The Good SkyBell’s latest $199 Wi-Fi doorbell has a 1080p high-definition resolution, on-demand clip recording and free video storage, as well as an IFTTT channel and integration with Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit and Google/Alphabet’s Nest.
The Bad There’s no Web interface, it doesn’t work directly with Samsung’s SmartThings or Wink, and you can’t tweak push alert settings or the quality of the video resolution in the app.
The Bottom Line The SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell’s 1080p resolution and array of third-party integrations set it apart from the pack, including August’s impressive Doorbell Cam.
SkyBell’s $199 US-0nly HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell caught me off guard. The previous SkyBell buzzer I reviewed was all right, but lacked a handful of major features. It didn’t have HD video, it didn’t work with third-party products, and you couldn’t record or save video clips.
But the startup’s next-gen doorbell is upping the ante in a very real way, with features competitive with the all-new (and noticeably pricier) $249 Ring Video Doorbell Pro. Specifically, the latest SkyBell comes complete with a 1080p resolution, on-demand live streaming and free clip storage, as well as integrations with Amazon’s Alexa and Google/Alphabet’s Nest. It also has its own IFTTT channel.
Tack on its responsiveness and straightforward app interface and you end up with an unexpected leader in the burgeoning smart doorbell category. The SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell is definitely worth consideration, especially if you aren’t sold on August’s Doorbell Cam and its other brand-exclusive smart home accessories.
SkyBell’s newest buzzer is a smarter door…
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Pretty, pretty SkyBell
With a rounded design measuring 2.8 inches by 2.8 inches and a depth of 0.9 inch, SkyBell’s HD doorbell looks virtually identical to the previous model. I like the style of this doorbell, though, so that’s a good thing. Plus, you can get it in either brushed aluminum or oil-rubbed bronze for matching it to the other hardware in your home, HGTV-style.
In other smart doorbell news:
- Knock, knock: August’s Doorbell Cam helps you see who’s there
- The second-gen SkyBell is one stealthy door buzzer
- Is Ring a better smart buzzer for your buck?
- You won’t have to guess who’s coming to dinner with these smart doorbells
- DoorBird takes on other Wi-Fi-enabled smart buzzers
- Pro version of the Ring Video Doorbell swaps flexibility for refinement
The issue arises at install time. At nearly 3 inches wide, this thing is not going to fit on every door frame. And, since it requires a hard-wired set up to work, you’ll have to relocate your existing doorbell wiring for a more permanent, tidy-looking install (unless you don’t mind your doorbell hanging into your doorway).
This isn’t unique to SkyBell. August’s $199 Doorbell Cam clocks in at 2.9 inches wide, and the $199 Ring Video Doorbell measures 2.43 inches. It’s as if every smart doorbell brand was searching for a way to differentiate itself from your everyday buzzer that’s small and rectangular and unobtrusive. But, these in-your-face designs aren’t particularly door-frame-friendly. It’s little wonder, then, that Ring’s newest model, the Video Doorbell Pro, looks a lot more doorbell-y at just 1.85 inches wide.
Despite the whole doorframe overhang issue, the SkyBell HD was simple to install. Just switch off power to your doorbell, remove your old buzzer and attach the existing wires to the included SkyBell mounting plate. If you aren’t rerouting wiring to a new location (which could require a specialized drill if you’re installing it on a brick facade or some other tough surface), all you really need is a Phillips-head screwdriver, which SkyBell includes in the box.
Note: This unit will only work with a hard-wired system and is easiest to install with a traditional mechanical chime. SkyBell does also provide a digital door chime adapter, but that requires some additional effort. Check out this tutorial video for more information.
The Good The $3,099 Samsung NE58K9850WG has Wi-Fi, so you can control some of the oven’s functions with a surprisingly responsive app. The range is also equipped with a Flex Duo insert that gives you double-oven capabilities, and it’s all wrapped in a stylish black stainless steel finish.
The Bad The range’s cooking performance is average at best, and the app can get finicky.
The Bottom Line The Samsung NE58K9850WG will give you a lot of bragging rights and the upper hand on connected large kitchen appliances. But it would be worthwhile to wait and see if Samsung can get rid of its Wi-Fi kinks and put connectivity in a range that performs better.
More Samsung ranges
- Samsung NE59J7850WS freestanding electric range
- Samsung NE58H9970WS slide-in induction range
- Samsung NX58H9500WS slide-in gas range
I’ve gotta give it up for Samsung — it knows how to make a bold statement in the kitchen. The Korean electronics juggernaut’s large appliances first caught our eye in 2013 when we reviewed the Samsung NE58F9710WS and its Flex Duo insert, a feature that turned a single oven cavity into a double oven. Then the company added a virtual flame to its induction cooktops to help home cooks visually adjust to this electromagnetic method of cooking. And at CES 2016, Samsung introduced the world to its line of Wi-Fi-connected ranges that was supposed to let you control the oven and monitor the cooktop from an app.
One of those Wi-Fi ranges, the Samsung NE58K9850WG, lives up to much of the hype that I’ve come to expect from a Samsung kitchen appliance. The $3,099 range’s wireless connectivity works better than I anticipated with Samsung’s Smart Home app to give you a surprising amount of control over what happens in your oven. The range is a showpiece thanks to its unique black stainless steel finish, backlit knobs and slide-in design. And the Samsung NE58K9850WG comes with the Flex Duo insert and optional double door that provides even more versatility than when we first saw the insert in 2013.
Samsung Wi-Fi oven delivers average cooking…
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Unfortunately, this is the part of the review at which I stop singing its praises. The range’s cook times and test results were just OK, a lackluster assessment when you consider the powerful first impression this appliance makes. And even though the app is responsive once you’re set up and actively using it, I had problems setting the app up, and it can get finicky if you’ve been away for a while. My lab tests revealed what the Samsung NE58K9850WG really is:
an average range hiding behind flashy upgrades
I’m sure folks who are chomping at the bit for the latest smart home appliances will be eager to buy this Samsung range. But Wi-Fi ovens are still a relatively new innovation that need some perfecting. Wait for Samsung to (hopefully) improve the performance of its Wi-Fi ranges and work out the app’s kinks. Not brand-loyal to Samsung? Hold out to see how well the Whirlpool Smart Front Control Range performs when it debuts this year. And if you don’t need Wi-Fi, consider similar slide-in electric models that have better cooking performance but no connectivity, such as the Samsung NE58H9970WS induction range or the KitchenAid KSEG950ESS slide-in range.
Stainless steel goes to the dark side
The Samsung NE58K9850WG’s appearance lives up to what you’d expect from a $3,100 appliance. This is the first range I’ve tested with a black stainless steel finish, an option that brands such as KitchenAid, LG and GE have rolled out as an alternative to fingerprint-prone stainless steel. I still had to wipe away smudges during the course of testing the Samsung, but its dark finish made the range stand out in a test lab full of standard stainless steel.
In pictures, this Samsung’s black stainless steel finish doesn’t look much different than normal stainless steel. In person, the exterior is a dark, smoky gray.
Other than the finish, this electric range’s appearance is similar to what we’ve come to expect in the above-$1,500 price category: a 30-inch-wide, slide-in model with burner knobs on the front of the unit (the better to show off your fancy backsplash) and a wide touchscreen panel that controls the oven. The burner knobs are surrounded by cool blue LED lights that make it easy to see at a glance which burner is in use, a nice touch that rounds out its high-end design.
As I mentioned earlier, the NE58K9850WG comes with a Flex Duo insert that you slide onto the oven’s fifth rack position. This separates the oven into two separate cooking zones that you can set to different cooking modes and temperatures. The oven door is also hinged in the middle, so you can open just the top portion of the oven when the Flex Duo partition is in place. Overall, this is a great tool if you want the flexibility of double-oven cooking without a long-term commitment to a true double oven.
Verizon has started rolling out Marshmallow to the LG G Pad X8.3. Bumping the software version on the tablet up to VK81522A, those with the G Pad X8.3 will be able to enjoy new features and functionality as part of the Android release.
If you haven’t yet received the Marshmallow OTA notification, fear not as you’ll be able to check manually by heading into your tablet’s Settings. Note that the rollout is likely to be a gradual process, so you may have to hold out for a short time before the update hits your device.
Add new functions to your LG G5 by attaching custom modules!
With the LG G5 they introduced an interesting new design feature. The G5 could become the most customizable smartphone available thanks to its modular design. This will allow you to swap in more advanced parts to your phone for specialized functions like photography or playing music. Will there be an upcoming module you will fall in love with?
- What are modules?
- What modules are available now?
- What modules will be available soon?
- Should you invest in modules?
What are modules?
Modules are attachments which add new or expanded capabilities to your LG G5. LG has created an accessories category for the G5 called “Friends.” Every module is a Friend; however, not every Friend is a module. The tech accessories for the G5 include modular devices that can be swapped on and off of the phone and non-modular companions like the LG Rolling Bot (a 360 degree camera) and the LG 360 VR headset.
If you’re looking for current, first-party modules available for your LG G5, your options are limited at this point.
What modules are available now?
Currently there is only one LG G5 module available.
LG CAM PLUS
The LG G5 CAM PLUS module makes your phone feel and function more like a professional, dedicated camera. The module snaps into place on the bottom of the G5 and introduces physical keys for functions like shooting, recording, and focusing, as well as a zoom wheel. The camera module is very lightweight, adding just under two ounces to your phone, and has a specially designed back to improve your grip while snapping photos. While this module won’t actually improve the already great camera on the G5, it will make it easier to manage functions when taking photos.
Which modules will be available soon?
Being able to add function to your phone is something that LG and third party developers will likely expand on. At the moment the most popular additional module is an audio enhancement one from Bang and Olufsen to bring Hi-Fi audio to your G5.
LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play
The Hi-Fi Plus module was designed in collaboration with Bang and Olufsen (B&O) to add high quality audio playing capabilities to the LG G5. While the G5 has great speakers out of the box, the B&O module delivers audio with less background noise and less interference from environmental factors. No release date for North America is known at the moment, but we recently got our hands on the European model for in-depth testing. At the end of the day, this module is meant for audiophiles. If you like the current sound of your G5 or stream music over bluetooth, this is a module you can do without.
LG 360 VR and the LG 360 CAM
LG is providing an introduction to VR with two upcoming accessories: the LG 360 VR and the LG 360 CAM.
The LG 360 VR is a lightweight VR visor with built-in screens allowing you to enjoy VR by connecting to your G5 for processing via USB-C cable. This is meant to be an entry-level point into VR (closer to the Samsung VR than the HTC Vive but is a neat way to experience VR on a budget if you already own the phone.
The LG 360 CAM allows you to capture images or video in 360 degrees to view on VR devices. Like the LG VR visor, this is an entry-level camera, so you can expect smartphone-quality video and audio to be recorded to your microSD card. Pricing and release date aren’t known yet, so until then, check out our review of the LG 360 VR and CAM.
Should you invest in modules?
Overall the modules are nice to have, but not essential. Your G5 will work awesome right out of the box. The above-mentioned modules and other soon to be released Friends like the Rolling Bot home monitoring system and Tone Platinum headphones could give you new ways to use your phone, but are not essential for every G5 owner. If you are looking to pick up the latest modules, you can find a retailer based on your location through the LG website.
- LG G5 review
- LG 360 CAM review
- LG G5 complete specs
- LG’s G5 Friends modules are a neat idea, but they won’t matter
- LG G5 Hi-Fi Plus w/ B&O
- Join the LG G5 discussion
Netflix is rolling out an update to its Android app with some new controls that will give subscribers to its video streaming service more control over its use of data on cellular networks.
In a blog post, Netflix says the new “Cellular Data Usage” section can be found in the App Settings menu of the app:
The default setting will enable you to stream about 3 hours of TV shows and movies per gigabyte of data. In terms of bitrates, that currently amounts to about 600 Kilobits per second. Our testing found that, on cellular networks, this setting balances good video quality with lower data usage to help avoid exceeding data caps and incurring overage fees. If you have a mobile data plan with a higher data cap, you can adjust this setting to stream at higher bitrates. Our goal is to give you more control and greater choice in managing your data usage whether you’re on an unlimited mobile plan or one that’s more restrictive.
Netflix says this new feature is just for using the app on cellular networks; Wi-Fi streaming settings are not affected.
Netflix has introduced a new feature to its mobile app that will allow greater control of data usage when streaming over networks.
The new Netflix tool will allow you to decide how much data is used up per hour of streaming. While the app did previously offer smart data controls when on network connections, it didn’t offer this depth of control.
In the default setting the app will stream three hours of shows and films using a single gigabyte of data. That, Netflix points out, is about 600 kilobits per second in terms of quality. So if you have a large phone with high-resolution display, or tablet, then you might want to push that higher – which you now can choose to do.
The Unlimited resolution setting can use up to 1GB of data every 20 minutes depending on device and network speed.
This setting only applies to streaming over networks and will not work when using Wi-Fi, this reverts back to the best quality available on the network.
To control these settings simply navigate to the Settings section in your Netflix app and choose Cellular Data Useage to activate and pick your data limit.
READ: Which is the best movie streaming service in the UK?
As of yesterday, Channel 5 HD is now in the line-up of free-to-air high definition stations. It has been added to the Freeview electronic programme guide and is available to all TVs, set-top-boxes and entertainment devices that support Freeview HD.
Freeview HD viewers can find it on channel listing 105.
The high definition version of the UK’s fifth major terrestrial TV channel has been available on other platforms, including Sky, Virgin Media and YouView, but Freeview viewers have only been able to watch Channel 5 content in standard definition until now.
Freeview boss Guy North also suggests that more HD channels will be launched in the future. “Freeview aims to provide the best in British TV to audiences free from subscription, and Channel 5 HD is a fantastic addition to our high definition line-up,” he said.
“Our HD offering continues to grow with the biggest channels and I’m sure Channel 5 HD will prove hugely popular with viewers.”
You should already be able to access the free HD version of Channel 5 but if not, try rescanning for extra digital channels on your box or television.
Channel 5 carries shows such as Gotham, the return of The X-Files, and a wide selection of kids TV on Milkshake in the mornings, so there should be plenty of HD content to watch.
Just when you thought you couldn’t afford a Land Rover, the company has started work on its own smartphone that will, hopefully, be more attainable.
Jaguar Land Rover has teamed up with the British company, Bullitt Group, who has worked with JCB and Caterpillar to create smartphones in the past. The team up will not only mean a Land Rover smartphone is coming but a range of accessories too.
Land Rover has put its name to phones in the past like the S1, S2 and A9 – all of which were essentially tough phones made by Sonim. Now that Land Rover has shown off its cars being driven by smartphone apps we’re hoping for something much more advanced.
Jaguar Land Rover has already revealed its app toting smart infotainment system in its cars, InControl Touch Pro, which works with phone apps. The company told Pocket-lint it is working with plenty of companies at the moment to develop bespoke apps – perhaps it’s own phone to help that transition makes sense.
Since Bullitt has worked on Android in the past we’d expect an Android Land Rover smartphone to arrive for the early 2017 release.
Jaguar recently released its F-Pace which features a wearable wrist band. This is a water-resistant device that allows the wearer to leave keys in the car, go swimming say, and still get access when they return. Perhaps the accessories that are going to come out of this new partnership will not only work with the Land Rover phone but its cars also.
Expect to hear more on the Land Rover smartphone and accessories ahead of their release in early 2017.
READ: Jaguar F-Pace first drive: Aspirational yet attainable
As suddenly as Craig Wright declared himself the creator of Bitcoin, he now says that he won’t attempt to prove it. In a strange blog post, the man who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto says that “I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage.” He went on to say that the recent attacks on his qualification and character have taken a toll, and “I now know that I am not strong enough for this.”
Wright came out as Satoshi Nakamoto to the BBC, Economist and GQ after his home was raided by Australian police, but his “proof” was quickly attacked. Redditors and researchers pointed out that the signature he revealed was just a copy of one used in a Satoshi Bitcoin transaction from 2009 that can be found by a simple Google search. Furthermore, the Bitcoin Foundation’s chief scientist, Gavin Andresen, originally was “convinced beyond a reasonable doubt” that Wright was Satoshi, but now says the statement was a mistake.
To quell doubts, Wright promised “extraordinary” evidence he was Bitcoin’s creator by moving a coin from an early block. It doesn’t appear he’s going to do that anymore, either because he can’t or won’t. That means the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains an open question, and if anything, the situation is even murkier.
Source: Dr. Craig Wright
NextVR just announced its virtual reality broadcasting tech will bring live concerts home in a partnership with Live Nation, and today it’s announcing a team-up with Time Inc. Life Magazine has historically provided a peek into different areas of the world via photojournalism, and the new Life VR project will offer “immersive, next-level storytelling” from Time Inc. media properties like Time Magazine, People, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly. Word of the launch came at today’s NewFronts event in NYC, and the two say it should result in three to five VR events each year, available in the NextVR app.
Starting the morning off right with a little @TimeInc VR immersive experience fun #NewFronts pic.twitter.com/tqVZJS4B6F
— iab (@iab) May 5, 2016