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4 days ago

MKBHD: Vivo NEX S Impressions - Truly Bezelless?

4 people viewing this

| By Jago - 4 days ago


 
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4 days ago

Article inside More evidence that Note 9 could come with a huge battery pops up

2 people viewing this

| By Tiko377 - 4 days ago

As if we needed even more indirect evidence that something big is brewing in Samsung's Note line battery department (and we don't mean self-combusting), a leak out of the FCC outed one yet-to-be-released wireless charger from Samsung with a raw output to match the eventual 4000mAh battery of the Galaxy Note 9.

The charger, codenamed EP-N6100, pulsates with the whopping 2.1A at 12V, compared to 1.67A at 9V for the current Fast Charge Stand (2018) that Samsung debuted together with the Galaxy S9 and S9+, and carries the model number EP-N5100. Needless to say, this would mean faster charging speeds for an eventual Note 9 or whatever Samsung introduces next on the high-end.

Alternatively, Samsung might just be taking advantage of the newly-widened FCC regulations for wireless charging. About a month ago, the FCC raised the 5W coil restriction to the whopping 15W, and the radio frequency exposure distance has also been increased drastically. Those new boundaries are now reflected in the FCC documentation for Samsung's upcoming EP-N6100 charger, so brace yourselves for some mighty fast wireless charging later this year.

visit this link https://www.phonearena.co .. ttery_id105738

 
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4 days ago

Article inside AT&T gets approval to buy Time Warner for $85 billion; deal tentatively closes June 20th

4 people viewing this

| By Tiko377 - 4 days ago

AT&T has just increased its standing as a media giant after U.S. District Judge Richard Leon's ruling today that paves the way for the company to complete its purchase of Time Warner for $85 billion. The transaction will close on June 20th and makes AT&T the new owner of CNN, HBO, TNT and TBS. It also gives the company ownership of the iconic Time Warner movie studio and a large inventory of film titles including the Batman and Harry Potter series.

Quote:

UPDATE: The DOJ has decided not to appeal the approval of the AT&T-Time Warner merger and will no longer challenge the transaction.


The deal was first announced in October 2016, and immediately then candidate Donald Trump said that if he won the election, he would block the deal. At the time, Trump said that the transaction would result in "too much concentration of power in the hands of too few." The Justice Department filed suit in November of last year.

Judge Leon's decision is sure to open the doors to more mergers involving media companies as content continues to drive the ISP and the wireless industries. Comcast is expected to bid for some of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. assets as soon as tomorrow. Considering that Disney has already bid for the same assets, a bidding war is is at hand. Other deals between carriers and content providers seem likely to be announced now that the court has rubbed the genie's lamp.

The Judge's ruling included a message to the government. Stating that the Justice Department failed to meet its burden of proof, he denied any attempt by the DOJ to stay his opinion during appeal, saying that it would be "unjust." He also warned that the government might try to find a way around the courts to block the deal. The government tried to prove that allowing the transaction would result in less competition for streaming services and would block other companies from having access to HBO. AT&T argued that it needed to complete the merger to compete against media behemoths like Netflix and Amazon.

Notably, the ruling does not require AT&T to divest any assets of Time Warner to complete the transaction.

source: CNN, Reuters

visit this link https://www.phonearena.co .. arner_id105717

 
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5 days ago

Image inside Verizon Is Retarded | Introduces 3rd Non-Confusing Unlimited But Not Really Unlimited Plan

4 people viewing this

| By Mr Scaramucci - 5 days ago

Verizon today announced the launch of a third "Unlimited" data plan option, which provides users with 75GB of LTE data, 20GB of LTE hotspot access, 720p video streaming, 5 TravelPass sessions per month, and 500GB of Verizon Cloud storage.

The new "Above Unlimited" plan joins Verizon's two other "Unlimited" plans, Go Unlimited and Beyond Unlimited. While Verizon calls these plans unlimited, all three have data caps on the amount of LTE data that users can access per month before having their speeds downgraded or limitations on video quality.


The existing Go Unlimited plan, Verizon's cheapest option, provides users with unlimited LTE data, but it restricts streaming video to 480p and limits mobile hotspot speeds to 600Kb/s.

The current Beyond Unlimited plan provides users with 22GB of LTE data per month, with access to 720p video streaming and 15GB of hotspot data.

Neither of the two current plans include TravelPass access or extra cloud storage. Verizon's TravelPass is designed to let customers use their domestic talk, next, and data allowances while traveling outside of the United States for $5 to $10 per day, with Above Unlimited offering five free days.

Verizon's new Above Unlimited plan is priced at $95 for one line, compared to $85 for Beyond Unlimited and $75 for Go Unlimited. For a family of four, pricing for Above Unlimited is at $60 per line. The new plan option will be available for Verizon customers and those new to Verizon starting on June 18.



Unlimited data plans from carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have become increasingly complicated in the year and a half since carriers readopted unlimited data options. All three carriers now offer different unlimited tiers with various add-ons and restrictions, making unlimited cellular data plans as difficult to decipher as prior non-unlimited plans.

In the United States, carriers began seriously embracing affordable "unlimited" data plans starting in 2015, when T-Mobile introduced its simple T-Mobile ONE plan with unlimited talk, text, and 4G data for $70 per month. Verizon followed in February of 2017 with its first unlimited plan, as did AT&T.

Prior to 2015 and T-Mobile's intervention, carriers primarily relied on limited data plans that provided 2-10GB of data to customers after largely eliminating unlimited data plans in the years following the launch LTE networks.

visit this link https://www.macrumors.com .. 5gb-data-plan/

 
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6 days ago

Video inside Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay: Which is best?

4 people viewing this

| By mr_underground - 6 days ago


verdict: samsung pay because of MST

 
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7 days ago

Video inside MKBHD HTC U12+ Review

3 people viewing this

| By mtva24 - 7 days ago


 
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7 days ago

Article inside Verizon Named 2018's Fastest Mobile Network in PCMag's Annual Carrier Showdown

2 people viewing this

| By misterethoughts - 7 days ago

Verizon Wireless was awarded the title of the fastest nationwide mobile network in PCMag's annual mobile network comparison, the results of which were released this morning.

For its test, PCMag analysts drove within and between 30 cities in the United States to test mobile network speeds using four Samsung Galaxy S9 phones. More than a dozen locations in each city were tested, with the site gathering more than 124,000 data points to reach its conclusion. Scores were calculated taking into account metrics like download speed, upload speed, latency, reliability, and consistency.

visit this link https://www.macrumors.com .. -network-2018/

 
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1 week ago

Video inside 10 INGENIOUS Everyday Inventions That Will Improve Your Life

3 people viewing this

| By Enigmatic1 - 1 week ago


10)Vicis Zero1-Specialized Football Helmet(Vicis Pro) 0:23
9)The 3rd thumb 1:19
8)Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 (Nike) 2:19
7)Solar roofing tiles(Tesla) 3:11
6)VR AR anatomy in a shirt(Virtualitee)4:09
5)The smart mug 2.0(Ember) 5:00
4)Real life Star Trek Turbolifts(Thyssenkrupp) 5:50
3)The calorie scanning machine(Panasonic Calorieco) 7:03
2)The personal air tank(Scorkel) 7:58
1)The automatic toothbrush(Amabrush) 8:50

 
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1 week ago

ASUS All-screen Notebook Concept

4 people viewing this

| By realgunta - 1 week ago


 
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1 week ago

Image inside This dual-screen concept splices a Windows PC with an E Ink notepad

2 people viewing this

| By UnclePhilOH16 - 1 week ago



Quote:

When I think about the future evolution of my job — in that sliver of time between now and the inevitable AI automation of all writing and reporting — I’m most curious about what will end up replacing my laptop. The Google Pixel 2 XL has, for most intents and purposes, taken over as my professional camera, but a smartphone isn’t quite versatile or comfortable enough to pen notes or longer articles on. This is where Intel’s Tiger Rapids concept device, shown off for the first time at Computex 2018, comes in.

This Windows 10 PC has a 7.9-inch LCD on one side and a matching E Ink panel on the other. Intel has engineered not just the hardware but also the software, creating the middleware required to connect the operating system to the second screen, which Windows sees as a USB peripheral. The purpose of this device is self-evident: it lets you take notes on one side and make immediate use of them on the other. You can use either the provided stylus for handwritten notes or a virtual keyboard on the electronic paper display. The whole thing is rather like taking the familiar paper notepad and saying “what if this could run Windows?”


Quote:

I got my hands on the Tiger Rapids device this week, and it just wowed me with how small, thin, and light it was. Much like Lenovo’s Yoga Book, which similarly charmed me a couple of years ago, Intel’s prototype is basically as thin as technology can get in our modern age. What’s more, Intel claims you can get up to 6 or 7 hours of battery life out of this in prototype form, and the company anticipates its hardware partners could implement further optimizations — should they wish to turn this into a retail product — that could extend the endurance further.

Intel doesn’t have any announcements to make about this Tiger Rapids machine turning into a real product we can buy, but representatives of the company told me that talks are ongoing. Looking at the high quality of the industrial design of this concept PC — the hinge is particularly satisfying to use — a part of me is tempted to just see Intel release its own device. Certainly, the local partners that Intel is trying to charm at Computex — Taiwan’s Asus, Acer, MSI, and Gigabyte, among others — should give this close consideration. There’s a lot of appeal to a lean, truly ultraportable note-taking machine.



Quote:

The Tiger Rapids prototype is not without its foibles, of course. As impressive as its exterior design might have been, the software on board was super buggy and unstable. I canÂ’t even tell you much about the responsiveness of the E Ink display, because I canÂ’t be sure if the delays I saw were caused by the software or the panel itself.

In my time writing on the Tiger Rapids with its bundled stylus, latency was commendably low and the screen had just the right amount of traction to make it a pleasurable experience. Also good: Intel put an anti-glare coating and a matte finish on the LCD, which makes for really nice synergy with the E Ink display for outdoor use. Both screens retain their readability and usability in bright sunlight outdoors, again underlining the versatility of this prototype as a do-it-all note-taking device.

As a final teaser, Intel told me to look forward to IFA in Berlin at the beginning of September. WeÂ’re all but assured to see the Yoga Book 2 make its debut there, and if weÂ’re fortunate maybe weÂ’ll see some more dual-screen ultraportable PCs being unveiled alongside it.

visit this link https://www.theverge.com/ .. -computex-2018

 
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1 week ago

Article inside Kitty Hawk's new Flyer looks like a mix of drone and stunt plane

4 people viewing this

| By Enigmatic1 - 1 week ago

The single-seater craft is still restricted to flying over water.




While the Larry Page-backed Kitty Hawk didn't make its goal to sell a flying car by the end of 2017, its newest model is more polished than the octocopter ATV prototype it debuted last April. While the Flyer, as it's still called, remains a single-seater, its latest iteration looks more like a giant drone with the pilot nestled in a formula 1 car cockpit.

Learn more about Flyer at visit this link http://www.flyer.aero

CNN got an exclusive ride in the new Flyer, which upped the propeller count to ten rotors. The outlet's reporter got to fly the 250-pound craft after a 90-minute training course, though her speed was capped at six miles per hour for the demo (experienced pilots will reportedly be able to fly up to 20 mph).

Kitty Hawk is already taking preorders for the new Flyer, though it hasn't revealed prices yet, according to CNN. The company will sell first to partners interested in fleets of the craft, like amusement parks. Don't expect the current model to do more than fly over water -- its designers want to do a lot more testing and build a parachute into the vehicle first, but they believe it could reach speeds up to 100 mph.


visit this link Engadget

 
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1 week ago

Image inside iOS 12 Live Image Detection (ARkit 2)🔥

2 people viewing this

| By CALViiiN - 1 week ago


ThatÂ’s real dope. you could be in a foreign country and walking through their city and pointing your camera towards their signs... it translates the signs as youÂ’re walking..


 
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1 week ago

Article inside Apple reportedly cuts orders for 2018 iPhone parts by 20%

2 people viewing this

| By Tiko377 - 1 week ago

According to a report published earlier today, Apple has cut orders to its suppliers by 20% for parts needed to build the upcoming crop of 2018 iPhone models to be unveiled later this year. Citing four sources, the reputable Nikkei Asian Review says that it appears that Apple will reduce its production capacity by 20% for the three rumored new models. Last year, Apple informed suppliers that it needed parts to build 100 million iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X units. With the rumored 20% cut in supply chain orders, it would appear that Apple is targeting production of 80 million phones for its three new models.

While Apple did tell suppliers to ship parts related to OLED screens to its assemblers early, it might have nothing to do with the actual release of the 2018 lineup. Previous reports suggested that this request by Apple could lead it to release the OLED sporting 5.8-inch iPhone Xs and 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Plus in September prior to the release of the iPhone 9. The latter is rumored to carry a 6.1 LCD display. However, the Nikkei Asian Review said even though the two OLED models will be ready in August, all three phones won't ship until September. Apple reportedly asked the supply chain to ship parts related to the OLED screens earlier to avoid the delay that forced Apple to release the iPhone X in November last year, two months after the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting says that Foxconn will assemble 100% of the 5.8-inch model, 80% to 90% of the 6.5-inch "Plus" version, and 30% of the 6.1-inch LCD model. Contract manufacturer Pegatron will assemble 60% of the LCD units and 10% to 15% of the 6.5-inch "Plus" model. The remaining iPhone units will be built by Wistron.

Quote:

"Apple is quite conservative in terms of placing new orders for upcoming iPhones this year. For the three new models specifically, the total planned capacity could be up to 20% fewer than last year's orders."-Anonymous supply chain source
Multiple sources told the Nikkei Asian Review that Apple is running into problems trying to get the 3D scanning system used for Face ID to work on an LCD panel. All three 2018 iPhone models are expected to feature Apple's facial recognition system. Apple is sourcing the OLED panels from Samsung while the LCD screens are coming from LG Display and Japan Display.

source: NikkeiAsianReview

visit this link https://www.phonearena.co .. by-20_id105619

 
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1 week ago

Notched Pixel 3 XL Confirmed

4 people viewing this

| By Jago - 1 week ago

Quote:


Did Google's next smartphone just get outed on a random XDA Forums post? Because that's sure what it looks like just happened. The two images below were posted on XDA last night, and well, they sure line up with what we know about the Pixel 3 XL so far. The front is a pretty dead-on match for that screen protector leak, and the rear definitely looks like a subtle evolution of the existing phone's design. There appears to be a new sensor to the right of the rear camera module, and the flash has been pushed out slightly to accommodate it.




That funny logo on the back is likely just an engineering watermark to obfuscate the prototype, but the codename 'crosshatch' in the bootloader is correct based upon what we know. We've been unable to verify the authenticity of these images with our own sources, so take them for what you will, but I'd be pretty surprised if we're not looking at Google's next phone here.

Other things that can be gleaned from the images? That's quite a substantial chin on the screen which, yuck, but it does look like we're keeping the stereo front-facing speakers (the edge of the bottom speaker is just barely visible). There are two front-facing cameras and I, for one, am hoping this is a sign of a Google-developed version of Face ID for secure unlocking. Existing face unlock methods on Android are all not considered secure enough for things like mobile payments, but given we know support for secure face unlock is coming to the OS, I wouldn't be surprised to see Google debut such a feature on its next smartphones.

The fact that Google is sticking with a single rear camera is interesting - I'd personally welcome a telephoto-style lens to augment the capabilities of the primary camera, though given the Pixel 2's wide advantage in still images, I bet Google's still going to find ways to wow us with a single camera on the new phone.
visit this link Is this the Pixel 3 XL? Two photos of what sure looks like Google's next phone

 
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1 week ago

Samsung wants all the smoke! Literally.. Phone catches fire and burns car to ashes.

4 people viewing this

| By gemini8686 - 1 week ago

(WXYZ) - A Detroit woman is blaming her cell phone for a fire she says destroyed her car and almost took her life.

“I was driving down Evergreen. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a spark” says the woman who’s asked us to conceal her identity.

She says on the morning of May 21st, she had two cell phones sitting in a cupholder when one of them caught fire.

“Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S8. I thought I was going to die when I saw the sparks and the fire,” she says.

She quickly pulled over and got out as flames engulfed her Nissan Maxima.

“It happened quickly. It just went up in flames. People were telling me to get away from the car. What if I was on the highway stuck in traffic and couldn’t get out?” she says.

We verified her claims with reports from the Detroit Fire Department.

Attorney Gerald Thurswell says his client still suffers emotional scars and trouble sleeping after the scare.

While searching online, we found similar complaints about Samsung phones, some that were even banned from airplanes. But, Thurswell says neither of the phones are on a recall list.

“We’ve contacted Samsung. They’ve been very responsible and sent a crew to examine the car and portions of the phone. Once it’s determined which of the phones and that one is recalled, we’ll probably save lives,” says Thurswell.

In a short statement to us, a Samsung spokesperson says:

We stand behind the quality and safety of the millions of Samsung phones in the U.S. We are eager to conduct a full investigation of this matter and until we are able to examine all of the evidence, it is impossible to determine the true cause of any incident.

visit this link https://www.wxyz.com/news .. roying-her-car

 
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2 weeks ago

Article inside The FCC explicitly bans unauthorized phone bill charges

3 people viewing this

| By Enigmatic1 - 2 weeks ago

But third parties that charge you will no longer have to constantly ask for permission


visit this link The FCC has approved new rules expressly banning unauthorized charges on phone bills, a practice that was already illegal under federal law but never formally codified within the agency. ItÂ’s the first time the commission is adopting an explicit rule.

The new rules ban unexpected phone bill charges, also known as “cramming” many services that a customer didn’t ask for onto a bill. The rules also ban the practice of tricking a customer into switching phone carriers. From now on, if a company is found to have used deception to obtain your consent to switch carriers, your consent will be deemed invalid.

Changes are also being made to how third-party verification services, which are supposed to validate a sale or carrier switch, confirm that a customer really intended to take action.

The third-party verification process will no longer need user approval for every service purchased, in order to save customers time and streamline the process. ItÂ’s a change thatÂ’s supposed to be helpful, but it sounds like it could lead to unexpected charges when you arenÂ’t paying attention.

Finally, carriers that abuse third-party verification, such as by editing out parts of a customerÂ’s phone call with a third party to make it sound like an approval to switch carriers, will be suspended from using them for several years.

In the past, the FCC fined violators and worked to eliminate practices like unauthorized phone bill charges and misleading customers during sales calls, but it was working off of broader protections in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the “truth-in-billing” rules the commission adopted in 1999. By codifying its prohibitions into formal rules, the commission is hoping it will have firmer ground to tackle these issues.

visit this link TheVerge

 
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2 weeks ago

Samsung Wants All The Smoke: The Galaxy S9+ Tops Global Sales Chart

4 people viewing this

| By Jago - 2 weeks ago

Where are all the iStanleys that were cheerleading the iPhone because it outsold the S9 when the S9 had only been out for a week?

Quote:


According to the data from Counterpoint Research, Galaxy S9+ was the bestselling smartphone globally in April. Its smaller sibling, the Galaxy S9, came in second, pushing AppleÂ’s iPhone X to the third spot. Strong sales in Asia Pacific and North American markets reportedly helped the Galaxy S9 series to snatch the top rankings. Since April marks the first full month of the Galaxy S9 duoÂ’s availability, it shouldnÂ’t be surprising to see them dominate the sales charts.

Coming to the numbers, the report says the Galaxy S9 and S9+ accounted for 2.6% each of all global smartphone sales in April, occupying the first two spots (the report seems to be rounding off the percentages). The iPhone X and iPhone 8+ grabbed the next two spots with a market share of 2.3% each.

XiaomiÂ’s Redmi 5A and Redmi 5 Plus/Note 5 also made it to the bestsellers list with 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent market shares respectively. What makes XiaomiÂ’s performance impressive is that unlike Samsung and Apple, the company currently operates only in a select few markets and is still able to make a mark in the global sales rankings.

Apart from the current Galaxy flagships, last yearÂ’s Galaxy S8 is the only other Samsung device on the list. Overall, Apple dominates the bestsellers list with five models, followed by three devices from Samsung and two from Xiaomi.

Do remember, as with any other market reports, these findings may not be entirely accurate and thus shouldnÂ’t be taken at face value.


visit this link Galaxy S9+ tops the global bestsellers list in April - SamMobile

 
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2 weeks ago

BlackBerry KEY2

3 people viewing this

| By LYTE - 2 weeks ago

DESIGN
Dimensions:
5.96 x 2.83 x 0.33 inches (151.4 x 71.8 x 8.5 mm)

Weight:
5.34 oz (151 g)

Materials:
Accents: Aluminum

Biometrics:
Fingerprint (touch)

Features:
Full keyboard, Touch sensitive control keys

Colors:
Black, Gray

OS:
Android (8.1)


DISPLAY
Physical size:
4.5 inches

Resolution:
1080 x 1620 pixels

Pixel density:
433 ppi

Technology:
IPS LCD

Screen-to-body ratio:
55.41 %

Features:
Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 3), Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor




visit this link https://www.phonearena.co .. y-KEY2_id10881

 
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2 weeks ago

Video inside University research team develops world’s first hybrid robot with real working muscles

3 people viewing this

| By mr_underground - 2 weeks ago


A tiny cyborg model at the moment, this contraption marks the beginning of robots taking over humanity.


Whether itÂ’s whipping up a frothy matcha or mimicking swimming carp, robots enrich our lives in seemingly mysterious ways.

In the endless quest to improve robotics, and our lifestyles by extension, a Tokyo University research team led by Professor Shoji Takeuchi has successfully developed a robot that utilizes real muscles. By attaching laboratory-cultured muscle cells to bones made of plastic, the team ran precise electric currents through the setup to induce contractions.

What resulted was a tiny version of a human arm with antagonistic and agonistic muscles — opposing pairs of muscles that relax or contract — that were able to maintain sufficiently rigid postures and thus lift objects, the first hybrid robot of its kind.

“It’s still in the very early stages, but I think it’s a big first step,” said Shoji. Already setting their sights beyond the horizon, the research team hopes to push its development even further into the production of prosthetic hands. Having durable yet flexible artificial limbs might be great and all, but having natural-looking ones made of real muscle is just as highly desirable.

However, the team must tackle several challenges if they are to have any hope of reaching that goal, such as replicating the extremely intricate muscle composition of human hands, developing a reliable power source to generate electric currents, or dealing with muscle degradation caused by wear and tear.

It would take many years before the team produces a replica of a fully functional human hand, perhaps hundreds more before androids at technology expos become more human than machine. But that day will come, and when it does, remember that it all started from this tiny arm here.

visit this link https://soranews24.com/20 .. rking-muscles/

 
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2 weeks ago

Amazon Finally Announces The Fire TV Cube

4 people viewing this

| By Jago - 2 weeks ago

Quote:


It has been a long wait, but Amazon has finally announced the all-new Amazon Fire TV Cube. This is the new flagship Fire TV that I leaked late last year and that Amazon teased a few weeks ago. The Fire TV Cube is a 4K streaming media player with HDR support that includes true hands-free control for your entire home theater setup via Alexa. Eight microphones and a built-in speaker allow you to talk to Alexa to make requests and navigate the UI without needing to use the remote for many tasks. Through a combination of HDMI-CEC to control newer equipment and a built-in IR blaster to control older equipment, the Fire TV Cube can also control your TV, A/V receiver, audio equipment, and cable box by voice.

The Fire TV Cube is available to pre-order today for $119.99 with an included IR Extender and Ethernet adapter. Prime members can pre-order the Fire TV Cube at a special introductory price of $89.99 during the next two days, June 7th & 8th, and save $30 off the regular price.


The Fire TV Cube is essentially a combination of the Fire TV 3, an Echo Dot, and a universal remote in one concise package. At its core, itÂ’s a streaming media player capable of playing 4K UHD video at 60fps with support for HDR10 High Dynamic Range video. While it doesnÂ’t support Dolby Vision, it does support Dolby Atmos surround sound, as well as the expected Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and audio passthrough support.


Amazon has finally doubled the internal storage to 16GB for the Fire TV Cube, compared to the 8GB found on every Fire TV and Fire TV Stick model that came before it. That internal storage can be expanded by connecting a USB drive to the Fire TV CubeÂ’s micro USB port using an OTG adapter. That micro USB port is not used to power the device, since there is a dedicated power connector. The Fire TV Cube also includes 2GB of RAM.

Connectivity comes in the form of 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi with 2Ă—2 MIMO. While an integrated Ethernet port would have been preferred, Amazon has thankfully included an Ethernet adapter in the box for those who prefer the reliability of a wired connection. This is the same 10/100 Ethernet adapter that is used for the Fire TV 3 and Fire TV Stick 2. The Fire TV Cube also supports Bluetooth 4.2 for connecting game controllers, mice, keyboards, and Bluetooth headphones for private listening. ItÂ’s also how the included Alexa voice remote connects to the device, which is the same recently updated remote that comes with the Fire TV 3.

As many have suspected would be the case, the Fire TV Cube is powered by the same Amlogic S905Z quad-core 1.5GHz CPU and Mali-450 MP3 GPU as is found in the Fire TV 3. While this hardware is not as powerful as the Fire TV 2 from a gaming perspective, the Fire TV Cube surpasses the Fire TV 2 as far as video playback capabilities are concerned, thanks to its support for HDR video and 4K @ 60fps, compared to the Fire TV 2Â’s more limited 4K @ 30fps support. Long gone are the days of a separate Fire TV Gaming Edition, since the streaming device market as a whole has been shifting towards lowering device prices while focusing on video playback capabilities.


Those are the core specs of the Fire TV Cube, but the new flagship Fire TV goes far beyond simple specs thanks to its other new features. On top of the device are eight microphones with the same advanced beamforming technology found in Echo devices. Those mics are used for fully hands-free control of the Fire TV Cube, as well as other home theater devices. For those of you worried about placing what is essentially an Echo Dot near your TV speakers, Amazon says that the Fire TV Cube is able to suppress noise, including content that is currently playing on your TV, so that it can hear your requests from across the room, even while sitting next to your TV. In addition to the microphones, youÂ’ll also find volume up/down buttons, a microphone mute button, and an Alexa action button on top, just like youÂ’ll find on an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot.


The volume buttons control the volume of the internal speaker in the Fire TV Cube, which can, of course, also be adjusted by voice. This allows Alexa to respond to you even when your TV is off, without needing to turn on the TV every time. If you make an Alexa request to the Fire TV Cube while the TV is off, such as asking for the weather or controlling smart home devices, Alexa will respond through only the internal speaker, as if the Fire TV Cube were an Echo or Echo Dot. If the TV is on, which the Fire TV Cube can detect, youÂ’ll hear Alexa responses only through the TV/home theater, accompanied by newly updated full-screen Alexa cards and visuals.


The Fire TV CubeÂ’s hands-free capabilities go beyond what is currently available through pairing a Fire TV with an external Echo device, thanks to its universal remote capabilities. Using HDMI-CEC capabilities, if your equipment supports it, and a built-in IR blaster for all other equipment that doesnÂ’t support HDMI-CEC, the Fire TV Cube can turn on/off your TV, change the volume, switch inputs, and change channels, all with just your voice. This is also true for A/V receivers and cable boxes.

While everything is turned off, you can say “Alexa, tune to NBC,” for example, and the Fire TV Cube will turn the TV on, turn your A/V receiver and/or cable box on (if necessary), switch to the correct input, and switch to the requested channel without ever having to touch a remote. If you just want to use an app or stream content on the Fire TV Cube, you can say “Alexa, launch Netflix” or “Alexa, watch Billions on SHOWTIME” and the TV will turn on, switch to the Fire TV Cube input if necessary, and load the app or start the requested show. You can then control playback, such as skipping episodes, pausing, fast-forwarding/rewinding, adjust the volume, or change apps/content, all by voice.


Thanks to the IR blaster, your TV or home theater equipment does not need to be “smart” for this to work. The Fire TV Cube itself emits standard IR signals to replicate the necessary remote control functionality. If your equipment isn’t near where you want to place the Fire TV Cube or if you want to place the Fire TV Cube in a shelf/cabinet, Amazon includes an optional external IR extender that plugs into the back of the Fire TV Cube. It’s a small box, that is about 1-inch on all sides, with an 8-foot cord attached that you can place in an optimal position if your home theater equipment isn’t able to receive the IR signals coming from the Fire TV Cube itself.


A “simple guided setup” process is used to configure the Fire TV Cube to control your TV and other A/V equipment. If you subscribe to traditional cable, Amazon says that the Fire TV Cube “is compatible with set-top boxes from top providers such as Comcast, DISH, and DIRECTV, covering more than 90 percent of households with a cable or satellite subscription.” Cable box compatibility affects your ability to change channels by voice, but you’ll still be able to change inputs, volume, and power state regardless, since those controls depend on your TVs compatibility.

Most Fire TV apps can already be launched by voice and allow for basic media control. Many have already implemented deeper Alexa control that allows for navigation within the app by voice once the app is open. Now that Alexa voice control is a bigger part of the Fire TV experience than ever, even more apps will probably add deeper Alexa control.


As already mentioned, the Fire TV Cube is available for pre-order for $119.99 starting today and will be released on June 21st. For the first time since the original Fire TV Stick debuted in 2014, Amazon is once again offering an exclusive introductory discount to Prime members. If Prime members pre-order by June 8th (tomorrow), theyÂ’ll get $30 off, bringing the price down to just $89.99. That is a significant discount and likely a price that wonÂ’t be beaten for a long time, if ever, so donÂ’t miss it if youÂ’re interested.

If youÂ’re not a Prime member, you can sign-up for a free 30-day trial to be immediately eligible for the $30 discount. You can decide later if you want to keep Prime or cancel within the 30-day trial to not pay anything extra. Amazon is also offering a bundle that includes the Fire TV Cube and Amazon Cloud Cam together for $199.98, which saves you an extra $40 over buying them separately. Prime members still get the extra $30 off at checkout, making the bundle only $169.98. If you do pre-order the Fire TV Cube, be sure to register it by July 1st to receive a free $10 credit via email to spend on Amazon Video rentals or purchases.
visit this link Amazon announces the Fire TV Cube with hands-free Alexa and IR Home Theater Controls | AFTVnews

 
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