Between manufacturers and consumers, wireless earbuds have gained a large market now. A new edition pops up every couple of months. This time around, the addition to the list is from LG with the first-of-its-kind Tone Free FN7 which comes with a UV charging case which can kill bacteria, according to the company’s claims.
The Tone Free looks like a premium product. It is designed like a pod and is circular in shape, also making it easy to carry. It is available in two colours, white and black. My review unit, which is a black one, came in a matte finish, but the white gets a glossy look.
The case is light and houses an LED indicator for charging, a UV indicator that lights up when the case is on charge, and a USB Type-C charging port. Sterilization happens when the lid is shut and on charge. You can see the UV blue light when you open it. There’s also a pairing button on the left side of the case.
The earphones are fitted in well with a magnet. They are easy to plug in and out. The top of each stem has a touch button that allows users to control music playback and calls. The LG Tone Free FN7 packs in IPX4 water-resistant certification, so it can withstand some sweat and light splashes. Design-wise the earphones are not different from the stuff we have seen. They are just glossy looking which gives them a premium feel.
In the box you get two extra silicon covers, which might look ordinary but they have a lining inside which makes them comfortable to wear and gives them a good grip. Using them while running or during a workout felt very easy and comfortable.
THE TONE FREE APP
What makes the experience better for any device is the ecosystem attached to it. LG provides an app for these earphones. The app helps you select an EQ preset, customise the EQ according to your needs, control ANC and ambient sound, customise controls, etc.
ANC AND SOUND
Tone Free has a great ANC. It can be easily compared to market leaders for its performance. I felt the noise cancellation levels were just right; 95% of the usual noises were muted completely. With the silicon ear covering, there is no fatigue too, which helped a lot.
The most important aspect of a pair of earphones is its sound quality, especially for people who enjoy listening to music. And if you are spending close to Rs 20k on a device, you would want the best out of it. With Tone Free we get a partnership with Meridian for higher sound quality and performance. Listening to music with high bass and treble was delightful and felt easy on the ear. Of course, the app can also be used to adjust the sound the way you want.
This is probably the only downside of this product. You get around seven hours of playtime on the device and an additional two in the box but as you switch on ANC, you lose two hours. You do get fast charging but for people who are always on the go and wish to use it regularly, this might be a deal breaker.
The LG Tone Free FN7, priced at Rs 18,990, is as premium as it can get in the earphone segment. It is a strong competitor in the ANC or all-exclusive UV ray department. The only disappointment is its battery life. With a product in this range, we were expecting better. However, besides that, you would love everything else about the Tone Free, right from its premium design, good sound quality, engaging app, ANC and the bacteria-killing UV technology.
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MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 8 WILL HAVE 120HZ DISPLAY, THUNDERBOLT SUPPORT
WASHINGTON: American tech giant Microsoft will be launching a new Surface Pro 8 model next week and a new leak of the upcoming device appears to have revealed exactly what to expect from it.
According to The Verge, a Twitter user recently published a photo of the Surface Pro 8 from what appears to be a retail listing. The account claimed the Surface Pro 8 will ship with a new 13-inch 120Hz display with narrow bezels and two Thunderbolt ports.
Last week, the outlet has reported that the Surface Pro 8 would ship without USB-A ports, in favour of USB-C and Thunderbolt. They also reported that Microsoft has been testing 120Hz displays for the Surface Pro lineup. The leaked image and specs line up with what was heard from sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans.
The leak also revealed that Microsoft is moving towards removable SSDs on the Surface Pro 8. This matches with the Surface Laptop 4, Surface Pro X, and the business-only Surface Pro 7 plus and will henceforth make it easier for businesses to swap out drives.
The company has planned a Surface hardware event on September 22, 11 AM ET / 8 AM PT onwards, where it’s expected from the company to announce the Surface Pro 8, a Surface Go 3, a newly designed Surface Book 4, an updated Surface Pro X, and the successor to the Android-powered Surface Duo, as per The Verge.
GOOGLE MIGHT HAVE SECOND FOLDABLE PIXEL SMARTPHONE IN THE WORKS
WASHINGTON: Tech giant Google appears to be internally testing a second foldable Pixel smartphone.
As per The Verge, the device is said to be under development with the codename ‘Jumbojack’, that’s referenced in a future version of Android 12 identified as ‘Android 12.1’. This is the latest foldable codename we’ve heard about at Google, following reports of another device called ‘Passport’.
Not much is known about what form Jumbojack could take, but The Verge has a couple of key details.
It seems to have two screens, with one that deactivates when the device is folded. That suggests we’re looking at a similar design to Samsung’s foldables, which combine a small external screen with a larger internal folding display. However, there’s no word on screen sizes or internal specs, reported The Verge.
Interestingly, there’s speculation that the Jumbojack codename could be a reference to Jack in the Box’s Jumbo Jack cheeseburger, an implication that the phone will fold ‘hamburger style’ like a Z Flip as opposed to ‘hotdog style’ like a Z Fold.
But, much like the foodstuffs, that speculation is best taken with a good pinch of salt. Unlike Passport, which reliable leaker Evan Blass reported is still scheduled to launch before the end of the year, there’s no indication about when or even if Jumbojack will see a commercial release.
There’s a possibility it might just be an internal prototype, designed to help build foldable functionality like improved multitasking into Android itself.
AMAZON SETS DATE FOR ITS BIG FALL HARDWARE LAUNCH EVENT
Washington: American multinational company Amazon has officially announced the date for its upcoming big fall hardware event. The tech giant has set the launch event to take place on September 28 at 12 pm ET / 9 am PT.
According to The Verge, the invite for the event does not disclose any further details regarding what to expect from it, though it did state that there will be “news about our latest Amazon devices, features, and services.” The event will be an invite-only one; hence there won’t be any public live stream.
During the past years’ events, Amazon has announced new Echo speakers, updates to Alexa’s software, new Eero routers, updated Ring cameras, and more. The company also tends to announce its more unique and experimental products at its fall event.
In the previous years, they have announced the Echo Loop ring, the Echo Frames glasses, and the Ring drone (which has yet to make a reappearance since its initial debut last year.) Some people may have gotten an early look at Ring’s dashcam as well, when its images leaked out this June, as per The Verge.
APPLE LETS USERS ADD COVID VACCINATION CARD TO WALLET
WASHINGTON: American tech giant Apple is all set to bring verifiable Covid-19 vaccination cards to Wallet application as part of a future iPhone software update. According to TechCrunch, the latest feature will take advantage of the international SMART Health Cards standard (already in use in several states) to produce proof of vaccination, sign it with a private key and create a public key to verify your information. Also, the just-released iOS 15 already allows users to store verifiable vaccination and test results in the Health app using the same standard. One will receive their records through QR codes, downloadable files or healthcare providers who use Health Records on iPhone. The company has also promised that there will be strict privacy for the user’s data. Apple would not have any access to the imported or shared records of the users, and users have also been told that all information must be encrypted and it should be securely stored when transferred elsewhere. Apple also would not be able to see vaccination cards or how the users have used them. However, the company has not revealed when it will release the card update.
SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 3 REVOLUTIONISES THE WAY ONE LOOKS AT FOLDABLE DEVICES
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the 3rd generation of foldable device from Samsung and in the market still in the forefront of foldable smartphones. The device has revolutionized the way one looks at foldable devices. The way Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has been worked on and updated it has for sure cut a niche for itself in the market. Using the device for the last couple of days has made me change my opinion about foldable devices completely.
DESIGN & DISPLAY
Design for the device remains the same. The dual screen with the smaller screen in the front and the book style design opens to the larger screen. The hinge on the screen which was the biggest hitch with its predecessor seems to have been worked on well. The phone feels easy to open and use. The design is what gives it the oomph factor. You have a device in hand and fold it open you experience a 7.6-inch tablet like display. The Ultra-Thin glass makes the device certainly sturdier and gives the durability confidence which was not there with its previous model.
Samsung has added IPX8 water resistance on the device which is a technological achievement.
The device is designed in a beautiful aluminium & glass body which gives it the premium feel but at the same time makes the device a lot heavier.
Display is what largely defines this device. The entire dual screen aspect which folds makes the device path breaking.
On the inside, the Fold 3 has a 7.6-inch tablet display with a wide 5:4 aspect which is meant for all your work, social media, viewing content & even reading. The crease in the middle no longer bothers one’s eye. It is something one would expect for now in a foldable device.
The screen gives a great viewing experience & would be a delight for gamers. It was very easy & comfortable for taking Zoom meetings & webinars as well.
The AMOLED gives it perfect blacks and vivid colours, while Eco2 helps it get brighter without increasing the power consumption. You get Gorilla Glass Victus & UTG on top avoids scratches.
The screen outside you get a 6.2-inch AMOLED panel, which also runs at 120Hz . Its 25:9 aspect ratio. The front feels nice & tall and is great to use with a single hand. The screen is good enough for all your basic work.
PERFORMANCE & SOFTWARE
The device is powered by Snapdragon 888 SoC. The chipset is phonemical and works wonders. You will have no battery or heating issue with the device. Multi-tasking is breeze and there is no hitch or lag in the device. The device runs on Android 11, One UI 3.1.1. With the number of functionalities, the software handles the device very well. The software meets the hardware just as you would expect from a high-end device like this.
Just like its predecessor, the rear camera setup comprises a 12MP f/1.8 main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide lens and a 12MP telephoto shooter with 2x magnification. The only upgrade is the inclusion of OIS on the zoom camera.
Camera might not be the biggest highlight for this device but non the less the images are good might not be at par with the flagship devices. The images that you get from this device are as good as any. The color and vibrant effect are on point. Just for those who look at the nitty-gritty in a photo might find a bit of a disappointment.
Space Zoom gets a 2x lens here. The 4MP under- screen camera might not give the best output but is good for video calls and webinars. The 10MP front camera is the one you would prefer to use.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 battery is 4,400mAh which takes close to 2 hours for a full charge heavy full day usage would get you 16 hours of work time. Normal usage you can use the device for the entire day.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 in India is priced at 256GB: Rs 1,49,999 | 512GB: Rs 1,57,999 the device is a great pick for someone who has the money for it most importantly it is a great aspirational device as well. If you want the coolest looking device which is real conversation starter with great tech inbuilt then this is for sure your pick. But if you are looking for a device with a battery camera than Samsung has a lot more to offer from its array of products. This device is a tech revolution which is totally worth a shot.
JAIPUR-BASED CARTIST GIVES A SECOND LIFE TO AUTOMOBILE JUNK
The key to survival of our planet for much longer is sustainability. Tonnes of junk that comes out in our daily lives if treated well, can-do wonders. This has been proven by a Jaipur based Himanshu Jangid who runs Cartist – India’s first automobile art platform that promotes youth, artists and society as a whole creating an automobile art ecosystem.The idea is to promote upcycling of auto parts and curating designer furniture through utilizing old car parts and automotive waste. Inspired by elements of nature, crafted by hand, Sustain by Cartist aspires to create a sustainable auto-art ecosystem through leasing a second life to old automobile by adopting upcycling automobile parts to create sustainable furniture and bring them mainstream by reducing costs of recycling/ scraping, ultimately reducing waste, carbon footprint, and protecting our resources.
Showing concern about the impact of climate change, ultimate goal of Cartist is to accelerate the transition of the automobile industry towards a circular economy. Upcycling is one of the most significant ways one can lower their impact on planet earth, whether one is buying clothes, home items or even home furniture. Founder, Cartist, Himanshu Jangid said that climate change is a burning issue in the world. Around 20 million cars are scrapped and there is no way to know where these old cars can be taken and disposed. ‘Sustain by Cartist’ is a solution to this issue by Cartist. Local artists and their talented craftsmanship has been incorporated to create these stunning art pieces and also provide them with employment opportunities.
All curated furniture made by upcycled auto parts have been assigned a unique Indian name to connect with our culture. The idea is to help people easily adopt a sustainable way of living. For example, ‘Stambh’ means ‘pillar’ that stands upright in its glory. Side table is handcrafted from crankshaft, flywheel, wood plank and incorporates miniature art form. ‘Chowki’ means a low seat or stool, staple utility seating used in traditional Indian households. The seat is upcycled by using shocks absorber and hand weaving by local artisans. ‘Gaddi’ symbolized the throne, a royal affair of seating of kings and Queen. Chair is handcrafted from pillars of car and gold leafing work is done by craftsmen.
The writer is Senior Editor at carandbike.com
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