So, after a unplanned hiatus, I’m back and the topic is good to restart again. The most anticipated devises of any year are out and it may not be massive upgrade as people might’ve thought but its still new.
So, just like last year, Apple showed off four new iPhones, Apple Watch Series 7(which got delayed), base iPad and the whole new redesigned iPad Mini. Today, I’ll only be talking about the new iPhones, so let’s do this. The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max are a step up from last year, Apple added ProMotion 120hz display, bigger camera lens with wider aperture and finally after 3 years decreased the notch size on all 2021 iPhones by 20% which only sounds good on paper but doesn’t give anymore screen real-estate(still no battery indicator). The iPhone 13, non-pros also got updated with bigger and better cameras including the sensor-shift stabilization from the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The whole lineup got just a little bit thicker to accommodate the cameras and bigger batteries. This solved the problems people had with iPhone 12 Mini.
Let’s talk specs, the non-pros are exactly the same except the size, same is the case with the Pros. The non-pros have a 60hz Super Retina OLED 1170 x 2532 pixels which supports Dolby Vision HDR and has a brightness of 800 nits. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max has 120hz Super Retina OLED 1170 x 2532 pixels and a 1200 nits of peak brightness. I’ll not into detailed specs too much because then this will be a thesis not an article.
Talking about the cameras, the whole lineup has now better low light performance and nifty new tricks like the Photographic Styles and Cinematic mode and Pro-Res which exclusive to Pro models. Photographic styles are not filter but it allows you to enhance your captured images by creating your own presets, which can be saved using the default Camera app. Cinematic mode is basically portrait mode for video but with some Apple-ly goodness. It can detect faces and focuses accordingly, its light years ahead of its competition, it may not be perfect but it shows the capability of tech when it is actually at that level. Pro-Res is almost Hollywood quality video but comes with a caveat, first, its not present at launch ,its a “Coming soon” feature and second, if you get the iPhone 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max with 128gb then its capped at 1080p@30fps but can record $k@30fps if you have the 256gb version or higher.
Now comparing the 13 lineup with last year, right off the bat, no it doesn’t makes sense to upgrade, the design is unchanged, you’ll not be able to tell the difference in photos in good lighting conditions. Still if you want to upgrade and you’re rocking a iPhone 12 or 12 Mini then I suggest getting the Pro models ’cause that’ll be a bigger jump. The iPhone 13 non-pros is good upgrade if you’re coming from iPhone 11 or older but I strongly believe that if you have the extra cash, then get the iPhone 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max, it will give a smoother display, extra tele-photo lens along with a LiDAR sensor and stronger stainless steel frame.
So, surviving through the tech news drought. Bloggers like me, tech publications, youtubers, basically all of the industry has nothing to talk about. But I thought, hey! it’s only two months till the 2021 iPhones come out so let’s talk about them.
These are leaks from Jon Prosser and Mark Gurman and other leaksters with good track record. Apple and Tim Cook are trying their best to stop the leaks so much so that they’re having Apple employees wear police-grade bodycams to atleast control the leaks. but let’s not get into that right now. there have been a lot of speculation about the specs of new line-up, I don’t the name ’cause Jon Prosser says its 12s but many websites still say its 13.
I have some thoughts on the naming of not just 12s/13 but also the current 12, which I’ll get to in a sec. So, leaks say its a complete overhaul of the current gen, 2021 iPhones are expected to get a smaller notch, 120hz LTPO display, Sensor-Shift Stabilization for the whole line-up, better cameras with bigger lenses and finally, this have very small chance of happening but a return of Touch-ID either under the display or in the power button.
Now, coming back to my point of naming, I think the 2021 line-up deserves a numeric update, seeing the iPhone 12 line-up, that was a ‘s’ update, Apple just squared off the edges and added 5g. I know, they added OLED display to regular iPhone 12 and 12 mini but come on, my $185 Samsung budget phone has that. It was a just a refresh here and there as you would expect in a new phone so I think iPhone line-up should’ve been called 11s but its okay.
The design with the fat notch is still from 2017 and screen is still 60hz. 2021 line-up screams new, and Apple may go portless this year. There also have reports of Apple claiming that the 2021 Pro Max version will be the cheapest 6.7″ iPhone ever. Now, onto the caveats, high refresh rate could be exclusive to the Pro models, camera upgrades also exclusive to the Pros but the Sensor-Shift Stabilization will be available on the whole line-up. Also, after poor sales of iPhone 12 Mini, Apple killed the production of it but they’re still releasing a 2021 Mini.
So, Apple’s annual developers conference keynote just ended and it was meh… I’m not complaining, except that I am. Its just that I expected more after the mind blowing-Mission Impossible-Tim Cook jumping off the roof Spring Loaded event. Apple did announce many amazing new features though, which I’ll get into a minute. As always, Apple just announced iOS 15, iPadOS 15, WatchOS 8 and MacOS Monterey.
So, right off the bat, Apple started with FaceTime. It now supports Spatial Audio with machine learning cutting out any ambient noise that might interrupt you. Facetime also has SharePlay, so you can watch movies with your friends and family while still on call. Obviously, I haven’t used this feature now but as smooth as Apple is with software this could really eliminate the lag of screen share if you’re trying this on Zoom. They didn’t share us if this is screen share or FaceTime plays it at the same time on everyone’s phone with the respective app. Oh and FaceTime is now available on android, Psych! Not exactly, people with iPhone or Apple devices can share their FaceTime link with people with android to join, ngl I was hoping for iMessage for android.
Apple is really emphasizing on going fully digital, already your credit card and payment is digital but Apple along with third party brands is turning locks, car keys, hotel keys and many more on your phone. BMW and other manufacturers will ship cars with UWB from late 2021. There is also cool new animations for the whether app and more precise graphics for Apple Maps.
iPad OS got a fairly new redesign with iOS App Gallery coming to iPad. There is a whole new multitasking interface, so the you can finally take full advantage of the big screen. Also, there is a new Focus mode on iOS and iPadOS 15, its a mini DND mode for when you’re at work or home, it helps you focus on the stuff you’re doing where you’re doing. Live Text is basically does what Google Lens does, sry Apple. It takes text from photos or screenshot and help you look it up or remember it. There’s also a Quick Note so you can now make a memo, its kinda like a digital Post-It. SwiftUI is also now present on the iPad so you can build apps and post them on App Store directly from an iPad.
There’s really not much to talk about in WatchOS ’cause don’t be mad at me but as I said above the keynote was very underwhelming. They talked about health, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing but I’m 17 and I don’t want my to judge my walk, I have parents for that. Anyway, it has a cool new live wallpaper that changes as you rotate your digital crown. There’s the new Breathe app and that’s it.
As I mentioned above, There’s Spatial Audio for FaceTime but its exclusive to AirPods Max and AirPods Pro. AirPods now gets built-in AirTags and just like the AirTags, you can find your lost AirPods via Find My app with sound and proximity view. They come with a handy new feature called Conversation Boost, it helps people with mild hearing lose to hear what the other person is saying, just like the FaceTime, software analyzes the voice of a person and amplifies so that you can hear it.
MacOS, neck and neck running on the hype train with iOS. First, hats off to Apple marketing team on coming up with this name. So, this has to be my favorite feature of the new MacOS, Universal Control. This lets user to use their iPad, Mac and MacBook to seamlessly use the cursor across the devices exactly like a dual or triple monitor setup except its wireless. You could be using your MacBook and want to bring a photo over to edit, you just swipe to the iPad drag it back to your MacBook. Shortcuts are now available on Macs.
Safari got a major redesign, you can now group your tabs with labels, like you can open emails, PDFs on the work Tab Group and photos of last road trip on family Tab Group. AirPlay is also now available, so you can use your iMac’s powerful speakers for your music playing from your iPhone.
Now, to the disappointments, 16″ MacBook Pro was rumored but we didn’t got, there have been memes instantly uploaded on the internet but WWDC is never about hardware so we can’t complain much.
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So, its that time of the year when Apple holds their World Wide Developers Conference. At WWDC, on June 7th this year, we usually see software like the new iOS, iPadOS, MacOS versions and not much hardware, except in 2019 when we saw the $50k cheese grater Mac Pro. As the Epic and Apple trial goes on, let’s do this. This is part one ’cause I’ll be doing one after WWDC. In this article, I’ll talk about what can we expect from this years’ WWDC.
As usual, we’ll get iOS, WatchOS, TVOS, MacOS, iPadOS. I’m not a leakster but I’m predicting that Apple may announce MacOS for iPad Pro M1, considering the power of the new iPad 12.9″, iPadOS is just holding it back and even if Apple doesn’t make it support MacOS, Final Cut Pro and iMovie etc. will really help proessionals.
As leaked by Jon Prosser and Mark Gurman, MacBook Pro is “confirmed” to be launched at WWDC this year.
Well, the MacBook Pro is set to launch with a M1x chip, with a 16 or 32 core graphics and 64gb of memory. That’s a big, big step up from the current 13″ MacBook Pro. Jon Prosser also leaked that the new MacBooks are coming in with colors just like the iMacs, and I’m saying MacBook ’cause he didn’t clarify whether it is the Air or the Pro, there are also rumors about the pro getting an SD card slot. As you see, it comes with a white bezel, just like the new iMac, I tweeted about it and I’m saying it again, I hate them and Apple didn’t stop there, they turned the keyboard to white too.
Mac Mini M1x
Well, Jon Prosser also leaked the new and updated M1x Mac Mini, which is actually really mini. As we can see, it has 4 type-c ports,2 of them are Thunderbolt, magnetic power cable like the iMacs, 2 type-A, 1 HDMI and ethernet. This maybe the only Apple product with so many ports. Jokes aside, when Apple announced the M1 chip and the products getting it, there was no redesign of any sort, they took the last years’ product and slapped an M1 chip to it and with the M1 chip, we saw how thin Apple made the iMacs and this is the redesign that make the already mini Mac Mini even smaller.
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So, 2020 is about to end in a few days time and I(people) had some thoughts and the topic for this blog is people’s thoughts on smartphones these days. Everyone is saying that all the smartphones look the same and are boring with no major upgrades from one generation to the next. Well, there can be a debate on this, its true that all the smartphones of today are pretty similar but that’s the beauty of it, now you can pick up any phone and wouldn’t be disappointed, plus there’s so few differences in feature set of the flagships and the mid-range or even the budget range. The Pixel 4a can shoot stills which much more expensive offerings can’t.
That was the one side of it but on the other hand, phones like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a 108MP main sensor, with 8k video recording, from a smartphone. The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max can shoot in Dolby Vision HDR, its at that quality that most devices doesn’t support it. The OnePlus 8T can charge at 65w fast charging or the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra which can charge at 120w, these kind of devices keep things interested in the industry. If this wasn’t enough, brands came out with folding phones, like the 2nd gen Galaxy Z Fold2 5G or the Moto Razr 5G, every manufacturer has their own philosophy of multitasking and fitting a bigger screen in your pocket, like with the Galaxy Fold, Samsung folded the tablet sized display is half or the Galaxy Z flip and the Moto Razr folds in a clamshell making a normal phone more pocketable or the Microsoft Surface Duo which has two displays glued together with a 360° hinge.
In today’s world, every brand is trying to web you in their ecosystem, like Apple, a ecosystem which is becoming more and more exclusive to its products each day or Samsung, which may not be as exclusive but has a much more wide range of products ranging from smartphones to TVs to refrigerators to smart home appliances like Ballie and there are rumors of an OnePlus smartwatch in partnership with Google.
In the end, buying a phone is a very personal decision, if not the most and I and in fact, every tech youtuber or blogger is trying to show you the best deal for your hard-earned money. I can tell you which is the best but I cannot influence your preference or choice, like a iPhone user will not change to an android phone because its their choice, while the phones in that price point provide much more on paper but the user wants to buy the new iPhone and doesn’t care about the spec sheet.
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So, its finally december and a fullstop to the year 2020 and while this might not be great for everybody, its been awesome for tech. We had many launches/unveiling ranging from smartphones to tablets to the new Next-Gen consoles. A bit of disclaimer, the choices below are my personal preferences and what I think might be the best for your buck. So, let’s get into it, I’ve divided the categories into six parts, Budget, Mid-Range, Flagship, the best overall package, the most innovative and the bust of 2020. I’ll be sharing my personal favorite in the end.
Budget(~$400 or less)
The participants for this round are the OnePlus Nord, Google Pixel 4a and iPhone SE. I’ll not dive too deep here, if you want to see the comparison just click here, The Midfield Battle. Anyway, for me the Pixel wins the battle because it has the vanilla android with first in line for updates, a killer still camera without any useless 2mp lenses, stereo speakers and its the best of both worlds, the compact form-factor as the iPhone SE and a great OLED display like the Nord. Now, I know that the Nord got a high refresh rate, glass back and faster charging but most people will slap a case on the back, so it doesn’t matter and iPhone SE, in the same category, has got the 5w ultra slow charger in 2020, this makes the 18w decently fast charger of Pixel look pretty good.
Mid-Range($500 to $800)
In the ring for this round are, the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, OnePlus 8/8T, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 and the Google Pixel 5. Now, this segment has been the most tricky one, because the S20 FE and 8T are value kings and the iPhones are more of a premium devices. So, I choose the iPhone 12 Mini as the winner, its a massive refresh to see a phone, at this price point, as small as this, with a screen size of just 5.4″, the phone, physically, is smaller than the iPhone SE but has a much larger display. The features are exactly same as the OG 12 but just smaller in size. To read in detail, just click here, iPhone 12 series.
Premium Flagships(~$900 or above)
Now, this is where things get interesting, this is the bracket where brands doesn’t hold back and give us everything their R&D teams can squeeze out of the technology available. The contenders are the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, OnePlus 8 Pro and the Motorola Edge. Now, Apple says that the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets a 47% larger sensor than the 12 Pro but its still quite small compared to the Note 20 Ultra, it still gets a new Sensor Shift Stabilization which can stabilize a footage 5k times per second than the usual 1k times in normal OIS, pretty impressive, but the winner of this round is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra because it has a much faster refresh rate at 120hz, a 9ms latency S pen, much bigger main camera sensor at 108mp and a fast charger included in the box(*last point is just for humor).
The Bust of 2020
This does not come as a surprise, the worst smartphone of 2020 is the regular Galaxy Note 20, while its big brother is best android phone on the planet(if you can afford one), it does not live up to any standards of a $1000 phone. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a better spec sheet and is still cost less. It has a 1080p 60hz display which is exactly the same as Samsung’s own budget smartphone, the Galaxy A51/A71. The back is made up of Plastic, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with plastic but at that price, I would want my phone feel a bit more premium. It has faster S pen than the last gen at 26ms latency but still slower than 9ms of the Ultra.
The Best Overall Value
It was a close call but the best value smartphone of the year is the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. The only two phones in the race were S20 FE and the OnePlus 8T. Both trade blows in features and also cost around the same price. The S20 FE doesn’t support the crazy 65w charging of the 8T but the S20 FE has more pros, it has wireless and reverse wireless charging, an official IP rating and better cameras. The third camera on the S20 FE is a telephoto lens than a useless 5mp macro and 2mp monochrome lens as the 8T. The OnePlus 8T is a bit more premium because it has a glass back but the S20 FE has a plastic back. Both the phones have a 120hz refresh rate and have a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, in the case of S20FE including European regions, too but not India and other international markets.
The Most Innovative of 2020
Most people are saying that smartphones are all the same and boring now, well, Samsung, LG, Microsoft and Motorola has just the answer for you. Last year, Samsung started the trend of folding phones and it caught on fairly quickly. This year Samsung and Motorola is back with their 2nd generation as the Z Fold2 5G and Razr 5G but this year Microsoft and LG also threw their hats in the ring as the Surface Duo and Wing, respectively. Now, all the Fold, Surface Duo and Razr and a folding phone but the LG Wing is a device that I’m out of words to explain the mechanism on paper, basically the main screen swivels revealing half a screen and forming a T-shaped device but it still a 1st gen product, so while being great, developers still need to optimize apps to work with it. The winner is this category is the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G because Samsung really took customer’s feedback on-board and improved it from the OG Fold. It now gets a bigger cover display, shrunk the cut-out on the inner display to just a tiny punch hole, made the inner display 120hz, now it might not be as durable as a mainstream smartphone but seeing that the tech is still improving, I’m gonna let that slide.
My Personal Favorite
So, that’s been it for the 2020 Smartphone Awards. If you liked any of this above then like, share, subscribe and follow, also follow me on Instagram at scuderiavedang. I’ll be leaving the Amazon links for the winners of each category down below.
First of all, Happy Diwali. Sorry, I’m a little late to the party but better late than never. So, Techtober rolls on to Techvember, sorry Marques. Apple held their 3rd major event in two months, One More Thing. First, they came out with the Apple Watch Series 6 along with the new iPad Air and the budget iPad, then the iPhone 12s with Homepod Mini and finally, a few days back they released the Apple Silicon Macs, transitioning from the Intel chips to their in-house chips.
Apple is making serious claims about these M1 chips based on a 5nm process with 16 billion transistors. They gave us some serious numbers. First, let’s talk about what is the new lineup. So, they renewed the whole MacBook lineup along with the new Mac Mini. The MacBook pro 13″ and 16″ with the Mac Mini has fans for active cooling but the MacBook Air has thermal cooling, so no fans. They also removed two Thunderbolt ports from the MacBook Pro, earlier they had two on each sides, now its only on one side.
Now, let’s talk numbers, they have a 8-core CPU consisting of the 4 high performance cores and 4 high efficiency cores with an integrated 8-core GPU with 16-core Neural Engine and also, integrated RAM. So, the RAM is built into the chip so its not user-upgradable, if you want more RAM then you have pay Apple more to get it but everything is in one place so its easier for the chip to communicate and give you a faster experience.
Apple also made pretty big claims about the M1 chip, like it has 3.4x faster CPU, 5x faster GPU with 2x faster storage and they made huge improvements on the battery life of the MacBooks, the MacBook Air can do 15 hours of wireless web browsing and 18 hours of video playback, which is 6 more than the previous one. The MacBook Pro can do 2.8x faster CPU, 5x faster GPU, 3x faster than the best selling windows laptop(even I don’t know which one) and for the battery, it can do 17 hours of wireless web browsing and 20 hours of video playback, which is twice than the last MacBook Pro.
They also did a refresh to the Mac Mini which now supports external 6k display, it has 3x faster CPU and 6x faster GPU along with USB 4. The whole lineup comes with Rosetta 2 which helps M1 and MacOS Big Sur to run apps which haven’t yet transitioned to the Apple Silicon and speaking of transition, Apple still sells the Intel Macs on their website. You can buy all the new Macs right now and the MacOS Big Sur is also available now to upgrade. But, how much does this all gonna cost? Well, the MacBook Air starts at $999(₹92,900), the MacBook Pro starts at $1,299(₹122,900) and the Mac Mini starts at $699(₹64,900).
Tell me your thoughts on the new MacBooks and the Mac Mini in the comments below and if you liked any of this above then like, share, follow and also follow me on Instagram at scuderiavedang.
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So, the most anticipated smartphones of the year are here. Its techober and Apple has unveiled the newest range of iPhones, the iPhone 12 series and this time around, Apple gave us four new iPhones. So, there are two non-pro modals and two pro modals. First is the iPhone 12 mini(5.4″ screen size), iPhone 12(6.1″) and the iPhone 12 pro and iPhone 12 pro max with a screen size of 6.1″ and 6.7″, respectively.
So, this year, the whole range is 5G capable with mm-wave exclusive to US and 5G was very important to Apple, the 5G portion of the keynote was quite elaborated and was given major attention. Now, Apple went back to its iPhone 5, boxy edge design, which I’m totally on-board with. It feels so much more premium and helps with grip, too.
Let’s talk about the non-pro modals first. Apple gave us two non-pro modals this year and they both are exactly the same except the screen size and the battery. In 2020, Apple finally gave us OLED screen or Super Retina XDR on the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini. It has a new glass on the front, which Apple didn’t called glass at any point in the presentation, it’s called the Ceramic Shield which is 4x stronger than the one on the iPhone 11 series with aluminum frames all around. There are five new colors, the new blue, white, black, green and the product red. I have to get a hands-on to decide which modal I would go for because I’m a small phone person and last year’s 5.8″ iPhone pro was perfect but I have see how much difference is there on the iPhone 12 and 12 mini.
They both have same cameras, with dual camera setup on the back and one front facing camera. The rear consist of a wide 12mp(f/1.6) main lens and a 12mp(f/2.4) 120° ultrawide. The cameras now have the Smart HDR 3 with night mode on all the lenses including the front camera and Deep Fusion. They both can shoot 4k@60fps and HDR video with Dolby Vision at 30fps.
Also, MagSafe is back. There is a ring of magnets inside the back of the phones to help with better 15w wireless charging and new accessories. Apple didn’t talk about the FaceID in the keynote so I suppose there is nothing new with it. They have removed the charging brick and earpods from their boxes to reduce their carbon emissions which also made the new iPhone box a lot thinner plus there is a MagSafe charger, so I say instead of going for the charging brick many people will get that.
Now, the latest, the best of the rest, the ultimate pro phones, the iPhone 12 pro and the 12 pro max. With the camera improvements on these two modals, I think Apple wanted to make video cameras look bad ’cause they went all out with it. So, there are total of four cameras including the front facing camera from last year with a LiDAR scanner. So, the wide 12mp(f/1.6) main lens, a 12mp(f/2.0) telephoto for the 12 pro and 12mp(f/2.2) for the pro max and a 12mp(f/2.4) 120° ultrawide. The iPhone 12 pro has a new 4x optical zoom whereas the 12 pro max has a 5x optical zoom. The pros also have night mode on all cameras with night mode portraits enabled by the LiDAR scanner. The LiDAR scanner also helps in 6x faster autofocus.
The iPhone 12 pros also have the new seven element main lens with sensor shift optical stabilization, it means along with the lens, the sensor also moves to make the video even more stable and the star of the show, Apple announced the Apple ProRAW, which is the full pro video mode along with Dolby Vision can shoot Hollywood standard videos and also shoot night mode timelapse.
The screen sizes for the pro modals are 6.1″ and 6.7″ for the iPhone 12 pro and the 12 pro max, respectively. The iPhone 12 pros start from 128gb of storage upto 512gb. They are available in four colors, the blue, graphite, gold and silver. The whole lineup is powered by the most powerful chip on the planet, the Apple A14 Bionic which is based on the latest 5nm process. It consist on 11.8 billion transistors and has more than double the power of last year’s A13 Bionic.
The prices start from $699 for the iPhone 12 mini, $799 for iPhone 12, $999 for iPhone 12 pro and $1011 for iPhone 12 pro max. Now, if you don’t want the pro camera system then I say save $200 and for with the non-pro 12, they are same size, almost-same wide and ultrawide lens. The pricing isn’t cheap in any way but it’s still very cheap compared to the Indian pricing, they cost almost double in India. Tell me in the comments your thoughts about the new iPhones.
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