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DJI’s Osmo Mobile 3: Best smartphone gimbal available

For enthusiasts who are recording video with their smartphones, DJI’s Osmo Mobile 3 offers the best experience on the market for a reasonable price. BRYAN TURNER reviewed the gimbal.

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The leader in stabilisation technology has returned with the third generation of its Mobile series gimbal.  

What’s a gimbal? 

A gimbal is a stabiliser, originally used in compass technology to keep a compass steady for navigation. It works by keeping the mounted device steady wirh rings that rotate along the x-, y-, and z- axes. The result? One can shake the device without seeing that there was shaking. This is very useful for video recordings. 

DJI has improved on the gimbal technology by implementing motors within the device to make it controllable by a joystick on the front. The motors are also used to track moving subjects when shooting videos. This becomes very useful for keeping the subject in frame while the videographers are watching where they’re running. 

My Samsung phone has Super Steady so I don’t need this 

Not so fast. The technology in Samsung’s Super Steady and DJI’s Mobile 3 are fundamentally different, which also means that one of these technologies is superior to the other. Samsung’s Super Steady technology makes use of predictive models to identify how much the videographer is shaking. It then uses software and some artificial intelligence to stabilise the video.  This method is repairing the video, as opposed to preventing problems.  

The Osmo Mobile 3, on the other hand, performs stabilisation on a hardware level. This means users shoot video that’s not corrected after the fact, and rather video that’s stabilised as it is shot. This results in one of the purest forms of video. It also means users don’t have to shoot with the DJI app to get stable videos.  

The review 

We tested the gimbal under various situations with different smartphones. The main devices we used were the iPhone XR and Nokia 4.2. Before anything, users need to set the gimbal up with the DJI MIMO app, which is available on the App Store for iPhone and Play Store for Google. 

The device came with a hard-shell fabric case and a tripod stand. It folds up on two axes to fit into the bag, and notches on the gimbal guide the user about which direction to bend the arms towards. It costs around R1,900, depending on where you buy it. 

When unfolded, the front of the handle had two buttons, record and mode, with a joystick to move the mounted smartphone. On the left side is the zoom toggle, which works better on smartphones with zoom lenses as opposed to smartphones that make use of digital zoom. A trigger button on the back of the device is used for holding the video steady when shooting. On the right side, a flap covers a USB port that can be used to charge the mounted phone if it’s running out of battery.

In the DJI Mimo app, users can find the camera mode which allows for additional intelligent control of the gimbal. One can drag and drop a box around the subject in frame, and the gimbal will remain focused on that subject, whether it moves or the cameraperson moves. We were extremely impressed at how well the DJI MIMO software and Osmo Mobile 3 hardware worked with each other. Adjusting settings on the screen and seeing the gimbal do the work is really amazing.

The camera modes make this gimbal stand out, especially when used with the tripod. Neither the iPhone XR and Nokia 4.2 have wide-angle lenses, but the DJI’s wide-angle mode fixes that by stitching together 9 photos at different angles. It also features a panorama mode that works a lot better than the built-in panorama modes of smartphones.

Video – its primary purpose – is extremely stable, even with deliberately shaking the device around while recording. We were extremely impressed with the footage we recorded on the device and would recommend it to any content creators looking to up their smartphone recording capabilities.

Overall, the Osmo Mobile 3 is one of the most impressive gimbals on the market, not only in its rich feature set but also in its affordable pricing.

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Wearable adapts body to stress

Apollo Neuroscience has introduced the first wearable that actively helps one’s body beat stress, for better sleep and energy.

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While other wearables track the body, Apollo is the first to empower its users to change it by delivering gentle waves of vibration, clinically shown to rapidly restore the  body’s natural equilibrium.

Developed by physicians and neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh, Apollo’s gentle waves of vibration improve heart rate variability (HRV), a key metric of health and recovery. These “safety signals” help engage the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in improved heart rate variability (HRV), sleep, focus, calm, energy, and more. Apollo says it works fast to offer users control over their stress.

“Chronic daily stress can have a profound, disruptive effect on our bodies and result in harmful symptoms including insomnia, anxiety-disorders, chronic pain, cognitive dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease,” says Dr David Rabin, co-inventor of the Apollo technology and chief innovation officer and co-founder at Apollo Neuroscience. “Apollo is the only technology that actually improves HRV and accelerates your body’s recovery from stress so you can feel energised, focused, and sleep better.”

Apollo works in tandem with an intuitive app for iOS and Android. Users can choose from a variety of Apollo programs to target and achieve goals in specific areas, including:

  •  Energy – Gives users a boost of energy when they’re feeling tired and sluggish.
  •  Focus – Filters out distraction and settles one’s nerves for clear, calm focus.
  •  Mindfulness – Prepares one for meditation by facilitating connection between mind and body.
  •  Relaxation – Rapidly relieves stress for deep relaxation.
  •  Sleep – Quiets the mind and eases one into restful sleep.
  •  Social – Elevates mood and energy for social situations.
  •  Recover – Accelerates one’s body’s recovery after a workout.

Apollo has been evaluated clinically in university-led trials, has undergone successful pilots to prevent burnout in the workplace, and has had over 2000 early users, with consistent results across the board. Over 90 percent of users reported enhanced productivity, focus and sleep when using Apollo.

“Many devices track your HRV and monitor your sleep, but do nothing to improve them. That’s where Apollo comes in,” says Kathryn Fantauzzi, chief executive officer and co-founder, Apollo Neuroscience. “We’re delivering the first wearable experience that actively improves your body’s resilience to stress, so you can have more energy, feel more relaxed, and get more sleep. Apollo’s mission is to democratize neuroscience discoveries to empower people to take control of their health.”

Apollo is made in the USA and comes with a one-year warranty. It features a versatile design that can be worn on the wrist or ankle and is available in 2 colors: stealth and silver. Apollo is waterproof, Bluetooth-enabled, and offers a powerful battery with up to three days in between charges.

Apollo is now available for preorder for an all-inclusive price of $199(for a $360 value). Customers receive the Apollo wearable along with access to the free app with seven goal-based programs, new features and software upgrades, exclusive content, and advanced access to new accessories and exclusive discounts. Shipping of the Apollo wearable will commence in January 2020.

Apollo can be purchased directly at apolloneuro.com.

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Huawei launches WiFi router with powerline connectivity

The new router by Huawei, the WiFi Q2 Pro, features PLC Turbo technology that sends data signal over power lines for more signal in one’s home.

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Huawei has launched a new Wi-Fi router, the Huawei WiFi Q2 Pro, which is the first hybrid home PLC (power line connectivity) and Wi-Fi System. This router reduces common problems experienced with other Wi-Fi routers, such as weak signal strength, poor coverage and slow connection speeds. 

The Huawei WiFi Q2 Pro three-pack hybrid utilises both mesh Wi-Fi technology and PLC turbo technology – which combines the best of both worlds. This hybrid consists of a main station and two secondary routers. The secondary stations can be plugged into a wall socket anywhere around the home to cover areas of poor signal and bring full-speed broadband to that location.

Wide-reaching connectivity with PLC Turbo technology

The PLC Turbo technology differs from traditional PLC modems, as it has a three-pin plug, which means the modem is less affected by electromagnetic interference from other household appliances. The Q2 Pro can also monitor interference from neighbouring Wi-Fi networks in real time and automatically switch the user’s Wi-Fi network to channels with the least interference.

In addition, PLC networking addresses the issue that Wi-Fi signal strength decreases significantly when it passes through walls, as PLC networking does not have to go through walls. This can help maintain excellent broadband speeds of up to 200Mps in every corner of the home, reducing frustrations related to a loss of signal and intermittent Wi-Fi coverage when moving around your house. 

Simply plug and play for full coverage

The router can be configured through the use of the Huawei AI Life app. Users can plug in the device, and the WiFi Q2 Pro’s secondary routers will automatically sync the Wi-Fi network’s name and password from the base router, ensuring an easier set up.

Users with very large homes, such as bed and breakfast establishments for example, also have the option to further improve the coverage by purchasing additional satellites. One HUAWEI WiFi Q2 Pro base can support up to 15 secondary routers simultaneously. 

Triple security protection

It also has advanced security features to protect the user’s home from hackers or people who want to covertly use their Wi-Fi. If someone attempts to crack the user’s Wi-Fi password using brute force cracking software, the router will recognise it and automatically blacklist them.

The router also has a Guest Wi-Fi feature, which operates on a completely different channel to a user’s main Wi-Fi network. This protects a user’s main Wi-Fi connection, as it uses a different SSID and password. Users can also disable their guest Wi-Fi network when their guests leave.

The Huawei WiFi Q2 Pro three-pack hybrid is available for R4,999.

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