Tech News

Former BT CEO Gavin Patterson joins Salesforce

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 06:09

Former BT CEO Gavin Patterson has been named as Salesforce chairman for EMEA, offering “strategic guidance” to businesses in the region.

Before and after his departure from BT earlier this year, Patterson had been linked with a move to the sporting world, specifically the vacant role of CEO of the Premier League. However, he will now be hoping for a smooth transition from telecoms to CRM.

EMEA is Salesforce’s fastest growing region. It reported growth of 30 per cent during Q2, while the company has invested billions of pounds in expansion programmes, creating new jobs, building new data centres and opening new offices.

Patterson Salesforce

“Salesforce is a special company with an enviable track record and phenomenal future opportunities in EMEA,” said Gavin Patterson. “I look forward to supporting this team of talented leaders as the business moves into its next phase of growth.”

Patterson was appointed the managing director of BT Consumer in 2004 and joined the BT board four years later. In 2013 he stepped up to the top job, replacing Ian Livingston who joined the House of Lords.

During his tenure, he oversaw the launch and expansion of BT Sport, the £12.5 billion acquisition of EE, and the separation of Openreach into an independent company. However investors were concerned by an accounting scandal and £530 million writedown at the Italian division of BT Global Services as well as Patterson’s relationship with regulator Ofcom.

But Salesforce is convinced the former Proctor & Gamble man can help continue growth in EMEA.

“Gavin is a highly respected leader and innovator, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to Salesforce as our EMEA Chairman,” said Salesforce co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Keith Block.

“His extensive experience in digital communications, customer engagement and systems delivery makes him a powerful addition to our EMEA team as we head into the next phase of growth and customer success in the region.”

Categories: Tech News

Apple TV Plus is coming to Samsung's smart TVs

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 06:05

If you've got a Samsung TV, were interested in the new Apple TV Plus service but weren't bothered about buying an actual Apple TV unit - you're in luck.

Samsung announced during its IFA 2019 press conference that Apple's new platform will be rolling out to its smart TVs, meaning its one of the first brands to announce support for TV Plus outside of Cupertino.

There wasn't a lot more info on the integration, although Samsung did confirm that TV Plus was going to work with Bixby, integrate into the Smart Guide on the TV and work over Airplay 2 as well - meaning easy streaming from an iPhone or iPad.

Enemies or friends?

That's an even deeper integration between two brands who are fierce rivals in the smartphone space - but Samsung is now one of the strongest third-party supporters of Apple's TV platforms.

It was one of the first to offer the Apple TV app on its devices, allowing iUsers to play their purchased iTunes films and TVs shows straight from the TV, and now that it's supporting Apple TV Plus it's going to be even deeper in that integration.

We're quite light on details about when this will be happening - Apple's TV Plus service isn't launching until later in 2019, so it might not happen until 2020 - but it seems certain that owners of (modern) Samsung TVs will be able to sign up for Apple's original content in the coming months.

(We're still waiting on a press release to completely confirm that it's Apple TV Plus that's going to be landing on Samsung's smart TV platform, and not just a mistake uttered on stage)

IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show, and the TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TVs, laptops, wearables and other products as they're announced.

Categories: Tech News

Intel announces Core i9-9900KS October launch with a swipe at AMD over boost clocks

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 05:47

Over at IFA 2019, Intel held a press event in which it revealed that the Core i9-9900KS – a processor capable of reaching 5GHz across all of its eight cores, which was first unveiled back at Computex – will go on sale in October.

This is essentially a binned version of the Core i9-9900K, meaning Intel has cherry-picked the best silicon from those parts – the chips capable of actually reaching 5GHz across all cores (normally, the 9900K only reaches 5GHz with single-core Turbo).

While Intel revealed that the 9900KS will hit shelves next month, sadly it didn’t indicate the price tag, or indeed reveal the TDP (although it will doubtless be higher than the 95W of the base 9900K).

What Intel did say was that the turbo speed of 5GHz means 5GHz, which clearly enough was a dig at AMD, and the recent controversy over Ryzen 3000 processors not hitting their advertised boost speeds (due to a firmware bug, AMD claims, which the company has promised it’s now fixing).

Indeed, to underline that, as spotted by The Guru of 3D, Intel showed one slide entitled ‘questioning from the community’ which highlighted the whole Ryzen 3000 boost episode and issues over ‘clocks, performance consistency, [and] transparency’.

As Tom’s Hardware further reports, Intel showed off a PC using the 9900KS running Hitman 2 and consistently reaching 5GHz across all cores, save for the odd ‘dip’.

Cool customer

The other point to note here, though, is that your cooling solution will need to be good enough to allow the 9900KS to stretch its full Turbo legs – on that Hitman 2 demo PC, Intel was using a Corsair 240mm AIO liquid cooler.

Of course, the other thing to bear in mind is that the 9900KS is still a 14nm Coffee Lake Refresh processor, whereas Ryzen 3rd-gen chips are built on Zen 2 (7nm), AMD’s new architecture which offers an impressive performance boost in and of itself (with a considerable uplift in IPC, or instructions per clock).

Any boost clock niggles aside, we’ve tested the performance of Ryzen 3000 processors extensively, and come up hugely impressed, particularly with their value proposition. And of course the price tag of the 9900KS will be a key factor – which we don’t know yet.

Intel also mentioned Cascade Lake-X at this press briefing, showing a slide which stated that these new chips are coming next month – so also in October – offering up to 2.09x more in terms of relative performance per dollar than Skylake-X. That seems to indicate that these new high-end desktop processors may benefit from lower pricing.

Although a recent leak purporting to be from a Core i9 Cascade Lake-X 10-core processor didn’t leave us too impressed with how it shaped up compared to Ryzen Threadripper rivals, although we have to take any such pre-release leakage with a heavy pinch of salt, naturally.

IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show, and the TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TVs, laptops, wearables and other products as they're announced.

Categories: Tech News

Chrome is taking a page out of Firefox's book with new, tighter privacy settings

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 05:36

Google Chrome may soon block third-party tracking cookies, which monitor your behavior as you browse the web and follow you across different sites. The data they gather can be used to build a profile that can be sold to advertisers, with or without your knowledge or consent.

As Bleeping Computer reports, the latest version of Chrome Canary has a flag (an experimental feature) called 'Enable improved cookie controls UI'. When this flag is enabled, a new option called 'Block third-party cookies' will be added to the Cookies and Site Data screen, which can be accessed at chrome://settings/content/cookies.

Interestingly, this new flag has appeared just two days after the release of Firefox 69, which now blocks all third-party tracking cookies by default through its Advanced Tracking Protection feature.

Follow the leader

This is an interesting move by Google, which is facing a tough challenge as privacy becomes an ever-higher priority. It earns much of its income from advertising, which works far better when it's targeted – but users aren't too keen on the information-gathering that allows that targeting to happen.

A few weeks ago, Google proposed an idea for a 'privacy sandbox', which would allow Chrome to gather information on users' browsing and present them with targeted ads without giving advertisers more detail than strictly necessary.

In its proposal, Google defended cookies, saying that if they are blocked, advertising companies will move to more nefarious methods such as fingerprinting to track users' activity. It also noted that "...blocking cookies without another way to deliver relevant ads significantly reduces publishers’ primary means of funding, which jeopardizes the future of the vibrant web".

However, Google's suggestions for different ways of targeting advertising would depend on huge, industry-wide changes that would take many years to implement (if they were accepted at all). It may go against Google's instincts, but new cookie controls for Chrome would be a much quicker, easier way to tackle the problem, and would put users back in control of their own data.

Categories: Tech News

Google Pixel 4 listing points to four upcoming smartphones

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 05:28

The Google Pixel 4 range is expected to land very soon, and if more evidence were needed, four unknown Google handsets have just been listed by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

These listings usually appear shortly before the launch of a new phone, so the timing suggests both that these are listings for the Pixel 4 range, and that the phones are coming soon.

The model numbers are listed as A4RG020J, A4RG020I, A4RG020MN, and A4RG020PQ, and as AndroidPolice notes, they’re all approved to transmit using 58-63.5GHz spectrum, which overlaps with the range used by Project Soli – a feature that we know the Google Pixel 4 range will support.

That’s further evidence that this is indeed the Pixel 4 range, rather than new models in the Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3a range, as they don’t support Project Soli.

Project Soli is a new feature which lets the phone track hand gestures, so users can do things like waving their hand over the screen to skip songs or snooze alarms.

Sadly, the listing doesn’t include much else, but it’s worth noting that the presence of four models here doesn’t mean there will be four distinct versions of the Google Pixel 4. We’re expecting to see a Pixel 4 and a Pixel 4 XL, while the other two could simply be variations, such as different storage capacities. 

Having said that, we can't totally rule out four very different models.

Soli won't work everywhere

And speaking of Project Soli, in separate news we now have confirmation of where the feature will – and won’t – be supported.

A ‘coming soon’ page for the Pixel 4 on Best Buy’s website noted that Soli would work in the US, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, and most European countries (so likely, but not definitely, the UK), but that it specifically wouldn’t be functional in Japan.

That information appears to now have been removed, but not before XDA Developers got a screenshot of it. Coming from a major store we’d expect this information to be accurate, but it’s not clear whether Soli will later be brought to places that don’t support it on day one. We expect we’ll find out more when the Pixel 4 range is announced, likely in October.

Via TalkAndroid and AndroidCentral

Categories: Tech News

Huawei P30 Pro looks set to get Android 10 very soon

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 05:28

Now that Android 10 is here a number of smartphone brands are announcing the roadmaps for their handsets, and it looks like the Huawei P30 Pro could be the next device to get the upgrade.

That's according to a banner at annual tech event IFA 2019, spotted by Roland Quandt. showing the P30 Pro, with the words "The new Huawei P30 Pro with Android 10". It's quite an unambiguous message, really.

What we don't know is when Android 10 will come the the Huawei P30 Pro, because you certainly can't download the update at the moment, so "with Android 10" is a little misleading. 

On top of that, it's not clear what this means for the base Huawei P30 – presumably the new Android OS will be available on both of Huawei's newest handsets at the same time, but that's not a given.

TechRadar has asked Huawei about both of these things, and will update this article when we find out.

Android 10 availability is just as dubious for the upcoming Huawei Mate 30, since the handset was banned from using Google apps. That doesn't necessarily mean the device won't have Android itself (Android is made by Google), but it's highly unlikely, and instead Huawei will likely use its new and relatively untested HarmonyOS.

There are two new colors of Huawei P30 Pro available soon too: Misty Lavender (pink) and Mystic Blue (blue). These are both shown off on the banner. 

Huawei is exhibiting at IFA 2019, so we could hear more about the P30 Pro, Mate 30, and upcoming foldable Mate X, shortly. TechRadar is on hand to report on all the latest tech news as it happens.

Via 9to5Google

Categories: Tech News

Samsung's 55-inch QLED 8K TV is its smallest to date

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 05:26

Samsung has announced a new 55-inch QLED 8K TV during its IFA 2019 press conference.

It joins Samsung's 8K TV range which it announced in 2018, sliding in below the 65, 75, 82 and 85-inch models, making it the firm's smallest 8K TV to date.

With a smaller size, we hope it will also carry a smaller price tag. It should be the South Korean firm's most affordable QLED 8K TV, but it still won't be cheap.

It features the same Quantum AI processor (the more TV you watch, the smarter it gets, the better the image gets, frame by frame) and HDR10+ support as its siblings. It can also recognize and upscale lower resolution content to 8K quality.

The 55-inch Samsung QLED 8K TV release date is set for September, and it will cost you $2,499 (around £2,000, AU$3,700) from Samsung's own website - although that's apparently a saving of $1000 off the $3,499 retail price.

IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show, and the TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TVs, wearables and other devices as they're announced.

Categories: Tech News

TechRadar Pro Best for Business Awards 2019: Best peripherals

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 04:44

Last month we gave our readers a chance to cast their vote to help us narrow down our extensive longlists of the best B2B tech and accessories for the TechRadar Pro Best for Business Awards 2019, in partnership with Avast Business. Well the votes have been counted and here are our picks for the best peripherals in 2019.

Best Business Printer: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4740

This business-centric all-in-one inkjet printer is this year’s pick for the best business printer despite the fact that it was released in 2017. The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4740 offers excellent overall print quality with relatively low running costs which is why so many businesses rely on this printer day in and day out. Features such as Wi-Fi direct, NFC, auto duplexing, automatic document feeding and two-sided scanning make it even easier to send and print documents fast. 

Best Display Product for Business: Dell UltraSharp UP3218K

If you need a monitor with 8K resolution and fantastic color accuracy, look no further than the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K. This monitor was chosen as the best display product for business this year because its large 32-inch screen makes multitasking a joy while its gorgeous colors make it quite useful when editing photos. The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K’s design is sleek enough to stand out in any office but its high price may be hard for smaller firms to justify.

Best Network Product for Business: Huawei E5788 Gigabit LTE Cat.16 Mobile Hotspot

A mobile hotspot can make all the difference when trying to get some work done on the road and the Huawei E5788 Gigabit LTE Cat. 16 Mobile Hotspot takes things to a whole nother level. In addition to being the world’s first LTE Cat. 16 mobile hotspot, the device also comes unlocked which makes it perfect for travelling. Huawei has included a 2.4-inch touchscreen to make setting up your hotspot easier and with support for up to 32 users, an entire team can put the device to good use. 

Best Storage Device for Business: Samsung 31TB PM1643 SSD

The Samsung 31TB PM 1643 SSD is this year’s best storage device for business as well as the world’s largest solid state drive. With 30.72 terabytes of usable storage on one drive, businesses can rest easy knowing they can store all of their large files in one place. Since Samsung has managed to cram this much storage into a 2.5-inch form factor, you can easily fit two of these drives into a desktop computer. The drive itself is built from 32 sticks of 1TB NAND flash packages which all contain 16 layers of 512GB 3D Vertical NAND chips, giving it two times the capacity and speed of its predecessor.

  • Carry your important files with you wherever you go with the best portable SSD of 2019
Categories: Tech News

10GB for £10 - Virgin Mobile's new SIM only deal just made data cheaper

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 04:26

Entering a new phone contract can be daunting, particularly if you are are trying to cut costs wherever possible. Get it wrong and you could end up committing yourself to a tariff that fails to offer the best value - that's why increasingly more people are opting for SIM only deals.

As long as they're coming with lots of minutes, texts and data, going SIMO can be a great option when you get to the end of your contract. And if affordability is your primary concern but you still need plenty of data, then Virgin Mobile could be your best bet right now. Virgin's latest SIM only deal is offering you a very attractive 10GB for £10 per month, having cut its original price from £16. This basically means you're paying £1 for every GB you want, that's way less than the price of a cup of coffee per GB.

As if that isn't enough it is also offering 5000 minutes and unlimited texts with that deal, so that you don't have to compromise your data needs for your calling or texting.

Keep reading to learn more about this ace new SIMO deal from Virgin Mobile or, if you have greater data requirements, we'll tell you about what else the network has on offer.

Virgin Mobile's new SIM only deal in full: What other SIM only deals does Virgin have?

If you're a heavy streamer or are looking for more data then don't worry because Virgin Mobile's other SIM only deals include a 45GB data tariff for £18 a month and 120GB data for £22 bills. 

Or if you happen to be a Virgin broadband and/or TV customer then you could get its unlimited SIM only deal. That comes with literally unlimited everything - data, texts and minutes for only £32 a month.

Looking for less data or something a little different? Go check out our SIM only deals guide to find your perfect SIM only deal. And for any data fiends out there, make sure to check our unlimited data SIM only deals guide, too.

Why pick a Virgin Mobile SIM only deal? 

If you're still unsure on this, let Virgin put your mind at ease. It has many other perks and freebies on offer to convince you to come its way. From discounts for students on selected bundles, to the odd free iPhone and iPad on selected plans. You can even bag a cash reward when you refer friends and family.

To learn more, head straight over to the Virgin Mobile website.


Categories: Tech News

Hisense 85U9E 8K TV will upscale 4K for razor-sharp viewing

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 04:00

8K has been the big TV story at trade shows for the past couple of years now, with all the major manufacturers showing their nascent efforts. 

At IFA 2019, Hisense has shown its hand too, with that’s set to be its first commercially available 8K TV, the 85U9E.

  • We're at IFA 2019 - stick with us for the latest from the tech show
  • Check out the best TV of 2019
  • 8K TV: everything you need to know about the future of television

Measuring up at 85-inches, the Hisense 85U9E 8K is pushing 33,177,600 pixels to hit that 8K standard. As 8K content is incredibly thin on the ground right now, Hisense sees the TV being used primarily for 4K upscaling, with the company’s 8K Super Resolution Upscaler squeezing all it can out of 4K sources with those extra pixels.

Intelligent local dimming

It also features 1,694 local dimming zones to ensure accurate and rich contrast levels throughout its output. This is managed with Hisense’s newest Hi-View Engine, a backlight picture enhancement technology powered by AI to make real-time image tweaks to deliver optimal contrast performance.

Combining a new picture processing chip with “a combination of powerful algorithms” according to Hisense’s press release for the 85U9E, Hisense claims it’ll give the smoothest motion of any 8K TV on the market too.

Rounding off the package is Quantum Dot wide color gamut tech, which Hisense states gives it the ability to deliver punchy-yet life-like color accuracy.

Hisense already faces stiff competition in the 8K TV space – the Samsung Q950R is one of the finest TVs we’ve ever laid eyes on, while LG has been first out of the blocks with an 8K OLED TV. However, Hisense’s trump card always sits with its approachable pricing – if it can make 8K anywhere near affordable when the screen is eventually released (at a time as yet undisclosed), it could be a strong competitor in the growing 8K space simply by virtue of being accessible.

  • IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TV, watches and other tech as they're announced.
Categories: Tech News

Hisense 'Laser TVs' beam a near-infinite array of colors to your projector screen

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 04:00

At IFA 2019, the big home entertainment story continues to be the growing trend towards every house one day having an 8K TV. Though Hisense itself has an 8K TV in the works in the shape 85U9E, it's using the Berlin trade show to also sing the praises of its latest Laser TV offerings – its take on the home projection market.

Hisense has three new Laser TVs at IFA 2019: the Hisense 100L5 Sonic Screen, the 100L9 and the L9 TriChroma.

Now, to call these 'TVs' is a bit of a misnomer. In reality, they are laser projectors, using short throw technology to allow you to put them far close to where you'd like the projected image to go, and still get a massive (up to 100-inches) screen size. Where Hisense is able to get away with calling them televisions is with the fact that not only speakers and a smart platform are built in, but also a TV tuner. That's unheard of in your average projector.

  • We're at IFA 2019 - stick with us for the latest from the tech show
  • Check out the best TV of 2019
  • 8K TV: everything you need to know about the future of television
'Infinite colors'

The Laser TVs are using Hisense's three light light X-FusionTM Laser Light Engine (Red, Blue, Green). From this, Hisense claims it can produce a "near-infinite" array of colors, right down to pure white, and taking in the 100% Rec.709, 100% DCI-P3, >98% Rec.2020 ranges.

Powered by a Texas Instrument DLP, the L9 range also makes use of an 'Ambient Light Rejecting' technology, which should give very viewable images even in daylight conditions.

And though we've yet to hear it, we're intrigued by what Hisense is calling its 'Distributed Mode Loudspeaker' inside the 100L5. It's the more capable in terms of audio output as a result, with the DML "producing audio directly from the Laser TV's screen". How it manages that from a projection, remains to be seen – we'll fill you in once we've seen the set out on the IFA 2019 show flow.

  • IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TV, watches and other tech as they're announced.
Categories: Tech News

Puma Smartwatch is a Wear OS wearable that focuses on running

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 03:00

The Puma Smartwatch has just been unveiled at IFA 2019, and it looks like it's trying to take the smartwatch world by storm, at least for runners. 

It's sporting some high-end specs, and other useful features for when you're on a jog, but it might not compare to more high-end devices.

The Puma Smartwatch runs on Google's Wear OS, which plenty of smartwatches use so the interface shouldn't be too alien if you're coming from another similar device.

One of the headline features of the Puma Smartwatch is that it runs on a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, which is a processor that not many existing smartwatches use. 

Perks of this piece of tech include more efficient processing, which should make your battery last longer even though it sports an always-on display. Puma states the battery should last for 24 hours, which isn't that long though.

In terms of fitness tracking, there are a few things that'll appeal. As well as standard modes like step tracking and heart rate monitoring, there's also GPS, weather updates, various training apps and a swimproof design.

There are select other features in the Puma Smartwatch, like Google Assistant, Google Pay and Spotify integration, to give you extra ways to use the smartwatch, but these are all in order to enhance your exercise experience.

If this running-centric smartwatch appeals to you, it's coming out in November, for a price of $275 / £269 (AU$410). That's a fairly mid-ranged price for what seems like a useful piece of kit.

  • IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TVs, watches and other tech as they're announced.
Categories: Tech News

Michael Kors unveils three new designer smartwatches to satisfy your inner baller

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 03:00

Michael Kors is one of many designer bands making smartwatches, and it's just unveiled three new devices that combine high-end specs with a premium design.

These Michael Kors smartwatches are the Access Lexington 2, Access Bradshaw 2, and Access MKGO. The Access Lexington 2 and Bradshaw 2 are upgrades to previous devices that use the a similar design, but add new tech features. 

Both use Google's Wear OS operating system and pack a Snapdragon Wear 3100, which is a top-of-the-line chipset that offers improved performance as well as much improved battery life from older devices.

New features for the redesigned models include speakers, which let you take calls as well as talk to Google Assistant and hear notifications. Plus these come with enhanced battery management, which lets you customize which features of the smartwatch remain operational at any one time so battery life is extended.

Of course, what you really want is a premium design, and of course you're getting that from Michael Kors, and each smartwatch is shiny enough to require sunglasses (well, not quiet, but nearly). 

They have similar designs in terms of tech, with 1.28-inch AMOLED screens and 44mm cases, with 12mm case thickness and similar sized bands. On top of that they have 8GB storage and 1GB RAM, so they'll be fast devices with lots of space. In fact, the only real difference between the devices is the actual aesthetic look.

Both the Access Lexington 2 and Bradshaw 2 are available in a range of colors, starting at $350 (roughly £290, AU$515), although for the more 'premium' looks that price increases up to $425 (around £350, AU$630) for a gold Lexington 2.

What about the third?

The third Michael Kors smartwatch is the Access MKGO, which is a different kind of product than the previous two: it's a wearable designed for people with active lifestyles. That's not to say it's a fitness tracker, because it's still comfortably a smartwatch, but it has improved functions for people who like to live in the fast lane.

The Michael Kors Access MKGO has Wear OS and a Snapdragon 3100 like the other watches, but a 1.19-inch screen that isn't AMOLED, and a 43mm case with 7mm thickness. It's got a nylon case too, instead of aluminium, to make it a lightweight wearable.

The Access MKGO comes with Google Fit built in, so you can set and manage activity goals, and along with the design that's easy on your wrist, it's a better option for people who want to use their smartwatch for fitness tracking.

The device is cheaper than the Lexington 2 or Bradshaw 2, coming in at $295 (about £240, AU$435) for each of its various colors.

All three of these smartwatches are part of the Michael Kors Fall 2019 collection, so will be available soon, although we don't know a definite release date yet.

  • IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TVs, watches and other tech as they're announced.
Categories: Tech News

The best noise-cancelling headphones available in India for September 2019

Latest Tech News - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 01:17

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's round-up of the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy in 2019.

Here are so many applications for noise cancelling headphones that after a point you have to wonder why nobody thought of making them sooner. Sometimes it's the incessant chatter of your co-worker, sometimes it's the construction in the plot next door, and sometimes it's just people, in general. 

Enter noise-cancelling headphones, which remove the sound of everything around you, so you can listen to your music at a lower (and safer) volume. 

There are large variations in how well this effect is achieved, but even at their worse these headphones are still much better than a traditional pair of headphones in terms of keeping outside sound at bay. 

The top picks for the best noise-cancelling headphones include devices that not only effectively eliminate the most amount of background noise, but also make your music sound pretty good in the process. 

That said, sometimes the effect isn't completely perfect. They're less effective at cancelling out higher-pitched noises, but most of the high-end sets excel at dealing with low, consistent noises like the hum of a train or plane. 

Sony just updated its WH-1000XM3 wireless noise cancellation headphones with multiple microphones and a USB Type-C port. While these may seem to be minor tweaks, they do affect the overall listening experience. There are some design changes as well with the addition of copper accents. The headphones are powered by Sony's own QN1 chipset which just sets the next benchmark for audio quality.

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones review

If you’re trying to decide between buying the Sony WH-1000XM3s and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, we’d recommend going for the former because of that lower price and better battery life. That being said, you wouldn’t be making a mistake if you opted for the Bose cans instead (and we wouldn’t blame you if you did) – they sound great, look stunning, and the noise-cancelation is out of this world. 

Read the full review: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Sony WH-1000XM2

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a great pair of wireless headphones which offer excellent audio quality to the listeners. If battery life is one of the major factors that concerns you then fear not, the Sony WH-1000XM2 come with a powerful battery which can serve your needs for up to 30 hours. Yes, you heard it right. 30 hours of continuous playback time.

Apart from this, you will also get to experience hands-free calling which can be easily controlled using the touch panel given on the sides of the headphones.

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM2

Coming in at the number two spot is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II - a nearly identical product to the already-excellent Bose QuietComfort 35 but updated for 2018 with Google Assistant. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality and incredible comfort, plus a convenient assistant to answer any inquiries you might have while traveling.  

Taken as a whole, the Bose QC35 II NC is an excellent headphone for travelers and commuters. Bose has found a good balance of features that will satisfy most mainstream listeners. While we don't love them as much as the better-sounding Sony WH-1000XM2, they're still top of the class for noise cancellation.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The PXC 550's greatest strength is their sound. Other wireless noise-cancelling headphones might offer a better user interface or better noise-cancellation technology, but ultimately none of the above match up to the sound quality of these Sennheisers. 

However, that said, there are a couple of irritations that prevent us from being able to fully and unreservedly recommend them, such as unresponsive touch controls. These annoyances aren't quite deal-breakers, but there are definitely other noise-cancelling headphones out there that don't suffer from the same issues.

Read the full review: Sennheiser PXC 550

Philips presents an elegant noise-cancelling solution with its NC1. These on-ear headphones aren't wireless, but that's hardly a reason to knock them off. In the same price range as the Bose QuietComfort 25, the NC1s' are a more compact set that's high on comfort and battery life, making them perfect for the traveler on-the-go.

You get a lot for your money in this set. The box comes with the headphones, a hard case for storage and the headphones have a rechargeable battery that provides noise cancellation for close to 30 hours. The headphones come with a replaceable cable that's tangle proof.

The only thing to be aware of is that there may be some noise leakage to the people around you and that could prove to be an annoyance.

But best of all, the sound performance is extremely well-balanced and warm.

Read the full review: Philips Fidelio NC1

Bose QuietComfort 35

They're a little more expensive then the Philips NC1, but the Bose QC35 headphones offer wireless connectivity, so you can be free from cabling as well as background noise. 

They're also a much better sounding pair of headphones than Bose's previous (wired) attempt, the Bose QC25s, and their battery life is long enough for all but the longest of flights.

They also come with a cable in case you want to use them with a device that doesn't support Bluetooth. 

The QC35s sit firmly at the premium end of the spectrum, but if you want the best noise-cancelling headphones available right now at any price then there are few out there that can compete.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35

Bose QuietComfort 25

If you want the same level of excellent noise-cancellation as the Bose QC35s but want to save a bit of money, consider the last-generation QC25s. 

The biggest sacrifice you'll be making is wireless, but in our opinion the QC35s are also the much better sounding pair of headphones. 

Nevertheless, the QC25s represent a great mid-range pick. You're getting a finely-tuned set of headphones that provide over 35 hours of very good noise-cancelling performance with one AAA battery.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 25

Bowers and Wilkins PX wireless

Bowers and Wilkins may not be the most popular name when it comes to headphones, but their devices don't fail to impress.

They do their job of delivering decent sound quality but also come packed with extra features. For instance, they're capable of turning on or off on their own depending on whether on you're wearing them.

You won't have to switch them out any time soon either, since they come with a USB type-C charging port.

Coming back to the audio, it's decent but it's not perfect. It doesn't exhibit the same depth that's seen in flagship models from Bose or Sony. But, they're definitely worth a listen and their features make them a tempting purchase.

Read the full review: Bowers and Wilkins PX Wireless

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC provide a great audio experience to the users. In addition to this, they can also become your ideal travelling partner. Weighing 238g, the headphones are easy to carry and light, compared to their rivals. Despite stiff competition in this category, these headphones hold their own thanks to their pocket-friendly price tag.

These headphones aren't the best in appearance with the aluminium finish looking flimsy but that's also the primary reason that they're so lightweight. The bass isn't very strong and the fall in music quality is noticeable when the NoiseGuard mode is on. But then again, this isn't unusual for headphones using NoiseGuard. It's effective and does what it's supposed to do. 

These headphones compare well with others and are optimal for frequent travelers.

Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

We're constantly reviewing new noise-cancelling headphones, but let us know on Twitter if there is a set that you'd like us to take a look at.

Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy Fold gets a release date re-do starting September 6

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 22:47

Samsung is proclaiming that the long-awaited Galaxy Fold is 'now available' – at least in its home country of Korea, where it'll finally be delivered on Friday, September 6. 

Don't worry, everyone else, there's more: Samsung's delayed foldable phone is then set to launch in the US, UK and other European countries 'in the coming weeks,' according to the company's official announcement.

Today was also the first time that Samsung talked about the Galaxy Fold 5G, albeit vaguely, noting that, "With a 5G-ready option in select countries, consumers will be able to unfold the future on the fastest network speeds available."

The Samsung Galaxy Fold price will remain unchanged: high. It'll cost $1,980 / £1,800 (€2,000), twice the price of typical flagship phones, and come in the two color options we've seen before: Cosmos Black and Space Silver.

Galaxy Fold release date specifics

When will the Galaxy Fold launch in the US? Samsung doesn't give an exact date, but a recent tweet from leaker Evan Blass points to Friday, September 27.

That's five months (almost to the date – April 26) after the Samsung Galaxy Fold was set to launch in the US. It was quickly delayed after the the phone broke in the hands of some early reviewers. In that time, Samsung promised that a bunch of fixes were made to the device.

We expect more news from Samsung today, as this announcement is happening just ahead of its IFA 2019 press conference. Previously, we heard that Samsung was readying 20,000 and 30,000 units of the handset by the September 6 release date, according to Korea Herald.

Of course, between the initial Galaxy Fold release date delay and now, smartphone competition has gotten even more fierce. This includes new arrivals among Samsung phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus we just reviewed.

Categories: Tech News

Overwatch, Divinity: Original Sin 2, and SNES Online headline Nintendo Direct

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 21:36

The latest Nintendo Direct landed today packing new details on a few familiar titles but, as the Japanese gaming giant has been known to do of late, a few big surprises were snuck in there as well.

While it’s been heavily rumored for some time that Overwatch would be coming to the Switch, Nintendo has now officially confirmed that Blizzard’s smash-hit online shooter will be landing on the console October 15.

A trailer for the launch of Overwatch: Legendary Edition was premiered during the Nintendo Direct, showing off the game's ability to be played in the console's portable handheld mode, with some additional gyroscopic motion controls included.

Arguably one of the biggest surprises, however, was the announcement – and immediate launch – of epic RPG Divinity: Original Sin 2. The game's Definitive Edition is now available to purchase for Nintendo Switch.

You can play this turn-based RPG either by yourself or online with up to four players in your party. Because it’s the Definitive Edition, all current and to-be-released DLC is included as well.

For those who have already played the game on PC or Mac via Steam and want to keep up their character’s progress, the Definitive Edition allows you to share cloud saves between the two platforms. This could even allow you to take the game on the go with the Switch’s handheld mode, and then carry on your progress at home on your computer.

When Nintendo Online first launched, it came with the promise of a roster of playable classic NES games, the list of which has kept expanding over the 12 months that the service has been running, and now Nintendo has revealed a list of SNES games to join the fun.

From September 6, 20 titles will be available for Nintendo Online subscribers to play and, as is the case with the current NES games, further titles will be added to the collection in the future.

  • Super Mario World
  • Super Mario Kart
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Super Metroid
  • Stunt Race FX (Available for the first time since its original Super NES release)
  • Kirby’s Dream Land 3
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
  • Star Fox
  • F-ZERO
  • Pilotwings
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • BRAWL BROTHERS
  • Breath of Fire
  • Demon’s Crest
  • Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics
  • SUPER E.D.F. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE
  • Super Ghouls’n Ghosts
  • Super Puyo Puyo 2 (Available for the first time in Europe)
  • Super Soccer (Available for the first time since its original Super NES release)
  • Super Tennis (Available for the first time since its original Super NES release)

The other announcements are too numerous to list exhaustively, but some highlights include a Definitive Edition of the original Xenoblade Chronicles, as well as ports of Return of the Obra Dinn, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, and Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Banjo & Kazooie have now officially joined the roster of playable DLC fighters, with Terry Bogard of Fatal Fury fame being announced as the fourth member of the five-character Ultimate Fighter Pass, although there’s no word yet on an availability date.

Some further details regarding some much-anticipated titles arrived as well, including Pokémon Sword & Shield, the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

For a full rundown of the finer details of everything announced, check out the video below.

Categories: Tech News

First look: Nebula Soundbar Fire TV Edition

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 17:17

The latest addition to Amazon's range of Fire TV streaming devices is an interesting one, given that it isn't a streaming device at all. The Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition is, as the name suggests, a soundbar, but it's one that's been designed to specifically integrate within the Fire TV platform and make use of its Alexa capabilities, too.

Announced at IFA 2019, the Nebula Soundbar joins the ranks of the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Amazon Fire TV Cube, and Amazon Fire TV Edition televisions, rounding out a fully-packed home entertainment range for the first time. Priced at $229 / £179 (around AU$340), the Nebula is set for initial release in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany on November 21.

Amazon isn't the not the only company announcing new audio products out of the blue, as Roku has also announced its own soundbar designed to work with the Roku TV interface. But for those in the Amazon ecosystem looking to boost their television's audio performance without needing to pick up a standalone Fire TV Stick, will the Nebula soundbar do the job?

  • What other gadgets, TVs, and speakers were announced at IFA 2019?
Design and features

The Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition is pretty straightforward in terms of its external design. It features a gray mesh around the front, top, and back, with a small red logo on the left-front side reminding you of the Nebula branding.

The Amazon heritage is a bit less prominent here – possibly because there are only so many Amazon logos one person would want to see strewn across their connected home.

On the top of the soundbar are general control buttons: power, source input (i.e. Bluetooth, HDMI, or otherwise), and volume up/down. The panel here is a sleek, reflective silver that stands out well from the basic gray of the rest of the Nebula soundbar.

At the back of the soundbar – far enough down that you'll need to lift it up to reach the connections – are a small number of ports for HDMI, power, AUX, and USB. That's not quite enough to make the Nebula Soundbar a real AV hub, but it's clearly designed to use specifically with your smart TV. You'll undoubtedly need to connect to the TV with an HDMI cable to get the Fire TV platform up and running.

We're told the Nebula Soundbar features a near-field microphone for using voice commands, as well as an Alexa remote for navigating the Fire TV smart platform / using a microphone right up near your face.

The Fire TV platform is fast and effective, even if it's designed to push the Amazon Prime Video service above others. The Alexa voice control, too, will work primarily within this TV streaming service, and it isn't perfect even there. Voice navigation for smart TVs is simply not that good right now, so we'd say don't buy into the hype, but you will be able to use some basic voice functionality to summon specific streaming apps and TV shows to your screen.

You will be getting the same 4K/HDR support as the Fire TV Stick 4K, mind – provided you have a 4K TV – so this is very much the premium end of Amazon's range.

Performance

But what of the sound? The drivers themselves come courtesy of Anker – the electronics company behind the Anker Soundcore Motion+ portable speaker, and the Soundcore Wakey bedside speaker (yes, that's actually what it's called).

We have more faith in the audio from Anker than, say, the standard Amazon Echo, and you'd hope for that with a dedicated soundbar. It's hard to say without having tested the audio ourselves, but we do know the Nebula is a 2.1 channel speaker, meaning you get two drivers belting the highs and mids in stereo, with an additional subwoofer channeling the bass.

There's no Dolby Atmos support, so you won't get surround sound-quality audio – though you should be able to get up connect with other Echo speakers should you wish to spread the noise around the room.

Final thoughts

It makes a lot of sense for Amazon to release a soundbar alongside their other Fire TV devices, and sees their range of TV accessories (and Alexa smart TVs) come full circle to the company's entries in smart speakers and home audio.

Integrating the Fire TV platform into a soundbar seems a smart move too, making for an all-in-one product that doesn't require a separate streaming stick and TV speaker for the amount of functionality bundled in.

We'll have to reserve judgement until we can test out the audio capabilities ourself, but it's likely we'll be seeing a lot more of Amazon's soundbars going forward.

IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TV, watches and other tech as they're announced.

Categories: Tech News

Report: iPhone SE successor could be released in early 2020

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 17:08

We’ve been waiting for the iPhone SE 2, an updated version of Apple’s budget smartphone, for awhile now - and it might actually be released early next year in ‘Spring’ 2020, according to a new report.

The next iPhone SE’s size will be expanded from the 4-inch screen in the original device to be similar to the 4.7-inch display on the iPhone 8, sources told the Nikkei Asian Review. They asserted it will have an LCD screen to save costs (much like the iPhone XR), but will pack ‘most of the same components’ as are coming in this year’s flagship iPhones.

Assumedly, this means the iPhone SE 2 will at least have the same powerful A13 processor coming in the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11R, which are expected to be introduced at an Apple event on September 10. While it would be nice if the SE 2 also got a generous helping of RAM, Apple’s phones traditionally don’t pack much anyway - it’s the processor that sets the benchmark for performance as well as the threshold for iOS updates. 

Each new major iOS version updates the minimum processor quality needed to upgrade; for instance, the upcoming iOS 13 only supports the iPhone 6S and iPhone SE or newer. So releasing the iPhone SE 2 makes sense - in essence, to catch the lowest-cost rung of Apple phone customers before they’re aged out of new iOS versions.

The sales angle

Or the new iPhone SE 2 could just be a play to drum up sales. iPhone sales dropped for the second consecutive fiscal quarter in Q2 2019 - down 17% year over year, according to an Apple earnings call back in April. It followed a general sales slump across the entire smartphone industry, but some have pointed to skyrocketing flagship device prices for scaring away consumers - including with the latest top-tier Apple handsets.

“The cheaper iPhone SE could serve as a sales momentum kicker the first half next year, if the new premium iPhones do not perform well in the coming months,” GF Securities tech analyst Jeff Pu told Nikkei Asian Review. 

But that might be too myopic of a move for Apple, which has rigorously held its devices in the premium tier. Releasing an SE 2 might not help Apple enough in the long run to be worth releasing.

"Launching a mid-range handset [such as an iPhone SE 2] would be good for short-term interest, but it won't help the brand in the long term as the image of Apple is premium,” IDC Associate Vice President for Devices, Francisco Jeronimo told TechRadar shortly after Apple’s Q2 earnings call. “It's much better to sell discounted older and refurbished devices as it keeps Apple's band at the high level."

To combat sluggish market performance this year, Apple cut prices for its premium handsets in developing markets, which was somewhat effective: discounting the iPhone XR increased sales by 20 million in China, though Apple sales suffered an overall shortfall in the region.

The company also ramped up its trade-in value, and typically discounts older phones after introducing new ones. These are Apple’s affordable options for securing one of its premium handsets, and offering an iPhone SE 2 could undercut even these warehouse-clearing options.

In any case, we’d have to wait for early 2020 to see whether this report is accurate or not - but if it is, we might see a whole new Apple phones strategy develop around twice-yearly releases...just like Samsung, OnePlus and Huawei have.

Categories: Tech News

Amazon bets big on Alexa smart TVs with huge Fire TV Edition rollout

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 17:06

Not content with being embedded into smartphones, tablets, web browsers and your home's smart speakers, Amazon is continuing its push into televisions with the announcement of a number of new Fire TV Edition sets destined for the UK, Germany and Austria.

The retailer giant has launched more than 15 new Fire TV Edition products (one of which is a new soundbar) which see Amazon's Fire TV streaming technology and Alexa smart assistant come built-in.

Amazon has teamed up with television manufacturers JVC, Grundig and Toshiba to bring its fleet of new Fire TV Edition sets to market.

4K JVC Fire TV Edition in the UK

For those in the UK, you will be able to get your Fire TV experience fill thanks to a partnership between Amazon, JVC and Dixons Carphone.

The JVC Fire TV Edition Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR LED TVs are the first in the UK to come with Amazon's experience, and will be available at Currys PC World and Amazon.co.uk.

There's support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision, for an enhanced viewing experience, and you'll be able to pick from three sizes; 40-inch, 49-inch and 55-inch.

You'll also get access to a host of apps including Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 and more.

Prices will start from £349, but we're still waiting to hear when the JVC Fire TV Edition will go on sale.

OLED Fire TV Edition

Potentially the most interesting of the bunch are four OLED Fire TV edition televisions from Grundig, but they'll only be available in Germany and Austria for now. Whether they'll roll out to other countries remains to be seen.

Two of these four feature far-field voice control - a world's first - allowing you to harness the power of Alexa to power on/off, change channel and adjust volume without the need to lift a finger.

The Grundig OLED Fire TV Edition Hands-Free with Alexa (what a mouthful) will be available in 55-inch and 65-inch models, starting at €1,299.99 (around £1,200) and will begin shipping on November 21.

In total there are 11 new Grundig Fire TV edition sets, which means the firm's entire range now ships with Amazon's smarts inside.

The full Grundig Fire TV Edition range is as follows:

  • 55-inch Grundig OLED Fire TV Edition Hands-Free with Alexa
  • 65-inch Grundig OLED Fire TV Edition Hands-Free with Alexa
  • 55-inch Grundig OLED Fire TV Edition
  • 65-inch Grundig OLED Fire TV Edition
  • 43-inch Grundig Vision 7 Fire TV Edition
  • 49-inch Grundig Vision 7 Fire TV Edition
  • 55-inch Grundig Vision 7 Fire TV Edition
  • 65-inch Grundig Vision 7 Fire TV Edition
  • 32-inch Grundig Vision 6 Fire TV Edition
  • 40-inch Grundig Vision 6 Fire TV Edition
  • 43-inch Grundig Vision 6 Fire TV Edition

A number of other manufacturers have also been given clearance to produce Fire TV Edition sets, including Skyworth, Arcelik, TPV, Compal, and Imtron - which means we'll likely see even more televisions with Amazon's smarts arrive in Europe over the coming months.

IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show, and the TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TVs, laptops, wearables and other products as they're announced.

Categories: Tech News

HDR10+ finally gets the 8K treatment – but only on Samsung TVs

Latest Tech News - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 16:07

Samsung has announced that its 2019 range of 8K TVs will soon be the first to display the dynamic HDR10+ video format in the ultra-high 8K resolution.

Coinciding with the IFA 2019 technology expo, the world's biggest TV manufacturer has partnered with a number of streaming services across Europe – including CHILI, MEGAGOGO, and The Explorers – to start displaying 8K HDR10+ content.

HDR10+ is a competing HDR format to Dolby Vision, which similarly uses dynamic metadata to enhance and alter picture settings throughout supported films and TV shows, in order to optimize the picture for each scene. This is unlike the regular HDR10 format, which uses the same overall settings throughout the video.

The 8K version of the format is now compatible with Samsung 4K TVs, and every QLED TV from the Samsung 2019 TV range.

There's no word on when this 8K content will be launching, though, and naturally will only be watchable by those of you with a Samsung 8K TV – like the Samsung Q950R 8K QLED, or Samsung Q900R 8K QLED – and with the high-speed bandwidth to play all those pretty 8K pixels.

What about Amazon Prime?

Samsung has named three large providers of TV streaming across Europe, with others like Rakuten TV likely to join the fray – according to Samsung's own press release.

It's interesting, however, that Amazon Prime Video – probably the best-known streaming service to support the HDR10+ format, unlike the Dolby Vision-supporting Netflix platform – isn't included in this list of OTT (over-the-top) providers. 

It may be that negotiations with the retail and streaming giant are still ongoing.  But given there is so little 8K content available anywhere, Amazon may be waiting for a larger catalogue before it joins in Samsung's plans.

IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show, and the TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TVs, laptops, wearables and other devices as they're announced.

Categories: Tech News

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