This story is part of Amazon Prime Day 2021, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.
Amazon Prime Day sales have kicked off, and Echo speakers have some significant mark downs. Whether it’s the Echo Dot, Echo Show or even the car-based Echo Auto, many models are already on sale. Others are available by ordering via voice on Alexa devices right now, including the latest Echo Show 8, marked down to $95 (a $35 discount for the 8-inch smart display). We’ll keep updating this and our other Prime Day deals pages as more and better discounts appear. For now, here’s where you’ll find the best of what Amazon’s sale days have to offer.
Best Prime Day Echo deals so far
Surface Duo 2 camera testing: See how Microsoft’s new foldable phone takes photos – CNET
1 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The Surface Duo 2 comes with a triple-lens camera, unlike the first model which only had a single-lens camera. As a result, the Surface Duo 2 takes crisp and clear photos. But in my testing I’ve found that they’re usually not as well-lit and colorful as photos taken on phones…
1 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The Surface Duo 2 comes with a triple-lens camera, unlike the first model which only had a single-lens camera. As a result, the Surface Duo 2 takes crisp and clear photos. But in my testing I’ve found that they’re usually not as well-lit and colorful as photos taken on phones like the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. 2 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The triple-lens camera consists of a 12-megapixel wide lens, 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens. This photo was taken with the wide lens. 3 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Here’s an image taken with the ultrawide-angle lens. It’s clear and detailed, but the sky in the background is a bit dark. 4 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Here’s a photo taken with the telephoto lens. You can clearly see the text on the bar sign, but the green color in the banner is a little washed-out compared to the same photo taken on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and iPhone 13 Pro. 5 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The Surface Duo 2’s 12-megapixel selfie camera gets the job done, but I noticed the color of my hair wasn’t as vibrant in this photo as it was in the image I took on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. 6 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Here’s another example of the standard 12-megapixel wide camera in action. 7 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The Surface Duo 2 managed to snap a colorful photo of this red bicycle in my neighborhood. 8 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Like many of today’s phones, the Surface Duo 2 also has portrait mode. This photography setting blurs the background to make the subject appear sharp. 9 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Here’s another photo taken with the Surface Duo 2’s zoom lens. Keep scrolling to see a few more examples of photos taken on the standard wide lens. 10 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET 11 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET 12 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
Google builds equity into the Pixel 6 with Real Tone photos and new voice features – CNET
These are three photos Google provided us with that were taken with the Pixel 6 with its Real Tone feature. Google Thematically, Google wanted the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to work well for a variety of people in a number of different ways. The opening of Google’s fall event Tuesday featured a video…
These are three photos Google provided us with that were taken with the Pixel 6 with its Real Tone feature.
Thematically, Google wanted the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to work well for a variety of people in a number of different ways. The opening of Google’s fall event Tuesday featured a video of a woman running to catch a train to work. It showed her using her phone to access a transit pass, eating a hard boiled egg under her face mask, taking a selfie on a train under yellow lighting, translating a question someone asks her in Japanese and taking a photo of her dog. On the surface none of those events seem that extraordinary. It’s just an average person commuting. Perhaps during a pandemic, the commuting part seems the least relatable. What is significant is that the Pixel 6 worked for her in the ways she expected. At first, that might not seem like a big deal. But depending on how you speak or your complexion, not all phone features work perfectly.
Get the CNET Google Report newsletter
Know everything about Google, from breaking news to reviews and Android tips. Delivered Wednesdays.
For decades, cameras and film have been built and designed around people with a lighter complexion. It’s a bias that still pervades our phones today, because the hardware and software behind the cameras on our phones are not tested on a diverse group of people. The result can be photos that don’t look like you or features that don’t work well because of your complexion. Frequently, darker skin tones skew green or even gray in photos. And nobody wants their skin to look gray.With the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, Google set out to design the phones to be more inclusive. Two of the more conspicuous areas where the company did that was with their cameras and voice recognition. Google says that the cameras on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro work better for people with different skin tones and that voice recognition is more adept at identifying different speech patterns and accents.
First impressions of the new Pixel 6 and 6 Pro
Real Tone on Pixel 6 works better no matter your complexionIf there’s one thing Google’s Pixel cameras are known for, it’s software and computational photography. Google says it designed its cameras and computations to be more equitable no matter your complexion. For the past 18 months Google worked with numerous directors, photographers and cinematographers like DP Ava Berkofsky (Insecure) and DP Kira Kelly (13th), known for their beautiful depictions of communities of color. The idea was to put the phones into the hands of people who know how to take stunning photos of people with darker complexions. They took thousands of portraits, which Google said made their datasets 25x more diverse. These images, along with feedback from the artists, helped Google improve the Pixel’s cameras and algorithms in several ways.The first is detection. Google wants the Pixel to be able to identify a face, no matter how light or dark someone’s skin is, or how complex the lighting is. If you are backlit by a bright window, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro can find your face.
Google debuts Real Tone for Pixel 6 phones
Once a face is detected, the phone usually selects a white balance based on the scene. With Real Tone, the Pixel 6 also factors in the skin tone of the subject to select a white balance that brings out the natural beauty of someone’s complexion. Google also improved the auto-exposure tuning to ensure that photos actually look like you do in real life, as opposed to skewing green or gray.The artists and photographers Google invited to test the phones gave feedback directly to software engineers to improve the aesthetics of how photos were finished. Stray light is minimized so people’s complexions don’t look ashy or washed out. When a subject has a darker complexion the algorithm now adds more nuance to mid- and undertones. The end result is cameras that can take beautiful photos of all skin tones equally.But these improvements are not just limited to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Google Photos’ auto-enhance feature will also have all of this baked in so that edits are more inclusive. And third-party apps that use the cameras can also take advantage of Real Tone.On the left is the Google Pixel 6 Pro, on the right the Pixel 6.
Pixel 6 features more inclusive voice recognition Real Tone is an obvious example where you can see meaningful improvement in terms of being more inclusive. Another area where it’s nearly as obvious is with voice recognition. Google uses its new Tensor chip to better understand what you’re saying no matter your speech pattern or accent. It can learn what terms and names are important to you that might be inconsequential to others. Google’s natural language processing on the Pixel 6 is even faster than it was on the Pixel 5.Google uses Tensor for on-device voice recognition and transcription, and by doing so these processes use half as much power as previous Pixel phones. One of the benefits of this is an improved voice typing experience. The Pixel 6 can use your contacts list to get the correct spelling of a name you say. In the event video, we see a text message being voice typed to someone named Rani. The Pixel 6 correctly spells Rani, instead of, say, Ronnie, because the user has Rani in his contacts.One of the more impressive additions to voice typing is how the Pixel handles all of the punctuation, so you don’t have to dictate commas and question marks. When it comes to transcription suggestions, like Katherine versus Catherine, the Pixel makes suggestions based on the phonetics of what you’re saying instead of keystroke-oriented corrections, which aren’t always useful for dictation.And an added benefit of all of this is more accurate emoji transcriptions.
Marie Kondo demonstrates Google’s Live Translate on Pixel…
Pixel 6 includes Live Translation on deviceTensor not only allows for simple translation between languages to be done on-device but it improves the quality of those translations by 18%, Google says. This allows people to communicate in their own language to each other. In the demo, we see an English speaker texting someone who is Japanese. The Pixel 6 translates the messages from Japanese to English for the English speaker and vice versa for the Japanese speaker.At the end of the day, all of these changes and additions add up to a more meaningful update that goes beyond big specs and a flashy design. The Pixel 6 seems like it can truly transform your relationship with your phone, by making your phone understand you better.
Android 12 Beta for iQoo 7, iQoo 7 Legend, iQoo Z3, iQoo Z5 to Start Rolling Out in India By December-End
Android 12 beta for the iQoo 7, iQoo 7 Legend, iQoo Z3, iQoo Z5, and the iQoo 3 is set to be rolled out in India starting this December, the Chinese company has announced. The new beta release will include the latest Android experience. We can also expect some tweaks and proprietary changes from the…
Android 12 beta for the iQoo 7, iQoo 7 Legend, iQoo Z3, iQoo Z5, and the iQoo 3 is set to be rolled out in India starting this December, the Chinese company has announced. The new beta release will include the latest Android experience. We can also expect some tweaks and proprietary changes from the iQoo side. In addition to iQoo, other subsidiaries of China’s BBK Electronics including Oppo and Realme have announced their plans to bring Android 12 on their flagship offerings later this year.As per the timeline provided in a press note, iQoo 7, iQoo 7 Legend, iQoo Z3, and the iQoo Z5 will get the Android 12 beta starting from the end of December. The iQoo 3, on the other hand, will receive the new Android version in its beta stage by March-end in 2022.iQoo phones are set to receive Android 12 beta from the end of DecemberPhoto Credit: iQoo iQoo has not yet detailed what features the new beta release will bring. We can, however, expect all the core Android 12 features alongside a few custom changes.The Android 12 beta update for all the iQoo phones will be released in a phased manner, the company said. This clearly means that not all users will get the beta release simultaneously, and it may take some more time to reach your phone.While the iQoo 3 was launched in India last year with Android 10, iQoo 7, iQoo 7 Legend, iQoo Z3, and the iQoo Z5 came earlier this year and are based on Android 11.Alongside iQoo, Oppo earlier this month announced ColorOS 12 based on Android 12 that it will initially roll out in public beta for both Oppo and OnePlus phones later this year. iQoo and Oppo sibling Realme also announced its plans to bring Android 12-based Realme UI 3.0 to its flagship Realme GT as well as models such as the Realme X7 Max and Realme GT Master Edition later this year.Separately, Taiwanese manufacturer Asus has announced that it would bring a stable Android 12 release for its ZenFone 8 and ZenFone 8 Flip starting December. The company is also set to bring the new Android update to the ROG Phone 5 and ROG Phone 5s in the first quarter of next year. Furthermore, the ZenFone 7 and the ROG Phone 3 will get Android 12 in the first half of the year.Details about the India release of Android 12 for the Asus ROG Phone 5 and ROG Phone 3 are yet to be announced.Earlier this week, Google released Android 12 for its Pixel phones. The update brings the Material You design language as well as a list of privacy-focused features.Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth joins Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast for an exclusive wide-ranging interview, as he talks about the 5G push, Make in India, Realme GT series and Book Slim, and how stores can improve their standing. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.