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Indian electronics brand boAt launches its first gaming headphone at ₹2,499


Homegrown earwear and wearables brand boAt on Wednesday launched its first gaming headphone -- Immortal D -- at Rs ,. The gaming headphone is available in two colours -- black and white sabre -- on Amazon and the boAt website. We are very excited to launch our very first gaming headphone -- the Immortal D in India, Sameer Mehta, Co-Founder, boAt, said in a statement. The Indian gaming industry has grown to become one of the world s largest e-gaming markets due to the fast and affordable connectivity of the internet and smartphones and we want to provide specialised audio accessories and peripherals to professional as well as casual gamers and enthusiasts, Mehta added. With Dolby Atmos available on the boAt Immortal D, players will be able to unlock incredible immersive audio when playing their favourite PC games. Dolby Atmos works by placing the sounds of the game all around a listener with three-dimensional precision so that gamers can react faster and more accurately. Advertisement It enables the ability to pinpoint the position and movement of teammates and enemies -- even from overhead or behind. The headphone also features a . Channel Surround Audio created by the brand s very own boAt Plugin Labz which processes high-fidelity sound and is optimized by experts in gaming audio immersion. Users can switch between . Channel Surround Audio or Dolby Atmos while gaming. The gaming headphone comes with dual mics for crystal clear and distortion-free communication between friends and foes. The headphones shut out external noise using special closed earcups that fully cover your ears, aided by plush cushions that form a perfect seal for greater sound isolation. In a recent report released by KPMG, the online gaming segment in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of per cent over FY-FY to reach a size of Rs , crore. Of the total size, online casual gaming accounts for per cent of the total online gaming revenues. Asia-Pacific has emerged as one the largest demand drivers for gaming accessories including PCs, consoles, audio and smartphones. SEE ALSO -A startup which helps you become a makeup artist raises seed funding from Sequoia s Surge Chinese e-commerce app Shein will re-enter the Indian market with Amazon, but as a seller this time



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This Tiny Gadget Can Upgrade The Sound Of Your Smartphone Or Laptop


The Startech USB-C to .mm Audio Mobile Adapter works with laptops and Android smartphones. The ... + sound is great and you can still charge your laptop while using it. It was a dark day when smartphone makers ditched the headphone jack. I like wired headphones and I don’t always want to go wireless. I own some great earphones and when I’m working from home, I would like to use them with my phone. If you own a modern smartphone, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to plug in a pair of wired headphones. When Apple first ditched the headphone jack from its iPhones, it used to include a little converter in the box that enabled you to use wired headphones. But when I bought my iPhone SE recently, there was no such adapter. And when an Apple accessory costs just $, I’m not filled with confidence that the sound quality is going to be great and Apple’s adapter won’t let you charge your iPhone at the same time. What is a music lover supposed to do? If you own an Android phone without a headphone jack, you should take a look at the StarTech audio headphone adapter. This small device plugs into a phone or laptop’s USB-C port and restores the ability to use wired headphones and still lets you charge the your device at the same time. The Startech USB-C to .mm Audio Mobile Adapter is about the same size as a AAA battery and plugs straight into a USB-C port. At one side of the adapter there’s a .mm stereo headphone jack, while at the other end there’s a -pin USB-C female port that can be connected to chargers up to W output so that you can still power your laptop or phone while listening to the music. The adapter is made from grey aluminum and small enough to slip into a pocket. The Startech USB-C to .mm Audio Mobile Adapter is a great little gadget that lets you use a pair ... + of wired earphones on USB-C devices that have no headphone jack. I tested the StarTech adapter on my iPhone SE using Apple’s USB to Lightning adapter and it worked. It couldn’t handle the charging input which it simply ignored, but it was good enough for me to test the audio qualities. Note to self: get an Android phone so you can test these devices. It also worked fine with my iMac and should work with any computer although the power input won’t handle the W power supplies of some Apple laptops. The sound quality from Startech’s USB-C to .mm Audio Mobile Adapter is excellent. The music comes across with a wide soundstage and a clarity that sounds much better than using a pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones. It seems good enough to drive a pair of high-quality earphones of almost any impedance and there’s plenty of volume on offer. Verdict: There’s not much else to say about tStartech’s USB-C to .mm Audio Mobile Adapter. It’s a small and handy DAC for laptops and Android smartphones. It’s certainly high-enough quality to hold its own with a great pair of headphones. I just wish they made a version for the iPhone. Pricing and Availability: The Startech USB-C to .mm Audio Mobile Adapter is available now and costs $. £.





boAt launches its 1st gaming headphone at Rs 2,499


New Delhi: Homegrown earwear and wearables brand boAt Wednesday launched its first gaming headphone — Immortal D — at Rs ,. The gaming headphone is available in two colours — black and white sabre — on Amazon and the boAt website. “We are very excited to launch our very first gaming headphone — the Immortal D in India,” Sameer Mehta, Co-Founder, boAt, said in a statement. “The Indian gaming industry has grown to become one of the world’s largest e-gaming markets due to the fast and affordable connectivity of the internet and smartphones and we want to provide specialised audio accessories and peripherals to professional as well as casual gamers and enthusiasts,” Mehta added. With Dolby Atmos available on the boAt Immortal D, players will be able to unlock incredible immersive audio when playing their favourite PC games. Dolby Atmos works by placing the sounds of the game all around a listener with three-dimensional precision so that gamers can react faster and more accurately. It enables the ability to pinpoint the position and movement of teammates and enemies — even from overhead or behind. The headphone also features a . Channel Surround Audio created by the brand’s very own boAt Plugin Labz which processes high-fidelity sound and is optimized by experts in gaming audio immersion. The gaming headphone comes with dual mics for crystal clear and distortion-free communication between friends and foes. The headphones shut out external noise using special closed earcups that fully cover your ears, aided by plush cushions that form a perfect seal for greater sound isolation. In a recent report released by KPMG, the online gaming segment in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of per cent over FY-FY to reach a size of Rs , crore. Of the total size, online casual gaming accounts for per cent of the total online gaming revenues. Asia-Pacific has emerged as one the largest demand drivers for gaming accessories including PCs, consoles, audio and smartphones.





DTS Sound Unbound & DTS Headphone:X Review: Worth The Audio Upgrade?


While I normally review tech products and gadgets here at International Business Times, this review is going to be a bit different. It is common to see reviews for things like headphones and gaming headsets here, but this time we re looking at software that improves on those gaming headsets. Audio giant DTS is known for their multichannel theatrical speaker and at-home surround sound setups, but has managed to cram much of that same aural experience into headphones. They re called DTS Sound Unbound and DTS Headphone:X, and they re awesome. First, let s start this review by explaining what is going on here. When gaming on an Xbox, the console outputs what it calls uncompressed stereo audio. This audio is fine, and there s nothing inherently bad about it. That said, companies like DTS, Dolby and even Microsoft themselves saw an opportunity to improve it with additional software. So back to DTS Sound Unbound. This is a free program that can be downloaded on Xbox consoles as well as PCs. However, it gets a little weird here. While the Sound Unbound app is free, it doesn t actually do anything until a user purchases a license to DTS Headphone:X. Even after a license is purchased, the Sound Unbound app has no additional features. It feels a little unnecessary, but it at least doesn t take up much hard drive space. DTS Headphone:X is really where the magic starts. Once a license is purchased, Headphone:X can be selected from the Xbox settings menu. This changes the audio stream coming out of an Xbox controller s headphone jack. It should be noted that buying a license for Headphone:X will not have any impact on the audio that comes out of TV speakers or any stereo system hooked up to an Xbox. It only impacts headphone quality. Once activated, Headphone:X creates an object-based soundstage as opposed to an audio-based one. To keep this very simple, it means the Xbox interprets sound as individual sources. These sources are located in different directions in relation to the player, which means the sounds will appear to be coming from those directions. It isn t full-on head tracking D audio like something from the Audeze Mobius, but it is spatial audio that allows gamers to use their ears as much as their eyes when playing. It seems a little obvious to say things sound better with DTS Headphone:X turned on, but it s true. Audio sounds much more realistic, rounded, and for a lack of a better word, fresh . Heck, even the little popping sounds the Xbox makes when jumping around on the home screen sound more punchy and full when compared to the standard uncompressed stereo option. As far as specific games go, there are only a handful of games that have been optimized to take full advantage of DTS Headphone:X so far. Headphone:X uses Microsoft s spatial sound tech, hence why it is only available for Xbox consoles and Windows PCs. That also means the list of games specifically designed to be enhanced by Microsoft spatial sound, and therefore Headphone:X, is somewhat short. The full list of games as of this publication, as provided by DTS, is as follows: While that s not many games, more are sure to be added to that list as time goes on. Additionally, some movies have also been tuned to take advantage of Headphone:X. I mostly spent time testing out Modern Warfare with DTS Headphone:X, and the improvements were drastic. With Headphone:X turned off, my footsteps were still audible, and I could hear faraway gunfire in general directions, but everything sounded fairly flat and dull. Once I turned Headphone:X on, I could distinctly hear the different types of surfaces I was walking on, from dirt to sheet metal to pavement. Additionally, I could directly pinpoint where gunfire was coming from just based on my ears. It honestly did help me get a few extra kills, just because I could hear the direction my opponents were coming from and better prepare myself. The goofy analogy I came up with while playing is that the standard uncompressed stereo audio is like pre-shredded cheese. It s fine for what it is, but it doesn t melt properly and has a slightly off taste. DTS Headphone:X is like cheese that was hand-shredded. You can just taste how much better it is, despite it being largely the same as the pre-shredded stuff. Hand shredded cheese melts naturally and is just an all-around better ingredient to work with. Similarly, Headphone:X just sounds more natural and has that extra all natural layer that makes audio sound more like it is coming from all around you. Here s what is maybe the best part about DTS Sound Unbound and DTS Headphone:X. There are a number of gaming headsets designed to support DTS Headphone:X, such as the Steelseries Arctis Pro. While these headsets are made to best utilize Headphone:X, the software has a deep database of over different headsets to best optimize audio on any pair of headphones. On top of being compatible with just about every headset out there, DTS Headphone:X licenses stick around. I can access Headphone:X on my Xbox across a number of different profiles even when the profile I activated the license for is logged out, and can even get Headphone:X working across devices. After downloading DTS Sound Unbound on my PC, I was immediately given the green light to start using it with my headphones. To sweeten the deal even more, buying a license for Headphone:X also grants a license for DTS:X Home Theater, which provides the same audio quality as Headphone:X, but for DTS-enabled home theater equipment. I don t have access to any at the moment, but it s still cool to see that as an option if I were to upgrade my system. Users can get all of this for a one-time purchase of only $. That s right, all these audio upgrades are available across accounts and devices for only $. DTS Sound Unbound and DTS Headphone:X offer some spectacular audio upgrades for every gaming headset. It makes audio sound more clear, natural and immersive thanks to its spatial audio techniques. When a Headphone:X-optimized pair of headphones and a Headphone:X optimized game pair up it s pure bliss, but even when things aren t optimized they still sound so much better. Considering Headphone:X is available for one $ purchase, it s a no-brainer. Using Headphone:X allowed me to perform better in online games and enjoy the sounds of lower-stakes games immensely more than the standard uncompressed stereo audio that is used by default. Add on that I can access Headphone:X across devices, and that makes it sound that much sweeter.





Boat launches its first gaming headphone Immortal 1000D with Dolby Atmos, price starts at Rs 2499


Popular audio brand Boat has launched its first-ever gaming headphone in the Indian market. The company has launched Immortal D with Dolby Atmos. Boat has said that the headphone offers a premium gaming and entertainment experience. The headphones are armed with mm drivers for high-fidelity audio. It has been designed for gaming enthusiasts, but it is expected to put up a good performance regardless of the content played. So from what it seems like, you can enjoy gaming as well as listen to your favourite music on the Immortal D. Talking about the new headphones, Sameer Mehta, Co-Founder, boAt said We are very excited to launch our very first gaming headphone — the Immortal D in India. The Indian gaming industry has grown to become one of the world s largest e-gaming markets due to the fast and affordable connectivity of the internet and smartphones, and we want to provide specialized audio accessories and peripherals to professional as well as casual gamers and enthusiasts. The pandemic further elevated online gaming as an alternative entertainment option for many people, including a large part of our boAthead community. Boat Immortal D has been priced at Rs in India. The headphones have been launched in two different colour options Black and White Sabre. The Immortal D can be purchased from the official website of Boat and Amazon India website. The Boat Immortal D is equipped with mm drivers that provide a powerful -degree gaming experience. The headphones are armed with . Channel Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos. The headphones also come with a detachable mic. You can remove the mic when you are not playing the game and enjoy the movies in Dolby Atmos. The Boat Immortal D with dual mics to facilitate distortion-free communication between friends. The headphones also have a remote to control audio, mic and LEDs for seamless voice and video conversations across YouTube, Discord, Twitch, and other streaming platforms. Boat says that Gamers will be immersed in a more intense gaming experience that brings crystal clear, hair-raising realism to even the busiest of battlefields, so they can catch the subtle, potentially game-changing sounds they ve been missing. These headphones also feature a . Channel Surround Audio created by the brands very own boAt Plugin Labz which processes high-fidelity sound and is optimized by experts in gaming audio immersion. Users can switch between . Channel Surround Audio or Dolby Atmos while gaming.



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Headphone Stand Market Growth Report 2021- Size, Share, New Business Development Trends, Key Players and Outlook 2027


The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content. Jul , The Expresswire -- Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID- on this industry. The Latest Report on “Headphone Stand Market” provides information on the market price, growth rate, size, share, regional analysis, and global forecast of key players. The report provides information about the businesses along side that are newly introduced to the longer term trend and analysis of leading players. The Headphone Stand market report delivers information about the market status of various company profile that are present in various key regions. Other major approach market and factors that are liable for changes in production, potential growth and demand of the market. Both positive and negative aspects of the Headphone Stand market are provided within the report. This report focuses on Headphone Stand volume and value at the global level, regional level and company level. From a global perspective, this report represents overall Headphone Stand market size by analyzing historical data and future prospect. Regionally, this report focuses on several key regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa. ● Corsair ● Brainwavz Audio ● Master and Dynamic ● Satechi ● elago ● Hardgraft ● Bluelounge ● Sieveking ● LUXA The global Headphone Stand market is segmented by company, region country, by Type, and by Application. Players, stakeholders, and other participants in the global Headphone Stand market will be able to gain the upper hand as they use the report as a powerful resource. The segmental analysis focuses on revenue and forecast by region country, by Type, and by Application for the period -. ● Headphone Stand Market Size and Forecast Analysis by Revenue Growth ● Market Dynamics includes Leading trends, growth drivers, restraints, and investment opportunities ● Market Segmentation A detailed analysis by product, types, end-user, applications, segments, and geography ● Competitive Landscape Top key vendors and other prominent vendors ● Detailed overview of market ● In-depth market segmentation ● Future trend of key players and products offered ● Potential and niche segments, countries exhibiting growth This report is segmented into several key regions, with sales, revenue, market share and growth Rate in these regions, from to , covering ● North America United States, Canada and Mexico ● Europe Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey etc. ● Asia-Pacific China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam ● South America Brazil etc. ● Middle East and Africa Egypt and GCC Countries -Key Strategic Developments:The study also includes the key strategic developments of the market, comprising RandD, new product launch, MandA, agreements, collaborations, partnerships, joint ventures, and regional growth of the leading competitors operating in the market on a global and regional scale. -Key Market Features:The report evaluated key market features, including revenue, price, capacity, capacity utilization rate, gross, production, production rate, consumption, importexport, supplydemand, cost, market share, CAGR, and gross margin. In addition, the study offers a comprehensive study of the key market dynamics and their latest trends, along with pertinent market segments and sub-segments. -Analytical Tools:The Global Headphone Stand Market report includes the accurately studied and assessed data of the key industry players and their scope in the market by means of a number of analytical tools. The analytical tools such as Porter’s five forces analysis, SWOT analysis, feasibility study, and investment return analysis have been used to analyze the growth of the key players operating in the market. Detailed TOC of Global Headphone Stand Market Report, History and Forecast -, Breakdown Data by Manufacturers, Key Regions, Types and Application: . Global Top Manufacturers Headphone Stand Manufacturing Base Distribution, Sales Area, Product Type . Global Top Manufacturers by Company Type Tier , Tier and Tier and based on the Revenue in Headphone Stand as of Portable XRF Analysers Market Report: Business Share, Growth Size, Latest Development, Rising Trends and Top Key Players and Technology to Driver Airbag Cover Market Size - Research Analysis by Growth Segments, reasing Demand Status, Business Statistics, Total Revenue, Top Manufacturers Overview, Covid- Impact Analysis on Industry Share till Smart Formaldehyde Detectors Market Size Status : Revenue with Latest Industry Trends, Demand Growth, New Innovations and Business Share Analysis till Viscose Staple Fiber Market Size In-depth Analysis by Demand, Growth Driver, Competitive Analysis and Industry Trends and Future Scope by Industrial Robotics Market Segmentation Analysis : Global Opportunities, Future Prospects, Companies Share with Industry Size till To view the original version on The Express Wire visit Headphone Stand Market Growth Report - Size, Share, New Business Development Trends, Key Players and Outlook Is there a problem with this press release? the source provider Comtex at editorialcomtexm. You can also contact MarketWatch Customer Service via our Customer Center.





Sony Xperia 1 III review: Elegant, exhilarating, expensive


After a series of lackluster flagships, the last couple of years has seen Sony closing in on a truly great smartphone setup. The company’s latest attempt to perfect its multimedia powerhouse is the Sony Xperia III. But as well as new hardware, this latest entry also comes with Sony’s highest ever smartphone price tag. The sheer expense is bound to prove contentious. Still, Sony knows its audience and this is a smartphone definitely designed for enthusiasts rather than mainstream consumers. Has Sony finally distilled its TV, camera, and gaming expertise into a smartphone that’s worth your money? Let’s find out in our Sony Xperia III review. About this Sony Xperia III review: I tested the Sony Xperia III over a period of seven days. It was running the Android ..A.. build on the June security patch. The phone did not receive any updates during the review period. The unit was provided by Sony for this review. Sony’s Xperia III is the follow-up to ’s ultra-premium Xperia II smartphone. Initially launched back in April , the Xperia III became available for pre-order on July with a release date set for August in the US and selected other markets. Priced at $, and packing in its latest and greatest technologies, Sony’s flagship has the most expensive phones from Apple and Samsung in its sights. If you’re looking for a more reasonably priced Sony flagship, the marginally downgraded Xperia III might be more what you’re after. The Xperia III leverages Sony’s Bravia OLED TV, Alpha camera, music technologies, and more to create a smartphone purpose-built for multimedia, photography, and gaming. As you’d expect, Sony tweaks and modernizes its Xperia formula with each iteration. One of the more notable new inclusions with the Xperia III is a periscope zoom camera featuring movable lenses for a switchable focal length. This novel idea provides enhanced zoom qualities without doubling up the number of cameras. Combined with a high-end Snapdragon processor, wireless charging, dual front-facing speakers, and a .mm headphone jack, there’s a lot of technology under the hood. Unlike some of its rivals, Sony includes a W USB Power Delivery adapter and USB-C cable in the box. It also plays nice with third-party USB Power Delivery accessories. The Sony Xperia III is available in Frosted Black and Frosted Purple colorways. Sony retains its familiar design aesthetic with the Xperia III. The sides are squared-off in Sony’s signature style with rounded edges for easy handling. Sony hasn’t embraced the notch or punch-hole camera look of its rivals, instead opting for a thin chin and forehead bezel that’s slender enough to go unnoticed. The result is a bold monolith that continues to stand out next to its rivals. It’s still one of the few phones offering a dedicated two-step camera shutter button, a right-side-mounted fingerprint reader, and an IPIP rating for dust and water resistance. The SIMmicroSD tray can also be removed without the use of a tool, which is handy if you swap memory cards around often. The audio package continues to stand out all these years later, boasting a .mm headphone jack, an assortment of high-end Bluetooth codecs, and dual front-facing speakers that, although a little light on the bass, sound solid. But the customary design doesn’t mean there isn’t anything new about the phone’s build. The handset sports Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the front and Gorilla Glass on the back for scratch protection. I also found fingerprint unlocking a fraction snappier than last year’s model, even though it’s still not an instant unlock. The new matte finish also helps the handset avoid the grubby fingerprint that plagued previous models. Another new feature is the addition of a dedicated Google Assistant button located below the fingerprint scanner. This idea has never been hugely popular in the past cough Bixby so it’s interesting to see Sony bring back an idea trialed by the likes of the Nokia ., Xiaomi Mi , and LG G. Then again, Sony plays it very close to Google’s ecosystem. As someone who doesn’t use Google Assistant, it’s a shame that this button can’t be remapped to a more useful feature, such as launching an app or turning on do not disturb mode. The Xperia III looks and feels very familiar to anyone who’s taken a look at Sony’s smartphones in the past five years. We’re definitely talking iteration rather than renovation here. Sony’s .-inch K HDR OLED display looks fantastic to the eye, with accurate colors and an overkill pixel density. K HDR is certainly a premium feature but it is a little unnecessary on such a small display, especially as you’re unlikely to store or stream such large files on a mobile device. When you can find it, cutting-edge content playback certainly looks great here, although most content, YouTube videos, and the like look equally good on other handsets. The display is also nice and bright, although you might struggle to see in very bright direct sunlight. If Sony’s factory settings don’t quite suit your tastes, the Xperia III packs in a powerful array of display customization features. This ranges from forcing on the -bit, BT. color gamut “Creator Mode” to adjusting the panel’s white balance, along with motion blur reduction and video image enhancement toggles. I’m increasingly a fan of the longerwider : aspect ratio too. The Xperia III is a large phone but remains very usable in one hand, unlike some of its rivals, and the tall display is great for stacking apps atop one another. The only drawback is that the phone feels a little weird to hold in landscape and you’ll be left with black bars when watching back common : video content. But that’s a very minor complaint. Speaking of drawbacks, Sony’s display doesn’t offer increasingly popular adaptive refresh rate technology. While it’s great to finally see a Sony phone with a higher refresh rate screen — combined with a Hz touchscreen sampling rate — Sony has also opted to disable the panel’s Hz mode by default, leaving you in a Hz mode out-of-the-box that feels a little dated. This decision is obviously to help save on battery life, and although regular buyers might overlook this option, it’s there for enthusiasts to flick on at will. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon and GB of RAM on board, there are no quibbles or qualms about the performance on offer from the Sony Xperia III. Even without the imminent Snapdragon Plus, which will only offer marginal improvements, apps are as zippy as you’d expect from a high-end phone and this comes in handy when using the phone’s multi-window mode to run multiple apps side-by-side. Benchmark results are some of the best around and yet this doesn’t come at the expense of multi-day battery life more on that later. We tested the Sony Xperia III using our in-house Speed Test G benchmark and it performed admirably with a time of one minute seconds. That’s right up there with the Xiaomi Mi ’s :, the OnePlus Pro’s :, and faster than the Samsung Galaxy S Ultra, which took :. Gamers are well catered for here, although the Xperia III does become rather warm meaning that sustained performance might be an issue. GB of fast UFS onboard storage combined with a microSDXC card for up to TB more adds up to a monstrous amount of space, should you need it. It’s overkill for everything but the largest lossless music and HD movie collections. For gamers looking to squeeze maximum performance from the phone, there are a couple of things to note. As mentioned previously, the display is set at Hz to help extend battery life, but you may want to run at Hz for an even smoother experience. Then there’s Sony Game Enhancer software, which allows you to change preferences from all-out performance to battery longevity on a per-game basis. This app also includes Sony’s Heat Suppression Power Control feature, which passes power straight through without charging the battery while plugged in, to avoid overheating and maintain optimal battery health. There’s an almost bewildering range of goodies here to optimize your gaming experience whether at home or on the go. While we’re on the topic of blazing-fast performance, the Xperia III is a G-equipped handset. This includes the US market this time around, unlike the Xperia II which was G-only in the US. However, the phone only supports sub-GHz bands and not ultra-fast mmWave spectrum. This isn’t an issue for most G consumers at the moment but means that customers on the fastest networks in Japan, Korea, and the US won’t be able to leverage their G network’s mmWave capabilities. This is unlike rival smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S Ultra. This setup may be better for battery life and avoids a bulkier handset, but it’s a notable omission for a premium-tier product. With a larger ,mAh battery onboard than the last generation, the Sony Xperia III will last a full day of use. In fact, you can probably expect two full days with a lighter routine. My typical day saw the phone offer about seven to nine hours of Hz screen-on time. That’s above average but I didn’t venture far from home, so mileage may vary on mobile data. Enabling the Hz display and long photography and gaming sessions will obviously knock battery life down a lot faster. But you can prioritize battery life at the expense of gaming frame rate to avoid running out of battery while on the go. W fast charging via USB Power Delivery is a nice upgrade from last year’s W charger, although I clocked closer to W actually reaching the phone’s USB-C port. Fully charging the phone took one hour and minutes, which is still rather slow by modern standards — although the handset reaches % charge in a more reasonable minutes, enough to get you through a day. While we’re on the topic, Sony enables its Battery Care software by default, which optimizes charging around your typical charging times to prolong battery health. On top of that, the Sony Xperia III supports Qi wireless charging, which is better for short regular top-ups rather than a full charge. Sony hasn’t disclosed how fast the wireless charging is, which suggests it won’t compete with the likes of the OnePlus series. We’ve reached out for clarification and will update this review when we hear back. The Xperia III can also charge other gadgets both wirelessly, thanks to reverse wireless charging, as well as via the USB-C port. This is a pretty handy feature to charge up your Qi-enabled wireless earbuds while out and about. Before diving into the photos, I want to give kudos to Sony for addressing a major bugbear of mine from the Xperia II. The Xperia III ships with a single camera app, combining basic functionality with its Alpha-inspired Camera Pro capabilities. The result is a more refined experience that avoids the headache of juggling apps to find the settings you want. The setup will also help less experienced photographers dabble with some of the camera’s powerful settings more easily, such as the incredible fps burst mode. However, the app experience still isn’t perfect. The Basic mode is missing HDR controls, seamless pinch-zooming between camera lenses, and a dedicated Night mode, for example. Portrait Selfie, Panorama mode, fps video recording, and Sony’s Creative Effects are still oddly housed in their own separate apps complete with individual app permissions under the More button. But the changes are definitely a step in the right direction. When it comes to image quality, the Sony Xperia III takes some of the best-looking pictures out of all the phones we’ve tested. Even without resorting to Pro settings, the camera’s colors and white balance are easily among the best in the business. The main camera’s MP sensor still provides enough detail which is more subtly processed and softer compared to other flagship cameras. This smartphone can take some seriously amazing pictures. Sony seems to have addressed some underlying exposure and HDR detection capabilities this time around. Consistency is improved, with fewer dark or overblown images. That said, the phone’s HDR implementation isn’t as powerful as that found in rival handsets so you’ll occasionally see some clipping, particularly on overcast days. Unfortunately, all of the cameras perform worse in low light. The Xperia III pauses to capture even in dimly lit conditions, although the main camera’s pictures hold up pretty well for the most part. However, turning the lights down lower results in a notable lack of exposure and an increase in grain. The lack of a multi-exposure Night mode means you can forget about using the zoom cameras in low light as they’re too noisy. Low light shooting in general is a mixed bag even if you can master the phone’s Pro controls. The standout feature in the Xperia III’s camera package is the new periscope camera. It offers mm and mm switchable focal lengths with a single .-inch sensor. This equates to roughly a .x and .x optical zoom, which extends out to .x digitally. As well as providing longer zoom, a single image sensor ensures consistent image quality and colors when switching focal lengths. It’s never been easier to frame and capture the ideal shot. Unfortunately, image quality ranges from excellent to unusable. I love the depth of field available for macro thanks to the switchable focal lengths, but the periscope camera occasionally suffers from poor focus andor object tracking. This is most prevalent when switching to mm and shooting landscape and long-distance shots. I’ve reached out to Sony to clarify what could be causing the problem. It’s a bit disappointing, as Sony makes a big deal about its AI and ToF sensor combo for real-time tracking. But these zoom issues aside, Sony’s object tracking functionality seems to works well, keeping an object you select in focus as it moves around the screen. The mm wide-angle camera is also decent, offering a very wide, distortion-free field of view. Details are quite soft, but that’s preferable to the over-sharpening we tend to see. It works OK for macro photography too. Sony includes the option to prioritize quality over distortion correction. This mode results in fractionally sharper images but with a very noticeable fish-bowl look. It’s not really worth using other than for effect. Unfortunately, the wide-angle camera has a warmer white point than the main and zoom cameras, leaving some pictures with a pinkish tint. You can also spot unsightly purple fringing in HDR environments, so the setup is a little inconsistent. Sony’s selfie camera is a significant letdown compared to the rear camera package. Even in bright lighting, face textures appear rough, highlights clip, and there’s noticeable noise in the background. In lower lighting, details quickly smudge and blur even more. Worse still, the phone’s Portrait Selfie mode offers embarrassingly bad edge detection for a flagship smartphone. Sony redeems itself with some cutting-edge video features. K video is supported at up to fps, and the quality lives up to the same standard as the still images thanks to some decent stabilization. However, the phone does become rather warm when shooting video and it’s a big drain on battery life. There’s the basic video mode in the photo app alongside the separate Cinema Pro app, which is based on the Sony FS cinema cameras. There’s a bewildering assortment of control here that will suit knowledgeable videographers. But it’s definitely not a tool for the typical smartphone user. Unlike a lot of other big tech brands, Sony sticks very close to Google’s vision for Android. There’s minimal skinning and reliance on Google apps for things like Calendar, Messages, and even Google Photos for the phone’s gallery. You’ll still have to pay for Google One if you want all of Photos’ enhancement options, but at least this version of the app doesn’t bug you to upgrade. With a dedicated Google Assistant button this time around, Sony clearly expects its customers to already be heavily invested in Google’s ecosystem. That said, Sony packs in a number of extra features and options tucked away in the settings menu. It’s quite a task to go through them all. For example, there’s a slew of custom display, battery, and audio settings to help set the phone up just how you like it. The Xperia III also supports navigation gestures or traditional buttons, multi-window, slide-sense shortcuts, and native DualShock controller support for gamers. The Android skin may look close to stock Google, but Sony isn’t afraid to put its stamp on the user experience. There’s a familiar assortment of extra apps included out of the box which verges on a little bloated. Along with a couple of games, , LinkedIn, Netflix, a Tidal free trial, and others, Sony includes its own music, game enhancer, and news apps. Annoyingly, these third-party applications can only be disabled rather than uninstalled, if you don’t want them. For photographers, there’s now just a single Photo Pro app that includes a more beginner-friendly basic mode. For videographers, the classic Cinema Pro app of yesteryear remains unchanged. Sony’s apps are fine for their purposes, but emulating the layout of its professional-grade cameras results in a lack of shared design language that makes navigating menus and features a learning experience for each app. When it comes to updates, Sony hasn’t pledged to match some of the better policies around, such as Samsung’s four-year update pledge for new handsets. Sony typically offers two years of OS upgrades along with regular security updates in between. Rear: MP main mm. sensorƒ., dual-PD auto-focus, OIS MP ultra-wide mm. sensorƒ., dual-PD auto-focus MP telephoto mmmm. sensorƒ.ƒ., dual-PD auto-focus, OIS D iToF sensorFront: MP single G support Sub only, no mmWaveSIM + SIM or SIM + microSDBluetooth .Wi-Fi abgnnacaxA-GPS, A-GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS The Xperia III packs in the latest and greatest technology from Sony to create a smartphone purpose-built for multimedia, photography, and gaming. The Sony Xperia III is a really expensive handset. The $, price tag is a full $ more than the previous-gen model for what feels like a very similar phone, although Sony has beefed up the camera, performance, charging, and battery capabilities to help cushion the blow. Sony is also running a pre-order bundle packing its WF-XM noise-cancelling earbuds $ and , Call of Duty: Mobile CP points $, which is a slightly more palatable deal, at least in the short term. While the Sony Xperia III is a very good phone, the company is asking an awful lot of money for an enthusiast-targeted handset that lacks G mmWave capabilities, doesn’t surpass the very best camera phones, and doesn’t have the best update record either. If you’re going to make full use of all the extra media capabilities, then perhaps Sony’s flagship is a worthwhile investment. For those that aren’t as interested in the power user tweaks and toggles, there are plenty of great and more affordable flagship phones to check out, such as the OnePlus Pro $, iPhone Pro $, and the Asus ROG Phone $. I like the Sony Xperia III, I really do, but $, makes it one of the most expensive flagships to ever grace the market. Granted, the handset offers plenty of storage, a unique camera system, and one of the best displays in the business, not forgetting its assortment of charging, multimedia, and other technologies. But at this price point, you have to compare the phone to its competitors, and it’s missing a few key things. G mmWave is a hit-and-miss feature depending on your market but it’s a futureproof addition you have to expect from this price bracket. Likewise, the camera’s low light and selfie capabilities are not quite up to scratch. The software is similarly hit and miss. With Google apps and a dedicated Assistant button, Sony keeps its version of Android close to Google’s vision. At the same time, the phone is loaded with Tidal, Call of Duty, , and more bloat that we’ve chastised other brands for in previous years. For customers looking for the best all-around flagship, the Galaxy S series or even Sony’s own cheaper Xperia III is probably the better buy. That being said, there’s definitely a niche audience that the Sony Xperia III will appeal to. It provides arguably the best all-around multimedia experience in a smartphone, plenty of storage for shutterbugs, and gaming chops that are as good as any other in the business — although the $ price increase is still likely to be a hard pill to swallow even in these circles. Overall, the Sony Xperia III stumbles to offer a flawless flagship package, but it’s as close as the company has ever come to building an exceptional smartphone. There’s fierce competition at this price point, and unless you will absolutely make the most of Sony’s more niche features, there are better all-rounders you can buy for the same or even less cash. If you do want to dive head-first into the Xperia experience, then this is undoubtedly Sony’s best phone to date and you’ll love it. Personally, it’s a phone I’d love to own but could never justify buying.




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Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX review: The ultimate HDR experience?


“The Asus ROG Swift PGUQX is a brilliant piece of PC gaming gear, but its flaws are hard to swallow.” The ROG Swift PGUQX was first teased around two years ago, and it hyped up the PC gaming community unlike any gaming monitor in recent history. You’ll find forum threads full of excitement. And for good reason. According to Asus, the ROG Swift PGUQX featured mind-blowing HDR performance unlike any other monitor that’s currently on the market. More than that, it was also the first -inch K gaming monitor based on Mini-LED technology, featuring Full-Array Local Dimming FALD for HDR illumination with , individual zones and a peak brightness of up to , nits. The catch, of course, was its price tag. $, is more than most entire PC gaming setups cost, including PC, monitor, and peripherals. As such, it’s only realistic to expect absolute and utter perfection. The ROG Swift PGUQX does a lot of things amazingly well, but perfect it is not. The ROG Swift PGUQX is quite a large monitor. That’s expected from a -inch display, but the PGUQX is a little bigger than most -inch panels due to its FALD illumination panel, which adds a noticeable thickness to the display. The design style is also quite aggressive, with Asus sparing no opportunity for the PGUQX to be recognized as a Republic of Gamers product. The monitor’s stand features the new-but-classic tripod design with a downward-cast illumination stamp, the back of the display has strong shapes and a huge, RGB-illuminated Asus ROG logo, and the display’s big chin has a little OLED panel in it for displaying entertaining visuals or system information, such as CPU temperature. Indeed, there is a lot to take in here. But if you’re not into the styling, it’s easy enough to shove the back of the monitor towards a wall, replace the stand with a VESA mount, and then you’ll be left with just the display’s chin that may look a little aggressive. The little OLED display is quite nifty though – I doubt anyone will mind it especially because it’s customizable. The display’s power brick is external, which I suppose is a good thing as otherwise the PGUQX would have been even bigger, and at the top of the monitor you’ll find thread to insert a camera mount – I tried, and this monitor will happily hold my mirrorless camera with a big lens. Streamers, are you getting this? There is even a USB port at the top right next to it for plugging your webcam or camera into without having to feel around behind the monitor. The ROG Swift PGUQX packs a wide host of connectivity options, but it’s not complete. There are three HDMI . ports, a single DisplayPort .a port, a three-port USB hub, and a headphone out jack. But indeed, HDMI . is missing, and that’s a big one. HDMI . is now the go-to standard for multimedia connectivity, with all of and ’s GPUs and consoles featuring the interface. Without it, your Xbox Series X or PlayStation won’t be able to run at K Hz with full color support, and that’s unacceptable for a high-end K monitor in – especially one that costs $,. Most new gaming laptops are even shipping with support for HDMI .. There is a counter-side to that argument, and that is that there are still barely any PC monitors out with HDMI . in the first place. That, and the official Nvidia G-Sync module isn’t developed to support HDMI . yet. Regardless, I find it inexcusable on a monitor of this price and caliber. If you plan on using the PGUQX with a modern console, keep in mind that you’ll be limited to Hz or have to make color sacrifices: You will never have an optimal experience. The display’s OSD has slightly odd controls with a spinning wheel in the middle and a button to each side, but it is easy to navigate and most of the required settings are present. However, in HDR mode, there is no brightness control, which is a problem. One can argue whether this matters as brightness in HDR is meant to be controlled by the PC and not the monitor, but I still prefer seeing some form of brightness modifier at all so that the baseline brightness can be adjusted to a comfortable level for the room. Before wrapping up, there is one more drawback that’s worth mentioning: the display has a cooling fan. It turns on the moment the display does, and while it isn’t loud, it is audible. This isn’t a problem if you use headphones or have silent music playing, but it may bug you if you enjoy a silent room and have an otherwise quiet computer. If there’s one reason you’re interested in buying the PGUQX, it’s Mini-LED and its HDR performance. I’ll start with the good stuff: When using proper HDR content, the visuals the PGUQX is able to produce are nothing short of astonishing. As if the monitor wasn’t worth its asking price this whole time, it suddenly was, almost. LCD panels are unable to block out all of the light, even on black, meaning the ability to dim select areas HDR on PC monitors, explained is necessary to achieve full black levels. Dimming select areas also allows the display to increase peak brightness in a small area without over-illuminating the entire display. Most PC monitors are edge-lit, with one lamp illuminating the entire display. On ‘better’ HDR monitors this edge-lighting will be split into a minimum of eight zones, illuminating select columns of the display as demanded. However, as you can imagine, this illuminated column effect is undesirable, which is why manufacturers are experimenting with Mini-LED: an illumination technique that rather than edge-lighting the display, places an array with a huge number of individually controllable LEDs directly behind the panel. This illumination technique is called Full-Array Local Dimming FALD, and in the PGUQX’s case, that’s zones, offering lavishly fine local dimming control. In a way, FALD actually fixes the major drawbacks of IPS panels: Backlight bleeding and IPS glow are no longer a problem because the afflicted area just isn’t illuminated when displaying black. The static contrast ratio isn’t as relevant either again, because the area simply wouldn’t be illuminated when displaying a black image. Individual zones can peak at up to , nits of brightness when displaying highlights, and although I was unable to test this number due to my tester’s limitations, I’ll take Asus’ word on it: Bright lights, the sun, fires, and other highlights really popped off the screen in almost eye-searing brightness, which was really a sight to behold when just to the left of said object an area would be fully dark, displaying an inky-black night sky. This kind of realistic luminosity control is exactly what HDR is all about, and the PGUQX more than delivers. Especially in games running at higher framerates with G-Sync enabled, the PGUQX is a joy to use. It’s not the fastest panel, but it’s plenty fast for non-competitive gameplay. But the technology isn’t perfect. The IPS panel is only capable of blocking so much light, and although , zones is magnitudes superior over an edge-lit display with zones which barely feels like HDR at all after experiencing the PGUQX, they are still visible zones, especially on darker scenes. Plain desktop use is the worst offender to this — take a black or dark background, and hover your mouse over it: You’ll see a round halo of blue light nervously following around the mouse as it jumps between zones. Or grab a white dialogue box on a dark background, its edges will have an odd yellow sheen on them. You can get used to this effect, but ignoring it is difficult and you will always be reminded of how the technology is still imperfect. However, desktop use isn’t really a fair test, as individual elements are often far too small for the zones. It doesn’t address the higher peak brightness levels, and Microsoft’s HDR implementation still needs refinement. But with dynamic content, such as games, movies or tv shows, the halo effect is far less prominent. That’s because individual bright elements are often bigger, but also because there’s just far more movement happening on-screen. Fire up a game that does HDR properly, go into the settings and properly calibrate the peak darkness and peak brightness levels so that the game engine correctly addresses the HDR brightness responsivity of the monitor, and you’re in for a spectacle. Trust me, you’ll forget all about the halo-effect with games and videos. Thanks to its IPS panel, the PGUQX has great color performance, which paired with the K resolution at the -inch size make it a dream as an editing display, especially if you produce HDR content. We tested the monitor in SDR mode as our tester doesn’t do HDR, and the panel’s color performance does impress. At the start of testing, I ran into the sRGB color clamp pinning color coverage at a perfect % of sRGB, which is a much-appreciated feature: unclamped sRGB colors can often look over-saturated on wide-gamut monitors, so it’s nice to see the inclusion of this limiter. With the clamp off, the panel covered a tidy % of the AdobeRGB and % of the DCI-P color spaces, with color accuracy rated at a Delta-E difference from real of .. Any Delta-E under is considered good enough for professional work. Calibrating the display did not yield any significant improvements, but its performance is plenty good out of the box. Gamma performance was also perfect, though I was unimpressed with the panel’s native static contrast ratio. Whereas IPS panels, especially flat samples generally pin a result of about :, the best recorded contrast ratio I achieved in testing this sample was :, which is what I would expect from a curved IPS panel that bleeds a little more due to the pressure. But this is a flat panel. That being said, this was tested without HDR and the panel’s variable backlight feature switched off. We test like this to properly judge the panel’s native contrast ratio without automated changes in the backlighting interfering with the result. With variable backlighting switched on, the contrast ratio was much better, genuinely producing deep blacks even in SDR mode – and I reckon that most people using this monitor will want to leave the variable backlighting feature enabled. The only exception would be when doing color-critical work as dimmed backlighting does cause color shift in the adjacent areas. This raises the question of how much it really matters that the panel’s contrast performance isn’t great, which is a difficult question to answer. On the one hand, it shouldn’t matter with this kind of backlighting, but a panel with better static contrast performance would do a better job at blocking light, and thus do a better job at combatting the haloing exhibited by the PGUQX. Do keep in mind that contrast performance is something that varies greatly from sample to sample, and given that I feel this sample performed at the bottom end of the spectrum with other reports stating much higher contrast ratios, chances are you’ll have better luck. If you’re looking for the perfect HDR experience that doesn’t have any haloing under any circumstances, chances are that you’re thinking something along the lines of ‘what about just getting an OLED panel instead?’ and I wouldn’t blame you for it. In fact, that’s a good idea, but OLED panels do come with their own sets of perils. The attraction would be that each pixel is its own light source. One pixel could be lit at peak brightness, and those directly adjacent to it pitch black. No halo-ing, just pure and perfect luminosity control across the panel. HDR would look great in the windows desktop and in all movies and games with no visual sacrifice. But, there are a few catches. First and foremost, there are no OLED PC gaming monitors, and the smallest OLED TV’s currently come in at about -inches in diagonal. That’s a little big for use on a desk as a PC monitor, especially without a curve. They’re also all glossy, burn-in is a potential risk especially with the amount of static content PC desktop use pertains, and to mitigate burn-in, peak brightness is also limited so you’ll never quite get that “I have to look away because it’s so bright” level of immersion. At the end of the day, the choice between Mini-LED and OLED is one of concessions: Which will you be able to tolerate, and which will you not. But if you’re asking yourself whether you should get the PGUQX or an OLED TV for content consumption, then the PGUQX is probably not for you – an OLED TV might not last as long, but it costs less than half as much – and I’ll bet that the PGUQX will depreciate faster than an OLED will reach $ in value. The Asus ROG Swift PGUQX is an amazing piece of equipment. With an array featuring , Mini-LED illumination zones, it produces an HDR experience that is unlike any other PC monitor currently on the market. There already aren’t many -inch K gaming monitors on the market in the first place, so sitting in front of one that not only comes in that size, but also has FALD illumination is like sitting in front of a unicorn. At least at this time, the PGUQX offers the most stunning HDR performance available on PC without turning to an OLED television. The PGUQX is at the cusp of what PC monitor technology can do nowadays, and if you’re after an HDR spectacle for your desk, it’s the tool for the job. But like any cutting-edge technology, it’s far from perfect and in that respect, the PGUQX feels a bit like a prototype: there is no HDMI . so it’s not exactly future-proofed and I feel the Mini-LED technology, while it looks good now, will soon be outdated due to new developments. Add to that the usual panel performance lottery, no baseline HDR brightness control and an annoying cooling fan, and it quickly becomes a very challenging proposition to spend $, on a monitor. No. There are currently no other PC monitors that offer fast, K gaming performance paired with FALD and this level of color performance. Your other best bet is an OLED TV like LG’s -inch C model, but that comes with its own set of compromises, provided you have the desk space for it at all. From a functional perspective, I see no reason why the ROG Swift PGUQX couldn’t last a minimum of five years. But between the lack of HDMI . and rapidly developing alternative display technologies, you’ll likely itch to replace it long before it breaks, especially if you’re someone that likes to live at the forefront of technology. For most gamers, no. It has a few flaws that are guaranteed to be dealbreakers for large groups of buyers, especially at this price. If you have deep pockets, and just want the best HDR gaming monitor you can currently buy right now, then the ROG Swift PGUQX is as good as it gets But for most of us it’s like an exotic sports car: I’d like to rent it, just to experience it, but I wouldn’t want to own it.



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