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IFA 2015: Samsung gears up with S2 smartwatch

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At this year’s IFA conference, Samsung showcased two versions of the S2 smartwatch which are designed to offer smartwatch features in devices that look like a standard wrist-watches.

At the IFA trade show in Berlin this weekend, Samsung Electronics  announced the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch, the company’s latest offering from what it calls “progressive innovation in the wearables category”.

The company provided the following information on the device:

The Samsung Gear S2 comes in a circular design with a custom UX and advanced features that enable users to enhance, personalise and bring more fun to their mobile experience.

The Gear S2’s rotating bezel, along with the Home and Back buttons, ensures users will have a quicker, more precise method to access notifications and applications.

Introduced in two different options – the Gear S2 and the Gear S2 classic – Samsung designed the Gear S2 to appeal to two distinct consumer preferences. The Gear S2 classic is made for users who prefer a more timeless watch design, offering a black finish with a matching leather band. The Gear S2 is ideal for those who are on-the-go and have an admiration for a minimal and modern design.

“For the past several years, Samsung has pioneered and advanced the wearables category, bringing brave new concepts to the smart wearables market,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of Samsung’s IT & Mobile Business. “The Samsung Gear S2 reflects Samsung’s most progressive innovation. It is a great complement for any occasion, easily taking you from day to night, from work to workout—and ensuring that you get more out of every moment in your day, by making it smarter and ultimately more personal and fun.”

A mere 11.4-millimeter thin, the Samsung Gear S2 brings a light and compact design to your wrist. It offers a vibrant viewing experience for a smartwatch, thanks to its 1.2” circular screen and its 360 x 360 resolution (302 ppi). With the latest Tizen OS and an optimised 1-GHz dual core processor, the Samsung Gear S2 can perform tasks easily and efficiently.

Users can stay connected with at-a-glance notifications to check calendars, e-mails, news and can even send important texts directly from their wrist. Users can choose the Gear S2 with 3G connectivity which incorporates the first-ever e-SIM with voice capability, to perform quick functions without being closely tethered to their phone.

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New fitness functions on the Samsung Gear S2 will encourage consumers to stay healthy and active. The 24-hour activity log lets users view daily activity progress and patterns at a glance. It will also send reminder updates to motivate users to stay on track with their fitness goals.

For the ultimate convenience, the Samsung Gear S2 comes with NFC technology which will enable mobile payments without the need for a wallet. Samsung is working with a wide selection of partners across different industries to expand the usability of wearables and streamline consumers’ mobile lives in a variety of ways, including smart car keys, residential room keys, and remote controls to manage a connected home.

All of these connected features will be supported by a battery that can last up to 2-3 days, allowing consumers to stay connected without the hassle of constantly having to recharge. To charge, simply place the Samsung Gear S2 on the wireless charging dock right out of the box.

The Samsung Gear S2 reflects Samsung’s commitment to openly collaborate with developers and partners to bring increased customization and applications to its devices. Samsung is working closely with partners to offer a range of watch faces and watch bands so that users can have a variety of ways to express their personal style and mood. Users can easily change the band with one click, and change the watch face for a more personalized and sophisticated Gear experience depending on the time, place or occasion.

A variety of apps optimized for the Gear S2’s circular user interface will be available at launch. Through open collaboration with developers and partners, Samsung is continuing to enrich its wearable ecosystem and provide users with a more optimized and unique smart wearable experience.

The Samsung Gear S2 will be available in a Dark Gray case with a Dark Gray band and Silver case with a White band. The Samsung Gear S2 classic will be available in a Black case with a Leather band.

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Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 classic Product Specifications:
Display :1.2”, Circular Super AMOLED, 360×360, 302ppi

AP :Dual core 1.0 GHz

OS :Tizen based wearable platform

Audio :Codec: MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+
Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG

Memory :Storage: 4GB Internal Memory / RAM: 512MB

Features :Communications:
– Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Email, – Preset text, Voice Input, Emoticons, Keypads

Features :Health & Fitness:
– S Health, Nike+ Running

Features :Information:
– Schedule, News, Maps & Navigation, Weather

Features :Media:
– Music Player, Gallery

Features :Others:
– Voice, Voice Memo, Find My Device, Power Saving Mode, Safety assistance, Privacy lock

Features :IP68 Certified Dust and Water Resistant

Samsung Services :Samsung Gear Apps

Connectivity :Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
NFC

Sensor :Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, Barometer

Dimension :Gear S2 : 42.3×49.8×11.4mm (47g)
Gear S2 classic : 39.9×43.6×11.4mm (42g)

Battery :Wireless Charging
250mAh Li-ion
Typical Usage 2~3days

Samsung Gear S2 3G Version Product Specifications:
Display :1.2”, Circular Super AMOLED, 360×360, 302ppi

AP :Dual core 1.0 GHz

OS :Tizen based wearable platform

Audio :Codec: MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+
Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG

Memory :Storage: 4GB Internal Memory / RAM: 512MB

Features :Communications:
– Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Email, – Preset text, Voice Input, Emoticons, Keypads

Features :Health & Fitness:
– S Health, Nike+ Running

Features :Information:
– Schedule, News, Maps & Navigation, Weather

Features :Media:
– Music Player, Gallery

Features :Others:
– S Voice, Voice Memo, Find My Device, Power Saving Mode, Safety assistance, Privacy lock

Features :IP68 Certified Dust and Water Resistant

Samsung Services :Samsung Gear Apps

Connectivity :Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
NFC

Sensor :Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, Barometer

Dimension :44.0 x 51.8 x 13.4mm (51g)

Battery :Wireless Charging
300mAh Li-ion
Typical Usage 2 days

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Acer gaming beast escapes

Acer this week unveiled two notebooks that take portable gaming to new extremes.

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Acer  unveiled two new Predator Helios gaming notebooks this week at the next@acer global press conference in New York. They include the powerful Predator Helios 500, featuring up to 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors, and the Predator Helios 300 Special Edition that includes upgraded specs from its predecessor and a distinctive white chassis. Both feature VR-Ready performance, advanced thermal technologies, and blazing-fast connectivity.

“We’ve expanded our Predator Helios gaming notebook line in response to popular demand from gamers seeking extreme performance on the go,” said Jerry Kao, President of IT Products Business, Acer. “The Predator Helios 500 and Helios 300 gaming notebooks feature Acer’s proprietary thermal technologies and powerful components that, coupled with our award-winning software, deliver unparalleled gaming experiences.”

“The 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processor for gaming and creation laptops is the highest performance Intel has ever delivered for this class of devices; purpose built for enthusiasts who demand premium gaming experiences whether at home or on the go,” said Steve Long, Vice President and General Manager, Client Computing Group Sales and Marketing, Intel. “Intel and Acer’s long relationship has produced amazing products over the years, and the new Acer Predator Helios gaming notebooks are powerful examples of what’s possible with this unprecedented level of performance.”

Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast featuring overclocking, 4K 144 Hz panels

Designed for extreme gamers, the Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast. It features up to overclockable 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors and overclockable GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. Intel Optane memory increases responsiveness and load times, while ultra-fast NVMePCIe SSDs, Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, and up to 64GB of memory keep the action going, making the Helios 500 the ideal gaming notebook for graphic-intensive AAA titles and live streaming.

Top-notch visuals are delivered on bright, vibrant 4K UHD or FHD IPS 17.3-inch displays with 144Hz refresh rates for blur- and tear-free gameplay. NVIDIA G-SYNC technology is supported on both the built-in display and external monitors, allowing for buttery-smooth imagery without tearing or stuttering. For those looking for maximum gaming immersion, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, and display and HDMI 2.0 ports support up to three external monitors. Two speakers, a subwoofer, and Acer TrueHarmony and Waves MAXXAudio technology deliver incredible sound and hyper-realistic 3D audio using Waves Nx.

The Helios 500 stays cool with two of Acer’s proprietary AeroBlade 3D metal fans, and five heat pipes that distribute cool air to the machine’s key components while simultaneously releasing hot air. Fan speed can be controlled and customized through the PredatorSense app.

A backlit RGB keyboard offers four lighting zones with support for up to 16.8 million colors. Anti-ghosting technology provides the ultimate control for executing complex commands and combos, which can be set up via five dedicated programmable keys.

Acer’s PredatorSense app can be used to control and monitor the notebook’s vitals from one central interface, including overclocking, lighting, hotkeys, temperature, and fan control.

Predator Helios 300 Special Edition brings a sophisticated design twist to gaming notebooks

Acer’s budget-friendly Helios 300 gaming line sees the addition of a Special Edition model featuring an all-white aluminum chassis accented with gold trim, an unusually chic design for gaming notebooks.

The Helios 300 Special Edition (PH315-51) allows for ultra-smooth gameplay via its 15.6-inch FHD IPS display with an upgraded 144Hz refresh rate. The rapid refresh rate shortens frame rendering time and lowers input lag to give gamers an excellent in-game experience. It’s powered by up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ processor, overclockable GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, up to a 512 GB PCIe Gen 3 NVMe solid state drive, and up to a 2 TB hard disk drive.

The Helios 300 Special Edition also comes equipped with up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory, and is upgradable to 32GB. Intel Optane memory speeds up load times of games and applications, access to information and improves overall system responsiveness. In addition, Gigabit Ethernet provides fast wired connections, while Gigabit Wi-Fi is provided by the latest Intel Wireless-AC 9560 that delivers up to 1.73Gbps throughput when using 160 MHz channels (2×2 802.11ac, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz).

The Helios 300 Special Edition also includes two of Acer’s ultrathin (0.1 mm) all-metal AeroBlade 3D fans designed with advanced aerodynamics and superior airflow to keep the system cool. They can be controlled with Acer’s PredatorSense app, which offers three usage modes:

1. Coolboost mode:

For heavy loading games, rendering, streaming, and extended video consumption

2. Normal mode:

For productivity tools like Microsoft Office

3. Silent mode:

For web browsing and online chatting

Price and Availability

Predator Helios 500 will be available in South Africa in June starting at R34 999.00

Helios 300 Special Edition will be available in South Africa in August 2018. Exact Price will be communicated closer to the time.

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LG G7 arrives in SA

LG this week introduced South Africa to its latest premium smartphone, the LG G7 ThinQ, focused on bringing useful and convenient AI features to the smartphone experience.

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Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, the LG G7 ThinQ offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage to run demanding tasks and apps with. It is equipped with a 6.1-inch Super Bright Display, but the LG G7 ThinQ remains compact enough to use with one hand.

Sporting a new design aesthetic for the G series, the polished metal rim gives the LG G7 ThinQ a sleeker, more refined look, complemented by Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and the back for enhanced durability. Rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, the LG G7 ThinQ is also awarded MIL-STD 810 c certification, having been subjected to a range of extreme temperature and environment tests designed by the United States military.

The LG G7 ThinQ has an 8MP camera up front, rendering clear and natural selfies, with two 16MP cameras at the back that deliver higher resolution photos with more detail, as well as a Super Wide Angle configuration.

As with other leading brands, LG has evolved its signature camera by including AI functionality. The AI CAM offers 19 shooting modes for intelligence-optimised shots. Users can also improve their photos by choosing from an additional three effect options should the AI CAM recommendation not suit their taste.

The new Super Bright Camera captures images that are up to four times brighter than typical photos shot in dim light. Through the combination of pixel binning and software processing, the AI algorithm adjusts the camera settings automatically when shooting in low light.

Live Photo Mode records one second before and after the shutter is pressed for snippets of unexpected moments or expressions that would normally be missed. Stickers uses face recognition to generate fun 2D and 3D overlays, such as sunglasses and headbands, that can be viewed directly on the display.

New to the G series is Portrait Mode, which generates professional-looking shots with out-of-focus backgrounds. This effect can be generated using both front and rear standard lenses as well as the rear Super Wide Angle lens.

LG G7 ThinQ offers further AI functionality with the inclusion of Google Lens features. Google Lens is a new way to search using the AI and computer vision. Google Assistant and Google Photos allow users to access more information on objects such as landmarks, plants, animals, and books. It can identify text or visit websites, add business cards to contacts, events to the calendar or look up an item on a restaurant menu.

A button just below the volume keys launches the AI functionality. A single tap of this button launches the Google Assistant, while two quick taps launches Google Lens. Users can also hold down the button to start talking to the Google Assistant without the repetition of the OK Google command.

With Super Far Field Voice Recognition (SFFVR) and the highly-sensitive G7ThinQ microphone, the Google Assistant can recognise voice commands from up to five meters away. SFFVR is able to separate commands from background noise, making the LG G7 ThinQ an alternative to a home AI speaker, even when the TV is on. Commands for the Google Assistant have been increased in the LG G7 ThinQ so users can get more done with their voice alone.

“The LG G7 ThinQ is strongly focused on the fundamentals and its launch marks a new chapter for our company,” said Deon Prinsloo, General Manager for Mobile Communication, LG Electronics S.A Pty Ltd. “Through the combination of personalised and useful AI functionalities with meaningful smartphone features, this is LG’s most convenient and in the moment smartphone yet.”

Key Specifications

  • Mobile Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform
  • Display: 6.1-inch QHD+ 19.5:9 FullVision Super Bright Display (3120 x 1440 / 564ppi)
  • Memory:
    • LG G7 ThinQ: 4GB LPDDR4x RAM / 64GB UFS 2.1 ROM / MicroSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera:
    • Rear Dual: 16MP Super Wide Angle (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP Standard Angle (F1.6 / 71°)
    • Front: 8MP Wide Angle (F1.9 / 80°)
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Size: 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 162g
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.0 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible)
  • Colours: New Aurora Black
  • Others: Super Bright Display / New Second Screen / AI CAM / Super Bright Camera / Super Far Field Voice Recognition / Boombox Speaker / Google Lens / AI Haptic / Hi-Fi Quad DAC / DTS:X 3D Surround Sound / IP68 Water and Dust Resistance / HDR10 / Google Assistant Key / Face Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Technology / Wireless Charging / MIL-STD 810G Compliant / FM Radio
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