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Google Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE camera shootout: You pick the winner! – Android Authority

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Google Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE 2020 backs 2Google Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE 2020 backs 2

Budget phones are everywhere in 2020 and one of the most awaited contenders has just launched. The Google Pixel 4a is known for its simplicity, a drop-dead $349 price point, and the same amazing camera performance Pixel phones are known for. It could very well be the best camera phone at its price range, but there is another main competitor with an incredible camera already in the mid-range market: Apple’s iPhone SE.

We decided to pit the two phones against each other in a Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE camera shootout to find out which comes out on top. Be sure to cast your vote for the winner in the poll at the end of the article. Let’s take a look at some images.

Learn more: Google Pixel 4a review | Apple iPhone SE review

Google Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE: Camera specs

Things look very similar in the Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE camera spec sheet. Both have single cameras on the rear and front, and megapixel counts are also very much alike. The main differences between the Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE camera specs become more apparent when you start looking at video shooting options. The iPhone SE has much more video quality options, giving Apple’s smartphone a slight upper hand in the video department.

 Pixel 4aiPhone SE
Rear cameras12.2MP sensor with f1.7 aperture12MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture
Rear video4K@30fps
1080p@30fps
1080p@60fps
1080p@120fps
4K@24fps
4K@30fps
4K@60fps
1080p@30fps
1080p@60fps
1080p@120fps
1080p@240fps
Front cameras8MP sensor with f2.0 aperture7MP sensor with f2.2 aperture
Front video1080p@30fps1080p@30fps

The samples

We shot a mix of photos with both smartphones at the same time. The variety of scenarios should help us find quality discrepancies and ultimately come up with a winner. Both devices were on their latest software versions as of writing and both were set to “photo” and “portrait” modes for the given tests.

Apple iPhone SEApple iPhone SE Google Pixel 4a Apple iPhone SE

Google Pixel 4aGoogle Pixel 4a

Apple iPhone SE Apple iPhone SE Google Pixel 4a Apple iPhone SE

Google Pixel 4aGoogle Pixel 4a

Apple iPhone SEApple iPhone SE Google Pixel 4a Apple iPhone SE

Google Pixel 4a Google Pixel 4a

Apple iPhone SEApple iPhone SE Google Pixel 4a Apple iPhone SE

Google Pixel 4aGoogle Pixel 4a

We took the Pixel 4a and iPhone SE on our Snow Lake, Washington adventures, where these camera phones were able to give us a good look at their daylight camera performance. Both phones seem to do very well taking crisp, in-focus images. There is a clear difference in white balance. The Pixel 4a samples are slightly cooler while the iPhone SE shots display a warmer tone. The iPhone SE also seems to raise the shadows more, which is great if you want to see more detail, but the Pixel 4a also has more contrast, which is an effect many of you might prefer.

See also: The best budget camera phones you can buy

Apple iPhone SEApple iPhone SE Google Pixel 4a Apple iPhone SE

Google Pixel 4aGoogle Pixel 4a

Let’s go to a darker area, where we can truly test a camera’s dynamic range. Many cameras will struggle to take a photo like this one because there is strong light in the sky and darker areas in the brick walls. The camera needs to shoot a well-balanced photo, reduce highlights, and increase shadows to achieve a more uniform exposure.

Neither did great, but the iPhone SE seems to have captured a better exposure with a brighter wall and a more vibrant sky. Meanwhile, the level of detail and crispness in the brick wall is better captured by the Pixel 4a.

Apple iPhone SEApple iPhone SE Google Pixel 4a Apple iPhone SE

Google Pixel 4aGoogle Pixel 4a

How about portrait mode? They both do relatively well, or as well as most other good camera phones perform. Bokeh is great in both instances, but I can definitely see a difference in the subject’s outline. The iPhone SE seems to do a little better in this department, as it outlines the hair a little more efficiently, making the fall-off seem more natural.

On the other hand, The Google Pixel 4a did a much better job pulling out detail in the shadows, such as in the hair and mask. Not to mention the eyes, eyebrows, and even the shirt looks much more crisp and clear.

Apple iPhone SEApple iPhone SE Google Pixel 4a Apple iPhone SE

Google Pixel 4aGoogle Pixel 4a

This selfie was shot in bright sunlight. Again, they both did alright, but the iPhone camera seems to shoot much softer and warmer selfies.

Next: The best camera phones you can buy

Google Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE camera shootout: Vote for the winner!

So, which phone wins the Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE camera shootout? Will Google come out on top, or will it fall against its biggest rival. You decide! Cast your vote in the poll below and we’ll let you know the results very soon.

If you want to know how the Pixel 4a and iPhone SE stack up outside the camera realm, be sure to check out our longer comparison where we look at the specs, features, design, software, price and more.

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Apple Watch Series 3 users complain of random reboots, other bugs after updating to watchOS 7 – 9to5Mac

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watchOS 7 was released to the general public last week, bringing new watch face features, sleep tracking support, and more to Apple Watch models dating back to the Apple Watch Series 3. Some Apple Watch Series 3 users, however, are reporting a variety issues since installing watchOS 7, including random reboots, poor performance, and more.

On Apple’s support forums, there’s a thread dedicated to Apple Watch Series 3 owners expressing frustration with device performance since installing watchOS 7. One of the most common complaints seems to be that the Apple Watch Series 3 will randomly reboot multiple times per day with watchOS 7 installed:

I’ve had several reboots a day since updating, it asks me for my passcode and shows blank stats on activity. Never had an issue like this before on Watch OS6 or earlier, surely there has to be a supplement update from Apple to address this?

Multiple Apple Watch Series 3 users refer to watchOS 7 as “the worst” watchOS update that Apple has released so far.

My series 3 completed an auto update overnight to Watch OS7. Today it has shut itself down at least 3 times, locked itself while on my wrist about 4 times, failed to load complications on multiple faces (weather, activity rings, date etc), disconnected from my phone at least twice. This has been the buggiest upgrade I have seen.

On the MacRumors Forums, there’s another thread dedicated to Apple Watch Series 3 owners voicing frustration with watchOS 7, including complaints of random reboots, laggy performance, and more.

Two things make these complaints even more notable. First, there is no way to downgrade a watchOS 7 update, which means these Apple Watch Series 3 owners can’t downgrade back to watchOS 6. watchOS 7.0.1 was released as a bug fix update this week, but users report that it has not solved their problems.

Secondly, Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3 as part of its Apple Watch lineup, even though it seems as if the aging hardware might struggle to keep up with the new features of watchOS 7. This could also have implications for the availability of future software updates, such as watchOS 8, for the Apple Watch Series 3.

At this point, it’s unclear how widespread these issues are, but judging by the sheer volume of complaints, the problems are likely to already be on Apple’s radar. Have you experienced any of these issues with your Apple Watch Series 3 since updating to watchOS 7? Let us know down in the comments.

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Ring Always Home Cam and Echo Show 10 may pave way for Amazon robot – Business Insider – Business Insider

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Ring home camera

The Ring Always Home Cam

Ring


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  • Amazon launched two new smart home products that can move within the home: the Echo Show 10 and Ring Always Home Cam.
  • The Echo Show 10 can reorient its display, camera, and speakers to face the user’s direction, while the Ring Always Home Cam is a mini security drone that can fly around the home.
  • Both product could serve as a step toward Amazon’s broader ambitions to build an Alexa-enabled home robot, as reports from Business Insider and Bloomberg have indicated.
  • But the company will have to overcome serious privacy concerns along the way. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon’s presence in the home took a big leap forward this week, and not just because the online retail giant announced a completely redesigned Echo lineup and big updates to Alexa.

Amazon’s smart home devices, whether it be an Echo speaker, Eero mesh router, or Ring security camera, have always remained as stationary fixtures inside (or outside) the home.

That’s all starting to change, however, as Amazon announced the Echo Show 10, which can rotate based on the user’s position, as well as the Ring Always Home Cam — a miniature drone capable of flying around the home.

The two products could pave the way for Amazon’s future endeavors, such as the Alexa-enabled home robot the company is said to be working on. The new gadgets may help Amazon gain an understanding of how consumers receive smart home gadgets that move autonomously in the home or reorient themselves based on the user’s location.

It could also potentially help Amazon refine such technologies before making a more sophisticated gadget like the “Vesta” robot it has reportedly been developing. 

The new Echo Show 10 can move its screen and camera as the user changes position to keep him or her in frame during video calls. If you enable Alexa Guard — the feature that prompts your Echo to listen up for sounds and turn the lights on while you’re away — the new Show can also periodically pan its camera around the room.

The Echo Show uses computer vision algorithms to understand when a person is in its scope of view, and owners can also manipulate the camera from the Alexa app to get a full view of the room. The new Echo Show can adjust its screen, camera, and speakers to face the user each time Alexa is triggered.

Amazon Echo Show 10

The Echo Show 10

Amazon


Amazon created the new Echo Show because it realized that people often aren’t stationary when they’re within their homes. As such, the company wanted to create a product that could cater to users as they move around the house and go about their daily routines, Miriam Daniel, Amazon’s vice president of Echo and Alexa devices, said to Business Insider.

The company also used virtual reality environments to gain a better understanding of how users interact with screens and cameras when developing the Echo Show 10, Daniel said.

“Up until now, customers are adapting to the technology,” Daniel said. “Whether it’s holding a phone in your hand or angling it just right to take a selfie, or how you have to pause and put yourself within frame of the camera. And so we thought a little bit about how should technology adapt to humans.”

The Echo Show 10 uses a combination of audio signals and computer vision to determine a user’s location and adjust its position accordingly. The camera looks for a human shape and the direction from which the strongest audio signals in the room are coming from to determine the user’s location, according to Daniel.

The ability to understand a person’s location within a room and adjust accordingly sounds like it could be crucial for a home robot like the one Amazon is rumored to be working on.  

Ring, on the other hand, is launching a new home security camera that can autonomously fly throughout the home. The $250 miniature drone, which is called the Always Home Cam and will be launching in 2021, follows a predetermined path that the user sets by carrying the device around the house. It’s intended to help owners keep an eye on their homes without having to install multiple cameras throughout the house. 

But both products are already raising some serious privacy woes. In particular, the idea of a tiny Amazon drone surveilling your home — as well as a stationary camera that swivels to follow you — has already been met with some concern and apprehension

Big Brother Watch, the United Kingdom-based privacy advocacy group, called the Always Home Cam “Amazon’s most chilling surveillance product yet.”

Ring says its Always Home Cam only records while in flight and that its camera is blocked while it sits in its charging dock. The flying camera is also designed to be loud so that owners are aware that it’s nearby. Amazon says the Echo Show 10 features a built-in camera shutter that can block its view anytime.

When the Echo Show 10 is scanning its surroundings, it immediately discards any imagery of human shapes within milliseconds after extracting the necessary data points, Daniel said. The imagery also never leaves the device.

How customers react to and embrace these new mobile gadgets could be critical when it comes to Amazon’s future plans. The company is said to be working on a waist-high Alexa-powered robot that would be able to move around the home based on voice commands, according to reports from Bloomberg and Business Insider’s Eugene Kim. The robot itself could cost around $1,000 and is said to be a top priority for the company. 

Privacy advocates are already taking issue with the idea of a small drone that’s only designed to make short, pre-determined trips of approximately five minutes each around your home. Imagine the backlash Amazon will likely face if it launches a bigger robot equipped with microphones, cameras, and wheels that can more freely roam around the house. 

Regardless, the new products suggest that the path forward for Amazon’s Echo and smart home products involves making them less stationary and more mobile — whether it raises privacy concerns or not. 

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Why a dedicated Zoom device makes sense – USA TODAY

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Jefferson Graham
 
| USA TODAY

In the beginning of the week, Microsoft announced something that, at first blush, sounds so cool, until you start to break it down.

A dedicated video device for Teams meetings, a whopping 85 inches for display in a conference room or hospital corridor, so large everyone could see it, and be seen.

No longer would we have to fiddle around with the laptop or phone. Just gather in front of the TV and click the touchscreen.

But at a price tag of $21,999, gosh, that’s just a little bit north of our budgets, wouldn’t you say?

So you’ve got to love Amazon’s answer, which came later in the week. A dedicated 10-inch unit, for $250, the Echo Show 10, which lets you go through Alexa to connect to Zoom, Skype or Alexa-to-Alexa direct calls. 

Again, no fiddling. This time, just use Alexa, your Zoom calendar and voice computing to connect.

Or better yet, plug a webcam to the TV via the $119 Fire TV Cube device and do it on the big screen TV of your choice. Maybe not 85 inches, but many of us have good 50 to 60 inches or larger in the living room. If not, Best Buy would be happy to sell you a 50-inch TCL, Samsung or Amazon-branded Toshiba TV in the $300 range.

The Amazon solutions are both listed as coming soon, but if you have a Facebook Portal video chat device, you can use the dedicated unit to connect now to Zoom. The update started rolling out Friday.

The Portals start at $129, and are available in three sizes: with 8-inch, 10-inch or 15.6-inch screens. An edition that connects to the TV, Portal TV, is not supported for the Zoom calls.

The smart displays were originally marketed as places for video chat first, then using the video screen to look up recipes on YouTube, operate your smart home and best of all, as economical and easy to mount digital photo frames.

Those features are still sound, but add in the dedicated Zoom device, and the kids who are stuck at home taking school on their laptops can have one unit just displaying the teacher and lessons. This would leave the students hands freer for schoolwork and notetaking on the laptop.

For those who are taking meetings all day, the same issue applies. Isn’t it hard to take notes when your laptop screen is filled with speaker video windows? Plus, this way, you wouldn’t have to worry about webcam placement. After all, it’s best to be at eye level, which most people ignore, and not have the webcam looking up at their chins and noses. That requires stacking the laptop atop a bunch of books, which gives you a better look, but makes it really hard to type.

So the savvy speaker or student would have to constantly move the books around. That dedicated device on the desk would solve the issue, living atop the books that could just stay there and not have to be moved around.

Meanwhile, that’s not all folks. On Wednesday, Google holds its annual fall hardware product event, where it’s expected to unveil a new top of the line smartphone, the Pixel 5, an updated streaming device, Chromecast and a new take on the Nest Home Hub video display unit.

Last year’s Nest didn’t work with Zoom or initially with Google’s Meet, the video chat service Google heavily touts as a Zoom alternative. (It does now, but setup is highly convoluted. You ask Google to set up a meeting, then need to click the touchscreen to confirm. Google generates a code to send to your guests, which it sends to your phone, via the Assistant app. You open your phone, copy the invite, and text or e-mail the invite. Got that?)

Meanwhile, Google has already said it will begin accepting calls from Zoom on Nest Hubs before the end of the year, so expect more action and hopefully improved  usability.

Finally, we began this edition by talking about that crazy Microsoft TV/PC.

What if you want to put Zoom calls on your TV now, without having to wait for Amazon’s Fire TV Cube update?

TVs with built-in webcams are rare, and besides, how would you connect to Zoom without a computer?

Exactly.

To get Zoom on the TV, all you need is a laptop, an HDMI cable, adapter to plug it into your laptop and webcam, and you’re in business.

Connect the HDMI cable from the TV to laptop, plug in the webcam and position it well (so it doesn’t look up your nose) change your HDMI settings on the TV to bring in the laptop, and you’ve got a Zoom call on the big screen. You’ll just need to operate it from your laptop. Without spending $21,199!

Questions about any of this? Just look for me on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham.

In other tech news this week

ICYMI, Amazon announced 13 new products, including a redesigned Echo and Echo Dot speakers, which no longer resemble coffee cans but instead are now spherical, more powerful Fire TV Sticks (to help your programs load faster) and some wild stuff. There’s the indoor security drone from Ring that flies around your home automatically checking on things when you’re not at home (so Amazon claims), and security cameras for the car. The Fire TV products will be the first to come market, Wednesday, while Amazon says we’ll see the new Echo devices in October and November. The Ring products won’t be out until 2021. Amazon also announced a new gaming service, Luna, which is invite only. Amazon will start selecting players in October.

APPLE: Spotify and the makers of Fortnite and Tinder are taking on Apple and Google as part of a newly formed coalition calling for “fair treatment” in the way the tech giant runs its app store. The Coalition for App Fairness, a Washington-based nonprofit, will advocate for legal and regulatory changes, such as measures that could block Apple and Google from favoring their own apps in the iPhone and Android operating systems they control.

FACEBOOK: Warning of an urgent threat to democracy, civil rights activists say they’ve formed an independent Facebook oversight board to scrutinize the role the social media giant is playing in the 2020 election. The “Real Facebook Oversight Board” is an initiative from Citizens, a new nonprofit created to hold big tech accountable. It has start-up funding from Luminate, which is backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s foundation The Omidyar Group.

This week’s Talking Tech podcasts

Review: Netflix’s The Social Dilemma

The $22K new Microsoft TV/PC!

New videogame consoles will really hard to get for Christmas

Crazy things people connect to corporate Wi-Fi networks. Ryan Olson, VP of Threat Intelligence at Palo Alto Networks joins to tell us.

Amazon update and all those new products.

The one new Amazon device we really want to own. Bret Kinsella from Voicebot.ai joins to compare notes.

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