Google Nexus 6P, 5X and Huawei Watch are now $50 cheaper

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

China’s Huawei Hopes to Connect With U.S. Smartphone Market.

HONG KONG—Huawei Technologies Co., the Chinese company whose telecom networking equipment is effectively banned in the U.S. due to security concerns, is making a renewed push to sell smartphones and other gadgets to consumers in America.If you’ve so far held off in purchasing Google’s excellent Nexus 6P, the company is now doing pretty much everything it can to make you hit the “buy” button.By launching two new Nexus devices, Google has adopted a strategy similar to those of Microsoft with the Lumia 950/950XL and Apple with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. However, a major difference, especially when compared to Apple’s iPhone models, is that the bigger, more expensive model also comes with significantly better specifications.

It intends to exhibit the phone, which went on sale in China this month for roughly $600, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month, according to people familiar with the matter. Already one of the top handset makers in China, Huawei is seeking to bolster its image as a consumer brand in mature Western markets to boost profit and show it can compete in the global market.

In 2012 a congressional report recommended that the country’s telecom operators avoid using Huawei equipment, citing concerns that it could be used by Beijing to spy on Americans. Its U.S. expansion focuses on selling more high-end devices, manufacturing Google latest Nexus phone and new marketing campaigns. “We have already seized a leading position in the Chinese [smartphone] market. The discount will be available until December 30, but in order to get the free shipping as well, you have to place your order between the 16th and 22nd of December.

Huawei and Google declined to disclose sales of the device but the partnership was significant in that Huawei was the first Chinese maker of the Nexus line of phones, whose past suppliers included Samsung. Although the Nexus 6P has a good feel in the hand, the relatively sharp corners tend to decrease comfort when holding the phone for longer periods of time. It houses eight separate cores, of which four are Cortex A57s running at a maximum of 1,96GHz; the other four are Cortex A53s operating at a lower 1,56GHz clock speed. Since the phone can’t be expanded by adding an SD card, buying a 64GB (R11 495) or even 128GB (R13 060) version might not be such a bad idea if you have the cash to spare.

Like all Nexus devices, the 6P comes pre-installed with a stock version of the Android operating system, 6.0 Marshmallow in this case, which is Android exactly the way Google meant it to be in the first place. The big advantage of stock Android is its lack of bloatware, crapware and generic clutter many modern day manufacturers put on their devices, ultimately slowing them down. Because the Snapdragon 810 SoC isn’t known for its energy efficiency, Google and Huawei made a wise decision in fitting the device with this size of battery. Although this incredibly high number of pixels may sound like a big plus, the visible difference with lower, full-HD displays is nearly impossible to detect with the naked eye. Annoyingly, I noticed that in automatic brightness mode, the 6P varies in its adaptive brightness even when there’s no significant change in ambient lighting.

The rear camera of the 6P can also shoot video in 4K mode, just like the 5X, but also adds 240fps slow-motion mode in 720p instead of the 5X’s 120fps. There’s the elegant design, good performance, excellent screen, great fingerprint reader, superb rear camera, good battery life and plenty of connection options.

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Report: Ford, Google joining to build self-driving cars

24 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

New Year to Bring New Car Tech.

Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said advanced infotainment systems are major selling points for automakers. “I think it’s a differentiator for people.

For an individual who’s on the brink of buying a new car, if one of the vehicles they’re looking at has it and one doesn’t, I’d be reluctant to buy that car,” Nerad said, noting how many consumers are tied to their mobile devices. GM is rolling out both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across its four brands, including Chevrolet, which will get the smartphone-like software in at least a dozen 2016 models. Although it hasn’t adopted CarPlay or Android Auto, Ford (F) recently sent out a software update for its Sync 3 platform that added Apple’s Siri Eyes Free service, which connects to iPhones. In recent years, companies have tried new strategies such as adding turbochargers to four-cylinder engines, combining the fuel savings of a smaller engine with greater horsepower.

Ford partnered with Getaround to launch a test program called Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing that allows car owners to connect with users online who are looking for a ride. Ford is testing a similar service in London, too. “I think we will see more consumer demand for alternative ownership in 2016,” said Thilo Koslowski, vice president and automotive practice leader at Gartner Car-sharing has certainly grabbed Detroit’s attention.

In a post on LinkedIn (LNKD), GM CEO Mary Barra said the nation’s top seller of cars and trucks will launch a car-sharing program in 2016. “Customers in crowded cities may be re-evaluating vehicle ownership, but they still want to go places,” Barra wrote. “We’re testing shared mobility programs around the world that use smartphone apps — based on our 20 years of connectivity expertise with OnStar — to connect communities of customers with transportation, and we’re getting ready to launch our citywide car sharing programs in the U.S. next year. As an example, Nerad noted that new cars are equipped with lane-keeping technology, as opposed to just warning lights when a car begins to drift out of its lane. The company’s creation, called Super Cruise, will enable the CT6 to virtually drive itself on highways. “A lot of these technologies are being democratized,” he said. “Consumers will start to see more self-driving capabilities in the cars they can buy.” Koslowski mentioned automated parking as one feature that is spreading to more cars.

Koslowski believes car makers will bring more self-driving technology directly to consumers in the coming year, many of whom are uncomfortable with the idea of an autonomous vehicle. A survey conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute earlier this year found that 43.8% of drivers do not want any self-driving capabilities. It’s about exposing consumers to this technology, which is an important next step,” Koslowski said. “That will be a big focus for automotive and technology companies in 2016.” Ford has joined the group of automakers approved by California to test self-driving cars on public roads.

Meanwhile, Google will reportedly turn its driverless car unit into a separate Alphabet company, a sign that the Silicon Valley icon may be ramping up its research.

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