Move over Huawei, the Samsung Galaxy A8s is coming on December 10

Mere hours after Huawei announced that it will unveil the nova 4 with a selfie camera inside the display on December 17, Samsung announced it will show off the Galaxy A8s a full week earlier – on December 10.

The move is by no means coincidental – a fight to bring out the first phone with a screen hole has been on since late November. At this point it looks like Samsung will indeed beat Huawei to the punch, but things could change.

The Samsung Galaxy A8s is coming on December 10
The Samsung Galaxy A8s is coming on December 10

The screens on both the nova 4 and the Galaxy A8s are LCDs made by BOE, but it’s said that Samsung’s phone is the the more premium of the two.

Specs-wise the Samsung Galaxy A8s is expected to have a 6.3-inch 2340×1080 19.5:9 LCD, a Snapdragon 710 chipset with up to 6GB of RAM, a 24MP selfie camera embedded into the display and a triple camera on the back – likely a regular and an ultra-wide accompanied by a depth sensing third snapper.


Is the most expensive Royal Enfield worth the money? Our review of the 500X

Image result for Is the most expensive Royal Enfield worth the money? Our review of the 500X

Royal Enfield is moving fast with the changing times and does not shy away from experimenting. The Continental GT, for example, was a step in the right direction and another such move comes in the form of the new Urban X twins based on the Thunderbird models. Called the 350x and the 500x, these new bikes promise to up your fashion quotient. We rode the 500x for a week in and around Delhi and here is what I have to say about the bigger 500x.

As discussed above, the X models are based on the Thunderbird 350 and 500 but there are a lot of changes. The shift to alloy wheels, with tubeless tyres, is a big change and also makes the riding experience safer. For the uninitiated, the leakage of air during a puncture is far slower in a tubeless tyre than in one with a tube. The alloy wheels also get a color coded rim tape that gels well with color coded seat stitching as well. In fact, the only contrasting color on the bike is the tank paint; everything else is finished in black.

The next big change is the flatter and shorter handlebar that is geared towards providing a better city experience. It also makes the posture a lot more sportier though I would have preferred the pegs to be set backwards as the current set-up puts a lot more pressure on your lower back. The seat on the 500x is also different, being a single unit than twin on the conventional Thunderbird. And lastly, this model misses out on a back-rest for the pillion and instead you get two grab rails by the side of the rear seat.

All in all, the 500x looks good and did manage to turn a few heads. Shows how minimal changes can make a bike look so much better. It continues to get a single-disc brake up front and rear, a twin-pod speedometer console and retro looking round rear view mirrors, which though offer a decent view, do vibrate a lot at higher rpms.

The 500x carries forward the same engine that powers the Thunderbird and this means you get a single cylinder 499-cc engine that puts out 27.2 bhp of power and 41.3 Nm of torque. While I agree the power output is nothing to boast of, 41 Nm of torque is way higher than other bikes, such as the Duke 390 and the BMW 310 offerings. And this comes handy while pottering around in city traffic. Even with a load of a pillion, the 500x picks up speed effortlessly and though anything under 1500 rpm makes the engine and chain protest, once you are above that the 500x rewards you with a great experience.

At 85-90 km/h in top gear, the vibes also cease to exist (almost completely) and this is the sweet spot for this bike. Don’t get me wrong, given the road, the 500x will hit 130 on the speedometer but this is not its forte. The sheer joy of pinning the throttle and making use of the strong mid-range is what leaves a smile on your face. And in the process, the bike delivers over 25-30 kmpl easily, giving a real world range of almost 600 km, something none of the other bikes in the price band can match.

The 500x uses the same underpinnings as the T’bird, which means that the ride quality is comfortable. And with the shorter/flatter handlebars, weaving through traffic is a lot easier. That said, the protruding foot pegs do foul with your legs in rush hour traffic and take time getting used to. Talking of which, the dual horn set-up is LOUD and helps keep other motorists at bay.

At Rs. 2.25 lakh, on-road Delhi, the 500x is expensive but offers you an opportunity to stand out among the crowd of other Rs. 2-lakh bikes. If you want a bike for Sunday morning thrills, the occasional office commute and one that others take notice of, this one ain’t a bad deal. True it won’t set sales charts on fire but the 500x (and the cheaper 350x) widens the target audience for Royal Enfield and every bit counts in my opinion.


The Apple Watch Is Inching Toward Becoming a Medical Device

The Apple Watch Is Inching Toward Becoming a Medical Device

Apple is trying to turn its smartwatch from a niche gadget into a lifeline to better health by slowly evolving it into a medical device.

In its fourth incarnation, called the Series 4 and due out later this month, the Apple Watch will add features that allow it to take high-quality heart readings and detect falls. It’s part of Apple’s long-in-the-making strategy to give people a distinct reason to buy a wrist gadget that largely does things smartphones already do.

Since the Apple Watch launched in April 2015 , most people haven’t figured out why they need to buy one. Apple doesn’t release sales figures, but estimates from two analysts suggest the company shipped roughly 18 million of the gadgets in 2017. Apple sold almost twelve times as many iPhones – 216 million – that year. Apple shipped another 7.3 million during the first half of this year, according to Canalys Research, compared to more than 93 million iPhones.

Worldwide, about 48 million smartwatches are expected to be sold this year compared to nearly 1.9 billion phones, according to the research firm Gartner.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has long aimed to emphasise the health- and fitness-tracking abilities of the smartwatch. The original version featured a heart-rate sensor that fed data into fitness and workout apps so they could suggest new goals and offer digital “rewards” for fitness accomplishments.

Two years later, Apple called its watch “the ultimate device for a healthy life,” emphasizing water resistance for swimmers and built-in GPS for tracking runs or cycling workouts. In February, the company announced that the watch would track skiing and snowboarding runs , including data on speed and vertical descent.

The latest Apple Watch version unveiled Wednesday is pushing the health envelope even further – in particular by taking electrocardiograms, or EKGs, on the device, a feature given clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Apple said. The watch will also watch for irregular heartbeats and can detect when the wearer has fallen, the company said.

EKGs are important tests of heart health that typically require a doctor visit. The feature gained an onstage endorsement from Ivor Benjamin, a cardiologist who heads the American Heart Association, who said such real-time data would change the way doctors work.

“This is enormous,” Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen said of the Apple Watch’s EKG feature. It could turn smartwatches “from something people buy for prestige into something they buy for more practical reasons,” he said.

It could also lead some health insurance plans to subsidise the cost of an Apple Watch, Nguyen said. That would help defray the $400 (roughly Rs. 28,600) starting price for a device that still requires a companion iPhone that can now cost more than $1,000 (roughly Rs. 72,000).

The watch will use new sensors on the back and on the watch dial. A new app will say whether each reading is normal or shows signs of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rate that increases the risk of heart complications, such as stroke and heart failure.

Apple says the heart data can be shared with doctors through a PDF file, though it’s not yet clear how ready doctors are to receive a possible flood of new EKG data from patients – nor how useful they will find the electronic files.

This new features will be available to US customers later this year, Apple said – an indication that it may not be ready for launch.

Fall detection could also be significant, especially for elderly users. The new Apple Watch claims to be able to tell the difference between and trip and a fall – and when the latter occurs, it will suggest calling 911. If it receives no response within a minute, the watch will automatically place an emergency call and message friends and family designated as emergency contacts.

Only certain Apple Watch models support cellular calls, but those that don’t can still make emergency calls when near a paired iPhone or Wi-Fi service.

Apple says it monitored some 2,500 people – measuring how they fell off ladders, missed a step while walking or got their legs caught in their pants while getting dressed. It used that data to separate real falls from other heavy wrist movements, such as clapping and hammering.

The feature will turn on automatically for users 65 and over; younger people can activate it in the settings. “I can see kids buying one for their parents and grandparents,” said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights.

But the Apple Watch still lacks one feature found in rival wrist gadgets: the ability to analyse sleep quality. Battery life in the new watch remains at 18 hours, meaning it needs a daily – or nightly – recharge.