NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc refreshed some of its lesser-known products at a New York event on Tuesday, adding iPhone features like facial recognition to the iPad Pro and faster processors and better displays to some Mac computers that had gone years without a major update.
The devices will hit stores on Nov. 7. Counting new iPhones and Apple Watches released last month, Apple will have more than half a dozen new products on shelves for the holiday shopping season, many at higher prices than previous models.
The Cupertino, California, company introduced new versions of the iPad Pro, its higher-end tablet that competes with Microsoft Corp’s Surface, with thinner bezels and more screen space, along with the face unlock system found on Apple’s newer iPhones.
Prices for the iPad Pros increased to $799 and $999 for 11- and 12.9-inch models, though Apple plans to keep an older 10.5-inch version on sale for $649.
Introducing the new iPad Pro — Apple - YouTube
Apple unveiled the updates at an opera house at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, calling the venue a haven for creative activity. The company has been working to win back professionals like graphic designers targeted by Microsoft with its Surface tablets, which have gained market share this year.
Apple also played up software partnerships with Adobe Inc and Autodesk Inc , whose programs will now work on Apple’s iPad Pro.
In July Apple reported its worst quarter of Mac sales since 2010, with unit volumes down 13 percent year over year, while iPad unit sales rose only 1 percent from a year earlier. Revenue for both fell 5 percent from the prior year.
A new version of the Mac Book Air, originally released in 2011, will feature a higher-resolution display and thinner bezels and start at $1,199, up from $999.
“Yes, you save a bit compared to the Mac Book Pro, but that’s not your main reason for buying it,” which is instead power and portability, said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. She said Apple “knows they have a very loyal user base that will be willing to spend the money.”
Apple said the Mac Mini, a small desktop customers provide their own display and accessories for, would add processing power and memory capacity and start at $799, also an increase.
As with previous models, the new machines rely on processors from Intel Corp , but Apple said an increasing number of security features on the devices are being handled by its own so-called T2 chip.
Introducing the new MacBook Air — Apple - YouTube
Apple introduced new iPhones and Apple Watches last month, but the older product lines accounted for $45 billion in sales in the most recent fiscal quarter. In comparison, iPhones brought in revenue of $141.3 billion.
“They really wanted to show the world they haven’t forgotten about the iPad and the Mac,” said Mika Kitagawa, a senior principal research analyst at Gartner.
Some of the recent dip in Mac sales can be explained by timing. Apple had waited until July to release new Macs, instead of June as in previous years.
And Mac sales growth has outpaced the PC market, while the iPad has been the most successful tablet in a market that turned out to be smaller than Apple hoped when it released the device in 2010.
Microsoft’s Surface line offers a hybrid between a tablet and laptop that runs Microsoft’s full Windows operating system. The iPad Pro runs the same operating system as iPhones.
The iPad Pro models have a USB-C port that allows them to work with an external monitor for the first time. When combined with the existing ability for an iPad Pro to work with a keyboard, the new port brings the devices closer to becoming a laptop competitor, Milanesi said.
“When people are looking at using this as their main computing device, that’s where you might seem the move toward the 12.9-inch” iPad Pro, she said.
Apple shares last traded nearly flat at $212.39.
(Reporting by Angela Moon in New York and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Meredith Mazzilli)
Apple has confirmed its new iPhone lineup, which includes the iPhone XR, iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will be available to preorder from October 19.
Customers in Thailand will be able to preorder the new iPhones from the Apple website, with delivery expected early in November.
Apple confirmed the iPhone XR will start at 29,900 Baht, while the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will start at 39,900 Baht and 43,900 Baht, respectively.
The new iPhones were first unveiled by Apple in September but this the first time customers in Thailand will be able to get their hands on them.
The iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max are updated versions of last year’s iPhone X, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
The handsets retain the design of the iPhone X, including its 5.8 inch OLED display. The iPhone Xs Max, is Apple’s largest handset to date and includes a 6.5 inch display.
The iPhone XR is arguably the most interesting of the three handsets.
While it is certainly not cheap, it will be a little easier on your wallet than the iPhone Xs and Xs Max.
The reason for the lower price is that the iPhone XR includes a standard LCD screen rather than the OLED display found in the other iPhones. The iPhone XR also only has a single lens camera, rather than a double lens as found on the iPhone Xs and Xs Max.
All three phones include the new A12 Bionic processor which Apple says is 15 percent faster than the A11 chip found in last year’s iPhone X.
There is still no word yet on when the Apple Watch 4 will be released in Thailand.
On November 9th, the first official Apple Store is set to open at the new Icon Siam shopping mall in Bangkok.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc on Monday released a smart speaker designed to ease video calls, but the company’s history of privacy mishaps and the device’s price and limited functionality could slow it from taking on market leaders Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.
The device, known as Portal, comes in $199 and $349 versions and its signature feature is a wide-angle camera that automatically keeps users in focus as they move about a room, Facebook hardware executives told Reuters in a meeting last week.
They said Portal is available at Amazon and Best Buy stores in addition to Facebook.com and starts shipping to U.S. customers in early November.
Smart speakers costing under $100 from Amazon and Google have become best sellers in the nascent industry. Users issue voice commands to search, shop and listen to music, turning the speakers into a major funnel into the technology companies’ competing networks.
Portal could help Facebook stop users from flocking to rival chat and video apps on other speakers and give it a new, wholly controlled environment to sell ads.
About 32 percent of U.S. consumers own a smart speaker, but another 16 percent plan to buy one by the end of 2018, according to an Adobe Analytics survey released last month.
Facebook expects to stand apart on the market because of Portal’s touchscreen and the 400 million people who call through its Messenger service each month worldwide. Rival smart speakers with screens lack a video-chatting app that is as popular.
Still, Amazon has shipped 1 million of its Echo speakers with displays over the last year, according to research firm Canalys, which expects 4 million such devices across brands to ship globally next year.
Portal’s camera, which uses a form of artificial intelligence to recognise body shapes, is a major marketing point, offering users the convenience of staying in the frame without having to adjust the device.
“Our goal is to make you feel present in the same space as the person on the other end,” said Rafa Camargo, the Facebook vice president overseeing Portal.
The launch of the product comes at a tricky time for Facebook. Last month, it announced an attacker gained the ability to take over 50 million user accounts because of software flaws. [L8N1WJ5PK]
Scrutiny this year over Facebook’s privacy and content moderation practices have led some people to abandon the service and the company to warn of thinning profits. [L4N1UL5I7]
Portal locks with a passcode, and its microphones and camera shuts off with the tap of a button. Video and voice calls are encrypted and contents of them are not stored, the company said.
Users can conference with any Messenger user.
Portal integrates Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to handle search queries, and Amazon collects audio files of requests made to Alexa.
The higher-priced Portal’s screen is 15.6 inches, versus 10 inches. Both display photos and notifications from Facebook and videos from Food Network, but offer few other applications.
Additional features are available during calls, including joint listening on Spotify. A handful of animated e-books such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” will be included at launch for interactive story time.
Portal runs on the open-source version of Google’s Android mobile operating system, similar to many Amazon devices.
Facebook’s previous hardware, including its Oculus virtual reality headset and a phone developed with HTC, gained little adoption.
(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Matthew Lewis)
(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will shut down the consumer version of its failed social network Google+ and tighten its data sharing policies after announcing on Monday that private profile data of at least 500,000 users may have been exposed to hundreds of external developers.
The issue was discovered and patched in March as part of a review of how Google shares data with other applications, Google said in a blog post. No developer exploited the vulnerability or misused data, the review found.
Shares of its parent company Alphabet closed down 1 percent at $1155.92 following the latest in a run of privacy issues to hit big U.S. tech companies.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Google opted not to disclose the security issue due to fears of regulatory scrutiny, citing unnamed sources and a memo prepared by Google’s legal and policy staff for senior executives.
Google feared disclosure would invite comparison to Facebook Inc’s leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica, the Journal reported, adding that Chief Executive Sundar Pichai had been briefed on the issue. Google declined to comment beyond its blog post.
Google said on Monday none of the thresholds it requires to disclose a breach were met after reviewing the type of data involved, whether it could identify the users to inform, establish any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take to protect themselves.
Security and privacy experts and financial analysts questioned the decision.
“Users have the right to be notified if their information could have been compromised,” said Jacob Lehmann, managing director at legal firm Friedman CyZen. “This is a direct result of the scrutiny that Facebook dealt with regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal.”
Google+ launched in 2011 as the advertising giant grew more concerned about competition from Facebook, which could pinpoint ads to users based on data they had shared about their friends, likes and online activity.
Google+ copied Facebook with status updates and news feeds and let people organize their groups of friends into what it calls “circles.”
But Google+ and the company’s other experiments with social media struggled to win over users because of complicated features and privacy mishaps.
Facebook introduced a feature that allowed users to connect their accounts with their profiles on dating, music and other apps.
Google followed suit, letting outside developers access some Google+ data with users’ permission. The bug disclosed on Monday, introduced in a software update, exposed private data including name, email address, occupation, gender and age, Google said. It could not definitely say how many users were affected because it said it keeps only two weeks of such records.
Google+ will remain an internal networking option for organizations that buy Google’s G Suite, a bundle of apps for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Google’s plan to withdraw the free version of Google+, scheduled for August, could help strengthen its case to U.S. policymakers and regulators that it is different from Facebook, which has faced political heat over allegations that data belonging to 87 million of its users was improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
Google refused to send Pichai to a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Sept. 5, where Facebook’s chief operating officer and Twitter Inc’s chief executive testified. An empty chair was left for Google after the committee rejected Google’s top lawyer as a witness.
Several policies Google introduced on Monday are designed to curb the data accessible to developers offering mobile apps on the Google Play store or add-on apps for sending and organizing Gmail messages.
Play Store apps will no longer be allowed to access text message and call logs unless they are the default calling or texting app on a user’s device or have an exception from Google.
Gmail add-ons available to consumers starting next year will be barred from selling user data and be subject to a third-party security assessment that will cost them about $15,000 to $75,000, Google said.
Such moves could strengthen Google by making it harder for competing services to grow off its data, said Chris Messina, a designer who worked on Google+ before leaving in 2013. “In 2011, you wanted casual, scrappy developers creating apps, and now it is going to require a professional class that is serious. The walls are going up.”
(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru, Paresh Dave in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Bill Rigby)
The new Xiaomi Mi Laptop Air performs all the tasks you need of it and much more besides
A NEW ultra-light notebook computer that packs a powerful punch, the Xiaomi Mi Laptop Air 13.3” will look good on any desk thanks to a sleek dark grey magnesium-alloy body that’s a mere 14.8 mm thick. The 13.3-inch Gorilla-glass laminated Full HD display has narrow bezels of only 5.59 mm, contributing to the laptop’s high screen ratio of 80.1 per cent and enhancing its premium look and feel.
The display has 1920×1080 pixels resolution with pixel depth of 166 pp and boasts a 170-degree viewing angle, meaning that you can see what’s on the screen no matter where you’re standing. Brightness is good too, with 300 nits and a high 800:1 contrast ratio.
And despite being ultra-light, its graphics performance is not compromised as the Mi Air uses NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2 gigabytes of GDDR5 dedicated video memory rather than graphic power embedded in the chipset and having to share the main memory for the graphics display.
Performance-wise, the Mi Air gets it power from Intel’s latest processor, the 8th Generation Kaby Lake-Refresh Core i5-8250U with a clock speed of 1.6 GHz and maximum speed of up to 3.4 GHz. Adding to its impressive performance is an 8 GB DDR4 working memory or RAM running at 2.4 GHz and superfast 256GB SSD storage. The laptop also comes with an expandable SSD slot if you want to increase the storage capacity. Using an SSD drive enhances its performance because the PCIe SSD used by Mi Air is three times faster that the SATA hard drive widely used in laptops.
The fast quad-core processor, fast and high capacity of RAM and fast storage plus fast graphics translate into an impressive performance for an ultra-light laptop.
Moreover, the Mi Air comes with a fast wireless connection 802.11ac 2×2 Wireless AC adapter. The laptop has the ports you need –a USB-C, two USB 3.0s, one HDMI port and one 3.5mm headphone jack.
The USB-C port is mainly for charging the laptop but can also used simultaneously for data transfer with an optional dock attaining a transfer speed of 5 GB/s. With the high data transfer speed and optional dock and cables, you can output the display to 4K, thus allowing you to use the laptop as a movie player for your large 4K TV.
The Mi Air also has good sound quality whether you’re watching movies or listening to music. That sound quality is achieved by incorporating two 2W custom speakers developed by AKG and adopting Dolby Audio Premium Surround Sound technology. The Dolby Audio allows you to select preset sound settings of Dynamic, Movie, Music, Game and Voice and personalise your own sound setting by adjusting the equaliser.
The Mi Air laptop runs on easy-to-use Windows 10 Home operating system with Cortana, Microsoft’ personal digital assistant that allows you to use voice command to interact with the notebook computer.
During my test, Cortana guided me step by step through how to set up the laptop for first use.
I found that the Mi Air handled business applications, like Microsoft Word, fast and smoothly. Microsoft Edge web browser also ran fast and smoothly.
Photos editing and video rendering was speedy too thanks to its dedicated graphics adapter and video memory.
Video clips also ran fast and beautifully on the 13-inch display and the games had no glitches.
The backlit keyboard was responsive and easy to type on.
And the Mi Air comes with a large Windows precision glass touchpad (110 x 67mm) that feels smooth to the touch and supports multi-touch gestures for swift and precise controls.
What I liked most was the fingerprint scanner, which is integrated with the touchpad’s top right corner. Cortana guided me to scan my fingerprint that allows quick unlock of the laptop.
The Mi Air has good battery life with about nine hours of online video playback, 7.5 hours of local video playback, and 7.5 hours of web browsing. It uses a 40Wh high-density lithium polymer battery.
The battery charger is not large and can be carried along with the laptop easily. Since it uses the USB-C port for charging, you can also use it to charge your flagship Android smartphone. And Mi Air supports 1C fast charge technology, allowing up to 50 per cent of battery recharging in just 30 minutes.
The Mi Laptop Air 13.3” is available for Bt35,990 at Mi stores, IT City, Advice shops, and other major IT shops.
ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss watch industry faces an increased threat from a new Apple Watch able to detect heart problems that is likely to appeal to older shoppers, industry experts said on Thursday.
Apple Inc presented the new Apple Watch Series 4 able to take an electrocardiogram to detect an irregular heartbeat and start an emergency call automatically if it detects a user falling down.
“Far from just being an evolution, the new Apple Watch 4 is probably a revolution because it does not only target the wrists of geeks, but also of people over 45 who care about their health,” industry expert Gregory Pons said on his watch website businessmontres.com.
Apple has rapidly gained share in the watch market, with connected technology research firm CCS Insight estimating that the tech giant will come close this year to matching worldwide sales of Swiss-made watches, which had shipments of 24 million units in 2017.
Exports of Swiss watches in the entry-price segment — a retail price of up to around $500 — have steadily declined over the past years, with competition from smartwatches one of the factors responsible.
Brands in that price range include Swatch Group’s Swatch and Tissot, the Mondaine brand and fashion watches made by U.S. watchmaker Fossil.
“The Apple Watch continues to improve and provide additional relevant functions. I think this will represent a harder and harder challenge to entry-price Swiss-made watches, which are not in a position to stay relevant,” Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca said.
The Apple Watch Series 4 is priced from $399.
The head of LVMH’s watch division, which makes watches under the Zenith, Hublot and TAG-Heuer brands, Jean-Claude Biver thought the Apple Watch did not pose a threat to Swiss watches above a certain price point.
People getting into watches thanks to an Apple product were more likely to buy a Swiss timepiece later on, he said in emailed comments.
Shares in Richemont were up 0.2 percent at 1315 GMT, while those of peer Swatch Group, which is more exposed to the entry-price segment, were down 0.6 percent.
Shares of fitness device rival Fitbit Inc fell 6.9 percent after the Series 4 announcement on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Keith Weir)
Older iPhones may lose dongles, move to hurt chip supplier Cirrus – Barclays
(Reuters) – Apple Inc’s older iPhones would no longer include lightning-to-headphone jack adapters, the company’s website showed on Thursday, which according to Barclays would hurt audio chip supplier Cirrus Logic .
Shares of Cirrus, which makes analogue chips used in Apple devices, fell 3.8 percent to $39.46. In fiscal 2018, Apple accounted for about 81 percent of Cirrus total sales.
Cirrus did not immediately respond to request for comment and Apple declined to comment.
Comparing the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 pages from last week to today, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis wrote in a note he had found that Apple “will remove the dongle (~$1.00 CRUS content) from its entire suite of phones.”
“While CRUS did admit the dongle was out in current generations, it’s an additional negative that they are also removing the dongle from the older products,” Curtis said.
Apple introduced three new iPhones, including its largest-ever iPhone and a watch that detects heart problems on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
CUPERTINO, Calif. (Reuters) – Apple Inc introduced its largest-ever iPhone and a watch that detects heart problems on Wednesday in an attempt to get customers to upgrade to more expensive devices in the face of stagnant global demand for smartphones.
The relatively small changes to its lineup, following last year’s overhauled iPhone X, were widely expected by investors and the company’s shares ended down 1.2 percent at $221.07.
The strategy has been successful, helping Apple’s stock to rise more than 30 percent this year and making it the first publicly traded U.S. company to hit a market value of more than $1 trillion.
Philip W. Schiller, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing of Apple, speaks about the the new Apple iPhone XS at an Apple Inc product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Apple’s new iPhone XS, pronounced “ten S,” has a 5.8-inch (14.7-cm) screen, and will be sold at a starting price of $999. The XS Max, the largest iPhone to date and one of the biggest on the market, has a 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) screen, and will start selling at $1,099.
“They have finally added a larger-screen phone so that they can directly compete with the Galaxy Note9 products,” Gartner analyst Annette Zimmermann said at the event at Apple’s Silicon Valley headquarters, referring to rival Samsung Electronics which has led the trend toward big-screen phones.
“The larger screen will be very important in China to turn around the trend there, because they have lost some share in the last few years, partly because of screen size,” she added.
Apple also introduced a lower-cost 6.1-inch (15.5 cm) iPhone XR made of aluminium, at a starting price at $749.
Philip W. Schiller, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing of Apple, speaks about the the new Apple iPhone XR at an Apple Inc product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
The iPhone XS Max’s display size is 26 percent larger than the previous largest iPhone display, marking it the largest increase in screen size since 2014, wrote analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures in a note.
This year’s three top phones are all more expensive than last year’s models.
With two of them starting at $999 or higher in the United States, Apple appears to be taking advantage of a strong U.S. economy, low unemployment, and rising household wealth. The median U.S. household income rose for a third straight year in 2017 to the highest on record since 1967 by one measure, government data showed on Wednesday.
MEDICAL DEVICE MARKET
Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Apple, speaks about the the new Apple Watch Series 4 at an Apple Inc product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Looking for ways to lessen reliance on phones, which represent more than 60 percent its revenue, Apple opened its event by announcing the new Apple Watch Series 4 with edge-to-edge displays, like its latest phones, and they are more than 30 percent bigger than displays on current models.
It is positioning the new watch as a more comprehensive health device, able to take an electrocardiogram to detect an irregular heartbeat and start an emergency call automatically if it detects a user falling down, potentially appealing to older customers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it worked with Apple to develop apps for the Apple Watch and has been taking steps to ease the regulatory pathway for companies seeking to create digital healthcare products.
As many as 6.1 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, a heart disease involving irregular heart rhythm for which the Watch could offer an early warning. That number is expected to double by 2050 as the population gets older, according to the American Heart Association.
“This does have a lot of potential for patients,” said Dr. Michael Valentine, president of the American College of Cardiology and a cardiologist at Central Health in Lynchburg, Virginia. “Clinicians face patients every day with palpitations, rapid heart rates, and other symptoms,” and the doctors want a more portable monitoring and recording system.
BMO Capital Markets analyst Joanne Wuensch added that physicians would be unlikely to make medical treatment based on data from the watch, though it could encourage patients to see cardiologists.
Healthcare technology analyst Ross Muken at Evercore said many companies were developing monitoring devices. “This update really establishes the company’s increasing efforts to push the watch as a serious medical device,” he said of Apple.
Shares of fitness device rival Fitbit Inc fell 6.9 percent after the Series 4 announcement on Wednesday.
Apple’s event was held at the Steve Jobs Theater in its new circular headquarters in Cupertino, California, named after the company’s co-founder who wowed the world with the first iPhone in 2007.
Executives made no mention of a wireless charging mat, or content deals for Apple TV, as some industry analysts had expected.
“We all knew this was going to be a transitional but not transformational phone update,” said Trip Miller, managing partner at hedge fund Gullane Capital, which owns Apple shares.
(Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in Cupertino, California; Additional reporting by Deena Beasley in Los Angeles, Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru, Nadine Schimroszik in Berlin and Yasmeen Abutaleb in Washington; Writing by Bill Rigby; Editing by Peter Henderson and Nick Zieminski)
The Note 9, that is a smartphone so adaptable that you can even use it as a PC
THE BRAND new smartphone from the Samsung stable, the Note9, will go a long way to restoring confidence in the South Korean tech giant thanks to a greatly improved S Pen stylus, a faster processor and faster performance as well as a larger battery.
It retains the shape and footprint of its predecessor, measuring 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm and weighing 201 grammes, but has a slightly larger display of 6.4 inches compared to Note8’s 6.3, though both offer 1440×2960 pixel resolutions.
Note9 is powered by Samsung Exynos 9 octa 9810 processor with four cores running at 2.7 GHz and the other four at 1.7 GHz.
Note9 has six gigabytes of working memory, the same amount as the Note8 but the latest model has 128 GB internal storage compared to 64GB.
Note9 has good performance. I benchmarked it with AnTuTu Benchmark v7.1.0 and the smartphone got a high score of 247,453 points.
During the test, I found Note9 was very responsive in terms of the touch screen, menus and running the apps as well as in the use of the stylus.
Game players should be happy too because Note9 uses a water-carbon cooling system that helps prevent overheating, and an AI-based performance adjuster that ensures the game stays smooth and doesn’t become not sluggish
Note9 also has fast internet connection. I tested it on TrueMove H’s LTE network. The applications downloaded fast and my snapshots were backed up to my cloud storage in no time.
I used the Ookla Speedtest app to measure the Internet connection speed and found that it achieved a fast download speed of 79.4 Mbps and the upload speed of 41.5 Mbps.
Note9’s display is called Infinity Display and is akin to the Full View display of other brands. It has narrow bezels at the top and bottom and is near bezel-less at the left and right edges. Moreover, the iris scanner and sensors are hidden away at the top to cut down on visual disruption and to give you more space.
The high resolution of 2960×1440 pixels or Quad HD+ is impressive for viewing photos and watching video clips. During the test, I enjoyed using TrueID TV app to watch Premiere League Football matches and new Full-HD movies on the go.
Galaxy Note9’s Infinity Display is complemented by stereo speakers, which are tuned by AKG, and deliver Dolby Atmos immersive audio for a life like experience. This allows Note9 to provide good sound experience when watching movies.
YouTube was impressed too, naming Galaxy Note9 as a Signature Device able to deliver a best-in-class YouTube experience.
Moreover, the Note9’s display has vivid colours, high brightness and contrast. It intelligently adjusts the contrast bases on the light, so you can enjoy clear and visible details whether indoors or in direct sunlight.
Note9 can also play High-Resolution Audio. I tested it with Sony MDR-1ABT Hi-Res Audio headphones and I found that the sound quality was impressive with good music details and powerful bass.
And the 6.4-inch display is a vast canvas for using the S Pen stylus to draw or jot down your notes.
Samsung has said that it’s particularly proud of the new S Pen, referring to its development as “evolving from a tool for writing and drawing to putting more power and control in users’ hands”.
Now with Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) support, the new S Pen delivers an entirely new way to use the Note. With just a click on the S Pen’s button, it’s now possible to take selfies and group pictures, present slides, pause and play video, and more.
And Samsung is confident that developers can integrate the S Pen’s new, advanced BLE functionalities into their apps later this year.
This function is very useful indeed and it works depending on the current use of the phone. For example, when you play music, you can press the S Pen button once to play or pause the music or double-press it to skip the track.
When you are viewing photos in Gallery app, you can press the S Pen button to move to the next photo and double-press to go back to the previous photo. This could be handy when you link the display from Note9 to a big screen TV to present a slide show from the Gallery.
When you are using the camera app, you can press once to take picture just as you would if using a shutter button or you can double-press it to switch between the rear and front camera.
The Note9 features dual camera technology for the rear camera and uses intelligent technology to make your pictures perfect.
The main camera comes with advanced noise reduction technology, and a Dual Aperture lens, which adjusts to light just like the human eye so the camera can capture good quality shots no matter the lighting conditions.
The dual cameras come with dual OIS (optical image stabilisation) for making blur-free shots. The rear dual-camera system is made of wide-angle fast-focus Dual Pixel 12 MP camera that comes with f/1.5/f2.4 aperture lens and a 2x telephoto 12MP with f/2.4 aperture lens. When you use the camera in Auto mode, you’ll see a button on the view finder to switch between the wide-angle and telephoto cameras.
The auto mode uses Samsung’s Scene Optimiser technology to get best the results. Samsung says Note9’s camera is its smartest as the Scene Optimiser uses artificial intelligence to identify elements of a photo, such as the scene and subject. The AI then automatically identifies the current scene to one of 20 categories and instantly optimises the result based on the category to ensure the most lifelike image with best colours and definition.
Note9’s cameras also have Flaw Detection option that can be selected in the setting. When selected, Note9 will let you know if there is something wrong in the first shot so you can take another shot right away and will not miss the moment. For example, an immediate notification will appear if the image is blurry, the subject blinked, there is a smudge on the lens, or there’s backlight impacting the quality of the image.
Apart from the Auto mode, the rear camera has Food, Panorama, Pro, Live focus, Super slo-mo, AR Emoji, Hyperlapse and Slow motion modes.
The Live focus mode is for making most of the dual camera system to achieve DSLR-like blurred background to make the subject outstanding. In this mode, there will be a slide bar for you to adjust the depth of field to blur the background. Moreover, you can add beauty effect to your subject in this mode to make him or her look more outstanding with bright and smooth skin.
The AR Emoji is fun for creating an emoji of your subject or adding animations, frames, and stickers using augmented reality. The AR Emoji is also available for the front camera for making your own emoji.
The front camera has 8-megapixel resolution with a bright f/1.7 aperture lens. It also has Wide Selfie mode for taking group selfie photos.
During the test, I found that Note9 took beautiful photos with sharp and clean results in most lighting environments. The Live focus mode allowed me to capture beautiful subjects with a professionally blurred background.
The AR Emoji is fun to make. It created 30 emoji in animated GIF files that I could then share via Facebook Messenger and LINE chat apps to impress friends.
Galaxy Note9 features Samsung’s trusted, defence-grade Knox security platform and biometric security options including fingerprint scanning, iris scanning and facial recognition capabilities to keep important information safe. During the test, I used iris scanning technology to easily unlock the phone. The set up of iris scanning was a breeze.
You can also use Note9 with peace of mind without fearing it would accidentally fall into the water or without having to fear heavy downpours while you’re out. The smartphone conforms to IP68 water and dust resistance, meaning it can be under 1.5-metre of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.
Note9 comes with a larger battery of 4,000 mAh capacity compared to 3,300 mAh of its predecessor. With this large battery, you can easily survive all-day use. The battery supports both wired and wireless fast charging – QC2.0 and AFC for wired and WPC and PMA for wireless fast charging.
Note9 comes with Bixby, a personalised, intelligent assistant that allows you to give voice commands to the phone.
And with the launch of Galaxy Note9, Samsung is making it easier to enjoy music with a new long-term partner, Spotify. The partnership makes Spotify easily accessible to seamlessly sync and transfer music, playlists and podcasts across Galaxy Note9.
A nice and useful function is Note9’s capacity to delivers a PC-like experience with optional Samsung DeX. This allows you to work on presentations, edit photos, and watch favourite shows on a large monitor connected to Note9 via Samsung DeX, using HDMI adapter.
When connected to a monitor, Galaxy Note9 can power a virtualised desktop and even serve as a fully functional second screen. Take notes with the S Pen while watching a video, or use Galaxy Note9 as a trackpad, to right-click, drag and drop, and use multiple windows on a monitor. It’s never been easier to be more productive.
Samsung Galaxy Note9 has a suggested retail price of Bt33,900.
>> Network: LTE Cat 18
>> OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
>> CPU: Samsung Exynos 9 octa 9810 (2.7 GHz four cores + 1.7 GHz four cores)
>> Memory: 6GB LPDDR4 RAM
>> Storage: 128GB upgradable with microSD by up to 512GB
>> Display: 6.4-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960×1440 (516ppi)
>> Camera: Rear: Dual Camera with Dual OIS made of Wide-angle: Super Speed Dual Pixel 12MP AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS and Telephoto: 12MP AF, F2.4, OIS 2X optical zoom; Front: 8MP AF, F1.7
>> Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM,?Bluetooth v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC
iTS COOLER +. A Multi- media, Multi-App, Multi- screen platform, bringing all your social media, newsfeeds, YouTube, Cloud TV, and search engine, to one page, one platform, one click functions
At present we have a limited number of external apps, being Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus, with Pinterest shortly becoming available and Facebook, Instagram following shortly, we also have currently Google browser, and links to extensive newsfeed options from thirteen countries and ten news channels.
All of the above on one unique, page, one platform, which allows you to watch and view up to 4 videos/newsfeeds simultaneously – a ground breaking viewing experience with personal, business and specialist applications.
Very shortly, we are adding Hoola TV (70 station UK TV cloud streamer) which we will be able to offer the expat community in Thailand and other parts of Asia and SKYPE (YES!).
What with more social media, email, IM and A/V streams coming on board soon as well as live TV which will transform online viewing experience with our multiscreen option. Very excitingly, even our first beta version of iTS COOLER PLUS is computer, tablet and smartphone compatible (landscape format).