Lenovo Z2 Plus India Launch Set for Thursday

Lenovo Z2 Plus India Launch Set for Thursday

  • The Z2 Plus is a rebranded variant of the Zuk Z2
  • Lenovo Z2 Plus India price is not yet known
  • The company has detailed India-specific features

Lenovo India has started sending invites of the launch of its Z2 Plus smartphone in the country on Thursday. The company is holding a launch event in New Delhi that’s scheduled to begin at 11:30am IST.

The Chinese consumer electronics giant will be launching the Lenovo Zuk Z2 – which was launched in China in May this year – as the Lenovo Z2 Plus in India.

Detailing the reasons behind the rebranding in the country, Anuj Sharma, Head of Product Marketing, Smartphones, Lenovo MBG India told Gadgets 360, “Once we are getting into a particular price band, we want to make sure consumers know the brand. We want to sell the phone. We are not bringing the device as token flagship as India is still a big market for us. However, Zuk branding will be there on the box, with the text ‘Powered by Zuk’ as a hat tip for the Zuk team.”

The Lenovo Z2 Plus will be launched in two variants in the country – 3GB of RAM with 32GB of inbuilt storage, and 4GB of RAM with 64GB of inbuilt storage. Both variants are dual-SIM, and will support 4G SIM cards in one slot, and 3G SIM cards in the other.

The Z2 Plus won’t run Cyanogen OS – like the Lenovo Zuk Z1 (Review) did – and will instead come with the Google Now Launcher pre-installed. The company says India-specific features will include gesture shortcuts via the fingerprint scanner. It will also bear a dedicated pedometer and come with the company’s new U-Health app.

The Zuk Z2 smartphone launched in China features a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display with 2.5D curved high-fibre glass. It is powered by a Snapdragon 820 SoC clocked up to 2.15GHz. The smartphone sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with EIS, an f/2.2 aperture, and PDAF. An 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture round off the optics on board the Zuk Z2. It packs a 3500mAh battery that supports fast charging – charging up to 80 percent in one hour. The Lenovo Zuk Z2’s connectivity options include offers 4G LTE (with support Indian LTE bands), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.1 BLE, and USB 2.0 Type-C port.

Lenovo Zuk Z2

Lenovo Zuk Z2

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

2.15GHz

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery capacity

3500mAh

 

Android Fitness Apps for the Fitness Conscious

The technological advancement along with the drastic change in lifestyle has left little time for exercising. We are caught up in a web that gives little time for ourselves during the weekdays. It is only during the weekends that there is a sigh of relief, as we find some quality time for ourselves. The lack of physical activity for most part of our life is a big factor that can adversely affect us.

It is recommended to at least take as little as 20 minutes out each day and bring in a workout. An intense 30 minute workout can be a game-changer every single day and shoots up productivity levels all through the day. Here are some fitness apps you might want to take a look at to aid in your daily exercise.

  1. Google Fit

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The simple Google app for fitness, Google Fit has improved vastly since its release and the new app has lots of features to track health stats. Important things like weight, heart rate and activity time can be logged in and Google instantly recognizes them all.

You can set daily goals on the app and make it a target to achieve them for a fit physique. There are also alerts that make sure you are on track of your goals. Check out nearby offers from CashKaro to get information on gyms in your locality for a more rewarding exercise time.

  1. Runtastic

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Runtastic is a wonderful app is you are a cardio crazy individual. Especially meant for runners, Runtastic tracks your running, walking and jogging through GPS in your phone. Maintain a personal workout dairy with graphs and statistics. Measure the number of calories that you burn in a day and also the rate of your heart beat using this simple app.

There are specialized training plans that are available which can be customized to the needs of the user. If you are totally satisfied with the LITE version of the app, go ahead for the full subscription to enjoy full benefits from this awesome application.

  1. 7 Minute Workout

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The 7 Minute Workout is a powerful app that gets you ready and pumping for more in just 7 minutes. A complete 7-minute workout routine is all that you need for a super-productive day. There are a combination of exercises that ensure you get the best out of your body.

Just like Paytm is synonymous with online mobile recharge, this app is considered one of the best in the Health & Fitness segment of apps.

  1. Sworkit

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An exciting app that has many workout combinations and a ton of exercise variations, Sworkit is a must-have app for every fitness junkie. There are exercises for the core, back, upper and lower body. There are more than 10 million users who have downloaded the app and have benefited from it.

You will not be restrained to the same boring exercises, over and over again. There is always something new and different variations will only make your exercise routine exciting and rewarding. Go ahead and download the app from Google Play Store.

4 ways to turn off annoying notifications on your Android phone or iPhone

All ears: 4 ways to keep your Android phone or iPhone from distracting you

So there you are, doing your best to connect with a friend over a cup of coffee, but you can’t help but notice the pulsing alert on your phone’s touchscreen. What if it’s your babysitter trying to reach you, or a nasty email from your boss?

You surreptitiously unlock your phone to see what the fuss is about—and just like that, you become one of those people who can’t keep their hands off their handsets, even when there’s a flesh-and-blood person in front of them. (Oh, and that message on the screen? It was a promo for a half-off sale. Great.)

The good news is that your Android phone or iPhone boasts a series of tools that can help you concentrate on the people who matter, rather than being distracted by random calls, messages and alerts.

Read on for four ways to keep your eyes and hands off your phone, starting with…

Let the Do Not Disturb (iOS) and Priority (Android) modes screen your calls

Sure, activating Do Not Disturb mode for iPhone and iPad (tap Settings > Do Not Disturb, or tap the Do Not Disturb button from the swipe-up Command Center pane) or “Priority” mode on Android (click the volume button, then tap Priority) is a great way to keep your phone from buzzing during lunch, but you may still find yourself tempted to check your messages. After all, what if your spouse is trying to reach you—or your irate supervisor, for that matter?

Let
You can set “Do Not Disturb” and “Priority” mode (pictured) to screen your calls and text messages, allowing only the most important ones through.

Here’s a trick that’ll help keep your mind on your Caesar salad: just set Do Not Disturb and Priority mode to screen your calls and text messages, allowing only the most important ones through. That way, you’ll be confident that your silent Android phone or iPhone isn’t actually ringing off the hook with mission-critical calls, and more likely to pay attention during your lunchtime chat.

For Android:

  • Tap Settings > Sound & notification > Interruptions, then make sure the Calls and Messages switches are toggled on. Next, tap Calls/Messages from and choose theStarred contacts only option, then go through the Contacts app and star only those contacts who really, truly matter to you.
  • To enable Priority mode, click the volume button to make the volume slider appear, then tap Priority.
  • Finally, sit back and give your full, undivided attention to a (grateful) friend.

For iOS:

  • Tap Settings > Do Not Disturb > Allow Calls From, then pick the Favorites setting. Once you do, calls and text messages from those on your iOS Favorites list will ring through even with Do Not Disturb mode switched on.
  • You can also pick a specific contact group for the Allow Calls From setting, but you can only set up contact groups using the Mac version of the Contacts app. Open the Contacts application on your Mac desktop, then click File > New Group to get started. As long as you’re syncing your contacts using iCloud, your desktop groups in Contacts will sync up with the Contacts iOS app.
  • You can also enable the Repeated Calls setting, which will allow urgent callers to break through Do Not Disturb mode if they call twice within three minutes.

Enable ‘VIP’ alerts for email messages (iOS only)

There’s little chance you’ll get through an important meeting without glancing at your iPhone if your screen is constantly flashing with alerts for new email messages. Luckily, the iOS Mail app has a feature that can ease your email notification overload.

Enable
Mail’s “VIP” alerts give you separate notifications for your most important email contacts.

Mail’s ‘VIP’ alerts give you separate notifications for your most important email contacts, perfect for leaving you alone unless a message from a close friend or someone in upper management lands in your inbox.

Open the Mail app, back up to the main Mailboxes screen, tap the VIP mailbox, then tapAdd VIP to add a contact to your VIP list. Once you’ve added some names to the list, tapVIP Alerts to manage your VIP notifications. You could, for example, give messages from VIPs a special ringtone or a custom vibration when they arrive in your inbox, or allow VIP alerts—and only VIP alerts—to light up your lock screen.

Turn on alerts for Gmail’s Priority Inbox—and off for all your other inboxes (Android & iOS)

While iOS’s Mail app will let you pick and choose your VIPs, Gmail has its own secret formula for determining which messages are most important to you.

Turn on alerts for Gmail’s Priority Inbox
Gmail’s Priority Inbox sifts through your incoming messages finds the email that you’re most likely to want to answer.

Using your prior emailing habits as a guide, Gmail’s Priority Inbox sifts through your incoming messages, finds the email that you’re most likely to answer, and puts them into an “Important and unread” folder. Everything else (such as random email promos, newsletters, and other lower-priority messages) goes into the aptly-named “everything else” section of your inbox.

Once that’s done, you can set Gmail to alert you only when new messages land in your Priority Inbox—and hopefully, you’ll feel better about leaving your silenced phone alone.

For Android:

  • First, you’ll need to enable Gmail’s Priority Inbox feature. Open Gmail, tap the menu button in the top-left corner of the screen, tap Settings, pick a Gmail account, then tap Inbox type > Priority Inbox.
  • Tap Manage labels, then make sure that Priority Inbox is the only Gmail label with notifications turned on. (If you don’t see a ‘Sound on,’ ‘notify once’ or similar tag next to a label, then notifications are off for that label.)

For iOS:

  • If you’re using Gmail for iOS, you’ll need to enable Priority Inbox from the desktop version of Gmail. Open Gmail in a desktop browser, click the Settings button, select Settings, click the Inbox tab, select Priority Inbox from the Inbox Type drop-down menu, then click Save Changes.
  • Go to the Gmail for iOS app, tap the menu button in the top-left corner of the screen, tap the Settings button, choose the Important Only option under the Notifications heading, then tap Save.

Turn off unneeded lock-screen notifications (Android & iOS)

So, you’re in a meeting, your phone is sitting dutifully—and silently—on the table in front of you, and you’re giving your colleagues your full attention. But then it happens: Your phone’s lock screen lights up, and your eyes can’t help but flick down to the display … which is nothing more than a random Facebook update.

Turn off unneeded lock-screen notifications
It’s easy to pare your lock-screen notifications down to an absolute minimum—or off completely.

Luckily, it’s easy to pare your lock-screen notifications down to an absolute minimum—or turn them off completely, even when you don’t have Do Not Disturb or Priority mode switched on.

For Android:

  • To keep your phone’s lock screen from lighting up when notifications come in, tapSettings > Display, then toggle off the Ambient Display setting.
  • You can also completely turn off notifications for a specific app by tapping Settings> Sound & notification > App notifications, then tap an app and enable the Block setting. (Nope, you can’t only disable lock-screen alerts for a given app; it’s all or nothing.)
  • While you’re at it, you might also want to turn off your handset’s pulsing notification light—you know, the one that’s saying “Look at me, look at me!” all the time. Go back to Settings > Sound & notification, then toggle on the Pulse notification lightsetting.

For iOS:

  • To completely turn off an app’s notifications, tap Settings > Notifications, tap an app, then toggle off the Allow Notifications switch.
  • If you only want to disable an app’s lock-screen notifications, leave the Allow Notifications switch on but turn off the Show on Lock Screen setting.

Android Lollipop Now Running on 21 Percent of Active Devices: Google

Google’s Android Lollipop version, which was released last year, is finally running on over 20 percent of active Android devices.

According to the latest Google Play distribution data for the seven-day period ending September 7, the number of Android Lollipop-based devices logging into the store is steadily rising, while the share of Android KitKat and Android Jelly Bean powered devices is dropping gradually.

The latest data reveals that Android Lollipop has a total share of around 21 percent of active Android devices (with Android 5.0 Lollipop running on 15.9 percent of devices and Android 5.1 version at 5.1 percent) that check into Google Play compared to 18.1 percent reported at the beginning of August – an increase of 2.9 percent in roughly a month.

android_distribution_data_september_google.jpgThe Android Developers’ webpage shows that Android 4.4.x KitKat version is going down steadily in charts and now powers 39.2 percent devices compared to 39.3 percent last month – a minute decrease of 0.1 percent.

Android Jelly Bean has a combined share of 31.8 percent – falling 1.8 percent from August’s 33.6 percent. Android 4.1.x is seen on 12.1 percent devices (down from 13 percent), Android 4.2.x on 15.2 percent (down from 15.9 percent), and Android 4.3 on 4.5 percent devices (down from 4.7 percent).

Android 4.0.x or Ice Cream Sandwich, in Google’s latest numbers, registered a share of 3.7 percent, down 0.4 percent from last month. Android Gingerbread (v2.3.3-2.3.7) and Android 2.2 Froyo’s device distribution shares are 4.1 percent (down 0.6 percent) and 0.2 percent (down 0.1 percent) respectively in the report.

The OpenGL version, on the other hand, saw OpenGL 2.0 dominating at 58.3 percent, and OpenGL version 3.0 steadily rising to 37.6 percent. To recall, Android’s Lollipop version crossed 10 percent mark in June.

Google is expected to release the final build of the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow alongside new Nexus devices soon.

Android Marshmallow release date version number and new features

The Developer Preview of Android Marshmallow is available now to owners of Nexus phones, with the final version launching on the new Nexus 5 and new Nexus 6 within the next few weeks. The OS will then become available to other Nexus devices, and within a few months to flagship phones and tablets. Don’t expect to get it on your device (unless it’s a Nexus) until late 2015/early 2016.

The latest reports come from Talk Android and suggest Google will unveil the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 on 29 September, with the phones available to pre-order from 13 October. By our reckoning, that means they will go on sale in early November, and Android 6.0 will then begin to roll out to other devices.

If you really want to get your hands on Android M now then you can download the Android M Developer Preview, but only if you have a Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or Nexus Player.

Read: How to get Android M now.

Android Milkshake or Android Marshmallow? Android 5.2 or Android 6.0? What will the new Android be called?

After months of rumours and arguments in the office over the version number and name of the next Android, Google has finally ended the dispute by announcing that Android M will be Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow

So Milkshake, Mars, Macadamia, Milky Way, Meringue, Milk Dud and other possibles are all out of the window. Also the 5:20 time in the demo mode of one of the developer previews indicating the version number being 5.2 is also incorrect. We also thought it would be 5.2 since there are no major updates.

Following Android Alpha and Android Beta, Google has always named its Android OS updates after sweet treats, and in alphabetical order. So far we’ve had Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop.

“Whether you like them straight out of the bag, roasted to a golden brown exterior with a molten center, or in fluff form, who doesn’t like marshmallows? We definitely like them! Since the launch of the M Developer Preview at Google I/O in May, we’ve enjoyed all of your participation and feedback. Today with the final Developer Preview update, we’re introducing the official Android 6.0 SDK and opening Google Play for publishing your apps that target the new API level 23 in Android Marshmallow,” said Google.

Android Marshmallow new features: What to expect from new Android M

Android M is an incremental upgrade and focuses largely on bug fixes. Google is concentrating on six areas with Android M: App Permissions, Web Experience, App Links, Mobile Payments, Fingerprint Support and Power & Charging. See also: Android M vs iOS 9 comparison.

Android M Developer Preview announced at Google I/O: Android M UK release date and new features: What's new in Android M? When will my phone get Android M?

A few of these categories are particularly interesting. In terms of power Google announced Doze, a new deeper-sleep state for devices running Android M that uses motion detection to learn when a device is not in use and puts them into a sort of ultra power-saving mode. You’ll still get important notifications, but Doze has the potential to bring up to two times longer battery life, as Google has shown to be the case with the Nexus 9 running Android M.

When the power finally runs out there will be Android M-wide support for USB Type C, or USB-C, which is a reversible-type connector that not only allows you to charge your phone or tablet three- to five times faster but you can use it to charge another device.

With Android M Google will also standardise support for fingerprint sensors. Not only will these be used to unlock and secure your phone, but they tie in nicely with the new Android Pay mobile payments system, which focuses on simplicity, security and choice. Android Pay is an open API, allowing devs to add it to their own apps.

App permissions are also changing in Android M. Rather than requesting your permission to use certain features at installation time, Android M apps will request permission for activities the first time it is required.

Many of the new features in Android are developer-focused improvements (as show in the below slide) that will make the whole experience smoother for Android users, although they may not necessarily be obvious changes.

Android M Developer Preview announced at Google I/O: Android M UK release date and new features: What's new in Android M? When will my phone get Android M?

Another new feature in Android M is Now on Tap, which is in essence Google Now but wherever you are on your phone.

But perhaps more exciting even than Android M is the new Google Photos, now offering unlimited storage for high-resolution photos that can be accessed and shared from anywhere – not just on Android.

See also: How to back up unlimited photos and videos using Google Photos

Android Marshmallow live video stream: How to watch Android M 6.0 live – Google I/O keynote live video stream

In June 2015 Google live-streamed its Android M Developer Preview launch, and you can watch the Android M announcement right here in our live video. Plus follow commentary from the event in our live blog below.

 

Android Marshmallow launch live blog and commentary – Watch new Android M launch live

Our reporters will be live at Google during the June I/O keynote, so also keep an eye on our Android M live blog for the details you won’t find in the Android M live video stream.

 

 

Android Marshmallow hype before the announcement

Android M was spotted in the wild months ago – even before Android Lollipop was announced there were reported sightings of Android M. Over on the Android Open Source Project developers were twice seen discussing Android M – firstly in regard to Logcat, and secondly in regard to a data interchange format. Neither will mean anything to end users, according to Myce, but can be useful to developers.

Soon after a report surfaced from Reuters suggesting that Android M would operate in and be built directly into cars, independently of a paired smartphone, with Google taking a much stronger focus on Android Auto..

Reports of Android M have been coming in ever since, and now there’s even talk of Android N.

The strongest evidence that we will see a new version of Android this year comes from Google software engineer Hiroshi Lockheimer, who told Fast Company that Google has adopted a “yearly cadence of big releases, so, for instance, one year we release J, the next year we release K, and then the year after that L, and then this year we’ll launch M, and so you can predict what will happen next year.”

In terms of new features, Google was expected to focus once again on performance and battery life. We’ve rounded up all the new features we’d like to see in Android M, including improved parental controls, more customisation, smarter gestures and an Android-standard ultra power saving mode.

Adblock Plus browser launches on Android and iOS

adblock browserADBLOCK
Adblock Plus is bringing its advertisement banishing ambitions to mobile devices. The company is out with a new browser for both iOS and Android that blocks solicitions across the web.

Adblock may be claiming “first!” with its new browser, but it won’t be alone for long. Apple’s iOS 9 includes the option for content blocking extensions. It has the potential to significantly speed up browsing, though of course there’s a lot of concern among publishers whose revenue streams are based on ads.

You can grab the app now from Google Play and the App Store. The Android version was already available as a beta, but only after earning its way back into Google’s good graces—it was kicked out of the store for “interfering with other services.”

Why this matters: There’s been a lot of concern about how content blocking will change the ability for publishers to earn revenue from their websites. While ads are annoying, they’re often the primary way that websites make money. It’s worth watching to see how Apple’s foray into content blocking changes the nature of online advertising and whether other browser makers embrace such a strategy.

Alcatel OneTouch Xess Tablet Has A 17 Inch Display

xess

There are rumors that Samsung are getting ready to launch a large tablet with an 18.4 inch display and now Alcatel has launched a new large tablet, the Alcatel OneTouch Xess.

The Alcatel OneTouch Xess comes with a 17.3 inch display and the device has a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

The device is powered by an octa core MediaTek MT8783T processor and it also comes with 2GB of RAM and will feature Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

“Xess is one of our favorite  new products because this big format is really family-oriented and has a multitude  of uses at home or at work,” says Dr. Stan HU, General Manager of  Innovation – BigPad Business Center and Chief Technology Officer, ALCATEL ONETOUCH.  “You can use it to cook, by displaying your favorite recipes in the kitchen,  watch movies, listen to music or play games with friends and family in the  living room.”

As yet there are no details on when the device will launch or how much it will cost, you can find out more information at the link below.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 hands

During IFA 2015 in Berlin, Lenovo unveiled what it described as the “ultimate video tablet”, a tablet aimed at multimedia users and those on the go. The tablet was the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10, but what makes it the ultimate video tablet? The company has decided to include a built-in projector that can be blown up to around 70in, a dream for anyone with a small home TV. Does it live up to the expectations, or is it just a gimmick? We went hands on at Lenovo’s booth at IFA to find out.

See also: Best budget laptop 2015

LENOVO YOGA TAB 3 PRO 10: PROJECTOR AND SPEAKERS

The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 is a sleek little number, and is incredibly thin at 4.68mm, which is impressive when you consider the features that it boasts. Not only is it lightweight and portable, but the Yoga Tab 3 boasts a built-in projector that can be blown up to 70in without loosing an ounce of detail.

It’s really easy to set up too, as the 180-degree adjustable kickstand means that you can angle it at a wall or even the ceiling to enjoy movies laying in bed. The kickstand also allows you to hang the Tab 3 Pro 10 from ledges securely, though we’re not too sure that we trust ourselves enough to do this at home. There’s no need to re-position the tab if its blurry either, as the focus can be adjusted directly from the tablet itself.

Even though the Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 features a 70in projector built in, Lenovo didn’t skimp on the display. In fact, it has a 10.1in QHD display with Smart Display Technology which, frankly, looks gorgeous. It’s vivid, crisp and we had no issues watching short clips with spotlights directly fixed on it – it may perform differently in direct sunlight, but we won’t know until we put it through its paces back at PC Advisor towers.

Watching a movie on a 70in projector is a great idea, but it wouldn’t be complete without room-filling audio. Well, it seems Lenovo also thought of this as the Tab 3 Pro 10 boasts a four-speaker soundbar directly beneath the display, complete with Dolby Atmos which is used to create 3D aural experiences in the cinema. It also comes with a fully customisable, system wide equaliser that you can tweak to get the perfect audio for any environment. During our limited hands on time, we were impressed by the volume and clarity of the speakers, but being at a very busy and very loud trade show, we couldn’t quite hear as much as we’d like.

LENOVO YOGA TAB 3 PRO 10: SPECS

So, what powers this tablet with its Dolby Atmos soundbar and 70in projector? Instead of following the route of other tablet manufacturers and opting for a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Lenovo has decided to include the quad-core 2.24GHz Intel Atom X5-Z8500 processor. Alongside this is 2GB of RAM, which combined should be able to handle anything you throw at it. Software wise, the Lenovo Tab 3 Pro 10 is running Android 5.1 Lollipop.

With such a powerful processor, a QHD display, a 70in projector and a four-speaker sound bar, you’d expect the battery life not to be great, right? Wrong. Lenovo claim that the Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 has a whopping 18 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is more than enough for most tablet users. We can’t confirm if this 18 hour battery life still applies when using the projector, but we imagine it’ll affect the overall battery life somewhat.

It also boasts a rear-facing 13Mp camera, but we didn’t get a chance to test this out during our hands on time.

To understand more about what to look for in a tablet, check out this feature: which tablet should I buy?

Imagine being in a country where you don’t speak the native tongue – TV isn’t going to be much use. But with the built-in projector of the Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10, you’re able to watch all your favourite movies and TV shows in what can be described as a pop-up home cinema. Alternatively, if you’re at a friends house and want to show them a funny video, you could quickly display it on their front room wall. It’s an exciting concept, and one we’re really impressed with.

LENOVO YOGA TAB 3 PRO 10 PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

So, when can you get your hands on this impressive piece of kit? Lenovo announced at IFA 2015 that the Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 would be available to buy in stores from September, with a price tag of $499. Unfortunately, no UK pricing has yet been announced but we imagine it’ll be around the £350-400 mark to compete with the likes of the iPad Air 2 and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2.

Read next: Best tablets of 2015

SPECS

Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch hands on

During IFA 2015 in Berlin, a month after Samsung’s Note 5 launch where the company teased us about a new smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S2 has been unveiled. The circular smartwatch is the first of its kind from Samsung, and is following in the steps of other circular smartwatches like the Moto 360 and, more recently, the Huawei Watch. During its announcement, Samsung promised exciting things regarding the Gear S2, but did the company deliver? We went hands on with the Samsung Gear S2 at its announcement to find out.

The Samsung Gear S2 comes in two editions, the standard Gear S2, and one for those of us that love the classic wrist watch look, the Gear S2 Classic. Both editions are crafted from stainless steel, though during our brief hands on time with the Gear S2 Classic, we thought that it felt a bit cheap – which isn’t ideal for what we presume will be the more expensive of the two smartwatches.

The Gear S2 Classic comes in black, whereas the standard Gear S2 comes in both silver and a slightly darker grey. Samsung has followed the route of many smartwatch manufacturers before it and allows for the watch strap to be customised, as any standard 22mm watch strap will fit the Gear S2 Classic, however the standard Gear S2 looks like it’ll only fit official Samsung straps.

On the wrist, the Gear S2 feels pretty lightweight and comfortable to wear. Though it measures in at 11.4mm compared to the 11.5mm of the first generation Moto 360 which people say is quite bulky, the Gear S2 doesn’t feel like a bulky watch. In fact, after wearing it for a few minutes, we completely forgot we were wearing it at all and even though it sounds like a bad thing, it’s a really good thing.

See also: Best smartwatches and wearables to buy in the UK in 2015

The real beauty of the design of the Gear S2 comes not with the circular display itself, but with the bezel of the watch. Instead of directly interacting with the screen of the Gear S2, users have the option of using the rotating watch bezel to scroll through the various menus and apps of the smartwatch.

When you turn the bezel, you’ll feel a gentle click which Samsung says will allow for muscle memory to eventually kick in and enable you to select apps without needing to look at the screen. It’s not a click generated by a vibration motor either, it’s mechanical. This means that there’s no battery life drain for those of you (and believe us, there will be a few) that just love the sensation of turning the bezel. It is pretty satisfying, we can’t lie.

Of course, users have the freedom of freely tapping and swiping directly on the watch face, but this isn’t how Samsung intends the device to be used. Although with this being said, we found using the bezel a little confusing when navigating the new circular UX, especially at first. However, early adopters of the Apple Watch had the same issue and we don’t hear many complaints about it months down the line, do we?

Samsung included Android-style back and home buttons on the side of the smartwatch to make using it an easier process, though we found it to be a bit of a fiddly process and we kept confusing the buttons as there are no real indications of which is which just by looking at it.

See also: The best activity trackers 2015

Both the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic are protected by Gorilla Glass 3, which is pretty standard for smartwatches. We think Samsung could’ve pushed the boat out and used Gorilla Glass 4 or Sapphire glass for a real statement of protection.

With that being said, Samsung did have one interesting feature tucked up its sleeve – 3G connectivity built into the Gear S2. This means that you no longer need to rely on yoursmartphone for a data connection, which should speed up the loading time of many apps. Sadly, this isn’t a feature that’s standard with the Gear S2, and you’ll have to fork out a bit more money if you want 3G connectivity.

Alternatively, the standard Gear S2 boasts not only Bluetooth but NFC and Wi-Fi capabilities, with Wi-Fi connectivity allowing you to use the Gear S2 when not connected to your phone, but only at work, home, etc.

Samsung has included a host of sensors to allow the Gear S2 to track your activity throughout the day and display it to you in a watch-style layout. Instead of just measuring calories (it still does, don’t worry!) it’ll measure the amount of activity you’ve done throughout the day and present it to you in blocks – green areas were areas where you were quite active (and the watch will motivate you when it detects this), yellow areas where you’ve taken it easy, and grey areas for when you’ve not moved at all.

It’s a good way to motivate yourself to get fit, but will users take heed of their results or just dismiss them like with similar fitness apps on other smartwatches? Only time will tell (get it?).

See also: Sony SmartWatch 3 review

Samsung are working hard with many businesses in various sectors (retail, social media, etc) to make sure that the apps running on the Gear S2 are as great as they can possibly be. We imagine this is because more often than not watch companion apps are pretty disappointing in terms of what they can do without requiring you to use your phone. This was apparent in our hands on with the CNN app – with other smartwatches, you’re able to see headlines of stories but not much else, but with the Samsung Gear S2 you can tap on an interesting article and read it in its entirety directly from the smartwatch.

Let’s talk spec; the Samsung Gear S2 boasts a 380×380 resolution with an AMOLED display, which would’ve been very impressive if Huawei hadn’t announced that the Huawei Watch would have a 400×400 resolution a day earlier. Although with this being said, we’re not aware of pricing for the Gear S2 just yet so Samsung could be looking at a lower price point than Huawei’s smartwatch. It also boasts an Exynos 3250 processor with 512MB of RAM along with 4GB of on-board storage. It also has an IPX rating of IP68, which means its dust and water resistant to a certain extent and will definitely survive being caught in the rain.

In terms of battery life, the Gear S2 boasts a 250mAh battery (300mAh for the 3G variation) that Samsung claims will last around 2-3 days on a single charge with the use of Samsung’s built in battery saving mode. We weren’t given much of an indication of just how long this extends your battery life by, so we’ll be sure to test that out when we get one sent to PC Advisor towers!

So, how much will the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic cost, and when can we get our hands on them? Samsung has confirmed that both smartwatches will be available in limited quantities from October, though the company hasn’t yet announced pricing so it’ll be interesting to see where the Gear S2 sits in the smartwatch market. However, October is only a month away so we won’t have to wait too long (hopefully) to find out!

SPECS

Yu YuPix Compact Printer for Android, iOS Launched

Micromax’s Yu Televentures, after launching few smartphones and a fitness band under its ‘Yu’ brand, over the weekend launched a portable printer, the YuPix. The portable compact printer will be available to purchase from Amazon India starting Monday at Rs. 6,999.

The YuPix pocket sized printer, as per the firm, can print an image under 60 seconds and has an image transfer speed 10 times faster due to the inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. Compatible with both Android and iOS devices, the printer is said to feature a ‘unique’ cartridge which does not require a cleaning roll and has an integrated ink ribbon and photo paper. It can print up to 10 continuous copies. The device is also claimed to be water and fingerprint resistant.

The compact printer can print photos in 2.1×3.4-inch size with a printing resolution of 291 dpi. The device is said to use Dye Sublimation technology to print photos. Measuring 2.99×6.01×0.94 inch, the YuPix weighs 273 grams and is backed by a 750mAh battery. Android users can also download the YuPix app from Google Play to wirelessly sync their devices with the printer.

Although it is good to see the smartphone maker entering new markets other than smartphones and fitness bands, there are chances that YuPix might fail to gain some traction and see less demand as in this modern times most of the work is done using soft copies and documents. Also, a print out of 2.1×3.4 inch might hardly be used somewhere.

Speaking of compact devices, Sony in the ongoing IFA 2015 trade show showcased a compact Ultra Short Throw Projector. Asus too launched its Windows 10-based VivoStick PC.