Samsung W2018 Android Flip Phone With Bixby Integration and F/1.5 Camera Lens Launched

Samsung has announced the W2018 as its new high-end Android flip phone in China. The South Korean company has partnered with China Telecom to launch the new smartphone on its 25th anniversary in the country. The new smartphone is the successor to the W2017 that was unveiled last year with a dual-display setup and a fingerprint scanner.

As showcased at an event in Xiamen, China last week, reported by Chinese news agency Sina, the Samsung W2018 features two 4.2-inch AMOLED display panels with full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, paired with Adreno 540 GPU and 6GB of RAM. Further, Samsung has provided 64GB and 256GB storage options along with microSD card support (up to 256GB). The handset runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat operating system with a proprietary skin on top and offers Bixby virtual assistant support in Chinese.

The Samsung W2018 sports a 12-megapixel camera sensor on the back with a largest, f/1.5 aperture lens – the largest seen yet on a smartphone camera. There is also optical image stabilisation (OIS) support to reduce blurs even when the shots are captured with some jerks or shakes. Moreover, the handset has a 5-megapixel camera sensor on the front with f/1.9 lens. The back camera sensor also supports 4K video recording, while the front sensor has full-HD (1080p) support.

Samsung has opted for a hybrid dual-SIM configuration on the W2018 with two Nano-SIM card options and microSD card support. The smartphone packs a 2300mAh battery and includes a fingerprint scanner as well as a heart rate sensor. In terms of connectivity, there is 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/GLONASS, NFC, and USB Type-C.

The Samsung W2018 comes with a 3D glass and metal design and has been made available in Gold and Silver colour options.

Price and availability details about the Samsung W2018 are yet to be announced. However, considering the previous models (including the W2017 and W2016), the new smartphone is expected to come with a premium price tag and be exclusive to the Chinese market.



Furbo Dog Camera With AI, Selfie and Smart Alert Tech Review

Stories about dogs and cats are a dime a dozen, but what’s not often talked about is just how hard it can be to leave your furry loved one behind. Be it for a weekend getaway or just a long day at the office, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single pet owner who doesn’t find themselves wondering how their four-legged friend is doing while they’re away. But with the Furbo Dog Camera ($199), there’s a quick and easy way to check anytime, day or night, and to show your pet how much you care.

The market for products that seek to fill the pet-shaped hole in your away-from-home life is huge and ranges from Uber-like dog walking services to impromptu pet selfie-snapping devices. But Furbo does a whole bunch of things — from sending you alerts when there’s sudden movement to letting you shower your dog with treats. That makes it a whole hell of a lot easier to avoid separation anxiety, with just a few taps on your phone. I spent a week using the Furbo, and while I fully acknowledge that I’m in the minority and use the dog-focused device to look after my cat, I can unequivocally say that it’s made me feel a little more connected to him when I’m not there to tell him he’s a good boy.

For starters, Furbo is, at heart, a camera — and as a result, the Furbo app provides you with a real-time feed of the inside of your home. Just place the (surprisingly tasteful) device where your pet would normally reside, and you’re good to go. Then there’s the fact that there’s a two-way microphone attached to the Furbo, one that listens in for unexpected noises (namely, if the dog starts barking, you’ll get an alert) but also enables you to talk to the animal and soothe them when they get bent out of shape.

Then there are the more fun aspects of the smart home device. The Furbo base holds up to 100 treats to dispense for your pet remotely, which can be handy if your pet has run out of range or if you’re out past his or her dinner dinner. Plus, when you open the app, it takes you instantly to the camera view — enabling you to snap a shot of your pet at rest or a video of what’s going on at home while you’re away. It also works with a smart AI system to take selfies when your dog is looking directly at the camera and send alerts directly to your phone if you so choose, allowing you to know exactly what’s up no matter where you are.

It’s worth noting that the Furbo was created with dogs in mind; the device was crafted with the advice of trainers and experts in order to make it the perfect dog companion and provide you with the most useful information about your pet. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t, like me, use it for your cat — or that they won’t be responsive to the treat-flinging surprise. I recorded a message that plays directly before the Furbo shoots out a set of cat treats, and in the week that I’ve had it, there hasn’t been a single time that my cat hasn’t leaped up with glee to interact with the device.

Overall, if peace of mind with your pets is what you’re after, you can’t beat the satisfaction that the Furbo provides. And with the launch of the second generation of the device, there’s a better-than-ever camera and a smarter-than-ever system behind the Furbo — and for our money, it’s worth the price.

Apple developing new 3D sensor system for 2019 iPhone rear camera, according to Bloomberg

Bloomberg today reports that Apple is developing a new 3D sensor system for the 2019 iPhone. This sensor would work differently to the TrueDepth sensor system used for Face ID and would be used to add depth sensing features to the rear camera.

Adding depth data to the rear camera would allow for more advanced augmented reality applications. iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus simulate depth by using a dual-camera system, and comparing the parallax of the images from the two lenses.

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Bloomberg says that Apple would use different technology for the rear-camera 3D system than the technology used by the TrueDepth camera system.

The TrueDepth system shines about 30,000 dots outward, which is then captured and analyzed. The distortion of these dots creates the depth map. This is how Face ID gets the 3D data it needs to check for a facial identity match and unlock the device.

The report says the new sensor for the 2019 iPhone back camera relies on a time-of-flight algorithm, measuring how long it takes for a laser to hit an object and bounce back.

However, the TrueDepth tech would remain for the front camera. The new time-of-flight system would only be added for the back-facing camera, according to the supposed Apple roadmap.

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo previously reported not to expect major changes to the camera system for 2018, and that TrueDepth will not be the solution for the back camera.

The Bloomberg report does not address whether Apple would abandon the dual-lens camera system if it adopted the Infrared laser 3D sensor, which would be able to create much more accurate depth maps than the disparity maps produced by the parallax optics system.

It is unlikely it would do that, however, as the two-camera system on iPhones is used for more than just measuring depth. The second lens enables a 2x optical zoom and light data from both sensors are sometimes combined to make better quality single photos.

Bloomberg says the motivation for the new rear 3D sensors is augmented reality. Virtual objects would be able to be positioned more realistically if the device knew about the location of physical objects and barriers in a room. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been very bullish on the opportunities in AR; Apple is rumored to be working on a augmented-reality headset for launch as early as 2020.

New free iPhone X camera app lets you refocus after you take a shot, like a Lytro camera – BGR

It seems like every new flagship phone that launches these days instantly steals the “best camera” crown until the next flagship phone comes along. Samsung’s Note 8 arguably stole the crown over the summer until the iPhone 8 Plus came along, then the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were widely regarded as the best camera phones until early November when the iPhone X was released. Apple’s dual-lens rear camera setup on the iPhone X is quite similar to the iPhone 8 Plus, but it adds dual optical image stabilization, which helps dramatically with zoomed photos and with the quality of Portrait Mode photographs, which mimic DSLR camera by creating a blur effect on the background known as “bokeh.”

As great as Apple’s new Portrait Mode features are though, there are still some features Apple hasn’t baked into its iOS camera software. Now, one of the coolest missing features has been added to the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus courtesy of a new app.

Remember Lytro? The company is still around with some niche products, but it made waves when it announced its first camera. The odd looking camera let you capture a photo, transfer it to your computer, and then refocus the image at will after the fact. So if you wanted to change the focus from a person in the foreground to a mountain in the background, for example, you could do it in just a few clicks.

There are a bunch of apps of varying quality that let you accomplish something similar on iOS and Android devices, but we’ve never seen anything that offers results like a new app called Focos, which is a free download on the App Store. This awesome app uses Apple’s new Portrait Mode features to offer photos that come closer than ever before to DSLR quality. The app also offers a tap-to-refocus feature with far more impressive results than anything we’ve tested.

Of note, Focos is a free download but you’ll need one of two subscription plans starting at $1.99 to take full advantage of its features. The app’s full description can be read below, followed by a download link.

Focos brings DSLR-like photography to your dual-camera iPhone with large aperture and real bokeh effect, which most photographers have always desired.

DPReview, “Created by the same indie developer behind the apps Colorburn and MaxCurve, Focos takes your iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus or X’s Portrait Mode shots and makes them look more professional by adding more realistic and customizable bokeh effects. The results should ostensibly look better than what Apple is generating with its own Camera app, but at the very least they’ll be more customizable so you can find a more appropriate effect for every photo.”

As a beginner having no prior photo shooting experience, you can take professional-grade pictures with this app at a go without expert skills.
As a professional, you’ll be amazed at professional options available in this offer for you to simulate any type of lens including the top-level or defective ones.

– Press shutter to take pictures with the depth of field without painting or making selection.
– True 3D imaging.
– Large aperture and real bokeh like in DSLR with expensive lens.
– Import existing portrait photos and edit the bokeh effect again.
– Tap to focus after shooting.
– Various diaphragms generate different bokeh spot effects.
– Professional options simulate the pro lens such as creamy, bilinear, swirly and so on.
– View the portrait photos in 3D mode and add the depth filters intuitively.
– Simulate rainy, snowy or foggy weather with depth filters.
– Video tutorials and easy to use.
– Essential tool for iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X having dual cameras.

It is strongly recommended to download this app for those devices with dual cameras.
All sample photos in screenshots and trailers were taken by iPhone 7 Plus.

Download Focos