11:08 01st Sep, 2015
Samsung Gear S2 Goes Official With Standard And Classic Models
Packs in an e SIM meaning that it does not need you to lug around your smartphone.
While we have witnessed plenty of leaks and teasers, Samsung decided to jump ship and give in to fans and those eager to have a look, by announcing its Tizen OS-powered, Gear S2 smartwatch today, before its IFA unveil.
And while we were expecting to see one Gear S2, Samsung announced two of models of the Gear S2, the standard and a polished classic model as well. Samsung will also launch two versions of the Gear S2 and the classic, one that comes with the standard package and a slightly larger variant with an e-SIM.
While we were already impressed with Samsung’s design chops in the Gear S2 teasers, the classic model looks more traditional, while the standard model goes for a modern and minimal look.
Coming to the hardware specs of the Samsung Gear S2:
- We get a 1.2 inch circular (yes, it is a complete circle) Super AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 360 x 360 and a commendable 302 ppi
- Inside, there is a 1 GHz dual-core CPU with 512 MB of RAM (remember it runs Tizen so it is light) and 4 GB of internal storage
- For once Samsung did the smart thing and opted out of a camera on the S2
- As for the connectivity options, we have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and 3G network connectivity on some models
- The standard Gear S2 models will feature a 250 mAh battery, while the 3G variant will pack in a 300 mAh one
The 3G model of the Gear S2 will also be larger in size, 44.0 x 51.8 x 13.4mm (at 51 grams) versus the 42.3 × 49.8 × 11.4mm (standard) and 39.9 × 43.6 × 11.4mm (classic) non - 3G Gear S2 models. The casing of both the smartwatches are made of stainless steel. The standard Gear S2 will be available in silver/white silicon band and dark grey/black silicon band options. The classic will be available in just one option black with black leather strap.
Coming down to the software bits, the smartwatch runs Samsung’s Tizen OS and the company states that it will have an app bank available at launch. More details about its connectivity to Android and iOS will be available at launch on the 3rd of September.
[Related: Five Problems With Smartwatches Today]
This Is What The Next Motorola Smartwatch Looks Like
The leaked press image comes from @evleaks.
21:32 31st Aug, 2015
The next generation smartwatch from Motorola refuses to maintain a low profile. If those photographs posted by a user were not enough, press images of the next Moto watch are out thanks to the popular "leakster" @evleaks.
In the tech world, there are leaks and speculations we take with a pinch of salt. And then, there are the ones from @evleaks, which are mostly right on money.
Based on the information from GSMArena, the next gen Moto 360 will run on Android 5.1. The watch will have display resolution of 360×360. That's a bump from 320x290 on the original Moto 360. Depending on its dial size, next Moto smartwatch will pack-in 270 mAh or 375 mAh battery.
The Samsung Gear S2 Certainly Looks The Part In This Instagram Post
And it comes straight off the hands of Samsung’s head of Mobile UXCA.
14:54 26th Aug, 2015
We all know that the Samsung Gear S2 is going to be big. It will be big for two reasons,with the first one being its looks with a round display. Second, would be its rotating bezel that will be used for its UI interaction.
Having seen it in the press shots in Samsung’s look book that was revealed at the Galaxy Note event a few weeks ago, its not exactly a surprise.
But today, we are seeing it in a completely different space, on Instagram. And it sure looks good. More watch that smartwatch in fact. Seems like Samsung has found its balance after all.
The image comes from the Instagram account of none other than Dennis Miloseski, head of Samsung Mobile UXCA in the US. So yes, this is a pretty legitimate live image.
It shows off the round rotating bezel, the round display, and the two buttons on the right with a cavity for the mic.
Indeed, what makes the Gear S2 special, are the rumours about it being able to run on a nano SIM. This means that it will be able to work independently, without the need for a Samsung smartphone. This also means that you will be able to place calls and run apps with it, similar to its ugly predecessor the Gear S.
Let’s just hope that Samsung has managed to rope in plenty of developers and businesses to get its app bank ready in time for its IFA launch in September. This is more so because the company had pushed out its SDK for the device back in May.
Five Problems With Smartwatches Today
Wearables are the future, but as of today, they are not quite there yet.
25th Aug 2015
Google was not the first company to promote a smartwatch. The revolution started a long time ago with brands like Sony and Pebble, followed by Samsung. Then one fine day Google steps in, and thanks to Android, decides to introduce Android Wear as a platform for manufacturers to better their wearable offerings and bring them all on common ground like it did with the Android smartphone.
Progress with wearables as we knew it, had halted, and you can blame Google for it. We soon had a number of smartphone brands announcing Android Wear powered devices, that not only looked chubby and geeky, but also sported a similar interface (a fate similar to Android’s current range of smartphones).
A year later, there seems to be an exodus with brands leaving Google’s Android One aside and building their own hardware and software; tuning and optimising it to deliver better battery life and what they think will be a simpler UI.
But there are still plenty of problems with the smartwatch of today:
Pick up any of the Android Wear smartwatches and even with minimal use, it will switch off by the end of the day. Battery is the smartwatch’s biggest enemy. It was the problem with the LG G Watch and it is still the problem with Apple Watch as well.
Moving away from Android Wear selection, we now have watches like the Alcatel OneTouch and the Pebble Time that deliver more than a day (2-7 days) of use. So Yes, this theory does work.
However, bigger batteries, are not really the answer, its GPS module that utilizes less power and an e-paper display that utilizes minimum battery life while on.
What good is a smartwatch when it dies out in a single day and costs a pretty penny? Pebble’s Time Steel is the answer to this, but it can only offer a 10 day battery and is yet to hit mass production. Paying a premium price for an ugly but functional Samsung Galaxy Gear S makes little sense.
Its geeky looks turn heads for all the wrong reasons. Moreover, smartwatches these days look more like bling compared to good looking traditional timepieces that showcase quality, durability and class.
Shorter life compared to traditional watches
As the days go by, technology will progress, but for now nobody is interested in buying a smartwatch that costs over Rs 30,000 (apart from Apple fans) simply because it will get outdated too soon. You are indeed better off with a a traditional watch (quartz or automatics) that will keep telling the time for decades without problems and still remain a masterpiece of mechanical engineering.
On the other hand an expensive Apple Watch will get outdated in a year and could be termed as a ‘slowpoke’ when the new model gets announced. Where is the value?
Complicated operating systems
Swipe up, Swipe down, Swipe to the left and swipe right. As of today, the Pebble and the Pebble Time still seem to be the simplest smartwatches to use. This can be attributed to the fact that it requires a gradual learning curve and no gestures at all. But this again limits it functionality and makes even the Pebble Time look pricey for what it offers.
Samsung’s upcoming round, Gear S2 smartwatch is expected to use the bezel to navigate the smartwatch, but that does not mean that it is not going to have a touchscreen. So again, we have more than one way to interact with the UI, meaning that it is going to be complicated.
Need to tag along a smartphone
As of today, there is clearly no smartwatch out there which works all by itself. You will need to carry your smartphone to connect it to the web to download, sync and access app data and display contextual information.
Since all of this is done with assistance with your smartphone, it simply means that you now have an additional device to charge at the end of the day.
Google did unlock Wi-Fi capabilities on some Android Wear smartwatches. Still then it remains to be seen how long these devices last. This is considering that Wi-Fi does take up a lot more power compared to Bluetooth that just syncs data with your phone and lets your phone do the actually data syncing.
Smartwatches will get there eventually, but there is a long way to go. More importantly, smartwatches need to get independent and efficient before they find a commonplace on a geek’s wrist, let alone replace the traditional watch.
Samsung Teases A Smartwatch That Actually Looks Good
The upcoming watch will be announced in September.
Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
16:29 14th Aug, 2015
Samsung fans must have had a busy day drooling over the recently announced Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. And before, the dust settles, the teasers of the Korean brand's smartwatch are talk of the town.
Samsung teased the Gear S2 smartwatch at the end of its phone announcement event. The company has even put up a webpage dedicated to that. Unlike the long list of tacky smartwatches so far from the company, the Gear S2 actually looks nice. As suggested by numerous rumours, the smartwatch features a circular dial.
The watch also seems to feature a neat user interface. Coming from a company that developed TouchWiz, the interface is unbelievably minimalistic.
Impressed already? Well, you would have to wait till 3rd of September when Samsung is expected to showcase this watch during IFA in Berlin, Germany.
Creators Of EVE Unveil Gunjack, An Arcade Shooter For Samsung Gear VR
Stunning graphics, that immerse you in a virtual world that works with your smartphone.
11:16 04th Aug, 2015
Seems like Samsung’s Gear VR headset is finally getting some love after all. While VR or Virtual Reality is indeed a hot topic today, its focus clearly seems to be on gaming. And with smartphones that become more powerful in terms of processing by the year, we can expect massive leaps in mobile gaming to take place soon.
CCP, the developers who created EVE (the Massively Multi-player Online Roleplaying Game) wanted to deliver a game that became a part of their upcoming installation called EVE: Valkyrie.
While EVE is perfectly suited for gaming PCs, Gunjack is a simple VR arcade shooter that will deliver some stunning graphics to your Samsung Gear VR headset.
Clearly, Gunjack will be powered by your Samsung smartphone, the one that gets mounted onto the new Samsung Gear VR headset.
The game is pretty much a straightforward arcade shooter, but it is the made from scratch graphics for VR that will give it the wow factor.
In the game, you are in charge of a gun turret that is hovering around the Outer Ring section of known space (EVE talk). The gameplay looks pretty exciting in the video (after the break) and will clearly give a boost to VR usage in the mobile space.
Do keep in mind that the game has been developed exclusively for the Samsung Gear VR, a 200 USD untethered VR headset users in India will hopefully be able to purchase online, when the Korean tech giant announces its Samsung Gear VR platform this year. At the same time Samsung is also expected to announce its newer and more compact version of the Gear VR that should work with its recently announced smartphones.
Coming to availability of the game, Gunjack, well, the pick-up-and-play VR experience will be made available when the platform gets announced, so there is a bit of waiting.
Apple Dominates Smartwatch Market, But Can It Save This Product Category
Three months in the game, and Apple is already dominating this product category.
Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
27th Jul 2015
The Apple Watch is currently the market leader, and the Cupertino company's least loved product at the same time. The Watch was the first major product developed under the leadership of Tim Cook. The fact that he did not reveal the number of units sold indicates that the company is not very proud of the response its wearable has received so far.
In the latest quarter, Apple shipped over 61 million iPhones. If the research firm Strategy Analytics is to be believed, Apple moved as many 4 million watch units in the same period. This doesn't paint a rosy picture for the Watch fans, especially when some analysts were predicting that Apple's smartwatch will sell around 40 million units. Yet again, proving that most analysts are a bunch of morons.
If you put common sense to use though, it's easy to see that the Apple Watch has provided a much-needed push for the category that has been dragging for years. According to the data, in the second quarter of 2014, when Apple Watch did not exist, around a million smartwatches were sold. Off which over 7 lakh units were from Samsung. Giving the Korean company over 70 percent share of the market. Fast forward it to Q2, 2015, and Apple dominates the market with over 75 percent marketshare. What's more, Samsung that ruled the segment last year has seen its marketshare slide down to 7.5 percent
Apple has driven the smartwatches sales from a million in the Q2, 2014 to 5.3 million. That stands for the growth of 457 percent. Expecting a new product category to perform as good as Apple's cash-cow iPhone did not make sense. If you have to really compare the new product with the iPhone, look at the numbers of units the original iPhone sold in its first quarter. That's merely 270,000. SO, in reality, the Apple Watch has performed better than the iPhone in its first quarter.
Simply going by the numbers, Apple Watch seems like a flop. However, if you look at the bigger picture, Apple's Watch is the only thing that can provide a much-needed push for the stagnated smartwatch industry. This, however, does not change my opinion about smartwacthes being useless piece of hardware. Those who disagree with me can go and read why smartwatches are utter waste of money.
Nokia May Unveil Its Virtual Reality Headset Sooner Than You Expected
This could be company's most interesting consumer product after the Microsoft deal.
Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
23rd Jul 2015
After selling-off its handset division to Microsoft, Nokia has hardly unveiled any consumer hardware device save for the China exclusive N1 tablet. Despite that, the company has a knack to be in the spotlight. If the speculations of the once market leader re-entering the phone market in 2016 weren't enough, the latest round of speculations suggests that Nokia would soon introduce its first virtual reality headset.
According to recode.net, Finns will unveil a VR wearable as early as next week. The product is said to be developed by Nokia Advanced Technologies, a division that the Finns retained during the Microsoft deal.
With its handset division gone, Nokia will want to keep the buzz around its brand by announcing a consumer product. And in this day and age, what's hotter than a VR headset? With its history dating back to 1865, Nokia has changed with time. Over the period of time, it produced papers, tyres, chemicals, gas masks (for Finnish military), before emerging as the top phone maker in 90s. So, you can't really write-off this company.
This not the first time we are hearing such rumours. In 2013, similar reports made rounds when the American company Vuzix joined hands with Nokia to take the VR headset development forward. Vuzix licensed Nokia's see-through (Exit Pupil Expanding) EPE optics technology for its head mounted displays and video eyewear.
Nokia may not have experience in the VR field, but this is where a collaboration with Vuzix holds a key. The Vuzix M100 was the first commercially available VR after-all. Yes, Google Glass came first, but it wasn't available to consumers, remember? The task is not simple either. To leave a mark in the VR space, Nokia will have to compete with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive (made in collaboration with Valve), Project Morpheus from Sony, Google Glass, and Microsoft Hololens.
If I have to guess, Nokia's VR product is unlikely to primarily focus on gaming. I believe that it will be more on the lines of Hololens where the virtual reality is fused with the world around you. No doubt that Nokia is more than capable of delivering something impressive. The only problem I see here is whether developers will show confidence in its platform. Or maybe, will Nokia take the HTC route to make use of Valve's platform or turn to its old partner Microsoft?
Xiaomi Launches Mi Headphones, Mi In-Ear Headphones In India
As part of the first anniversary celebrations, the company's two new products are said to go on sale on Thursday, July 22.
18:13 22nd Jul, 2015
Xiaomi is currently celebrating its first anniversary in India. As part of the celebrations, the company recently launched the Mi 4i 32 GB variant and has been hinting about the new product launches and surprises during the whole week.
The new smartphone variant will go on sale next week on July 28 and registrations for the sale are no open.
Adding more sparkles to the celebrations, Xiaomi has now launched new Mi Headphones and Mi in-ear headphones in India priced at Rs 5,499 and Rs 999 respectively.
The devices are said to go on sale on Thursday, July 22 at 10 AM via Mi.com.
Speaking about the new Mi headphones, it sports an acoustic system with a large 50mm diaphragm that’s 4 times harder than steel and 60 percent lighter than titanium alloy.
The headphone is capable of producing 3D sound enhancing the listening experience.
The device will be available in black and gold colour variants and weighs 220 grams.
On the other hand, the Mi in-ear headphones come with an aerospace-grade metal diaphragm and are said to have an optimised front cavity for improved treble performance.
Also, Xiaomi has modified the classic transmission line enclosure design with a patented sound chamber that incorporates spiral air-flow channels and extended bass output sound holes which is said top optimise mid-range and bass performance.
The device will be available in a Space Grey colour variant and weighs 14 grams.
The company has launched the Mi Store app for Android users and rolled out many discounts and offers as well.
The Apple Watch’s Sketchy Future In India
A great product may not necessarily be a market success.
20th Jul 2015
While we await the first sales figures of the Apple Watch in the upcoming quarterly sales report by Tim Cook, there is a lot of speculation and plenty of rumours about the smartwatch being a failure.
Indeed, all of this is still speculation. Neither do analysts have any numbers, nor has Apple confirmed any numbers officially, yet. The cool bit about this is, that Apple will announce some interesting numbers tomorrow and strangely, those numbers may surprise us.
But clearly, the success of the product does not depend upon its sales figures. They depend on a quality product, one that excites customers and delivers something that nobody has managed to perfect until now.
While the design of the Apple Watch, is clearly far from exciting, it is the software and the apps that reside, and are available built-in (not native), that lead us to believe that it could be a success.
The design of the software is something interesting as well. And while the gestures can be a bit confusing initially, Force Touch will make more sense once Apple outs its iPhone 6s series. This is because it its Force Touch will become a common gesture across it ecosystem of devices.
Coming to the apps, there were more than 3000 of them at launch. But no, none of them run independently, something that Apple plans to rectify in the coming watchOS 2 software update.
As for the user experience, it does have its fair share of bugs, but it does make for the most polished OS one can find on a smartwatch.
Still then, like with every new product comes its manufacturing woes and as far as we have reported, Apple had more than its fair share of them.
From faulty Taptic engines, to delayed components, the Watch has seen it all. More importantly, it has not even started selling widely across the globe.
Clearly, these are the baby steps (that one takes with a new product) and Apple has not gone all out on Apple Watch production just yet. Limited availability and an online sales route at launch, were clear indicators of smaller manufacturing numbers.
Coming to India, things will change. The Apple Watch on arrival will be stamped as a fanboy product. Frankly speaking it will not appeal to some (many in fact), while others who find the use for it, may line up outside retail stores to buy one.
When it comes to personal choice, I’d pick a genuine timepiece for Rs 35,000 over an Apple Watch. But that’s just because I prefer playing games on my smartphone, just in the way that I prefer shopping from my desktop (and not from an app).
While Android fans have much cheaper alternatives and a lot of variety, Apple’s approach will find a few takers. That’s because from a design standpoint, they all look and function similarly. It’s just the colours (although made using different materials) and the straps that are different.
As for the success of the Apple Watch, lets not come to conclusions, let not compare it to the failures of the iPhone 5c (remember, it was not a first for Apple).
Apple Watch is not a timepiece, but just another iDevice you can wear on your wrist. Indians will realise that much faster and that could lead to its poor sales out here.
But definitely, this does not mean that it is not a good product, similar to how the best movies are not the most successful ones.
Xiaomi’s Mi Band Finally Gets A Worthy Opponent, The Micromax YuFit
Offers more features for a similar price tag.
15:20 20th Jul, 2015
YU Televentures, a subsidiary of Micromax, has now announced that its YuFit smart band will go on sale on 29th of July. The same will go on sale on Amazon.in for a low price of Rs 999.
Keeping up with the Chinese, this is a flash sale as well. So you will be able to register for the sale on on the 21st of July at 12 PM. But there’s more. YU will also be giving out free access to its Healthifyme app, for the first 1000 customers; so that would definitely be worth your effort, if you plan to take your smart band seriously.
One look at the product and its price range, and you can tell that Micromax has Xiaomi in its cross hairs. While the Mi Band is a huge success thanks to its value for money features, the Micromax YuFit, takes things to a whole new level.
There’s the OLED display, that not only gives your updates of your step count, but also pushes notifications from your smartphone (even though these are pretty limited). Next up we get a simple touch gestures to interact with that display.
Frankly speaking, a fitness band with a display is not easy to develop, especially with cost constraints. The Fitbit Charge comes with a similar set up but costs a hefty Rs 10,000. So Xiaomi could have done the sensible thing by not including a display altogether.
Still then, the YuFit is an attention grabber especially considering its price tag. So yes, it is a worthy opponent on paper, but there are a lot of other factors that users will come across only once they begin to use it. For those, you will have to wait till our review arrives.
Intex Launches iRist Standalone Smartwatch With SIM Card Support
The smartwatch launched at the ongoing MWC Shanghai comes at a price of Rs 11,999 and runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS.
13:11 16th Jul, 2015
After global companies started launching their own smartwatches, the home-grown mobile manufacturer Intex has recently joined the bandwagon with its first Android smartwatch, iRist.
The Indian company launched the iRist smartwatch at the ongoing Mobile World Congress, Shanghai.
Priced at Rs 11,999, the standalone smartwatch runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system and not Android Wear, Google's de-facto operating system for wearables. Thanks to this, the smartwatch works much like a smartphone itself including an easy access to the Play Store.
Intex also claims that many popular apps like WhatsApp and Twitter have already been optimised for the watch's display. However, we feel the app compatibility to be a concern since most Android apps are not yet optimised for a square, low-resolution display.
The Intex iRist also comes with a 3G SIM card slot which enables users to make/receive call, again, much like a smartphone itself. All you need for this is a bluetooth earphone which is being expected to come with the smartwatch for your ease.
Considering these features and also the SIM card support, we feel that the Intex iRist fairly competes with the Samsung Gear S which is priced extensively when compared to Intex iRist. However, features apart from the display screen and the operating system varies between the two with Samsung Gear S running on the Tizen operating system.
Intex iRist and Samsung Gear S
Speaking about the technical specifications of the Intex iRist, it comes with a 1.56 inch sapphire glass screen with a clear 240x240 resolution display, 5 MP camera with face detection, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB internal memory and a 600 mAh battery with a standby time of up to 200 hours and a talk time of up to 4 hours as claimed by Intex.
The iRist has a voice assistant that helps send emails, messages, dial numbers, open and close apps as well as te on-screen keyboard. The smartwatch also has the iConnect app that will sync with a smarthpone if used without a SIM Card.
Another significant feature of the smartwatch is that, it comes with an in-built pedometer to track your activity.
The Intex iRist is said to be exclusively available via eBay pretty soon.
Casio Becomes The Latest Entrant In An Overcrowded Smartwatch Market
Will unveil its version of the ideal smartwatch in 2016.
12:51 03rd Jul, 2015
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Casio already has a smartwatch in the works. The company is working on perfecting the same and is looking to announce the smartwatch by March 2016.
As for the details about the smartwatch, company president Kazuhiro Kashio revealed very little, commenting about its build quality.
“A device that won’t break easily, is simple to put on and feels good to wear,” and that’s about it.
Certainly, Casio has a lot of experience when it comes to building wrist watches and have pioneered a couple of them in past as well.
Now that we know that the watchmaker has been working on the intelligent timepiece for 4 years, we can be sure that it will be something to ogle at.
What will make you think twice about purchasing it is the price that is expected to cost around 349 USD (approx. Rs 22,000), one has been priced keeping Apple Watch Sport in mind.
HDFC Bank Unveils App For Apple Watch
The bank also has plans of expanding to Android wearables by this year.
12:16 03rd Jul, 2015
Banking is getting closer to us day by day and we all are pretty much aware of it. But, it seems now that HDFC is all set to take its banking experience to a whole new level; through the Apple Watch.
Yes. HDFC Bank has come up with its banking app for the Apple Watch which is claimed to be the first of its kind in India.
Similar to other apps on wearables, HDFC's mobile banking app to will be synchorised with the installed app on the iPhone.
The whole feature as to what HDFC describes in its new video as Watch Banking comes with the following features:
- Apple Watch users can view all their HDFC bank account details, such as – Savings, Current, FD, Demat, Mutual Funds, and Credit Cards.
- Recharge Mobile and DTH through the app
- Request A/C Statement
- Request Cheque Book
- Locate Nearest ATM
- Locate Nearest Branch
- View Discount Offers
- Call the Bank
- Hotlist Debit Card
- View Messages From the Bank
- App automatically locks itself, when user takes the watch off and pairs only with one iPhone
Apart from these, it is also being said that HDFC will be adding the following new features in the near future:
- Bill payment of pre-added billers
- Active Notifications for bill payments
- Notifications about offers, based on location
However, as of now, though the banking app is available only on Apple Watch as of now, the bank also seems to be having plans of expanding into android watches by this year.
YouTube Videos On Your Android Wear Smartwatch? It’s Possible!
If you thought that was unnecessary, it lets you ‘cast’ them as well.
11:21 03rd Jul, 2015
There is a new app available in the Google Play Store for Android Wear smartwatch owners. It lets you do a lot more with your smartwatch, apart from clicking a picture with it or simply using it for notifications. Video for Android Wear & YouTube (yes, that is the name) actually lets you watch YouTube videos on those miniature screens.
While it may sound like something out a sci-fi novel, you can not only search for YouTube videos in the app, but also use the scrubber to rewind and pause during playback.
But wait, there’s more. The developer has added a feature that lets you cast the YouTube video directly from your smartwatch to your TV (via Chromecast of course).
If you were worried about audio, the app will allow you to stream audio to capable speakers or you could listen to them via your headphones
The best part is, that the app is available for free on Google Play.
Xiaomi Mi Band 1s To Come With A Heart Rate Monitor
A successful product gets a handy upgrade.
15:13 02nd Jul, 2015
While the Xiaomi Mi Band has been selling like hot-cakes, the Chinese smartphone maker is gearing up to push out its successor, the Mi Band 1s.
How do you improve a cost-effective health tracking device? Well, as the leaked images reveal, you add a heart rate monitor to it.
The images have not leaked out per se. This is because they appeared in a listing from the Taiwanese National Communications Commission, and someone managed to source them from there.
None of the details are official yet, but the new smartband (tagged as the Mi Band 1s) shows off its heart rate sensor located on the bottom part of the unit with the sensor sticking to your wrist. While we are not sure about whether users will have to swing the band around to the area where one often checks for a pulse, to measure heart rate, Xiaomi must have figured a work-a-round.
A heart-rate monitor is indeed a brilliant idea. While Samsung usually allots heart-rate monitors only to its premium devices, Xiaomi seems to be all geared up to break that myth.
Placing a heart rate monitor in a device that costs just about Rs 1000 is indeed a brilliant idea; and those who have recently purchased a Mi Band may think of upgrading.
Huawei Unveils Honor Band Zero Smartwatch And Honor Whistle Bluetooth Headset
Both the devices were unveiled along with the much awaited Honor 7 smartphone.
18:13 01st Jul, 2015
Chinese company has unveiled its Honor Band Zero smartwatch and Honor Whistle Bluetooth headset along with its much awaited Honor 7.
It is worth noting that both the products have been just unveiled while the Band Zero is expected to be launched in China in August.
Speaking about the devices, the Honor Band Zero features a circular touch display with brushed metal bezel running around it and IP68 certification for dust and water resistance.
The smartwatch interestingly comes with no physical buttons and is said to be showing message notifications and display incoming calls.
The Band Zero is also expected to come with pedometer and sleep tracker along with a textured rubber strap available in Black, Beige and White color options.
The Honor Whistle Bluetooth Headset is said to sport a brushed metal look and with a circular button on the back.
However, no further details have been shared by company and we expect more details to arrive soon.
Google Unveils New Medical-Grade Wristband
Unlike other wristbands, Google is aiming at using the device in clinical trials.
10:33 25th Jun, 2015
With many companies looking at launching medical-grade fitness tracking wristbands, the online giant Google too has unveiled its similar move.
Yes, Google has recently announced that fitness tracking wristband is in the works which is expected to measure vitals like heart rate, pulse and skin temperature continuously.
It is worth noting that the search giant's experimental group known as Google X is responsible for the wristband.
However, adding more in to this, the same experimental group is responsible for projects like Google Glass, its driverless cars and Project Loon.
While this definitely looks an unusual move by Google, it does help doctors tackle the problem of reliably tracking the health of their patients away from the hospital.
However, while the company is aim at typical usage of the device, we expect it to offer the medical-grade accuracy which the other wristbands may fail to deliver at some point of time.
To recall, the search giant had also announced last year that it was working on a contact lens that can monitor diabetes patients' glucose levels.
In case if you didn't know, the same project was also being undertaken by the same Google X experimental group.
Fitbit Products Available For Pre-Order On Amazon India
While the company is yet to enter India, the products have already gone live for pre-ordering.
15:41 24th Jun, 2015
Fitbit which recently announced to enter in to India next month, has already started taking pre-orders for a range of its fitness wearables and activity trackers on Amazon India website.
The products which are now available for you to pre-order via Amazon India website are Zip Activity tracker (Rs 3,990), One Wireless Activity and Sleep tracker (Rs 6,999), Flex Wireless Activity Tracker and Sleep Wristband (Rs 6,999), Charge Wireless Activity Tracker and Sleep Wristband (Rs 9,999), Charge HR Heart Rate and Activity Wristband (Rs 12,999) and Surge Ultimate Fitness Super Watch (Rs 19,990).
In addition to these fitness wearables, Fitbit has also launched Aria WiFi Smart Scale at Rs 9,999.
It is also worth noting that all the above mentioned Fitbit products will be available in stock starting July 3 and these wearables are expected to stir up the Indian market which is slowly seeing its sun shine.
Also, the world's top wearable seller Fitbit's entry on to the Indian land seems to create a pretty tough situation for Xiaomi's Mi Band which was brought to India recently.
It is worth reminding that the company is looking forward to set up its office in Delhi and is expected to expand its sales through offline retail stores as well.
Google Pushes Out 17 New Watch Faces For Your Android Wear Smartwatch
15 of them are free to download.
12:59 23rd Jun, 2015
Everybody loves them, and so far in the smartwatch market, Google seems to have accumulated the maximum. We are talking about Android Wear watch faces and Google has announced that it has put out 17 new ones for you to download for your smartwatch.
The 17 new Android wear watch faces that are now available in the Play Store come from across the world. Fashion brands, game characters, cartoons, artists, and even from brands like Bang and Olufsen to movies like Terminator:Genesis seems to have cashed in on the opportunity.
Every watch face is unique in its own way in the sense that it refreshes the way in which the watch tells time.
Indeed, Google seems to be going cross-culture here as even Hello Kitty and Moomin seem to be available.
The best part is that 15 out of the 17 new watch faces are actually free so you can go ahead and download as many as you like.
Xiaomi Mi Band Available Without Any Registration On Flipkart
The offer is part of the Flipkart's Big App Shopping promotion.
15:21 22nd Jun, 2015
As we know, the Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi recently brought its Mi Band in to the Indian market at just Re 1 as part of the introductory offer.
Now, the Mi Band is available on the popular e-commerce website Flipkart at a price of Rs 999 and the best part is, the device is available without any registration.
This sale is said to be part of the Flipkart's Big App Shopping promotion until June 24.
Speaking about the technical specs of the Mi Band, it comes with a fitness tracker along with a 30 days battery life and IP 67 certification which means that the Mi Band is both water and dust proof.
While the device is compatible with both Android and iPhones via Bluetooth 4.0, it comes with a set of sensors that monitor your fitness and sleep.
Along with this, the Mi Band send users missed call alerts via vibrations and also acts as a proximity unlocker for your Xiaomi smartphones.
It is also worth reminding that the Mi Band has been the world's second most shipped wearable and the best news is that it is now available without any flash sale!
E3 2015: Microsoft's Minecraft For Hololens Looks Stunning
The gadget has the potential to change the way we game.
Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
17th Jun 2015
E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) 2015 is in full swing. Developers are taking stage to showcase exciting next-gen games. In this mad rush, one thing that has really managed to stand out is Microsoft's on stage demonstration of Minecraft. With Hololens, the software giant has managed to merge the video game with the real world. Showing off fancy promo videos is one thing, while on-stage is a different ball game, and that's exactly what Microsoft has managed to pull off.
Microsoft has definitely been planning this from a long time. It could be the reason why the Redmond-based company bought Minecraft-maker Mojang last year. While unveiling the Hololens, Microsoft did tease about a special version of Minecraft, made for Holelens. For demonstration, the company chose the biggest gaming event E3. Watch the live Hololens demo video embedded below.
As you can see in the videos, Hololens seems like a cross between Oculus Rift and Google Glass. What sets it apart from other wearables is the fact that it fuses richly textured 3D holographs in the 'real' world around you. It's impressive how virtual objects sit on real table without a hint of stutter. Let's not forget that the user in this video is constantly moving, so the gadget is actually adjusting object panes in space real time.
This is quite a feat considering that Hololens is a standalone device. All the complex 3D elements are rendered using the built-in HPU (Holographic Processing Unit). To seamlessly merge and morph computer generated images on real world visuals, the SoC (System on Chip) handles terabytes of data from the sensors in real time. The wearable runs Windows 10, and is compatible with Windows universal apps. You can operate Hololens with simple hand gestures.
Going by the video, Hololens will surely change the way we play videos games. Minecraft will surely be the killer app for Hololens. However, for the long term success, Microsoft is going to need more plenty of titles specially made for the device. And of course, Hololens' pricing is going to be crucial.
Nokia’s Microsoft Moonraker Smartwatch Was Culled Just Before Launch
And now Windows Phone fans are left with a lame ‘Band’ to play around with.
17:49 12th Jun, 2015
The Verge today has managed to pull out something astonishing indeed. The fact is to do with a smartwatch that Nokia was readying with all its enthusiasm before Microsoft took over and cancelled the project altogether. The results? An insignificant, tasteless but expensive Microsoft Band.
Everyone knows that Microsoft was indeed good with software. Hardware (especially mobile devices) was not their forte, which is why the Nokia acquisition took place. Still then, the Nokia-made Microsoft Moonraker smartwatch was one of those devices that managed to slip out even though it was demoed (in private) and saw interest at the Mobile World Congress just last year.
Yes, Nokia was this close to putting out a smartwatch (that really looks like something you would want to buy) when the Microsoft acquisition team shuttered it.
Famed leaker Evan Blass has helped reveal what the smartwatch looked like (or at least what it was supposed to) by leaking out these artworks (above and below) which he came across on Tumblr.
This is not just any Tumblr account, but one that is run by Microsoft design employee Pei-Chi Hsieh. The page has since discovery been pulled down (by Microsoft we are guessing).
The Verge tells us that Microsoft canned the project simply because it was ready to push out its own Band wearable accessory.
While the Nokia-made Moonraker looked good, it was a bit limited in terms of software. It was designed keeping in mind its new owner’s Windows Phone platform at least when it came to the UI. But Microsoft’s Band somehow seems to have had more functionality and was the reason why Microsoft decided to shut the program down at the very end.
In Pictures: Apple Watch OS 2 Highlights
The new Watch OS brings new features and improvements.
Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
10th Jun 2015
Apple Watch has been the hottest wearable of the season. With the announcement of WatchOS 2, the watch is said to run a lot faster. That's because developers can now build apps that run on the Apple Watch. There are plenty of aesthetic changes. And of course, existing features have been improved with new capabilities. Let's have a look at some of them:
The Watch OS 2 brings watch faces. Apart from pictures, there's now a selection of timelapse videos.
Apple has finally added the email reply option to the watchOS 2. How convenient that's going to be, remains to be seen.
The new iteration of software adds Transit to maps on Apple Watch. Initially, the feature will be available in select cities.
With watchOS 2, Siri has become more understanding. With voice commands, you can look up a word in the dictionary or do simple maths.
Apple Announces WatchOS 2 At WWDC 2015
While the developer beta version has been launched now, the final version for the public is expected to go live during this live.
13:01 09th Jun, 2015
Apple has announced the arrival of the latest version of the WatchOS, the operating system that powers the Apple Watch at the WWDC 2015.
Dubbed as the WatchOS 2, the new version is said to include support for native apps, third-party complications, communications improvements, better health and fitness performance, new Siri capabilities and other new features.
It is also being said that the new WatchOS 2 will make it possible for the developers to build apps that run entirely on the Apple Watch.
While the developer beta version has been made available during the conference, the official full-version release is expected to come during this fall.
Below is a small list of features which the new update brings with it:
- New watch faces including Photo Album face and Time-Lapse face, a 24 hour time lapse of iconic locales.
- App developers can now make their own Complications.
- The Watch will show a nightstand mode which displays charge, time and alarm.
- Multiple screens for friends — and adding new people via your Apple Watch (instead of having to go into the iPhone Apple Watch app).
- FaceTime Audio.
- Replying to email from your watch.
- Fitness app can now run natively. Siri can start / stop workouts. There are new achievements, too, in case you're some kind of athletic beast that's collected them all already.
- Apple Pay will support store and loyalty cards, just like the new iOS 9.
- Maps on the Watch just got way more useful. It now supports transit directions, and Siri can get you mass transit directions.
- Speaking of Siri, it can now show you glances — "Hey Siri, show me the Instagram glances" — apparently even if it's not installed.
- Custom watch faces! The WWDC crowd is applauding for wallpaper. This is the future.
To conclude, while Apple has the best smartphone ecosystem, the Watch apps have so far been fairly limited. But, now, with this latest Watch Operating System update, we expect to see some better native apps support.
Xiaomi Mi Band Becomes World's Second Most Shipped Wearable Gadget
Xiaomi has sold nearly 2.8 million units of Mi band during 2015 Q1.
11:48 08th Jun, 2015
No wonder that Xiaomi is called the Apple of China with close to 2.8 million units of Mi band being sold during the first quarter of 2015.
With this whopping number of sales, the Chinese gadget maker has become the world's second largest seller of wearables, according to a latest finding.
According to IDC, Xiaomi's market share in 2015 Q1 seems to be 24.50 per cent while Fitbit has been placed at Number 1 with 34.50 per cent share.
Other companies like Garmin, Samsung, Jawbone and others seem to have lost somewhere with very few market share.
However, it is worth noting here that Xiaomi Mi Band is not truly a Xiaomi product. It has been made by Huami Technologies, a separate company with its own independent management. In addition to the Mi Band, Huami also makes Xiaomi’s smart scale.
Adding more in to this, it is good to know that, except for its routers, smart TVs and mobile handsets, all other products Xiaomi sells are made by third parties. Xiaomi typically invests in these third party companies, providing them with extra resources and heading straight to the selling part.
To conclude, the smart band by Xiaomi hit the market last August in mainland China, and since then since then has spread to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
TAGS: Xiaomi Mi Band
ASUS Announces ZenWatch 2 At Computex
The ZenWatch 2 comes in two different sizes and with the latest Android Wear version.
16:50 01st Jun, 2015
After launching ZenWatch a few months ago, Asus has launched its successor, the ZenWatch 2 at Computex, Asia's foremost tech exhibition.
The smartwatch is powered by the latest version of Android Wear which means that the gear works based on the popular Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.
Built upon the original ZenWatch, the smartwatch offers more refined design and improvised user experience and also comes with a metal watch crown unlike the original ZenWatch.
Coming to the sizes of the smartwatches, while one (ZenWatch 2 WI501Q) comes with 22 mm straps like before, the other (ZenWatch 2 WI502Q) has a smaller 18 mm straps. However, the larger one comes with an optional "Chargeback" power pack.
Like before, both versions of the ZenWatch 2 come with an AMOLED screen with a piece of 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3 on top and with a qualcomm processor.
Meanwhile, apps like the remote camera viewfinder allow ZenWatch 2 users with ASUS phones to see a preview of their photos on-screen before shooting.
Having said these, the ZenWatch 2 comes with a wide-range of straps in a variety of materials and colors for further personalization.
While the rubber strap comes in Blue, Orange, Red and Taupe, the premium leather strap is available in Khaki, Brown, Gray, Blue and Orange colors. Along with this, the ZenWatch 2 also comes with a stainless-steel link bracelet in Silver, Gunmetal and Rose color variant.
It is also being said that there seems to improvements in the charging times and the battery life of the device.
However, there still seems to be no details available regarding the price and availability of the ZenWatch 2.
TAGS: ASUS ZenWatch
Apple Watch Gold Edition Gets Shipped To Its First Customers
The smartwatch has been shipped nearly after one month since it was available for purchase.
11:52 26th May, 2015
It looks like Apple has finally brought in smiles on many faces after a long wait!
This weekend was definitely one of the best for many of those customers who had ordered for Apple Watch Gold Edition which was on sale over a month ago.
Many of those first customers who had ordered for the gold smartwatch are said to have received notification emails of pending delivery along with the charges on their credit cards indicating that their orders had shipped.