Google Photos Will Now Let Users Add Photos, Videos to an Album While Offline

Mozilla Firefox 88 Update Gets Rid of FTP Support, Fixes Video Playback Bug on Android

Firefox 88 update has disabled File Transfer Protocol (FTP) support completely from the browser. In addition, the update fixed a bug in its Android browsers that hindered the playback of videos in fullscreen mode. Alongside, Firefox has included some additional support for developers that includes support for CSS classes and JavaScript improvements. Firefox had earlier ended the support for Adobe Flash Player plugin entirely and claims to protect users from supercookies. The move was done to improve the performance and stability of the browser.

Mozilla in a recent report detailed that it fixed a bug with the Android version of Firefox that prevented some videos to playback correctly on websites that used a desktop viewport. One of the major changes that Firefox has made with the update is the removal of the support for FTP. It is an archaic method of transferring data between computers on a network. Mozilla will completely remove FTP support from Firefox 90. Users will need a dedicated FTP browser to access remote servers in the future.

Firefox has also changed the position of Take a screenshot from Page Actions menu in the address bar to a regular icon that can be added to the toolbar from the Customize menu. Additionally, Mozilla is improving its PDF view capability by now supporting JavaScript embedded PDF files. Lastly, if you use Linux under Wayland, Firefox will now support smoother pinch-zooming using the computer’s trackpad.

Earlier this year, Firefox announced that it is completely ending support for Adobe Flash. The move was decided long ago in 2017 and was implemented with Firefox 85. Alongside this, Firefox is also working hard on cracking down supercookies, trackers that can stay hidden in the browser and continue tracking even after the user has cleared the cookies. In addition, Firefox 85 for Android now allows easier installation of supported extensions.


Why did LG give up on its smartphone business? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 22:00), we talk about the new co-op RPG shooter Outriders. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Satvik Khare is a sub-editor at Gadgets 360. His proficiency lies in educating how technology makes life easier for everyone. Gadgets have always been a passion with him and he’s frequently found finding his way around new technologies. In his free time he loves tinkering with his car, participating in motorsports, and if the weather is bad, he can be found doing laps on Forza Horizon on his Xbox or reading a nice piece of fiction. He can be reached through his Twitter
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Samsung Galaxy M32 Specifications Tipped via Geekbench Listing

Samsung Galaxy M32 specifications have been suggested through a benchmark listing. The new Samsung phone is speculated to be a rebadged Galaxy A32 4G that debuted in India in February. This hints at a 6.4-inch display and a MediaTek Helio G80 SoC on the Galaxy M32. However, there could be some changes over the existing model to bring some distinction. The Samsung Galaxy M32 will be the successor to the Galaxy M31 that was launched in February last year and received an upgrade as the Galaxy M31s in July.

Benchmark site Geekbench has listed a Samsung phone with a model number SM-M325FV that is believed to be associated with the rumoured Galaxy M32, as tweeted by tipster Abhishek Yadav. The listing does not detail the hardware extensively, though it mentions some key specifications.

Samsung Galaxy M32 specifications (expected)

The purported Samsung Galaxy M32 unit listed on Geekbench appears to run on Android 11 and is powered by an octa-core MT6769V/CT (MediaTek Helio G80). It also seems to have at least 6GB of RAM. In terms of performance, the listing shows that the phone has got a single-core score of 361 and a multi-core score of 1,254. These scores are, however, not likely to depict the actual performance as they could come from just a prototype unit.

Samsung is said to bring the Galaxy M32 as a rebranded Galaxy A32 4G that also has the MediaTek Helio G80 chip and 6GB of RAM. The Galaxy A32 4G also includes a 5,000mAh battery. However, the Galaxy M32 4G model allegedly appeared on Europe’s DEKRA certification site with a bigger, 6,000mAh battery.

Details about the launch of the Samsung Galaxy M32 are yet to be revealed. But nonetheless, the listing appeared on Geekbench suggests that it could receive an official word soon.


What is the best phone under Rs. 15,000 in India right now? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 27:54), we speak to OK Computer creators Neil Pagedar and Pooja Shetty. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips.
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for all mankind time capsule apple ii for all mankind time capsule

For All Mankind Time Capsule AR App Bridges the Gap Between Season 1 and Season 2

For All Mankind now has an AR experience. Apple and series co-creator Ronald D. Moore have unveiled For All Mankind Time Capsule, an augmented reality app — now available on iPhone and iPad — that explores the decade-long gap between seasons one and two of the Apple TV+ show. Season 1 ended in 1974, and For All Mankind season 2 picks up in 1983. For All Mankind Time Capsule is told through the eyes of teenage Danny Stevens, the son of astronauts Gordo (Michael Dorman) and Tracy Stevens (Sarah Jones). In it, you will explore a box filled with interactive keepsakes, full of details about his life and the For All Mankind universe.

“This was something that came up very early in the development of For All Mankind,” Moore told reporters over video conference. “Like literally when we had sold the show For All Mankind, one of our very first meetings with people from Apple was with the group that was working on AR.” Moore and Co. noted that For All Mankind Time Capsule allows them to explore their alt-history world in ways and with more depth than would be possible in a structured TV series format that has its own narrative threads to deal with.

For All Mankind Time Capsule features a total of four characters: the aforementioned Danny, his dad Gordo (Dorman) who leaves Danny voice messages, fellow astronaut Danielle Poole (Krys Marshall) who serves as the narrator, and new entrant to season 2 in Kelly Baldwin (Cynthy Wu), the adopted daughter of Ed (Joel Kinnaman) and Karen Baldwin (Shantel VanSanten) who’s Danny’s new best friend.

And while Apple handled the bulk of the work, given this is an app first, Moore noted that the For All Mankind creative team was heavily involved with For All Mankind Time Capsule. That included writer Stephanie Shannon (For All Mankind season 1 episode 6, and the upcoming season 2 episode 3), who worked on the stories involving Danny, and had to ensure that anything that happened on For All Mankind season 2 wouldn’t be contradicted by For All Mankind Time Capsule. It also involved production designers and researchers who contributed to how this alternate world functions.

for all mankind time capsule apple ii for all mankind time capsule

The Apple II inside For All Mankind Time Capsule
Photo Credit: Apple

For instance, email for everyone has arrived earlier in For All Mankind than it did in our world. As such, email — or rather “d-mail” for digital mail, as it’s known in the show — is available on devices that never had it on our world, such as the Apple II. The computer (rendered entirely in AR) is part of For All Mankind Time Capsule, with Danny reading an email “d-mail” from his girlfriend Lisa (she wasn’t a character on For All Mankind season 1, and unlikely to be on season 2 either). The Apple II also features a text adventure game called Crater Quest, which draws on the events of season 1.

These are part of one chapter in the For All Mankind AR experience. For All Mankind Time Capsule consists of seven such chapters, with each of them linking into the next one through virtual objects. It could be a mixtape that features songs from Bob Dylan, Boston, or Earth, Wind & Fire. It could be an old VCR tape that contains ‘80s TV clips, Tracy’s launch to Skylab (the first US space station), or a news report about escalating Cold War tensions — just like the many (fictional) news reports on For All Mankind, this one was created by the producers themselves, purposely for the AR app. Or it could be Stevens’ family mail, or an edition of Corvette magazine with Gordo on the cover.

For All Mankind Time Capsule will last about 45 minutes, a little less than hour-long episodes that make up the Apple TV+ series. Just like the show, it’s a linear narrative at first — but once you’ve gone through all seven chapters, you’re free to dive into your favourite moments and dig into keepsakes that you may not have discovered. There’s a lot in the app, and the For All Mankind team recommends that you go through it at least a couple times. But don’t expect any new story moments to be released, this is everything.

The AR experience makes full use of Apple’s ARKit tools, including people occlusion and dynamic lighting, in addition to instant AR and object occlusion for devices with a LiDAR scanner. Currently, the only Apple devices with a LiDAR scanner are iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPad Pro. That’s an expensive investment to enjoy For All Mankind Time Capsule to its fullest.

for all mankind time capsule projector For All Mankind Time Capsule

The LiDAR portions of For All Mankind Time Capsule
Photo Credit: Apple

If you’re lucky enough to be on the bleeding edge, you’ll get access to two additional scenes on For All Mankind Time Capsule — that means a total of nine chapters, unlike seven for everyone else. One of these scenes involves a projector. With the help of LiDAR, the virtual projector feels close to a real one, as the photos — Danny and Lisa’s road trip to Austin, and some old Stevens family photos — are projected perfectly onto any wall (be it a curved or textured wall) or objects (like a chair, plant, or dresser) that exist in your home.

For All Mankind Time Capsule is out now for iPhone and iPad. It’s been only developed for Apple devices — it’s an Apple TV+ show after all. For All Mankind season 2 premieres February 19 on Apple TV+ worldwide, with one episode every week.

magic keyboard touch id apple apple

iMac 24-Inch With Apple M1 SoC Launched, Apple TV 4K Refreshed With A12 Bionic

Apple at its Spring Loaded event on Tuesday launched what it is calling the all-new iMac, featuring its custom-designed ARM chip – the Apple M1 SoC. As usual with most Apple upgrades, the 24-inch iMac is thinner, faster, and cooler running than previous generations. Alongside, the company also unveiled a revamped Apple TV 4K streaming device that now features the Apple A12 Bionic SoC that you see on the latest generation iPhone 12 handsets. Both the new iMac and the new Apple TV 4K go up for pre-orders later this month, and on sale next month.

All-New 24-inch iMac, Apple TV 4K refresh price and availability

The all-new iMac featuring the Apple M1 SoC will start at $1,299 (roughly Rs. 97,900) in the US, and will go up for pre-orders from April 30. This pricing is for the 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB storage, Magic Keyboard model, and in India, pricing starts at Rs. 1,19,900, going up to Rs. 1,39,000 (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 256GB storage model) and Rs. 1,59,000 (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB storage model) as starting prices for the higher end models that come with Touch ID-enabled Magic Keyboards. In the US, the higher end models are priced at $1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,13,00) and $1,699 (roughly Rs. 1,28,100). The new M1-based iMac will go on sale in the second half of May, the company revealed.

The Apple TV 4K with A12 Bionic SoC is priced at $179 (roughly Rs. 13,500) for the 32GB storage model, and $199 (roughly Rs. 15,000) for the 64GB model. In India, it starts at Rs. 18,900 and goes up to Rs. 20,900. Its availability is the same as the new iMac, with it going up for pre-orders from April 30 and then availability in 30 countries from the “second half of May”. The new Siri Remote is priced at Rs. 5,800, and works with older Apple TV devices (4K and HD). AppleCare+ will also be available for the first time for the lineup, with the new Apple TV 4K, priced at Rs. 2,900.

 

All new 24-inch iMac with M1 SoC features, specifications

The M1-based iMac features a brand new design, with a distraction-free muted colour on the front, and a brighter hue on the back. The base model is only available in four colours – Blue, Green, Red, Silver, while the two higher end models are available in Yellow, Orange, and Purple, in addition. The iMac features a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display (4480×2520 pixels), with Apple’s True Tone tech for colour balance, P3 wide colour gamut, 500 nits peak brightness, and a low reflectivity coating. The company says 24-inch display fits in a frame only slightly larger than the earlier 21.5 model. The all-in-one (AIO) PC is also more compact, at just 11.5mm thin.

Apple says the M1 chip thanks to its ARM-based design and system-on-chip helps reduce the size of the logic board and require a smaller thermal system. The new AIO is also quieter thanks to the two small fans replacing the earlier single large one, up to 50 percent quieter (<10 dB). Benefits of the new SoC on the 24-inch iMac beyond instant wakeup include up to 85 percent faster CPU performance than older 21.5-inch models, up to 2x faster GPU performance, and up to 3x faster machine learning performance.

Also new on the all-new iMac are the 1080p webcam which uses the M1’s neural engine for face detection and better exposure as well as colour balance. The company has also included what it calls a studio quality 3-mic array with beamforming tech, and a Dolby Atmos-certified 6-speaker system including force-cancelling woofers alongside high-performance tweeters.

As for connectivity options, new iMac users can choose to get up to up to four USB Type-C ports, two of which can be Thunderbolt. The AIO supports up to a 6K display, apart from featuring a new magnetic power connector with a 2-metre colour-matched woven cable and an adapter that integrates the Ethernet port to save space. Apple has launched three new Magic Keyboard models alongside – a colour-matching Magic Keyboard with new keys for Spotlight, Dictation, Do Not Disturb, and emoji. Another new Magic Keyboard has the same design, but also features wireless Touch ID. And finally, another model with the same new key-design but including a numpad. New colour-matching versions of the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad were also detailed.

magic keyboard touch id apple apple

Apple’s new Magic Keyboard comes with a wireless Touch ID feature
Photo Credit: Apple

 

As for specifications, the base model of the 24-inch iMac offers up to 16GB of unified memory, 1TB of SSD storage, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth v5, and two Thunderbolt/ or USB 4 ports, while the higher end models offer up to a 2TB SSD, and three USB 3 ports in addition.

Apple TV 4K with A12 Bionic features, specifications

The new Apple TV 4K featuring Apple’s A12 Bionic processor boasts of several upgrades over its predecessor, including support for high-frame rate HDR content. Apple said it is working with content providers globally to make more such content available, while iPhone 12 Pro users can use their handsets to record Dolby Vision HDR content at 60 fps.

Also new is a Colour Balance feature, which lets Apple TV 4K users with iPhone handsets adjust the colour balance of their television sets. This is achieved by holding up the iPhone to a designated spot on the TV, and then with the light sensor on the iPhone, colour output is measured and calibrated.

apple tv 4k a12 bionic apple

Apple TV 4K refresh features a brand new Siri Remote
Photo Credit: Apple

The new Apple TV 4K also features a brand new Siri Remote, which can be purchased separately and work with the last generation Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD models. The remote features a touch-enabled clickpad, an outer-ring that can now read circular motions to seek along a video timeline, a new power button that controls the TV set, and the movement of the Siri button to the side. It is made from 100 percent recycled aluminium, the company boasts.

canon eos c70 back view image Canon EOS C70

Canon EOS C70 With CMOS DGO Sensor, RF Lens Mount Launched, Mount Adapter EF EOS R 0.71x Debuts As Well

Canon EOS C70 has been launched as the latest model in the company’s cinema EOS camera range. The new model comes with Canon’s RF lens mount and is compatible with a new Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x that enables it to work with a range of EF lens series. The EOS C70 also offers 4K/ 120p video recording using a CMOS DGO (Dual Gain Output) sensor. Additionally, Canon has provided Direct Touch Control function along with vertical shooting options to help cinematographer and videographers quickly change their recording settings.

Canon EOS C70 availability details

The Canon EOS C70, along with the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x, will go on sale starting November this year. Details about its pricing in India are yet to be revealed. However, it will be available in the US at $5499 (roughly Rs. 4,05,000), while the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x will be at $599.99 (roughly Rs. 44,100).

Canon EOS C70 specifications

Featuring the 4K Super 35mm CMOS DGO sensor, the Canon EOS C70 is capable of capturing 4K videos in 4:2:2 (10-bit) colour. The image sensor is designed to read each pixel at two distinct gain levels to deliver enhanced results — without requiring any post production efforts. The camera is powered by Canon’s Digic DV7 image processor that brings support for recording 4K/ 120p and 2K/ 180p videos and storing them on UHS-II standard SD cards. It brings the option to record content in Canon’s XF-AVC or MP4 (H.265) codecs.

The Canon EOS C70 has the RF Mount as its USP as it lets cinematographers pick a range of future-proof lenses for their next project. However, if you have a good collection of EF lenses, the camera has a compatibility for them as well — once you add the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x. The proprietary adapter brings a 1-stop gain in light transmission using a built-in, miniaturised optical system.

Canon has provided an EOS iTR AF X algorithm on the EOS C70 camera that is touted to help improve subject detection and tracking and bring support for head detection. The DGO sensor also comes with the ability to capture high dynamic range (HDR) images of up to 16+ stops with low noise.

The EOS C70 uses a hardware and software combination to let you capture videos not just for wide screens but also for mobile devices and vertical oriented social media platforms. There is also a vari-angle LCD with touch support. The camera also comes with a tripod mount into the vertical grip to let you mount it in a portrait orientation.

canon eos c70 back view image Canon EOS C70

Canon EOS C70 comes with a vari-angle LCD

 

For easy handling, the EOS C70 comes bundled with a removable top-handle. This makes it convenient to record low-angle shots. There is also a forward-mounted Mic Holder to let you place a gun mic. Further, the camera includes an air intake system to maintain the temperature while recording videos for long hours.

The Canon EOS C70 comes with the company’s in-house Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology that brings Intelligent Tracking and Recognition System. The camera also has a Face Detection AF. Additionally, it comes with a range of controls and ports, including two mini XLRs, audio control dials, and a full HDMI terminal. There is also a dual SD card slot. The camera comes with a headphone jack and includes a USB Type-C port. Besides, it measures 160x130x116mm and weighs 1.43 kilograms.


Which are the best truly wireless earphones under Rs. 10,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

magic keyboard touch id apple apple

iMac 24-Inch With Apple M1 SoC Launched, Apple TV 4K Refreshed With A12 Bionic

Apple at its Spring Loaded event on Tuesday launched what it is calling the all-new iMac, featuring its custom-designed ARM chip – the Apple M1 SoC. As usual with most Apple upgrades, the 24-inch iMac is thinner, faster, and cooler running than previous generations. Alongside, the company also unveiled a revamped Apple TV 4K streaming device that now features the Apple A12 Bionic SoC that you see on the latest generation iPhone 12 handsets. Both the new iMac and the new Apple TV 4K go up for pre-orders later this month, and on sale next month.

All-New 24-inch iMac, Apple TV 4K refresh price and availability

The all-new iMac featuring the Apple M1 SoC will start at $1,299 (roughly Rs. 97,900) in the US, and will go up for pre-orders from April 30. This pricing is for the 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB storage, Magic Keyboard model, and in India, pricing starts at Rs. 1,19,900, going up to Rs. 1,39,000 (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 256GB storage model) and Rs. 1,59,000 (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB storage model) as starting prices for the higher end models that come with Touch ID-enabled Magic Keyboards. In the US, the higher end models are priced at $1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,13,00) and $1,699 (roughly Rs. 1,28,100). The new M1-based iMac will go on sale in the second half of May, the company revealed.

The Apple TV 4K with A12 Bionic SoC is priced at $179 (roughly Rs. 13,500) for the 32GB storage model, and $199 (roughly Rs. 15,000) for the 64GB model. In India, it starts at Rs. 18,900 and goes up to Rs. 20,900. Its availability is the same as the new iMac, with it going up for pre-orders from April 30 and then availability in 30 countries from April 30. The new Siri Remote is priced at Rs. 5,800, and works with older Apple TV devices (4K and HD). AppleCare+ will also be available for the first time for the lineup, with the new Apple TV 4K, priced at Rs. 2,900.

 

All new 24-inch iMac with M1 SoC features, specifications

The M1-based iMac features a brand new design, with a distraction-free muted colour on the front, and a brighter hue on the back. The base model is only available in four colours – Blue, Green, Red, Silver, while the two higher end models are available in Yellow, Orange, and Purple, in addition. The iMac features a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display (4480×2520 pixels), with Apple’s True Tone tech for colour balance, P3 wide colour gamut, 500 nits peak brightness, and a low reflectivity coating. The company says 24-inch display fits in a frame only slightly larger than the earlier 21.5 model. The all-in-one (AIO) PC is also more compact, at just 11.5mm thin.

Apple says the M1 chip thanks to its ARM-based design and system-on-chip helps reduce the size of the logic board and require a smaller thermal system. The new AIO is also quieter thanks to the two small fans replacing the earlier single large one, up to 50 percent quieter (<10 dB). Benefits of the new SoC on the 24-inch iMac beyond instant wakeup include up to 85 percent faster CPU performance than older 21.5-inch models, up to 2x faster GPU performance, and up to 3x faster machine learning performance.

Also new on the all-new iMac are the 1080p webcam which uses the M1’s neural engine for face detection and better exposure as well as colour balance. The company has also included what it calls a studio quality 3-mic array with beamforming tech, and a Dolby Atmos-certified 6-speaker system including force-cancelling woofers alongside high-performance tweeters.

As for connectivity options, new iMac users can choose to get up to up to four USB Type-C ports, two of which can be Thunderbolt. The AIO supports up to a 6K display, apart from featuring a new magnetic power connector with a 2-metre colour-matched woven cable and an adapter that integrates the Ethernet port to save space. Apple has launched three new Magic Keyboard models alongside – a colour-matching Magic Keyboard with new keys for Spotlight, Dictation, Do Not Disturb, and emoji. Another new Magic Keyboard has the same design, but also features wireless Touch ID. And finally, another model with the same new key-design but including a numpad. New colour-matching versions of the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad were also detailed.

magic keyboard touch id apple apple

Apple’s new Magic Keyboard comes with a wireless Touch ID feature
Photo Credit: Apple

 

As for specifications, the base model of the 24-inch iMac offers up to 16GB of unified memory, 1TB of SSD storage, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth v5, and two Thunderbolt/ or USB 4 ports, while the higher end models offer up to a 2TB SSD, and three USB 3 ports in addition.

Apple TV 4K with A12 Bionic features, specifications

The new Apple TV 4K featuring Apple’s A12 Bionic processor boasts of several upgrades over its predecessor, including support for high-frame rate HDR content. Apple said it is working with content providers globally to make more such content available, while iPhone 12 Pro users can use their handsets to record Dolby Vision HDR content at 60 fps.

Also new is a Colour Balance feature, which lets Apple TV 4K users with iPhone handsets adjust the colour balance of their television sets. This is achieved by holding up the iPhone to a designated spot on the TV, and then with the light sensor on the iPhone, colour output is measured and calibrated.

apple tv 4k a12 bionic apple

Apple TV 4K refresh features a brand new Siri Remote
Photo Credit: Apple

The new Apple TV 4K also features a brand new Siri Remote, which can be purchased separately and work with the last generation Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD models. The remote features a touch-enabled clickpad, an outer-ring that can now read circular motions to seek along a video timeline, a new power button that controls the TV set, and the movement of the Siri button to the side. It is made from 100 percent recycled aluminium, the company boasts.

WhatsApp Chat History Migration Tool Is Being Tested for Android Devices

Xiaomi Working on Smartphone With 200-Megapixel Camera Sensor: Report

Xiaomi is working on a smartphone that will come with a 200-megapixel sensor according to a new report. This news comes a few days after the Chinese technology giant launched the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro with an 108-megapixel Samsung HM2 primary sensor in India. Reports about the 200-megapixel sensor have been making rounds on the Internet for quite some time now. A couple of tipsters have also pointed out that Samsung is allegedly working on a 200-megapixel ISOCELL sensor for smartphone cameras.

Tipster Digital Chat Station has confirmed the existence of a 200-megapixel sensor via a tweet, as well as a post on Weibo (via ITHome). The tipster’s post does not explicitly mention that Xiaomi is working on a smartphone with a 200-megapixel camera but the ITHome report does. It also cites an older Weibo post from tipster Ice Universe who claimed that this particular ISOCELL sensor is being developed by Samsung, and has a 0.64-micron pixel.

This is not the first time that Samsung’s name has come up as the maker of the 200-megapixel camera sensor. Apart from a tweet from Ice Universe, tipster WHYLAB had also claimed that Samsung is working on this sensor. WHYLAB claimed that Samsung’s alleged 200-megapixel sensor measures 1/ 1.37-inch and has 1.28-micron pixels. It is claimed to support 4-in-1 as well as 16-in-1 pixel binning technology to reduce the noise for enhanced images. The sensor was also tipped to record 16K videos.

At that time, WHYLAB also said that the sensor may debut in the ZTE Axon 30 Pro 5G, however, the smartphone was launched with a 64-megapixel sensor by Samsung. LetsGoDigital’s Mark Peters had claimed in a tweet that the Samsung Galaxy S22 will have a 200-megapixel sensor. He also shared 3D product renders in collaboration with Technizo Concept highlighting the 200-megapixel Olympus camera. There is no concrete information in this regard as of now, and the developments should be taken with a grain of salt.


We dive into all things Apple — iPad Pro, iMac, Apple TV 4K, and AirTag — this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Sourabh Kulesh is a Chief Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. He has worked in a national daily newspaper, a news agency, a magazine and now writing technology news online. He has knowledge on a wide gamut of topics related to cybersecurity, enterprise and consumer technology. Write to sourabhk@ndtv.com or get in touch on Twitter through his handle @KuleshSourabh.
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iPad Air (2020), Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil 2 Review: Can They Replace Your Laptop?

The iPad Air got a huge upgrade in late 2020, with an all-screen design reminiscent of the current iPad Pro lineup, the new Apple A14 Bionic processor which promises exceptional performance, and a bunch of other features that set it apart. This model is positioned below the iPad Pro models but now offers quite a lot of their capabilities at lower prices. I’ve spent over a month with the new 2020 iPad Air, plus Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2, to see how the combination of products work together. Can this package replace an equivalently priced laptop? Is the iPad Air all you need for productivity and entertainment? We’re going to find out.

ipad air 2020 thick ndtv ipad

The iPad Air (2020) and Magic Keyboard together aren’t much slimmer or lighter than today’s ultraportable laptops

 

iPad Air (2020) prices and accessories

You have quite a few choices when it comes to buying the new iPad Air, which itself is just one of five iPad models currently available. If you’ve narrowed your selection down to this device, you have five colour options – Space Grey, Silver, Rose Gold, Sky Blue, and Green.

The iPad Air (2020) starts at Rs. 54,900 for the 64GB and Rs. 68,900 for the 256GB options with Wi-Fi, while the cellular-enabled equivalents cost Rs. Rs. 66,900 and Rs. 80,900 respectively.

The 2nd Gen Apple Pencil will set you back another Rs. 10,900 (and this iPad isn’t compatible with the 1st Gen Pencil). The Magic Keyboard will cost a whopping Rs. 27,900, though there’s also a less elaborate Smart Keyboard Folio case for Rs. 15,900 and a plain Smart Folio in multiple colours for Rs. 7,500.

You could also pick up Apple’s Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2, and a variety of USB Type-C dongles and accessories, though third-party equivalents should work just fine as well. Thankfully, a 20W charging adapter is included in the box – unlike what Apple has started doing with iPhones and Apple Watches.

ipad air 2020 rear ndtv ipad

The new iPad Air is available in five metallic colours

 

iPad Air (2020) design and usability

The iPad Pro models got a huge makeover in 2018, and now that same aesthetic has come to the iPad Air, which is positioned lower in the hierarchy. The 2020 iPad Air (4th Gen) has a screen that fills up nearly its entire front face, and no physical Home button, which makes using it a bit different for those who might be used to older models. However, you don’t get Face ID – instead, Apple has moved the Touch ID fingerprint sensor from the Home button which is on the top (as long as you hold the iPad in portrait orientation).

The borders around the screen are still fairly thick so you don’t really get an edge-to-edge feeling, but that’s not a bad thing. It means you can hold the iPad Air (2020) with one hand and not worry about your palm covering the screen or triggering actions inadvertently. It takes a while to get used to using iPhone-style swipe gestures rather than hitting a Home button.

The fingerprint sensor, on the other hand, is very awkward. There are on-screen prompts reminding you where it is when you wake the screen, but reaching for it isn’t as convenient as the Home button on older iPads. There’s a tap-to-wake gesture now (though no raise-to-wake), and tapping with the Apple Pencil 2 will take you straight to a new Notes page where you can scribble or sketch immediately. If the iPad Air (2020) is attached to one of Apple’s own keyboard accessories, the fingerprint sensor will be on the left, which I as a right-handed user found extremely inconvenient. Apple touts the narrow Touch ID sensor as a huge achievement but it isn’t exactly new technology and it does create some ergonomic problems.

On its own, the iPad Air (2020) weighs 458g (460g for the cellular-enabled version) and measures 6.1mm thick. It’s easy enough to walk around with, and can be used while holding it in one hand. I quite like the dull matte look of my Green review unit. This is the first iPad model to be offered in such colours, and incidentally they match the new AirPods Max lineup.

The aluminium frame has flat sides now, but given the overall shape and proportions, this isn’t less uncomfortable than using any previous model. The Apple Pencil 2 can snap magnetically to the right side (which becomes the top when docked) and charges wirelessly when attached.

One big change is the USB Type-C port on the bottom, in place of Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. This is a feature previously reserved for the iPad Pro siblings, and it allows for faster charging and data transfers as well as better compatibility with accessories such as SSDs and external monitors. Cellular-enabled models will have a Nano-SIM tray on the lower right.

You’ll find two speaker cutouts each at the top and bottom. You’ll get stereo sound in landscape orientation, but the new iPad Air doesn’t reroute sound to different speakers to match how you’re holding it like the iPad Pro models do. There’s no 3.5mm audio socket, which again is common with the current iPad Pro design – this is not just inconvenient, but also makes it impossible to get wired audio output when something like a MIDI instrument is plugged into the Type-C port, unless you buy a dock. It seems like an unnecessary frustration for a device aimed at content creators – and no, you don’t get a Type-C to 3.5mm dongle in the box either.

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The iPad Air (2020) gets a USB Type-C port at the bottom just like the iPad Pro models

 

iPad Air (2020) specifications

At the time of its launch, the iPad Air’s A14 Bionic processor was a huge talking point, and we’ve since seen it power the entire iPhone 12 lineup. The more powerful Apple M1 processor, which debuted with the latest MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini also shares a lot of the same engineering. The A14 Bionic is a 5nm chip designed in-house by Apple using the licensed ARM architecture, with two high-performance and four power-efficient CPU cores plus an integrated four-core GPU. The big news is the updated “Neural Engine” logic which accelerates machine learning and is said to offer over twice the performance of the previous-gen iPad Air’s A12 Bionic SoC.

The 2020 iPad Air has a 10.9-inch screen which is larger than the 10.5-inch one on the previous model, but also very slightly narrower and taller. This is only notable because iPads have pretty consistently stuck to a 4:3 aspect ratio, and most people won’t even notice the difference. Apple has used what it calls a Liquid Retina Display, which means this is an LCD panel and not an AMOLED one. It supports the P3 wide colour gamut and Apple’s True Tone feature which adjusts the white point dynamically based on ambient light.

Apple doesn’t disclose battery capacities but third-party teardowns reveal that the iPad Air (2020) has a 7,606mAh battery. As per official specifications, you should expect up to 10 hours of Web surfing or video streaming. There’s a single 12-megapixel f/1.8 rear autofocus camera which can record 4K 60fps video if you ever need it to, and a 7-megapixel front camera for video calls. There’s also Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. If you buy a cellular model, you can use a Nano-SIM or eSIM.

The overall style and screen size of the iPad Air (2020) make it very similar to the current-gen 11-inch iPad Pro – the two are just a few millimetres apart in size. You don’t get the 120Hz ProMotion feature and the maximum brightness is a little lower at 500nits compared to 600nits, but little else is different. The iPad Pro lineup does give you superior cameras including a LiDAR sensor and a flash, plus the 3D-sensing TrueDepth camera array on the front, but the new iPad Air (2020) has the far superior A14 Bionic SoC. The lower-priced model also works with all the same accessories including the Apple Pencil 2 and Magic Keyboard. This creates an interesting conflict in Apple’s lineup, which will remain until the iPad Pros receive their inevitable 2021 refresh.

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The keyboard layout is a little cramped, but tactile feel is surprisingly good

 

iPad Air (2020) and Magic Keyboard

You’ll notice three dots in a row on the back of the new iPad Air, which are contact points for connected accessories. The entire back of the tablet is magnetic so it can be snapped right on to docks and cases. The most interesting of Apple’s own accessories is its Magic Keyboard, which promises to turn your iPad into a clamshell with a keyboard and trackpad for productivity. It costs a staggering Rs. 27,900, which is the kind of money that could get you an entire, fully functioning laptop.

While Apple sells different cases for the 2020 MacBook Air and 11-inch iPad Pro, the Magic Keyboard accessory is exactly the same for both. Older boxes will not be marked as compatible with the new iPad Air, but they’ll work. You’ll just have to live with an oversized square camera cutout, which is a bit contrary to the usual attention to detail you pay for with Apple products.

The magnetic lid of the Magic Keyboard has an additional hinge about one-third the way up so that you can angle your iPad which is magnetically attached to it. This brings the screen closer to your face and makes it easier to touch with a finger or Apple Pencil. The iPad looks like it’s floating, which is the signature look Apple was going for. It also lets the iPad stay suspended without a kickstand, so you can actually use this tablet and dock combination on your lap.

The Magic Keyboard has a somewhat cramped key layout, but the keys have decent travel and the action is crisp without being loud. There’s also uniform white backlighting. The trackpad is generously sized and the wrist rests have a soft-touch finish just like the exterior.

One big quirk is the lack of a Fn row which also means there’s no Esc key. iPadOS 14 does have keyboard and trackpad optimisations but there are times that you’ll have to move your hands to use the touchscreen. There are also no shortcuts for things like media playback or even adjusting the keyboard backlight – you’ll find a brightness slider buried in the Settings app but at least something in the Control Center would have been nice.

The Magic Keyboard for the 2020 iPad Air and 11-inch iPad Pro is relatively heavy at 600g, which is more than what your iPad itself weighs. That puts the total weight within striking distance of today’s ultraportables. When closed, it also makes for a relatively thick package. It takes both hands to open and close the docked iPad, and you can’t fold the keyboard over to use the iPad on your lap, or for note-taking in portrait orientation.

You get a USB Type-C port on the left side of the hinge barrel for convenience. It works for charging the iPad, leaving its own Type-C port free for use with accessories. There’s very little clearance so you’ll need a narrow Type-C plug like the ones on Apple’s official accessories.

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The Magic Keyboard doesn’t need a kickstand, but the hinge has a limited range of motion

 

iPad Air (2020) and Apple Pencil 2

Steve Jobs famously dissed styli when he introduced the iPhone for the very first time, and some people love mocking the Apple Pencil for that reason. However, he was talking about a stylus being required for core UI navigation and hunt-and-peck typing, which some smartphones of that era required – the Apple Pencil is primarily for sketching and writing, and is an entirely optional accessory.

The new iPad Air works only with the Apple Pencil 2; another feature previously exclusive to the iPad Pro line. The Pencil 2 is quite large, like a real-world writing implement. Some might find that comfortable but I found it top-heavy and slightly unwieldy. Apple doesn’t publicise information like the number of pressure sensitivity levels it can apply, but does say that there is support for tilt detection and that lag is imperceptible.

In use, the Apple Pencil is definitely integrated well with the iPad’s hardware and software. Writing feels quite natural, and you can set up a forefinger double-tap shortcut. The main issue I had is that the tip is quite hard and makes a loud sound every time you tap the screen with it. This can be a bit annoying when writing cursive notes by hand, and would definitely be distracting in a classroom or professional environment. No other types of tips or even replacements are provided in the box.

Artists and other creative professionals could definitely get a lot out of using an iPad with an Apple Pencil. It’s very responsive and feels a lot slicker than Windows-based tablets and styli, in my experience. It does feel like you’re drawing directly on the glass surface of the iPad’s screen, but that also means it isn’t as natural as a real pencil on paper.

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The Apple Pencil 2 is more useful now thanks to improvements in iPadOS 14

 

iPad Air (2020) software and usage

iPadOS 14 introduced better homescreen widgets, lots of UI and usability refinements, and redesigned default apps that take better advantage of available screen space. However, the biggest improvements are only seen when you use the Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil 2. Trackpad support with an on-screen cursor is game-changing even for long-time iPad users, and takes productivity to a new level. Scribbling text input in any field makes the Pencil way more useful than before.

Since the launch of the 2020 iPad Air and iPadOS 14, plenty of apps have added trackpad support, including Microsoft Office. The iPad UI is still completely touch-first, but now you see a circular cursor whenever you touch the trackpad, and can move it around and tap to interact with UI elements. If you touch the screen or don’t do anything for a few moments, the cursor simply disappears. It also changes to the familiar bar when you’re working with text, and so there’s really no learning curve.

The trackpad on Apple’s Magic Keyboard supports multi-touch gestures. Just like on any Mac, you can tap and hold or tap with two fingers to show context menus, swipe with two fingers to scroll, and swipe side-to-side with three fingers to switch between full-screen apps. Sliding up with three fingers will show the homescreen, or if you stop and hold before completing the gesture, you’ll see the app switcher. Flicking to the top left and right corners will show the notifications pane and Control Center.

iPadOS 14 now lets you use the pencil to write freehand in any text field so you don’t have to put it down when filling forms or even entering a URL in Safari’s address field. It makes using the iPad a little more seamless, and it makes a lot of sense. You don’t have to write exactly within fields – the software recognises text even if you overlap them or continue to write way outside. Character recognition is quick and it’s very good, but can’t compensate for very shaky handwriting. It also works only in English and Chinese at present, but we can expect broader language support over time.

So with all of this in mind, can the iPad Air (2020) replace a laptop, and can it be your primary work machine? First of all, you have to decide if you even want that. The combination of iPad Air (2020), Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil would wind up costing you at least as much as a good premium laptop, and wouldn’t necessarily be lighter or more portable. On the other hand, you could separate the iPad and move around with it, use it for reading comfortably, and use interactive touch-first apps for content creation.

I tried using the iPad Air and Magic Keyboard as my primary work machine. I loaded up Office 365, Slack, Google Docs, and various other apps for productivity. A lot of tools work within any Web browser, and I had over 20 tabs open in Safari in no time. After just about half a day though, I was already finding the Magic Keyboard a bit too cramped for comfort. Simple things like copy-pasting blocks of text between apps, managing multiple open documents, and multitasking would slow me down, compared to how they just feel like second nature on a PC or Mac without even distracting from my work.

Microsoft’s Office apps gained trackpad support shortly after the release of iOS 14. The experience is pretty well integrated, and doesn’t feel tacked on just for the sake of it. Selecting and manipulating text is fairly natural. The apps themselves, however, are not quite as flexible as their traditional desktop counterparts.

I was also routinely frustrated by iPadOS’s limited USB connectivity and obscured file system. I used a variety of pen drives, hard drives, and portable SSDs. Only Apple’s file systems, ExFAT and FAT32 partitions are recognised – NTFS volumes aren’t even readable. There’s no way to safely eject a disk, and of course only one can be plugged in at a time unless you have a dock or hub. The lack of a 3.5mm headphone socket was also routinely annoying.

In addition to software, do remember that Apple now offers a wide range of bundled services. You get free trials of Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade with every purchase, plus integration with the iCloud ecosystem. If you use an iPhone, Mac, AirPods, and/or Apple Watch, you’ll encounter lots of little conveniences that make life easier.

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Videos and games look good on the bright, crisp Liquid Retina Display panel

 

iPad Air (2020) performance

Apple has had quite a successful run so far with its in-house ARM-based processors. The iPad Air (2020) with its A14 Bionic SoC is more than capable of handling heavy apps and games. I did feel the upper left corner of the rear panel get warm when playing some graphically intensive games. Alto’s Odyssey, Lara Croft Go, and Monument Valley 2 all ran well but it was the relatively old Fieldrunners 2 that made the iPad Air run the hottest.

Benchmarks show that the iPad Air (2020) can perform very well. Geekbench 5 managed scores of 1,581 and 4,182 in its single-core and multi-core tests, and AnTuTu produced a result of 631,340 points. The new 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited test averaged 50fps, and GFXBench’s Car Chase and Aztec Ruins (Normal Tier) tests ran at 39.87fps and 40.49fps respectively.

App developers are still rolling out updates that will leverage the A14 Bionic’s machine learning capabilities – some examples include photo and video manipulation, media production, and even secure on-device face and handwriting recognition. One thing the iPad Air might not be ideal for is augmented reality applications – LiDAR sensors are still exclusive to the more expensive models.

Some apps and games such as Audiokit’s Synth One ran letterboxed and had garbled or cropped UI elements. This indicates an issue with scaling to the new screen resolution, since they appear perfectly fine on other devices including a previous-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This is something developers will have to sort out with updates.

Speaking of the screen, it’s very crisp and sharp. Widescreen video will run letterboxed, but that’s okay considering the aspect ratio has to strike a balance somewhere between a variety of use cases in both portrait and landscape. Videos look great, especially since there’s no notch or camera hole obscuring content. If you want HDR though, you’re out of luck. The screen gets bright enough for use outdoors, and it’s impossible to avoid fingerprint smudges on the glossy surface. The speakers are quite loud and produce a relatively full sound, but bass is expectedly weak.

iPad Air (2020) camera sample (tap to see full size)

 

The rear camera is quite decent, capturing crisp details in the daytime. Any tablet would be awkward to use as a camera, and this one is no exception. The front-facing camera worked well too, even in dim indoor lighting, which is good news for video chats. However, if you’re using the iPad Air (2020) in landscape while its attached to the Magic Keyboard, the angle you appear at to callers will be awkward since the camera will be in the middle of the left screen border.

Battery life is one of the strengths of the iPad line. Even with the Magic Keyboard connected and its backlight set to automatic, I got at least two full days of nearly continuous use per charge. I used the iPad Air (2020) to type and edit documents, streamed a bit of video, and played some games. Our HD video loop test ran for 11 hours, 32 minutes which is roughly consistent with Apple’s claims. Heavy games will of course drain the battery quicker. While battery life really does work in favour of the iPad, keep in mind that Apple’s own M1-based Macs now boast the same advantage.

Using a universal 60W Type-C charger, the iPad Air managed to go from zero to 34 percent in 30 minutes and 64 percent in an hour. After that, charging slowed a bit and it took another hour to get to 95 percent. This is quite good, and the Type-C port makes charging on the go more convenient.

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The Touch ID sensor is awkwardly positioned, but on-screen prompts help you find it

 

Verdict

The iPad Air (2020) looks modern and offers a lot of power and functionality. It’s very similar to the 11-inch iPad Pro, and will actually be the more sensible option for many people. If you don’t need a high-refresh-rate HDR screen, better speakers and cameras, LiDAR scanner, or higher storage options, the new iPad Air will do just fine. It has a newer processor plus the same style, USB Type-C port, and compatibility with the Magic Keyboard and Pencil 2. Rumours suggest that the iPad Pro lineup is about to get a major refresh with Mini-LED or OLED screens, 5G, and an even more powerful processor, which will return some order to Apple’s hierarchy.

If you’re thinking of replacing your laptop, just consider that the iPad life isn’t for everyone. Your style and type of work might be perfectly suited to it, but you’ll also be spending a lot of money for an iPad itself plus the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil – money that could buy you a high-end ultrabook. The relatively small iPad screen and cramped keyboard might have been easier to live with if the combined package had been significantly lighter and less expensive than, say, the current-gen MacBook Air. For me, the tradeoffs weren’t worth it but your mileage will vary depending on your style of work, what apps you use, and even which model of iPad and keyboard you buy.

Hopefully, the design and features of the new iPad Air will trickle down to the mainstream iPad price tier at some point. For now, this is a solid though expensive all-rounder that will work for entertainment, content creation, and even some productivity.

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Apple AirTag Tracker With UWB Tech Launched, iPhone 12 Series Gets New Purple Colour

Apple AirTag trackers were launched at Apple’s Spring Loaded event on Tuesday, and they are aimed at helping you find anything they have been attached to using the Find My app. Also at its Spring Loaded event, Apple announced a new Purple colour variant for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini. It will go up for pre-orders starting this week. The new colour has “elements of sophistication and brightness” as per Apple CEO Tim Cook. The purple colour variant will join the already available Black, Blue, Green, Red, and White colours.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will soon be available in a new purple colour that will be up for pre-orders starting Friday, April 23 in 30 countries, and thereafter go on sale from April 30. It wasn’t immediately apparent if India was part of the first wave of launch countries. As mentioned earlier, Purple joins the Black, Blue, Green, Red, and White colours. Pricing for the iPhone 12 purple variant starts at Rs. 79,900 and Rs. 69,900 for the iPhone 12 mini – the same as the pricing for other colours.

AirTag trackers are priced at Rs. 3,190 for one and Rs. 10,900 for a four pack. There are also Hermes edition accessories that the AirTag can be carried in. AirTag trackers will go on sale from April 30. In the US, AirTag trackers are priced at $29 (roughly Rs. 2,200) for the single tile, and $99 (roughly Rs. 7,500) for the 4-pack, and will go up for pre-orders from 5am PDT (5:30pm IST) on April 23.

iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini Purple variant specifications

As we know, iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini feature Super Retina XDR displays. They are powered by the A14 Bionic chip and come with 5G connectivity. There are dual 12-megaixel cameras on the back of the two phones. On the front, there is another 12-megapixel selfie shooter. Apple says the iPhone 12 can last up to 17 hours with video playback while the iPhone 12 mini can last up to 15 hours. They support MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W and Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W.

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Apple AirTags features

AirTags use Ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to locate items. They come with the U1 chip that allows it to find Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch models. AirTags use audible beeps through the built-in speaker when in Bluetooth range to help you locate the device they are attached to. They offer NFC and Bluetooth LE connectivity, apart from featuring an accelerometer. The AirTags also feature Siri support, and a claimed one year of battery life. AirTags are IP67 water and dust resistant.

They can be connected by just bringing them close to an iPhone. The Find My app shows the current and last location of the AirTags. They use Precision Finding that takes inputs from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope to guide the user to the lost item. Apple says communication with the Find My network is end-to-end encrypted and that the AirTag is designed to find things and not people.


Is OnePlus 9R old wine in a new bottle — or something more? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 23:00), we talk about the new OnePlus Watch. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Sony ZV-1 Review | NDTV Gadgets 360

Earlier this year, Sony introduced a new series in its compact camera lineup with the debut of the ZV-1. Marketed as a ‘vlog camera,’ the Sony ZV-1 has features specially designed to make vlogging much easier for novice users. Its highlight features include a compact body, a fully articulating LCD, and dedicated buttons for things such as background defocus.

Priced at Rs. 67,990 (MRP), is the new Sony ZV-1 worth buying? I’ve been using it for a few weeks and here’s what I think.

Sony ZV-1 design: Highly pocketable

While many vloggers would prefer using mirrorless or even DSLR cameras, Sony aims to offer most of the advanced features found in such cameras, but in a more compact form factor. The dimensions of the Sony ZV-1 are very similar to those of Sony’s RX100 VII digital camera. The ZV-1 weighs about 294g with the battery and memory card, which is still pretty light. It’s also small enough to easily slip into your back pocket if needed.

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The Sony ZV-1 is compact and easy to carry around

 

There’s a small rubber insert in the front, which acts as a mini handgrip, and another at the back for your thumb. The outer body is built mostly of plastic, but it feels sturdy and the textured surface offers decent grip. The top of the Sony ZV-1 features a hot-shoe connector, a three-capsule microphone, and a series of buttons. The back of the camera also has some more buttons, which are smaller than the ones on the top, and are not the easiest to use. The circular jog dial at the back also doubles up as a directional pad but feedback is a bit soft and not very tactile.

In order to make the ZV-1 vlog-friendly, Sony has moved the movie record button from its typical place at the back, to the top. It’s a lot larger too, which makes it easier to use. You also get a large, diffused red LED indicator next to the lens in the front to let you know when video is being recorded.

A 3.5mm microphone input, Micro-USB port, and Micro-HDMI port are placed on the right of the Sony ZV-1. The ports are covered with plastic flaps, however these are not weather sealed. There’s no electronic viewfinder on the ZV-1, only a 3-inch LCD touchscreen. Unlike most other compact Sony cameras though, this one is fully articulating so it can flip out sideways and rotate 180 degrees.

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The Sony ZV-1 has a good selection of ports

 

The battery/SD card compartment is on the bottom, along with the tripod mount. The hinge for the battery tray actually extends over the tripod mount, which means if you need to swap batteries or SD cards during a shoot, you have to dismount the camera from the tripod first which can be quite frustrating.

The Sony ZV-1 features a fixed lens with Zeiss optics. It has a focal range of 24-70mm (35mm equivalent), 2.7x optical zoom, and an aperture range of f/1.8 – f/2.8. There’s a built-in neutral density (ND) filter for cutting the exposure by a few stops, which is useful in harshly lit environments.

The Sony ZV-1 can be purchased as a vlogging kit, which includes an extra battery, a 64GB SD card, and the GP-VPT2BT Bluetooth handgrip. Sony sent me this kit for review, and we’ll talk about the handgrip a bit later.

Sony ZV-1 specifications and features: Impressive for the price

The Sony ZV-1 features a 1-inch sensor with a 20.1-megapixel resolution. There’s optical (SteadyShot) stabilisation for stills, hybrid stabilisation for video, 315 phase detection autofocus points (PDAF), 425 contrast detection autofocus points, and a maximum burst capture of about 24 frames per second when using the ‘Hi’ setting. The ZV-1 also has eye autofocus (Eye AF) for humans and animals when shooting stills, and only humans when shooting video. The native ISO range is 100-12,800 and only the lower end is expandable. This camera also supports RAW image capture in Sony’s ARW format.

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The Sony ZV-1 borrows a lot of features from the RX100 series

 

When it comes to video, the Sony ZV-1 is capable of shooting up to 4K at 30fps, or up to 1080p at 120fps. There’s a dedicated high framerate (HFR) shooting mode which captures ready-to-use slow-motion videos at up to 1,000fps but in very short bursts. Given the camera’s price, it’s nice to see that Sony hasn’t removed the professional video modes. The ZV-1 supports advanced profiles such as HLG, S-Log2, and S-Log3, among others for HDR workflows.

Finally, the ZV-1 can be connected to your smartphone to take advantage of Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile app. The app lets you remotely control the camera by using your phone as the viewfinder. It also lets you transfer images and video to your smartphone, wirelessly. The camera has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi n, but no NFC.

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The Sony ZV-1 has a dedicated button (C1) for the vlog-centric Background Defocus feature

 

Some of the new vlogging-specific features incorporated into the Sony ZV-1 include Product Showcase. This feature is super handy for anyone looking to present or show off a product on camera, like what we do here at Gadgets 360 for example. When enabled, it essentially disables face and eye tracking so the focus shifts quickly to whatever is being presented to the lens. This feature is mapped to the C2 button by default.

Background Defocus is mapped to the C1 button by default and this lets you get a shallower depth of field between your subject/yourself and the background. The ZV-1 also has a Soft Skin Effect toggle in the Quick Settings panel, if you need to use a beautification filter for your pieces to camera.

Sony ZV-1 performance and battery life: Not too shabby

The Sony ZV-1 is a fun little camera and doesn’t take long to master. Due to space constraints, there’s a ‘Mode’ button instead of a dial, which lets you cycle through the various shooting modes. Most of these modes should be very familiar. They include Sweep Panorama, which takes multiple photos in quick succession and stitches them together; Scene Selection if you want the camera to adjust its parameters automatically; and the usual perture, Shutter, Program and Manual modes. The ZV-1 doesn’t offer the best grip if you have large hands but I found it manageable. The rear buttons could have had better tactile response but the shutter and video recording buttons fare much better in this respect.

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The Sony ZV-1 has an awkwardly designed battery door hinge, which extends over the tripod mount

 

As a vlogging camera, I was pretty happy with the Sony ZV-1. It’s easy to manage with one hand thanks to its low weight and compact size. When shooting handheld, I mostly used it with the Bluetooth handgrip that Sony sent along. This accessory connects to the camera via Bluetooth and offers shortcut buttons for zoom, shutter release, video recording, and the C1 shortcut. There’s a lock switch that turns the handgrip off to prevent accidental presses. The base of the handgrip can be tilted forwards and backwards, or rotated 360 degrees. It also doubles up as a tripod, which is handy.

The touchscreen was responsive, but I wish we could do more with it than simply change the focus point. For instance, with the camera pointed at yourself when vlogging, it would have been nice to be able to quickly change settings, rather than needing to turn the camera around and fiddle with the buttons.

In terms of image quality, I found the Sony ZV-1 to be very capable under good light. We begin with our ISO test, to see how well the camera performs across the ISO range. It’s also a good indication of the kind of photos you can expect in low light.

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Sony ZV-1 ISO test

 

The Sony ZV-1 was able to preserve details very well till about ISO 1,600, after which the image began to lose its sharpness a bit. This was very apparent at ISO 3,200. Going up a full stop, we noticed slight grain in the image and the edges of the pencils started to get fuzzy. At the maximum ISO value of 12,800, details were weaker, text wasn’t as sharp anymore, and there was a lot of visible grain. However, I was happy to note that there’s not a lot of chroma noise and the image at the highest ISO level was still somewhat usable.

When shooting stills in daylight, the Sony ZV-1 managed very good details, colours looked natural and punchy, and dynamic range was fairly adequate too. When using the full optical zoom range in landscape shots, details were still fairly decent, but finer objects and textures weren’t very sharp, which is more of a limitation of the sensor size than anything else.

Sony ZV-1 camera sample: ISO 125, f/4, 1/250, 24mm (tap to see larger image)

Sony ZV-1 camera sample: ISO 400, f/1.8, 1/30, 24mm (tap to see larger image)

 

Close-ups looked good, and the natural depth you can get with the large aperture at the widest focal length was pleasing. When shooting in good light, I found the autofocus to be on point. The ZV-1 was quick to lock focus, with minimal to no hunting, and I could track my subject simply by tapping it in the viewfinder. Faces are tracked automatically and Eye AF worked well.

In very dim lighting, the Sony ZV-1 struggled with focus since it doesn’t have a focus illuminator. I found this to be a slight problem, even with close-up subjects. It also struggled to detect faces properly, which can be an issue if you plan on using this camera in low-light conditions a lot. With decent light sources around, the ZV-1 does a fair job with autofocus for stills, although it still had mild hunting issues when shooting video.

Sony ZV-1 camera sample: ISO 400, f/2.2, 1/10, 27mm (tap to see larger image)

Sony ZV-1 camera sample: ISO 12,800, f/2.8, 1/13, 70mm (tap to see larger image)

 

Videos shot with the Sony ZV-1 looked great. Colours were punchy, skin tones looked natural, and the Background Defocus option did a great job of separating me from my background. Sony includes a windbreaker in the box, which can be attached to the ZV-1’s hot-shoe to reduce wind noise. This made a huge difference in my experience, almost cutting out this disturbance entirely, and I didn’t even have to bother with enabling the wind-noise reduction setting in the camera.

Videos shot at 4K and 1080p looked very good, with rich details and saturated colours. There didn’t seem to be a recording limit as such, but on multiple occasions, I noticed the camera stopped recording just under the 15-minute mark when shooting in 4K, with slight variations in the total recording length. Video shot in low light looked a bit grainy, but not too bad overall. I also had great fun shooting ultra-slow-motion video with the camera’s HFR mode, although the quality was strictly average at the highest setting.

Battery life was a bit disappointing. The Sony ZV-1 is rated to deliver about 260 shots per charge, and while this is very attainable (I usually managed a bit more), it’s not great. This is understandable, considering the camera has a pretty tiny battery. What would have made this more bearable is if there had been an easier way to swap batteries. Thankfully, you can power the ZV-1 with a power bank and keep going if needed. With video, Sony claims the ZV-1 is capable of shooting continuously ta 1080p for up to 75 minutes on a single charge.

sony zv 1 review display ss

The Sony ZV-1 is a very capable little camera and is priced quite aggressively

 

Verdict

The Sony ZV-1 has turned out to be a fantastic little camera, even if you don’t care about vlogging. The fact that it packs in nearly all the features of a RX100 VII, at a lower price is a good enough reason to consider it. If you opt for the standalone version of the camera, it’s available for roughly Rs. 60,000 on Amazon. The vlogging kit will cost you an additional Rs. 10,000, which is a decent deal considering you get an additional battery, a 64GB memory card, and the Bluetooth handgrip.

If I had to pick a few things that could have been better, I’d say an easier way to swap out the battery and memory card when the camera is on a tripod or other accessory would be number one. I found the rear buttons to be a bit too small and hard to press at times, the touchscreen could have been more functional, and perhaps an AF illuminator would have helped with autofocus in low light.

Overall, if you were thinking about buying a Sony RX100 series camera, I’d say take a look at the ZV-1 instead, especially if you don’t need a high level of zoom.

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