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Apple announces biggest discount on iPhone XR, price dropped to Rs 59,900

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If you’ve been eyeing a new iPhone or planning an upgrade, you’re in luck. Apple is offering the iPhone XR with big discounts for a limited time starting April 5.

The base model of Apple iPhone XR (64GB) is now available at Rs 59,900. The 128GB and 256GB storage models of iPhone XR are now available at Rs 64,900 and Rs 74,900 respectively. iPhone XR (64GB) originally retails at Rs 76,900. As for iPhone XR (128GB), it is priced at Rs 81,900, while the highest 256GB storage model costs Rs 91,900.

What’s more, HDFC debit and credit card holders will get an additional 10%. This would essentially bring the price further down to Rs 53,900 for iPhone XR (64GB). This is only a promotional offer for a limited time and not a price drop on the iPhone XR.

Here’s a proper breakdown of the discounted prices for the iPhone XR.

Original priceNon HDFC customersHDFC?customers
iPhone XR 64GBRs 79,900Rs 59,900Rs 53,900
iPhone XR 128GBRs 81,900Rs 64,900Rs 58,400
iPhone XR 256GB Rs 91,900Rs 74,900Rs 67,900


Launched alongside the iPhone XS series, iPhone XR features a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display. It has the same camera setup as the iPhone XS featuring a 12-megapixel rear and 7-megapixel selfie camera. Some of its camera features include smart HDR, portrait mode with depth control, portrait lighting, Animoji and Memoji.

iPhone XR also supports Face ID and is IP67 water resistant. Under its hood runs Apple’s A12 Bionic chip. Its connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and dual SIM support (eSIM).

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Mobiles & Tabs

OnePlus Buds Pro review: The cheaper AirPods Pro rival you always wanted

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OnePlus Buds Pro is the company’s most premium truly wireless earbuds offering in India. While it sports a design that may remind you of the AirPods Pro, it comes with a price tag that is way less than Apple’s TWS.

On paper, the OnePlus Buds Pro packs plenty of features, including adaptive noise cancellation, Warp Charge support, water-resistant certification, wireless charging support, and all that at Rs 9,990.

OnePlus Buds Pro is a product that the company has unveiled after making in-roads in the budget TWS category. OnePlus has been among the top five TWS brands for several quarters now and seems to have realised that a great package mixed with aggressive pricing is a combo that can work well in India.

In Q1 2021, OnePlus stood second with its Buds Z TWS as the best-selling model in the country, as per Counterpoint. In the second quarter as well, OnePlus Buds Z was again the top-selling TWS for the brand, helping it retain the second spot in the TWS category with a 12 per cent market share. According to the Counterpoint report, OnePlus was just behind boAt and ahead of Realme, Noise, and pTron, some of the other popular TWS brands in the country.

In my opinion, the company’s “Never Settle” tagline suits its TWS portfolio best. There’s a lot that rides on the OnePlus Buds Pro. So, long question short, is the OnePlus Buds Pro worth your money? India Today Tech tries to answer that in the review.

OnePlus Buds Pro review: Impressive build

OnePlus Buds Pro sports an interesting design, something that you will notice the moment you take the earbuds out of the case. It features a glossy finish on the stem, while a matte texture can be seen on the head. Elegant is the word to describe how good OnePlus Buds Pro looks.

The OnePlus Buds Pro has been launched in two colours – Glossy White and Matte Black, which I received for review. In my opinion, the Matte Black colour option looks classy. While the Glossy White will look more royal, I’m not sure how far the shine on the earbuds will remain. Additionally, the glossy finish on the stem of the White colour Buds Pro looks like a Chrome treatment we see on cars these days.

The black charging case has a matte finish with OnePlus branding on the top. It’s a more flat-ish design than other charging cases we see with the upright placement of buds. Going by the overall rectangular, boxy charging case design may remind you of a ring box. But overall, I liked the compact case design, it’s pocket friendly, and the magnets are strong enough to hold the lid close.

The hinge looks okay and should last a few years of regular use easily. However, the earbuds are placed in the charging case quite differently. Unlike AirPods Pro, you can’t just push the buds into the case. Instead, there are Pogo pins on the case that charge the buds, and I like the placement. Initially, it took me a few attempts to learn the exact way to place the earbuds inside the Buds Pro case. Basically, the earbuds lie down on the charging case instead of vertical placement. The charging case packs a 520mAh battery and weighs around 50 grams.

Unlike other TWS devices, the OnePlus Buds Pro places the button used for pairing purposes inside the box, which is a neat placement. Inside the charging case, OnePlus has again used a matte finish that looks in sync with the exterior design.

Each earbud weighs just 4.35 grams and is a treat to use every day, thanks to a comfortable and snug fit. I like the Buds Pro’s ergonomic design, which is comfortable for long calls or extended music sessions. You can also run the fit test on the OnePlus Buds app, which you can find integrated on the OnePlus devices—more on that in our performance section.

The company offers three sizes of silicone ear tips in the retail box, which is standard for most TWS available in India. Another thing that differentiates the OnePlus Buds Pro from the rest of the crowd is it doesn’t include gesture controls like most in the TWS segment. OnePlus enables squeeze (or pinch is what OnePlus refers to) the stem to do various things like play or pause music, switch ANC modes or even choose the next or previous track.

Overall, the earbuds with dual-tone look stunning and offer a comfortable fit for the music listening experience. Talking about the retail package, the OnePlus Buds Pro ships in a minimalist box. You get a charging cable, silicone tips, user manual, and warranty card in the box apart from the Buds Pro.

OnePlus Buds Pro review: Wonderful app experience

Unlike before, the true wireless earphones now come with proper software support in the form of a companion app. The Buds Pro can be controlled via the integrated OnePlus Buds app on OnePlus devices. For non-OnePlus devices, the company recommends downloading the HeyMelody app, available for Android and iOS users.

Surprisingly, OnePlus Buds Pro ditches Google Fast Pair in favour of the company’s own OnePlus Fast Pair, which works well with OnePlus, Android and iPhone devices.

Right from pairing your smartphone with the OnePlus Buds Pro to controlling various functions via the app, it’s a smooth experience all around.

I have to admit that the OnePlus team has added some refinements that make the mobile app more than just a companion app for the Buds Pro. To start with, users can run an Earbud fit test to see how well the earbuds fit in the ear canals. This is also the test that can help you decide what silicone ear tip suits you best.

The next is a Personalised sound boost test that OnePlus calls the OnePlus Audio ID. The company decides what kind of hearing enhancement solution is needed for the user based on their hearing ability. The test is a 3-minute long one and plays a series of beeps at different frequencies to determine the hearing ability on both sides.

OnePlus has also added a special Zen Mode Air feature, which plays white noise tunes to soothe the user. You can choose between Warm Sunrise, Meditation, Summer seashore, Nighttime camping, and Iceland. The Medication and Iceland were my favourites and helped me focus when there was a lot of ambient noise around. However, users should note that the Zen Mode Air on Buds Pro and Zen Mode on the OnePlus devices aren’t the same.

OnePlus also markets the Dolby Atmos support on the Buds Pro. However, it’s worth noting that this is a feature that has to do a lot with the connected device. So, if you’re using any OnePlus 7 to 9 devices, you will get the Dolby Atmos experience on the Buds Pro. What this means is if you’re using any device that doesn’t come with Dolby Atmos, then remember that the earbuds do not support it.

The mobile app packs so many features that I was slightly disappointed with the fact that OnePlus gave the equaliser setting a miss. While offering personalised hearing enhancement is fine, a custom equaliser would have been a great addition.

OnePlus Buds Pro review: The satisfying bass and overall performance

Coming to performance, the OnePlus Buds Pro offer excellent audio quality. There’s clarity, and the buds offer extremely powerful bass output. Purely in terms of bass output, the OnePlus Buds Pro beats the Apple AirPods Pro hands down.

The high and mid-range are balanced while the vocals are clear. However, during the review, I did feel that the tremendous powerful bass output overshadows some music. Unfortunately, there’s no way we can lower down the bass level, and that’s what could have been taken care of by a custom equaliser setting in the mobile app.

I could feel that the OnePlus Buds Pro fails to do justice with certain tracks, like the famous Time music track from Hans Zimmer’s Inception movie album has lows in the first few minutes where the bass almost kills the lows. But then I also love how well Buds Pro handled balanced music, so Maroon 5’s Memories track has depth, and I could hear small details clearly. Earbuds come with 11mm dynamic drivers.

The ANC works well, and users can choose between three modes of noise cancellation – regular, Smart, and Max. The Smart is the default out-of-the-box option.

While I could feel the difference between the regular and Smart modes, there’s hardly any difference between the Smart and Max options in noise cancellation.

I liked the Smart noise cancellation mode that blocked most of the ambient noise, though it allowed me to hear my family members talking in the same room, though it felt like they were somewhere on a call and not in the same room.

The regular mode on the OnePlus Buds Pro is good enough if you want to block out fan noise, your laptop fan noise, and other minor distractions while listening to music or watching anything on your phone. There are also options for turning noise cancellation off or activating transparency mode to hear noise in the background.

Coming to the next big use of TWS, calls. The OnePlus Buds Pro pack an underwhelming microphone as I could hear people complaining about my voice cracking or noticeable muddiness during the calls. I tried calls on Airtel and Jio with voice over Wi-Fi enabled and noticed this issue over calls. This tells me that the microphone could have been better, or the team at OnePlus could have added some refinements to calls.

The company also claims that the OnePlus Buds Pro comes with a Gaming mode that reduces the latency to 94ms. While I couldn’t test the claimed limit, I noticed reduced latency during gaming on the OnePlus 9.

Talking about connection, the OnePlus Buds Pro did hold up nicely, and I didn’t notice any random cut off or battery down situations. This was constant across OnePlus, Android and iPhone devices.

The company has also set a benchmark for the rest of the companies by offering a water-resistant rating to both earbuds and the case. The earbuds are IP55 certified for water and sweat resistance, while the charging case comes with IPX4 water resistance.

Unlike other TWS options on the market, the OnePlus Buds Pro come with force sensors. For those unaware, force sensors are available on AirPods Pro as well. The OnePlus Buds Pro can play or pause a song by pinching the earbuds’ handle once. Users can move to the next track by pinching the earbud’s handle twice and similarly, pinch thrice for the previous track. To switch to the noise cancellation mode, you can pinch the earbud’s handle for a second. You can also reject calls using pinch gestures on the OnePlus Buds Pro. Pinch the earbud’s handle twice to reject a call while listening to music or wake the voice assistant by pinching the earbud’s handle thrice. You can also enter Zen Mode Air mode by pinching and holding the earbud’s handle for 3 seconds to play the default white noise.

Coming to the battery life, the OnePlus Buds Pro is claimed to offer up to 5 hours of battery life with ANC on, which extends up to 23 hours with the charging case, as per OnePlus. With ANC off, the company claims up to 31 hours of music playback with a charging case. It also supports fast charging, which is claimed to offer up to 10 hours of playtime with 10 minutes of charge. During our testing, the earbuds could play continuous music on a single charge for up to 3.5 hours with ANC on, while this extends up to 4.5 hours with ANC off. We couldn’t test the battery life with the charging case. But, the battery life on the OnePlus Buds Pro with a single charge is impressive.

OnePlus Buds Pro review: Worth your money?

Yes, the OnePlus Buds Pro gets plenty of things that go in its favour. First, the design is interesting, with a mix of a glossy and matte finish. Second, the OnePlus Buds Pro sound really good. Third, there are no noticeable issues with the performance, and in fact, ANC works well too.

At Rs 9,990, the OnePlus Buds Pro cannot be called a super-premium offering, especially when compared to the likes of Apple AirPods Pro, which come for almost double the price of Buds Pro. And, in fact, at its price, it is among a handful of TWS that offer a massive features list. Moreover, the OnePlus Buds UI for OnePlus users and the HeyMelody app for non-OnePlus users are baked well, which means you will have a good time with the earbuds. If you’re a bass head and are always on the lookout for a better bass output, then the OnePlus Buds Pro are for you.

It comes with water-resistant certification, which is a great addition and feels like a value proposition. We, however, wish that OnePlus included an equaliser setting that could have enhanced the overall user experience. In addition, the call quality of the OnePlus Buds Pro is average, so do not expect a lot on that part.

Overall, if you’re on the lookout for a TWS under Rs 10,000, then the OnePlus Buds Pro is now our top recommendation.

 

Source: India Today

 

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Gadgets

MoLife Sense 510 smartwatch review: Comfortable and sturdy smartwatch for everyday use

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Molife recently launched the Sense 510 smartwatch with Bluetooth calling and features an in-built speaker. It also features accelerometer, heart rate, SpO2 and BP monitoring. The smartwatch uses Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to Android and iOS devices. Molife’s Sense 510 falls under the Rs 5000 category but is it worth buying. We find out.

There are currently a number of smartwatches in the market, and new ones keep launching every day. A lot of emphases has been paid to the Made In India factor where gadgets are concerned. Keeping this in mind, Molife, the Indian mobile and lifestyle accessories brand, recently launched the Sense 510 smartwatch with in-built Bluetooth calling. The smartwatch features an inbuilt speaker that enables users to take calls and talk. It also features an accelerometer, 24-hour heart rate monitor, SpO2 and BP monitoring. The smartwatch also has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. It uses Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to Android and iOS devices. Molife’s Sense 510 falls under the Rs 5,000 category and is available on Amazon and Molife’s website for Rs 4499 and Rs 3899, respectively, but is it worth buying? We find out.

 

MoLife Sense 510 smartwatch review: Build and design

The Molife Sense 510 comes in black colour with a matching strap, an additional strap in orange colour, a charging connector and a user manual. My personal preference while looking for a watch is to go for something sturdy and tough, so I did not mind Sense 510 smartwatch’s design, but I would have also appreciated a more delicate design since i Have a somewhat small wrist. However, I had no problem with the smartwatch as it felt good on my wrist, and it even served a premium look and feel. The smartwatch weighs 60 grams and comes with an interchangeable strap that feels like it has a rubber and leather finish. It also comes with another strap in rusty orange colour, which is also made of the same material in case users want to use it.

The smartwatch features a metal zinc alloy case that adds to its premium feel. Users can choose from various watch faces and can browse for more on the Da Fit app. The company notes that the smartwatch has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, and I had no problem with in that area because at times, I wore the watch while washing my hands and expectedly a few drops of water would fall on the smartwatch but did not affect it anyway. I wore the smartwatch while riding my two-wheeler on dusty roads and I did not have to clean it much later. This showed that it was dust and water resistant. However, the place where I had a problem was with the sweat marks the watch got after I removed it after long hours of usage. Whenever I had a sweaty wrist and checked the back of the watch, I felt gross because of the sweat marks.

The watch uses a green LED light while measuring the heart rate and uses the same sensor to monitor blood oxygen and BP tracking. It also has speakers on the right side, and the microphone is present on the bottom edge. I could take calls and speak to people through the speaker on the smartwatch which is a big plus because I did not always have my phone handy. However, users must keep the smartwatch connected to their mobile phones at all times. The watch has two buttons on the right-hand side. The first one, when pressed, livens the display and also goes back to the home screen when pressed but does not have any other purpose. The second button launches workout modes. It also features 7 sports fitness models including swimming, walking and running among others. I used to wear the smartwatch during my evening walks, and it recorded my steps pretty accurately.

The display is touch-sensitive and can be used to operate the various functions on the screen. The smartwatch has a 1.3-inch glass colour touch screen. There is an option to adjust the brightness, with one minimum and five maximum. The brightness was underwhelming even when I set it to five when I stepped out during day time because I could hardly see anything. I cannot say the same about areas with the lesser light or during evening time as the display and the brightness was satisfactory then. Users can set the watch to turn on the screen when they lift their hand, and the screen turns off in a few seconds, but the watch does not have an option to increase the timeout limit, and I had to keep pressing the button or keep lifting my arm to turn the display on to see time or use other functions.

The watch also shows notifications to its users when they swipe from the bottom. Users can see and read the notifications, but they cannot reply to it. Swiping from the top will show a quick settings shade which has Theater mode that lowers the brightness and sends the watch into vibration mode. Users can also adjust settings like weather and Bluetooth connectivity. Users can access music controls, steps, camera shutter buttons, weather, heart rate, oxygen and BP monitoring, notifications, and flashlight.

MoLife Sense 510 smartwatch review: Bluetooth calling and compatibility

Sense 510 also has a built-in calling feature, and users can take or deny calls directly from the watch. It also allows users to add up to eight contacts, shows a call log, and features a dial pad. The speaker is present on the backside of the watch. The feature is helpful for users who do not always have their phone around and can take calls through their watch. I personally liked this feature a lot as I can’t keep track of all the places I forget my phone throughout the day. It will also come in useful for people while driving as they will not have to look at their phones to see who is calling. I was able to take calls on the smartwatch and could even listen to audio at times. When there was no external disturbance, the feature worked for me.

The Sense 510 can be paired with Bluetooth on both Android and iOS. Users will have to install the DaFit app from Google PlayStore or App Store. Once the app has been downloaded, users will be required to fill in their details like height, weight, gender and birth year. The app will give users various fitness tracking options and device settings. Through the DaFit app, users can get an elaborate picture of their sleep cycle, heart rate monitoring, BP and oxygen levels. The BP tacker was not accurate as it changed its recordings within seconds, the oxygen tracker showed readings slightly different from my oximeter.

 

So you cannot entirely rely on the readings for your vitals from this watch and will have to verify it from a second place also, in my opinion. Sleep tracking works most of the time and shows restful, light, REM and awake data, and it worked almost fine for me. It however recorded time as my sleeping hours even if I was not sleeping and watching shows or reading while lying down.

MoLife Sense 510 smartwatch review: Battery life

The Sense 510 features a 220mAh battery and says it will last up to 3 to 4 days with calling time which was true as I charged the watch once and could use it for over four days, which was hassle-free as I did not have to charge it much. The smartwatch comes with a magnetic charging connector, which comes off easily, so users will have to take care to position the watch in such a manner that it is getting charged.

MoLife Sense 510 smartwatch review: Verdict

The Sense 510 smartwatch is a nice, sturdy smartwatch with a solid build quality and decent battery life. It also has an in-built calling feature which is impressive for a watch in the sub- Rs 5000 price range. Further, the vitals it shows are not accurate — especially the BP and SpO2. The watch can be used to track steps while walking and other sports modes, which serves the purpose of someone looking to use the smartwatch. There is no way to control the live display time externally, and it shuts down soon to save power and users are required to click on the right-hand side button multiple times. Its difficult to see with the display the watch offers during day time, but it is alright when indoors and during evening time. Overall, the watch is impressive and can be worn for everyday use.

 

 

 

 

Source: India Today

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Science

Probiotics help lab corals survive deadly heat stress

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Warming seas threaten to turn coral reefs from kaleidoscopes of color into bleached fields of rubble. To stop this degradation, some scientists are exploring a surprising salve: probiotics.

Dosing corals with a mix of beneficial bacteria staved off death in a heat wave simulated in an aquarium, researchers report August 13 in Science Advances. In comparison, nearly half of corals given a benign saline solution instead did not survive those same conditions. The research offers a proof of concept that probiotics could help some corals survive heat stress.

“The results are incredibly promising,” says Blake Ushijima, a microbiologist at the University of North Carolina Wilmington who wasn’t involved in the research. The work lends legitimacy to using probiotics as coral medicine, he says, “but we’re just scratching the surface. We don’t understand how a lot of these beneficial microbes work.”

Corals are not singular entities, but coalitions of cooperative players. Center stage are the photosynthetic algae that harness the power of the sun, providing energy to their animal host, the coral polyp. Scores of bacteria live in the coral too, many supporting their host by cycling nutrients or fighting pathogens. Collectively referred to as the coral “holobiont,” corals and their microbial partners form the bedrock of one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

 

Source: Science News

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