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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Review- A Lifestyle Watch More Than Anything

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Review

In early August, Samsung released the third version of its popular wearable device- the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

In my opinion, it is meant to be a lifestyle watch more than anything else because of the fact that it is equipped with a leather strap, first and foremost.

Today, I am going to review the said device so that you can decide for yourself whether or not this is a worthy purchase.

Design

Before I begin, keep in mind that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 comes in two different size options: a 41mm variant and the bigger 45mm option. I got the latter for my review sample and I have to say that it looks sleek and stylish.

For the 45mm variant, you are getting two color options. I have the Mystic Black which I think looks amazing. I cannot say about the other color though, but from looking at product pictures, I believe that it looks good as well.

People really love the rotating bezel of previous smartwatches and I am happy to say that the newest version also retains that as well. In fact, I felt that it is much more responsive now, though you will want to stop every time you use it because it is that responsive.

Like the Apple Watch Series 5, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 also has an always-on display, but you can set it to variable if you want to save more battery.

Because I have a large wrist, the 45mm variant really looks good on me, but that is not the case if you have a relatively small hand. Perhaps the 41mm version will be better suited for most people.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Review 2020

The 45mm variant has a 1.4-inch display with a resolution of 360 x 360. It provides you with a lot of screen real estate and because it is an OLED panel, you get deeper blacks and better contrast overall.

As is customary with Samsung devices, the screen is quite vibrant and it displays a lot of different information depending on your use-case.

For instance, if you are listening to Spotify and there is a song that is playing in the background, the cover art will be displayed on the watch face and you will have the option to skip to a new song or go back to a previous title.

While you can use the swipe gesture to navigate through the different menus and features, you should always use the rotating bezel instead. You get through things faster and I think that it provides a much better experience.

Strap

One of the reasons why I believe the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is meant to be a lifestyle timepiece is that it comes with a leather strap. And, as you may have already guessed, there are no resin, rubber, or sporty straps included in the box.

Although that may be unfortunate (especially considering the price tag), you can change to a resin or sporty strap if you want, provided that you are willing to spend extra just to get them.

The process of removing and replacing the watch band is actually quite simple, so you will not run into any issues at all.

Software

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

For an Android smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 runs on Tizen OS which is Samsung’s own wearable operating system. It is more polished than previous versions and it has a slew of new features that you may want to try out.

One of the niftiest features that this thing has is the blood pressure monitoring system. It is not available in the US yet, but I’ve seen reports from South Korean users that it is actually pretty reliable. The thing that’s holding this particular feature back is FDA approval but if that is sorted out, you can try it out for yourself.

You also get reliable sleep tracking features as well. You will have to connect this to your smartphone and have it stay connected to measure different statistics. I like the layout and if there is any technical jargon, the app does a good job of explaining things to you.

Despite the fact that this thing is marketed as a lifestyle watch, there are some sports tracking features that you can use as well. 

The watch makes use of its GPS functionality to help provide you with better statistics when you are running, for example. I should say that this is also a good fitness tracker, though you will have to replace the strap to one that is more suited for this use-case.

There is a built-in music player, but I love the fact that it can also seamlessly integrate with Youtube Music and Spotify as well.

You also get Samsung Pay if you want to engage in contactless payments and the company has also included its own virtual AI, Bixby. I am not really a fan of it, so I didn’t test it that much. 

If you do not want the current watch face, you can actually download more by using this thing’s proprietary app. The process is easy and intuitive so there should be no issues here.

It should also go without saying that this thing also has an optical heart sensor and I am pretty impressed with the fact that it is quite a reliable one. I’ve compared it to other fitness trackers and this certainly is one of the more accurate among the bunch.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Smartwatch

The battery life of this thing will depend on the version that you are getting. The 41mm variant has a smaller battery (247 mAh) and the 45mm version has a bigger one at 340 mAh.

Although I pretty much love all of the watch’s features, its battery life is definitely not part of that. With moderate use, you can probably eke out a 3-day performance with this thing, but for the most part, you are only getting less than two.

If you use this watch’s features extensively, expect that the battery won’t last more than 30 hours. It is a bit disappointing, but I would say that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3’s battery lasts a bit longer than the Apple Watch.

You also get a proprietary charger and it is up to you to not lose this thing. Alternatively, you can use any wireless charger or power bank that comes with wireless charging capabilities to top this thing up.

Verdict

For the most part, I am really impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. It looks stylish and I would recommend this to anyone who wants a lifestyle watch that can do a lot of things.

The screen is vibrant and navigating through its menus and features is quite easy thanks to the rotating bezel.

There is nothing to complain about when it comes to build quality and its sleep and fitness tracking features are top-notch.

My only gripe with this otherwise impeccable smartwatch is its low battery life. Sure, it can beat the Apple Watch Series 5, but it wouldn’t be able to go head-to-head against other competitors such as Garmin or Fitbit.

But, this thing charges fast, though I would be extra careful not to lose its proprietary charger.

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is a pretty good watch for both Android and iPhone users. The 45mm variant costs $479.99.

 

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TikTok and WeChat Bans- What We Know So Far

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Tiktok and WeChat Ban

It seems that President Trump’s ban on Chinese tech giants are in full swing after one of the most powerful men in the world issued bans on popular Chinese-owned apps: TikTok and WeChat.

TikTok is a popular platform that allows people to record and upload user-generated content, which is essentially a means of uploading viral content over the internet.

WeChat is a chat platform that also includes a payment portal and a news corner. It is a more robust application that could potentially be a problem when it comes to your data and privacy in general, at least, that’s what Trump thinks.

The Ban

Tiktok Ban

In a previous post, President Trump has given ByteDance, the company that created TikTok, about 45 days for them to reach an agreement with Microsoft. If a deal doesn’t push through, the application will no longer be allowed to operate in the U.S. Apparently, there is a new deal that was made and the stakeholder is a different company now.

Oracle has won the bidding war so instead of Microsoft making a deal with the Chinese-based company, it is now Oracle that will take the helm. The company was supposed to oversee the deal but apparently, it couldn’t reach an accord with ByteDance, which prompted Trump to remind the Chinese company that it only had until November 12 to operate.

In what appears to be an insult to ByteDance, Trump also added that its popular application will no longer be available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store starting Sunday, September 20.

On a similar note, WeChat also suffers the same fate as the president of the United States have also issued an order for the US-owned mobile operating system giants to remove the said application in their respective app stores.

At the time of writing, both Apple and Google haven’t issued any statements but they did mention in the past that they are going to abide by the laws of the country.

President Trump, on Friday, has issued an ultimatum where the popular Chinese export will no longer be able to operate within U.S. soil if it cannot reach a deal with Oracle.

ByteDance representatives, as well as the Chinese government, were adamant against the decision stating that ByteDance was not given a chance of due process. The Chinese government is mulling over the possibility of doing the same with US-owned companies, so we could see some ramifications of this particular threat made by Trump.

Apparently, the ban on both WeChat and TikTok spawned over fears that the Chinese-owned apps are getting private data from its consumers.

There is some truth to this in the sense that TikTok wants to gain access to a lot of permissions that have no integral bearing on the app’s features, which is kind of fishy when you really think about it.

But, in a statement that was released by ByteDance, the only information that was extracted from users is data that the users are willing to share and nothing else. This is also stipulated in the terms and conditions and if users agreed to this, then the app developer has the right to the data.

Some Hope

ByteDance is probably happy by the fact that it has received quite a number of downloads on Saturday, the supposed last day that American citizens can download the application.

True enough, in a statement that was released by the said company, it had received an 800% surge in users over the weekend- something that was unprecedented in recent times.

Just a reminder, you can still use TikTok on your mobile device until November 12 (or longer, depending on whether or not Oracle and ByteDance will reach an agreement).

An update on the deal: Trump’s administration wants Walmart to join the agreement, which would mean that both Oracle and Walmart will be major stakeholders of ByteDance.

It is also worth noting that both of the US-based companies will only own about 20% of the entire share of the company. That means that ByteDance will still own the vast majority of TikTok and other future applications that are going to be developed.

The move is just to ensure that the Chinese-based company will not overstep its boundaries, especially when it comes to national security.

What About WeChat?

WeChat Ban

It still remains to be seen whether or not WeChat will be permanently banned in the U.S. or not, but American users will no longer be able to use the said application until further notice.

Judge Laurel Beeler, one of the judges that handled the case, said that the ban has created a lot of serious questions about the First Amendment rights of some Chinese-Americans.

Apparently, WeChat is the only chat application that is allowed to operate within Chinese soil, so banning this application in the U.S. would mean that some Chinese people who are not fluent in English, will have a hard time communicating with their relatives in China.

I think it is precisely because of this reason why Trump and his administration wants to ban WeChat. It apparently has the means of communicating some sensitive data from American citizens that could potentially be used and be weaponized by the Chinese government. Although these claims could potentially be true, there is no tangible evidence to suggest that this is indeed the case.

While TikTok could still be used by Americans until Walmart and Oracle are able to reach a deal, the same cannot be said for WeChat.

The good thing is that there tons of other messaging apps that American citizens can use, but this will certainly not bode well for the Chinese-American community.

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Xiaomi Poco X3 Review- An Appealing Budget Smartphone with a 120Hz Display

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Xiaomi Poco X3 Review

Because schools and offices are employing study and work from home schemes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, getting a smartphone is quite appealing in this day and age. That is because such portable devices are handy and you can conduct video conferences, as well as communicate with other people from across the world.

That being said, if you have only a limited budget, then I highly recommend that you look at the Xiaomi Poco X3. I am going to be reviewing it today, so sit tight and read through the rest of this content piece.

Design

Before I begin, I just want to say that there are two versions of this phone. You might find that there is one that is called ‘Poco X3 NFC’ and the other version doesn’t have the ‘NFC’ in its moniker. This implies that one doesn’t come with the said technology, so if you are going to buy this device, make sure that you are getting the right version.

That being said, we used to think that budget smartphones do not look classy, but you have to change that mindset because phone manufacturers like Xiaomi make incredible-looking phones for a cheaper price.

The Poco X3 might have a polycarbonate body but it certainly doesn’t look or feel cheap. In fact, once you get a hold of the device, you will instantly find that it can take a beating while still having that elegant look.

At the back, you will find the ‘Poco’ branding situated a little bit near the charging port while at the top, you will find its quad-camera array. Do keep in mind that there is a noticeable camera bump, so using this flat on a desk will mean that the phone will move on every press of the display.

Since this is a budget smartphone, you will find a two sim-card tray, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. You will also find a fingerprint sensor which is added to the power button itself. In my testing, it is somewhat accurate, albeit it is not as fast as flagship devices.

You also get dual speakers that are placed at the top and the bottom of the device and I have to say that they are pretty loud. Its support for aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC codecs make it also an enticing choice if you are going to use Bluetooth speakers.

Lastly, the Poco X3 has an IP53 rating which means that it can handle dust and a couple of splashes. Just do not submerge this device or go out there in the pouring rain.

Display

Xiaomi Poco X3 Review 2020

What’s interesting about the Poco X3 is that it has a 120Hz display. Here, you will get a 6.67-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 and an aspect ratio of 20:9. You will also love the fact that it can support HDR10 as well, though keep in mind that this is still using an IPS panel, so its contrast is not as good as those phones with OLED displays.

Still, I find the colors to be quite punchy and vibrant, and the brightness caps at 450 nits which is quite impressive for an affordable smartphone.

Xiaomi has done a good job of making sure that the phone’s fast display won’t eat through the battery like butter by enabling a variable refresh rate. This means that if the situation doesn’t call for a fast display, the screens’ refresh rate will dial back down a little bit to save on battery. Of course, you can set it to full 120Hz all of the time, though you have to be carrying its charger with you at all times.

All in all, I am quite impressed by the Poco X3’s display. Even if it is just an IPS screen, it looks really nice and its peak brightness ensures that you can use the phone even in direct sunlight.

Camera

Normally, I do not take too much time on a budget smartphone’s camera array simply because most companies overlook this aspect anyway and would just put in some cameras and be done with it. But, the Poco X3 is different.

You see, aside from the fact that this device has four cameras at the back, they are quite respectable in terms of performance.

You get a 64-megapixel wide-angle main shooter that produces vibrant shots and perfect dynamic range. Its 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera is okay, though its performance is not on par with other ultra-wide sensors in mid-range phones.

The last two cameras are macro and depth lenses which perform admirably well, especially if you decide to use the device’s specific camera features.

You can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second but when you go for this resolution, you will not have any image stabilization at all and it would be fitting if you use a gimbal for stabilization.

If you are recording videos at HD or Full HD, then you will find that the cameras do a pretty good job in terms of performance and quality.

The 20-megapixel selfie camera is no slouch either. It can take high-quality photos of yourself or a group and its quality shines when you are using video-conferencing apps.

All in all, I am happy with the Poco X3’s cameras. The only thing that I do not like about them is that they create a bit of a bulge which is noticeable if you put the device on a desk.

Specs and Performance

Xiaomi Poco X3

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB, expandable via MicroSD
  • Display: 6.67-inch IPS LCD, 2400 x 1080 resolution, 120Hz Refresh Rate, 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate, HDR10, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Camera: 64-megapixel Sony IMX682 main sensor (f/1.89), 13-megapixel ultra-wide (f/2.2, 119-degrees field of view), 2-megapixel macro (f/2.4), 2-megapixel depth (f/2.4); 20-megapixel (f/2.2) selfie camera
  • SIM: Dual Sim or 1 SIM + microSD card
  • Connectivity: WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, USB-C, 3.5mm port
  • Battery: 5,160 mAh, 33-Watt Charger
  • Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm
  • Weight: 215 grams
  • Colors: Shadow Gray, Cobalt Blue

The Poco X3’s performance is on par with the Google Pixel 4a and other phones that come with the Snapdragon 732G chipset.

For those of you who do not know, the Snapdragon 732G chipset is on the lower end of mid-range chipsets. It is not bad by any means but it certainly doesn’t come close to the 765G (which is found in phones such as the OnePlus Nord). 

You can still expect relatively good performance across the board, but you will find that the phone struggles to handle graphically demanding games. For the most part, you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Software

The Xiaomi Poco X3 is packed with the company’s MIUI 12 operating system which is just a skin of Android 10 with Xiaomi’s spin on the said OS. It is pretty polished, though it will take some time for you to understand its features.

Now, when you are getting a budget product, you can expect some corners to be cut somewhere, right? While that is not evident in the design, it is definitely evident when it comes to the software.

You see, for Xiaomi to get some profits when selling affordable phones, they have to do something to make that a reality and in the Poco X3, it is by way of in-OS ads.

The ads aren’t there in plain sight, but it will be shown to you whenever you install something from the Google Play Store, as well as in some areas of the phone’s settings.

They are not intrusive by any means, but some people might find it annoying that you will see ads on a phone that you’ve paid for.

To be honest, this isn’t a huge deal considering that you are getting a pretty good smartphone at an affordable price. But if you are not okay with this (especially since there are some concerns about privacy), then you might want to find something else.

Battery

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

This device is a survivor as it can last a comfortable two days before needing a charge. The Poco X3 comes with a hefty 5,160 mAh battery with a 33-watt charger in the box.

Even if you play all day or watch content online to your heart’s content, this device can handle them without any issue.

I have to really tax this device for the battery to run out in a single day, which means that if you only use this thing moderately, you could be seeing a 2-3-day battery life.

Charging the Poco X3 is also not a problem at all. Its included 33-watt charger ensures that the device gets its battery from 0-100 in just under 2 hours.

Sadly, there is no support for wireless charging, but that is to be expected given that this is a budget device.

Verdict

If you are looking for a great budget phone, the Xiaomi Poco X3 is definitely one of them. It has a fast 120Hz display, good brightness levels, great battery life, and overall good build quality.

You might have an issue with the ads that are found in some parts of the operating system, but to me, they are not obtrusive at all.

If you are interested in getting the Xiaomi Poco X3, you can get the NFC version for just $250 for the 6GB/128GB version.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review- The First 120Hz Tablet in the Market

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review

Samsung is a well-known smartphone manufacturer but the company is also known to develop tablets even though they are not as popular as they were before.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus was recently released and if you want to know how it performs, do read through the rest of the article to find out.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is a premium tablet and as such, you can expect premium looks and better overall build quality compared to other tablets in the market.

True enough, this tablet has an aluminum chassis that still maintains a relatively lightweight form factor at just 575 grams.

You can find the sides are made of high-quality metal and it is also a pleasure to look at as well. The Mystic Black variant of the tablet looks really nice, though you also have two other color options if you’re not a fan of the aesthetic.

The charging port is located at the bottom and as expected with modern mobile devices, there will be no headphone jacks on this one. You could use the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus if you want as this thing supports Bluetooth 5.1 for impressive connectivity.

At the back, you will find its camera and a magnetic strip that allows you to place the included S-pen on it. This also serves as the charging port, though you have to orientate the pen to point towards the camera to initiate the charging procedure.

While I am not a fan of the magnetic strip on the back, you could stick the S-Pen on the side if you want and I like it more than the former.

Do not worry because if you are not comfortable with the S-Pen’s original placement, you can buy a folio keyboard cover that houses the included accessory nicely so you won’t lose it.

Speaking of accessories, the Folio keyboard cover is pretty nice and you have a choice of colors to choose from.

The keyboard itself is responsive, though it is not as responsive as the keyboard attachment in Microsoft Surface devices.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review 2020

Before I say anything about the display, do keep in mind that there are two versions of this tablet. You have the base model Galaxy Tab S7 and the one I am talking about in this article is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus which is the bigger one.

It is important to make the distinction early on because the base model actually has a different display panel than the plus version.

The bigger variant comes with a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display while the base version only comes with an 11-inch LCD panel. If you ask me, the AMOLED panel looks really crisp and stunning.

For the resolution, this thing supports 2800 x 1752 and what’s interesting is that Samsung has finally cracked the code when it comes to high refresh rate display as well.

You see, the rich and vibrant panel can also operate smoothly because it can also support the 120Hz refresh rate as well. And the best part? You can utilize its native resolution while also having the smoother refresh rate enabled as well and that’s really impressive!

You do not have to worry too much about battery life, though, because the screen has a variable refresh rate which means that the panel downclocks itself if there is no need for that boost in refresh rate. I am just happy that Samsung has finally cracked the code!

Using the S-Pen on the tablet itself is pretty smooth and accurate, though I am just a bit disappointed by the fact that it doesn’t have good palm detection compared to the iPad Pro. Artists and creatives should definitely be wary about the placement of their hands when they are drawing something on the screen.

Software

It is important that we tackle the software of this device. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus comes with Android 10 with the company’s own One UI overlay on top.

While I am okay with the user interface, most app developers usually only focus on how their apps look on smartphones as tablets have become less popular every year.

That being said, there are some applications that might not utilize the entire screen real estate (especially considering that this device has an aspect ratio of 16:10).

There is a workaround and that is the company’s DeX. Samsung DeX, to put it simply, turns your tablet into a desktop computer wherein the interface is akin to a Windows-based machine.

Once enabled, you can resize the apps’ windows so that you can do true multitasking (something that is still not possible with the iPad Pro).

You can use a wireless mouse and have it connected via Bluetooth to truly simulate the experience of using a desktop computer.

There is just one catch- the apps should not be used in full screen because, as I’ve said, the app’s UI does not fully utilize the entire screen.

I hope that app developers will provide more support for bigger devices or tablets in general in the near future.

Specs and Performance

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 6GB or 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB, microSD card support up to 1TB
  • Display: 12.4-inch Super AMOLED, 2800 x 1752 resolution, 120Hz Screen Refresh Rate, 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Operating System: Android 10, One UI
  • Cameras: 13-megapixel wide-angle lens, 5-megapixel ultra-wide; 8-megapixel selfie
  • Battery: 10,090 mAh
  • Weight: 575 grams

For you to truly multitask on a mobile device, it should be equipped with a processor that can handle multiple workloads. I am just happy that Samsung finally went with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset on all of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus devices, which means that our folks in Europe and Asia will finally be able to get a hold of a Snapdragon-enabled device.

Although its performance is a bit slower than the Ipad Pro, it certainly has enough horsepower to handle any applications you can throw at it.

Samsung also promises 3-year software support on the Tab S7 Plus which means that you not only get Android 11 sometime soon, but the device will also support versions 12 and 13 as well.

I don’t feel the need to talk about the cameras of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus because they are mediocre at best and they are nothing out of the ordinary, so I’ve skipped that part altogether.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus S-Pen

A huge device with powerful specs definitely needs to have a beefy battery and the 10,090 mAh battery on this thing certainly delivers.

With moderate use, you can have this device powered up for more than two days and that is truly impressive given that most other devices cannot last this long.

There is also a 45-watt charger included in the box which should top up this device in less than 2 hours from 0%.

It is just a bit sad that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus doesn’t support wireless charging, though it is not really a huge deal for some users.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, I should say, is the best Android tablet on the market in 2020. It has a huge and vibrant screen, has a beefy battery, has powerful components, and its build quality is truly premium.

Its S-Pen is relatively accurate and it would have been nice if the magnetic charging strip at the back has more powerful magnets, but it is still good nevertheless.

Although this tablet has two cameras at the back and a selfie camera, there is really nothing special about them at all. They are there if you need them, though it would be best if you use something like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra instead.

There is a 5G variant that is going to be released in a month’s time and it will cost you more.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus costs $849 for the 6GB/128GB version and $999 for the 8GB/256GB version. There is still no word about the 5G variant’s pricing at the time of writing this article.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Review- A Lifestyle Watch More Than Anything

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Review

In early August, Samsung released the third version of its popular wearable device- the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

In my opinion, it is meant to be a lifestyle watch more than anything else because of the fact that it is equipped with a leather strap, first and foremost.

Today, I am going to review the said device so that you can decide for yourself whether or not this is a worthy purchase.

Design

Before I begin, keep in mind that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 comes in two different size options: a 41mm variant and the bigger 45mm option. I got the latter for my review sample and I have to say that it looks sleek and stylish.

For the 45mm variant, you are getting two color options. I have the Mystic Black which I think looks amazing. I cannot say about the other color though, but from looking at product pictures, I believe that it looks good as well.

People really love the rotating bezel of previous smartwatches and I am happy to say that the newest version also retains that as well. In fact, I felt that it is much more responsive now, though you will want to stop every time you use it because it is that responsive.

Like the Apple Watch Series 5, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 also has an always-on display, but you can set it to variable if you want to save more battery.

Because I have a large wrist, the 45mm variant really looks good on me, but that is not the case if you have a relatively small hand. Perhaps the 41mm version will be better suited for most people.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Review 2020

The 45mm variant has a 1.4-inch display with a resolution of 360 x 360. It provides you with a lot of screen real estate and because it is an OLED panel, you get deeper blacks and better contrast overall.

As is customary with Samsung devices, the screen is quite vibrant and it displays a lot of different information depending on your use-case.

For instance, if you are listening to Spotify and there is a song that is playing in the background, the cover art will be displayed on the watch face and you will have the option to skip to a new song or go back to a previous title.

While you can use the swipe gesture to navigate through the different menus and features, you should always use the rotating bezel instead. You get through things faster and I think that it provides a much better experience.

Strap

One of the reasons why I believe the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is meant to be a lifestyle timepiece is that it comes with a leather strap. And, as you may have already guessed, there are no resin, rubber, or sporty straps included in the box.

Although that may be unfortunate (especially considering the price tag), you can change to a resin or sporty strap if you want, provided that you are willing to spend extra just to get them.

The process of removing and replacing the watch band is actually quite simple, so you will not run into any issues at all.

Software

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

For an Android smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 runs on Tizen OS which is Samsung’s own wearable operating system. It is more polished than previous versions and it has a slew of new features that you may want to try out.

One of the niftiest features that this thing has is the blood pressure monitoring system. It is not available in the US yet, but I’ve seen reports from South Korean users that it is actually pretty reliable. The thing that’s holding this particular feature back is FDA approval but if that is sorted out, you can try it out for yourself.

You also get reliable sleep tracking features as well. You will have to connect this to your smartphone and have it stay connected to measure different statistics. I like the layout and if there is any technical jargon, the app does a good job of explaining things to you.

Despite the fact that this thing is marketed as a lifestyle watch, there are some sports tracking features that you can use as well. 

The watch makes use of its GPS functionality to help provide you with better statistics when you are running, for example. I should say that this is also a good fitness tracker, though you will have to replace the strap to one that is more suited for this use-case.

There is a built-in music player, but I love the fact that it can also seamlessly integrate with Youtube Music and Spotify as well.

You also get Samsung Pay if you want to engage in contactless payments and the company has also included its own virtual AI, Bixby. I am not really a fan of it, so I didn’t test it that much. 

If you do not want the current watch face, you can actually download more by using this thing’s proprietary app. The process is easy and intuitive so there should be no issues here.

It should also go without saying that this thing also has an optical heart sensor and I am pretty impressed with the fact that it is quite a reliable one. I’ve compared it to other fitness trackers and this certainly is one of the more accurate among the bunch.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Smartwatch

The battery life of this thing will depend on the version that you are getting. The 41mm variant has a smaller battery (247 mAh) and the 45mm version has a bigger one at 340 mAh.

Although I pretty much love all of the watch’s features, its battery life is definitely not part of that. With moderate use, you can probably eke out a 3-day performance with this thing, but for the most part, you are only getting less than two.

If you use this watch’s features extensively, expect that the battery won’t last more than 30 hours. It is a bit disappointing, but I would say that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3’s battery lasts a bit longer than the Apple Watch.

You also get a proprietary charger and it is up to you to not lose this thing. Alternatively, you can use any wireless charger or power bank that comes with wireless charging capabilities to top this thing up.

Verdict

For the most part, I am really impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. It looks stylish and I would recommend this to anyone who wants a lifestyle watch that can do a lot of things.

The screen is vibrant and navigating through its menus and features is quite easy thanks to the rotating bezel.

There is nothing to complain about when it comes to build quality and its sleep and fitness tracking features are top-notch.

My only gripe with this otherwise impeccable smartwatch is its low battery life. Sure, it can beat the Apple Watch Series 5, but it wouldn’t be able to go head-to-head against other competitors such as Garmin or Fitbit.

But, this thing charges fast, though I would be extra careful not to lose its proprietary charger.

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is a pretty good watch for both Android and iPhone users. The 45mm variant costs $479.99.

 

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TikTok and WeChat Bans- What We Know So Far

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Tiktok and WeChat Ban

It seems that President Trump’s ban on Chinese tech giants are in full swing after one of the most powerful men in the world issued bans on popular Chinese-owned apps: TikTok and WeChat.

TikTok is a popular platform that allows people to record and upload user-generated content, which is essentially a means of uploading viral content over the internet.

WeChat is a chat platform that also includes a payment portal and a news corner. It is a more robust application that could potentially be a problem when it comes to your data and privacy in general, at least, that’s what Trump thinks.

The Ban

Tiktok Ban

In a previous post, President Trump has given ByteDance, the company that created TikTok, about 45 days for them to reach an agreement with Microsoft. If a deal doesn’t push through, the application will no longer be allowed to operate in the U.S. Apparently, there is a new deal that was made and the stakeholder is a different company now.

Oracle has won the bidding war so instead of Microsoft making a deal with the Chinese-based company, it is now Oracle that will take the helm. The company was supposed to oversee the deal but apparently, it couldn’t reach an accord with ByteDance, which prompted Trump to remind the Chinese company that it only had until November 12 to operate.

In what appears to be an insult to ByteDance, Trump also added that its popular application will no longer be available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store starting Sunday, September 20.

On a similar note, WeChat also suffers the same fate as the president of the United States have also issued an order for the US-owned mobile operating system giants to remove the said application in their respective app stores.

At the time of writing, both Apple and Google haven’t issued any statements but they did mention in the past that they are going to abide by the laws of the country.

President Trump, on Friday, has issued an ultimatum where the popular Chinese export will no longer be able to operate within U.S. soil if it cannot reach a deal with Oracle.

ByteDance representatives, as well as the Chinese government, were adamant against the decision stating that ByteDance was not given a chance of due process. The Chinese government is mulling over the possibility of doing the same with US-owned companies, so we could see some ramifications of this particular threat made by Trump.

Apparently, the ban on both WeChat and TikTok spawned over fears that the Chinese-owned apps are getting private data from its consumers.

There is some truth to this in the sense that TikTok wants to gain access to a lot of permissions that have no integral bearing on the app’s features, which is kind of fishy when you really think about it.

But, in a statement that was released by ByteDance, the only information that was extracted from users is data that the users are willing to share and nothing else. This is also stipulated in the terms and conditions and if users agreed to this, then the app developer has the right to the data.

Some Hope

ByteDance is probably happy by the fact that it has received quite a number of downloads on Saturday, the supposed last day that American citizens can download the application.

True enough, in a statement that was released by the said company, it had received an 800% surge in users over the weekend- something that was unprecedented in recent times.

Just a reminder, you can still use TikTok on your mobile device until November 12 (or longer, depending on whether or not Oracle and ByteDance will reach an agreement).

An update on the deal: Trump’s administration wants Walmart to join the agreement, which would mean that both Oracle and Walmart will be major stakeholders of ByteDance.

It is also worth noting that both of the US-based companies will only own about 20% of the entire share of the company. That means that ByteDance will still own the vast majority of TikTok and other future applications that are going to be developed.

The move is just to ensure that the Chinese-based company will not overstep its boundaries, especially when it comes to national security.

What About WeChat?

WeChat Ban

It still remains to be seen whether or not WeChat will be permanently banned in the U.S. or not, but American users will no longer be able to use the said application until further notice.

Judge Laurel Beeler, one of the judges that handled the case, said that the ban has created a lot of serious questions about the First Amendment rights of some Chinese-Americans.

Apparently, WeChat is the only chat application that is allowed to operate within Chinese soil, so banning this application in the U.S. would mean that some Chinese people who are not fluent in English, will have a hard time communicating with their relatives in China.

I think it is precisely because of this reason why Trump and his administration wants to ban WeChat. It apparently has the means of communicating some sensitive data from American citizens that could potentially be used and be weaponized by the Chinese government. Although these claims could potentially be true, there is no tangible evidence to suggest that this is indeed the case.

While TikTok could still be used by Americans until Walmart and Oracle are able to reach a deal, the same cannot be said for WeChat.

The good thing is that there tons of other messaging apps that American citizens can use, but this will certainly not bode well for the Chinese-American community.

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Xiaomi Poco X3 Review- An Appealing Budget Smartphone with a 120Hz Display

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Xiaomi Poco X3 Review

Because schools and offices are employing study and work from home schemes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, getting a smartphone is quite appealing in this day and age. That is because such portable devices are handy and you can conduct video conferences, as well as communicate with other people from across the world.

That being said, if you have only a limited budget, then I highly recommend that you look at the Xiaomi Poco X3. I am going to be reviewing it today, so sit tight and read through the rest of this content piece.

Design

Before I begin, I just want to say that there are two versions of this phone. You might find that there is one that is called ‘Poco X3 NFC’ and the other version doesn’t have the ‘NFC’ in its moniker. This implies that one doesn’t come with the said technology, so if you are going to buy this device, make sure that you are getting the right version.

That being said, we used to think that budget smartphones do not look classy, but you have to change that mindset because phone manufacturers like Xiaomi make incredible-looking phones for a cheaper price.

The Poco X3 might have a polycarbonate body but it certainly doesn’t look or feel cheap. In fact, once you get a hold of the device, you will instantly find that it can take a beating while still having that elegant look.

At the back, you will find the ‘Poco’ branding situated a little bit near the charging port while at the top, you will find its quad-camera array. Do keep in mind that there is a noticeable camera bump, so using this flat on a desk will mean that the phone will move on every press of the display.

Since this is a budget smartphone, you will find a two sim-card tray, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. You will also find a fingerprint sensor which is added to the power button itself. In my testing, it is somewhat accurate, albeit it is not as fast as flagship devices.

You also get dual speakers that are placed at the top and the bottom of the device and I have to say that they are pretty loud. Its support for aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC codecs make it also an enticing choice if you are going to use Bluetooth speakers.

Lastly, the Poco X3 has an IP53 rating which means that it can handle dust and a couple of splashes. Just do not submerge this device or go out there in the pouring rain.

Display

Xiaomi Poco X3 Review 2020

What’s interesting about the Poco X3 is that it has a 120Hz display. Here, you will get a 6.67-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 and an aspect ratio of 20:9. You will also love the fact that it can support HDR10 as well, though keep in mind that this is still using an IPS panel, so its contrast is not as good as those phones with OLED displays.

Still, I find the colors to be quite punchy and vibrant, and the brightness caps at 450 nits which is quite impressive for an affordable smartphone.

Xiaomi has done a good job of making sure that the phone’s fast display won’t eat through the battery like butter by enabling a variable refresh rate. This means that if the situation doesn’t call for a fast display, the screens’ refresh rate will dial back down a little bit to save on battery. Of course, you can set it to full 120Hz all of the time, though you have to be carrying its charger with you at all times.

All in all, I am quite impressed by the Poco X3’s display. Even if it is just an IPS screen, it looks really nice and its peak brightness ensures that you can use the phone even in direct sunlight.

Camera

Normally, I do not take too much time on a budget smartphone’s camera array simply because most companies overlook this aspect anyway and would just put in some cameras and be done with it. But, the Poco X3 is different.

You see, aside from the fact that this device has four cameras at the back, they are quite respectable in terms of performance.

You get a 64-megapixel wide-angle main shooter that produces vibrant shots and perfect dynamic range. Its 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera is okay, though its performance is not on par with other ultra-wide sensors in mid-range phones.

The last two cameras are macro and depth lenses which perform admirably well, especially if you decide to use the device’s specific camera features.

You can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second but when you go for this resolution, you will not have any image stabilization at all and it would be fitting if you use a gimbal for stabilization.

If you are recording videos at HD or Full HD, then you will find that the cameras do a pretty good job in terms of performance and quality.

The 20-megapixel selfie camera is no slouch either. It can take high-quality photos of yourself or a group and its quality shines when you are using video-conferencing apps.

All in all, I am happy with the Poco X3’s cameras. The only thing that I do not like about them is that they create a bit of a bulge which is noticeable if you put the device on a desk.

Specs and Performance

Xiaomi Poco X3

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB, expandable via MicroSD
  • Display: 6.67-inch IPS LCD, 2400 x 1080 resolution, 120Hz Refresh Rate, 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate, HDR10, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Camera: 64-megapixel Sony IMX682 main sensor (f/1.89), 13-megapixel ultra-wide (f/2.2, 119-degrees field of view), 2-megapixel macro (f/2.4), 2-megapixel depth (f/2.4); 20-megapixel (f/2.2) selfie camera
  • SIM: Dual Sim or 1 SIM + microSD card
  • Connectivity: WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, USB-C, 3.5mm port
  • Battery: 5,160 mAh, 33-Watt Charger
  • Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm
  • Weight: 215 grams
  • Colors: Shadow Gray, Cobalt Blue

The Poco X3’s performance is on par with the Google Pixel 4a and other phones that come with the Snapdragon 732G chipset.

For those of you who do not know, the Snapdragon 732G chipset is on the lower end of mid-range chipsets. It is not bad by any means but it certainly doesn’t come close to the 765G (which is found in phones such as the OnePlus Nord). 

You can still expect relatively good performance across the board, but you will find that the phone struggles to handle graphically demanding games. For the most part, you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Software

The Xiaomi Poco X3 is packed with the company’s MIUI 12 operating system which is just a skin of Android 10 with Xiaomi’s spin on the said OS. It is pretty polished, though it will take some time for you to understand its features.

Now, when you are getting a budget product, you can expect some corners to be cut somewhere, right? While that is not evident in the design, it is definitely evident when it comes to the software.

You see, for Xiaomi to get some profits when selling affordable phones, they have to do something to make that a reality and in the Poco X3, it is by way of in-OS ads.

The ads aren’t there in plain sight, but it will be shown to you whenever you install something from the Google Play Store, as well as in some areas of the phone’s settings.

They are not intrusive by any means, but some people might find it annoying that you will see ads on a phone that you’ve paid for.

To be honest, this isn’t a huge deal considering that you are getting a pretty good smartphone at an affordable price. But if you are not okay with this (especially since there are some concerns about privacy), then you might want to find something else.

Battery

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

This device is a survivor as it can last a comfortable two days before needing a charge. The Poco X3 comes with a hefty 5,160 mAh battery with a 33-watt charger in the box.

Even if you play all day or watch content online to your heart’s content, this device can handle them without any issue.

I have to really tax this device for the battery to run out in a single day, which means that if you only use this thing moderately, you could be seeing a 2-3-day battery life.

Charging the Poco X3 is also not a problem at all. Its included 33-watt charger ensures that the device gets its battery from 0-100 in just under 2 hours.

Sadly, there is no support for wireless charging, but that is to be expected given that this is a budget device.

Verdict

If you are looking for a great budget phone, the Xiaomi Poco X3 is definitely one of them. It has a fast 120Hz display, good brightness levels, great battery life, and overall good build quality.

You might have an issue with the ads that are found in some parts of the operating system, but to me, they are not obtrusive at all.

If you are interested in getting the Xiaomi Poco X3, you can get the NFC version for just $250 for the 6GB/128GB version.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review- The First 120Hz Tablet in the Market

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review

Samsung is a well-known smartphone manufacturer but the company is also known to develop tablets even though they are not as popular as they were before.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus was recently released and if you want to know how it performs, do read through the rest of the article to find out.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is a premium tablet and as such, you can expect premium looks and better overall build quality compared to other tablets in the market.

True enough, this tablet has an aluminum chassis that still maintains a relatively lightweight form factor at just 575 grams.

You can find the sides are made of high-quality metal and it is also a pleasure to look at as well. The Mystic Black variant of the tablet looks really nice, though you also have two other color options if you’re not a fan of the aesthetic.

The charging port is located at the bottom and as expected with modern mobile devices, there will be no headphone jacks on this one. You could use the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus if you want as this thing supports Bluetooth 5.1 for impressive connectivity.

At the back, you will find its camera and a magnetic strip that allows you to place the included S-pen on it. This also serves as the charging port, though you have to orientate the pen to point towards the camera to initiate the charging procedure.

While I am not a fan of the magnetic strip on the back, you could stick the S-Pen on the side if you want and I like it more than the former.

Do not worry because if you are not comfortable with the S-Pen’s original placement, you can buy a folio keyboard cover that houses the included accessory nicely so you won’t lose it.

Speaking of accessories, the Folio keyboard cover is pretty nice and you have a choice of colors to choose from.

The keyboard itself is responsive, though it is not as responsive as the keyboard attachment in Microsoft Surface devices.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review 2020

Before I say anything about the display, do keep in mind that there are two versions of this tablet. You have the base model Galaxy Tab S7 and the one I am talking about in this article is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus which is the bigger one.

It is important to make the distinction early on because the base model actually has a different display panel than the plus version.

The bigger variant comes with a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display while the base version only comes with an 11-inch LCD panel. If you ask me, the AMOLED panel looks really crisp and stunning.

For the resolution, this thing supports 2800 x 1752 and what’s interesting is that Samsung has finally cracked the code when it comes to high refresh rate display as well.

You see, the rich and vibrant panel can also operate smoothly because it can also support the 120Hz refresh rate as well. And the best part? You can utilize its native resolution while also having the smoother refresh rate enabled as well and that’s really impressive!

You do not have to worry too much about battery life, though, because the screen has a variable refresh rate which means that the panel downclocks itself if there is no need for that boost in refresh rate. I am just happy that Samsung has finally cracked the code!

Using the S-Pen on the tablet itself is pretty smooth and accurate, though I am just a bit disappointed by the fact that it doesn’t have good palm detection compared to the iPad Pro. Artists and creatives should definitely be wary about the placement of their hands when they are drawing something on the screen.

Software

It is important that we tackle the software of this device. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus comes with Android 10 with the company’s own One UI overlay on top.

While I am okay with the user interface, most app developers usually only focus on how their apps look on smartphones as tablets have become less popular every year.

That being said, there are some applications that might not utilize the entire screen real estate (especially considering that this device has an aspect ratio of 16:10).

There is a workaround and that is the company’s DeX. Samsung DeX, to put it simply, turns your tablet into a desktop computer wherein the interface is akin to a Windows-based machine.

Once enabled, you can resize the apps’ windows so that you can do true multitasking (something that is still not possible with the iPad Pro).

You can use a wireless mouse and have it connected via Bluetooth to truly simulate the experience of using a desktop computer.

There is just one catch- the apps should not be used in full screen because, as I’ve said, the app’s UI does not fully utilize the entire screen.

I hope that app developers will provide more support for bigger devices or tablets in general in the near future.

Specs and Performance

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 6GB or 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB, microSD card support up to 1TB
  • Display: 12.4-inch Super AMOLED, 2800 x 1752 resolution, 120Hz Screen Refresh Rate, 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Operating System: Android 10, One UI
  • Cameras: 13-megapixel wide-angle lens, 5-megapixel ultra-wide; 8-megapixel selfie
  • Battery: 10,090 mAh
  • Weight: 575 grams

For you to truly multitask on a mobile device, it should be equipped with a processor that can handle multiple workloads. I am just happy that Samsung finally went with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset on all of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus devices, which means that our folks in Europe and Asia will finally be able to get a hold of a Snapdragon-enabled device.

Although its performance is a bit slower than the Ipad Pro, it certainly has enough horsepower to handle any applications you can throw at it.

Samsung also promises 3-year software support on the Tab S7 Plus which means that you not only get Android 11 sometime soon, but the device will also support versions 12 and 13 as well.

I don’t feel the need to talk about the cameras of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus because they are mediocre at best and they are nothing out of the ordinary, so I’ve skipped that part altogether.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus S-Pen

A huge device with powerful specs definitely needs to have a beefy battery and the 10,090 mAh battery on this thing certainly delivers.

With moderate use, you can have this device powered up for more than two days and that is truly impressive given that most other devices cannot last this long.

There is also a 45-watt charger included in the box which should top up this device in less than 2 hours from 0%.

It is just a bit sad that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus doesn’t support wireless charging, though it is not really a huge deal for some users.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, I should say, is the best Android tablet on the market in 2020. It has a huge and vibrant screen, has a beefy battery, has powerful components, and its build quality is truly premium.

Its S-Pen is relatively accurate and it would have been nice if the magnetic charging strip at the back has more powerful magnets, but it is still good nevertheless.

Although this tablet has two cameras at the back and a selfie camera, there is really nothing special about them at all. They are there if you need them, though it would be best if you use something like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra instead.

There is a 5G variant that is going to be released in a month’s time and it will cost you more.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus costs $849 for the 6GB/128GB version and $999 for the 8GB/256GB version. There is still no word about the 5G variant’s pricing at the time of writing this article.

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