Tech Launches of The Week: Android 12, Apple Music Lossless Audio, Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G & More
Every week, we see scores of tech launches across the world and across product categories. This week we saw one of the most important software launch of this year with Android 12. Along with the latest Android version, we also saw several new devices coming to the market across categories like smartphones, laptop, chipsets, and more. Chinese smartphone maker Realme launched its Realme Narzo 30 smartphone, along with some accessories like the new Realme Watch 2 Pro, Realme Buds Wireless 2 Neo, and more. Let us take a look at some of the launches that took place this year:
-REALME NARZO 30
Realme has refreshed its Narzo 30 series with the new Realme Narzo 30. The regular model joins the Narzo 30A and Narzo 30 Pro that debuted back in February. At the moment, the new Realme Narzo 30 is available in Malaysia; however, Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth had announced the 4G and 5G variants of the device would launch in India soon. The company is yet to share its India-specific launch details. The Realme Narzo 30 4G sports a 6.5-inch LCD display with Full-HD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh. The display panel has a hole-punch cutout that houses the selfie camera. Under the hood, there’s an octa-core MediaTek Helio G95 processor, paired with an integrated ARM Mali-G76 GPU, 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage. The phone runs Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0 and supports dual-SIM cards. Its triple rear camera setup houses a 48-megapixel primary camera, a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro shooter. At the front, there is a 16-megapixel camera for selfies and video calling.
Google this week announced its next generation mobile operating system Android 12 during the ongoing Google I/O Keynote conference. Android 12 brings a huge design overhaul to the Android UI. There is a new lock-screen, bigger quick settings tiles, and much more. The lock-screen features a larger clock with no notifications, just a small date and the temperature indicator is placed on the left side. The volume slider is also bigger now, and has a rounded profile instead of a more square shape in Android 11. The brightness slider also takes the same shape in the quick settings. The quick settings menu is also in the form of tiles on Android 12 as opposed to the button-type layout previously.
-APPLE MUSIC LOSSLESS
Apple also announced Apple Music is bringing industry-leading sound quality to subscribers with the addition of Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos. The new features will be available for all Apple Music subscribers this June and will be part of the existing the Apple Music subscriptions and at no extra cost. Apple will use the ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) for high resolution tracks, and users will be able to choose between three quality standards for lossless audio as well. Apple says that thousands of tracks will support Spatial Audio at launch, with more getting added at regular intervals. The additions are great news for those who own the Apple AirPods wireless earbuds, the Apple AirPods Max headphones and Apple HomePod or HomePod Mini smart speakers.
-QUALCOMM SNAPDRAGON 778G 5G SOC
American chipmaker Qualcomm has launched its latest chipset for mobiles, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G SoC was launched at Qualcomm’s 5G Snapdragon Summit and sits between the Snapdragon 750G and the Snapdragon 780G. The chipset comes as a successor to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G chipset and is designed to deliver an enhanced multimedia experience using a new configuration. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G is based on a 6nm process and the company claims that it is capable of delivering up to two times better artificial intelligence (AI) performance improvement over its predecessor. It will be available commercially in the second quarter of 2021 itself, Qualcomm said in a blog post announcing the new SoC.
-POCO M3 PRO 5G
Poco also launched a new smartphone – the Poco M3 Pro 5G. The new Poco M3 Pro features the MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor that is designed to bring 5G connectivity to budget smartphones, instead of a Qualcomm mobile chipset available on the regular model. In terms of specifications, the Poco M3 Pro 5G sports a 6.5-inch Full-HD+ LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Under the hood, it carries the octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC paired with Mali-G57 MC2 integrated GPU, up to 6GB RAM, and 128GB UFS 2.2 internal storage that is further expandable with a microSD card. The smartphone runs on Android 11-based MIUI 12 out-of-the-box and supports dual-SIM cards. Its triple rear camera module houses a 48-megapixel primary sensor, a 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro camera for close-up shots. At the front, there’s an 8-megapixel shooter for selfies and video calling.
Apart from the abovementioned launches, there were some other launches as well. Vivo launched the Vivo Y52 5G and the Vivo TWS 2 earphones. HP launched its new gaming laptops including the HP Omen 16, HP Omen 17, and HP Victus 16. Realme launched the Realme Watch 2 Pro, Buds Wireless 2 Neo, and the Realme Buds Wireless 2. MSI also launched three laptops – MSI Creator M16, Z16, 17, GE66, GE76. Sharp also launched the Sharp Aquos R6 smartphone and Honor launched the Honor Play 5.