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Samsung Galaxy Fit-e review: Affordable fitness band for health enthusiasts

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South Korean electronics maker Samsung recently launched in India a set of its new wearable devices, including its first budget-centric Galaxy Fit-e. At Rs 2,590, the Galaxy Fit-e is a smartwatch-cum-fitness tracker that aims to take on other affordable fitness bands flooding the markets, especially the Xiaomi Mi Band and the Honor Band.


Here’s how the Galaxy Fit-e fares as a fitness band:



Aesthetics


The band’s minimalist look is a plus. Even with a heart rate monitor and multiple other sensors, it weighs just 15 grammes. On most occasions, it is easy to forget you have the band strapped on to your wrist. The silicon strap is neat and feels soft. You have three colour choices — black, white and yellow. The band is waterproof up to 5ATM/50 metres, so you can take a shower or even go swimming with it.


Samsung Galaxy Fit-e


It has a 0.74-inch monochrome 64×218 resolution PMOLED screen, which you can wake up by either lifting your wrist or with a double-tap on the screen, or both. You get your notifications on the panel, though you will need your phone to answer them. The panel is rather small but good enough to follow time and stats. However, it is a little hard to see the display in broad daylight for lack of brightness. Another issue is that the band comes in one standard size, which might fit some but not all.


Features and performance


Samsung Galaxy Fit-e fulfils all the bare necessities of a fitness band, and some more. You can track steps, sleep, heart rate, calories burnt, and get phone’s notifications, too. The band is compatible with Android and iOS, so it works with most smartphones. However, for it to work, you need to download two separate apps — Galaxy Wearable and Samsung Health.


The band has a 70 mAh battery, which keeps it going for at least four days. This is when you use the band with heart rate sensor set to monitor your heart beat continuously. While the on-battery time is good, the charging leaves you desiring more. The band does away with wireless charging feature that is there in its elder sibling Samsung Galaxy Fit. However, like with other bands in the segment, you get charging cable without an adapter; it charges the band in around 90 minutes.


Samsung Galaxy Fit-e


The Galaxy Fit-e lacks GPS and tracks distance using your phone, which you need to carry while you run. That might be inconvenient to some. While the whole non-GPS thing may impact the accuracy of stats, the discrepancy should be minimal — I found rather accurate readings for my walks. Don’t rely too much on the heart rate reading, though. The band’s over-dependence on apps for customisation and in-depth stats is irksome.


The sleep analysis is a simple one, so don’t expect too much on that front. At best, you get the actual time you spent sleeping. At worst, you get the total hours of nap.


There is a string of widgets, including steps, calories, heart rate, weather, and calendar. You can customise the ones you want on your band and in what order. I really liked the ‘find my band’ feature which lights up the band’s screen and makes it vibrate so you can easily locate your band.


Verdict


At 2,590, the Samsung Galaxy Fit-e is a no-frills fitness band perfect for beginners, and those who just want a basic overview of their health and exercises.




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What does Facebook’s plan to hire scribes mean for media industry?

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Facebook’s plan to hire professional journalists instead of relying solely on algorithms to deliver news is a positive step but is unlikely to shake up an embattled media industry, analysts say.


The social media giant said Tuesday it would build a small team of journalists to select the top national news of the day “to ensure we’re highlighting the right stories.”

It comes as the US media landscape is plagued by job losses and newspaper closures, with organizations trying to figure out how to record profits in the age of free news.



Stories will appear in a section called the “news tab,” which will be separate from the traditional news feed that displays updates and content from users’ friends and relatives.


“In theory I see this as a really positive development. It is something quite promising,” Danna Young, a communications professor at the University of Delaware, told AFP.


Facebook’s journalists will be curating stories from news sites and won’t be editing headlines or writing content.


The California-based company has consistently said it does not want to be considered a media organization that makes major editorial decisions, and this announcement does little to change that, experts add.


“It’s not transformative because it’s not going to change necessarily the behavior of individuals who are referencing stories on their feeds,” said Young.


“That’s where the power comes from — individuals you know and trust putting their tacit stamp of approval on stories by sharing them,” she added.


The tab will be the site’s first news feature using human moderators since it shut down its ill-fated “trending topics” section last year after a scandal over allegations workers had suppressed stories about conservative issues.


Articles not deemed top news stories will still be collated using algorithms based on the user’s history, such as pages they follow, publications they subscribe to and news they have already interacted with.


“Our goal with the news tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people,” Facebook head of news partnerships Campbell Brown told AFP in San Francisco Tuesday.


The news tab feature comes as Facebook embarks on a series of initiatives to boost journalism, with traditional media organizations accusing it of benefitting financially from their hard work.


Internet platforms are dominating the internet advertising space making it difficult for established news organizations to transition what were very profitable print advertisements online.


Facebook announced in January that it will invest USD 300 million over three years to support journalism, particularly local news organisations.


It has also funded fact-checking projects around the world, including one in partnership with AFP.


Facebook will reportedly pay some publishers to license news content for the tab but Mathew Ingram, who writes about digital media for the Columbia Journalism Review, doesn’t expect that to trickle down to hard-up organizations that need it the most.


“The companies they are going to choose are ones already doing well I assume. It might give them a little extra cash but I don’t see it driving a huge amount of traffic,” he told AFP.


Print journalism in the US is in free-fall as social media overtakes newspapers as the main news source for Americans.


Around 2,000 American newspapers closed in the past 15 years, according to the University of North Carolina, leaving millions of residents without reporters keeping track of what their local authorities are up to.


“The death of local news has such destructive effects for democracy. It’s a complex issue that Facebook alone cannot fix,” said Young.


The number of journalists working at US newspapers slumped by 47 per cent from 2008 to 2018, according to a Pew Research Center survey released last year.


The total number of journalists in newsrooms fell by 25 per cent, the group found, while consultancy firm Challenger Gray & Christmas says this is going to be the worst year for layoffs since 2009.


It’s a difficult time for Stephen Groves, who recently earned a master’s in journalism at New York University, to be looking for work. When he heard about Facebook’s plans, he was skeptical.


“Facebook is not a journalism company and so before working for Facebook I would want to see their commitment to ethical, robust journalism,” the 30-year-old told AFP.


The digital sector is also in trouble.


When Buzzfeed cut 200 jobs in January, 29-year-old Emily Tamkin was let go from a position she had held for just a few months.


“I’m personally not cheered by the fact that Facebook is swooping in and hiring journalists. If that’s the silver lining then we have a very big cloud here,” she told AFP.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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Google ditches its desserts! Android Q’s official name is Android 10

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Breaking the 10-year history of naming Android releases after desserts, Google on Thursday announced it had officially named the next version as just Android 10.


“First, we’re changing the way we name our releases. Our engineering team has always used internal code names for each version, based of tasty treats, or desserts, in alphabetical order,” said Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, Android, in a statement.



The naming tradition has become a fun part of the release each year externally too, like Android Lollipop or Marshmallows.


“As a global operating system, it’s important that these names are clear and relatable for everyone in the world. So, this next release of Android will simply use the version number and be called Android 10,” Samat explained.


“While there were many tempting ‘Q’ desserts out there, we think that at version 10 and 2.5 billion active devices, it was time to make this change,” he added.


Now, this year is Android 10 and next year will be Android 11, and so on.


Google also changed the logo from green to black.


It’s a small change but Google found the green was hard to read, especially for people with visual impairments.


Google will officially start using the updated logo in the coming weeks with the final release of Android 10.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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Bose adds Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2 to its smart speakers

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Google on Thursday announced an automatic software update that would bring the Google Assistant to all existing Bose smart speakers and soundbars.


The Google Assistant joins Amazon Alexa for voice control of smart home devices, and instant access to millions of songs and podcasts, help, information, and more.



Bose smart speaker owners can now also use Apple AirPlay 2 for simple streaming from Apple devices.


In addition, there is a small Bose smart speaker on the way. The Bose Home Speaker 300 can be pre-ordered on Amazon.in starting Thursday and would available from August 29.


Weighing a mere two pounds and measuring just over six-inch, the Bose Home Speaker 300’s acoustic package delivers powerful bass along with 360-degree sound – unlike conventional smart speakers that deliver a narrow beam of audio, the company said in a statement.


It would be sold directly from Bose stores, wholesale trade partners and online through Amazon.in for Rs 26,900.


 

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)




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