Google I/O 2017: MediaTek’s New Chipset Supports Google Assistant and Android Things

MediaTek on Thursday introduced its all-new MT8516 chipset which has been designed to enable Voice Assistant Devices (VADs) and smart speakers including the Google Assistant. The new chipset from MediaTek also comes with Android Things pre-certified system on modules (SOMs). The Taiwan-based chipset maker showcased the new MT8516 at Google I/O 2017.

MediaTek says that new Google Assistant devices using MT8516 chipset can be expected to hit market shelves in Q4 of this year.

The company says that the new chipset by supporting Google Assistant and Android Things can deliver a smart home user experience with interaction between voice command devices and IoT products.

Google I/O 2017: MediaTek's New Chipset Supports Google Assistant and Android ThingsThe MediaTek MT8516 features a 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A35 MPCore clocked at up to 1.3GHz. The chipset also integrates Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity options. The MediaTek MT8516 for microphone voice input and connected audio products comes with interfaces for TDM (up to 8 channels) and PDM inputs (2 channels).

For microphone voice input and connected audio products, the MediaTek MT8516 has interfaces for TDM (up to 8 channels) and PDM inputs (2 channels). Additionally, the chipset has flexible memory support including LPDDR2, LPDDR3, DDR3, DDR3L and DDR4 to accommodate diverse platform needs.

Announcing the new chipset, Joe Chen, Executive Vice President and Co-COO of MediaTek said, “Smart home products are growing in popularity and MediaTek’s expertise is making connected devices smarter, smaller and more power efficient without sacrificing performance. Our dedicated Android support will help expand the market for voice-based intelligent devices.”

MediaTek, a fabless semiconductor company, also claimed that its chipsets are powering over 1.5 billion consumer devices a year.

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Gets Listed by Online Retailers Ahead of Official Launch

After being leaked in images and videos last month, Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) smartphone has now popped up on German retail websites even ahead of their official launch. The Galaxy J5 (2017) is currently available for pre-orders on several German online retailers and all of the specifications have now been revealed.

As per the specifications listed on German website Conrad, the dual-SIM Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) will run Android 7.0 Nougat with TouchWiz 2017 on top and sports a 5.2-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) Super AMOLED display. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core Exynos 7870 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM.

In terms of optics, the Galaxy J5 (2017) comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/1.7 aperture and LED flash support. At front, it features a 13-mgapixel camera for taking selfies. The Galaxy J5 (2017) comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable up to 256GB via microSD card.

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Gets Listed by Online Retailers Ahead of Official LaunchThe connectivity options on the Galaxy J5 (2017) include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, Micro-USB 2.0 port, NFC, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The phone houses a 3000mAh non-removable battery, measures 146.3×71.3×7.8mm, and weighs 158 grams.

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) smartphone has been priced at EUR 279 (roughly Rs. 20,200) and can already be pre-ordered already from the website. The other sites where the pre-order listings have popped up include Cyberport and Otto, as per a report by GSMArena.

To recall, Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) rumoured specifications include a 5.5-inch full-HD Super AMOLED display, a 1.6GHz octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. The battery is expected to be bumped up to 3600mAh from a 3300mAh battery on the predecessor. Both the smartphones are expected to launch soon, and as the listing pricing for Galaxy J5 (2017) turned out to be in line with the rumoured pricing for the phone, Galaxy J7 (2017) might as well be launched at a price of EUR 339 (roughly Rs. 24,600) just like rumours.

MediaTek MT7622 SoC Launched at Computex 2017, ‘World’s First 4×4 802.11n and Bluetooth 5.0 SoC’

Chipset giant MediaTek on Wednesday launched the world’s first 4×4 802.11n and Bluetooth 5.0 SoC featuring a dedicated Wi-Fi network accelerator at Computex 2017.

MediaTek says that the new MT7622 SoC is created for premium networking devices that include routers and repeaters, whole home Wi-Fi, and home automation gateways that pre-integrates audio and storage features. The highlight, of course, is the chip’s single platform for 4×4 dual band and try-band premium networking devices. It also supports the latest Bluetooth technology, Bluetooth 5.0.

Additional features include NAT, Hardware QoS and a dedicated Wi-Fi engine – MediaTek’s Warp Accelerator. The Star Trek-sounding Warp Accelerator essentially removes bottlenecks by connecting the Gigabit+ class 802.11ac networking with multi-Gigabit internal pathways.

The MediaTek MT7622 SoC is powered by a 1.35GHz 64-bit dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor and comes with a number of advanced connectivity options like SGMII/RGMII, PCIe, SATA and USB, and 4×4 802.11n FEM integration.

MediaTek MT7622 SoC Launched at Computex 2017, 'World's First 4x4 802.11n and Bluetooth 5.0 SoC'MediaTek says that the MT7622 includes essential audio interfaces such as I2S, TDM and S/PDIF to meet the growing demand for applications using audio and voice controls. The new SoC also delivers a rich array of slow I/O alongside the integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee co-existence for home automation gateways.

“Based on MediaTek’s Adaptive Network technology, the MT7622 features easy setup, network self-healing, roaming, band steering, smart quality of service, and advanced security for whole home Wi-Fi,” said Alan Hsu , General Manager of Home Smart Device Business Unit, MediaTek. “For manufacturers looking for flexibility in the design of innovative networking devices, this chipset couples high performance and extensively integrated functionality.”

The company recently also introduced the MediaTek MT8516 chipset at Google I/O, designed to enable Voice Assistant Devices and smart speakers including the Google Assistant. MediaTek said that new Google Assistant devices with this chipset can be expected in Q4 2017.

Moto E4 Plus Cover Shells Leaked, Tip Colour Variants

Moto’s new ultra-affordable ‘E’ series has been leaked on multiple occasions in the past. The company is set to launch the Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus smartphones soon, and fresh leak brings design information of the Moto E4 Plus.

TechnoFord has leaked shell covers of the Moto E4 Plus smartphone. The covers indicate that the smartphone may be launched in three colour variants – Gold, Blue, and Black. The back cover also shows that the Moto E4 Plus will have a round shaped camera ring, a 3.5mm audio jack on the top edge, and a speaker grille at the back of the smartphone. The volume keys and the power button are housed on the right side of the smartphone.

A past leak by tipster Evan Blass indicates that the Moto E4 Plus is not only slightly larger when compared to the E4, but will sport design changes as well. Notably, it will have a Home Button in the front housing the fingerprint sensor underneath, while the Moto E4 won’t have a Home Button at the front at all. The front camera placements on the phones are also slightly different from one another. The Moto E4 Plus is also seen featuring much thinner bezels than the Moto E4.

The Moto E4 Plus rumoured specifications include Android 7.1.1 Nougat, 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display, and a 1.25GHz MediaTek MT6737M Cortex-A53 quad-core chipset paired with 2GB or 3GB of RAM and Mali-T720MP2 GPU. It offers 16GB of storage with the option to expand further via a microSD card slot (up to 128GB).

Moto E4 Plus Cover Shells Leaked, Tip Colour VariantsThe rear camera is at 13-megapixel with autofocus and LED flash. For selfies, there is a 5-megapixel front sensor. It packs a 5000mAh removable battery, and offers connectivity options like 4G LTE, Bluetooth v4.2, NFC (select markets), Wi-Fi 802.11n, FM radio, Micro-USB, and GPS.

The Moto E4 smartphone is also expected to launch alongside, with the expected date being at July 17. Previous leaks suggest that the Moto E4 unlocked version is expected to be priced at EUR 150 (roughly Rs. 10,500), while the E4 Plus will come in two variants with the pricing starting at EUR 190 (roughly Rs. 13,300), with the 3GB RAM variant priced even higher.

Also, the Moto E4 is said to sport a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS LCD display with 294ppi pixel density, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It is expected to sport an 8-megapixel rear sensor, packs a 2800mAh removable battery, and is tipped to come in Lunar Grey colour options.

Hasselblad X1D Medium Format Mirrorless Camera Launched at $8,995

Hasselblad has announced a ground-breaking new camera called the X1D, which is the world’s first compact mirrorless medium format camera. A medium format sensor is typically much larger than a full-frame sensor which lets you capture way more detail and much better dynamic range. To be able to use this in a compact form-factor of a mirrorless camera is quite an achievement.

As you would have guessed, the X1D doesn’t come cheap as you’ll be forking out around $8,995 (approximately Rs. 6,11,900) for just the body, without taxes. Two new XCD lenses were also announced for the camera which will retail at $2,295 (approximately Rs. 1,56,000) for the 45mm f/3.5 and $2695 (approximately Rs. 1,83,400) for the 90mm f/3.2. You can order one from these locations in India.

Hasselblad X1D Medium Format Mirrorless Camera Launched at $8,995The X1D is handmade in Sweden and boasts of a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor and an ISO range of 100-25600. The camera weighs 725 grams and features Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac, built-in GPS, full-HD video recording, stereo microphone, mini-HDMI and is completely weather-proof. The X1D offers a 3-inch touchscreen with a 920K-dot resolution along with an electronic viewfinder with a 2.36M-dot resolution.

Commenting on the announcement Perry Oosting, Hasselblad CEO said, “The X1D marks a pivotal point in Hasselblad’s rich 75-year history. This camera makes medium format photography available to a new generation of Hasselblad users, while pushing the existing limits of photography to new heights.”

Fujifilm X-A3 Selfie-Ready Mirrorless Camera Launched

Fujifilm has announced a new member to its X-series line up called the X-A3. This compact mirrorless camera with an interchangeable lens is priced at $599.95 (approximately Rs. 40,200) and includes the XC16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II kit lens. The camera is available in Silver, Brown, and Pink starting October, in the US.

Fujifilm is calling all selfie addicts here as the X-A3 features a 3-inch, 180-degree tilting touch screen. The mechanism is designed in a way where the screen slides upwards before you tilt it so the entire display is visible and is not blocked by the camera’s body. There’s also a self-timer function with smile detection. Eye detection autofocus is automatically engaged once the screen is flipped over for capturing better portraits. The camera lacks an electronic viewfinder which means you’ll be doing your scene framing through the rear LCD display.
Fujifilm X-A3 Selfie-Ready Mirrorless Camera LaunchedWhat really makes this camera stand out though; is the retro design. The top cover, front plate and top dials are made of aluminium while the faux leather texture on the hand grip adds to its visual appeal. The X-A3 also comes with a total of 11 film simulation modes for adding a unique effect to your pictures. This is complemented by 10 advanced filters like Fisheye and Cross Screen.

The camera sports a 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with Fujifilm’s EXR Processor II. There’s a new 49-point autofocus system, ISO range of 200-25600, full-HD video recording up to 60fps and built-in Wi-Fi for remote camera operation. The camera can also shoot burst photos up to 6fps. The camera can shoot in RAW and supports new film simulation modes like PRO Neg.Hi and PRO Neg.Std.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 With 4K Video Recording Support Launched in India

Targeting professional photographers and videographers, Panasonic India on Tuesday launched its new flagship camera Panasonic Lumix GH5 that can capture 6K photos. It is said to be the world’s first interchangeable lens mirrorless camera capable of shooting 4K videos, and was globally launched at CES 2017. The Lumix GH5 body is priced at Rs. 1,43,990 and Lumix GH5 kit with 12-60 mm F2.8-4.0 will be available for Rs. 1,88,990, the company said.

The newly-added 6K photo feature makes it possible to capture moments at 30 fps by extracting the frame with the best timing out of the 6K burst file (in 4:3 or 3:2 aspect) to save as an approximately 18-megapixel equivalent high-resolution photo.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 With 4K Video Recording Support Launched in India“With this addition, we will not only make it the foremost choice for the professional videographer, but will also appeal to a wider market of photography enthusiasts looking for a highly capable camera that can shoot great stills and movie footage,” Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia, said in a statement.

According to Panasonic, the Lumix GH5 is capable of recording smooth, high precision 4k 60p/ 50p video recording and 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 30p/ 25p internal video recording.

For connectivity, it includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 upgrades to a 20.3-megapixel digital live MOS sensor without low-pass filter which combines with the new Venus Engine, achieving great picture quality in resolution, colour reproduction and noise reduction.

The Venus Engine further empowers DFD (depth from defocus) technology, making it capable of ultra-high-speed digital signal processing at a maximum of 480 fps.

The focus areas are increased from 49 to 225 areas on the Lumix GH5 in addition to the conventional face/ eye recognition resulting in more precise focusing.

Panasonic Lumix TZ90 With 30x Optical Zoom, Tiltable Display for Selfies Launched

Panasonic has added a new entry to its travel zoom series of compact cameras, called the Lumix TZ90 or Lumix ZS70 as it’s known in the US. The camera will go on sale in by the end of May for $450 (approximately Rs. 30,600).

The Panasonic Lumix TZ90 camera features a 20.3-megapixel sensor with a long 30x optical zoom. The compact camera also has a wide 24mm Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens which should prove to be useful for most shooting conditions. 4K video recording support is also available at 30fps with the Focus Stacking function, which allows users to adjust the depth of field after shooting by combining multiple images shot with the Post Focus function, all inside the camera.

Panasonic Lumix TZ90 With 30x Optical Zoom, Tiltable Display for Selfies LaunchedIn addition, the Panasonic Lumix TZ90 also incorporates a Light Composition function with which the camera synthesises the images by choosing and saving brighter pixels. This makes it possible to produce more dramatic images of situations such as fireworks or night scenes.
The Lumix TZ90 integrates the DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology to get high-speed AF of approximately 0.1 sec. This also helps it achieve high-speed burst shooting at 10fps in AFS mode and 5fps in AFC mode. The LUMIX ZS70 also features a variety of AF functions, such as Touch AF, 49-point AF, and Low-light AF. The camera features a rear 3-inch touchscreen LCD panel which can tilt up by 180 degrees and the camera goes into a Self Shot mode once it’s flipped.

There’s a new 4K Selfie mode added here along with beauty functions like soft skin, defocusing and slimming effects. The Panasonic Lumix TZ90 camera also boasts of a 0.2-inch electronic viewfinder. It also has built-in Wi-Fi for sharing photos to your smartphone.

Sony A9 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera With 20fps Burst and 4K Video Recording Launched

Sony just announced the A9 full-frame mirrorless camera at an event in New York, which succeeds its A7 series of full-frame cameras. The camera takes the best of Sony’s camera technologies (be it mirrorless or DSLR) and crams it into a body that’s smaller than most DSLRs in the market. The Sony A9 will go on sale this May for $4,500 (approximately Rs. 3,06,000).

Some of the highlights of the A9 include high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20fps, 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second and a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second. At the heart of all this is the new 35mm full-frame stacked 24.2-megapixel Exmor RS sensor, which Sony says is the world’s first and enabled data processing speeds that that up to 20x faster than its previous full-frame models. This is paired with an upgraded Bionz X image processor.
Sony A9 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera With 20fps Burst and 4K Video Recording LaunchedThe camera features 693 phase detection AF points covering approximately 93 percent of the frame, which should ensure much faster tracking of moving subjects. It has a vibration free, fully electronic, anti-distortion shutter with no mechanical mirror, thus avoiding shutter sound when capturing an image. The Sony A9 camera has a sensitivity of ISO 100-51200, 5-axis image stabilisation, a tilting 3-inch touchscreen display, EVF,Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and video recording at 4K at 30fps or full-HD at 120fps.

“This camera breaks through all barriers and limitations of today’s professional digital cameras, with an overall feature set that simply cannot be matched considering the restrictions of mechanical SLR cameras” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “But what excites us most about the α9 – more than its extensive product specs – is that it allows professionals to see, follow and capture the action in ways that were never before possible, unlocking an endless amount of new creative potential.”

Ricoh Launches Pentax KP Weatherproof DSLR at Rs. 88,584

Ricoh launched the Pentax KP back in January this year and now, Ricoh India has launched it in India at a price of Rs. 88,584. The Pentax KP is a compact and portable APS-DSLR, designed specifically for night photography. The highlight feature here is the very high sensitivity of the sensor which goes all the way up to ISO 819200, which should make it possible to capture images in next to no light.

The camera features a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor with a 27-point autofocus system and is the first Pentax APS-C camera to have the Shake Reduction II system with is essentially a 5-axis image stabilisation system. The KP’s rugged exterior is dustproof and weather-sealed and can withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. Some proprietary Pentax technologies include Pixel Shift Resolution, which is said to offer more accurate colour reproduction and an anti-aliasing filter simulator to reduce moiré effect just like as optical filter.
Ricoh Launches Pentax KP Weatherproof DSLR at Rs. 88,584Other features include an electronic shutter speed of 1/24000 second; burst shooting of 7fps; 1080p video recording; vertical-tilt 3-inch LCD display, built-in Wi-Fi, and compatibility with Pextax’s DA-series lenses. The KP also features a real-time scene analysis system that’ supposed to analyses factors like brightness distribution in the image field and the subject’s primary colour and motion. It then uses deep learning technology to assess the scene more accurately and sets the appropriate exposure setting.

Commenting at the launch, Yuki Uchida, VP&CMO, Ricoh India said, “Ricohis persistent in its effort to leverage technology to design innovative products that improves the quality of life. The new DSLR reflects our engineering expertise that weaves design, state-of-the-art features in a compact body that delivers the highest level of experience to customers.Photography enthusiasts will love the outstanding specifications and customisable features of the camera that can shoot great stills and video clips.”