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3
Nov

Samsung’s bigger, more expensive Gear S3 watches launching in the U.S. Nov 18


The latest Gear smartwatches up the features, but also the price.

Samsung’s new Gear S3 watch line — which comes in both a Frontier and Classic model, the former with optional LTE — is coming to the U.S. starting November 18, with pre-orders kicking off on November 6. After being unveiled back in September at the IFA show in Berlin, we hadn’t heard much about the latest wearables throughout the Note 7 recall saga.

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For a quick refresher, the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier both offer a more traditional look, in line with the Gear S2 Classic from last year, and are much bigger than their predecessors, with 46mm cases, 1.3-inch displays and nearly 13 mm thickness. Both are IP68 water resistant, and the Frontier is constructed for extra ruggedness as well. That also means there isn’t a “sporty” design option anymore, so your only choice there is last-year’s Gear S2, which will remain on sale and get the new Gear S3 software experience.

More: Gear S3 Frontier and Classic specs

That new software experience lets you do even more on the watches, emphasizing the twisting bezel instead of direct tapping on the display. The standalone capabilities go even further if you choose to get the Frontier LTE model, which will be available from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. All Gear S3s will offer GPS inside, as well as more RAM and beefier batteries, adding an extra day of use over previous models and offering the Frontier LTE model the same use as the old non-cellular version.

Prices and sizes have both gone up with the Gear S3.

The Gear S3 also incorporates Samsung Pay functionality, including the Samsung-exclusive MST tech that lets you use the watch on traditional card swipe payment terminals.

We don’t have a full slate of pricing for the Classic, Frontier and Frontier LTE, but we do know the lowest-end Gear S3 will set you back $349. That’s the same starting price as the Gear S2 Classic last year, and a bit of a relief as we initially expected the prices to be even higher — though chances are the Gear S3 Frontier with LTE will be considerably more expensive than any Gear S2.

Samsung hasn’t announced individual retail partnerships, but you can of course expect Samsung’s own store and a wide variety of stores to carry the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic, just like last year’s models.

Press release:

Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Blends Distinctive Design with Enhanced Connectivity

US Preorder Begins November 6 – Available Starting November 18

RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ – November 3, 2016 – Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today announced the forthcoming preorder availability of Gear S3 LTE and Bluetooth models, a striking and innovative smartwatch that further solidifies Samsung as a leader in connected wearables. The cutting-edge timepiece will be available in two designs – the rugged Gear S3 frontier, and the sleek Gear S3 classic. Starting at $349.99, Gear S3 will be available at retailers including Best Buy, Amazon, Macy’s and Samsung.com, as well as participating wireless providers.

“Consumers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of a smartwatch that operates even without their phone,” said Gary Riding, senior vice president of Product Marketing at Samsung Electronics America. “With the LTE capability of Gear S3 it is easy to make or receive phone calls and read or reply to texts and notifications, so they can stay connected while leaving their phone behind.”

Distinct Design and Intuitive User Interface

Available in two designs, “frontier” and “classic,” and featuring the distinctive rotating bezel, the Gear S3 joins Samsung’s diverse portfolio of wearables. The Gear S3 showcases a design perfected by Swiss watch designer Yvan Arpa. The sophisticated design is combined with IP68 water and dust resistance1 and military-grade durability to protect against extreme temperatures, scratches and impact, making it the ideal smartwatch for the toughest conditions. Consumers can also customize their Gear S3 to fit their lifestyle or mood, thanks to thousands of available watch faces and the ability to swap out the band for any standard 22mm offering.

First Wearable with MST Payment Capabilities

The Gear S3 puts convenience at your wrist, with Samsung Pay providing the ability to make mobile payments virtually anywhere you can tap or swipe a credit or debit card. With Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC) support built-in, Gear S3 users will be able to make a purchase with Samsung Pay which is widely accepted across the U.S. Samsung Pay on Gear S3 protects credit card information with the same advanced security as Samsung Pay on a Galaxy phone, using tokenization, Knox and PIN protection.2

Enhanced Connectivity

The LTE version of the Gear S3 frontier enables wearers to receive calls, texts and alerts, listen to music, track fitness routes or download apps even when their phone isn’t nearby. With all models featuring a built-in speaker and microphone, even the BT version allows consumers to make and answer calls – without ever having to reach for their phone.3

Built-in GPS adds to the connectivity, empowering wearers to easily monitor their daily fitness activities and share their location with friends or in the event of an emergency with safety functions like the SOS feature. The S Health app makes it simple to not only track activity and heart rate, but also to set goals, post results and check leaderboards

Used as a standalone device, or as part of the Samsung Galaxy ecosystem, the Gear S3 offers an all-in-one wearable experience that seamlessly fits into – and enhances – any lifestyle.

The LTE4 version of the Gear S3 frontier will be available from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Wireless providers will share availability and pricing.

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3
Nov

Zeraph Flo review: A smart thermometer worth keeping in your bag


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Is the convenience of a smart thermometer worth the price?

Smart thermometers may seem like something you don’t need to spend the extra money on, but they can be pretty handy when done right. Unlike traditional thermometers, the Flo is quite versatile which makes it even more useful. From the ability to quickly measure someone’s temperature without shoving something in their mouth to being able to tell the temperature of water or other objects all with the same device, you’ll likely find multiple uses for it.

Sure, you can pick up a regular thermometer for like $10 at the drug store, so spending $50 on a “smart” one may seem a bit ridiculous to some, but it can be worth it for a variety of reasons.

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When it comes to the hardware, the Flo is pretty simple. It looks like a keychain and doesn’t have a long thin tip coming out of it. Instead, the end features a sensor that is covered by glass and looks similar to a laser pointer. On the top of it, the Z is the button you press to take a measurement, and near the tip there is an LED that blinks in different colors. Flip it over and you’ll find the battery compartment. It is powered by a replaceable CR2032 battery, which should last for quite a while depending how often you use it.

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The software used here is quite basic, but it gets the job done. The app is easy to understand from the first time that you launch it. You can open it and take a quick, single measurement or you can create profiles for different family members so you can track their temperatures over time.

Setting up profiles is definitely ideal if you will be using it for multiple people — it will store all their previous readings in one place and you don’t have to try and remember what their temperature was at any given time. You can also add notes, pictures and more to each reading so you can always go back and remember what was going on at that given time.

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Given you don’t need to worry about putting the Flo in the mouth in order to use it and get the reading, it also means you won’t have to worry about sanitizing it each time you want to use it. You can take the temperature of multiple people in a row without stopping, resetting, and cleaning before each use. You can also switch it from taking human temperatures to those of objects by pressing and holding the Z for three seconds. The LED will turn purple and then you can see how hot water is, and more.

For all the things that the Flo does great, there are a few things that could be improved upon as well. For instance, pairing it to a phone and realizing when it was paired was not particularly easy. The packaging is very minimalistic and doesn’t come with any instructions in the box. There is a QR code to get additional information, but it would have been nice to have some basic directions in the box as well. It wasn’t immediately clear that all you had to do was point the sensor at your skin and press the button to get the temperature, but once you realize that it becomes extremely easy to use in all situations.

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Overall, the Flo is worth the $50 price tag it carries. Sure, you could grab that $10 one from your local store and carry it around, but that won’t be as easy to use to get the temperature of your fussy kid, or allow you to check in while they are resting without disturbing them. It is more sanitary to use, easy to carry and the battery will last for quite some time.

If you have kids or frequently need to take your own temperature on the go, this is a great addition to any bag you are carrying around.

See at Zeraph

3
Nov

State of the Android Central Survey: Help us help you (and win a free phone!)


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Take a survey, win a phone!

Android Central is a living thing, always evolving to meet the needs of our user base. The past year has been one of transition, and many of you have seen a number of big changes happen to the way we deliver news, reviews, editorials and product recommendations, and how we operate on YouTube and social media.

That’s why we thought it was the right time to ask you to fill out a survey — I know, there have been a few recently — about how we’re doing: what you like, what you don’t and what you’d like to see more of in the future. There are no wrong answers, just an opportunity to give us feedback that we will take to heart. If you’d like to take the survey in its own window, you can do that, too! The whole thing should take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete, depending on how much you choose to share.

To thank you for taking the survey, you have the option of leaving your email address or Mobile Nations username for the chance of winning a free Moto Z! The winner will be contacted directly, and thanks for being a part of the AC community!

3
Nov

Best Ultra Thin Cases for Google Pixel


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What are the best ultra-thin cases for the Google Pixel?

The Google Pixel is a brand new, sleek and stylish phone, so having a big bulky case on it might not be the most ideal thing for those who want to keep the minimalist beauty of the device while still showing it off (and keeping it protected!)

There are plenty of cases to pick from when it come to customizing your Pixel, but with so many options available, which one should you go with? Here are our choices we think you should consider while picking out the best ultra-thin case for your Google Pixel!

  • Pixel Case by Google
  • DGtle Anti-Scratch case
  • Spigen Liquid Crystal case
  • Bear Motion Ultra Slim case
  • Maxboost Liquid Skin case

Pixel Case by Google

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Keep your Pixel protected and secure without the weight and inconvenience with the Pixel Case by Google.

Designed and built with a silicone exterior to provide extra shock absorption from high falls, the Pixel Case by Google comes finished with a high-quality microfibre interior for additional protection. Simply slide on the flexible, yet perfectly-fitting case, and your Pixel is ready to go!

Unlike some minimalist cases that only come clear or in basic colors, Google’s case comes in a number of bright, fun shades to match your sense of style, including grey, blue, green, coral, and peach.

See at the Google Store

DGtle Anti-Scratch case

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With an anti-scratch guarantee and a sleek, ultra-thin design, the DGtle case is another ideal partner for your Pixel if you’re looking for a case that isn’t bulky or cumbersome!

Made from a durable TPU material to protect your Pixel against any outside trauma or force, and designed to be firm, yet flexible, this non-slip DGtle case is a smart minimalist option to consider as you hunt for the perfect case.

The case fits snugly to your Pixel to protect it, and comes in a clear style, or you can also pick and choose from frosted purple, pink, mint, blue, gray, and so many others!

See at Amazon

Spigen Liquid Crystal case

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Protect your Pixel in true minimalist style with the Liquid Crystal case from Spigen.

If you’re looking for a truly ultra-thin case, Spigen has you covered with the Liquid Crystal. The case is made from a clear TPU material and is extremely flexible and lightweight. With some clear cases, smudges and dirt can easily gather on the back of your phone, but Spigen’s inner-dot pattern prevents any grime from muddying up the look of your Pixel.

While the Liquid Crystal only comes in one color (clear), and might look like a bit of a flimsy case, it’s actually voted one of the best Pixel ultra-thin cases out there, so check it out if you’re looking for a reliable option!

See at Amazon

Bear Motion Ultra Slim case

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Snap, secure, and go with the Bear Motion Ultra Slim case for your Pixel!

With full-access to all ports and buttons, the Bear Motion case is a great accessory to partner with your Pixel. While it’s not as protective as other cases on this list, it’s super-slim design is perfect for minimalists who are looking for a simple, stylish look and feel.

This lightweight case will protect your Pixel from small scratches and bumps and comes in five different color choices, including bright red, black, navy blue, gray, and forest green.

See at Amazon

Maxboost Liquid Skin case

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Designed with a durable, flexible material to protect your Pixel from drops and scratches, the Maxboost Liquid Skin case is an ultra-thin option that only adds a mere 1.2mm to the bulk of your phone!

Paired with an anti-scratch coating, full-access to all buttons and ports, and a snug fit, the MaxBoost Liquid Skin case is a great choice to consider for your Pixel. The case is designed from a strengthened material to add additional protection to your phone, too.

The Liquid Skin case also comes with a lifetime warranty, just in case.

See at Amazon

What’s your pick?

Is there a minimalist, ultra-thin Pixel case that you simply cannot get enough of? Have you found the perfect combination of simplicity and protection? Style and functionality?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

3
Nov

The New York Times is free to read for the election


Some things are more important that profit. This election is one of them. As such, the New York Times announced on Thursday that it will eliminate the paywall to its website from November 7th to 9th. This move will give the entire internet, not just NYT subscribers, access to the site’s reporting. The promotion will run 72 hours, from 12:01am Monday through 11:59pm Wednesday. During that time, the NYT plans to broadcast live election election coverage, as well as a Facebook livestream on election night and a call-in show hosted by the crew of the The Run-Up podcast.

Source: New York Times

3
Nov

Huawei Mate 9 vs Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9: What’s the difference?


Huawei announced two new smartphones at an event in Munich in the form of the Mate 9 and the Porsche Design Mate 9, the latter of which will be a “strictly limited edition”.

The two devices succeeded the Mate 8, which launched at the end of last year and although they share the same name, they are considerably different.

Here is how the Huawei Mate 9 compares to its more premium brother, the Porsche Design Mate 9. You can also read our separate feature on how the Mate 9 compares to the Mate 8.

  • Huawei Mate 9 preview

Huawei Mate 9 vs Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9: Design

  • Porsche Design Mate 9 more premium, smaller and lighter
  • Standard Mate 9 comes in more colour options
  • Porsche Design has front-mounted fingerprint sensor, standard model has rear-mounted

The Huawei Mate 9 and Porsche Design Mate 9 might both be part of the Mate family, but they are significantly different in terms of their designs. As you might expect, the Porsche Design Mate 9 offers a more premium build than the standard model, but it also smaller, slimmer and lighter.

The standard Mate 9 measures 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9mm and hits the scales at 190g, while the Porsche Design model measures 152 x 75 x 7.5mm and weighs 169g.

The Porsche Design is a limited edition model, as we mentioned, and it only comes in one colour option: Graphite Black. The standard Mate 9 on the other hand, is available in Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, Ceramic White and Black colour options.

Both devices feature a fingerprint sensor, but they aren’t positioned in the same place. The standard Mate 9 offers a circular rear-mouted fingerprint sensor, while the Porsche Design model puts its fingerprint sensor in the button on the front of the device, like Samsung does. The rear of the Porsche Design model features the Porsche Design logo instead, distinguishing the two Mate 9 devices.

Huawei Mate 9 vs Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9: Display

  • Porsche Design Mate 9 has smaller, sharper and curved display
  • Standard Mate 9 has a larger, flat display with lower resolution 

It isn’t just the design where the two Mate 9 devices differ though. The standard Mate 9 features a 5.9-inch Full HD display for a pixel density of 373ppi, which although is sharper than the preceding Mate 8, it is still quite low for this size device. 

The Porsche Design Mate 9 model reduces the screen size to 5.5-inches, and ups the resolution to Quad HD, putting its pixel density at a much sharper and crisper 534ppi, which is the same as the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

The standard Mate 9 offers 2.5D glass, which makes the screen curve nicely into the frame, like the Apple iPhone 7 does, but the Porsche Design model has a curved display, again like the Galaxy S7 edge. The curved display makes the Porsche Design model that little bit more exciting compared to the standard model and with AMOLED technology, colours should be bright and punchy.

Both the standard Mate 9 and the Porsche Design Mate 9 have 16.7 million colours but the Porsche Design model has a 100 per cent colour saturation compared to the standard Mate 9’s 97 per cent.

  • Huawei Mate 8 vs Huawei Mate 9: What’s the difference?

Huawei Mate 9 vs Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9: Cameras

  • Same cameras across both models
  • Leica partnership present again
  • Higher resolution monochrome sensor than Huawei P9

The cameras on the Huawei Mate 9 and Porsche Design Mate 9 are the one area where the two devices are identical. Both offer the Leica partnership found on the Huawei P9 and both feature dual-sensors on the rear, one of which is monochrome, the other of which is RGB.

The resolution has increased for the monochrome sensor compared to the P9 however, with both Mate 9 devices offering a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor, coupled with a 12-megapixel RGB sensor. These have an aperture of f/2.2, optical image stabilisation and 4K video recording capability. They also both have a 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus which combines laser focus, phase detection focus, depth focus and contrast focus.

In terms of the front camera, the two Mate 9 devices have an 8-megapixel snapper, featuring an aperture of f/1.9 and autofocus.

  • Huawei P9 review: The flagship and the folly

Huawei Mate 9 vs Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9: Hardware and software

  • Same processor, same graphics, but Porsche Design has more RAM and more storage
  • No microSD for Porsche Design but support on standard model
  • Both feature Android Nougat with EMUI 5.0

The Huawei Mate 9 and Porsche Design Mate 9 both have the Huawei Kirin 960 octa-core processor under their hoods, coupled with Mali-G71 MP8 graphics. They are also both dual-SIM, both offer a battery capacity of 4000mAh and both support quick charging technology, which Huawei calls SuperCharge.

The standard Mate 9 comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, with support for microSD expansion via the secondary SIM slot. The Porsche Design Mate 9 comes with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but it doesn’t offer microSD support. Both have USB Type-C.

The Mate 9 and Porsche Design Mate 9 also both run on Android Nougat with Huawei’s Emotion interface laid over the top in EMUI 5.0. In terms of software experience, they should therefore be identical, while in performance terms, the Porsche Design model should be slightly superior thanks to the extra RAM.

Huawei Mate 9 vs Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9: Price

  • Porsche Design Mate 9 double the price of the standard Mate 9

The Huawei Mate 9 will cost €699, while the Porsche Design Mate 9 will set you back €1395, putting it at double the price of the standard model.

The Mate 9 will launch in select European cities, but the UK won’t be one of them. The Porsche Design Mate 9 will be available in Porsche Design stores in Europe from December, followed by worldwide stores in January 2017, excluding the US.

Huawei Mate 9 vs Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9: Conclusion

The Huawei Mate 9 is larger and heavier than the Porsche Design model, but it also offers a bigger screen for those that want it and more colour options.

The Porsche Design model is more premium, has a sharper display, more RAM and more storage, but its price is more premium too and there is no microSD support. 

Which Mate 9 is the best for you? Well that depends on where you live and whether you can get your hands on either, how much money you have to spend, and whether the extra pixels, extra RAM and PD logo are worth double the dollar.

  • Mate 9 preview
3
Nov

Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design preview: The mini Mate 9 with a big €1395 price tag


You had a double take, didn’t you? No, this isn’t a limited edition Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, it’s the limited edition Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design.

The Chinese telecoms company and German design company have forged a new partnership to show off what they can do. The result is a savvy, sophisticated looking smartphone. Which happens to cost an eye-watering €1395.

Here’s what we have to make of the Porsche Design from our time with the device at the Huawei Mate 9 launch in Munich. It won’t be coming to the UK, so this is as good a glimpse as it’ll get for many.

Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design preview: More than a mini Mate 9

  • Porsche Design 152 x 75 x 7.5mm body is smaller than Mate 9
  • Porsche Design plumps for 5.5-inch Quad HD screen, not 5.9-inch Full HD

What’s perhaps most unusual about this Porsche Design phone is that it’s nothing like the Mate 9 from which it takes its name. For starters the Porsche Design version has a 5.5-inch, 2160 x 1440 pixel resolution screen – not the larger 5.9-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution screen of the Mate 9.

  • Huawei Mate 9 preview: The big-screen boss

From a size point of view, these devices only share their name. The Porsche Design measures 7.5mm thick, meaning it’s slightly thinner than the 7.9mm Mate 9 – but it still manages to cram in a massive 4,000mAh battery capacity, which is great news.

Pocket-lint

The Porsche Design version of the Mate 9 is also subtly curved to its edges, including the glass screen and metal front and rear. It’s a symmetrical curve front to back – which is where our Samsung S7 edge comparison comes into play. The two phones do look frightfully similar.

The Porsche Design is as well made as we’ve seen from a phone. Its metal has a brushed finish, which glints in the light. It’s also an ultimate fingerprint magnet, which detracts from the look, despite its screen appearing less glossy than the S7 edge we mention.

Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design preview: Fingerprint magnet

Speaking of fingerprints, to access the scanner you won’t wangle your finger around the back (where the circular scanner is present on the Mate 9), as the Porsche Design model has its scanner on the front home key. That leaves just enough room for a shiny Porsche Design logo on the rear, which is like a lower-case P and D combined into one emblem – and far nicer than the massive “Porsche Design” all-caps statement on the front of the phone.

Pocket-lint

This looks a lot like Samsung again. The surrounding capacative touch buttons, however, are much more like the OnePlus 3 in terms of their response – from their placement outside of the screen, through to their single dot emblems on both sides.

Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design preview: Ultimate power

  • Porsche Design pushes 6GB RAM, 256GB storage
  • Kirin 960 octa-core processor and Mali G71 GPU

The Mate 9 Porsche Design also benefits from a bump in spec elsewhere. While it embodies the same Kirin 960 octa-core chipset as the larger Mate 9, it pairs that with 6GB RAM rather than just 4GB.

Pocket-lint

It also benefits from the latest Mali G71 MP8 GPU, which moves on from OpenGL to the Vulkan platform – which is even more responsive than you’ll find in many other phones. It’s a phone perfectly suited to devouring high-end mobile games.

Porsche Design has also chosen to go rather iPhone 7 in its unibody design thinking, which means no microSD card slot is available. Instead the only model comes loaded with a whopping 256GB storage for you to load it up with content. That might go some way to explain its huge price tag.

Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design preview: Dual Leica cameras

  • Dual cameras: 12MP colour, 20MP B&W
  • Optical image stabilisation for both 27mm f/2.2 lenses

As if one German company wasn’t enough, Huawei has snagged two. Yep, Leica returns in the Mate 9, including the Porsche Design version, with its dual camera arrangement.

It’s much like that found in the earlier Huawei P9 model – meaning one 12-megapixel colour sensor and one black & white one – but now the B&W sensor is higher-resolution, at 20-megapixel. The added resolution is there to help with a “hybrid zoom”, which uses the mono information from the higher-resolution B&W image to enhance the detail in the colour image when digitally zooming.

Pocket-lint

Both cameras feature 27mm f/2.2 equivalent lenses and now have optical image stabilisation, hence the small bump to the rear – although it protrodes slightly less in the Porsche Design model than it does in the standard Mate 9.

And let’s not forget 4K video capture (H.265 compression) too. Jolly good stuff all round.

Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design preview: New software

Otherwise the bulk of the Porsche Design model is just like that of the Mate 9. We’re particularly impressed that there’s a 4,000mAh battery on board here – including SuperCharge technology for fast-charging – just as there is in the larger Mate 9.

Pocket-lint

This also means Huawei’s latest EMUI software reskin – now in version 5.0, sat over the top of Android 7.0 Nougat – comes present and correct. That means a simpler interface, with a cleaner design, plus some interesting options like dual Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp use via the Dual SIM. Clever stuff.

Other details resemble the standard Mate 9. So why not take a read of our full preview, below, to get the low-down on what to expect.

  • Huawei Mate 9 preview: The big-screen boss

First Impressions

What can we say? Despite the bonkers price, the Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design is a lovely looking phone. Well made and all powerful, it overshadows the standard Mate 9 to such an extent that now all we want is this limited edition version.

Saying that, the Mate 9 name is kind of misleading. The Porsche Design’s different screen size, body size, curved design front to back, plus repositioning of the fingerprint scanner make it a wholly different and wholly exciting phone.

Indeed, we think this is Huawei laying the groundwork for its next generation of phones (while looking a lot like a certain successful Samsung in the process). But from what we’ve seen, it’s hard to be critical of that position.

The Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design will be available in limited quantities in December.

3
Nov

What PS4 Pro games are 4K HDR ready? The complete list of optimised games


The PlayStation 4 Pro will be available from 10 November and while it isn’t quite a next generation console, it’s such an upgrade on the standard edition that it feels fresh and new. Especially if you own a 4K HDR TV.

That’s because it has been designed to run the same PlayStation 4 games as the other consoles in the stable, but with big enhancements. That includes high resolutions and high dynamic range for 2D games, better draw distances and detail for PSVR titles.

All new PS4 games will be available for the original PS4 and PS4 Slim, but will be beefed up for PS4 Pro. That includes a whole stack of existing titles too.

So hereare a few details on the sort of improvements you can expect for PS4 Pro versions of games, and a growing list of the games that feature 4K resolutions, HDR tech or both.

Pocket-lint

What is 4K?

The term 4K, or Ultra high definition (Ultra HD), refers to the resolution of a screen and/or the content. At 3840 x 2160 it offers four times the amount of pixels as Full HD (1080p) TVs and video. That equates to much more detail and far sharper images. It also takes a hell of a lot more processing power to shift that much data.

What is HDR?

High dynamic range (HDR) is video parlance for greater brightness, better contrast (between black and white areas of an image) and a wider colour gamut.

HDR televisions are capable of much higher brightness levels, deeper blacks or a combination of both. The amount of colours they are able to present on screen is far greater than before, with the end result being more natural looking pictures with very bright areas and great lighting effects. The darker areas remain deep but without loss of detail.

  • What is HDR, what TVs support HDR, and what HDR content can I watch?
  • You can’t have HDR on your PS4 and PSVR plugged in at the same time

What is the PS4 Pro capable of?

Because of some clever processing power, including improved graphics architecture, the PS4 Pro is capable of rendering games at 4K resolutions, with HDR tech processing and at up to 60 frames per second. You won’t get that in all games – more likely 4K at 30fps for the vast majority – but there are some, such as Gran Turismo Sport – that claim to run in Ultra HD and 60p.

Some PS4 Pro games will give you the option to either have super smooth 60fps gameplay at 1080p or run at a higher resolution but cap the frame rate to 30fps. We won’t know for sure until each and every compatible game has been tested.

Pocket-lint

  • Sony PS4 Pro preview: Stunning 4K HDR gaming monster you can own this year
  • Sony PS4 Pro: Release date, specs and everything you need to know
  • PS4 Pro vs Project Scorpio: What’s the difference?
  • Xbox One S vs PS4 Pro: What’s the difference?

What PS4 games are optimised for PS4 Pro?

We have a list of all the games so far announced to be enhanced for PS4 Pro.

Remember, all PS4 games will work on the PS4 Pro. These are just the ones that have confirmed that they support HDR, higher resolutions or, in the case of PSVR titles, utilise the greater graphical processing power to present a better experience.

We will update this list as more appear, but these are current as of 4 November 2016:

  • Bound
  • Battlefield 1
  • Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • DriveClub VR
  • FIFA 17
  • Helldivers
  • Hitman
  • Hustle Kings
  • inFamous First Light
  • inFamous Second Son
  • Knack
  • Mafia III
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • NBA 2K17
  • Paragon
  • Ratchet & Clank
  • RIGS Mechanized Combat League
  • Rise Of The Tomb Raider
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • Smite
  • Super Stardust Ultra
  • The Elders Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • The Last Of Us Remastered
  • The Last Of Us: Left Behind
  • The Playroom VR
  • Titanfall 2
  • Tumble
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
  • VR Worlds
  • World Of Tanks
  • XCOM 2
3
Nov

Parrot brings fancy follow-me features to its Bebop 2 drone


With a price tag of $550/£440, Parrot’s Bebop 2 drone is aimed at budding pilots who want more than a toy, but can’t justify spending four figures and up on a flying camera. The problem with getting something in between, though, is you can’t expect all the features of more expensive drones. There are a couple of third-party mobile apps floating about that add auto-follow features to the Bebop 2, but today Parrot is updating its official FreeFlight Pro app with what it claims is the “most accurate and reliable” implementation around.

Parrot explains that its follow-me feature doesn’t just rely on your smartphone’s GPS and barometer readings, but employs fancy visual tracking algorithms too. Simply put, these can identify objects (like people or animals or vehicles) from the on-board camera feed and lock on to them, making sure they are always the focus of the shot. Activating the auto-follow mode, pilots can manually set the subject of the shot via the app, as well as the preferred altitude, camera angle and filming distance.

There are several more advanced settings, too. “Perfect side,” for example, lets you choose the best camera angle for a clip (directly behind you, say), and the Bebop 2 will make sure it’s always filming your back wherever you happen to move. Then there are the various “dronie” modes (sigh): Pre-set flight paths for making your videos extra flashy. With these, the Bebop can be instructed to circle you while it’s filming, or drift up and down on the vertical axis, among other types of programmed shot.

Finally, there’s a semi-autonomous framing assist feature. This lets the pilot set the subject but otherwise fly the drone manually. While the direction of the Bebop 2 can be controlled, it’ll always orientate itself to keep the subject in front of the lens. And when you’re done, you simply tell the drone to return to you or land nearby. Unfortunately, there is one catch. As is Parrot’s way, you have to unlock the new follow-me feature via a $20/£15 in-app purchase in FreeFlight Pro. Secondary bummer: It’s only live in the iOS app now, with Android support arriving next month.

Source: Parrot

3
Nov

Here are the first games optimized for PlayStation 4 Pro


With only a week until the PlayStation 4 Pro launches, Sony wants to make sure everyone knows exactly what they’re going to get when the powerful console arrives. The company is starting with a list of over 30 games that have been optimized to take advantage of the Pro’s 8-core x86-64 “Jaguar” AMD CPU and 4.2 teraflop AMD Radeon GPU. Some are new games, which were released with Pro assets already included, but developers of some more established titles have also worked hard to add new aesthetics and experiences.

Newer titles include Battlefield 1, Bound Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, FIFA 17, Hitman, Mafia III, Rise Of The Tomb Raider, Robinson: The Journey, Titanfall 2 and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Also included are Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Driveclub VR, Firewatch, Helldivers, Hustle Kings, inFAMOUS First Light, inFAMOUS Second Son, Knack, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, NBA 2K17, Paragon, PlayStation VR Worlds, Ratchet & Clank, Rez Infinite and RIGS Mechanized Combat League.

PS4 Pro Ratchet and Clank

The list is rounded off by Smite, Super Stardust Ultra, The Elders Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, The Elders Scrolls Online: Skyrim Special Edition, The Last Of Us Remastered, The Last Of Us: Left Behind, The Playroom VR, Tumble Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Viking Squad, World Of Tanks and XCOM 2.

Sony says that another 45 games, including Watch Dogs 2, The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy XV, will get the same treatment by the end of the year. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, For Honor and Sony’s own titles — Gran Turismo Sport and Horizon Zero Dawn — will, as you’d expect, all be PlayStation 4 Pro ready when they eventually come to market in 2017.

Source: Playstation Europe Blog

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