Hublot intros $5,200 Wear OS smartwatch that’ll be worn by World Cup referees

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Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Wear OS smartwatch

Another luxury watch brand is getting into the smartwatch game.

Hublot has announced a new, limited edition smartwatch powered by Google’s Wear OS platform. The Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia is a new smartwatch that’ll be worn by FIFA referees during this year’s World Cup in Russia. Hublot says that it was asked by FIFA to craft “the perfect watch” for its referees, and this is what the company came up with.

The Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia features a 49mm case made of titanium. It’s got a 400×400 AMOLED display along with an accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone, haptic motor, and GPS, and its battery is rated to last “around 1 day” on a single charge. It’s also water resistant up to 50 meters.

On the software side, Hublot has added some special World Cup-specific features for soccer/football fans. There are special dials with the colors of the nations competing in the World Cup, and the watch can send you a notification 15 minutes before a new match starts. It’ll also alert you to yellow and red cards, and player changes. And when a goal is scored, the word “GOAL” will appear instantly. The dial can also show match stats when a game is being played.

Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Wear OS smartwatch official

As with other Wear OS smartwatches, Hublot’s model is compatible with smartphones running Android 4.4 and up as well as iOS 9 and up.

Hublot says that this watch will be limited to 2,018 units and will go on sale in Hublot stores around the world on March 1. Pricing will be set at 5,000 Swiss francs ($ 5,268 USD).

This isn’t the first luxury smartwatch we’ve seen, or even the most expensive smartwatch we’ve ever seen. It is notable because it’s another luxury smartwatch option for people interested in those devices, though, and while some of us can’t imagine dropping $ 5,200 on a smartwatch, there are luxury watch wearers out there that’ll be interested in this model. That’s especially true given its special World Cup ties and limited nature.

What do you think of the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia? If money were no object, would you buy one? – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

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Fitbit intros iPhone-connected Versa smartwatch & kids-oriented Ace fitness tracker

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Fitbit on Tuesday launched two new devices — the Versa, its second smartwatch, and the Ace, its first dedicated fitness tracker for children.
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ASUS intros new ZenFones, including ZenFone 5 with a display notch

ASUS took to the MWC 2018 stage today to show off a mess of new phones.

The ASUS ZenFone 5, ZenFone 5Z, and ZenFone 5Q are all official, along with a new ZenFone Max model. Each one has different specs and features, so let’s take a look at what these new ZenFone devices have to offer.

ASUS ZenFone 5 official notch

ASUS ZenFone 5

The ZenFone 5 is packing a large 6.2-inch Full HD+ display with a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio and 19:9 aspect ratio. The device is very iPhone X-like in its design, boasting slim bezels on its face and a notch at the top of the screen. ASUS’s ZenFone 5 also offers face unlock and “ZeniMoji live animated avatars”.

Around back there’s a vertically-stacked dual rear camera setup with a 12MP camera with Sony IMX363 sensor, f/1.8 aperture, and AI features like scene detection and photo learning that’ll help the camera remember your most-used settings. There’s also a Pro Mode and Real-Time Beautification features, as well as a secondary wide angle camera. The front camera on the ZenFone 5 is an 8MP snapper.

Sandwiched in-between the ZenFone 5’s front and back glass is a quad-core Snapdragon 636 processor, 4/6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, dual SIM slots, a microSD card slot, USB-C, and a 3,300mAh battery. The ZenFone 5 also features dual speakers and a rear fingerprint reader.

ASUS ZenFone 5Z official

ASUS ZenFone 5Z

The ZenFone 5Z is like an upgraded version of the standard ZenFone 5, offering an octa-core Snapdragon 845 processor and up to 8GB of RAM. It’s got the same screen and cameras as its ZenFone 5 sibling, as well as dual speakers, a rear fingerprint reader, dual SIM slots, microSD slot, and 6.2-inch display with 19:9 aspect ratio and notch.

ASUS ZenFone 5Q, 5 Lite official

ASUS ZenFone 5Q (also known as ZenFone 5 Lite internationally)

This more affordable ZenFone device doesn’t have a notch like the ZenFone 5 and 5Z, but it does still have a large screen and dual rear camera setup. The ZenFone 5Q packs a 6-inch 2160×1080 display, dual rear camera setup with 20MP Sony IMZ376 sensor and f/2.0 aperture and secondary wide angle camera, and a 16MP front-facing camera.

The ZenFone 5Q also boasts an octa-core Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, dual SIM slots, a microSD slot, a 3,300mAh battery, and a microUSB port. There’s a rear fingerprint reader for added security.

ASUS ZenFone Max M1 official

ASUS ZenFone Max M1

The focus of the ZenFone Max M1 is its battery: This phone’s packing a whopping 4,000mAh battery. It also offers trendy features like an 18:9 display (5.5-inch 1440×720) and a dual rear camera setup. The main rear camera is a 13MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture while the second is an 8MP wide angle camera, and there’s an 8MP camera around front, too.

The ZenFone Max M1’s glass and metal body is home to a quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, dual SIM slots, a microSD card slot, Bluetooth 4.0, and a microUSB port. For added security, there are face unlock and fingerprint reader features.

The ZenFone 5, ZenFone 5Z, ZenFone 5Q, and ZenFone Max M1 will come preloaded with Android Oreo below ASUS’s custom ZenUI 5.0 user interface.  Expect to see the ZenFone Q in March, the ZenFone 5 in April, and the ZenFone 5Z in June. Pricing details are largely still unkown, but ASUS has said that the ZenFone 5Z will cost $ 499.

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Qualcomm intros Snapdragon X24 LTE modem that supports speeds up to 2Gbps

Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem official

There may be a lot of focus on 5G lately, but today Qualcomm announced a new cellular modem that utilizes LTE.

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem is now official. It’s the world’s first Category 20 LTE modem with support for download speeds up to 2Gbps. Also of note is that the chip is built using a 7nm FinFET process.

The Snapdragon X24 supports up to 7x carrier aggregation on the downlink as well as 4×4 MIMO on five aggregated LTE carriers, which works out to a total of up to 20 concurrently spatial LTE streams. When it comes to uploads, the X24 supports Category 20 speeds, 3x20MHz carrier aggregation and up to 256 QAM.

Qualcomm plans to show off its Snapdragon X24 LTE modem at MWC later this month. The chip is expected to begin appearing in commercial devices by the end of 2018.

Several US carriers have announced plans to begin rolling out 5G coverage in 2019, but we’ll have to wait until at least 2020 before there’s anything resembling widespread 5G coverage. Plus, not everyone is going to be a 5G early adopter. That’s where improved LTE modems like the Snapdragon X24 come in, bringing faster LTE service to those consumers and devices that’ll be using 4G for the foreseeable future. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

Snapchat Intros ‘Create Your Own Lenses’ Feature in iOS App

Back in December of last year, Snap, Inc., officially announced and launched a new Lens Studio feature on the Mac, which would let Snapchat users create their own lenses and filters. Continue reading
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Samsung intros limited edition Galaxy Note 8 for the 2018 Winter Olympics

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition

Two years ago, Samsung introduced a special edition Olympic Games version of its Galaxy S7 edge to celebrate the 2016 Summer Games. Now the Winter Olympics are about to kick off, and Samsung has another special device to celebrate.

The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition is a special Galaxy Note 8 to celebrate the Winter Games that are happening in South Korea next month. This device features a white back plate with Olympics branding as well as a white and gold S Pen. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 2018 Winter Olympics limited edition

Samsung is also preloading the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition with special PyeongChang 2018-themed wallpapers and “useful apps” to help owners get the most of their Olympic Games experience.

More than 4,000 units of this special Galaxy Note 8 will be distributed to all Olympians and the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic family. That includes the staff of the International Olympic Committee and the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Unfortunately, there will not be any PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition units sold to consumers. The only way to get one of these devices is to be an Olympic athlete or a member of the IOC or POCOG.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 2018 Winter Olympics packaging

While this special edition Galaxy Note 8 is similar to all other Note 8’s in terms of specs, there will surely be a lot of folks that want this limited edition model. The white back plate and special S Pen look pretty sharp and will surely stand out from all other Note 8 phones on the market.

Samsung also plans to give smartphones to all of the Paralympians at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. They’ll all get the Galaxy Note 8 as well as cases with the Paralympic Games logo. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

Scosche intros new iPhone-compatible MagicMount Charge & Elite lines

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Accessory maker Scosche announced a series of car mounts this week, including the MagicMount Pro Charge line, supporting Qi wireless charging on the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X.
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Samsung intros Exynos 9810 chip with improved LTE modem and facial recognition

Samsung Exynos 9810 processor official

One month after Qualcomm announced its flagship Snapdragon 845 processor, Samsung has revealed a new chipset of its own.

The Samsung Exynos 9810 is now official. Built on a 10nm FinFET process, the 9810 has an octa-core CPU with four custom cores that can reach 2.9GHz as well as four cores that are optimized for efficiency. Samsung says single-core performance has improved two-fold and that multi-core performance is up 40 percent over this chip’s processor.

Samsung has also included a Cat.18 LTE modem in the Exynos 9810 that supports up to 6x carrier aggregation for up to 1.2Gbps download speeds and 200Mbps upload speeds. The modem also supports 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and enhanced License Assisted Access (eLAA) tech.

Samsung Exynos 9810 chip photo

Another notable feature of the Exynos 9810 is its neural network deep learning. With it, the 9810 can accurately recognize people and items in photos for image searching and categorization. It can also use depth sensing to scan a user’s face in 3D for hybrid face detection, which enables realistic face-tracking filters and stronger face identification security.

Speaking of security, Samsung says the Exynos 9810 has a separate security processing unit for protecting personal data like a user’s facial, iris, and fingerprint info.

The Exynos 9810 is currently in mass production.

This looks like a solid flagship processor from Samsung, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Exynos 9810 powering the Galaxy S9 when the phone is announced later this year. It’s got the CPU and LTE performance that you want in a high-end chipset, and the face detection and security features sound like they’d could help create competition to Apple’s iPhone X and its Animoji and Face ID features. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

Verizon kicks off $300 discount on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, also intros new network extender

New Verizon logo large

Verizon today made two announcements to kickstart December: one new deal and one new product.

First up, Verizon is offering $ 300 off the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL when purchased with device payments. That $ 300 discount comes in the form of promotion credits that’ll be applied to your account over 24 months.

There’s no trade-in required to get this Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL deal, which is available in stores today and online starting Sunday, December 3rd.

Verizon Samsung 4G LTE Network Extender 2

Also of note is that Verizon today launched the Samsung 4G LTE Network Extender 2. Priced at $ 249.99, this device enhances your Verizon 4G LTE coverage around your home or business using your home internet connection.

The Samsung 4G LTE Network Extender 2 covers an area up to 7,500 square feet and supports up to 14 active devices at once. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts