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Android

FIRST LOOK: Google Pixel 8 Series is Ridiculously Clever

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Google has produced a phone so smart it could change the way we record history. I’ll be able to prove it when the Image Matrix Tech review goes live next week. The Pixel 8 Pro will get the best features, including BEST TAKE, where you pick the image then ‘steal’ a face from another shot to make sure everyone in the photo has their eyes open.

Watch Djuro Sen go through the features of the new Pixel 8 series on Sky News Weekend Edition

This adds to the powerful toolkit Pixel has for photo editing. Removing people from backgrounds is well established but now Pixel can clean up your sound too. Audio Magic Eraser can identify sounds, like people talking in the background, music or wind. By sorting these sounds into clear layers, you can control their output.

On top of that, Pixel’s new Video Boost technology (coming soon) will deliver HDR+ and enhanced colour grading plus Night Sight Video. Video Boost will use Google’s cloud computing power to render a processed version of the video shot on the Pixel. You’ll still have an HD version on your phone while the 4K file is rendered.

Google is taking computational photography, sound and video, to a whole new level.

Both Pixel 8 phones have with the same 50-megapixel main camera. It has 21% more light sensitivity than the Pixel 7 series. The ultrawide camera has been updated on Pixel 8 to include autofocus, allowing Macro Focus on the base model.

All cameras on the Pixel 8 Pro have been upgraded. Autofocus is now included in the selfie camera. Google says the Pixel 8 Pro 48MP ultrawide lens gathers 105% more light than the Pixel 7 Pro. The minimum focus distance has also been improved to just 2cm.

Low light handling is supposed to much better and for the Pixel 8 Pro we get manual shutter and ISO controls.

Watch Google’s entire Pixel 8 Keynote above

Here are the side-by-side camera specs.

CAMERAPIXEL 8PIXEL 8 PRO
Main Camera50 MP Octa PD wide camera 1.2 μm pixel width ƒ/1.68 aperture 82° field of view 1/1.31″ image sensor size Super Res Zoom up to50 MP Octa PD wide camera 1.2 μm pixel width ƒ/1.68 aperture 82° field of view 1/1.31″ image sensor size 2x Optical Quality
Ultrawide12 MP ultrawide camera with autofocus13 1.25 μm pixel width ƒ/2.2 aperture 125.8° field of view Lens correction48 MP Quad PD ultrawide camera with autofocus 0.8 μm pixel width ƒ/1.95 aperture 125.5° field of view Lens correction
Telephoto 48 MP Quad PD telephoto camera 0.7 μm pixel width ƒ/2.8 aperture 21.8° field of view 5x optical zoom Super Res Zoom up to 30x
ExtraSingle-zone LDAF (laser detect auto focus) sensor Spectral and flicker sensor Optical + electronic image stabilization on wideMulti-zone LDAF (laser detect auto focus) sensor Spectral and flicker sensor Optical + electronic image stabilization on wide and telephoto

Pixel 8 Pro has a vast set of features like a thermometer. You can quickly get the temperature of objects like frying pans or drinks by scanning them like a barcode. Google has also applied for approval to use the thermometer for personal temperature records.

Pixel 8’s 6.2-inch display – known as ‘Actua’ – has an improved refresh rate
of up to 120 Hz for smoother scrolling and gaming. The 6.7-inch Pixel 8 Pro display has a variable refresh rate of 1 to 120 Hz.

DISPLAYPIXEL 8PIXEL 8 PRO
Full-screen 6.2-inch (157 mm)1 display
20:9 aspect ratio
Actua display
(1080 x 2400) OLED at 428 PPI
Smooth Display (60–120 Hz2)
Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus® cover glass
Always-on display with At a Glance and Now
Playing
Up to 1400 nits (HDR) and up to 2000 nits (peak
brightness)3
1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
HDR support
Full 24-bit depth for 16 million colours
Full-screen 6.7-inch (170 mm)1 display
20:9 aspect ratio
Super Actua display
(1344 x 2992) LTPO OLED at 489 PPI
Smooth Display (1–120 Hz2)
Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus® 2 cover glass
Always-on display with At a Glance and Now
Playing
Up to 1600 nits (HDR) and up to 2400 nits (peak
brightness)3
1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
HDR support
Full 24-bit depth for 16 million colours

Google’s Tensor G3 chip is the key to all of Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro’s performance upgrades. Since Google Tensor was introduced with Pixel 6, its AI capabilities have increased. The biggest machine learning model on Pixel 8 is 10x more complex compared to Pixel 6.

Google also announced an astounding seven years of software support for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, including Android OS upgrades, security updates and regular Feature Drops. This means if you buy a Pixel 8 model this year you’ll be supported to 2030.

We’ll have more details in our full review of both Pixel 8 models.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

Pixel 8 starts at only A$1,199 and will be available for pre-sale from October 5 available at the Google Store, Telstra, JB HI-FI, Optus, Vodafone, Officeworks and Harvey Norman.

It’s available in Hazel, Rose and Obsidian.

Pixel 8 Pro starts at A$1,699 and will be available for presale from October 5 available at the Google Store, Telstra, JB HI-FI, Optus, Vodafone, Officeworks and Harvey Norman.

It’s available in Bay, Porcelain and Obsidian.

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AI

Motorola Razr 50 Ultra: What’s new? 

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Motorola has announced the motorola razr 50 ultra so what’s new? AI of course. The latest razr models are running Google’s Gemini AI which you can operate from the massive external screen while the phone is closed.

DJURO SEN SHOWS OFF THE NEW MOTOROLA RAZR 50 ULTRA ON SKY NEWS WEEKEND EDITION WITH JAYNIE SEAL

The new 4-inch external display is biggest in this category with a crisp resolution of 1272×1080 and a refresh rate of 165Hz. The screen is capable of HDR peak brightness of 2400 nits, has 10-bit colour with a 25% wider colour range thanks to HDR10+ certification and DCI-P3 support. It’s also usable in bright sunlight, with the external display reaching a maximum brightness levels of 1500 nits.

You could spend the whole day using the front screen alone. It’s pretty easy to navigate with one hand with unlock access via the side mounted fingerprint button. The speaker when closed is very loud but a bit lacking in bass.

Of course the best part of a foldable phone is actually opening it up to use the larger display. The flip open can be done with one hand if you have the skill. It reveals a 6.9″ pOLED main display with HDR10+ and HDR peak brightness of 3000 nits. Like the external screen you get a high brightness mode that automatically adjusts the display outdoors, reaching a maximum brightness of of 1500 nits. 

The inside display is good for gaming with a 165Hz refresh rate and when reading e-books it saves power by running at just 1Hz. 

The other advantage to foldable phones is better selfies. The best cameras and external screen combine to give you a better result. On standard phones the best cameras are on the back and that means using an inferior for selfies, mostly. I often turn my phone around and take a punt, with varied results. The camera embedded in the internal screen (selfie camera) is not that bad, it’s still 32MP and absolutely fine for most meeting applications like Zoom.

Motorola have updated main cameras to 50MP from the razr 40 ultra but have changed the ultrawide camera to a 2x optical zoom.

When it comes to toughness, there’s Gorilla Glass Victus and IPX8-rated underwater protection. That means it will survive a being dunked for 30 minutes at one metre.

There’s a 4000mAh battery on board with 45W charging possible via USB-C or 15W wireless.

MOTOROLA RAZR 50 ULTRA KEY FEATURES

1. The largest, most intelligent external display. Do it all without flipping open the phone, including using moto ai powered ways to interact, capture, and create. 

2. Iconic flip design, refined. Choose from on-trend colours in soft vegan leather in a durable, compact, and comfortable design. 

3. Endless ways to capture. Explore your creativity with Flex View, using the phone like a camcorder, stepping into a personal photo booth, and snapping hands-free selfies. 

4. New moto ai powered camera system. Effortlessly capture photos and videos with the 50MP camera system featuring a 2x telephoto lens, powered by moto ai. 

5. Snapdragon® 8s Gen 3 performance. Boost your capabilities with powerful AI engine processing, giving you speeds up to 3GHz for improved efficiency. 

6. All-day battery life2. Go a full day and night with a 4000mAh battery, and get power for the day in about 12 minutes using 45W TurboPowerTM charging. 

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

The motorola razr 50 ultra is available in Midnight Blue, Spring Green and Peach Fuzz. Pre-order from 2-16 July, on sale 17 July for RRP A$1,699.

Customers who pre-order or purchase a motorola razr 50 ultra from any retailer in Australia between 2 July and 16 July 2024 can redeem a bonus pair of moto buds+ featuring Sound by Bose, RRP A$249, in the Forest Grey colour. 

Customers can redeem their gift on or before 13 August 2024 with their handset IMEI number and proof of preorder.

Device Specifications

Device Specifications

Category Details
Performance
Operating System Android™ 14
Storage 512 GB built-in, UFS 4.0
Sensors Fingerprint reader, Proximity + light sensor, Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, eCompass, Hall sensor
Processor Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 Mobile Platform
Memory (RAM) 12 GB, LPDDR5X
Security Side fingerprint reader, Face unlock
Battery
Battery Size 4000 mAh non-removable
Charging 45W TurboPower™ charging support (68W In-box charger), 15W wireless charging support (charger sold separately), 5W reverse charging
Charger Type AU
Display
Display Size Main display: 6.9″ FHD+ pOLED display, External display: 4.0″ pOLED display
Resolution Main display: FHD+ (2640 x 1080) | 413 ppi, External display: 1272 x 1080 | 417 ppi
Screen to Body Ratio Active Area-Body: 85.33%
Display Technology Main display: LTPO, Foldable AMOLED, HDR10+, 10-bit, 120% DCI-P3 colour gamut, Up to 165 Hz refresh rate, Touch rate: 240 Hz/360 Hz (game mode only), Peak Brightness: 3000nit
External display: LTPO, Flexible AMOLED, HDR10+, 10-bit, 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut, Up to 165 Hz refresh rate, Touch rate: 120 Hz/165 Hz (game mode only), Peak Brightness: 2400nit
Aspect Ratio Main display: 22:9
Design
Dimensions Open: 73.99 x 171.42 x 7.09 mm, Closed: 73.99 x 88.09 x 15.32 mm
Body Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus on front, Vegan leather on rear, 6000 series high strength aluminium (frame)
Weight 189 g
Water Protection IPX8 Water-resistant design
Colours
Available Colours Midnight Blue, Spring Green, Peach Fuzz
Camera
Rear Camera Video Software Shooting modes: Night Vision, Timelapse (w/ Hyperlapse), Super Slow motion, Portrait, Dual Capture, Spot Colour, Auto Camcorder Mode, Adaptive Stabilisation
Other features: Auto Focus Tracking, Video Snapshot, Selfie Video Mirror, HDR, Audio Zoom, Selfie Stick Support
Front Camera Video Capture 32 MP selfie camera, 4K UHD (60/30fps), FHD (60/30fps)
External display Main: 4K UHD (60/30fps), FHD (60/30fps), Tele: Not supported
Rear Camera Software Rear main camera Shooting modes: Portrait (24 mm/35 mm/50 mm/85 mm), Long Exposure, Dual Capture, Ultra-Res, Night Vision, Tilt-Shift, Pro, Scan (powered by Adobe Scan), 360° Panorama, Spot Colour, 50 MP Ultra Resolution, Photo Booth
Artificial intelligence: Photo Enhancement Engine, Action Shot, Auto Smile Capture, Gesture Capture, Google Lens™ integration, Colour Optimisation, Style Sync
Other features: Google Photos Auto Enhance, Ultra HDR (10-bit format), Burst Shot, Timer, Assistive Grid, Leveller, Metering Mode, Watermark, Live Filters, Selfie Photo Mirror, Selfie Stick Support, RAW Photo Output, QR/Barcode Scanner, Quick Capture
Rear Camera Video Capture Rear Main Camera: 4K UHD (60/30fps), FHD (60/30fps)
4K UHD HDR10+ (30fps w/ EIS), FHD HDR10+ (30fps w/ EIS)
Slow motion: FHD (960/240/120 fps)
Rear Telephoto Camera: 4K UHD (60/30fps), FHD (60/30fps)
Front Camera Software Front 32 MP camera Shooting modes: Portrait, Photo Booth, Pro, Dual Capture, Spot Colour, Face Beauty, Live Filters
Artificial intelligence: Photo Enhancement Engine, Auto Night Vision, Auto Smile Capture, Gesture Capture, Google Photos Auto Enhance
Other features: Burst Shot, Timer, Assistive Grid, Leveller, Google Lens, Selfie Photo Mirror, Selfie Stick Support, RAW Photo Output, Quick Capture (twist-twist), Tap anywhere to capture
Rear cameras on external display Rear main camera Shooting modes: Portrait, Photo Booth, Mirror Mode, Face Beauty, Live Filters
Artificial intelligence: Photo Enhancement Engine, Auto Night Vision, Auto Smile Capture, Gesture Capture, Google Photos Auto Enhance
Other features: Instant Review, Camera Cartoon, External Display Preview, Timer, Selfie Mirror, RAW Photo Output, Ultra HDR (10-bit format), Quick Capture (twist-twist), Tap anywhere to capture, Telephoto Mirror Mode
Front Camera Video Software 32 MP selfie camera Shooting modes: Portrait, Dual Capture, Timelapse (w/ Hyperlapse), Spot Colour, Adaptive Stabilisation, Face Beauty
Other features: Adaptive Stabilisation, Video Snapshot, Selfie Video Mirror
Rear cameras on external display Rear main camera Torch, Adaptive Stabilisation, Face Beauty, Tele Not supported
Camera 2 50 MP telephoto lens (f/2.0, 0.64 µm) or 12.6 MP (1.28 µm Quad Pixel) | 2x optical zoom
Flash Single LED flash
Main rear Camera 50 MP (f/1.7, 0.8 µm) or 12.6 MP (1.6 µm Quad Pixel) | OIS | Instant-all Pixel Focus
Front camera Main display: 32 MP (f/2.4, 0.7 µm) | 8 MP (f/2.4, 1.4 µm) Quad Pixel
External display Main: 12.6 MP (1.6 µm Quad Pixel) | OIS Tele: supports mirror mode only
Audio
Speakers Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos® featuring Spatial Sound, Qualcomm® Snapdragon Sound™
Headphone Jack No
Microphones 3 microphones
FM Radio No
Experiences
Voice Control Gemini, moto ai agent
Connectivity
Networks + Bands 5G | 4G: LTE | 3G: UMTS / HSPA+ | 2G: GSM / EDGE
3G: GSM850/900/1800/1900; BC0; W1/2/4/5/8
4G: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/32/34/38/39/40/41/42/43/48/66/71
5G sub-6: N1/2/3/5/7/8/20/26/28/38/40/41/66/71/75/77/78
Bluetooth Technology Bluetooth® 5.4
NFC Yes
Wi-Fi WiFi 5G, WiFi 6/6E, WiFi 7, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax/be, 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz & 6 GHz (specific regions only), Wi-Fi hotspot
Location Services GPS, A-GPS, LTEPP, SUPL, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou
SIM Card eSIM + physical SIM
In the Box
Device motorola razr 50 ultra
Components 68W TurboPower™ charger, USB Type-C cable, Guides, SIM tool, ESG protective case
Experience
Personalise Themes, Fonts, Colours, Icon shape, Lock screen, External Display, Display size and text, Layout, Sounds, Dark mode
Gestures Quick launch, Sidebar, Quick capture, Fast torch, Three-finger screenshot, Lift to unlock, Flip for DND, Pick up to silence, Swipe to split
Moto Secure Secure folder, Network protection, Phishing detection, Auto lock, Lock network and security, PIN pad scramble, Security & Privacy
Display Lock screen, Attentive display
Play Games, Dolby Atmos®, Media controls, Creator toolkit
Tips Razr basics, Personalize, Media, Call & replies, Camera, Unique features, Settings

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Android

Blackmagic Camera App Now on Android Devices

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Big news for serious phone videographers on Android. The Blackmagic Camera App from Blackmagic Design is now available from the Google Play Store for free.

Since the app made its debut on the iPhone back in September 2023, pro shooters like myself have been using it regularly for pick up shots, even some A-camera content. It is by far the best app on the iPhone in my opinion. And now it’s on Android.

BLACKMAGIC CAMERA APP ON GOOGLE PLAY

Blackmagic Camera for Android is compatible with Samsung Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, S23 Ultra or S24, S24 Plus, S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 7, 7a, 7 Pro, 8 and 8 Pro phones.

Although you won’t get ProRes you can shoot 8K on the Samsung phones.

MEDIA LIBRARY ON S24 ULTRA

It gives users the same controls (other than iris) as they would get on a real camera. You can adjust frame rate, shutter angle, white balance and ISO all in a single tap.

I’ll be shooting a lot of test video this week so I can compare it with the iPhone.

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5g

Back to School Phone Options: Advice for Parents

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As the school year begins across the country, many parents are deciding whether their children should have a mobile phone. The decision is further complicated by schools cracking down on phones nationwide.

So my advice?

Don’t hand down your old Android phone because security updates might be a problem. Unless it’s very new. Get the latest model possible but don’t spend too much. Let’s face it .. kids won’t be able to use them as much due to the school bans.

On the iPhone side – get a refurbished model that is supported by iOS 17. The iPhone 8 and X are getting too old.

Here are some affordable options I’ve compiled for you but you need to act fast as most are on special.

Nokia 2660 Flip

Nokia 2660 Flip is HMD’s retro design with modern insides. Its long battery life and basic operation, makes it ideal for the youngest school kids. It flips open to reveal a big display and big buttons. The 2660 Flip also comes with Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) and emergency button that works while closed. There are other features like games, web browsing and camera. Although the camera is made in the modern day, the shots it takes are definitely from the early 2000s. Good choice for mostly phone calls and text messages.

NOKIA 2660 ON SALE FOR $97

Nokia G22

The Nokia G22 is the first phone in the HMD Nokia range to enable Quickfix repairability. As I tell Tim in the video above, if your kid breaks it, he or she can fix it. Pretty handy skill to learn. Together with ifixit, Nokia has created a self-repairable phone where aspects like dead batteries, broken screens and bent charging cables can be fixed at home by the phone user, without voiding the warranty. The Nokia G22 prioritises a longevity-first design with the self-repairability being supported by 3 years of warranty and updates as well as a 3-day battery life.

NOKIA G22 ON SALE FOR $289

OPPO A79 5G

The A79 5G is the most expensive in this group but it’s definitely good value. It has all the best feature you’d expect from OPPO. The large display is incredibly bright. You can see in the demo video above just how bright it gets. Brilliant for outside use by kids. A hefty 5,000mAh battery can be charged to 100% in approx. 74 minutes. A 5-minute charge is enough for up to 2.6 hours of phone calls. Dual AI rear cameras are outstanding at this price.

OPPO A79 5G FOR $367

Motorola G54 5G

The moto g54 5G comes packed with Motorola’s usual features which include twist-to-launch-camera and shake-for-torch. It has an excellent 6.5” display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. The rear 50MP camera system with OIS can capture outstanding images. Of course, it’s also 5G. At less than $250, the Moto G54 is amazing value.

MOTO G54 5G ON SALE FOR $247

iPhone SE – refurb

iPhone has a long support timeline but it’s not endless. So I would recommends parents look for a 2020 SE device. These refurbished phones are great for families that want to be all-in with Apple team. This is handy for easy sharing and tracking. Although you’ll see many iPhone 8 and X models around, I would skip these as they are at, or nearing the end of their support life from Apple. This is important for security updates. It’s also a good idea to underscore the importance of phone security with you children as it will help set them up in later life. I’m pleased to say my kids are always doing the right thing when it comes to security .. and they are in their twenties now.

IPHONE SE (2020) REFURB ON SALE FOR $299

Smartwatches

In this week’s segment we also covered smartwatches at school. I found that rules vary on the use of these devices in different jurisdictions. Some won’t allow them, others will, if they are in flight mode or with notifications turned off. Of course, there are exemptions for medical reasons.

Watches are often used to track where children are during the day so another option might be AirTag for Apple users or SmartTag2 for Samsung owners. Tile will work for all. Just pop one in your kid’s bag and you’re good to go. Although two-way communication isn’t possible you could just make them beep remotely. That could signify you need to make contact.

Or you could just ring the school .. old skool.

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