Monday, 2 April 2018


Samsung Galaxy S10 Rumors: Everything You Need to Know

It's hard to believe that just weeks after Samsung released its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, we're already talking about the Galaxy S10. But such is the technology world we live in.

In truth, the Galaxy S10 and, presumably, the S10+ promise to be the most important Samsung releases in years. The handsets will go up against three new iPhones from Apple that are expected to debut this fall, and the new Galaxies could be the first from Samsung to offer 3D face scanners.

Of course, things very well could change dramatically in the coming months. Regardless, here's what we've heard about the Galaxy S10 so far.

A 3D face scanner

Samsung has been criticized for not having a 3D face scanner to compete with the Face ID in Apple's iPhone X. But a report from The Investor says that Samsung has partnered with 3D camera firm Mantis Vision to finally get a 3D scanner into the Galaxy S10. 

Not much is known about the feature yet, but it's believed that the Mantis Vision technology will be able to compete on the same level as the Face ID feature on the iPhone X.

True bezel-free design, in-screen fingerprint reader

Samsung is clearly a believer in a bezel-less design and will likely remain so in 2019. In fact, according to a report in The Indian Express, the World Intellectual Property Organization recently published a Samsung patent filing that describes a new smartphone design featuring a completely bezel-less design.

Better yet, the patent shows a fingerprint scanner under the display, suggesting that this feature could also make its way to a Galaxy handset. While it's unclear whether the patent design will appear in the Galaxy S10, there's a good chance we'll see some sort of design overhaul in 2019.

Sticking with Qualcomm

In a move that could inform what happens in the Galaxy S10, Samsung in February announced that it had invested $5.6 billion in a new factory to build 7-nanometer chipsets. Not only would that allow for a smaller chip, but it would also pave the way for the company to make a variety of design changes with the extra room it'll have inside the handset.

According to a report from Phone Arena, Samsung will begin testing the chip later this year and get it ready for mass production in early 2019 — perfect timing for the Galaxy S10.

We should also note that Samsung will work on the chip technology with Qualcomm, which the phone maker has done with the last few Snapdragon processors. The Snapdragon 855, then, should be coming to the Galaxy S10, at least for U.S.-bound versions of the phone.
Name change on the way?

Samsung is said to be working on a foldable smartphone that could be known as the Galaxy X. And although that won't infringe on the company's Galaxy S schedule, it could cause a naming problem. After all, if one smartphone is called the Galaxy X, naming another phone the Galaxy S10 might cause confusion.

A report in February from The Investor cited an interview with Samsung mobile chief Dongjin Koh, who hinted that Samsung might move away from the numbered branding on the Galaxy S line. So, rather than calling its next smartphone the Galaxy S10, Samsung might opt for an alternative name. It might also choose, simply, the Galaxy S.

"Although Samsung will stick to Galaxy, we have been thinking about whether we need to maintain the S moniker or the numbering system," Koh said in that interview.

Release date

It's too soon to predict the exact release date for the Galaxy S10, but if history is any guide, Samsung will likely stick to a similar timetable in 2019 as in other years. That means you should expect to see the new handset announced at next year's Mobile World Congress show, which gets underway Feb. 25. If Samsung follows a similar pattern for the S10 as did for the S9, the new phone would hit shelves by mid-March 2019.

Sunday, 1 April 2018


Canon launches new cameras for those who want to level up from smartphones

MANILA -- Japan's Canon Inc. is confident that there is still a large market for cameras independent of smartphones as it introduced a new line of cameras, including two entry level DSLRs, a mid- to high-range digital camera, and a high-end point and shoot.

“With smartphones, there came a good culture of taking pictures. But after that, people look for quality and shoot better pictures," the company said at a recent press launch. 

"If you want a long shoot, a mobile phone can’t help you. If you want a low light shoot, a mobile phone cannot help you. And also, when you want to use manual features, a mobile phone can help you but there are limitations.” 

Canon said it's new cameras are meant for people who want to graduate from smartphone photography.

One of the main tech features introduced is real-time transmission to the mobile phone the moment the shutter is clicked through a Canon app available on iOS and Android. A photographer can get a cheaper phone with a lower quality camera but can still post high quality images on his or her social media platform of choice.

The 1500D and 3000D are entry-level digital cameras meant for students, beginners and those who wish to move from smartphone photography. The advantage of using these DSLRs is the ability to mount Canon’s extensive EF-S and EF-L lenses for any shooting requirements. These DSLRs also have creative filters built in.

For the more advanced cameras, Canon introduced the Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus (DAF-CMOS), a proprietary technology which has trickled down to the consumer cameras from the professional Cinema EOS line. They likened the old sensor to focusing with one eye and this new sensor is like focusing with two eyes. The result is faster and more accurate focusing when moving from one subject to another.

The Canon m50 (SRP P44,998) is the mid- to high-level camera that fills the space in between the beginner level m100 and the best-in-class m3. With a special adapter, these can also use the Canon’s extensive range of EF-S and EF-L lenses, though the EF-M line that’s exclusively designed for the Canon mirrorless cameras are still recommended. 

Vloggers are the target market for this camera as filmmaker EJ Mijares set up with a boom mike on top of the m50 for his demo. The ability to shoot 30 minutes of 4K video on such a small form factor puts this at par with the Fuji XT20 and the Sony a6300 which are a little more expensive than the m50.

In the point-and-shoot camera arena, Canon has focused on the high-end range with the Powershot G1X Mark III (SRP P64,998). What is impressive about this camera is that it has a 1-inch APS-C image sensor more commonly found on Canon’s DSLR-s. With the DAF-CMOS sensor, the G1X Mark III is a beast of a video camera in a compact camera. 

Canon brand ambassador Jun De Leon showed how to use the G1X Mark III in its waterproof case to shoot photos underwater. The G1X Mark III was able to shoot sharp pictures of multiple subjects like a group of fish with ease. While more expensive than similar cameras from Olympus, Fuji, and Sony, the 1” APS-C sensor gives the G1X Mark III the edge. As with all point-and-shoots, the limitation is that it only has a single lens.

The gadget that got the loudest reactions from the audience, however, was not a camera but the EX470-AI flash.

Samsung has launched its latest Notebook 5 and Notebook 3 laptops

Both the laptops are powered by latest Intel eighth generation i7 processors.

Samsung Notebook 5 laptop.

Samsung has launched its latest Notebook 5 and Notebook 3 laptops. Both weigh around 19.6mm and 19.9mm respectively. Samsung Notebook 3 is available in 15 inches and 14 inches, as well as, in four colour variants – Misty Gray, Night Charcoal, Deep Peach, and Pure White, The Samsung Notebook 5 is available in 15 inches and comes in a Light Titan colour, wrapped in a metal body.

Samsung Notebook 3 laptop.

Notebook 13-inch laptop features Intel eighth generation quad core and seventh generation dual core i7 processors. It features default integrated graphics. The laptop is powered by a 43Wh battery.

Samsung Notebook 5 laptop.

Notebook 3 15-inch and Notebook 5 15-inch both share same processors as the 13-inch model. But, they are additionally equipped with Nvidia graphics, Notebook 3 features integrated Nvidia MX110 (2 GB) graphics while Notebook 5 features Nvidia MX150 (2 GB) graphics accordingly. These sport 15.6-inch 1080p displays. Both the laptops are powered by a 43Wh battery.

The Samsung Notebook 3 and 5 will be available first in Korea (this April) and will then launch globally later.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) Reportedly the First Smartphone to Get April Security Patch Update

Similar to the March Android security update for Pixel and Nexus smartphones that Google announced last month, the company rolls out monthly security updates for Android smartphones. But a new report suggests that a Samsung smartphone has already received the April security patch. While Samsung is already seemingly pushing out the April security update on just one of its handsets, we can expect a wider rollout soon.

All Galaxy S8s, Note 8s to receive Oreo update within 3 weeks

As per a report by SamMobile, the Galaxy J3 (2017) is the first (and only) smartphone to have received the Android security patch for April. Samsung had launched the smartphone back in June last year. While the company launched two different variants in the US and in the European markets, the handset did not arrive in India. As of now, it remains unclear why Samsung chose this budget-smartphone to roll out the April Android security update instead of some flagship model.

Meanwhile, there is no clarity on what the April Android security patch brings as there is no changelog available. These security patches are rolled out by Google every month, alongside official information on what that patch entails. This means we will get to know more about the changes and bug fixes when Google officially announces on its website.

Notably, the update is currently available in only a few European countries like Luxembourg and the Netherlands, but it's likely to roll out to other regions in the coming days. You can download the update, when it is available, from Settings > Software update. Alternatively, there are OTA zip files that can be installed on devices with an unlocked bootloader. OTA zip files can also be sideloaded on top of the existing software version.

Saturday, 31 March 2018


Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, Pixel 2, Galaxy S9+: Best camera phones you can buy

Cameras have become an important part of a smartphone today and its performance has the ability to make or break it. Competition is fierce not just in the high-end premium segment between the Pixel 2 and iPhone X, for example, but it is also very much alive and kicking in the mid-range and budget segments as well with phones from OnePlus, Honor and Xiaomi all aiming to offer something more when it comes to picture quality.

Cameras on smartphones are getting better and better every year and companies are pushing the limits of hardware and software to offer the best possible configuration to shoot terrific photos. And it's no longer the case that only the high-end segment offers good camera phones. You can find impressive optics on phone today that cost under Rs 10,000 as well. If you are in the market looking for a good camera smartphone, we have picked the best in our opinion across various price segments.

Best camera phone under Rs 10,000

Xiaomi Redmi 5: Rs 7,999

Who says you cant find decent cameras on a budget phone today? The budget smartphone segment in India is highly competitive and no company wants to bring a phone that just works anymore. The reason Xiaomi is ruling the budget scene is because over the past few years it has been offering phones that work well in all areas, including the cameras. The Redmi 5 that was launched just recently is a no compromise kind of phone that offers a little something more than your standard budget cameras.

The Redmi 5 comes with the same camera configuration as the more expensive Redmi Note 5. The handset bears a 12-megapixel rear camera with f/2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED (dual-tone) flash, while on the front it comes with a 5-megapixel sensor with LED flash. Both the cameras are capable of recording 1080p videos. Like most budget phones, you shouldnt expect great detailing or impressive low-light performance. On a bright day, the Redmi 5 will capture good photos with a decent amount of detail, but at night youre likely to capture grainy images.

Best camera phone under Rs 20,000

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro: Rs 13,999

The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a dual camera setup that comprises of one 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture and one 5-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture, both of which are RGB. The primary sensor has a 1.25-micron pixel to capture more light while the secondary camera helps in portrait shots. The rear cameras are backed by PDAF and dual-LED flash. Over on the front, you get a 20-megapixel camera with LED flash.

The cameras on the Redmi Note 5 Pro are exceptional and we feel that it edges out the Mi A1 as the best camera smartphone for its price. Photos captured have a good amount of detail and colour under ideal lighting. Unlike the Mi A1, low-light captures are good as well despite some noise. Meanwhile, selfies captured via the front camera are also quite detailed and colours are almost true to life. The only area where the Mi A1 has an edge is with portrait shots, although only marginally.

Best camera phone under Rs 30,000

Honor View 10: Rs 29,999

The Honor View 10 is currently the best smartphone under Rs 30,000 and thats because it widely impresses all round. Apart from offering a great performance, sleek design language and a god-looking 18:9 display, the phone also comes with some great cameras that are heavily infused with AI thanks to the Kirin 970 chipset.

The dual camera setup on the back comprises of one 16-megapixel RGB lens and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor, both with f/1.8 aperture. Up front, you get a 13-megapixel sensor with support for bokeh shots via software. Images captured by the dual cameras are sharp and detailed. Thanks to some AI magic, the camera is able to detect objects and things like plants, human face, dogs, cats and macros and changes the photo setting accordingly to capture the best shot. This allows for improved colour, light and shadow of the photo. The rear cameras also work well to capture detail in low-light as well. The front camera isnt quite as impressive but it does manage to take decent bokehs.

Best camera phone under Rs 40,000

OnePlus 5T: Rs 32,999

The current OnePlus flagship is a fantastic performer, and comes with a sleek ad premium design, but the only thing that stops it from being great is its camera. The OnePlus 5T may not have flagship-killing cameras, but they are impressive for its price. OnePlus made some minor changes to the configuration by going with two low-light shooters instead of a secondary zoom lens like the OnePlus 5. What OnePlus was aiming at was to provide great low-light captures through pixel binning.

The dual camera system on the back comprises of one 16-megapixel Sony IMX398 sensor with 1.12-micron pixels and an f/1.7 aperture, and one 20-megapixel Sony IMX376K sensor with f/1.7 aperture. The cameras do produce crisp and colourful shots in daylight and low-light performance has improved as well. Portrait mode is another area of improvement, but it still fails in front of the likes of the Pixel 2. The front camera can be a little more disappointing as the photos let in too much light and have been criticised for creating oil painting effect. That being said, the cameras on the phone arent bad as long as you dont compare it to the flagships out there.

Best camera phone(s) money can buy

Pixel 2: Rs 52,999

Before MWC 2018, the Pixel 2 was ranked the best camera smartphone by DxOMark. Despite being trumped by the Galaxy S9+ (only marginally) and the newly launched Huawei P20 and P20 Pro, there is no doubt that the Pixel 2 has one of the best cameras ever seen on a smartphone. A lot of what makes the cameras on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL so great is thanks to the software implementation. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL sport a single rear camera sensor, and yet they both capture fantastic bokeh shots better than most phones with a dual lens setup - all thanks to software.

Googles AI and machine learning has grown tremendously over the years, which powers a lot of the tech inside the camera. The Pixel 2 sports a 12-megapixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture and an 8-megapixel front camera with f/2.4 aperture. In bright light, the Pixel 2 offers great detail and accurate colours with an impressive dynamic range. The Pixel 2 performs quite well in low-light as well and does capture good detail although some noise will be seen.

Samsung Galaxy S9+: Rs 64,900

Samsung launched the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ in India earlier this month which are incremental updates over last years Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. While the design language is largely the same, Samsung has focussed a lot on the cameras this time around. The Galaxy S9+ in particular highlights a vertical dual rear camera setup, which is a first for the Galaxy S series. Additionally, the rear cameras on both the Galaxy S9 phones come with a Dual Aperture feature that can switch between a wide f/1.5 aperture to f/2.4 depending on the lighting conditions.

The Galaxy S9+ bears a 12-megapixel dual-pixel sensor with adjustable aperture (f1.5/f.2.4) and OIS and a 12-megapixel secondary camera being a telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture. Up front you get an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with f/1.7 aperture. The flagship also comes with the ability to shoot super slow-motion videos at up to 960 fps at up to 720p resolution for a period of 0.182 seconds. Samsung has also added a Motion Detection feature that can detect motion in a frame and automatically slow it down.

In our review, we called the Galaxy S9+ the best high-end flagship camera phone currently in the market. Knowing how good the camera on the Pixel 2 is, we found that the Galaxy S9+ delivers an all-round camera performance. The Galaxy S9+ truly outshines in exceptionally low light conditions thanks to its f/1.5 aperture. Photos captured even in pitch darkness appear brighter, crisper, and with little to no noise.

iPhone X: Rs 89,000

Now if youre going to pay around Rs 90,000 for an iPhone, you will expect nothing short of perfect. If you can bear with the notch, the the iPhone X is the best smartphone that money can buy. Apple rarely gets its cameras wrong and the X doesnt disappoint. Ranked among the top 5 best camera smartphones on DxOMark, the iPhone X comes with a terrific dual rear camera system with two 12-megapixel sensors with OIS, one with a f/1.8 wide angle lens and the other with a f/2.4 telephoto lens. Both the cameras allow for some pretty great portrait captures, although the Pixel 2 still gets an edge thanks to some software backing.

The 8-megapixel front camera also supports Portrait mode, which doesn't always get the edges right. Apart from the bokeh shots which is often a hit and miss, the front camera captures a good amount of light and detail. Essentially, you wont be disappointed with the cameras on the iPhone X, which offer excellent detail and true to life images.