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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's Portrait Video is no match for Apple Cinematic mode – TechRadar



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Oh, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, I wanted so much more from your Portrait Video.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is, in many ways, a powerful Android 12 handset for professionals. It’s got that massive screen; a built-in stylus for note-taking, markup, and more; and an incredible camera array with some truly eye-popping specs. What it doesn’t have is cinema-quality video, however.

Sure, I can shoot up to 8K video at 24 fps for TVs that almost nobody owns, and gorgeous 4K 60 fps on either the front or back cameras. But what I wanted and hoped for was the kind of easy-to-use film-making chops I now find in Apple’s iPhone 13 line.

If you haven’t tried or seen Apple’s Cinematic mode in action, it’s a film-worthy experience. Available on every iPhone 13 model, Cinematic mode is more than just portrait-mode video; It’s the ability to focus on any object or person in a scene, while throwing the rest – foreground or background – into soft focus. It creates “Cinematic video” because it gives your video a cinematic look and feel. In the movies, they achieve this effect through the use of “focus pullers,” people who change the short-depth-of-field focus from one subject to another by manually adjusting the lens focus. Without this effect, a movie scene would look flat and amateurish.

As we were first preparing our first takes on the Samsung Galaxy S22 line, I asked the company if these phones had similar capabilities. I was told that they all had “Portrait Video.” I thought, “Brilliant, can’t wait to see how this compares to Apple’s Cinematic video.”

TLDR: It does not.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Camera App More controls (Image credit: Future)

First, Samsung hides its Portrait Video under the Camera App’s “More” button. That should’ve been my first clue. You don’t hide your light under a bushel and you don’t take a premium video feature and squeeze it under “More.”

After navigating to “More” on my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, I opened Portrait Video and took a look at the controls. Ostensibly, they’re richer than what Apple offers: Instead of just one camera, I can access the main 108MP Wide and 3X optical zoom, which I believe comes through one of the 10MP Zoom cameras. There’s also a slider for live control of focus depth (Samsung calls the control “Effect strength,” which is another bad sign). Apple holds the aperture control settings until before or after you’ve shot the Cinematic video, and they are defined as f-stops (in photography, the wider your aperture – a lower number – the shorter the focus and depth of field).

Samsung does give you a few rather cool presets, including one that radically reduces the sharpness of the background (Big Circle), another that leaves you in full color while the background is monochrome (Color Point), and a third called Glitch that makes you look like you’re filming on old VHS tape. Cute, right? Useful? Not so much.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Portrait Video Color Point

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Portrait Video Color Point (Image credit: Future)

These settings work exactly the same with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s front or rear cameras. Neither set can do any kind of Portrait Video without a face in the frame. Now, you can use faces that are living or, as I did at one point, otherwise. Samsung’s Portrait Video can take my 7-inch-tall Spock figure and apply a lovely Portrait video effect, for instance.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera will lock onto that face and hold it in focus, which is great – if this was 2020.

Apple’s Cinematic video lets me put faces and objects in focus. As I shoot, I can tap on the screen to select which person or object is in focus in the video. No amount of tapping on the expansive screen will change where it focuses. To be clear, Samsung’s Portrait Video will find people in the frame to focus on, but there’s no way to control it.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Portrait Video Control

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Portrait Video needs a face to work. (Image credit: Future)

Samsung does offer a way to inch closer to Apple’s Cinematic Video ideal: Pro Video. Like Portrait Video, it lives under More, but it’s also a far more powerful tool – and probably not for amateurs. Pro Video gives you complete control over everything from zoom and shutter speed and even ISO (virtual film exposure strength) to focus. It’s in this last control that you approach the power of Cinematic mode. As I was shooting, I was able to use a manual focus to smoothly push and pull focus from the foreground to the back.

This is admirable, but it totally lacks the ease of use Apple brings – and I suspect the level of detail (truly “Pro”) will scare off most consumers.

Look, Portrait Video isn’t a deal-breaker. As I spend more time with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, I find much to love, especially in the camera array, but I won’t be using it to shoot my next indie film. For that, if I want to use a smartphone (as many 21st-century auteurs do), it still has to be the power and ease of use of Apple iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode.

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Google, Samsung help Android developers sync fitness data between apps – Deccan Herald



Google and Samsung have joined hands to give developers an opportunity to sync users’ health and fitness data between Android apps and their devices.

Called ‘Health Connect’, the platform and API (application programming interface) are for Android app developers to securely access users’ health data.

With user permission, developers can use a single set of APIs to securely access and share health and fitness data across Android devices, Google said in a statement.

“We’re building this new unified platform in collaboration with Samsung to simplify connectivity between apps” to foster richer app experiences while also providing centralised privacy controls for users,” the tech giant added.

Google is working with developers including MyFitnessPal, Leap Fitness, and Withings as part of an early access programme.

In addition, Samsung Health, Google Fit, and Fitbit are adopting Health Connect. All developers can get access to Health Connect’s common set of APIs for Android via Android Jetpack,” the company informed.

‘Health Connect’ supports many common health and fitness data types and categories, including activity, sleep, nutrition, body measurements, and vitals like heart rate and blood pressure.

“The users will have full control over their privacy settings, with granular controls to see which apps are requesting access to data at any given time,” said Google.

The users will also have the ability to shut off access or delete data they don’t want on their device, along with an option to prioritise one data source over another when using multiple apps.

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Oppo Reno 8 Series Launch Officially Set for May 23 in China – Beebom



Oppo is all set to unveil its new Reno 8 series to succeed last year’s Reno 7 lineup next week. The company has revealed that it will host an online event on May 23 in China to introduce the Oppo Reno 8 mid-range phones, which are expected to boast good looks, various camera-centric features, and more. Here’s what to expect.

Oppo Reno 8 Series Launching This Month

Oppo announced this information via a recent Weibo post. It is also revealed that the Reno 8 series will launch in China at 7:00 local time (4:30 pm IST). The company has also shared a short teaser for the same, but it doesn’t tell us anything about the devices.

oppo reno 8 series launch date confirmed to be may 23
Image: Weibo

Although, it is suggested that the Reno 8 series will consist of the Reno 8, the Reno 8 Pro, and the Reno 8 SE. A recent leak tells that the Reno 8 Pro will be powered by the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset, which is expected to be introduced at the Snapdragon Night event on May 20. The Reno 8 could be equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC, paired with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage.

It is also reported that the Reno 8 will feature a 6.55-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Three rear cameras, including a 50MP Sony IMX766 main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2MP macro camera, along with a 32MP selfie shooter are also expected. This variant is also likely to be backed by the MariSiliconX NPU.

The Reno 8 is also slated to come equipped with a 4,500mAh battery with support for 80W wired fast charging, much like the OnePlus 10 Pro. This will be a first for an Oppo phone. Other details regarding the Reno 8 series remain unknown. We also don’t have an idea of what interesting camera features it will feature. Plus, the design is still a mystery, and our best guess is a center-placed punch-hole screen, and maybe, some design changes too.

While the Reno 8 and the Reno 8 Pro could fall in the upper mid-range price bracket, the Reno 8 SE could be a more affordable offering. That said, proper details still aren’t out, and hence, it’s best to wait for the launch event to get a better idea. We will keep you in the loop. So, stay tuned for more information.

Featured Image: Representation of Oppo Reno 7

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Apple iPod is dead, but check out these iPod alternatives- from Walkman to Mighty Vibe – HT Tech



Apple has discontinued its long-running music player iPod! However, these iPod alternatives are worth checking out.

After a remarkable journey of 21 years, the Apple iPod is no more! Earlier this week, Apple announced the discontinuation of the iPod. It was October 23, 2001, when Apple introduced the first original iPod- the first MP3 player in the world that could load 1000 songs. All that was fancy within a pocket-sized device. It became one of the most iconic products by Apple. This original iPod used to feature a FireWire port to connect to a Mac, and it sold for $399 at that time. And after that, the world has seen various iPod generations come and go. In 2022, Apple added a capacitive-sensing Touch Wheel with click buttons around the sides in the iPod, while its third gen iPod featured a Dock connector. Also Read: Apple iPod is NO more! A flashback at this revolutionary gadget changed the world!

By 2005, Apple expanded the colour display to all models of iPod as well as video capabilities. Over years, the Apple iPod kept on being launched in new avatars. iPod Touch came out in 2007 along with the iPhone. Then in 2009, iPod Classic was Apple’s final iPod at that size, and it featured a 160GB hard drive, a Click Wheel, and a widescreen colour display. Now, in 2022, the Apple iPod looks to have lost its essence as its features are now available in almost every Apple device, from iPhone, iPad to even Mac. In fact, Apple Music can be accessed via every other Apple device now. Also Read: iPod is now officially DEAD! Apple kills its superhit gadget after 20 years

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

So, the Apple iPod may be dead but you can still find some top iPod alternatives in the market. If you are a music lover, then these devices will definitely surprise you with their build quality and performance. Here, we have listed some of the iPod alternatives that you can consider now.

Apple iPod alternatives

Sony Walkman

Sony has been making its own portable audio players for decades with the series named Walkman! Actually, the original Walkman was a portable cassette player, but with its popularity, Walkman has now been converted into an audio player. There are several models that you can buy. Sony NW-A105 Android Walkman with high resolution audio, touch sensor and 26 hours of battery life is available on Amazon at the price of Rs. 21,990. Yes, that is steep, but the Walkman is as iconic a product as Apple iPod was.

Astell & Kern AK Jr

Astell & Kern offers a wide range of mp3 music players. Astell & Kern AK Jr offers high resolution audio, anytime and anywhere. It has a 3.1-inch display size which makes it pocketable along with 9 hours of playback time. It comes with 64GB external memory that supports file formats including WMA, MP3, ALAC, APE(Normal, High, Fast), WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, OGG, AAC.

Mighty Vibe Spotify and Amazon Music Player

There is another music player which resembles the iPod Shuffle, the Mighty Vibe which plays Spotify playlists and podcasts for phone as well as data free music listening. It can store 1000 plus songs.

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