The Droid Turbo 2 is here, and by far the most impressive thing about it is the phone's "shatterproof" display. We've dropped it plenty of times, and the Turbo 2 has come out unscathed every time. So it seems Motorola's ShatterShield is tougher than your average flagship.
From a design standpoint this is one of the better-looking Droids we've seen yet and remains super comfortable to hold. Droid emblem aside, it looks like a Moto X from every angle, but a more powerful one. The Droid Turbo 2 has a Snapdragon 810 processor (versus the Moto X Pure Edition's Snapdragon 808 chipset) and a far larger battery that Motorola claims will last 48 hours We've heard that number before only to be let down, so we're not ready to crown the Turbo 2 as any kind of battery champion just yet.
Software support is also a big unknown. Verizon took a long time to get Lollipop on the first Droid Turbo, so there's no telling when the Turbo 2 will receive Android 6.0 Marshmallow. But if durability, longevity, and deep customization options are what you're after — and you're a Verizon customer — the Droid Turbo 2's looking pretty good in that regard. It's launching just two days from now on October 29th for $26 per month (32GB) or $30 per month (64GB) on 24-month installment plans.
Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.
The South Korean electronics giant is bringing two new colours of the Galaxy Note 5 to its home country -- just in time for the iPhone 6S' October 23 launch. The premium smartphone battleground hit a new level of intensity last month when Apple began its ongoing worldwide rollout of the iPhone 6S, which on October 23 will finally hit South Korea. Local giant Samsung, however, is looking to make its Californian rival fight for every inch of marketshare. On Thursday, the South Korean company announced it will be releasing the Galaxy Note 5 in two new colours, titanium silver and pink gold. Particularly noteworthy is the pink gold variant, which seems to be a direct response to Apple's rose gold iPhone 6S. Though the announcement only pertained to South Korea, a Samsung spokesperson told CNET that "the introduction of new colour variations for the Galaxy Note 5 will gradually be expanded to other Asian countries but release details are still being worked out." The smartphone, which has been praised for its strong build quality and camera, now comes in five colours: the new two options, as well as the original gold platinum, black sapphire and white pearl.
Samsung certainly has reason to boost its lineup ahead of Apple's new offering. 13 million iPhone 6S units were sold during the device's first weekend of availability globally. Meanwhile, market analysts at TrendForce expect that Samsung's global smartphone shipments in 2015 will see a 1 percent decline from 2014, following seven straight quarters of falling profits for the company, which is still the industry marketshare leader. This move also isn't the only market-specific release from the company. On Wednesday the company unveiled the Z3, a 5-inch smartphone that runs on Samsung's own Tizen operating system aimed at India's budget phone market, with a selling price of 8,490 rupees ($130, AU$180 or £85). Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp. www.reaganwireless.com
Today Google published a patent application for using holograms in a head mounted display like Google Glass. It would effectively let Google create augmented reality experiences that superimpose computer-generated imagery (CGI) atop the real world. Filed in March 2014, the patent shows Google’s research into how it could merge its head mounted display technology with AR. But what’s perhaps more fascinating is how the patent contextualizes Google Inc leading the $542 million funding round for augmented reality startup Magic Leap. One possibility is that Google’s smart eyewear could be the hardware platform for Magic Leap‘s AR content. When asked about the patent and its significance, I got this boilerplate no-comment response from Google: “We hold patents on a variety of ideas – some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents.” But let’s dive a little deeper, though the patent might never be exercised and there’s no official word on how it could relate to Magic Leap. While Google’s original Glass initiative faltered due to the hardware’s clunkiness and lack of real-world utility, it’s still in the smart eyewear game. It’s selling versions of Glass for enterprise, according to 9To5Google’s Stephen hall. Meanwhile, Business Insider’s Jillian D’Onfro recently reported that Google is trying to revive the Glass initiative through what it’s calling Project Aura. One way to make smart eyewear more useful would be to allow projected content to interact and react to the real-world behind it, rather than just being pasted on top. The new patent “Lightguide With Multiple In-Coupling Holograms For Head Wearable Display” details how Google could potentially do this with augmented reality via holograms. It describes how “with augmented reality the viewer’s image of the world is augmented with an overlaying CGI, also referred to as a heads-up display”. But who would make the holograms projected in Google’s smart eyewear? Magic Leap is one possibility. Over the past few years, Magic Leap has filed a bunch of trademarks for forthcoming augmented reality content. These include characters, titles, and games like Super Bionic Bitforce, Roadkill Warriors, Monsta Battle, Moonstone Monsters, Moonsters, and my personal favorite, Flutterboard, which refers to “flying sentient skateboards”. This patent and trademark research came from legal technology firm SmartUp Legal. The company’s founder Mikhail Avady tells me “I believe Google wants Magic Leap to be the content provider for Google Glass. If we look at their trademark applications, it shows very story and content based trademarks. Magic Leap wants to turn the world into a movie theater and Google wants it to be through Glass.” That could be a logical factor in why Google Inc, not Google Capital or Google Ventures, but the core technology company itself, led the half-billion dollar round in Magic Leap. For Glass to become a popular augmented reality platform, it will need great content — something Google’s never been great at it. But with tons of gaming talent, Magic Leap could perhaps one day make must-see AR experiences that run on Google’s hardware. Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.
Let’s get this clear: there are dozens of cameras–from Canon’s and Nikon’s DSLRs to Sony’s RX line–that offer better performance to professional photographers than Apple’s latest iPhones. But, when compared to most other smartphones as well as point-and-shoot cameras (those that have survived in the last few years anyway), the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus offer the best all-around results.
Here’s what’s new: The iPhone 6s now has a new iSight camera with a 12-megapixel sensor, compared to last year’s iPhone 6 which had eight megapixels. Apple says the devices have been reengineered to prevent “crosstalk between the subpixels.” (More on that in a moment.) The lens composition remains the same, offering an f/2.2 aperture. The larger iPhone 6s Plus model also has optical image stabilization, which is now available while shooting videos at up to 4K resolution. The Cupertino-based company has also updated its front-facing camera; it now packs five-megapixel sensor versus just 1.2 megapixels previously.
Jargon aside, this all amounts to a lot of noticeable improvement. (See the chart below.) The bump in the number of pixels is particularly welcome because it is coupled with “deep trench isolation” technology that compensates for the loss in quality smaller pixels usually bring with them. The result in low-light situation is astounding when compared to the iPhone’s predecessors and almost all of its smartphone competitors. That doesn’t mean your photos will be perfect. Washington, D.C.-based photographer Brooks Kraft tells us, for example, that inside the Capitol, as he followed Pope Francis’ visit, he had difficulties capturing movement, resulting in images where the main subject was blurry. (The iPhone has a tendency to keep ISO low, even in low-light situations, as it favors fast shutter speeds to prevent motion blur.)
Yet, if you’re shooting a portrait in bright daylight, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any faults with your images. Case in point: Kraft’s picture of Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. That’s precisely why the iPhone is good.
The new phones also have a faster A9 processor, which Apple claims provides 70% faster CPU and 90% GPU performance than its predecessor. In practice, this helps make the camera feel more reactive, ensuring that the software that operates it doesn’t get in the way of you getting the shot.
There are some other innovations aimed at mainstream users. Apple’s new Live Photo mode records a few seconds of video and audio before and after each shot. The result is a still image that comes to life if you press and hold it. It may sound like a gimmick, but it’s fun to play with and can yield beautiful results. The best Live Photos will be portraits or landscapes which capture subtle changes, rather than movement. (These aren’t like Vine or SnapChat videos.)
It’s not perfect, however. Third-party sites, such as Facebook, will have to add compatibility for the format for it to take off with consumers. Right now, sharing these kinds of photos online requires too much tinkering. And the way you think about a Live Photo has to be different. Moving the camera before the Live button has disappeared and the image has been saved will result in ruined moments–the last thing you want when looking at a video portrait is to see your own shoes because you packed away the camera too quickly.
In the end, what really matters with a smartphone camera is that it’s always with you. No camera with a small sensor will replace the bulky DSLRs that professional photographers have to lug about. Yet, in some situations, Apple’s iPhone gets remarkably close. The iPhone 6s is hands down the best smartphone camera the company has ever made. What’s so special about that is that Apple has succeeded in not only improving its technology but transforming almost anybody into a potentially powerful photographer.
Ever since Marty McFly zipped around the silver screen on a hoverboard in 1989's “Back to the Future II,” people have been fascinated by the idea of riding on a plank that levitates its user a few inches off the ground. Earlier this summer, carmaker Lexus announced that it had invented a hoverboard, and indeed it had. The only catch is that it can be used only in a magnet-filled custom skate park in Barcelona, Spain.
Now, a new “Hoverboard” is being announced, and this one you can ride anywhere. The catch is, even though the device claims the name of a levitating ride, it doesn’t actually float. It does, however, have only one wheel, and it looks like you’d have the sensation of floating while riding it. It seems kind of like a Segway without any handles.
The Hoverboard begins its fundraising campaign on Kickstarter Thursday, with the effort running until October 21 — the day McFly headed into the future and found his now iconic hoverboard.
In the middle of the Hoverboard is a 10-inch-diameter wheel (25 centimeters) turned by an electric motor that can crank out up to 5,000 watts of power. The board will keep riders balanced front to back, but they have to learn to keep their balance side to side. Leaning forward makes the board start rolling and accelerating, while leaning back causes it to slow down and, eventually, go in reverse.
The device’s inventor said he came up with the board less as a skateboard substitute than a nod to another sport. “I dreamt of a personal electric vehicle that would produce the sensation of surfing on land,” Robert Bigler said in a press release.
The gizmo, which will weigh 25 pounds (11 kilograms), has onboard lights and speakers and “ground-detecting sonar to keep the Hoverboard parallel to the changing ground,” according to the release. It can travel 12 miles with the standard battery and over 20 with an extended battery and reach a top speed of 20 mph/32 kph. Charging time is 16 minutes with a “supercharger” or one hour with the standard charger.
Riding the skateboard of the future won’t be cheap. “I didn’t want to approach the first real Hoverboard from the standpoint of making it a price-product,” Bigler said. “I spared no expense to make it fully everything today’s technology could possibly provide.”
That means if you want one, you’ll have to fork over $3,775 (about £2,437, AU$5,243). Do so, and Bigler is saying your board will be delivered by May 2016. Of course, history has shown that the more complicated an item is, the more it will miss its anticipated delivery deadline on Kickstarter, so you might just have to go a bit more into the future till yours is in your hands.
Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.
It’s that time of year again: new iPhones! Apple showed off the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus at its September event for the first time, which come with a number of smaller, but impressive improvements to the phone.
The iPhone 6s will be available in a new rose gold aluminum finish, in addition to the existing gold, space grey and white models.
Rose gold is the newest aluminum color Apple is adding to its repertoire. Following in the footsteps of space gray, silver, and gold, rose gold continues the tradition of adding more color to the Apple lineup.
In addition to offering the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in rose gold, Apple is also offering the Apple Watch Sport in rose gold. And granted, there are certainly golden aspects of this color, the but rose is very rose.
Let's put it this way, if Apple's traditional gold color can be likened to champagne, the rose gold is rosé if Apple's traditional gold color can be likened to champagne, the rose gold is rosé.
Speaking as the huge fans of pink, I heartily approve. When done well, a lot of people like pink tech products.
Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.
Apple will show off its next iPhones on September 9 at an event in San Francisco. The event will be held exactly a year after the company introduced the iPhone 6 and its larger sibling, the 6 Plus. The two phones have become Apple's best-selling devices ever and have made Apple the most profitable public company in the world. Invitations to the event were sent out Thursday, with a terse tease: "Hey Siri, give us a hint." More than two-thirds of Apple's revenue now comes from the iPhone, making it essential for Apple to keep introducing devices consumers desire. While the company continues to sell millions of phones, the overall mobile market has slowed, raising worries that not even Apple is immune to the lackluster demand. At the same time, Apple has to find a way to get buyers interested in tablets again. Its quarterly iPad sales have declined year over year for the past six periods in a row. A bigger iPad, which would appeal to business users, could be a way to do that.
This year's iPhone launch is the "S" cycle, which means the devices likely won't feature new hardware designs but instead could include other tweaks -- for example, Siri, Apple's voice assistant, debuted with the iPhone 4S. The company is expected to add its ForceTouch technology to the new devices, allowing the iPhones to differentiate between hard and light taps on the display. Other tweaks could include a faster processor and camera, as well as more color options. Apple also is expected to reveal a new Apple TV box that it potentially will launch alongside an Internet-delivered television service. The company was believed to be readying those products for its annual developers conference in June, but instead they were pushed back. Apple couldn't broker deals with TV programmers to stock the new service with channels in time, according to reports.
Apple's streaming-video box has gone three years without a refresh to a new generation -- meanwhile, Internet-delivered TV has grown bigger and more accessible than ever. In that span of time, Apple has thrown plenty of splashy events, and each one has come and gone without Apple TV getting serious time in the spotlight.
Apple also could use its September 9 event to show off its newest iPads, if a report from Buzzfeed is correct. That would mark a break from Apple's traditional strategy of holding separate events for its smartphones and tablets. Typically, the iPhone is announced in September, followed by iPad news in October. Lumping them together could indicate Apple doesn't have big changes in store for the devices -- though market watchers have been waiting for the company to introduce a new 12.9-inch "iPad Pro." The iPad Pro is a wildcard for the September event. The event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco will start at 10 a.m. PT. Read more: http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-will-host-next-iphone-launch-sept-9/
Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.
Photoshop is so well known that the product name is synonymous with photo editing. But the software itself is a success only on personal computers, not smartphones or tablets. Photoshop's maker, Adobe Systems, hopes that will change in October at its Max conference for developers and creative professionals when it introduces a new Photoshop app for editing photos on Apple's iPhones and iPads. The free software, called only Project Rigel for now, is designed to bring a more accessible interface to what can be a dauntingly complex program on PCs. "Project Rigel is designed and built in a way that serves the needs of professionals familiar with retouching tools on the desktop, but more so for people not familiar with Photoshop tools like content-aware fill or spot healing," Manu Anand, Adobe's senior product manager for digital imaging, said in an interview at Adobe's offices here. "It democratizes them and makes them easier to use." The app itself has a touchscreen interface, with a menu of editing options across the bottom, pop-out tool adjustments on the left side and a strong zoom ability to offer precision when selecting areas of an image with fat fingertips. It's even got face recognition technology that Photoshop for PC lacks, a feature that identifies facial features then lets people enlarge or tilt eyes or raise the corners of a subject's mouth to emphasize a smile.
Bringing Photoshop to the mobile masses is crucial for Adobe as it tries to adapt its business to modern computing trends. The company has no desire to suffer Microsoft's fate, being largely left behind by the meteoric rise of Apple's iOS and Google's Android, the software that powers nearly all smartphones and tablets. Apps for those mobile devices are a way to stay modern and reach a broader market -- as well as a way to sell those new customers Adobe subscriptions that today appeal chiefly to creative professionals. Read more: http://www.cnet.com/pictures/meet-project-rigel-photoshop-image-editing-for-mobile-devices-pictures/
Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.
New wave of Android Wear watches aims to make up for lost time
Asus, Huawei, LG and Motorola will introduce their newest smartwatches next week at the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin, according to people familiar with the companies' launch plans. The devices will all run Google's Android Wear software, which was created to power wearable products like smartwatches. You might be forgiven if you don't remember Android Wear, which Google introduced last year with much fanfare, but which hasn't resulted in any blockbuster products. Next week's releases will mark the second big wave of Android Wear devices, following on from that dismal showing in 2014. Android powers the vast majority of the world's smartphones, and Google and its partners are hoping for similar success in the burgeoning market for wearables. The goal is that the new Android Wear devices will have enough features and alternative designs to lure buyers away from the Apple Watch, which -- despite criticism -- became the world's most popular smartwatch within its first few months on the market earlier this year.
"Apple Watch has clearly raised the bar for the global smartwatch industry," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston said. "The ball is now in the court of rivals, like Samsung, to respond." Some early wearables, including Samsung's Galaxy Gear from late 2013, used Android, but the initial version of the software -- which wasn't tailored for wearables -- caused devices to run slowly and batteries to drain quickly. Samsung quickly switched to its homegrown Tizen software in its smartwatches as an alternative. Android Wear emerged in early 2014 as a modified version of Android created specifically for smartwatches and other Internet-connected wearables. Google and its partners -- Samsung, LG and Motorola -- unveiled the first devices that used Android Wear at Google's developer conference that June. The software promised a simple user interface, instant notifications and the ability to perform simple tasks, like texting friends, using voice commands. Other companies such as Sony and Asus introduced smartwatches of their own. But consumers largely disregarded those initial devices. Smartwatch makers collectively shipped only 720,000 Android Wear units in 2014 out of a total 4.6 million wearables, according to market research firm Canalys. Samsung, the world's biggest smartwatch vendor last year, chose to push devices running Tizen instead of Android Wear, and nearly three out of every four smartwatches shipped in 2014 came from the Korean company. Of the Android Wear watches, Motorola's Moto 360 stood out with its round face and the company's decision to use premium materials such as a metal case and leather strap. But others quickly followed with the same strategy. Motorola is slated to unveil the follow-up at the show. LG, meanwhile, is expected to release a smartwatch similar to its LG Watch Urbane LTE, which the company showed off in March. The Urbane LTE ran on software called WebOS, which LG purchased from Hewlett-Packard to use on its own products; the new version will run on Android Wear. Huawei debuted its first smartwatch -- a device designed to look as much as possible like a classical round-face timepiece -- at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona earlier this year. And Asus is expected to give more details about the ZenWatch 2, which made its debut in June at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. The company hasn't shared many details about the device. Every smartwatch player has taken a backseat in the wake of the Apple Watch's introduction in April. With only three months in the wearables market, Apple surpassed Samsung to become the leader in smartwatches. In the second quarter of this year, 76 percent of smartwatches came from Apple, while Samsung's control of the market tumbled to 7.5 percent, according to Strategy Analytics. Read more: http://www.cnet.com/news/next-wave-of-android-wear-smartwatches-set-to-make-their-debut/
Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.
Microsoft wants the camera on the back of your phone to do more than take 2D photos. A new project from Microsoft's research lab is turning the average smartphone's rear camera into a 3D scanner — one that can automatically create 3D models that are supposed to be good enough for printing. In a demo video, researchers use an iPhone 5S to scan objects just by moving the phone around them. The phone tracks the object that's being captured and then builds up a model as the camera captures it from different angles.
Most smartphones should be able to do this Some of the models created in the demo video look rough, but they're pretty impressive when you consider that the iPhone wasn't designed to make them. Microsoft says that no additional hardware is needed to turn the iPhone — or other modern smartphones — into a 3D scanner; computation is all done on the phone, too. That's a bit different from what Google is doing with projects like Tango, which use additional hardware, including a motion-tracking camera and a depth sensor, when mapping the world. Those additional sensors are likely to give Tango better results, but Microsoft says that just a single camera should be enough to make models for printing or use in augmented reality gaming.
Microsoft's project is called MobileFusion, and researchers are currently trying to get it running on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. There are no release plans yet, but the intention is to make it available to the general public eventually.
Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.
Simply inspired, the Samsung Galaxy S5 makes every day better in ways big and small. HD movies and games roar to life. Make split-second moments yours with the fast camera. Track fitness levels down to your heartbeat. Secure the phone with your fingerprint. The Galaxy S5 now in stock is available in Charcoal Black or Shimmery White.
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Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.
With Google creating its own parent company, Alphabet, there's a bit of moving about in the Google boardroom.
Larry Page is now chief executive of Alphabet. Sergey Brin is its president.
And moving up to be in charge of Google is 43-year-old Sundar Pichai.
Great news for Pichai, and good news too for India - his appointment makes him the latest Indian to earn a massively high-profile job in the US technology industry. Microsoft's Satya Nadella is the other notable example.
Pichai's life story is remarkable, and his rise to the top of Google is a glowing endorsement of India's standing in the global technology industry, and equally, a reassuring reminder of the so-called "American Dream".
Pichai was born and schooled in Chennai, India. He captained his school's cricket team, leading it to win regional competitions.
He studied Metallurgical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur). According to one of his tutors, quoted in the Times of India, Pichai was the "brightest of his batch".
He has evidently used his talent to great effect at Google, a company he joined in 2004. Products under his watch include Google's web browser, Chrome, as well as the Android mobile operating system.
Android is by far the world's most popular mobile OS - a fact made perhaps more startling by the fact Pichai's family did not possess a telephone until he was 12 years old.
According to a profile in Bloomberg magazine, Pichai's upbringing was humble. His family lived in a two room apartment. Pichai didn't have a room - he slept on the living room floor, as did his younger brother.
The family didn't own a television, or a car.
But Pichai's father planted the seeds of technology into his boy's mind, partly thanks to his job at British conglomerate General Electric Company (not to be confused with the American General Electric).
"I used to come home and talk to him a lot about my work day and the challenges I faced," Regunatha Pichai told Bloomberg, adding that Sundar had a remarkable talent for remembering telephone numbers.
After graduating from IIT Kharagpur, Pichai was offered a scholarship at the ultimate breeding ground of tech geniuses - Stanford. The plane ticket to America cost more than his Dad's annual salary.
At Google, Pichai is described as soft-spoken, and well liked. He is also very popular among developers - he runs Google's annual developer event, I/O.
"Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now, and I've been tremendously enjoying our work together," wrote Larry Page in his blogpost announcing all the big changes.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin have been hands-off with Google's day-to-day running for sometime, and so, in Pichai's life, today's announcement is simply making it official: he's in charge.
His remit is best summed up as Google's core products - the bits that make the real money. That includes things like search, advertising, maps and YouTube.
He has challenges to navigate, like YouTube's increasingly intense battle with Facebook in the video space. The social network has dramatically increased the amount of video being watched on its site - but YouTube still holds the title of most popular, for now at least.
Amazon Now Only Lets You Share Prime With One Other Adult Instead of Four
Amazon recently made some changes to the ways customers can share their Amazon Prime membership. It used to be that you could share the subscription’s free two-day shipping with four other people. But as of last week, Amazon put a stop to that.
Its new policy says that Prime customers can add just one other adult to an account — and you’ve got to be cool with that person having access to your credit or debit card for purchases. They can add their own cards, of course, but payment methods will be visible to both people sharing a Prime account. This is a mandatory requirement if you want to share Prime moving forward.
In order to share content, Prime benefits, and Amazon Mom benefits, both adult account holders need to authorize each other to use credit and debit cards associated with their Amazon accounts for purchases on Amazon. This will not affect either of their current payment settings, but each adult will be able to copy the credit and debit cards of the other account to his or her Amazon account and use them for purchases with Amazon.
With the change, Amazon is clearly positioning Prime sharing as a household convenience meant for two partners or a family. (The company always “required” everyone to have the same shipping address, but rarely enforced this policy.) Note that both people in an Amazon Household get access to Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library — but that was already the case before.
GoPro on Monday announced the Hero4 Session, a 1-inch cube video camera that weighs just 2.6 ounces -- less than half the heft of an iPhone.
Unlike previous GoPro models, you won't need a case to protect it from getting wet. It's designed to withstand a soaking in up to 10 meters of water.
However, while the camera is light in weight, it's also light on features -- and if you decide to buy it, it'll lighten your wallet.
At US$400, "I think the price is fairly steep," said Chris Chute, a digital imaging analyst with IDC.
"I'm surprised ... at that price point. I would have thought it would have been priced slightly lower, although GoPro can sustain a higher price point because its brand equity is so strong," he told TechNewsWorld.
"It's essentially the same price as a GoPro Silver, which has better specs," noted Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research.
Easier to Use
Some features absent from Session are 4K recording, a replaceable or swappable battery, and higher frame-recording rates.
Absence of 4K recording isn't likely to blunt sales of the new GoPro too badly, according to IDC's Chute.
"4K is slowly becoming relevant to consumers, but it's still very niche," he said, "so I don't think this is going to hurt this model."
Frame rates for the new unit are 30 fps for 1440p, and 60 fps for 1080p. Other Hero models have faster frame rates that let a shooter capture super-slow motion video at the camera's maximum resolution. The unit can capture 8-MP still images in single shot, burst or time-lapse mode.
Session is easier to use than other Hero models. For instance, it has single buttons for powering on/start recording and for power off/stop recording. The unit automatically rotates images to accommodate the orientation of the camera.
It has a dual microphone system, so if the front mic senses too much wind, for instance, the Session will switch to a rear-facing mic that's shielded from the wind. Underwater sound recording also has been improved.
Most Convenient GoPro Yet
A small LCD screen on top of the unit displays a minimum of information -- mode, battery life and connection status -- so settings need to be managed from GoPro's smartphone app.
Included with Session are GoPro's standard and low-profile frame mounts for increased mounting versatility, and a new ball joint buckle mount.
"With Hero4 Session, we challenged ourselves to produce the smallest, lightest, most convenient GoPro possible," said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro founder and CEO. "Hero4 Session combines the best of our engineering and user-experience know-how to deliver our most convenient life-capture solution, yet."
The fireworks are set to launch. The national anthem is ready to be sung. The country is looking forward to celebrating Independence Day, but there’s one thing left to do: Shop the holiday sales.
If you want to get the most bang for your buck this Fourth of July, check out our guide to the top deals. We’ll tell you where you will and won’t find the best bargains, plus give you a handful of sales to get you started.
Deals That Sparkle
For the best buys in this week leading up to July 4, look for sales on products for the home and backyard.
Summer essentials. Sure, prices on summery items are lowest after the summer season is over, but if you need summer clothes for the remaining warm months, now’s the time to buy. If you wisely avoided purchasing these products when they first hit stores earlier this year, you’ll be rewarded now with an opportunity to snag them at better prices, since these items have been out for a while.
Sleepwear. Finally, June is known as an ideal time to buy lingerie at a great price. As June wraps up and July arrives, make your final sleepwear purchases before this sale opportunity window closes.
Deals That Fizzle
Not every sale will be a showstopper. Try to avoid products that reach their lowest prices at different points of the year.
Tech items. You likely won’t find spectacular savings on tech products this July 4. Home gadgets such as TVs and other electronics tend to see their best sales near the end of the calendar year. Try to put off these purchases until then if you can.
Office supplies. When summer is at its peak, back-to-school season is just around the corner. But hold off on scooping up those office supplies – at least for now. The price tags on popular academic essentials will drop even lower once August rolls around.
Now that you know which prices will pop and which deals will be duds, it’s time to hit the stores (or Web, if you prefer cyber shopping).
Many major retailers are showing their patriotism with red, white and blue-inspired price cuts this Independence Day. Here are some of the top sales you can shop leading up to the holiday.
Macy's. The department store is hosting a July 4 furniture and mattress sale with what it’s touting as the “lowest prices of the season” on indoor furniture, outdoor furniture and mattresses.
Home Depot. The home improvement store’s red, white and blue savings event will have shoppers seeing green with up to 30 percent price cuts on major appliances. Sale prices are valid through July 15 and apply to a selection of refrigerators, washers, dryers and more.
Best Buy. This retailer is also having an appliance sale. Its 4th of July sale – which runs through July 15 – boasts savings of up to 40 percent on major appliances, including refrigerators, ranges and dishwashers.
Lowe's. Through July 1, the store is lowering prices on appliances, outdoor furniture and other inventory. Additionally, shoppers who buy a Char-Broil full-size gas grill for $329 or more will receive a $100 Lowe’s gift card via mail-in rebate, while supplies last.
Michaels. Fourth of July deals aren’t only for major purchases. At Michaels, holiday revelers can stock up on party goods – including napkins, decorations and balloons – for 20 percent off. Visit theMichaels website to browse the full July 4 sale selection.
Amazon. Online marketplace Amazon is celebrating the Fourth with limited-time price cuts on movies, books, music and more. Visit the website’s Fourth of July section, and check each specific sale item for the deal’s ending date and time.
Hotels.com. Finally, if it’s travel you’re hoping to score this Independence Day, head over to Hotels.com, where customers who book by July 4 for travel through July 18 can grab savings of up to 50 percent off. Visit Hotels.com for full details.