expected verticality on scenes such as the helicopter trip in chapter 3. Admittedly, I was using a quartet of Dolby Atmos–approved “ceiling-bounce” elevation speakers rather than in-ceiling direct radiators as DTS prefers; nevertheless, via the Denon, DTS:X did a fine job of reproducing the overhead element of cues such as overflying helos and arcing missiles. (Interestingly, on this film at least, the mixer elected to put a substantial number of ambient-music cues into the height channels as well, which makes for a subtly but distinctly different scoring effect.)

916denonrec.rem.jpgHowever, this is not the place to compare and contrast Dolby Atmos versus DTS:X, and anyway, the AVRX4200W has a whole lot more going on—even in just the surround category. For one thing, there’s Audyssey DSX, which can derive as many as 11.2 channels, including both width and height additions, and can apply itself to anything from two channels on up. Although much overlooked, DSX is an intriguing option that could add a lot of dimensionality to a lot of programming. Except for its chief drawback—which is the same as that cited for every spatial development since stereo: All. Those. Speakers.

A word regarding Auro-3D: This European-originating system specifies multiple ceiling speakers—direct, not Atmos “bounce” types—including a top-middle “voice of God” channel, none of which were options for me. I confirmed Auro’s operation using my 5.4.2 Atmos/DTS:X setup but cannot, of course, make any judgments on the system other than to confirm that it was indeed available from the Denon’s Modes menu and remote buttons and that it did induce a surround effect audibly distinct from Dolby or DTS. There’s doubtless much more to be learned here, but so far little in the way of Auro-encoded movies

is widely available in this country—the system can also be applied “single-ended” to derive channels on non-encoded material, as can both Atmos and DTS:X—so we’re not diving in here. Denon’s choice to make the system optional at extra cost seems to me the right one at this point in time.

On the video side of things, the receiver can scale anything from 480i on up to anything from 480p on up, right on up to 4K/60, and it can do so from analog (including component) or HDMI inputs. My un-instrumented No. 1 eyeball judged these conversions to be generally fine. I did encounter some motion artifacts when the Denon scaled DVD up to 4K/24, but I’m far too much of a 4K newbie to know if these originated in the receiver’s processing or in the display’s, or if they simply were endemic to this largely irrelevant conversion option. The receiver also offers a full complement of picture adjustments, along with six preset selections, including ISF-Day and ISF-Night. While these have certain utilitarian value, I expect most videophiles will choose to roll their own, using their particular display’s options.

916denonrec.2.jpg

Denon has endowed the AVR-X4200W with the familiar vTuner client, along with streaming audio from services Pandora and SiriusXM—plus Spotify Connect, which requires you to cast from your Spotify account on a smartphone, tablet, or multiroom setup. (I endorse this stripped-down approach: Does anybody really need hooks to 16 different streaming services?) The receiver also handles media from a DLNA server, which worked glitch-free and smoothly from my iMac’s TwonkyMedia software, as well as a good deal more quickly and responsively than many other AVRs’ streamer-clients I’ve tested. Better still, it played all my files without hiccup or pause, including DSD-2.8, FLAC up to 176/24, uncompressed WAVs, and of course MP3 and AAC. Playback was satisfyingly transparent, providing all the texture and detail I expect from the bettersort hi-res files. Denon’s streaming client puts up a nice, full-disclosure onscreen display, showing file type and bit rate in addition to track and folder/album info—all of which, along with the AVR-X4200W’s simple navigation and swift response, makes it one of the best receiver clients I’ve encountered.

The Hands-On
The Denon’s ergonomic attributes are unfussy and generally usable. Menus are snappy and straightforward, and the remote control, while unlikely to win any industrial-design or human-factor awards, gets the job done, though its lack of illumination is a bit disappointing. There’s also, of course, the expected control app, available in both iOS and Android flavors. I found the iOS variant quite helpful, especially in delivering direct access to individual channel-level trims (something the hardware remote can’t match) as well as to all the receiver’s audio and video options, despite the app’s occasionally leisurely screendrawing priorities and slightly ho-hum graphic and ergonomic layout. On the other hand, the app includes a one-touch link to Denon’s online HTML owner’s manual (it opens in the browser of your phone or tablet), a very useful pop-up.

p-184-avr-x4200w-5

So while Denon’s latest breaks no earth-shattering new ground, it in fact does a great deal, does it very well, and with perfectly acceptable usability. The AVR-X4200W boasts unimpeachable audio quality and full 4K video capabilities, combined with a deep feature set (among them nine-channel processing in a seven-channel AVR) and a host of multiroom and automation options (including an HDMI Zone-2 output), all at a fair (though not inconsiderable) price. At the end of the day, this receiver is an easy recommendation.

Specs
Power Output: 7 x 125 watts + 125 watts (8 ohms, 2 channels driven)
Auto Setup/Room EQ: Audyssey MultEQ XT32
Video Processing: Scales to 4K/60; transcodes analog to HDMI
Dimensions (WxHxD, Inches): 17.1 x 6.6 x 15.0
Weight (Pounds): 27.8
Video Inputs: HDMI 2.0a (8, 1 front), component video (2), composite video (3)
Audio Inputs: Coaxial digital (2), optical digital (2), line-level stereo (6, 1 front), phono
Additional: RJ-45 Ethernet/IP control, USB (front), 12-volt trigger (2), IR-in/out, RS-232
Video Outputs: HDMI 2.0a (3, 1 Zone 2), component video/Zone 2 (1), composite video (2, one Zone 2)
Audio Outputs: 13.2-channel preamplifier, line-stereo (2, Zone 2 & 3), 1/4” headphone, 11-channel speaker (7 amplifier channels) on multi-way posts
Price: $1,499

(soundandvision.com, https://goo.gl/8VI992)

Every Fossil Group designer wearable launched in 2016 so far

Getting to 100: Michael Kors, Skagen, Misfit, Kate Spade & more

At Baselworld back in March, Fossil Group announced it would launch 100 wearables from eight of its fashion brands, in 40 countries and 20 languages, by the end of 2016. 100! That’s no small figure and we’ve been pretty much obsessed with its efforts to hit it all year.

We won’t be reviewing each and every single Fossil Group device partly because this mega plan is upending how we think about gadgets, wearables and connected accessories.

We’re not talking 100 different spec lists, form factors, processors, screen tech etc etc but three main categories: accessories, smartwatches with screens and hybrids without screens and many, many different styles. There’s actually onlystrictly about 20 – 30 devices listed.

Every Fossil Group wearable of 2016

If you’re looking for a subtle, good-looking wearable check out the other designer collaborations and stylish wearables before scrolling your way through this little lot. At our count there’s 74 so far – impressive.

It’s also worth noting that whatever Fossil’s plans for 2017 (200?) the only device on the list to score 8/10 (four stars) is the Misfit Ray. Sure, we have only tested a fraction so far but Fossil still has a ways to go getting function to match form. For starters, please no more flat tyres on the smartwatches.

Fossil Q Marshal (1-4)

fossil wearables

This 46mm Android Wear watch is a bit of a looker as we found in our hands on review at IFA, and it’s on sale now. It starts at $299.99 and will fit any 22mm strap.

fossil wearables

The Q Marshal comes in four different styles: all black, stainless steel, smoke stainless steel and grey (above right with the Wander). But as with all Fossil’s Android Wear watches, it has an annoying flat tyre at the bottom of the screen.

$299.99, fossil.com

Fossil Q Wander (5-8)

fossil wearables

A second $295 Android Wear watch from Fossil’s Q collection, this time with rose gold, stainless steel and black styles aimed at the ladies and anyone with a smaller, dressier wrist. On sale now.

$299.99, fossil.com

Fossil Q Crewmaster/Nate/Gazer/Tailor (9-20)

OK, now we’re talking – Fossil Q also includes four smart analogue watches that come in three styles each. They just went on sale and do a really good job of bringing plenty of variety to smart analogue style. All the options handle alerts and fitness tracking in the same way. Here’s a gallery.

From $175, fossil.com

17144-942e9eb53491d13c2f7de055a7b3794d
17140-19e6bf125bfef9080ee3907669bf9946
17141-adea4e2581e3daad873d98481eab8f4a
17142-5f7f4c2ebdcb2ec412238c2281535bf9
17143-6a6500e771710d127747af7a9a3ff493

Fossil Q Motion (21-26)

fossil wearables

This is Fossil’s version of the Misfit Ray (see below). It’s a slim, cylindrical $95 tracker that uses LEDs – from beneath a Fossil logo no less – to help you stay on top of alerts. There are six different styles to choose from but it’s actually disappeared from Fossil’s online stores – we’ll keep an eye out for its possible return.

Fossil Q54 Pilot (27)

fossil wearables

A rather tasty-looking smart analogue watch that was announced way back a CES, the Q54 Pilot’s design was inspired by vintage aviation. It starts at $175.

From $175, fossil.com

Michael Kors Access Crosby (28-31)

michael kors wearables

A dainty $95 tracker, emblazoned with Michael Kors’ name, the Access Crosby comes in four colours (above) and like the Kate Spade below incorporates mother of pearl and steel into the design.

$95, michaelkors.com

Michael Kors Access Reade (32-33)

michael kors wearables

The Crosby tracker also comes available as the Access Reade cuff, which costs a bit more than the Access at $125 and doesn’t appear to be on sale yet. Get it in black/gold tone or white/silver tone with a wide crocodile embossed band.

Michael Kors Bradshaw Access (34-41)

michael kors wearables

Ready? You can get this $350+ 44.5mm female focused Michael Kors Android Wear watch in eight styles including: tort gold, pave gold, gold/turquoise, silver, metallic blue and metallic brown.

From $350, michaelkors.com

Michael Kors Dylan Access (42-44)

michael kors wearables

The 45mm Dylan Access comes in just three styles – all black, blue/silver and gold/black. It starts at the same price as the Bradshaw and is a rubber affair with a more defined bezel. In our review, we found that it’s bulky but screams high end.

From $350, michaelkors.com

Skagen Hagen Connected (45-48)

skagen hagen wearables

A $195 – $215 smart analogue watch that comes in four styles including titanium, with leather, steel mesh and silicone straps. On sale in September.

From $195, skagen.com

Skagen Connected Activity Tracker (49)

skagen hagen wearables

A $95 Misfit-style activity and sleep tracker with interchangeable bands. On sale in October/”late fall”.

Kate Spade Scallop Tracker (50-55)

kate spade wearables

This adorkable silicone fitness tracker could be a big seller – it’s $125 and really makes the most of Kate Spade motifs with cat ears, glitter, monochrome or gold/cream dots and monochrome striped styles. It’s on sale now but we can only see four styles available in the online store.

$125, katespade.com

Kate Spade Bangle Tracker (56-58)

kate spade wearables

Slightly fancier is this $150 activity tracking bangle with mother of pearl – you can get it in the three styles above from November.

Kate Spade Metro Grand smartwatch (59-62)

kate spade wearables

Kate Spade’s $250 smart analogue watch comes in three styles (black/rose gold as pictured, grey/silver tone and vachetta/gold tone) with cutesy watch face details.

kate spade wearables

It features three physical buttons on the right hand edge and has a bunch of straps. The ‘hybrid smartwatch’ is on sale in November.

Misfit Ray (63-68)

misfit wearables

A slim, stylish $99 Misfit tracker that you can wear with jewellery or a watch. You can buy it now in six colours – black, rose gold, navy, forest green, ‘stainless steel’ and gold – plus there are two new Apple-matching shades coming soon. And a bunch of accessories – paracord bracelets, necklaces, you name it.

$99, misfit.com | Amazon

Misfit Shine 2 (69-74)

misfit wearables

Misfit’s (other) $99.99 activity and sleep tracker will soon come in six colours, four to match iPhone hues. In our review we found that its tracking is accurate, form factor is comfortable and battery life is awesome. Various bands, accessories and clips available.

$99.99, misfit.com | Amazon

Speedo Shine 2 (75)

misfit wearables

The $120 successor to Misfit’s first swim-focused wearable. In our review we found its lap counting data questionable but it is at least easy to use.

$119.99, misfit.com

Still to come in 2016 – 26 more wearables?

Diesel smart accessories

Just try to forget that Diesel Samsung Gear S collaboration and you’ll be a bit more excited about the biggest name left on Fossil’s wearable tech list.

Emporio Armani watches

We haven’t heard a peep from this designer brand on the smartwatch or hybrid front yet so we can look forward to something expensive this side of Christmas.

Chaps watches

The last brand to round out the Fossil Group stable is Chaps – expect some classy smart analogue styles in the next few months.

(wareable.com, https://goo.gl/rgBzFj)

2016 Suzuki Vitara Range Review

The 2016 Suzuki Vitara has been a bit of a hit for the Japanese brand – it seemingly has the right blend of pricing, styling and robustness that buyers are warming to.

The range of Suzuki Vitara models is expansive, with three engine options, front- and all-wheel-drive derivatives, and a price range from just over twenty grand all the way up to the mid-thirties, so your budget may dictate which Vitara you buy.

But which is the pick of the pack? We decided to assemble a few variants of theSuzuki small SUV range to try and figure it out.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-17

Suzuki Vitara RT-S

Pricing before on-road costs: $21,990 manual FWD, $23,990 automatic FWD

Three key features

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Touchscreen media with satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Rear-view camera

At the entry point to the range is the Vitara RT-S, which kicks off at just $21,990 for the five-speed manual. But we’ve got the six-speed auto, which is $23,990 plus on-road costs, because it makes up a much larger percentage of sales.

It is front-wheel-drive only, unlike the other models in the range, but it is a fair chunk more affordable than them, too.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-22

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-29

Even in the base model Vitara you get a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system with satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay, which is better than plenty of competitor SUVs in this price bracket.

It’s not the greatest screen in terms of the display, and it can be a bit dull in its response times, but it doubles as a display for the standard rear-view camera – another plus!

The cabin is a pretty bland environment – function definitely wins over form here. But it is one of the best in the class for cabin space – considerably better than a Mazda CX-3 in the second row, with adequate space for a six-foot-tall adult behind a fellow six-footer’s driving position. And it has a boot that’s bigger than some hatchbacks in the next size bracket up (375 litres).

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-40

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-34

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-52

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-48

Perhaps the biggest annoyance with the Vitara range is that the doors are so light that they are hard to close. You will lose count of the times you have to re-shut the doors: you might even find yourself constantly slamming them to ensure they stay shut.

Under the bonnet is a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that may not be huge in terms of power and torque – 86kW and 156Nm – but it is pretty peppy considering the Vitara doesn’t weigh much at all: just 1120 kilos.

That weight figure is pretty astounding given the size of the car – it measures 4175 millimetres long, 1775mm wide and 1610mm tall.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-41

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-3

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-10

The engine doesn’t feel like it’s struggling for grunt around town, although it is pretty noisy and likes to rev. It’s better suited to city duties than the highway: at higher speeds it can be a bit breathless when you’re pushing up hills. In town, though, the six-speed auto does a good job.

It steers fine, tackling roundabouts without any hassle, but the steering can be a little bit twitchy on centre at higher speeds. And the ride isn’t bad, either, dealing with speedhumps and rough surfaces pretty well.

The Vitara RT-S is a pretty convincing little SUV for the price – if all-wheel-drive isn’t important to you, you could do a lot worse.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-56

Suzuki Vitara S Turbo

Pricing before on-road costs: $28,990 automatic FWD, $32,990 automatic AWD

Three key features

  • Unique exterior styling
  • Leather/suede interior trim
  • Push-button start and keyless entry

The mid-range Vitara S Turbo looks a fair bit sportier than the base model, with a different grille, blacked out headlights and a more sculpted bumper. It also has silver mirror caps with indicators, and it gets black wheels. The car we have here looks the part with its two-tone paint, too.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-71

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-83

The engine may be a little bit smaller in terms of capacity – a 1.4-litre compared to the 1.6 in the base version – but the turbocharger adds plenty: there is 103kW of power and 220Nm of torque, and it still only weighs 1160kg. That’s almost a hot-hatch-like power to weight ratio!

And as with plenty of hot hatches these days, the S Turbo models are solely available with six-speed automatic transmissions. But as you can tell by its pricing, the S Turbo versions can be had with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the latter at a $4000 premium.

We had the front-drive version, with its sub-$30K pricing putting it almost on par with the likes of the Honda HR-V VTi-S ($27,990), Mazda CX-3 Touring ($28,990), andNissan Qashqai ST ($28,490).

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-67

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-58

It’s fair to say that among those competitors, the Suzuki’s little turbo engine is a standout: in fact, there probably isn’t a better drivetrain in the small SUV class, partly because of the level of effortlessness and refinement on offer.

There’s plenty of torque, and while this version is front-wheel drive, the all-wheel drive model would surely pull pretty hard out of corners. You’d have to want it pretty bad to be able to justify the $4000 expense, because the front-drive model is definitely decent enough in terms of handling and performance. There is a little bit of torque steer under hard acceleration, but as is the case in the entry-level model, the steering is relatively accurate, and the suspension does a good job.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-172

It’s quick, too – put your foot down and there’s considerably more urge in the turbo model than in the base version.

And there’s barely anything in it in terms of fuel use between this one and the non-turbo version: we saw 6.4 litres per 100km in the turbo model and 7.0L/100km in the non-turbo.

The six-speed automatic gearbox offers decisive shifts, and like the base model there are paddleshifters, too – if you think you should pretend you’re driving a hot hatch.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-54

That impressive drivetrain tech comes at a cost, though – five grand is plenty in this part of the market. But you do get a few other extras like auto lights and wipers, LED headlights, leather trim with suede inserts and keyless entry with push-button start.

All of those bits definitely add to the appeal, and this one makes a strong case.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-110

Suzuki Vitara RT-X

Pricing before on-road costs: $35,990 automatic AWD

Three key features

  • Polished alloy wheels
  • Dual-pane panoramic sunroof
  • Multi-mode AWD system

The turbo diesel RT-X model is only available in all-wheel drive, so we figured why not test it on the dirt to see what it can do?

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-101

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-121

You could be led to believe that the turbo petrol has plenty of torque, but the 1.6-litre turbo diesel model has has an extra 100Nm on it – its outputs are 88kW and 320Nm.

That’s a pretty huge amount of pulling power for a car of this size and weight. It is a bit heavier than the petrol versions, but at 1325kg it’s not chubby.

You can tell this has a different type of gearbox to the other models in the range when you’re pottering around town: it has a dual-clutch automatic, and the shifts can be a little bit hesitant, particularly from a standstill, but once you’re on the move they’re smooth and rapid.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-94

Adding to the low-speed limitations is low-rev lag as the turbo spools up – when you hit about 2000rpm the engine is strong to respond, but below that it’s a bit sluggish. And while the engine offers decent response at speed it is pretty noisy at idle.

As for fuel use, we saw about 5.3L/100km, though that figure rose the more off-road driving we did.

Now, that all-wheel-drive system – let me just say this: if you really want a small SUV with proper off-road cred, you should buy the Suzuki Jimny, which has high and low range and can shuffle itself up craggy hillsides better than most humans.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-156

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-160

But the AllGrip system in this car has a few different settings for different situations. Auto mode chooses whether you need 4WD or not; Snow mode – well, there’s not much need for that unless you’ve got the skis on board; Sport mode is designed to make it feel better in corners and makes the transmission hold on to gears longer; and Lock mode modulates the torque to ensure good progress on mud or loose surfaces.

We’d have to say we wouldn’t be too keen to venture on too hard a terrain. Although those AWD settings are handy and undoubtedly have an effect on the behaviour of the car in different situations, it is let down by a few key things: its ground clearance, at 185mm, isn’t great; and all three have the same Continental tyres, which are road-focused.

The suspension doesn’t allow the vehicle a lot of lateral travel through deep ruts or washouts, and the approach angle isn’t terrific (18 degrees), but the stumpy rear end allows it a fine departure angle (28 degrees).

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-146

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-144

Still, this model is pretty expensive, and how often are you actually going to want to get your car off the beaten track to exploit the AWD system? We drove it around town and found it to be equally inoffensive to drive despite the extra weight, but our biggest gripe with the diesel was that noise. It rattles like an old tractor.

In terms of equipment, it has the panoramic glass roof, and the interior looks a bit more upmarket with its grey stitching and that plush suede/leather combination trim. The fact it doesn’t have a silly big badge on the dash (it has a small AllGrip badge), means it could appeal to more mature buyers.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-155

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-104

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-109

But while the range is impressive, it does – in its entirety – fall a little short on safety features. The rear-view camera is great, and the mid- and high-spec models have front and rear parking sensors, too.

Each Vitara has seven airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain and driver’s knee protection), but it doesn’t have any of the latest high-tech equipment like autonomous emergency braking or blind-spot monitoring.

And even at $35,990 plus on-roads – or what could be close to $40,000 driveaway – the RT-X doesn’t get seat heaters.

Our pick of the range: Suzuki Vitara S Turbo

Part of the reason the Suzuki Vitara range has been a success in Australia is because it seemingly has something in the range for many different types of small SUV buyers.

The diesel is impressive and grunty, but it is pretty darn pricey.

The base model is very good value, and it drives decently, too. It’s just a shame it doesn’t have as much oomph as we’d like.

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-139

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-131

2016 Suzuki Vitara RT-S v Suzuki Vitara S Turbo v Suzuki Vitara RT-X-130

As a result, our pick of the pack when it comes to the Suzuki Vitara line-up is the Turbo S.

When you take into consideration its pricing, its equipment and its excellent drivetrain, it really stands out as a top-notch small SUV, not just in the context of its own range, but across the entire segment.

(caradvice.com.au, https://goo.gl/92jS4v)

MeisterSinger Salthora Watch Review

MeisterSinger, I think it is safe to say, has a very singular approach to their watch designs. They have carved a niche out for themselves with their single-handed watches, offering tidy German designs with more than a dash of an “island-time” mentality. That is not to say that the watches are not accurate, because they are, given the Swiss movements inside. No, instead, with the 15-minute increments being as close as you can reliably tell the time on a traditional single-hand watch, you are forced into a more relaxed view of what time it is. Or perhaps that’s just me, the “feeling forced” bit. I rather like to know the exact time, which is why something like the MeisterSinger Salthora is a good fit.

meistersinger-salthora-002

That is because the MeisterSinger Salthora, while still a single-hand design, gives you a more traditional take on tracking time. This is accomplished by means of a jumping hour disc (at the 12 o’clock position), leaving the single hand to then track the minutes. For those who prefer a “pure” single-hand watch, this won’t be of appeal, simply because you lose some of that lackadaisical charm. For folks like me, however, this allows you to get that unique design while still maintaining functionality.

And really, that is the reason I find myself liking the MeisterSinger Salthora – it maintains its usability for how I rely on a watch in daily situations. Especially when I’m in the office, knowing the time more precisely keeps me on schedule. Sure, there are all manner of clocks around that can give me the exact time, but why not just let the watch do what it’s been steadily improved to be able to do? I mean, with a ETA 2828-2 or SW200-1 movement tucked in the case, why limit yourself to 15-minute precision?

meistersinger-salthora-003

The other benefit of the jump hour on the MeisterSinger Salthora, aside from its relative rarity in today’s watches, is of an audible nature. As I noted in my original writeup back in 2014, there is a click when the hour changes. While I have only managed to notice this when setting the watch to get it ready to wear, it is conceivable you would hear this audible notification kicking off if you were in a quiet enough room. Is it a feature? No, not really, but it’s another one of those quirks that owners can get to appreciate.

On the wrist, the 40mm case of the MeisterSinger Salthora wears quite compactly. This is partly due to its dimension, of course, but is also influenced in large part by how minimal the bezel is. With that slender ribbon of steel surrounding the dial, you really focus more on the dial itself, and sort of pick that up as its size. This undersized feeling is also helped along by the fact that the case tapers as it goes from the front to the back. Along with reducing weight (the watch is 84g), it makes for a smaller footprint against your wrist. It also makes for an odd look to the crown. While the crown clicks into place against a protrusion on the case, it almost looks like you have the crown stem exposed (you don’t, of course).

meistersinger-salthora-05

The stem hooks up to the movement, of course, and it’s how you wind the mainspring and adjust the time. It is of note (but not really a surprise) that there is no “quick set” of the hour disc. There is only a single position to pull the crown out to, and when in position one (with position zero being winding) you set the minute hand spinning around the dial. Every time it passes the 12 o’clock position, the hour disc advances to the next hour with a click. This may sound tedious, but you’re thinking in terms of date displays that do not have a quick set (which, fortunately, is rarer these days). The gearing between the crown and the hand is such that you can spin the hand rather quickly, making setting the time after inactivity a simple thing to do.

There are four different color schemes of the MeisterSinger Salthora: white, anthracite, blue, or ivory, as we’ve reviewed here. While the blue dial is my favorite, the ivory is a close second, nicely set off by the blued hand. Unfortunately, the hour disc is not color-matched to the ivory dial (or any of the dials, other than the white one). Sure, the leap from ivory to white is not a huge one, but it would give just that extra bit of refinement to have them match. Or, why not go bolder and have it be a completely different (or inverted) color. Just a thought, and really, in regular wear, the color difference is not one that I particularly noticed or was bothered by.

meistersinger-salthora-09

On the brown calfskin strap, I found the MeisterSinger Salthora to be an amiable daily companion, keeping me on time while still giving that feel of the essence of the MeisterSinger design language. The MeisterSinger Salthora is currently available at a price of $3,525, or you could opt for the slightly larger MeisterSinger Salthora Meta, which comes in a 43mm case and runs $3,675. Whichever you might end up with, I feel that the MeisterSinger Salthora is a good compromise for those who like the look of a single-handed watch, but simply do not want to give up accuracy in reading the time.

meistersinger-salthora-011

Necessary Data

>Brand: MeisterSinger
>Model: Salthora
>Price: $3,525
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes, I certainly would get a watch like this in the rotation (though, I might opt for the blue dial on a blue strap)
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Basically, someone who views watches like I do – looking for accurate reads, but not afraid of mixing up the standard hand configuration
>Worst characteristic of watch: I’m going to say it’s how the crown can look like it’s standing off from the case even when clicked into the zero position
>Best characteristic of watch: Giving the single-handed watch feel while still offering you an accurate read on the time

Tech Specs from MeisterSinger

  • Case
    • Stainless steel with 6-screwed exhibition back
    • Diameter: 40 mm
    • Height: 13.3 mm
    • Domed sapphire glass
    • WR: 5 bar
  • Movement
    • ETA 2828-2 or Sellita SW200-1 (movements identical in construction) with MeisterSinger module for the “jumping hour”
    • Automatic
    • 26 jewels
    • 28,800 semioscillations per hour (4 Hz)
    • Incablock antishock system
    • 38hr power reserve

(ablogtowatch.com, https://goo.gl/PVP68b)

Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam Review

The Pros

Affordable; Dynamic background removal; Strong audio and video quality

The Cons

Finicky to set up; Hard to stream in low light

Verdict

The Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam may take a few tries to set up, but it’s the cheapest alternative to a green screen for game streaming at an affordable price.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam Review

Streaming video games has become really big business. Some streamers have elaborate setups with green screens so that they can show you more of the game rather than their messy apartments, but that takes a lot of room and money. Logitech’s $99.99 C922 Pro Stream Webcam takes out a lot of the cost and the space by using software to remove or replace the background, making you look like a pro for a fraction of the dough. It’s not as reliable as using a real green screen, but the C922 is much easier to use, and it also happens to be a great everyday webcam.

Design

The C922 is the spitting image of Logitech’s C920, our favorite webcam. It shares the C920’s chunky, all-black casing, with microphones that flank both sides of the 1080p lens, and it even has the same lengthy 6-foot cord sticking out the back.A rear-mounted arm secures the camera onto your laptop lid or external monitor.

Just like the C920, it worked great on a variety of laptops and displays that I tested.The part that stands out is that the C922 comes with a tripod. It features a 360-degree swivel mount and its legs extend from 4.3 inches to 7.3 inches. We haven’t seen a webcam that comes with a tripod before, and that makes the C922 a great starter kit for those who want one. (If you’re one of those who don’t need a tripod, see below for a version without it.) 

Picture and Sound Quality

Like its predecessor, the C922 takes great photos, and videos with clear audio. Whether you’re playing Overwatch on Twitch or holding a conference over Skype, you’re going to look and sound good doing it.

I snapped some photos in the well-lit Laptop Mag labs and was pleased by the precise details and color accuracy. I saw all of the black stripes on my royal blue shirt, which looked great on-screen. I could make out individual hairs on my head and in my beard as well as the dings on the edges of the cardboard boxes that were piled up behind me. The only issue was that the light coming in through the windows was blown out.

Logitech claims that the C922 has improved low-light correction over the C920, though I preferred the older model’s photos. When I compared the two, the C922’s photos had a bluish tint, while the C920 had a more natural look.

The microphones on the C922 record stellar sound. When I replayed test video that I shot, my voice was crystal-clear, and I could hear the sharp sound of my knuckles crackling. I even heard a colleague who was talking and typing several feet away.

Software and Streaming

The C922 isn’t designed to work with the C920’s webcam utility. Instead, it comes with apps that are specifically designed for streaming. Logitech partnered with Personify to build proprietary software called ChromaCam.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam Review

This recognizes the streamer and creates a green-screen effect behind the person, which removes the background. Alternatively, you can pick a number of preset backgrounds or upload your own image to serve as your backdrop. While it’s meant for game streaming — where it places your head and torso on top of the game — you can use it for any video application, including video chat software like Skype.

Logitech also throws in a three-month license to XSplit Gamecaster and Broadcaster (six months if you get a configuration without a tripod — see below). You can use XSplit for free, but the subscription lets you remove backgrounds, edit recordings and get notifications about new followers. If you don’t use XSplit, the C922 is also designed to work with Open Broadcaster Software (OBS).

If you’re starting your streaming setup from scratch, all this software might be somewhat overwhelming. But for those who already use XSplit Gamecaster or OBS to stream, adding ChromaCam is a simple process. After making a few settings changes in XSplit or OBS, you’re ready to go. The C922 can stream an image of the user at 60 frames per second at 1080p or 30 fps at 720p.I played Rise of the Tomb Raider on the Asus ROG Strix GL50VS-DB71 with a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ CPU, 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB VRAM, and decided it would be a perfect time for a little streaming. I hooked up my Twitch and XSplit accounts and streamed Lara Croft not-so-stealthily running through a Soviet base, dodging guards and climbing zip lines on High settings. Performance was sporadic with the camera running, ranging from 30 to 65 fps, though this will vary based on your rig, internet connection and the game’s individual settings. Later, I played Hitman on default settings while streaming over OBS, and stayed at a more consistent 50 fps while recording as I pursued an assassination target on a yacht.

In bright light, the background removal works quite well, but the setup can be finicky. In our lab, I found that the camera occasionally cut off the top of my head, or the frame included a pile of boxes along with my torso. Resetting ChromaCam tended to do the trick, and once I configured it to my liking, it stayed there. It takes a bit of finagling, but if you do it all before you broadcast, it should look fine throughout. It’s not as reliable as a real green screen, but it should do the trick. 

You can stream with a friend in the shot, too, thanks to the wide-angle lens. When testing, we managed to fit two people on the screen together at the same time while we played a game.

In low-light situations, the camera couldn’t find me at all, and I had to delay my streaming until I got more light into the room. Even then, it only caught my head and part of my chest.

Because the C922 opted for a software solution instead of Intel’s processor-powered 3D RealSense camera, it is compatible with far more computers. Unlike the RealSense camera, Logitech doesn’t require a 6th-generation Intel Core CPU or Windows 10; gamers with older rigs or running Windows 7 or 8 can use the C922.

Configurations

Logitech is selling two versions of the C922 webcam at the same $99 price point, depending on your needs. The version I reviewed had a tripod and a three-month license to XSplit, and will be available on Logitech’s web site and at Best Buy under the C922 Pro Stream Webcam branding.

If you love XSplit and don’t need a tripod, the C922x (also $99) is the exact same camera, but comes with a six-month license for XSplit and ditches the tripod. That version will be sold exclusively on Amazon.

Bottom Line

For those without the space or wallet for a green screen, the Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam is the next best thing. It can be a bit tedious to set up, and it requires a fair bit of software, but when it works, it looks pretty damn good. It also doesn’t hurt that it happens to be a pretty strong webcam for ordinary video chatting.If you just need a great webcam or don’t care about background removal, the Logitech C920 is a better deal. You can find it on Amazon for as low as $68, and despite the lack of bells and whistles, it’s our favorite webcam on the market.For gamers, the C922 is the best of both worlds, thanks to the free software and tripod. What’s important is that you get great picture and sound, whether you’re using it for Twitch or Skype (though you may want to keep the light on). Is it as good as a real green screen? No, but it’s a good alternative for the money.

(laptopmag.com, https://goo.gl/7YSmFs)

Umi Plus : The Complete Pros and Cons Review

UMi Plus is hugely popular among smartphone and tablet users all over the world. This article will put forth all the positive as well as negative aspects of the device. Though giants in global market share, Chinese brands were considered mediocre when it comes to technical sophistication and innovation.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Umi Plus

With the launch of UMi Plus and scores of other top notch smartphones from Chinese brands that will give other global brands a run for their money, it seems that the Chinese brands have aced it. There are many Chinese brands in the market that have created a tough competition for major global smartphone manufacturers.

We are going to focus on UMi Plus 4G Phablet today and discuss its pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision before you buy one for yourself. So here we go. Read through the lists both of pros and cons of the smartphone and you will know what is stored for you in this wonder-phone.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-2-17-57-pm-768x312

Let’s begin with the pros or positive aspects of UMi Plus 4G Phablet.

Many of the characteristics of the phone will surprise you to no end so brace yourself and take a wonderful trip into the fabulous world of technological excellence and a combination of powerful hardware and aesthetics.

  1. One of the most important aspects to be considered when you buy an expensive smartphone is, is it a sturdy device or is it easily breakable if you accidentally drop it on the ground. The body of UMi Plus 4G Phablet is made of a hard metal and has very little chances of being easily damaged. The 6000 series aluminum makes it too strong to be easily damaged. And the narrow side bezels add to the beauty of the smartphone.
  2. The reversible connector the smartphone comes with is a USB Type-C connector and can also be used for data syncing along with its primary purpose of charging. You can also attach a USB OTG cable through the connector that supports it.
  3. You will get an unaltered and undisturbed experience of using an Android Marshmallow operating system with a clean interface that comes without any unnecessary apps or bloatware that occupy most of the space and also slow down your smartphone because they run at the background unnoticed.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-2-18-27-pm-768x278

  1. You can use two 4G SIM cards at the same time since both the slots support 4G networks as dual standby. You can also make voice calls using mobile internet connection since the smartphone supports VoLTE network.
  2. The first thing you look at when you pick up a smartphone is how big and attractive the display screen of the phone is. With a large 5.5 inches display form a Spartan display manufacturer, Sharp and a 2.5D curve glass, the phone certainly has a lovely aesthetic view. The display has large viewing angels thanks to it 95% NTSC and is equally good as any other high end smartphone on the market. The display screen has a resolution of 1920X1080 pixels that gives it a pixel density of almost 401 pixels per inch!
  3. The fingerprint scanner or sensor on the front panel of the phone is very quick to recognize and respond. The panel can recognize fingers from all 360 degree angles. You can register all five fingers on the panel. It responds with lightening speed and takes only 0.1 to 0.2 seconds to recognize your fingers.
  4. UMi Plus uses the outstandingly reliable Fingerprint Touch ID 2.1 + which is the fastest to recognize and respond. Known for its unmatched user experience, it responds within 0.1 second after you touch it and the phone is unlocked in no time. Your fingerprints are encrypted and stored safely in a dedicated chip that is inaccessible even to you. It’s certainly faster and more convenient than pass codes or patterns.
  5. The primary camera of the smartphone has a 13 megapixel sensor and the secondary camera has a five-pixel sensor. The sensors are made by Samsung and the image quality of both the cameras is very vibrant in outdoor photography even in lightning conditions. They also function in low light and give excellent performance in artificial lights.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-2-18-44-pm

  1. The smartphone has DDR3 4 GB RAM made also by Samsung which is capable of multitasking quite like a desktop computer.
  2. You can use as many apps as you want without any heating or lagging problems because the phone is powered by the 64 bit CPU Octa-core Helio P10 Mediatek.
  3. The phone has 32 GB internal memory which is expandable up to 256 GB using a micro-SD card.
  4. The massive 4000 mAh battery easily lasts a couple of days for a normal user. Those who use it heavily for playing games or watching videos can also expect it to last the whole day.
  5. A large battery like this one is expected to take a really long time to be fully charged. However, a fast battery charging technology used in UMi Plus helps it charge faster. It takes only 30 minutes to charge 50%.
  6. A Mali T860 GPU takes care of the graphics of the games and is capable of running high end games without any lags or drops in frame speed even at the highest configurations.
  7. The operating system used in the phone is Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the latest version of Android. The pure Android experience will make your life a little easier and much more exciting. It’s enhanced for performance, customization and battery life.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho umi plus

And a Few Drawbacks You Can Get Over

One among the very few drawbacks of the phone is that there’s no dedicated card slot for a memory card. That means you have to use one of the SIM card slots if you want to use a memory card. It also means that you can use only one SIM card if you are using a memory card.

Our Verdict

It’s definitely worth the price. Go for it if your eyes are set on the beautiful device.

(xiaomitoday.com, https://goo.gl/HwuPUa)

Steljes Audio ML-30HD Integrated Amplifier Review

Pros
  • Sweet and refined sound
  • Solid build
  • Useful features
Cons
  • Limited bass
  • Sounds better at higher volumes
  • Valve a little bit of a gimmick

Kết quả hình ảnh cho steljes audio

What is the Steljes Audio ML-30HD?

The Steljes Audio ML-30HD is an integrated amplifier. A quick look at the basic layout in the pictures should be enough to tell you that the manner in which Steljes has gone about making such a device is a little bit different to more conventionally accepted practise in this area. We’ll cover the specs thoroughly in due course but suffice to say that combining as it does, Bluetooth, USB and a phono stage, the ML-30HD is very on-message for 2016.

The presence of the valve sticking out the top is also pretty much of the moment. We have recently looked at the Copland DAC 215 which made use of valves in it but the position of Copland in such matters is that through careful implementation of the circuit they are in, valves retain advantages over their solid state brethren. There is also little arguing that valves give products a look and feel that is hard to replicate any other way and, while preconceptions are dangerous things, it seems more than possible that Steljes might be making as much use of the aesthetics of valves as any performance gain.

Steljes Audio ML-30HD Integrated Amplifier Review

Valves or not, the ML-30HD pitches into a keenly contested category. After a period where integrated stereo amplifiers looked like they were on the endangered species list, manufacturers have noticed that they have production lives of years rather than months and can be something other than the latest software available crammed into a box. This means that the Steljes faces some pretty significant competition at £400/$600 – so does this little metal box do enough to enthral?

Specifications

Steljes Audio ML-30HD   Specifications

At its core, the Steljes is a four input integrated amplifier which sounds normal enough. The caveat to this is that the inputs in question are Bluetooth – in this case the v4.0 type, a USB-B connection for use with a PC or Mac, a standard RCA line input and a moving magnet phono stage. The Steljes is capable of handling a considerable variety of equipment.

As you might expect, for a product that costs £400/$600, some limitations are apparent, if not actual cut corners. In a world where some USB connections, even at fairly terrestrial price points are supporting some exotic formats, the ML-30HD is a driverless type that tops out at 24/96kHz which, in fairness, is still likely to handle more in the way of sample rates than most examples out in circulation are likely to be called upon to do. The driverless aspect is handy though – simply connect the ML-30HD to a computer and away it goes.

The Bluetooth is more up to date and given that the very affordableNS3 active speaker has a good implementation, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that the pricier ML-30HD is also well sorted. Steljes doesn’t actually list it as being Apt-X capable (and Bluetooth 4.0 is not automatically Apt-X) but the very reliable sniffer on the Onkyo DP-X1flagged it as Apt-X so you get the benefit of lossless transmission.

Steljes Audio ML-30HD   Specifications

The other inputs on the Steljes are more conventional. There is a standard line level stereo RCA input and a moving magnet phono stage. The fitment of both gives the ML-30HD useful flexibility in terms of setting up a system with it at the centre. Input selection is via rotary dial on the front panel and this is partnered with a volume control next to it. There is no remote control for either which is something of an annoyance. I appreciate that many owners will have the ML-30HD in a desktop situation but equally, plenty of them won’t and when you consider the vast discrepancy in volume from different tracks via USB, the Steljes is slightly frustrating to operate from a distance.

The amplification in the ML-30HD is a 30 watt design that produces its headline numbers at low quoted distortion figures. The topology is not quoted in the literature for the amp but given there is a valve jutting prominently out of the top panel, the chances are that any minute characterisation of the output is likely to be elbowed out of the way by the traits imparted by that.

The valve itself is a 6N3, a signal valve of Russian derivation that has become popular with products produced in China as it is produced in some numbers there. The fact that the 6N3 is a signal valve and there is only one of them used in the ML-30HD means that while Steljes doesn’t specify exactly what the valve is used for, it is likely that it is used as part of the preamp arrangement as a means of tuning the signal sent to the power amp rather than as part of the gain stage (where it would be more common to use a pair of them). This means that the ML-30HD is effectively a solid state amp with tuning courtesy of a spot of retro tech.

Design

Steljes Audio ML-30HD   Design

The ML-30HD is a relatively compact piece of equipment that sits in an attractive all metal chassis. As noted, there is no remote control – something of an irritant to the terminally idle like myself – but Steljes has at least ensured that the controls themselves move with a positive and pleasing feel. Around the back, things are no less logical and the spacing of the inputs and outputs is amenable to making and removing connections without the aid of a pair of tweezers. The speaker terminals are a little on the small side but will still accept bare wire easily enough and worked fine with the 4mm plug terminated runs used in testing.

The build and general finish of the ML-30HD is good although it is worth noting that brushed steel has proved to be a pernicious fingerprint trap for me in the past and can start to look a little sad if you don’t keep up with cleaning it. The actual effort that has gone into the construction is pretty good though and other than a very slightly uneven gap between the front and the top panel, everything feels pretty good for the asking price.

I’m slightly less sold on the design treatment for the valve though. Steljes has fitted the 6N3 in such a way as it mounts at the level of the top panel and has a protective cage supplied to prevent it coming into contact with a todder. The effect is very much “look, look, it’s got a valve!” especially as the whole thing is lit from the bottom with an LED (like most signal valves, the 6N3 doesn’t do a huge amount of glowing on its own). I think it’s a bit showy but at least the actual bits involved are of a reasonable quality.

Steljes Audio ML-30HD

The Steljes is capable of handling a considerable variety of equipment

How was the Steljes ML-30HD tested?

Normally, with a product of this nature the ‘go to’ speaker for at least some of the testing would be my Audio Note AN-Ks but they are absent so the Steljes has seen some testing with the Wharfedale Riva 2 and the Neat IOTA Alpha that have been in attendance for review. An Onkyo DP-X1 DAP has been used as the main Bluetooth source while the moving magnet ‘side’ of an Avid Ingenium twin turntable(SME M2-9 tonearm with Nagaoka MP150 cartridge) has been used to test the phono stage. A Lenovo ThinkPad has supplied a USB signal and the line input has been tested with both a Naim ND5 XS streamerand a Cyrus Phono Signature phono stage. Test material has been a huge variety of formats from high res FLAC to compressed material like Spotify.

Performance with USB and Bluetooth

Steljes Audio ML-30HD   Performance with USB and Bluetooth

Unlike the scrupulously logical NS3 speaker, the ML-30HD does without a pair button or a pairing indicator. As such, getting connected to it is largely down to the indicators on your pairing device but once connected, it re-pairs automatically and has been pretty stable since then. Similarly, the USB connection has a think when connected to a computer, girds its loins and proceeds to work seamlessly from there on.

The performance itself is immediately characterised by a smoothness and refinement that is periodically lacking in equipment of this nature. What is particularly appealing is that this isn’t joined by any appreciable sense of smoothing off to the presentation. Listening to the superb Brothers in Arms from the Mad Max: Fury Road soundtrack, the Steljes does a good job of keeping the electronic snarls at the beginning sounding civilised without tipping over into becoming dull. When the fabulous string section comes in, the result is controlled but still lifelike and engaging.

At least it is if the volume is above the 9 O’Clock position on the control. Below this, the ML-30HD has noticeable channel imbalance between the speakers and this means it simply doesn’t sound right. Imbalance on analogue volume potentiometers is far from unusual but it does affect the ML-30HD quite significantly and using it below these volume levels is unlikely to be truly satisfying. This being said, with 30 watts on tap, it is likely you will be calling upon more power than is available at this low volume level.

Steljes Audio ML-30HD   Performance with USB and Bluetooth

As a further incentive to doing so, the ML-30HD opens up significantly as the volume increases. The sense of space and openness that results from doing so is consistent across both digital connections and means that larger scale music has the scope it needs to sound exciting. This is aided by the Steljes having a decent sense of pace and drive to it. Give it the effortlessly boppy Animal by Miike Snow and it keeps on top of things and sounds genuinely fun while it does so.

There is a ‘but’ coming and depending on what speakers you choose to put with the ML-30HD it might be a problem. The bass response of the Steljes is detailed and pleasingly quick but it never truly sounds that deep or impactful. Both the Neat and Wharfedale speakers used for testing demonstrated more low end used on other equipment during the tests so it seems that the limits are down to the ML-30HD. Depending on how you listen and what you listen to, it may not be a huge problem but if you want to feel bass as well as hear it, this might not be the amp for you.

Experimenting with different file sample rates via the USB input shows that the Steljes does everything that the manual says it does and there is no sign of any gremlins in playback at any stage. It might be fair to say that high res audio doesn’t necessarily show a night and day difference when used with the ML-30HD but I know of very few playback systems (decoding and amplification combined) at this sort of price that truly can. It might be better to view the ML-30HD as being equipped to handle anything you are likely to throw at it.

Performance via line in and phono

Steljes Audio ML-30HD   Performance via line in and phono

Connecting up the moving magnet side of my turntable to the ML-30HD reveals that the Steljes gets the basics right. The phono stage is usefully quiet and free of ground noise or the like. The levels of gain it offers are pretty good too and given that the comments about the ML-30HD sounding better once running at higher levels apply here too, you’d want to be using the upper reaches of the volume control anyway.

Having done so, the performance of the phono stage is perfectly acceptable judged by the standards of the competition at this price. Tonality is good and a spirited rendition of How to be a Human Beingby Glass Animals sounds lively and fundamentally accurate. Compared to a really excellent sub £100/$150 phono stage like the Rega Fono, the internal unit in the Steljes can’t match the effortless sense of three dimensionality that the dedicated unit can but this is a more than acceptable way of getting a more affordable turntable up and running.

The line input finishes the feature set and the good news is that it largely relays the qualities of whatever you connect to it. Some tests with the Naim ND5 XS via its RCA output gives something of a sense of the qualities of the device and the truly spectacular bass response it has, which bolsters the more limited extension of the Steljes very effectively. While it probably wouldn’t be the most significant input in any purchasing decision, it works well.

Steljes Audio ML-30HD

The performance itself is immediately characterised by a smoothness and refinement that is periodically lacking in equipment of this nature

Conclusion

The Steljes Audio ML-30HD is an unusual device. It is far from the only valve equipped design at this relatively affordable point but the sheer spread of connectivity it offers means it makes a reasonable case for itself. It looks smart, it is well built and it is easy to use. You can do considerably worse for £400/$600.

The problem is that you can also do better. My personal feeling when listening to the ML-30HD is that the valve is a small facet of its performance and this should really be regarded as a solid state amp with a mildly tweaked presentation. My issue is that £400/$600 buys amplifiers that might lack the spread of functions that the ML-30HD has but can deliver a more faithful, punchy and capable performance. If this is the sort of device you are looking for, the Steljes is a capable little amp. If your needs are less specific, more capable options exist like the peerless Marantz PM6006 and equally flexible Yamaha R-N602.

(avforums.com, https://goo.gl/XwIxCv)

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Review

Despite the influx of a plethora of different options for taking pictures and capturing videos, you can’t still take away these functions from the camera as it has been specifically designed for this purpose. As such, the camera still remains a necessity for recording videos and taking beautiful so as to always have a copy of your best moments that you will forever cherish. Fortunately, to add to the number of camera devices already in the market, a new camera has been manufactured. This is the SJCAM SJ6 Legend Camera.

This camera features a number of impressive features that make it stand out amongst other cameras’ in the same category with it.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Review

Here are some of the specifications of the camera:

SJCAM SJ6 Legend Camera Features and Specs

  • Imaging Processor: Novatek 96660 SoC.
  • Image sensor: Panasonic MN34120PA.
  • Sensor size: 16MP.
  • Lens: 166 ultra wide angle lenses.
  • Display: 2.0: back LTPS touch screen and 0.96-inch status display.
  • Video formats: 4K/24fps, 1080P/60fps and 720P/120fps.
  • Audio: Built-in microphone and speaker.
  • Photo: Up to 16MP.
  • Working modes: Burst mode, loop recording, video and photo mode.
  • Battery: 1000 mAh (last about 100 minutes).
  • Storage: Micro SD memory card slot, support up to 128GB.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11.
  • Connectors: micro USB and mini HDMI.
  • Waterproof: Yes with a case.
  • Video out: Yes, via HDMI.
  • Other: Gyro image stabilisation and App control.
  • Camera size: 5.90 x 4.10 x 2.11 cm.
  • Weight: 84g (with battery).
  • Colours: Black, silver and pink.
  • SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Package Content
  • 1 x 1000 mAh battery.
  • 1 x USB Charging cable.
  • 1 x Waterproof case.
  • 1 x mounting accessories.
  • 1 x Tripod adapter.
  • 1 x User manual.

SJCam SJ6 Legend Camera Review: True to its name?

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Display

Unboxing the SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Packaging

The SjCam Legend Camera comes in a rectangular shaped box carton with black and white colours in the front and a transparent opening that shows the camera inside the box. It also has clearly written on it SjCam at the top left area of the carton and Sj6 Legend action cam 2.0” Touchscreen printed in the middle of the package. In addition to that, it also showcases some of its features on the front as well.

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Packaging Contents

At the back of this package, it showcases a white colour and some of its features and specifications are written at the back as well.

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Packaging

Upon opening up the package, we are greeted with a white inner box which has to be opened as well before getting to the camera. There is also a “scratch and check” genuine verification panel where users can use in order to ensure that their device is a genuine one. We can see the camera already still protected by a transparent casing.

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Packaging Contents

By the side, there is a smaller box where all the accessories have been stored. There are quite a lot of accessories here.

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Package Contents

There is a micro fibre cloth for wiping the device screen when dirty, a tripod adapter, mounting accessories, USB cable, a frame, and a user manual. It also comes with a lot of other accessories as well to allow for easy mounting and usage of the device.

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Design

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Design

This camera is designed to be as compact as possible and it sports a very small size. While it comes in three different colours, for the purpose of this review, ours is has a white and black colour. It comes in a waterproof casing with security measures to ensure you don’t open it by mistake. It also comes fitted with a screw tripod mount to allow for easy use of the tripods on this device.

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Connectivity

By one side of this device, there are two ports which are the USB and HDMI ports and one slot for a memory card. With the HDMI port, you can connect your camera to your TV and make use of the TV mode present on this device.

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Lens

At the bottom of this device, there is a slot for the battery which is opened by sliding the latch door forward. You can then pull out the battery. Its capacity is a thousand mAh and is quite a bit heavy with a weight of 18 grammes. By the side of this camera, the power on/off button is present.

Powering and Using this Camera

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Usage

The SJ6 camera features a sort of thin but rough design for better grip during use. To power on the camera, you need to charge it first before you can begin using it. Once a full charge is complete, your camera is ready for usage. At one side of the camera, there is a power button for putting on and putting off this device and a quick settings button for making quick changes to the device settings.

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Performance

This camera sports double screens at the front and at the back of the device. The screen at the back is a touchscreen that allows for easy scrolling and usage of this device. At the front, however, the screen shows what the camera is doing at the moment. Icons such as the battery icon, the mode (either video or photo) are also shown here as well. A recording timer and the current time are present as well on this screen.

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera Menu Features

To make use of the SJ6 Legend, you will need to insert a memory card; doing otherwise will make it give an error message when you try to press the power button. At the top of the device, the shutter button is present for taking pictures and recording videos. On the screen of this camera, sliding from one end to the other switches the mode from photo to video and vice versa. Sliding from up top to bottom brings out some quick settings such as Wi-F, lock screen, remote, etc. Sliding from top to bottom brings out a lot of other settings and modes such as the underwater mode, car mode, Video + photo mode, Burst Mode etc.

Connectivity and Ports

SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera DSLR Stand

You can connect your SjCam SJ6 Legend camera to your iOS or Android smartphone by using the Wi-Fi settings. You can only use the Wi-Fi with an application provided by the supplier. You would be required to register by providing an email and a password before you can be able to begin using your account. Via this app, you can also share pictures and videos from your SjCam SJ6.

PROs
  • Possesses a 2? live-view LCD with touch screen.
  • Has a plethora of languages for easy usage.
  • Light, thin compact device.
CONs
  • It’s a quite pricey device considering the use of the old Novatek 96660 imaging processor which other cheaper cameras use as well.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the SjCam SJ6 Legend Camera might just be the only device fitted with a touchscreen and capable of recording HD videos (interpolated 4k camera) which essentially means it can’t record 4K resolution videos. While this device can be considered a good buy at $159 (SjCam’s price), there are other cameras that can be purchased at cheaper prices but lack a touch screen.

(xiaomitoday.com, https://goo.gl/NcB8WT)

10 Cars for the Most Powerful People in the World

Official cars are some of the most visible symbols of any government. These cars are chosen to give a sense of power, strength, and professionalism at home and abroad while still conveying a sense of their country’s national identity. They’re seen so frequently that they often become an extension of their chief executive’s image – and they need to be strong enough to protect them. Because of the high stakes involved, many leaders are content with a standard top-of-the line Mercedes. But for others, a home-grown car must be built to show off what their country can do.

2364

All this adds up to a difficult proposition for automakers. With a long list of do’s and don’ts, these cars are highly scrutinized and built for conditions that most civilian cars would never face. Sometimes an automaker rises to the occasion and their car becomes a timeless, elegant classic. Others emerge as strange, dated curiosities that are analyzed as everything that’s wrong with their home country. 

Hit or miss, these exclusive cars serve as some of their countries’ most visible exports. They’re designed to carry the most powerful men and women in the world, to serve as ambassadors for their countries, and to deliver a message about their home countries without saying a word. From the elegant to the bizarre, here are 10 of the most memorable official cars in the world.

1. 1963-1981 Mercedes-Benz 600

3537

For decades, the Mercedes-Benz 600 was the ultimate car for presidents, royalty, and tyrants. Available as a four-door sedan, stretch limousine and convertible Landaulet, the cars were hand-built around a 6.3 liter V8 and a fantastically complex hydraulic system that silently controlled everything from the suspension to the windows. On top of this, a host of options (including “special protection” armored versions) were fitted to the owners’ specifications, making the 600 one of the most expensive cars of its day. In all, 2,677 of the 600s were produced, with 70 cars officially delivered to world leaders, and one to a pope: The one pictured above was presented by Mercedes to Pope Paul VI in 1965.

2. Hongqi L5

CHINA-FRANCE-DIPLOMACY

Believe it or not, the Hongqi L5 (or “Red Flag”) is a brand new car. Designed to look like to the original car from Hongqi from 1958 (Mao’s car of choice), the L5 is the official car of Chinese Communist Party members and visiting heads of state. The 18-foot long car is powered by an impressive 400 horsepower 6.0 liter V12 of Hongqi’s design. The car is for sale to the Chinese public, but its $801,624 price tag makes it the most expensive car in China.

3. 2002-2009 Lancia Thesis

58-3-2033

Lancia built the Thesis to return a level of prestige to the faltering brand, and for a few years, it worked. The full-size sedan’s avant-garde styling and luxurious interior won over many early converts, including the Italian government, who bought the Thesis in large numbers and designated it as the official state car. For years, the Thesis was one of the most unique looking official cars in the world. Unfortunately, Lancia’s luck has since run out. In 2014, new Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi began gutting the government fleet by selling 151 cars on eBay – many of them Lancias. Later in 2014, parent company Fiat began to quietly phase-out the 109-year-old brand.

4. ZiL 41047

A man as he passes by presidential cars

The ZiL limousines offered a rare glimpse into Soviet opulence. The long-serving official cars of the USSR received minor updates through the years, but the final model, the 41047, was little more than an updated version of the 1950s model. The ZiL was built largely unchanged between 1985 and 2002, and its legacy is a conflicting one. Fidel Castro’s limo has been relegated to taxi service on Havana streets, while the Russian government ordered three new ZiL convertibles built for official ceremonies in 2010.

5. North Korea’s 1970s Lincoln Continentals

136167470 (1)

Kim Jong-Il’s funeral in December 2011 offered a rare glimpse into the isolated and secretive world of North Korea, and Westerners were astonished to find that it was a world populated with malaise-era Lincolns. Several Continentals were featured prominently in the funeral procession, causing speculation as to how and why the cars made it to North Korea. Kim was a reported fan of American culture (especially film), and experts believe the cars were smuggled into the country from a Japanese Ford dealership in the 1970s.

6. Toyota Century

Toyota Century

The Toyota Century is one of the few cars in the world that represent crime and order in equal measures. The Century’s design has been largely unchanged since 1967, but a mechanical refresh and slight update in 1997 added a massive V12 engine that Toyota builds exclusively for the car. The car’s largest market is the Japanese government, where it carries the Prime Minister, high-ranking government officials, and the imperial family to official events. The Century is available to the public in very limited numbers, but Toyota does no advertising for the car, and it’s positioned high above Lexus in Toyota’s domestic market to preserve its discreet, professional reputation. Despite the Toyota’s official status, it’s also famously favored by the Yakuza – the Japanese mob.

7. 1961 Lincoln Continental Limousine

Display Of Force

The Continental Limousine will live in infamy as the car President Kennedy was assassinated in, but in its day it was viewed as the ultimate symbol of American modernity. With some cars in the White House motor pool dating back to the 1940s, Kennedy asked Ford to develop a new limousine to bring the presidential car into the 1960s. The sleek car was based on the radically new Lincoln Continental, and delivered to the White House in June, 1961. Astonishingly, the limo remained property of Ford, and was leased to the U.S. Government for $500 a year. After Kennedy’s death, the car was modified, returned to Washington, and continued to serve presidents until 1977. Today it resides in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

8. Rolls-Royce Phantom IV

201410-P90166846-zoom-orig

When the Rolls-Royce Phantom IV was released in 1950, it was announced with an advertising campaign highlighting the car’s advanced features – and how you couldn’t ever buy it. Only 18 Phantom IV’s were built, and Rolls-Royce made it very well-known that they would only accept orders from heads of state. Today, Spain and England’s Phantoms are still maintained as official state vehicles, and 16 of the 18 cars survive. In 2008, Princess Margaret’s Phantom IV was sold in England (presumably to non-royalty) for 395,000 pounds.

9. 2001 Bentley State Limousine

72191_4StateLimousineA

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2001, Bentley teamed with a group of British craftsman to design and build the State Limousine, a modern take on classic British royal cars, and the first Bentley to join the royal fleet. The tall, round limo has an aggressively British look thanks to its round headlights, bustle back trunk, and upright grille. Only two of the Bentley Arnage-based limousines were built, and both are owned by the royals. The State Limousine entered service in 2002, and has been The Queen’s official car ever since.

10. 2009 Cadillac One

The Presidential Limousine has come a long way from JFK’s nearly-stock Lincoln. The Cadillac One, (nicknamed “The Beast” by the Secret Service) may look like a regular Cadillac, but it’s more combat vehicle than luxury sedan. The diesel-powered limo is built on a heavy-duty truck platform, has armor strong enough to stop a rocket-propelled grenade, doors as heavy as a Boeing 747’s, a mobile communications center, self-contained oxygen system, and enough firepower to safely get the president out of a war zone.

The Cadillac One is the safest and most thoroughly modern state car in the world – and it’s due for replacement in 2017. Changes in technology mean that the world will never see another car like a  Mercedes 600 or Lincoln Continental ferrying the world’s most powerful around unchanged for decades, and that’s almost unfortunate. State cars provide one of the strongest links between a country’s automotive past and its future. It will be interesting to how see this blend of power and prestige evolves.

(cheatsheet.com, https://goo.gl/Fndoau)

BM8 PRO TV BOX Review

One lovely thing about the BM8 PRO TV Box is that with this device, your TV can be transformed into a smart TV, literally. With the use of this TV box, you can easily surf the internet just on your Television set, watch Netflix videos, stream videos on YouTube and much more just as you have it on your laptop.

Also, you can watch so many Live TV channels on your TV via this box just by connecting your Android or iOS Smartphone to the box. If this is not a way of living smarter lives, then what is?

BM8 Pro TV Box Packaging

BM8 PRO TV Box Device Specifications

Hardware:
  • CPU: Amlogic S912 64 bit Octa core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2 GHz
  • GPU: ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU up to 750MHz (DVFS)
  • SDRAM: 2GB DDRIII
  • FLASH: 32GB EMMC Flash (8~32GB Optional)
  • Wi-Fi: Built-in 2.4G/5G, Wi-Fi Support IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth: BT 4.0
  • LAN Ethernet: 10/100M/1000M RGMII
Main Features:
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Video decoder: H.265 4K @60fps 10btis, VP9 Profile 2, H.264 4K @30fps, AVS+1080P @60fps
  • Video encoder: H.264 1080P @60fps
  • HDR: HDR 10, HLG HDR
  • KODI: KODI newest version Support local high-definition play, support plug-in installation and play
  • DRM: Optional: Microsoft PlayReady, Verimatrix, and Google Widevine Level1
  • Supported: Google Widevine Level3
  • Decoder format: HD MPEG1/2/4,H.265/HEVC,HD AVC/VC-1, RM/RMVB, Xvid/DivX 3/4/5/6, Real Video 8/9/10
  • Media format: AVI, RM, RMVB, TS, VOB, MKV, MOV, ISO, WMV, ASF, FLV, DAT, MPG, MPEG
  • Music format: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, OGG, DDP, TrueHD, HD, FLAC, APE
    Photo format: HD JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF
  • Network Function: Miracast, Airplay, Skype chatting, Picasa, YouTube, Flicker, Facebook, Online movies etc.
  • Language: Chinese, English, Germany, Japanese, Korean etc. 24 languages
Port:
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0 output 4K*2K @ 60Hz;
  • 2 x High-speed USB 2.0, support U DISK and USB HDD
  • 1 x TF CARD Support 1~32GB
  • 1 x 3.5 Phone out CVBS&L/R output;
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN Ethernet 10M/100M
  • Power Supply: DC 5V/2A
LED Indicator:
  • Power ON: blue
  • Standby: Red
Package Contents:
  • 1 x HDMI Cable
  • 1 x Remote control
  • 1 x Power adapter
  • 1 x User Manual

BM8 PRO TV Box Review: Can it compete with the existing plethora of similar devices?

Unboxing and Package Contents

BM8 Pro TV Box Packaging

The BM8 PRO OTT TV Box comes in a rather compact package that would make you think you have just bought a phone or that you have been cheated. The device package is really small and it comes in a white packaging carton that has BM8written on the top left area of the carton. Also, some of the features of the TV Box are clearly displayed on the carton at its bottom right area.

BM8 Pro TV Box Packaging BM8 Pro TV Box Packaging

That’s for the front. Coming to the back, you can see some specifications clearly written there and the name of the device as well. The sides of the device clearly have OTT TV Box spelt out on them.

BM8 Pro TV Box Packaging BM8 Pro TV Box Packaging BM8 Pro TV Box Packaging BM8 Pro TV Box & Remote BM8 Pro TV Box Package Contents

Going further to open the package, you are greeted with the real deal; the BM8 Pro TV box wrapped in a nylon packaging material to avoid scratches on the device in the process of shipping. Also in the package is a remote controller that is quite big and a power cable. There is also an HDMI cable and a user manual as well.

Design

BM8 Pro TV Box

The BM8 PRO OTT TV sports a very compact design as it has been built to be small, yet powerful. It comes designed in a black colour with BM8 Pro clearly written on it in white and red colours. It comes in a square shape with somewhat circular edges. The device sports a power button on the side and about seven different ports that have been designed for different purposes.

BM8 Pro TV Box Panel BM8 Pro TV Box Connectivity Ports BM8 Pro TV Box Usb Ports

At the back of the device, holes have been set into the device so as to allow air circulate to avoid excessive heating up of the Pro TV box.

Powering up the BM8 PRO TV Box

BM8 Pro TV Box Usage BM8 Pro TV Box Usage

To begin using the BM8 PRO TV Box with your PC or your TV, you need to plug in the HDMI cable in order to connect the two together and then plug in your power cable as well. After that, you press the power button.

BM8 Pro TV Box Performance BM8 Pro TV Box Performance BM8 Pro TV Box Performance

Your TV screen powers up clearly showing “BM8 Pro” on a bluish background. After that, it plays some animation and another interface comes up. From this interface, you can begin making use of this device.

BM8 Pro TV Box User Interface BM8 Pro TV Box Storage Features BM8 Pro TV Box Settings

Software and Applications

This device comes fitted with a lot of pre-installed apps such as YouTube, MX Player, Movie Player, Kodi, App Installer, amongst a host of others. There is also the settings tab that allows you make certain changes to how you make use of this device so as to better enjoy it.

BM8 Pro TV Box Apps

From the settings tab, you can edit the Bluetooth settings, Wi-Fi, Display, Apps, Date and Time, etc. It equally comes with a Play Store app where you can easily download different apps and use them on your TV or PC via your BM8 PRO OTT TV. It also has an Add Apps Tab where you can easily install certain apps from.

PROs
  • It is a very compact device that can be easily carried from one location to the other.
  • It comes pre-installed with the latest version of android
  • Has the Play store app that allows users to install any app of their choice.
  • Can be connected to quite a number of devices; TV, PC, etc.
  • There are the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi that allows users connect their TV Box to WLANs and browse the internet on their TV or PC.
CONs
  • Its remote control is quite big which shouldn’t be so for such a compact device.
  • No USB cable attached with this device, essentially, you have to get it yourself.
  • No batteries for the remote included as well so you will need to purchase some batteries also.

Conclusion

The BM8 PRO OTT TV box has been built to be really compact and lightweight while serving a plethora of users’ needs.

If you don’t really mind the size of the remote control, then you have no problem purchasing this device as this device proves itself to be a very useful one. With your HDMI cable, USB cable or your TF card, you can easily make use of this device. For a price below $100, this device is really a good buy.

(xiaomitoday.com, https://goo.gl/YMtFsK)

LG K10 Smartphone Mini Review : Solid Specs on the Cheap

  • SCREEN SIZE : 5.3 inches
  • SCREEN RES : 1280 x 720
  • CPU : Qualcomm Snapdragon 210
  • CAMERAS : 8-MP / 5-MP
  • OS : Android 6.0.1

The LG K10 is a sub-$200 Android phone that runs on T-Mobile and other GSM-enabled carriers such as AT&T. Though we haven’t tested this $175 handset, we can draw a number of conclusions based on an analysis of its specs, user reviews and evaluations from other publications.

Check out our Best Smartphones Overall and Best Unlocked Phones to see comprehensive lists of recommended phones that we have thoroughly tested and reviewed.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho LG K10 Smartphone Mini

Who Is It For?

With a suggested price of $175 on T-Mobile (before any offers), the LG K10 targets price-sensitive consumers who want a midsize Android device that’s noticeably better-equipped than bottom-of-the-barrel, sub-$100 phones like the Moto E, which have low-res screens and miniscule amounts of memory. The phone will not run on CDMA-enabled carriers such as Verizon and Sprint, but will work on T-Mobile, Boost, AT&T and other GSM-powered networks.

As of this writing, MetroPCS sells the phone to its subscribers for $79, while T-Mobile will credit you back the full cost, effectively making it free, if you stick with the carrier for 24 months.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho LG K10 Smartphone Mini

Key Specs and Features

The LG K10 comes equipped with a 5.3-inch IPS screen, which makes it smaller than some mainstream flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7, but quite a bit larger than the 4.5-inch Moto E and 4-inch iPhone SE. The K10’s display has a 720p (1280 x 720) resolution, which is lower than the 1080p panel you’ll find on the Huawei Honor 5X, but much higher than the iPhone’s sub-HD resolution of 1136 x 640.

LG’s budget phone is powered by a 1.27-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, though some international versions have the Snapdragon 410. This processor is more than powerful enough for everyday tasks such as surfing the web or snapping photos. However, its mere 1.5GB of RAM might affect your ability to multitask with a lot of apps or tabs open at once.

The K10 comes preloaded with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, which up until September, was the latest version of Google’s mobile OS. The vast majority of phones are still on Marshmallow or below. Considering that this is a budget phone, we wouldn’t count on LG to provide an update to Android 7 Nougat.

Because it’s made by LG, the K10 has some of the company’s specialty features, including Knock On, which wakes your phone from sleep when you tap on the screen, and Knock Code, which lets you set a passcode filled with these knocks. QuickMemo+ lets you draw or write memos on the screen, nearly anywhere in the OS.

The phone also comes with 16GB of internal storage memory and a microSD expansion slot, which allows you to pop in an inexpensive 32, 64 or 128GB card for storing more photos and music. However, apps live primarily on the internal memory, so a few large games could max out your memory.

The K10 comes with rather unimpressive cameras, touting an 8-megapixel rear shooter and 5-MP front-facing lens. In a market where most rear cameras are well over 10 MP, this is definitely a corner LG had to cut to reach this price.

lg-k10-1

Design

For an inexpensive phone, the LG K10 has some premium design flourishes. The screen uses 2.5D glass to give it a curved aesthetic, where the glass seems to meld with the sides of the chassis. The lightweight chassis has a chrome or black color with an interesting mesh-plastic texture on the back. Most importantly, the back comes off, allowing you to swap out the default 2,200-mAh battery for a replacement, which costs between $20 and $35 on Amazon.

lg-k10-3lg-k10-4

At 4.95 ounces and 0.34 inches thick, the K10 is noticeably lighter and thinner than the Moto E (5.1 ounces, 0.48 inches) and about as thin, but it’s much more svelte than the Huawei Honor 5X (5.4 ounces, 0.3 inches).

lg-k10-5lg-k10-6

What Owners Say About the LG K10

Customers on T-Mobile’s own website give the device mixed reviews. A number of people who bought the K10 complain that the camera takes poor pictures, while others cite as weaknesses its poor battery life and a screen that allegedly shatters too easily. However, many appreciate the affordable price.

The handful of Amazon users who reviewed the international and unlocked versions of the phone had more positive things to say, but they were also primarily impressed with the low price. You can get a dual-sim version that’s made for international use for $165 on Amazon.com, but it has no warranty.

What Reviewers Say About the LG K10

Notebookcheck put the Snapdragon 410-enabled version of the K10 through its paces and found that, for the price, the device was more than adequate overall. The site found that the IPS panel measured a luminous 355 nits, which is respectable, but far behind the Honor 5X’s mark of 521. However, the device also showed very deep blacks and a strong contrast ratio, though with a bit of a blue bias.

The K10’s battery lasted just 7 hours and 33 minutes while I web surfed over Wi-Fi — significantly worse than the Honor 5X (10:43). Considering that surfing over 4G uses even more power, the battery life is probably even lower for people who are doing a lot of browsing.

Notebookcheck took several sample photos with the LG K10’s 8-MP camera, and the results were blurry and pale.

lg-k10-2

Upshot

If you’re looking for one of the cheapest GSM phones on the market and are willing to compromise on camera quality, battery life, screen resolution and performance, the LG K10 is worth considering, particularly if you can get it for less than $100 or for free. However, if you can spend up to $200, the Huawei Honor 5X, which has a full 1080p screen and longer battery life, is a superior choice.

(tomsguide.com, https://goo.gl/0Ecr9A)

8 Cars That Tell the History of Diesel in the US

Almost as soon as the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine was invented, people began trying to come up with something better. After working through the 1880s and ’90s, German engineer Rudolf Diesel thought he had the answer. Patented in 1893, his eponymous engine promised greater efficiency at a lower cost, and had the potential to transform industry, with his engines eventually finding applications in locomotives, aviation, marine, and heavy industry.

Instead of using a spark to combust fuel, diesel engines use an ultra-high compression system to ignite the fuel, allowing diesel fuel to be cheaper, lower quality, and less refined. They’re often cheaper to run, return better mileage, and more torque. But they also require engines that can take the punishment of high compression, with coarser fuel often comes dirtier emissions, and frankly, your standard diesel car wasn’t going to win many drag races.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

For years (at least in the U.S.) the most common diesel cars were strange, slow imports from Europe that belched black smoke, smelled, and weren’t for anybody in a hurry. Still, the technology had massive potential in the auto industry, and automakers around the world have spent years funneling billions into developing cleaner, faster, more powerful diesel engines. But it’s always been an uphill battle. It took decades to overcome its grimy image, and just when it seemed like it could catch on here, Volkswagen’s massively successful “Clean Diesel” technology turned out to be a sham, and has erupted into a scandal has the potential to end the diesel car once and for all.

But this is far from the first diesel scandal. While diesels have been commonplace in Europe since the 1970s, Americans have been notoriously wary of diesel engines for almost as long, and to be honest, they have plenty of reason to be. Here are eight cars that tell the sad, strange story of diesel in America.

1. Mercedes Benz 300SD Turbo Diesel

Source: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes had toyed with diesel-powered cars as far back as the 1930s, but in 1978, it made history by launching the 300SD, a turbocharged five-cylinder diesel model exclusively for the North American market. Based on the full-size S-Class sedan, the SDs were pure luxury inside, and with fuel economy in the mid-20s, and diesel cheaper than gas, it was a popular choice for the well-heeled in the waning days of the gas crisis. The Mercedes diesels of that era are so well-built, that nearly 40 years later, not only are thousands of them still on the roads (seriously, check Craigslist), but they can be converted to run on biodiesel with an afternoon’s worth of work.

2. Oldsmobile Diesel

Source: General Motors

Released for 1979, the Oldsmobile 350 cubic inch Diesel V8 was an $850 option that promised to return 30 miles per gallon – an astonishing feat for a full-size sedan. What it didn’t advertise was a 20 second zero to 60 time, a wheezing 90 horsepower, clouds of black smoke, and a tendency to grenade after less than 100,000 miles. Loosely based on the bulletproof 350 cubic inch gas-powered V8, GM rushed the diesel into production without fully testing whether or not its new engine could handle the extremely high compression of diesel. It couldn’t.

In severe cases, the high-compression of the engines simply sheared the head bolts off, causing coolant to pour into the cylinders and seize the engine. If that didn’t get you, then the lack of a water separation system caused the fuel lines and engine to rot from the inside out. And with GM’s mechanics largely unfamiliar with diesel engines, Mr. Goodwrench couldn’t do very much to help. Astonishingly, the Olds diesel soldiered on until 1985, even after owners filed, and and eventually won, a massive class action lawsuit against GM for its terribly-built engines. By then, Oldsmobile engine disaster had all but made diesel a dirty word in America. If your parents are still skeptical about diesel cars, this is probably why.

3. Dodge Ram Cummins Turbo Diesel

Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

While diesel looked like it was down for the count when it came to passenger cars, the Big Three were having some success with diesels in their pickup trucks. With better fuel economy and all that torque, diesels were perfect for hauling, especially when speed didn’t matter. But unlike the Olds 350, the Big Three went to the professionals for their truck oil burners. Ford went to International Harvester, GM went to Detroit Diesel (which it then owned), and Dodge went to Cummins, all makers of diesels for over-the-road trucks. Released for 1989, the Dodge Ram Cummins Turbo Diesel was a surprise hit for the company. It had a direct-injected inline-six that eliminated the need for glow plugs, and was significantly more modern than its competitors’ naturally aspirated V8s. Today, diesel-powered pickups are still in high demand, and retain their value far better than their gas-powered counterparts.

4. 1989 Audi 100 TDI

Source: Audi

It didn’t come to our shores at the time (Audi was in a little bit of trouble here back then), but the now-infamous “TDI” acronym first appeared on a Volkswagen AG product on Audi’s full-size diesel-powered 1989 100 sedan. With a turbocharged, direct injection 2.0 liter inline-five, the 100 TDI was good for 120 horsepower, 265 pounds-feet of torque, and an impressive 30+ miles per gallon. While the U.S. had all but left diesel cars for dead, the Europeans were ironing out the kinks, and buying them in droves.

5. 1996 Volkswagen Golf TDI

Source: Volkswagen

With diesel being cheaper and more efficient than gas, diesel cars were taking off in Europe. In the U.S., however, diesel was still considered to be a four-letter word. Still, Volkswagen introduced its peppy TDI engines to the Americans in 1996 by way of a 2.0 liter inline-four available in the Golf and Jetta. For the better part of the decade, Volkswagen’s TDI cars all but had the market to themselves.

6. 2005 Jeep Liberty

Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

By 2005, while diesels were threatening to overtake gas-powered auto sales in Europe, low-sulfur diesel was introduced in America. With that, automakers finally saw the potential in the engine’s ability to deliver strong fuel economy and low emissions, especially at a time when emissions and economy standards were getting stricter by the year. Chrysler was one of the first American companies to test the waters, offering a 160 horsepower Italian-built oil burner in its midsize Patriot SUV. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it wasn’t exactly a hit.

7. 2007 Mercedes-Benz E-Class BlueTec

Source: Mercedes-Benz

Introduced at the 2006 North American International Motor Show, the BlueTec diesel engine was designed to slay the “dirty diesel” stereotype once and for all. The BlueTec E -Class was quiet, comfortable, and could even keep up with traffic. At the heart of the system is a separate tank for water-urea-based BlueTec fluid, which is injected into the car’s exhaust system and dramatically lowered the car’s emissions. Since then, almost all modern diesels have adopted similar systems. Ironically, Volkswagen and Audi both licensed BlueTec technology from Mercedes, but they opted not to use in on their ’09-’15 2.0 liter TDIs – the cars at the center of their current crisis.

8. Volkswagen TDI

2014_golf_tdi_3328

Released for 2009,  the ’09-’15 TDI Volkswagens equipped with the EA189 2.0 liter turbo-diesel engines are the focal point of this scandal. Eschewing BlueTec technology because it claimed the cars could meet emissions standards without it, over 11 million cars were programmed with a “Test Mode” defeat device that allowed the car to pass government testing, then shut off during everyday driving. As a result, Volkswagen is being forced to recall all 11 million vehicles and make them compliant, while facing fines of up to $18 billion in the U.S. alone. While the situation is disastrous for Volkswagen, it could prove to be the final blow for the engines in the America. In 10 years’ time, landscape of diesel passenger cars could look very different.

(cheatsheet.com, https://goo.gl/lKi9NF)

Mixcder Shareme Pro Headphone Hands on Review

When we first got our hands on the Mixcder Shareme 7, a month and a half ago, we were skeptical that this new kid on the block was just another wannabe company with an inferior cheap product.  But after thorough testing and review we were pleasantly (and unexpectantly) surprised with the audio and build quality of Mixcder’s inaugural product (visit our review here )  

dsc00579

The Mixcder Shareme Pro, by its name, gave us great expectations that this successor would be a vast improvement over its predecessor, which it is in many respects. As with the Shareme 7, the Shareme Pro offers an extremely comfortable and soft over-the-ear listening experience, with its supple synthetic protein leather ear cushions and headband. With its extendable stainless steel headband and over-the-ear speakers that can rotate upto 90 degrees, Mixcder has produced a versatile product that fits your unique sizing without much effort. All while offering a product that is quite sturdy and light-weight.However, while it’s generally accepted that over-the-ear headphone users give up aspects of portability for the sake of audio quality, it seems the Pro has lost its way in this respect. With the Shareme 7, Mixcder designed the headset with the ability for the speakers to fold inwards, giving it a smaller footprint in terms of portability. But to our slight dismay  such a feature doesn’t exist with the Pro and we’re left carrying a full sized over-the-ear headphone when we’re out and about. While this is NOT a big issue, pardon the pun, it is something any perspective buyer should consider, unless you plan on wearing these around your neck when they’re not being used.

dsc00578

This Bluetooth EDR 4.1 wireless headphone features 40mm drivers designed to the audio quality we come to expect from Mixcder. However they have narrowed frequency response range, from 20hz-20kHz found on the Shareme 7, to 100hz-10kHz on the Pro model. While overall audio quality isn’t greatly affected by their decision, the difference is noticeable with its inability to handle deep bass under <80hz. This results in occasions where the bass is somewhat muddied and unclear during playback.

dsc00576

Apart from this, it is clear that Mixcder has taken to heart the various reviews of the Shareme 7 and has further improved on their Pro version, which further separates them from their peers. The biggest problem the Shareme 7 had was the extremely poor quality of their built-in microphone, which was so bad that many reviewers advised people to just give up and not even bother to utilize it as a feature. However with the Pro, they have greatly improved the quality of the microphone and also gave it a full metal grill, rather than the laughable tiny pinhole they had on the Shareme  7. These improvements result in a clear audio conversation that makes you WANT to take phonecalls while wearing the Pro. Another improvement found on the Pro, was their decision to separate the volume and song shuffle controls, instead of the 3 button combined controls found on Shareme 7. With the pro we have V+, V- & Power buttons found on the left headset and Forward, Play/Pause, Back buttons found on the right headset. This is much to our relief as the previous model needed us to remember the differences between short-presses and long-presses.

dsc00575

Lastly, as with our Shareme 7 review, we would again like to address the Pro’s battery life. With the Shareme 7, we definitely didn’t  have any problems with Mixcder’s choice to have a built in 400mAh battery as it provided approximately 16-17 hours of usage on a 2 hour charge. However, as with many good companies, they were clearly not 100% satisfied with this, and have further improved on this, based on our tests. While still using a built-in 400mAh battery, the Pro provides a longer playback time of 20+ hours while only needing about 1.5 hours for a full charge.

dsc00574

In closing, while the Mixcder Shareme Pro has some minor issues when it comes to lack of portability & the absence of deep bass during playback, it offers many improvements over its predecessor, with its flexible / adaptive design, a much improved dedicated microphone, dedicated buttons for volume & song navigation and increased battery life.  We highly recommend this upgraded headset model for those that want to stay comfortably oblivious to their surroundings while getting lost in the music.

(igeekphone.com, https://goo.gl/rWVfR3)

Roku Express vs Google Chromecast 2: What’s the difference?

There are a few choices out there if you are looking for a compact and affordable streaming device, but if you want something that’s capable of streaming content from a few different providers (Netflix, Google Play, Hulu, etc), two of the current best choices are the Roku Express and Google Chromecast 2.

These are both great entry level streamers at prices that don’t break the bank, with the Roku Express (part of the new line up from Roku) currently priced at $29.99 and the Google Chromecast 2 marginally more expensive at $35 (£30).

We have compared the two devices to help you see what the differences and similarities are to work out which might be the right one for you. Read on to find out.

517391-roku-ultra

Design is probably one of the main differences between the Roku Express and Google Chromecast 2. The Chromecast 2 is a small device bundled in a round package measuring 51.9 x 51.9 x 13.49mm and weighing just 39.1g. The Roku Express on the other hand, is a little larger than the Chromecast measuring 35.6 x 83.8 x 17.8mm and it comes in the shape of a rectangular box weighing 36.9g.

Both the Google Chromecast 2 and Roku Express connect to your TV via HDMI and they are powered via Micro-USB. The main difference here is, in most cases, the Chromecast will sit hidden behind your TV (if you use a rear HDMI port), while the Express will need to sit somewhere in line of sight as it comes with a IR blaster-equipped remote control – more on this in a minute.

Roku has taken on the Henry Ford model of colouring (“let them have any colour they want, as long as it’s black”), while Google offers the Chromecast 2 in three colour choices black, lemonade and coral. As it is going to be tucked out of view anyway though, it won’t make much difference which colour you choose.

chromecast-2-and-chromecast-audio-2

Both the Google Chromecast 2 and the Roku Express pack some pretty smart technology into a small package. They are capable of streaming 1080p on a HD TV and the Roku Express includes Dolby Audio pass through, while the Chromecast 2 supports Dolby Digital+, if you have the appropriate A/V equipment.

When it comes to Wi-Fi connectivity, both streamers offer 802.11 b/g/n/ac with WEP and WPA/WPA2 security so providing you’re getting good speeds, you should be fine. Netflix recommends 5mb/s for streaming HD content, so if you’re able to get those speeds or better, you should have a clean streaming experience without any nasty buffering.

chromecast2-w782

Both the Chromecast and Express are controllable via their respective mobile apps. The Roku Mobile App offers voice control functionality for searching content, while the Chromecast supports a wide range of apps and has the ability to cast tabs from Google Chrome. Both devices have plenty of flexibility and give you access to a wide range of content straight from your mobile or tablet, or PC or laptop in the case of the Chromecast.

The Roku Express also includes a functional and easy-to-use remote, offering more choice when it comes to control as if you misplace the remote, you can still use your smart device. With the Chromecast, if your device runs out of battery, you’ll be stuck unless you can find another device in the house or a plug close enough to the sofa to keep it charged.

The Roku remote does require line of sight in order to use it though, so if you’d rather keep the area around your television clean and tidy, the Chromecast might be the better option. The Google Chromecast also offers a functionality called ‘guest mode’, which allows nearby friends and family in your home to cast content to the TV via compatible apps, without the need to connect to your Wi-Fi network once they have input a pin.

roku-express-3700

Both of these streaming devices offer access to a wide range of content. Google offers ‘over 200,000 TV shows & films, 30 million songs, plus radio, sport, games and more’, while Roku boasts over 350,000 with content from big providers including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Sling, Google Play Movies, FX Now, Lifetime, History and more.

It’s worth noting that owning a Google Chromecast gives you access to a range of special Chromecast offers, which change on a regular basis and include things like free trials of NOW TV, Google Play Music and Disney Life.

The Google Chromecast also offers the ability to add a backdrop to your TVwhere you can choose from a range of content to display as a wallpaper on your TV when you’re not using it to watch films or TV shows. This includes access to your own personal photos via the Google Photos app and via Facebook.

roku-express-streaming-player

Roku Express v Google Chromecast 2: Which should you buy?

There are a few differences between the two streaming devices being compared here, with the main advantage being in favour of the Roku Express in terms of price and practicality. The inclusion of the remote control and on-screen interface, which is lacking on the Chromecast, makes the Roku Express more accessible and easier to use for those who may not be as well versed in the world of streaming technology.

Having said that, the Chromecast is neater and possibly more flexible in terms of the devices, apps and casting it supports. Ultimately, both devices are very good and offer the same, or similar, quality in terms of HD streaming, audio and available content.

Google is rumoured to launch a 4K capable version of its Chromecast in the form of the Google 4K Chromecast Ultra at its 4 October event however, so you might want to consider waiting. The Roku also doesn’t have a UK availability date as yet.

(pocket-lint.com, https://goo.gl/bHgmOX)

Xiaomi MI5S Pro Tear Down Review

Xiaomi MI5S and Xiaomi MI5S Plus have started to sell now. And the main feature of MI5S is the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner under glass and ‘Dark Eye’ camera. Today we will tear down Xiaomi MI5S Pro with Snapdragon 821 processor, RAM 4GB ROM 128GB, 3D Touch. According to the tear down, we can know Xiaomi MI5S internal layout, and the back metal cover processing is exquisite, and makes nice process in its cooling.

004073150_%e5%89%af%e6%9c%ac

But due to the design problem, Xiaomi MI5S has ditched OIS and Infrared function to use Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, if this function is broken, it will need to pay higher repairing fee.

20160929_094356_10220160929_094356_701

20160929_094357_185

20160929_094357_717

We tear down this grey Xiaomi MI5S, this time it adopts all metal body, its golden and dark grey uses high gross drawing craftsmanship on its back cover for golden and dark grey color. But we don’t feel cold with metal design. The silver and rose golden surface uses matte grinding processing which looks very simple. The back cover with antenna looks stand-out compared with other places of its back cover.

20160929_094358_188

Xiaomi MI5S still supports dual Nano SIM card, dual standby, netcom, but it doesn’t support using TF card to expand the storage. The card slot uses good design to avoid users inserting the SIM card opposite.

20160929_094359_241

Remove the screws, the back cover is connected by the buttons on both sides, but the buttons are few.

20160929_094359_781

On the back metal cover has graphite heat stickers in order to keep the nice quality of signal.

20160929_094400_417

The part of injection molding retains the main camera fixing in order to prevent the camera from moving.In addition, Xiaomi MI5S earphone jack has also got insulation by injection molding.

20160929_094401_561

There is a Fragile sticker covered the screw on the top and down of the mainboard. It means when you tear down to this step, you will lost the official maintenance qualification.

20160929_094402_142

The protection panel uses many screws to connect the body, meanwhile, they can fix many connector on the motherboard.

20160929_094402_657

The battery of Xiaomi MI5S uses two stickers to fix in order to be convenient for maintenance and exchange.

20160929_094403_188

Xiaomi MI5S uses a 3.85V working voltage and charging voltage 4.4V 3200mAh battery.

20160929_094403_738

The bottom is the speaker, USB Type C, microphone, moter,  etc. Xiaomi MI5S screen supports 3D Touch,

20160929_094404_326

The sound cavity speaker module and antenna shrapnel、

20160929_094404_822

The bottom is the small plate, powered by the USB Type Port. And its interface has supported insulation。

20160929_094405_348

It is the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner module feature which has used the high definition ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, it forms the 3D module of fingerprint according to the back time of convex and concave of fingerprint based on Ultrasonic.

20160929_094405_923

It’s the screen touch chip, Xiaomi MI5S uses Synaptics S3331 touch chip.

20160929_094406_543

It takes advantage of the metal material on the top of the body and under the motherboard to make the groove corresponding to cut off as the shield that can be helpful to reduce the phone thickness, but also enhanced the cooling processing in the important chip placement.

20160929_094407_92

This time the main feature of Xiaomi MI5S is the back camera that uses 1/2.3inch Sony IMX378 sensor, 12MP. In photo sample, Xiaomi MI5S has shown the advantage in taking pictures at night.

20160929_094407_590

This time Xiaomi doesn’t add OIS, in order to keep the camera not stand out.

20160929_094408_86

The light distance sensor module.

20160929_094408_541

20160929_094409_72

Because Xiaomi MI5S mainboard back chipset shield is welded on the mainboard. According to the main board, it shows the signal, receiver, NFC antenna and 3.5mm earphone jack, so there is no other place to put the Infrared recognition module.

20160929_094409_678

According to teardown, Xiaomi MI5S internal design has nice layout, the back metal cover has used Injection molding with exquisite processing for better cooling, such as the graphite stickers, in order to keep the phone’s thickness, it uses shield to ditch the OIS and Infrared function. The overall tear down is not so difficult, but about the maintenance, if the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is broken, it is a little difficult to repair or change.

(igeekphone.com, https://goo.gl/LutN9q)

Oppo UDP-203 Hands-on Review

KEY FEATURES

  • SoC (System on Chip) UHD Blu-ray decoder
  • AKM 8-channel, 32-bit DAC
  • Built-in dual-band Wi-Fi
  • 2-channel DSD256 and multi-channel DSD64/128 support
  • UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray (2D & 3D), DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD and AVCHD disc playback
  • DLNA/SMB media streaming
  • Manufacturer: OPPO Digital

So far, the Ultra HD Blu-ray player market has been a straight up dogfight between Panasonic and Samsung – and Microsoft if you count the Xbox One S. But now, enthusiast favourite Oppo has waded into the 4K waters with its debut deck – the UDP-203.

The deck is a typically heavyweight affair, boasting the sort of luxurious design and exhaustive spec to make other players look like market stall knock-offs.

Oppo has thrown everything and the kitchen sink into this player, including a new video-processing chip developed with MediaTek that promises industry-leading picture quality. But that’s only to be expected from the company that brought us gob-smacking Blu-ray players such as the BDP-105D and BDP-831.

The only downside is the price – at £599/$898 (TBC), it will join Panasonic’s DMP-UB900 as the most expensive player on the market when it launches in November.

OPPO UDP-203

OPPO UDP-203 – DESIGN

With its metal chassis, steel cover and thick, brushed aluminium front panel, the UDP-203 is a remarkably well-made player. It’s rigid and robust – like a slab of black granite. The look is similar to that of the BDP-105D, with a business-like black finish, flush fascia and minimal front buttons. No frivolities; just a serious-looking piece of hardware.

OPPO UDP-203

In terms of connections, Oppo usually goes above and beyond the call of duty and the UDP-203 is no exception. The all-encompassing range of gold-plated connectors on the rear includes dual HDMI outputs. The HDMI 2.0 offers full 4K/60p video output, while the HDMI 1.4 port carries audio-only, ensuring compatibility with older AV receivers.

OPPO UDP-203

They’re joined by a HDMI 2.0 input, which allows you to pass other native 4K sources such as TV set-top boxes and games consoles through the Oppo. This is a first when it comes to UHD Blu-ray players.

OPPO UDP-203

OPPO UDP-203

Among the other sockets are 7.1-channel analogue outputs, two USB 3.0 ports on the back, USB 2.0 on the front, optical and coaxial digital outputs, RS-232 and trigger in/out ports for integration with external control systems.

OPPO UDP-203 – SPECIFICATIONS

Oppo takes the same no-holds-barred approach on the inside too. The brains of the player is a new SoC (System on Chip) developed with MediaTek, which delivers “advanced image processing”. The UDP-203 is the first player of its kind to use this chipset.

Its advanced processing also makes the UDP-203 technically capable of supporting Dolby Vision playback, although it isn’t yet certified. Oppo is “in talks” with Dolby, so for now it’s a case of watch this space, but it’s good to see a player built with this capability in mind.

There’s a custom-made 4K disc loader with an optimised laser mechanism for fast disc loading, error-free playback and wide disc compatibility. That includes UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray (2D & 3D), DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD and AVCHD discs.

Over the years, Oppo’s disc players have been celebrated for their audio quality almost as much as their video prowess, and the UDP-203 shows no signs of letting that slide.

It’s endowed with a premium 8-channel, 32-bit DAC from AKM (4458), with support for PCM, AIFF, ALAC, FLAC and WAV up to 384kHz/32-bit, plus 2-channel DSD256 and multi-channel DSD64/128. The deck also supports Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

The UDP-203 can also be used as a media streamer via built-in dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5.0GHz) or Ethernet. It will play AVI, MKV, MOV, M2TS/TS, MP3, WMA, AAC, AIFF, ALAC, APE, DSD, FLAC and WAV from DLNA/SMB servers on a network. It also plays media from HDDs up to 16TB plugged into a USB port.

The only snag is that the UDP-203 doesn’t offer any video streaming from services such as Amazon or Netflix. This isn’t a huge issue given that most new TVs have these services built in – but even so, it’s one area in which Oppo’s rivals have the upper hand.

OPPO UDP-203 – OPERATION

Oppo has given its menu system a lick of paint. The new high-resolution interface has been designed for maximum convenience, making it easy to find your media. There are dialogue boxes that display detailed information for professional users, while nine zoom modes and fast start-up further enhance the user experience.

OPPO UDP-203

Naturally, there’s also HDR to SDR conversion for older TVs that don’t support HDR10 – it can be selected in the setup menu as one of four HDR modes, alongside an option to output HDR with the metadata stripped.

The remote has also been refreshed. The backlight turns on automatically when you pick it up thanks to a built-in accelerometer that detects movement. Otherwise, it looks similar to previous Oppo remotes with its chunky buttons and intuitive layout. There’s a dedicated HDR shortcut key that provides quick access to the menu outlined above.

OPPO UDP-203 – PERFORMANCE

Naturally, we were at the mercy of Oppo’s demonstration setup at the launch, but displayed on an LG OLED TV the pictures on offer looked nothing short of spectacular. Without the Panasonic or Samsung players on hand for an A/B comparison, it’s difficult to tell quite how much more spectacular its images are, but they’re impressive nonetheless.

Oppo’s 4K test disc of choice was Deadpool, and the deck’s colour handling was the first thing to jump out. Deadpools tight-fitting suit is rendered in deep, natural-looking shades of red, with smooth, intricate tonal gradation within it.

Also impressive was the deck’s reproduction of detail, which on a subjective level seems to hit new heights of sharpness. The texture of Deadpool’s suit looks remarkably punchy and focused, making it seem almost three-dimensional. Ryan Reynolds’ facial close-ups also reveal gorgeous detail, housed within some of the most natural-looking skin tones I’ve witnessed.

During the freeway shoot-out scene, when Deadpool takes out his foes while counting down his remaining bullets, his motion is fast and fluid, with no juddering or blur.

EARLY IMPRESSIONS

On this evidence, the UDP-203 is shaping up to be a stupendous UHD Blu-ray disc player. It’s the sort of machine John Hammond from Jurassic Park might make, with Oppo sparing no expense to deliver the finest possible performance.

In terms of features it leaves no stone unturned (apart from video-streaming services found on most smart TVs), while its jaw-dropping build quality puts Panasonic and Samsung’s efforts to shame. Its improved operating system, extensive socketry, media streaming and wide-format support are further reasons for optimism.

On first viewing its pictures look staggeringly good, but we’ll reserve judgement until we get our hands on a production sample. But from what we’ve seen so far, there’s every reason to believe that this will be the UHD Blu-ray deck to beat come November.

(trustedreviews.com, https://goo.gl/cLJl2i)

 

ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch Review : Classical Smartwatch with sporty design

In order to make life easier for individuals and improve the overall quality of life, different manufacturers are coming up with a lot of gadgets, accessories and devices on a daily basis that are capable of impacting positively on an individual’s lifestyle and health. One of such devices is the ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch. This device has been manufactured and designed to possess a sporty look and still retain the attributes of a smart gadget inArgos.co.uk. It is also fitted with a lot of functions that allow for ease of usage. Here are the specifications of the ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch:

ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch Specifications

Hardware

Brand: Ordro.

Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 4.0

Functions

Bluetooth calling

Phone call reminder

Message reminder

Health tracker: Pedometer, Sedentary reminder

Remote control function: Remote Camera

Notification: Yes

Notification type: Facebook, Twitter, Wechat, WhatsApp

Groups of alarm: 3

Locking screen: 1

Other functions:

  • Alarm.
  • Back-light.
  • Calculator.
  • Stopwatch.
  • WiFi
Screen

Screen: LCD

Screen size: 1.22 inch

Operating mode: Press button

Battery

Type of battery: CR2032 button battery

Battery Capacity: 210mAh

Standby time: About 8 months

General

People: Female table, Male table

Dial and Band

Shape of the dial: Round

Case material: ABS

Band material: TPU

Features

Compatible OS: Android, IOS

Language: English, Simplified Chinese

Available color: Black

Weight and Size

Dial size: 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.5 cm / 1.77 x 1.77 x 0.59 inches

Band size: 26 x 2.5 cm / 10.24 x 0.98 inches

Product size (L x W x H): 26.00 x 4.50 x 1.50 cm / 10.24 x 1.77 x 0.59 inches

Package size (L x W x H): 12.00 x 9.50 x 7.00 cm / 4.72 x 3.74 x 2.76 inches

Product weight: 0.062 kg

Package weight: 0.206 kg

Package Contents

1 x ORDRO 1600 Smart Wristband

1 x Chinese and English User Manual

ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch Review: Sporty yet Classical

Design

ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch Design

The ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch is designed to imbibe sporty looks with a sturdy physique. Though it is primarily designed to be used during sporting activities, the ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch can still be used for other functions all round the clock. Its dial has been designed to be round and for its case material, ABS was used.

ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch Straps

It sports a TPU band material that has been fashioned to avoid irritability to the skin. An EL backlight has also been fitted into this gadget. With this backlight, you can easily see and operate your smartwatch even in the dark.

ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch Display

Another beautiful part of this smartwatch is that it has been designed to be dust proof, crash proof and water proof as well. So don’t be afraid to exercise in the rain and swimming as well because your Smartwatch can withstand water.

Battery Capacity

ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch Battery

The ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch comes fitted with a built-in battery with a capacity of 210mAh. The battery is a CR2032 button battery that has been designed to function continuously non-stop for a period of no less than 8 months. With the low-battery reminder on this smartwatch, you would be reminded to change the battery when low before a 15-day deadline.

ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch Design

In order to minimise power usage, the ORDRO 1600 comes with different easy-to-switch power saving patterns – high consumption pattern, standard pattern and power saving pattern. All you need do is to make your choice and settings would be automatically adjusted.

Compatibility

ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch Controls

The ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch is compatible with any smart phone that runs on the iOS or Android Operating System. Users can connect their smartphones to this smartwatches and make use of any of the features present on the phone.

Features

Remote Camera Setting: With the remote camera setting, you can easily connect your phone to your smartwatch via Bluetooth. Using your smartwatch, you can then take selfies at your convenience to your smart phone. With the use of an app provided by the manufacturer, you can press the button provided for this purpose and take selfies with your camera.

Notifications: This device sports some pretty helpful notifications such as a missed call reminder, sports reminder, Whatsapp, WeChat, Twitter and Facebook notifications. Also, is the low battery reminder we have previously talked about.

Bluetooth: The ORDRO 1600 smartwatch comes pre-installed with Bluetooth V4.0 that allows users to connect their smartwatch to their smart phones and receive important notifications.

Wi-Fi: Apart from the Bluetooth feature, another great connectivity feature is the Wi-Fi feature. By connecting your android or iOS smart phones to their smartwatch, you can easily receive notifications from your social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Alarm: Another great feature of this device is the alarm settings. With this feature you can easily set alarms to wake you up during sleep or to alert you on any important meetings or functions you may not want to miss.

It also comes with other important functions such as calculator, stopwatch, sedentary reminder, calorie measurement, etc.

PROs

  • With the remote camera setting, you can easily take pictures on your phone.
  • It comes with a lot of important functions that helps you get through your day to day activities.
  • Don’t want to miss an important social media notification? This Smartwatch is on ground to ensure that you do not.

CONs

  • Its battery is non-rechargeable as such, users would have to change the battery at least once every year.
  • Its build is sporty in nature. You can’t use it for formal functions and during official work hours.It can be used during a lot of sporting activities and with its resistant to water, dust and crash, it could prove to be a good sporting companion.

Conclusion

The ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch has been fitted with quite a number of functions that shows it as a great device especially for athletes. Unfortunately, it ends there as you cannot use it during official hours to avoid looking odd and out of place.

On a number of online market places, this device could retail as much as $35. This price is unfortunately on the high side considering the fact that there are other better offers in the market.

P.S.: I just found a good deal for you. You can buy the ORDRO 1600 Smartwatch for just $27.72 on Gearbest by clicking the button below. The device ships between the 2nd and 4th of October, and the last time I checked, only 5 pieces were remaining in stick, so you had better hurry.

(xiaomitoday.com, https://goo.gl/DVNqRE)

10 Canceled Cars that Won’t be Coming Back after 2017

Not every new car is a success, and over time even the most intriguing models run the risk of being surpassed by more interesting offerings from other companies. It’s not always a design, price, or features issue – some slow sellers fall victim to events outside their control, like changing fuel prices, shifting customer buying habits, or fading styling trends. The 10 cars on this list are facing their final year of production before being canceled forever, making this your last chance to snag one of these models.

1. Dodge Viper

2016 Dodge Viper ACR

The Dodge Viper has long stood as a singular entry in the word of supercars, and the addition of electronic traction control and stability control to the latest generation car has done little to attenuate its raw, powerful character. Still, the lack of an automatic transmission on the options sheet (a nod to its purist design principles), and a much higher price than its domestic rival, the Chevrolet Corvette, have conspired to reduce sales to the point where Dodge is walking away from its halo car – for a second time, as Viper production went on extended hiatus between 2010 and 2013. The 2017 model year will be the final one for the Dodge Viper, and it will be celebrated by several special editions aimed at hardcore fans.

2. Volkswagen Eos

2012-volkswagen-eos

The Volkswagen Eos won’t even get a 2017 model year – it’s been canceled as of 2016 – but you’ll find plenty of leftovers on the lot over the course of the next 12 months as the brand sells off inventory. The Eos was a hardtop convertible cruiser based on the larger Passat platform, despite its compact size, and unlike the Beetle and Golf cabriolets of old it never really caught on with sun-loving buyers. This is symptomatic of convertible sales as a whole, which have plunged over the last decade.

3. Cadillac ELR

cadillac_elr_first-drive_38-820x420

‘A great car at a terrible price’ is the best way to sum up the Cadillac ELR, the two-door luxury coupe built on the bones of the popular Chevrolet Volt extended-range hybrid sedan. $75,000 was too high of a premium to pay for a vehicle that actually had less EV range than its half-priced Volt sibling, even though the ELR was faster, quieter, and much more stylish. Discounts and tax breaks abounded with the Cadillac, but no one was interested, which means this excellent automobile is done as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 31.

4. Honda CR-Z

honda-cr-z

The Honda CR-Z is another hybrid that never found an audience, but not because it was overpriced. One the rare gasoline/electric cars to be offered with the option of a manual transmission, the CR-Z couldn’t live up to the memory of the CRX, its high efficiency, mega-fun early 90s predecessor, in terms of either driving dynamics or even fuel mileage. Stylish but ultimately a bit of a yawn to drive, Honda fans stayed away from the CR-Z in droves, leading to its early death at the end of this year.

5. Dodge Dart

Dodge Dart

How long has it been since Chrysler has been able to field a competitive small car? The Dodge Dart wasn’t a bad vehicle, but its smallish platform (foisted on it by corporate parent Fiat) and somewhat balky automatic transmission made it an outlier in a market filled with spacious high tech choices. Then there’s the fact that Chrysler realized it could use the Dart’s assembly line to build much more profitable Cherokee SUVs, which sealed the sedan’s doom.

6. Hyundai Genesis

2017 Genesis G80 debuts, dropping Hyundai brand name

The Hyundai Genesis isn’t exactly dead – it’s just getting kicked upstairs. In fact, Hyundai is so bullish about the potential for its premium cars that it’s created an entirely new luxury brand named after the full-size sedan, and is moving both the Genesis and the Equus under that banner. Redubbed the ‘Genesis G80’ for 2017, the car will soldier on with a huge amount of corporate support and its own valet service for repairs and maintenance.

7. Lincoln MKS

Lincoln_mks_6224

The Lincoln MKS fell victim to the perception that it was little more than a rebodied Ford Taurus, despite numerous attempts to carve out its own identity on the full-size luxury market. Rather than keep pushing forward, Lincoln has elected to replaced the MKS wholesale for the 2017 model year with the Lincoln Continental, a vehicle whose name evokes the brand’s heritage, and which sets off in a new styling direction that the brand hopes will resonate with new customers.

8. Chrysler Town & Country / Dodge Grand Caravan

dodge-grand-caravan

Both of Chrysler’s minivans – the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan – are dead men walking after the release of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which essentially replaces them both. Still, production continues in an effort to feed rental and other fleet customers hungry for affordable people movers, which means there’s still a chance to snag one or both of these high capacity haulers throughout the next year.

9. Scion tC

1200px-2011_scion_tc_-_04-01-2011

Scion is dead, and while a few models are moving over to Toyota showrooms, the Scion tC compact coupe isn’t so lucky. By the end of 2016 the tC will have left the market forever, and in its wake you won’t find much of a legacy. A bit too heavy and utilitarian to be considered a true sporty compact, the Scion tC found love from buyers who wanted a stylish commuter car that was comfortable and relatively affordable.

10. Volvo S80

volvo-s80-04

The Volvo S80 could be considered a ‘zombie’ car, a vehicle that was left to wither on the vine for 10 years after its most recent generational refresh. As a full-size premium sedan, this meant that the S80 was a full five years past its best-before date, and ultimately Volvo elected to replace the car with the all-new S90. Note to survivalists: with the S80 gone, there’s no longer any vehicle on the market that comes with an anti-carjacking internal heartbeat monitor linked to your key fob.

(slashgear.com, https://goo.gl/Ptg09h)

Chopard L.U.C XP Esprit De Fleurier Peony Watch Hand-on:

The unrestrained use of floral motifs on ladies’ watches continues, and despite my objection to this feminine cliche, I acknowledge that it is really well-executed in some cases, resulting in watches that actually appear to be made for adult women. The best floral applications on timepieces are applied in either abstract or unexpected ways, and the ChopardL.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony does both.

chopard-luc-xp-esprit-de-fleurier-peony-ablogtowatch-03

The peony is represented on the dial using mother-of-pearl that is carved out and set with diamonds in a pattern that resembles the outlines of the peony’s irregular petals. Chopard’s stylized representation is perfect because it reflects the unruly, lush petal arrangement of the real-life peony, which seems abstract to begin with – daisies (e.g., as seen on the Christophe Claret Marguerite watch – hands-on here), by comparison, are too literal and uniform to be displayed abstractly or elegantly on a dial, in my opinion.

The real highlight of the Chopard L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony, however, is the decorated movement visible through the caseback. Every surface of the bridges is engraved using a raremétiers called Fleurisanne engraving. Fleurisanne is a technique that involves the progressive removal of metal to form a shallow relief, usually scroll or floral patterns, using a variety of engraving tools. Once raised above the background plane, the flowers and scrolling are given a high polish, and the base surrounding them is stippled – by hand, one dot at a time – to create a grainy surface. It is then rhodium plated to create an even greater contrast with the polished surface above.

chopard-luc-xp-esprit-de-fleurier-peony-ablogtowatch-04

The bridges are also chamfered and rhodium plated. Fleurisanne engraving was developed and practiced in Fleurier (where the Chopard manufacture is located) in the 19th century, and it was part of the special cachet of the region’s watchmakers. Chopard has revived the tradition and trained its craftsmen in the intricacies of the art. It takes two-and-a-half weeks to complete one watch, including two weeks just for the engraving of the movement.

The Chopard L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony not only has a high watchmaking exterior and finish, but also an elite movement inside. It contains the L.U.C automatic Caliber 96.23-L, with two stacked barrels for a 65-hour power reserve and a micro-rotor that keeps it to a slim 7.5mm cased thickness – essential now for a ladies watch. Few manufacturers are creating slim automatic calibers for ladies’ watches, and Chopard has a definite advantage with its in-house manufacturing capabilities, particularly going forward in a market that requires watch manufacturers to exploit every advantage possible.

chopard-luc-xp-esprit-de-fleurier-peony-ablogtowatch-07

Chopard began life in 1860 as one of Switzerland’s original watch manufactures in the Swiss Jura town of Sonvilier. Its in-house caliber, the L.U.C series, is named for its founder, Louis Ulysse Chopard, but it is current co-president Karl-Friedcrich Scheufele, who deserves the credit for founding Chopard as the watch company it is today. Like most heritage brands, the firm slowed down or stopped making mechanical movements at some point, particularly with the advent of quartz, and although it has had much success with its timepiece designs over the years – including the iconic Mille Miglia and Happy Diamonds collections – it wasn’t until 1996 that the company began to produce its own movements again.

Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s vision was to establish a watchmaking operation that builds in-house movements with Chopard-made components (everything but the screws) and finished with Chopard-made tools. In 1997, a year after establishing Ébauche Fleurier, Chopard emerged with its first caliber, the 1.96, cased in the L.U.C 1860. Today, Chopard produces several distinct families of watch movements, with 50 movement variations, including a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon.

chopard-luc-xp-esprit-de-fleurier-peony-ablogtowatch-13

The Chopard L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony is heavily geared to the Asian market. It is made in a limited edition of eight, a lucky number in East Asia, and the peony represents wealth and honor in Chinese culture. Under the Tang dynasty, peonies were grown on a massive scale and the destiny of this flower was even linked to that of the country, with the blossoming of the peony reflecting the prosperity of China itself. It is symbolic of good health, abundance, and happy marriages. This is not to say the watch wouldn’t appeal to a North American audience, say, especially anyone who appreciates the delicacy of the Fleurisanne engraving, but in general, the symbolism of motifs such as flowers is more appreciated in the “East.”

chopard-luc-xp-esprit-de-fleurier-peony-ablogtowatch-23

The 35mm Chopard L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony watch is priced at $98,000. It is a limited edition of eight pieces, exclusive to Chopard boutiques. The 18k rose gold case is 35mm wide and 7.5mm thick, and water resistant to 30 meters. It is fitted with a brushed pink canvas strap. The bezel, lugs, and case side are set with 2.23 carats of diamonds.

(ablogtowatch.com, https://goo.gl/FZR3R1)

Yamaha RX-A1060 review

Getting an AV amp right at any price involves a careful balancing act, a trade-off between things that don’t always seem like they should go together.

Power and subtlety; precision and excitement; features and transparency – often these complete opposites need to become enthusiastic bedfellows if an amp is going to perform to its best, especially when it costs over £1,000/$1500.

Build

After a few years of not quite finding that balance at this price, Yamaha has nailed it with the RX-A1060, a mid-range amp in the premium Aventage range.

This means you can expect upgraded circuitry, better build quality and that anti-resonance fifth foot in the middle of the chassis to help reduce vibration.

There is also a flap on its aluminium front panel to neatly cover up a decent number of front-mounted controls, giving it a slightly cleaner, more premium look to that of the plastic-fronted RX-V81 Series.

Features

It’s a 7.2ch amp, with support for Atmos 5.1.2 setups and DTS:X configurations for a more immersive listen.

It’ll deliver a decently powerful 110W per channel too (8 Ohms, 2ch driven), with a back panel that will more than cater for the majority of systems.

Expect eight HDMI ins, seven of which support HDCP2.2 for 4K playback, three each of coaxial and optical digital inputs, a USB port, 6.3mm headphone jack and more legacy connections than you’ll probably need.

On the output side, two HDMI outs give you the option to set up a second zone should you wish.

 

Of course wi-fi, AirPlay, DLNA and Bluetooth are on hand for the majority of your streaming needs (it supports 24-bit/192kHz FLAC, WAV and AIFF files plus both single and double speed DSD).

Spotify Connect is also featured and services like Napster and Qobuz are available via the Yamaha control app.

Yamaha’s own MusicCast multi-room system is also on board, which means you can share music with other Yamaha products throughout your home, or alternatively transmit via Bluetooth to a non-Yamaha wireless speaker.

 

Set-up is nice and simple using the included YPAO microphone and auto-calibration setup.

It’s one of the quickest and most accurate calibrations we know at this level, and after a few beeps and blips, it’s measured our room and adjusted our speakers accordingly.

A quick check of the settings shows they look about right for our room, but it is always worth checking to be sure the calibration has judged your set-up correctly.

Sound

We play Captain America: The Winter Soldier and skip to one of our favourite testing scenes in the movie – when a few of the Avengers come to face to face with The Winter Soldier himself.

Yamaha is quick to show the big, bold character we’ve come to expect from its amps. It’s a powerful, scalable sound that fills our testing room without second thought, putting real force and authority around the scene’s big explosions, engine-revving car chases and erratic gunfire.

It’s an exciting performance full of attack and drive, with effects pinged effortlessly – yet precisely – around you.

 

It is immediately impressive on a first listen, but what’s great is the RX-A1060 is able to hold your attention after the initial big-sound thrill. There’s a great deal of subtlety to the sound that we missed on its predecessor.

Voices are as expressive and nuanced as you’d want them to be, detail spills over across the frequency range and there’s real insight into soundtracks.

This in turn helps it to deliver a dynamically strong performance, with its ability to build sound up as eloquently as it’s able to pull it back down again.

This means it’s capable of doing the quiet parts of a soundtrack just as good as it does the loud exciting bits, which for a powerful amp like this, isn’t always the case.

While its midrange and bass frequencies are superbly judged then, like last year’s RX-A1040, we do notice a touch of edge in the treble here.

For this reason, you’ll want to pair this amp carefully – choose a speaker package that won’t emphasise its slightly bright, more aggressive performance and you’ll find it sits just on the right side of bright for the most part (though a shrill gunshot or big shattering of glass might still unsteady it).

 

This brightness becomes more of an issue in stereo music listening, but we find switching to Yamaha’s Pure Direct mode helps soften those edges and tightens up the whole sound so it sounds more together.

In this state, it’s musically pretty strong for an AV receiver, carrying over a great handling of dynamics and detail from its movie performance to put on a good show here too.

It means it’s one of the most musical amps we’ve heard at this price – enthusiastic and punchy enough to get your toes tapping but with enough detail to keep us entertained.

The only problem is that, like many AV receivers, it just struggles to compete with a stereo amp for out-and-out rhythmic timing.

Verdict

There’s no doubt the RX-A1060 is a return to form for Yamaha at this price.

There’s still an edge to the treble that could do with some taming (or decent pairing) for real balance, but it’s managed to address most of the other issues we had with its predecessor.

Overall, the A1060 is an amp that wears lots of hats and wears them all well. It’s certainly a worthy candidate for your audition list.

(whathifi.com, https://goo.gl/zJJRCD)

 

TomTom VIA 52 review

PROS

  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic
  • Lifetime UK and Republic of Ireland maps
  • Great value

CONS

  • Live services require smartphone connection
  • Resistive touchscreen
  • Integrated mount

KEY FEATURES

  • 5-inch resistive widescreen with 480 x 272 pixels
  • UK and Republic of Ireland maps with lifetime updates
  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic
  • 3 months speed cameras
  • Live services via smartphone
  • Integrated mounting system
  • Manufacturer: TomTom
  • Review Price: £139.99/$209.99

WHAT IS THE TOMTOM VIA 52?

The VIA 52 is a new mid-range satnav from TomTom. The company’s model options have become a little confusing of late, with the GO brand expanding across a wider array of prices. But the Start brand is making a comeback, and the entry-level GO 51 – which arrived earlier in 2016 – is already seemingly on its way out, with the VIA returning to replace it.

TOMTOM VIA 52 – MOUNTING AND SCREEN

Perhaps the reason for TomTom to resuscitate the Start and VIA is to make a clearer distinction between the entry-level and mid-range models, while keeping GO for the premium end of the market. Two of the key differences with the VIA and the remaining GO models is that it comes with an integrated mount, as does the Start.

 

TomTom VIA 52

The GOs use a magnetic mount with integrated power, so you can clip the satnav in and out very quickly while leaving the mount in the car. The VIA, like a snail, carries its mount with it always, which means you have to re-attach this to the windscreen every time you want to use it.

On the plus side, this is quite handy when you’re travelling abroad with a hire car, since the whole package is less bulky and easier to pack in your hand luggage, or even a pocket during transit. It can also be reversed easily so that the satnav can hang down from the top of your windscreen, rather than stick up from the bottom.

The other key difference is the screen. While the remaining GOs use multi-touch-capable capacitive screens with 800 x 480 pixels, the VIA uses a cheaper resistive screen with just 480 x 272 pixels. In practice, the display isn’t as responsive as a capacitive one, and it’s also harder to see in bright light. But it keeps the costs down.

TOMTOM VIA 52 – MAPS AND MENU

The version of the VIA 52 I was sent included UK and Republic of Ireland maps only, but it can be purchased for a tenner more to include Western European maps as well. The latter appears to be a better deal, particularly considering that the maps come with a lifetime subscription to updates.

A physical improvement of the VIA 52 over the GO 51 is that it now includes 16GB of memory, as well as a microSD slot. The 8GB allocation of earlier models was becoming a little tight, considering that new maps are almost always bigger than the previous versions – and particularly if you want to add another region when travelling abroad. The 16GB quantity should be ample for adding future maps.

TomTom VIA 52

The VIA’s main menu system is the now-familiar single ribbon of icons, with the most useful ones on the first page – so scrolling won’t be necessary all the time. When scrolling is required, arrows are used rather than finger gestures, because the resistive screen doesn’t support the latter.

The menu ribbon provides a universal keyword search that operates across both the address and Points of Interest (POI) databases. You can set up a home location for single-click navigation, and optionally a work location too. On the second page you’ll find access to a list of favourites, plus direct access to Parking and Petrol Station POIs, and a route planner.

The VIA 52 also incorporates TomTom’s voice-command system, which is very effective. A predefined phrase is used to activate the system, which can be customised, and then further keywords provide access to the main menu functions. The system works pretty well, and is useful if you need to enter a destination while driving, without taking your hands off the wheel.

636017588286374029wv

TOMTOM VIA 52 – NAVIGATION AND LIVE SERVICES

There’s no major difference in the navigational experience from the past few TomTom generations. One area that has been cleared up is the way alternative routes discovered during driving are displayed. Previously, if a faster route was found, this would be indicated on the right-hand bar and map screen; now, the alternative turning is also shown at the top of the display as you approach.

This is a welcome tweak, since it was easy to miss the better route suggestion in early versions of TomTom’s interface. The main reason for suggesting a new route will be changing traffic conditions, because the VIA 52 does come with a lifetime subscription to TomTom’s traffic services. However, you have to pair your phone using Bluetooth and use its data connection to deliver this.

TomTom VIA 52

The end result is pretty much the same experience as with the TomTom satnavs that have their own mobile data connection built in, such as the GO 5100 World. As I’ve argued many times before, TomTom retains the crown for most effective traffic service, with greatest accuracy and most real-time updates. So if you regularly drive during rush-hour conditions, it’s a very attractive feature.

Once the satnav has a data connection, which I found also required my iPhone to have Personal Hotspot enabled, it’s also possible to use the MyDrive website or smartphone app with your live services login to send destinations and routes to the VIA 52 – handy if you’re planning a trip with multiple waypoints. This will be easier to set up using a desktop or smartphone interface than the satnav itself.

The final live-enabled service is speed-camera locations. This includes an excellent indication of average speed cameras, where your actual average speed between each checkpoint camera is calculated. However, this is one service that doesn’t come with a lifetime subscription. Instead, only three months are included, after which it costs £19.99/$29.99 a year to keep the database up to date.

tomtom-via-52

SHOULD I BUY THE TOMTOM VIA 52?

The TomTom VIA 52 is an incremental improvement over the GO 51 that it partially replaces. If you own any TomTom or Garmin satnav from the past generation or so, with lifetime map updates, safety cameras and traffic, the VIA 52 isn’t a worthwhile upgrade.

However, if your satnav is getting on a bit – which means more than three years old, or purchased before the lifetime deals began to appear – and you’re looking for a price-conscious upgrade, this makes a decent budget choice.

Note that the version with Western European maps is the better value than the UK and ROI version I was using for this review.

VERDICT

The TomTom VIA 52 is a capable satnav, although you need a smartphone for the traffic service and the European maps version is the best option.

(trustedreviews.com, https://goo.gl/kmM6jR)

 

Philips 55PUS6401 review

PROS

  • Ambilight mood lighting still has wow factor
  • UHD image quality looks great with Sky Q
  • Netflix 4K on a steadily improving Android TV platform

CONS

  • The screen has a limited black level
  • Backlight uniformity is poor
  • Audio performance little more than functional

KEY FEATURES

  • Two-sided Ambilight
  • 4K Ultra HD resolution
  • HDR support
  • Android TV smart platform
  • Two HDMI inputs support 4K
  • Manufacturer: Philips
  • Review Price: £649.00/$973.50

WHAT IS THE PHILIPS 55PUS6401?

The generously specified Philips 55PUS6401 is a budget 4K flatscreen with HDR (High Dynamic Range) compatibility and Ambilight. This 6 Series model is the largest in a family of three at 55 inches. It’s joined by the 49-inch 49PUS6401 and 43-inch 43PUS6401.

If you’re looking for a bargain UHD TV to partner the Xbox One S, or to binge-watch shows on Sky Q, then this TV certainly appears to tick all the right boxes. But there’s devil in the (2160p) detail…

Philips 55PUS6401 3

PHILIPS 55PUS6401 – DESIGN AND BUILD

This set may not be ultra-slim – some of its heft can be attributed to the inclusion of Ambilight – but it comes in a fashionable grey and stands neatly on two bolt-on A-frame feet. The overall appearance is classically neat.

For connections, the Philips features four HDMI inputs. Closer inspection reveals that only two support HDCP 2.2, the copy-protection standard used by all 4K content sources, including UHD Blu-ray and Sky Q.

You do get ARC (Audio Return Channel) and MHL for smartphone support, though, as well as three USBs (one of that can be used to record to an external hard drive for basic time-shifting). There’s also scart and component legacy connections, plus a digital audio output. In addition to an Ethernet LAN port, the set has integrated Wi-Fi.

There’s a choice of either a single Freeview HD tuner or generic HD satellite.

The remote control is a conventional IR wand. We’ve seen zappers with keyboards on the rear from Philips before, but this isn’t offered here. The remote is overly directional, which meant we had to point directly at the set to exert control.

Philips 55PUS6401 5

PHILIPS 55PUS6401 – FEATURES

Smart functionality comes via Google’s Android TV platform. Unlike Sony’s Android TVs, which are bolstered by YouView, this is a stock implementation with a curated Philips content shelf.

Consequently, catch-up TV choice is limited to the BBC iPlayer. Still, there’s a fair number of streaming content services on tap: Vimeo, Wuaki.tv, Netflix, Amazon Video, Chili Cinema, DailyMotion, Spotify and Deezer. Both Netflix and Amazon support 4K streams. There’s also a variety of casual games, made playable by the set’s quad-core processor.

The 55PUS6401 also provides a jumping-on point for Ambilight, included here in a basic two-channel stereo guise. Just place the TV near a wall for a garish light show. Ambilight can be set to follow on-screen video or audio dynamically, or you can opt for a solid colour wash in either Red, Green, Blue or White.

The latter provides a helpful bias light for a more relaxed viewing experience. While a plain white wall is ideal, there is some wall colour correction offered. You can also integrate the TV with a Hue smart lighting system – it’s quite something to have all the lights in your living room pulsate when playing Rocket League!

This Philips doesn’t support 3D, so if you’ve invested heavily in 3D Blu-rays then this could be a deal-breaker.

Philips 55PUS6401 7

PHILIPS 55PUS6401 – PERFORMANCE

With the TV fed 4K content, the 55PUS6401 looks crisp; UHD movie downloads from Sky bristle with detail. It’s worth noting that Philips Pixel Plus Ultra HD processing can exaggerate grain (most noticeable on Natural and Standard picture presets), so the Movie mode is actually the better viewing option here, particularly when watching gritty action such as Daredevil (Netflix 4K).

Colour performance is rich and vibrant, if not always natural-looking. Reds have a tendency to look a little orange. Backlight uniformity is poor. There’s clearly light pooling around the edge of the screen.

Black levels are also limited. Behind the glass, Philips’ Micro Dimming Pro system analyses 6400 zones. However, in a fully dark room, the screen stalls at grey rather than reaching true black, and shadow detail is compromised. However, during normal viewing in a brightly lit room, this limitation and those light puddles tend not to be noticeable.

Philips 55PUS6401 11

Motion clarity isn’t a strong point, either. Natural Motion processing can be used to minimise panning judder. For the best results, stick with the Minimum setting. Anything stronger introduces ugly artefacts around moving objects.

The set’s HDR compatibility is relatively low level. Given that the 55PUS6401 has a screen brightness of just 350nits, you’re not going to experience the same realistic highlights seen on high-end screens capable of 1000 nits plus. However, the image does look balanced and is capable of a reassuring twinkle.

There are a variety of HDR viewing modes, including a welcome low-latency HDR Game option.

Audio performance is marginally better than grim. There’s no shortage of welly, but the sound is sharp and strident. It isn’t a pleasant listen, and you’ll want to budget for a soundbar to alleviate the pain.

528676-46163-philips-55pus6401-12-10

SHOULD I BUY THE PHILIPS 55PUS6401?

When it comes to value for money, this 6-Series model really can’t be faulted. The screen looks generally fine with Sky Q UHD content and 4K Blu-rays, offering delicious detail and texture. The caveat is a limited black level, which shouldn’t surprise given the asking price. The sweetener is Ambilight, which remains a terrific lifestyle embellishment.

Overall, the 55PUS6401 can be considered a classy-looking budget UHD big-screen that boasts a spec that seems nigh on irresistible for the price. But while HD and 4K images are crisp and involving, don’t expect profound blacks or high impact HDR – and just two HDCP 2.2-compatible HDMI inputs is downright stingy.

Still, Netflix and Amazon 4K are welcome attractions, and Ambilight is a psychedelic crowd-pleaser.

VERDICT

There are many reasons to buy this TV, but they don’t include proper blacks and HDR performance.

(trustedreviews.com, https://goo.gl/tjUxlL)

 

Best 3GB RAM Smartphone 2016 – Android Phone, Mobile Phones

Mobile Phones with 3 GB RAM – Best of 2016: Want to purchase a new Smartphone this year? Don’t believe what your less-informative known people say. Go for the latest 3GB RAM Smartphones, instead of traditional 1GB RAM or 2GB RAM Smartphones which our experts have picked out for you. We are providing you with a list of best 3GB RAM mobile phones. It is best to buy 3GB RAM android phone today because – they are not as costly as they used to be and they give good value for your money. Many Handset making giants are eyeing at developing markets to use and make profit with this technology. Don’t wait and check out our Expert-Reviewed phones with 3GB RAM in India/ US/ World.

Samsung Galaxy On8

samsung galaxy on8 Price

The latest offering from the South Korean firm, the Samsung Galaxy On8. The handset carries a flag and hoists the hefty 3GB RAM flagship cellular devices. Galaxy On8 features a 5.5-inches FHD Super AMOLED display having a resolution of 1920*1080 sharp pixels. The mobile phone houses a 16GB of native storage and 128GB of external storage. It runs on latest Android 6.0 based Marshmallow operating system out of the box. The Samsung Galaxy On8 price is set for Rs. 15,990.

Xiaomi Mi 5S

xiaomi mi 5s images and review

Now a days, the Android mobile phone manufacturers have assumed that the 3GB RAM is essential for the smooth functioning of the handset without any interrupt. The Xiaomi Mi 5s, a flagship device from the Chinese firm also bears a 3GB RAM. It flaunts a 5.15-inch FHD display with 3D Touch support. It is powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC processor clocked at 2.4GHz. Dimensionally, it gauges a 144.5*69.2*7.2mm and weighs around 147 grams. The Xiaomi Mi 5S price tag is hanged for  $300 that translates for INR 20,000 (as expected).

Lenovo Z2 Plus

lenovo z2 plus user review

The Chinese brand tagged Lenovo Z2 Plus sits in the category of 3GB RAM. It is featuring a 5-inch HD LTPS display with 2.5D curved screen. The smartphone also flaunts a U-Touch 2.0 fingerprint sensor that allows you to unlock the device within 0.1 seconds. The device houses a 32GB of inbuilt storage without a further expansion slot. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset with 2.15GHz quad-core processor combined with Adreno 530 GPU. The handset offers at the best price of Rs. 17,999.

Samsung Galaxy ON7 2016 and Galaxy ON5 2016

samsung galaxy on5 2016 and galaxy on7 2016

Both of the Samsung Galaxy On7 2016 and Galaxy On5 2016 are blessed with a 3GB RAM. The Galaxy On7 features a 5.5-inch full HD TFT display having a resolution of 1080*1920 pixels, while On 5 sports 5-inch display. Both the Android mobile phones houses a 32GB of inbuilt storage, that can be further expandable up to 256GB via SD card slot expansion. For the optics, the camera departments of the smartphones are bestowed with a 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front facing camera.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Images India Launch Date

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 houses a hefty 3GB RAM. It flaunts a 5.5-inches FHD IPS display having a resolution of 1080*1920 pixels. It is powered by a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor combined with Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. The camera section consists of a 13-megapixel snapper at the rear end with dual LED flash and 5-megapixel front facing camera for the selfies. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is priced at Rs. 12,000.

Lenovo Vibe K4 Note

Lenovo K4 Note

The Lenovo’s flagship Vibe K4 Note with 3GB RAM launched with the tagline of Killer Note smartphone. The mobile phone features a 5.5-inches display having a resolution of 1080*1920 pixels. It is the first smartphone to sport an AntVR headset and fingerprint sensor at the nominal price tag. The smartphone is fueled by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6753. Lenovo Vibe K4 Note houses a 16GB of inbuilt storage, which can be further expanded up to 256GB via microSD card slot expansion. The Lenovo Vibe K4 Note price is set for Rs. 10,999.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

mobile phone with 3gb ram

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Smartphone is considered as a flagship 3GB RAM handsetin its category. Snapdragon 650 chipset accompanies the 1.8 GHz quad-core processor. It runs on Android 5.1 (Lollipop). Excellent camera quality combining 16MP rear camera, dual LED flash, and 5MP front camera adds to the experience of carrying this Smartphone. The handset is backed up by a powerful 4050mAh Li-Polymer battery. Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Price in India for sale is Rs. 11, 879.

Lenovo Zuk Z1

3gb ram smartphone

Smartphone giant, Lenovo, brings the latest breed of Smartphones with 3GB RAM series. The Zuk Z1 3GB ram mobile sports 3GB RAM for superior multi-tasking and it runs on Android Lollipop out-of-the-box. Lenovo Zuk Z1 is powered by a 4100mAh Li-Polymer battery and it packs a larger 5.5” sharp display. Lenovo Zuk Z1 Price is Rs. 13, 499.

LeEco Le 2

3gn ram mobile phone

The latest phone from LeEco in India is Le2. LeEco Le2 runs on OS Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). Along with 3GB RAM mobile phone, it packs Snapdragon 652 chip. This 3GB handset couples a 16MP rear camera with Dual-color LED flash and an 8MP front camera. LeEco Le2 Price in India is Rs. 13, 498 approx. and is available across the leading retail stores in India.

Hyve Buzz

best 3 gb ram phone in india

Hyve Buzz supports is powered by a 2500 mAh Li-Polymer battery. Hyve Buzz is supported by MediaTek MT 6753 processor with a 5.5 inch Full HD sharp display. Hyve Buzz packs a 13MP rear camera with Dual-color LED flash and a 5 MP camera combo and runs on Android 5.1 (Lollipop) which can be upgraded to Android 6.1 (Marshmallow). Hyve Buzz Price in India is Rs. 13,999.

Lava X81

3 gb phones under 10k 20k 30k

Lava X81 is one the hottest and is the best phone that Lava has designed so far. Lava X81 packs a dual-camera combo of 13MP at the rear with a 5 MP selfie unit and runs on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). The phone runs on the latest MediaTek MT 6735 chip. Lava X81 is available in India and Lava X81 price in India is Rs. 10, 493.

HTC 10 Lifestyle

3gb ram mobile phones price list in India

The HTC 10 Lifestyle has an impressive QHD 5.2″ screen with 1440×2560 pixels and Gorilla Glass protection. The 1.8GHz Quadcore processor along with Snapdragon 652 chipset helps to run the phone. The 3,000mAh Li-Polymer battery energizes the handset. HTC 10 Lifestyle has a 12MP camera with Dual-color LED flash and a 5MP selfie unit. HTC 10 Lifestyle Price in India is Rs. 47, 5100 approx.

Sony Xperia X

smartphone with 3gb ram in under 15k

Sony Xperia X has 5-inch Full HD sharp display. The camera unit is this 3GB best handset’s USP. It couples the 23MP primary camera (rear) with a 13MP secondary camera (front). It runs on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). Xperia X by Sony is powered by a Snapdragon 650 Dual Core processor and is backed by a 2620mAh battery.Sony Xperia X 2 Price in India is Rs. 46, 520 and is international standard 3GB RAM mobile in India.

Sony Xperia X Dual

best 3gb ram phones 2016

The Sony Xperia X Dual takes it a step further in terms of features and performance and evolves the Xperia series. The phone runs on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and is powered by a non-removable 2620mAh standard Xperia battery. Xperia X Dual like all the Xperia series phones has it’s biggest highlight in its camera quality- 23MP rear with LED flash and a 13MP front camera. Sony Xperia X Dual Price in India is Rs. 46, 520 and is arguably the best 3GB RAM mobile under 50000.

HTC Desire 628

smartphone 3gb ram under 8000

HTC Desire 628 runs on Android Lollipop. It has a 5-inch Full HD screen. Desire 628 by HTC is powered by a 2200 mAh Li-Polymer battery. The activities and features on the Desire 628 handset are supported by an Octa-Core 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 processor. The Desire 628 Smartphone supports dual-sim. HTC Desire 628 Dual Sim Price in India is Rs. 13, 642 and is expected to turn a lot of heads.

Meizu M3 Note

best mobile 3gb ram 2016

Meizu M3 Note is different from all the other phones as the best budget mobile phones with 3GB RAM. The handset has a 5.5-inch Full HD sharp display. The phone runs on Android 5.1 (Lollipop) supported by an Octa-Core 1.8 GHz MediaTek MT6755 chip. The camera quality of this phone is also good with a 13MP rear camera with Dual-LED Flash and a 5MP front camera. It supports 32GB internal memory with an additional capacity of up to 128GB with microSD card and packs 3GB RAM. Meizu M3 Price in India is Rs. 13, 999.

Reliance Lyf Water 8

Reliance Lyf Water 8

The Reliance smartphone Company has launched the Lyf Water 8 Mobile phone which is featured with the 3GB RAM specs and 16 Gb Internal Storage. It runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system and powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor. It launched with the 13MP primary camera and 5MP secondary camera for the selfie and video chatting. It is featured with the 2600mAh Battery and available in the Market Black and White Color. The Lyf Water 8 Price is set at Rs. 10,999/- Only.

Blackberry DTEK50

Blackberry DTEK50 india launch date

The Blackberry DTHK50 is the Second Android Phone of Blackberry which runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. It launched with a 5.2 inch full HD 1080p display. The Blackberry DTHK50 android phone is powered by a 2610mAh battery. The activities and features on the DTHK50 handset are supported by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 Octa-Core processor. This smartphone supports 13MP Rear Camera and 8MP front camera. Blackberry DTHK50 Price at $299 USD/ $429 CDN/ €339/ £275 and is expected to turn a lot of heads.

Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime

Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime

The Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime smartphone is launched with the 3GB RAM and 32GB Internal Storage which is expandable upto 128GB. Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 64-bit chipset accompanies the 1.4 GHz quad-core processor. It runs on Android v6.0.1 (Marshmallow). Excellent camera quality combining 13MP rear camera, dual LED flash, and 5MP front camera adds to the experience of carrying this Smartphone. The handset is backed up by a powerful 4100 mAh Li-Ion Polymer Battery. Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime Price in India for sale is Rs. 8, 999/- Only.

Top 3gb ram mobile 2016

Mobile Phones with 3GB RAM

This was our 3GB RAM Mobile Phone List. These phones were exclusively reviewed by our experts and contain best 3GB RAM Smartphone, best budget 3 GB RAM Handset, latest 3GB RAM phone, best quality 3GB RAM Mobile phone 2016 under 5k, 10k, 12k, 15k, 20k, 30k, etc. Do share with us what you guys think about this latest technology and what are your thoughts about a 3GB RAM Smartphone by commenting below. Also, tell us what category list you want us to publish next. Your suggestions are extremely valuable to us, so don’t hesitate. We are sure that in coming days more and more companies are going to challenge each other by joining the race to produce their stand-out pieces in this category. If you like this article of smartphones, android phone with 3gb ramand find it informative, like and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Whatsapp, or any other social networking platform that you use.

(dlbgadget.com, https://goo.gl/KsOeu8)

Int Box i7 TV Box Review

The Int Box i7 TV Box is an adventurous journey into a world of massive online entertainment; it makes watching TV online easy. I can now connect to live and on-demand sports, photos, music, productivity apps, games, and so much more with the snap of my finger. Spending time with my family and friends has been made enjoyable as it all comes with a memorable experience that doesn’t go away easily.

Connecting to my family over the internet was also made easy with the Vudu Skype chatting. Other third party applications such as Picasa, Youtube, Flicker, Facebook and other were included to make life easy. Other features included for our enjoyment ranges from free Internet searching, Android applications in their thousands, many kinds of games, etc. GPU updates in the box have enhanced the functionality of playing different types of heavy games and videos.Kết quả hình ảnh cho Int Box i7 TV Box

Int Box i7 TV Box Specifications

  • CPU: Amlogic S912 octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor with a speed of up to 2.0GHz.
  • OS Version: Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
  • Processing Memory Capacity: 2GB DDR3 RAM.
  • GPU (Graphics Processing Unit): ARM Mali-820MP3 with a speed of up to 750MHz.
  • Internal Memory Capacity: 8GB eMMC flash compatible with 16GB-32GB, SD slot up to 32GB (SD2.X,SD3.X,SD4.X, eMMC version 5.0 as storage).
  • AV (stereo audio), HDMI, and optical S/PDIF.
  • Supported Video codecs: VP9-10 profile 2 4K @ 60 fps, H.265 MP-10 @ L5.1 up to 4K 60fps, H.264 MVC up to 1080p60, H.264 AVC up to 4K @ 30 fps, MPEG-4, AVS-P16(AVS+)/AVS-P2 JiZhun Profile, MPEG-2 MP/HL, MPEG-1 MP/HL, WMV/VC-1 SP/MP/AP, and RealVIDEO 8/9/10 all up to 1080p @ 60fps.
  • Video Output: DMI 2.0a with HDR and CEC support up to 4K @ 60 fps (HDCP2.2), and AV port for composite output.
  • Supported Audio codecs: MP3, FLAC, AAC, WMA, Ogg, RM, and support for 5.1 down-mixing.
  • Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, Dual Band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (AP6330)2.4G+5G + Bluetooth 4.0.
  • USB 2x USB 2.0 ports.
  • Misc IR receiver.
  • Power Supply 5V/2A.
  • Dimensions 12.2*10.15*2.5 cm.
  • Weight: 250g.

Int Box i7 TV Box Full Review and Description

PACKAGING

The packaging of the TV Box was average; it comes in a dominant black coloured carton with other accessories. The box is fully labelled with the capabilities of the device.

Inside the package, you will find the TV Box, plus these other accessories and items:

  • Power Adapter.
  • IR remote control.
  • User Manual .
  • HDMI Cable.
DESIGN

Int Box i7 TV Box Design

The Int Box i7 TV Box has functional vents incorporated on the two sides for easy in flow and outflow of air. The sides of the device was designed fully for venting apart from the SD card space on the side. At the rear side of the box are the connectivity ports; the power jack, optical port, AV IN, Ethernet port, the HDTV outlet and the two USB ports. The top cover of the TV Box has only the logo inscription of the brand.

DISPLAY and AUDIO

While using it to watch movies, the Int Box i7 TV Box delivers crystal clear pictures that will rival many other similar set-ups. The 4K * 2K 60Hz resolution output delivers beautiful motion and graphics. It has a 32 audio channel that turns listening to music into an enjoyable activity.

With the Int Box i7 TV Box, I was able to stream dual videos clearly without any form of error. The syncing of the audio and the video was even and balanced for all types of files.

CONNECTIVITY

Connecting the Int Box i7 TV Box to the internet was pretty easy. For this purpose, you can use the IEEE 802.11ac which I learnt is one of the wireless networking standards in 802.11 families. It is built purposely for high-thoroughput wireless local area networks (WLANs) on the 5GHz network band by the IEEE standards association.

Int Box i7 TV Box Connectivity & Ports

I however discovered that this doesn’t connect to the internet as fast as I had experienced with other TV Box devices, so I decided to switch to using the Gigabit LAN which afforded me a data transfer rate of 1 billion bits per second, more speed than I would ever need, at least for now.

SOFTWARE

The operating system of the Int Box i7 TV Box is Marshmallow, version 6.0 of the Android Operating System platform. It is indeed a refinement and extension of the important features and functionality of Android 5.0 Lollipop which I’m used to in TV Box devices as an end user.

The deployment of Marshmallow as the primary OS in this device has improved the overall end-user experience of Lollipop; it introduced a new permissions architecture and new APIs for contextual assistants. The new power management system helps to reduce background activity when the device is not being physically handled. It also features native support for fingerprint recognition and USB Type-C connectors.

Most importantly, the ability to migrate data and applications to a microSD card in order use it as primary storage is a great addition, as well as other internal changes embedded in this gadget. We all know Android 7.0 Nougat is out and some devices are getting the update already, no TV Box has yet been manufactured with that OS version, so we have to make do with what we already have, which is Marshmallow.

PERFORMANCE

Int Box i7 TV Box Hardware

The Int Box i7 TV Box is built with an S912 CPU which is highly revered as a top performance 64-bit chipset. If this is your first Android TV box you might not want to use another. The 64-bit chipset delivers a maximum clock speed of up to 1.5GHz which made apps to run quickly and swiftly than many other devices.

Using Miracast, I was able to stream videos from my Android smartphone. The device also allows me to screencast through mini-MXIII onto big screens. The Wi-fi has not given me any problems so far, but I believe the device overall would have done better with an external antenna.

STORAGE

I can now easily sit back and enjoy more hot games and APKs. This device has an enviable storage of DDR3 2GB RAM, and eMMC 8GB Flash which is to my advantage as it performs excellently, securely and reliably. The eMMC memory delivers a beautiful end-user experience.

PROs
  • The performance of the Operating system.
  • The response of the Storage.
  • Beautiful and friendly user interface.
  • Absence of lagging.
CONs
  • Absence of an Antenna for better signals.
  • The price is a bit high.

CONCLUSION

Unlike many of the TV boxes that have issues with Wi-Fi, the Int Box i7 has proven to be an outstanding performer. Using the Int Box i7 TV Box comes with the total package you can ever desire in a TV Box (as of now -_- )as it ensure a high level of transmission efficiency that can only be found in products with higher specs.

Even though the price may be a source of concern for many buyers, it delivers a rich value for every cent of the $59. I would recommend this product anytime, any day as it has proven to be an awesome, smart and compact effort towards online content enjoyment.

(xiaomitoday.com, https://goo.gl/Dhu0ZO)