Category Archives: Electronics

Honor 8X now available!

If you were looking for a pretty good phone for Christmas, this one might be your choice: The new Honor 8X.  The Honor X series was at the latest with the Honor 6X the absolut secret tip among the sub 300€ smartphones. Now the Honor 8X has introduced another model to the series – we have all the details for you.

The Technical Details

Display: 16.5cm (6.5 “) FHD +, 2340 × 1080 pixels, 91% display-to-body ratio
Processor: Kirin 710 Octa-Core 2.2 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM, 64 or 128 GB internal memory, expandable via MicroSD
Camera: 20 megapixels + 2MP dual main camera, 16MP front camera, AI camera, super slow motion shooting (480FPS)
Connectivity: WiFi to 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, LTE, Bluetooth 5.0
System: Android 8.1 Oreo / EMUI 8.2, GPU Turbo 2.0
Design: Nano-scale optical coating, three colors: red, blue, black
Battery: 3750mAh

On the software side is still Android 8.1 used instead of Android 9.0, but the upgrade is much likely to come soon . Otherwise  little has been done. The camera features have been drilled a bit and so the Honor 8X now also receives the Super Slow Motion mode with up to 480 FPS. Again, the high FPS number is achieved only by interpolation, natively are a maximum of 120 FPS at 720p possible.

In addition, there is the obligatory GPU Turbo and even the 4D Force feedback feature of the Honor Play has made it to the Honor 8X. So the phone can vibrate a bit in some games.

Technically, it relies on well-known features, only the display could now optimize the relationship between display and housing, so that a larger display can be installed without having to increase the size of the case.

To what extent it can keep up with its predecessors must show our test. Of course you will get it here as soon as it is ready. In the first impression, it is at least pleasantly high quality and the display also makes a good first impression. It remains to be seen how well the camera and the performance of the Kirin 710 does in everyday life.

What, however bothers me a lot is that a micro-USB port used instead of a usb-c one. In my opinion this should have never made it to the Honor 8X, not even with a cheap device.
The price starts at 249€ for the black Version with 64GB Memory, the blue 128GB version will set you back 279,90€ at the Official Honor store.

Tried out: The Amazon Fire TV Stick

With the Amazon Fire TV Stick the mail order company Amazon brings a compact offshoot of its set-top box Fire TV to the market. We’ve taken a closer look to the Google Chromecast competitor and given him a good try.

Design and Workmanship

The Fire TV stick weighs 25 grams and has sleek roughly the dimensions of a cigarette lighter. It is slightly longer but narrower than Chromecast. The Stick comes in a simple, matte black finish. The Amazon-label is engraved and stands out with a piano black finish from it. The workmanship is impeccable.

Technical specifications

  • Processor: Dual-core processor
  • Memory: 1 gigabyte
  • Flash Memory: 8 GB
  • WLAN: Dual-band antenna,  Standards of 802.11 A/B/G/N

This is in the Box:

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • remote
  • power Supply
  • USB cable
  • HDMI extension
  • Quick Reference Guide

Installation and Setup

The installation of the Fire Sticks TV is self-explanatory. First, connect the stick over the HDMI interface with an open slot on the TV or monitor. The power is supplied via the included power adapter, which is connected via the microUSB port with the stick. The power supply via a USB port on the TV is not enough. The initial start-up takes about five minutes to complete and will show you the key features and tips in a video introduction.

To use the TV Fire Sticks a stable Internet connection via Wi-Fi is required. The stick tests your connection quality within the facility. On additional ports like an Ethernet port or an audio output as in the Fire TV box you have to live without on the stick. At the conclusion of the initialization, you will still be asked for your e-mail address of your Amazon account.

You can use the streaming stick even without an existing Prime subscription. Free content however can only be watched via third-party apps. A Prime subscription for 49 Euros per year makes sense because the stick was especially designed for downloading movies, series and documentaries of Prime subscriptions. With the Fire TV Stick you have access to all Prime Instant video content and can, like on PC, rent (chargeable of course) films and series as well.

Operation and Navigation

The user interface is very clear, and the taken mainly from Amazon Fire TV Streaming Box. The clean-designed, clearly structured menus are very convincin. In addition, additional apps can be installed, with which you can go beyond the limitation os Amazon Prime. I for example use as well Netflix.  Optionally, the stick can be controlled with the supplied remote or with an app on your smartphone!

With the free Amazon Fire TV Remote app searching is also conveniently via voice input possible. The voice recognition worked well in the test  – no matter whether we were looking for movie titles, directors or actors. The smartphone app further simulates the hardware keys on the remote control – it hence easily replaced the remote easily completely. The navigation via smartphone and remote proved throughout the test more than convincing.

The compatible and separately available game controller comes not only as a joystick for many game apps that you can download. The controller can also be used as a remote control for the video content.

Unfortunately we miss the function to stream web content or streams of not supported streaming services on the TV . This works for Chromecast via an appropriate extension for the Chrome browser. This can reflect individual or multiple tabs on the TV.

Another cool add on is X-Ray. With X-Ray both streaming modules obtain a feature that allows some information appears to actors of the scene or to the currently playing music. X-Ray draws on the extensive database IMDB (Internet Movie Database). To be able to retrieve additional information must be paused only within a film or series. Who wants the inserts during playback, press the High button on the remote in the navigation pane. For more extensive information further submenus can be called. Switching off the function is currently not provided.

Performance and Quality

Amazon promises the highest performance HDMI stick on the market. Videos should be capable of rapid start and even start without delays at all caused by the relatively well-equipped hardware and with appropriate link quality. Videos loaded in the test really quickly, but installations of apps and games on the other hand took some time to complete. The performance therefore cannot fully be described as very good.

The sound and picture quality assessed as good to very good. Videos are available if reproduced in HD resolution. The reproductions of pictures and videos on the Amazon cloud in the test functioned properly. For playing elaborate gaming titles you should, however, rely on the Fire TV streaming box that has better hardware equipment.

Verdict:

The Fire TV Stick made by Amazon is a powerful HDMI Streaming stick, which for Prime subscribers provides particularly true added value compared to the competition models. The supplied remote control and the option on the smartphone or a game controller to access, knew to convince. The total package is right. But  streaming content directly on the web browser is left to the competition from the house of Google (Chromecast) .

BlackBerry’s Priv is now available on Pre Order. Setting you back 699$

BlackBerry has opened-up pre-orders for its first ever Android smartphone, the curved-screen slider that’s better known as the Priv. The move comes just a day after the spec list was leaked on the company’s site, although the price that was included in the listing turned out to be a red herring.

In fact, American BlackBerry fans will be able to pre-order the device for $699 starting from today, with delivery expected on November 6th. Canadians, meanwhile, can plonk down $899 CDN to get the device in their home country, while UK users are expected to stump-up £559 ($857) for the same deal. In Germany you are set back 799€ on the Amazon pre-order. 

No known Retailers in the UAE are offering the device yet for pre-order. But that will be just a matter of time.

 

 

HP’s Star Wars notebook uses the Death Star as recycle bin icon…

Standard or Star Wars: HP has unveiled two gaming notebooks with 15-inch display. The force is very strong in there, ranging from the looks to the sounds up to the recycle bin – no kidding.

HP has released two new laptops for gamers or rather, the Pavilion 15 Gaming and its special version of the Star Wars style. Basically  both devices are 15.6-inch notebooks with 1080p display (touch option), Skylake processors and Nvidia graphics units. But compared to the 2014 HP 15 Omen the two new ones lack a bit GPU performance, the technique, however, is identical.

The new Pavilion 15 gaming and the Star Wars version of Intel’s stuck current Skylake processors (Core i7-6700HQ with four cores in the Pavilion and Core i7-6500U in the Special Edition), up to 16 GB of RAM, up to 2TB harddisk or up to 1 TB of flash memory or a hybrid solution of a 2.5-inch HDD and an SSD C128in M.2 format. Both devices use an optical drive, if desired, there is as well a real sense depth camera.

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Major differences exist in the graphics unit: In both notebooks  a Nvidia Skylake chip is fitted. In the Pavilion 15 Gaming sits a Geforce GTX 950M, in the Star Wars version a Geforce 940M. Aside from the hardware itself they also differentiate by the look, starting with the red and green illuminated keypad. The touchpad is an X-Wing Target Recognition.
The design of the Star Wars version is kept in style of the dark side of the force, on the display lid you find Darth Vader and on the inside a Stormtrooper. In general HP has consistently worked with the old episodes and provides as well screensavers, sounds and wallpaper to match the theme.

Who wants to can even type his emails with the Aurebesh font. But our favorite adaptation is the Windows Recycle Bin: This has been replaced by the Death Star. Ii it is empty, it shows the completed battle planet – is it  full, the Death Star is still under construction.

There is no clear delivery date yet, but you can pre order the Star Wars version already on the HP website. Probably the date for the availbility will be close to the release of Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens. The starting prices of the two devices are at 800 and 900 euros.

 

WhatsApp for Android will use Google Drive to back up your data

The more we rely on our smartphones for every facet of our lives, the more risk there is of losing important data if your phone gets lost, stolen or destroyed. Android already has some backup services built in, but the massively popular chat client WhatsApp has just announced a partnership with Google to make sure its 900 million users don’t lose anything important to them. Starting today, WhatsApp users on Android will have the option to back up their entire WhatsApp history right to Google Drive. The backup will include chat histories, voice messages, photos and video, and you’ll be able to restore all of that data to a new phone when you set up WhatsApp.

Unfortunately, as with many new Google features, this one will be coming by the ever-popular gradual rollout. This is a particularly long one — Google says the feature will become available over the next few months. Once it’s available, you’ll find the option in WhatsApp’s settings. Why it’ll take so long isn’t clear, so you’ll have to just start checking your app periodically if you want to take advantage of the new feature.

Jawbone unveils new design and colour lineup for UP

Jawbone® has launched a new design for UP2™ and 10 elegant new colours for UP2 and UP3™, further expanding the portfolio of fashion-focused activity trackers.

In addition, Jawbone released a range of new features for UP2 and UP3 that improve product functionality and reliability through a free over-the-air firmware update.

“We’re excited to expand the design platform for UP2 and UP3 with a sleek new strap for UP2 and 10 eye-catching colours, making our lineup of UP® products even more versatile and jewellery-like.” said Travis Bogard, Vice President of product management and strategy at Jawbone. “We’ve combined our intelligent app – recently voted best fitness app for iOS and Android – with beautiful design and premium materials to create the ultimate fashion accessory for those who want to live better in style.”UP3-Hero-RubyCross.

Live Better in Style

Activity tracking has never looked so good with Jawbone’s new collection of designs and colours. Crafted by leading industrial designer Yves Behar, Jawbone’s new UP activity trackers feature slim and stylish designs that allow for 24/7 wear and can be easily accessorised with jewellery or watches on the wrist.
UP2, previously only offered in Black Diamond and Light Grey Hex with classic flat straps, is now available in 6 stunning new colours, 5 of which feature an all-new design with two lightweight thin straps – giving the slim tracker an even more fashionable and unique look and feel. The selection of new colours for UP2 includes Turquoise Circle, Oat Spectrum, Gunmetal Hex, Orchid Circle and Black Diamond with the new lightweight thin straps, along with Violet Circle with the classic flat strap.

UP3, Jawbone’s advanced multi-sensor tracker, is now available in 4 additional colours, including Indigo Twist, Ruby Cross, Sand Twist and Teal Cross, in addition to the previously available colours, Black Twist and Silver Cross.

Feature Updates for UP2 and UP3

A free over-the-air firmware update through the UP App has been released to UP2 and UP3 users, enabling new features including Automatic Sleep Detection and Passive Heart Rate monitoring.

With this new update, UP2 and UP3 users no longer need to tap the band to enter and exit sleep mode. The UP band now automatically detects when the user has fallen asleep at night and when they wake up in the morning. The system will continue to recognise and track detailed sleep stages, with UP3 still capturing REM, Light and Deep sleep.

The feature update also adds Passive Heart Rate tracking to Jawbone’s multi-sensor tracker, UP3, which previously only measured Resting Heart Rate and heart rate throughout the night. While Resting Heart Rate is one of the best indicators of overall heart health, the addition of Passive Heart Rate throughout the day gives users a more complete picture of their heart health.

Passive Heart Rate is taken periodically throughout the day when the user is still, and provides unique insight into how daily influences and choices such as diet, caffeine, stressful meetings, and other stimuli can affect heart rate and overall heart health. As UP captures a user’s Passive Heart Rate over time, Smart Coach will have a more complete picture of the user’s overall health and patterns, providing more tailored and customised advice based on the user’s baseline heart rate measurements.

These new features were extensively tested in an open beta trial over the past month and have been widely welcomed by the UP community as a significant enhancement to the overall user experience.

Availability

The UP3 tracker by Jawbone is available in September in 4 new colours for AED 690 at Virgin, Jumbo, Emax, Sharaf DG and iStyle. The new colours include:

  • UP3 Ruby Cross
  • UP3 Indigo Twist
  • UP3 Teal Cross
  • UP3 Sand Twist

The UP2 tracker by Jawbone will be available from early October in 6 new colours, 5 of which include an all-new strap design, for AED 479 at Virgin, Jumbo, Emax, Sharaf DG and iStyle.

  • UP2 Violet Circle Classic Strap
  • UP2 Orchid Circle Lightweight Thin Straps
  • UP2 Turquoise Circle Lightweight Thin Straps
  • UP2 Oat Spectrum Lightweight Thin Straps
  • UP2 Gunmetal Hex Lightweight Thin Straps
  • UP2 Black Diamond Lightweight Thin Straps

Violet Circle is now available at Virgin, Jumbo, Emac, Sharaf DG and iStyle

The new firmware update for UP2 and UP3 will rollout to all users and is available on both iOS and Android versions 4.7 or later.

BlackBerry has released first official images of the upcoming Android powered BlackBerry PRIV

Not much is out yet on the specs, but aside from running Android it we got the following infos so far:

  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
  • RAM and Storage – 3GB of RAM, 32GB Expandable Storage
  • Display – 5.5-Inch, 1440×2560, 537ppi
  • Camera – Rear: 18MP, Fast Focus, OIS, 4K video capable. Front: 5MP HD.

Jabra launches world’s first wireless headset with cross training coaching in the UAE

If you’re a fan of burpees, lunges, squats and planks and want the added motivation of individual coaching and your favourite music, you need to know about Jabra Sport Coach Wireless. This pioneering wireless workout solution uses personalized in-ear coaching and premium Dolby sound to let you get more out of your cross training workout.

With Sport Coach Wireless Jabra extends its sport audio range of in-ear coaching solutions.

Jabra pioneered this area with the award winning Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds that gave users in-ear heart rate monitoring for the very first time.

Download your personal coach

Developed to meet the needs of cross training enthusiasts, the Jabra Sport Coach Wireless can create customized workouts based on over 40 different exercises. By downloading the Sport Life app on a Smartphone, users can design their own personalized workouts with real-time audio coaching through the unique earbuds.

This special Jabra developed app lets you plan, track, and analyze your cross training. Choose exercises from beginner to advanced. Get in-the-moment, personalized in-ear audio coaching, with time or repetition-based training. Jabra will ensure continuous app developments to maximize the customer training experience.

Creating the workout is only the start. To ensure you achieve optimal performance and your overall fitness goals, the integrated TrackFitTM motion sensor provides advanced tracking of pace, distance, step count, cadence and calories to make every workout count.

81% of consumers report[1] working out with music, and the Jabra Sport Coach makes it easy to get this extra motivation. By incorporating Dolby sound, users get their favourite tunes delivered in premium sound quality through the wireless earbuds. In other words, there’s no excuse for not staying focused on fitness.

Jabra Sport Coach (4)

First sport audio solution for cross training

This ground-breaking music and coaching solution for indoor workouts is the latest sport audio solution from Jabra. Renowned for pioneering in-ear heart rate monitoring with the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds, the innovative Jabra Sport Coach Wireless embraces the current trend for cross training.

Hanny Hanna, Regional Director MEA & Turkey at Jabra says “Jabra Coach has received an overwhelming response from the global markets and we are extremely pleased to launch the revolutionary headset in the UAE. Today, we are extremely encouraged as we witness a growing switch towards a fit lifestyle. The Jabra Coach enhances the training experience for fitness enthusiasts and we are committed to delivering innovative audio solutions designed to all needs. He continued by saying, “We started by specifically targeting runners, and now we are taking coaching to the next level by delivering a solution optimized for cross trainers. We see clear possibilities for in-ear audio solutions combined with biometrics,” he continues.

Reviewed: The Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones

Did you ever wish to be able to use Headphones that do not cover or stick inside your ears? We have given the Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones a try as they promise a new way of listening to audio on the go. Instead of covering you up and make it impossible to hear the world around you the Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones are using the  ‘Bone Conduction Technology’ to transfer the sound from your cheekbones direct to your inner ears, leaving your ears completley free to any ambient sounds. Specially on a bicycle this is a huge advantage.

Quality / Feeling:

At first the headphones that are sitting around your neck are feeling a bit awkward, this was the first time ever to have Headphones not over or inside the ear. But once getting used to this I really liked the advantage of the unique Bone Conduction Technology. While listening to your favorite tunes you can still react and pay attention to your surroundings. Needless to say that this makes your life much safer specially if you are one a bike or running down a road. Pretty cool is as well that you can use them while swimming. Yes, you read right, they are waterproof too and work well despite water in your ears. For me as a person enjoying deep bass while listening to music the real only single point I disliked about the headphones was that they could produce more bass to fit better my taste.

Connectivity:

The Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones are connected to your computer or charger via astandard micro USB cable. A full charge of the device gives you around 6 hours of usage time which is really good. It as well gives you the change to pair to other devices via Bluetooth. We have tried connecting it with various mobiles and even tablets and none of the connections gave us any problems. Paired to your phone it lets you even answer phone calls directlyfrom the headphones, so your phone can stay in your bag.

Verdict:

The Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones are a first of its kind with its brand new technology. It is a great step towards safety while using headphones and they are having a sleek design. They are multiuseable, comfortable to wear and deliver a good and clear sound, though the bass could be stronger for me. The connection possibility via Bluetooth makes this device a real allrounder and very useful if you are an active person that is enjoying music on the go.

Canon developed APS-H-size CMOS sensor with approximately 250 megapixels!

Cannon announced that it has developed an APS-H-size (approx. 29.2 x 20.2 mm) CMOS sensor incorporating approximately 250 million pixels (19,580 x 12,600 pixels), the world’s highest number of pixels1 for a CMOS sensor smaller than the size of a 35 mm full-frame sensor.

When installed in a camera, the newly developed sensor was able to capture images enabling the distinguishing of lettering on the side of an airplane flying at a distance of approximately 18 km from the shooting location. How cool is that?

With CMOS sensors, increases in pixel counts result in increased signal volume, which can cause such problems as signal delays and slight discrepancies in timing. The new Canon-developed CMOS sensor, however, despite its exceptionally high pixel count, achieves an ultra-high signal readout speed of 1.25 billion pixels per second, made possible through such advancements as circuit miniaturization and enhanced signal-processing technology. Accordingly, the sensor enables the capture of ultra-high-pixel-count video at a speed of five frames per second. Additionally, despite the exceptionally high pixel count, Canon applied its sensor technologies cultivated over many years to realize an architecture adapted for miniaturized pixels that delivers high-sensitivity, low-noise imaging performance.

Video footage captured by the camera outfitted with the approximately 250-megapixel CMOS sensor achieved a level of resolution that was approximately 125 times that of Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) video and approximately 30 times that of 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) video. The exceptionally high definition made possible by the sensor lets users crop and magnify video images without sacrificing image resolution and clarity.

Canon is considering the application of this technology in specialized surveillance and crime prevention tools, ultra-high-resolution measuring instruments and other industrial equipment, and the field of visual expression.