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Nokia 7.2 front camera scores in mid-range

The Nokia 7.2’s front camera scored fairly well in the latest DxOMark Selfie test, with a good exposure in bright light and under indoor conditions, and a wide dynamic range when HDR mode triggers.

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DxOMark tested the Nokia 7.2, a mid-range model in the Finnish manufacturer’s smartphone lineup, featuring a large 6.3-inch IPS display with FHD+ resolution and a triple main camera. The Android 9 mobile operating system is powered by a Snapdragon 660 chipset. The front selfie camera, which is the subject of this review, combines a 20MP image sensor with an f/2.0-aperturefixed-focus lens and is capable of recording 1080p Full-HD video at 30 frames per second.

Key front camera specifications:

• 20MP sensor
• f/2.0-aperture lens
• 1080p/30fps video

DxOMark is the trusted industry standard for smartphone and digital camera tests and ratings. It performs scientific tests to evaluate image and audio quality from an end-user perspective.

DxOMark provided the following analysis:

With a DxOMark Selfie score of 78, the Nokia 7.2 is in the bottom half of its current front camera ranking, on a similar level to the Sony Xperia 1 or to an older device like the Google Pixel 2. The Nokia device scores 81 for Photo and overall is capable of achieving decent results in good conditions. However, there’s also plenty of room for improvement, especially in terms of exposure, stability, flash performance, and bokeh mode.

The Nokia 7.2 usually delivers good exposure in bright light, but colors often look washed out.

Target exposure tends to be accurate until light levels get too low; and the Nokia’s front camera images also show decent dynamic range with good highlight and shadow detail when HDR mode kicks in. Detail is good in bright light and under typical indoor conditions. However, exposure instabilities are noticeable between shots and color is desaturated on many images, making for a slightly dull look.

Noise is also visible in pretty much all shooting conditions, and a narrow depth of field means background objects and subjects at the back of a group shot won’t be in focus. Subjects are soft even at typical selfie-stick shooting distances. Our testers also found a variety of unwanted artifacts in our test samples, including ghosting, halos, and hue shift on faces.

Nokia 7.2, crop, limited depth of field 

The Nokia’s flash function is best reserved for emergencies, as flash images show strong color and exposure instabilities, heavy noise, and low levels of detail, resulting in one of the lowest flash scores to date. The Nokia also scores low for its bokeh simulation. Bokeh images have no blur gradient, resulting in an unnatural look, and also show strong halo artifacts as well as unnaturally rendered spotlights in the background.

The Nokia 7.2 front camera’s performance in video mode earns it a Video score of 74. The 1080p video footage shows good texture and detail as well as accurate target exposure when recording outdoors in bright light and indoors. Image stabilization is fairly effective at counteracting camera shake as well, but exposure and white balance instabilities can make some clips difficult to use. DxOMark also observed some inaccurate color rendering and noise that tends to be strongest on the first frames of the video and then decreases—but remains visible. The narrow depth of field has the same effects in video mode as it has for stills and image quality is further reduced by such artifacts as color quantization and hue shift on skin tones.

Conclusion

The Nokia 7.2 is a fairly affordable mid-ranger, so you would not expect flagship front camera performance, but better options are available even at its price point. The Nokia is capable of decent image and video results in good conditions, but quality drops off in low light, and there are too many issues overall, including exposure and color instabilities as well as a range of artifacts, to merit recommending the 7.2 to any passionate selfie shooter.

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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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