These smart locks will let you ditch your keys – CNET

Keys are a time-tested means of access, but they won’t do you much good if you leave them inside on your way out the door.

Today’s crop of smart locks ($129.00 at Amazon.com) think they have a better way.

Keys are a time-tested means of access, but they won’t do you much good if you leave them inside on your way out the door.

Today’s crop of smart locks ($129.00 at Amazon.com) think they have a better way. All of them offer convenient, key-free access to your home, whether by code, by app, by proximity, or by the touch of your finger.Some of them don’t even accept keys at all, which makes them immune to forced entry via lock picking or lock bumping.

There’s a lot to consider before upgrading to a smart lock, and it’s a pretty expensive upgrade at that, with most costing somewhere around $200 — as much as 10 times more than their non-connected predecessors. The category continues to grow, though, so here’s a quick rundown of some of the more notable options.


8
Smarten up your front door with a connected deadbolt

Kwikset Kevo (second generation)

Now a second-gen smart lock, the Kwikset Kevo is a connected deadbolt that uses Unikey’s touch-to-unlock technology to let you inside with just a tap. The lock pairs with your phone or with a fob over Bluetooth. When you touch it, the Kevo uses Bluetooth to see if your phone or fob is close by and determine whether or not to let you in.

We use a Kwikset Kevo to let us in and out of the CNET Smart Apartment, and we’re fans of both the touch-to-unlock convenience and the inconspicuous design. Just make sure that your phone will work with it, particularly if you’re an Android user. And be prepared to spend — the second-gen Kevo retails for $230 and charges $2 each time you want to share full access with someone else.

Read our review of the second-gen Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth Deadbolt.

Yale Assure Lock SL Touchscreen Deadbolt

Like Kwikset, Yale is no stranger to smart locks, with a relatively diverse line of connected deadbolts to its name. The Assure Lock SL is Yale’s most recent touchscreen deadbolt with a slimmer, low-profile take on the touchscreen keypad. Like previous models, this Assure lock features a touchscreen on which you can punch in a code to get inside, as well as ZigBee, Z-Wave or iM1 HomeKit network modules to let you sync your lock with a larger connected home platform like Wink or SmartThings.

These latest touchscreen deadbolts take things one step further by eliminating the keyway altogether and rendering your keychain obsolete. That might sound like a potential problem since these smart locks are all battery-powered, but Yale came up with a clever safeguard to keep you from getting locked out if your batteries die. If the deadbolt’s four AA batteries ever run dead, you can touch a 9-volt battery to the bottom of the lock’s exterior to give it just enough juice for you to punch in your code and step inside.

Read our review of the Yale Assure Lock SL.

Kwikset Obsidian

The Kwikset Obsidian is another keyless smart lock recently released by Kwikset. We like the modern minimalism of this compact design. It smartly borrows that 9-volt battery trick from Yale’s keyless locks. And the Obsidian also includes a clever feature that displays two random numbers for you to press before entering your code, which is meant to keep potential intruders from studying your fingerprints to figure out your code. With a retail price of $180 — $50 less than the Kevo — the Obsidian lock is a reasonably priced touchscreen deadbolt.

Read our full review of the Kwikset Obsidian.

Kwikset Premis

There’s one more Kwikset smart lock worth mentioning, and that’s the Kwikset Premis. It uses the same, touchpad-centric design as most of Kwikset’s smart locks, but it adds in compatibility with Apple HomeKit, a set of smart home protocols built into the software that runs iPhones ($899.00 at Walmart) and iPads. With HomeKit compatibility, you can control and automate the lock directly from Apple’s Home app alongside other compatible devices, stick a shortcut button into your iPhone’s Control Center, or even lock and unlock it with Siri commands.

Like the Kevo, the Premis retails for a steep $230. But unlike the Kevo, it doesn’t charge you anything extra to share access with friends, family members, roommates, and service workers. In fact, the lock’s well-designed app does a terrific job at managing multi-users, including options for limiting access to specific days and times, or for creating codes that expire after a set amount of time.

Read our review of the Kwikset Premis HomeKit-enabled Deadbolt.

Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt

Kwikset isn’t your only option for a smart lock that works with Siri. Schlage was first to the market with a HomeKit-compatible deadbolt. It’s basically the exact same product as the Premis, albeit with a slightly less polished app. You’ll also probably have better luck finding one at a discount, given that it’s been out longer.

Read our review of the Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt.

August Smart Lock (third generation)

August’s third-generation smart lock has a more traditional design, costs just $149, and works with Amazon Alexa speakers and the Google Home ($129.00 at Dell Home). This slimmer August Smart Lock doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit or Z-Wave, and its lock motor is a bit noisy, but this lock is still a decent entry-level option that performs well and offers a lot for its price.

Much about this lock remains the same as previous generations. You can install it in minutes flat, it relies on the same August app as before and, like August’s new $279 Smart Lock Pro ($249.00 at Amazon.com), this simpler version also comes with DoorSense, a new feature that tells you whether your door is open or closed.

Read our full review of the August Smart Lock.

August Smart Lock

Your third notable option for Siri voice control is the HomeKit-compatible version of the August Smart Lock. What’s interesting about August is that it isn’t actually a deadbolt, but rather, a deadbolt-turning gadget that sits over the top of your existing lock. That makes it a pretty appealing pick for renters, or for anyone who likes the lock they’ve got.

All three of these HomeKit-compatible options use Bluetooth to pair with your phone, which means that you won’t be able to control or check on them if you’re away from home (although if you have a third-gen or better Apple TV, it’ll act as a Wi-Fi range extender and solve that problem). August also offers its own plug-in gateway device that’ll let you use the app to control the lock from anywhere in the world, but you’ll have to pay an extra $80 on top of the lock’s already expensive $230 asking price.

Read our review of the August HomeKit-Enabled Smart Lock.

August Smart Lock Pro

August’s Smart Lock Pro is comparable in both design and performance to the $229 second-gen Smart Lock. The Pro relies on the same app and has similar core features, including support for Siri, Alexa, the Google Assistant and Nest. It’s Z-Wave ready (hub not included) and comes with an open/close DoorSense sensor, as well as a Connect Wi-Fi module.

At $279, it’s a bit more expensive than other August locks, but that is a bundled price for the lock and its Connect Wi-Fi module. If you want to purchase the lock by itself, you’ll need to go through one of August’s approved dealers. Still, this is one of the most feature-rich smart locks we’ve tested.

Read our review of the August Smart Lock Pro.

August Smart Lock Mortise Kit

Just recently, August announced a new kit for its smart lock that’s designed to make it work with doors cut for mortise-style deadbolts. Most smart locks won’t fit into doors like those, and the standard August won’t work with locks like that, either. So August’s Smart Lock mortise kit a nice addition to the category, and one that should help August expand into commercial settings and apartment complexes, where mortise locks are more common (though, in fairness, we have a mortise-style lock on the front door of the CNET Smart Home).

The only real caveat is that the mortise kit isn’t DIY-friendly like the August itself is. For now at least, August is only making it available to locksmiths, building managers, and other professional dealers.

Read our take on the August Smart Lock Mortise Kit.

Latch M-Series Smart Lock

August isn’t the only name that’s making a play on bringing smart locks to the connected apartments of the future. There’s also Latch, a New York-based startup founded by Apple alums that’s quietly raised lots of money for the past few years. Now, they’re ready to make their play with the Latch M-Series Smart Lock, another mortise-style connected deadbolt that features the notable addition of a camera in the center of the touchpad. Whenever someone unlocks the thing, it’ll snap a picture of who’s coming in.

Like the August Mortise Kit, this is a dealer and building-owner-only product, so you can’t buy it direct right now. But don’t be surprised if you start seeing them in office buildings and apartment complexes by the end of this year.

Read our preview of the Latch M-Series Smart Lock.

Friday Lock

Friday Labs released the Friday lock this year after two years of crowdfunding and development. It’s a stunning take on how to style a smart lock and comes with your choice of six different metal shells to match almost any home’s hardware. What’s nice about this Bluetooth smart lock is that, like August’s popular line of locks, you’ll keep the exterior deadbolt you already have.

The Friday lock is only compatible with Apple HomeKit for now and has its own companion app to lock and unlock the door, see activity logs and share Bluetooth keys. At $249, it isn’t cheap, and we encountered more than a few snags along the way while testing. Promised firmware updates look to solve some of these issues.

Read our full review of the Friday Lock.

Igloohome Smart Deadbolt 02

Igloohome’s Deadbolt 02 is the second-generation deadbolt of the Singapore-based startup. It’s a versatile lock with keypad, Bluetooth and physical key access. With added 9V battery jump start, it seems nearly impossible to get locked out. The app doesn’t do quite as much as you’d think, as it cannot lock your door or display the lock status.

If you’re looking for a touchscreen keypad, Igloohome’s Deadbolt 02 is a good-looking lock with physical and Bluetooth key options for unlocking. It’s currently priced at $199, not far from the pricing of other touchscreen deadbolts like Kwikset’s Obsidian and Yale’s Assure Lock SL.

Read our full review of the Igloohome Smart Deadbolt 02.

Candy House Sesame Smart Lock

The Sesame is a reasonably priced and easy to install retrofit smart lock from startup Candy House. With the looks of an old-school kitchen timer, the Sesame includes a knock-to-unlock feature for iOS devices and comes in at the same price as the August Smart Lock, $149.

The Sesame doesn’t work natively with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Siri, though you can control the lock via Google and Alexa with IFTTT recipes. It comes in several colors and includes a mounting plate and adhesive strips to attache the lock to your deadbolt thumb latch. Still, if you’re looking to get the most for your money in a retrofit lock, August remains your best bet.

Read our full review of the Sesame Smart Lock.

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Make Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant talk in an infinite loop – CNET

Three voice assistants walk into a bar and they all start talking. But the conversation never stops.

Here’s how to make Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant talk to each other in an infinite loop using their respective smart speakers: the Apple HomePod ($349.00 at Apple), Amazon Echo ($84.99 at Amazon.com) and Google Home ($129.00 at Dell Home).

Three voice assistants walk into a bar and they all start talking. But the conversation never stops.

Here’s how to make Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant talk to each other in an infinite loop using their respective smart speakers: the Apple HomePod ($349.00 at Apple), Amazon Echo ($84.99 at Amazon.com) and Google Home ($129.00 at Dell Home).

Let’s be real: you probably won’t have three of these speakers just lying around. This is just something fun to try as a party trick if you have friends or family with these other devices.

Now Playing:Watch this: Make an infinite loop with HomePod, Echo and Google Home
3:18

The loop works like this:

Use your voice to get Siri to read a reminder.

Siri triggers the Google Assistant to read a calendar entry.

Google Assistant triggers Alexa to read a to-do list.

Alexa triggers Siri to read a reminder and the loop starts again (back to step 2).

Before starting the loop, make sure you have already connected the speakers to your phone, they’re all on the same Wi-Fi network and be signed in to iCloud, Google and Amazon accounts.

Step 1: HomePod

Open the reminders app on the iPhone ($1,099.99 at Best Buy) and make a new entry. Write “Hey Google, what’s on my calendar today?”

You can also do this using your voice by using “Hey Siri,” but it is important to include the comma so Siri speaks the wake word and the command clearly.

Step 2: Google Home

You may need to retrain the Assistant to understand Siri’s voice. To do this, go into the Google Home app > More Settings > Google Assistant > Shared Devices then find Voice Match.

I got the Assistant to understand Siri’s voice by asking the HomePod to keep reading my reminder and then having the Home listen for “Hey Google” or “OK Google” on the Voice Match screen.

Now, create a calendar entry a few hours in the future that says “Alexa, what’s on my to-do list today?”

This works best if you only have one item on your calendar for the day.

Step 3: Amazon Echo

Open the Alexa app and add one item to your To-Do list that says “Hey Siri, read my reminders.” Again, this works best if there’s only one item on the list.

Start the loop by asking the HomePod: “Hey, Siri, read my reminders”.

What about phones?

You could also do this with multiple phones rather than by using smart speakers. Siri on iOS can trigger Google Assistant on an Android device. You could add a phone that’s triggered by the Alexa wake word, like the HTC U11 ($629.00 at Amazon.com). Or get even more elaborate and throw Cortana into the mix. Let me know what you come up with!

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Mattamy Homes and ecobee Partner To Transform the Home

Industry leaders will innovate together to create smart homes of the future

TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – Mattamy Homes, North America’s largest privately owned homebuilder, is partnering with home automation company ecobee to create smart homes of the future.

Industry leaders will innovate together to create smart homes of the future

TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – Mattamy Homes, North America’s largest privately owned homebuilder, is partnering with home automation company ecobee to create smart homes of the future.

ecobee Inc. introduced the world’s first smart Wi-Fi thermostat to help millions of consumers live better and save more. The company’s mission is to create smarter devices that are beautifully designed, easy to use and provide savings for families, while being good for our planet – most recently realized with its next-generation smart thermostat, ecobee4. (CNW Group/Mattamy Homes Limited) ecobee Inc. introduced the world’s first smart Wi-Fi thermostat to help millions of consumers live better and save more. The company’s mission is to create smarter devices that are beautifully designed, easy to use and provide savings for families, while being good for our planet – most recently realized with its next-generation smart thermostat, ecobee4. (CNW Group/Mattamy Homes Limited)

Starting in March 2018, every new Mattamy home built across North America – some 7,000 homes a year – will include the voice-enabled ecobee4 smart thermostat. The ecobee4 comes with the built-in Amazon Alexa Voice Service, meaning a number of other household functions can be automated as well. In the future, Mattamy intends to work with ecobee to further advance the smart home space including the enhanced use of data.

“Mattamy and ecobee are leaders in our respective industries in terms of innovation, and we’re extremely excited about the opportunities that this unique partnership is going to offer our organizations, the industry and consumers,” says Peter Gilgan, Founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes. “ecobee’s products and team members are intensely focused on creating not only innovative solutions but also great experiences for families. As such, our goals and values align perfectly, and we’re looking forward to working with them.”

The partnership will enable Mattamy to build homes and communities that are compatible with smart grids. Further, new smart features will allow homeowners to optimize the energy performance of their houses using smart devices and voice-activated platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa.

“Our collaboration with Mattamy will give homeowners easy entry into the smart home and a new way to save money and lower their impact on the environment,” said Stuart Lombard, Founder and CEO of ecobee, “Mattamy is on its way to becoming North America’s leading builder of sustainable homes and communities that are economical, energy efficient, innovative and healthy. This partnership is a testament to our joint commitment to drive value, savings and efficiency for our customers.”

Mattamy homeowners will be able to use their ecobee4 device to more effectively (and remotely) optimize their HVAC schedules and save money on utility bills, without comprising convenience or comfort in their home.

About Mattamy Homes
Mattamy Homes is the largest privately owned homebuilder in North America, with a 40-year history of operations across the United States and Canada. Every year, Mattamy helps 7,000 families realize their dream of home ownership. In the United States, the company is represented in 10 markets –Charlotte, Raleigh, Phoenix, Tucson, Jacksonville, Orlando (where its US head office is located), Tampa, Sarasota, Naples and Southeast Florida – and in Canada, those communities stretch across the Greater Toronto Area, as well as in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. Visit www.mattamyhomes.com for more information.

About ecobee
ecobee Inc. introduced the world’s first smart Wi-Fi thermostat to help millions of consumers live better and save more. The company’s mission is to create smarter devices that are beautifully designed, easy to use and provide savings for families, while being good for our planet – most recently realized with its next-generation smart thermostat, ecobee4. With ecobee’s pioneering room sensor technology, built-in Amazon Alexa voice service, far-field voice recognition, and a wide array of smart home integrations, ecobee combines smart home technology and voice to help customers manage their home’s comfort, energy and busy lives. Find out more at www.ecobee.com.

SOURCE Mattamy Homes Limited

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Southwest Airlines Extends Flight Schedule Through Oct. 1, 2018

Ahead of an event for thousands of Southwest® Employees in Nashville, airline Leaders announced that the carrier will be adding five departures a day Monday through Friday for nonstop travel between Nashville and Atlanta beginning Aug.

Ahead of an event for thousands of Southwest® Employees in Nashville, airline Leaders announced that the carrier will be adding five departures a day Monday through Friday for nonstop travel between Nashville and Atlanta beginning Aug. 7, 2018. The route will be offered three times a day on Saturdays and Sundays.

“This new route answers business community requests in both Nashville and Atlanta and we look forward to showing how our low fares, no change fees*, and Hospitality will resonate and make travel easier between these two growing cities,” said Trevor Stedke, Vice President of Technical Operations and Southwest’s executive ambassador to Nashville. “The routes offered with the schedule extension through the third quarter of 2018 reinforce our long-standing commitment to connect People and communities to what’s important to them with friendly, reliable, low-cost air travel.”

“Southwest Airlines’ decision to add nonstop service to Atlanta out of Nashville International Airport will be welcomed by travelers to and from Nashville, particularly within the business community, which has long-sought more such service,” said Doug Kreulen, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority president and CEO. “This new route brings competition to that market and provides additional options for our passengers. As a valued business partner for more than 30 years at BNA, Southwest Airlines again demonstrates its continued commitment to and investment in our airport and the city of Nashville.”

*A fare difference might apply.

Growing Los Angeles

The airline continues to strengthen its service in California by announcing a new nonstop route linking Los Angeles area Customers to Florida with daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Tampa beginning Aug. 7, 2018.

Also beginning Aug. 7, 2018, the carrier will add frequency with one additional daily flight on the following routes:

Between LAX and New Orleans

Increased to three roundtrips on weekdays

Between LAX and Portland, Ore.

Increased to three daily roundtrips on weekdays

Southwest also announced its daily nonstop seasonal service between Los Angeles and Omaha will be offered year-round beginning June 7, 2018.

Cincinnati Goes Mile-High

Cincinnati Customers will see their first daily nonstop service to Denver beginning Aug. 7, 2018. This route complements the carrier’s five daily flights between Chicago and Cincinnati and three daily flights between Baltimore and Cincinnati.

Throughout March 2018, the carrier will also offer daily nonstop service between Cincinnati and Phoenix.

Midwest Additions

Southwest is adding more nonstop service from St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., strengthening its position as the state’s biggest airline in terms of daily departures.

Beginning April 8, 2018, the carrier will add daily nonstop service between
Kansas City, Mo. and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Beginning Aug. 7, 2018, the carrier will add daily nonstop service between
St. Louis and Hartford, Conn.

Wait, there’s more!

In January, the carrier announced its intention to serve Paine Field in Everett, Wash., subject to requisite approvals of governmental and regulatory agencies. The carrier’s flight schedule and low fares are expected to be announced this spring.

Additionally, the carrier remains on-track with its intention to sell tickets this year to Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals.

The carrier continues to expect its 2018 available seat miles to grow in the low five percent range, year-over-year. To book a seat on these or any flight, visit Southwest.com.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to the Company’s anticipated service offerings and fares and network and capacity plans, opportunities, and expectations. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the impact of economic conditions, consumer behavior, fuel prices, actions of competitors (including without limitation pricing, scheduling, capacity, and network decisions, and consolidation and alliance activities), and other factors beyond the Company’s control, on the Company’s business decisions, plans, and strategies; (ii) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; (iii) the impact of governmental regulations and other governmental actions related to the Company’s operations; and (iv) other factors, as described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2017.

ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.

In its 47th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 56,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually, in recent years. Southwest became the nation’s largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. During peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 100 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. Southwest has announced its intention to sell tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals.

Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply.

As launch customer of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in North America, the Company operates the largest fleet in the world of Boeing aircraft, all of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi. Customers who connect to the WiFi network may use their personal devices to view on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV.

With a bold new look first unveiled in 2014, Southwest is progressing through a multi-year refresh of its fleet to showcase the carrier’s Heart: a new logo, aircraft livery, interior design featuring new seats, Employee-designed uniforms, and an updated airport experience, all of which showcase a dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what’s important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “The Southwest Effect,” a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With 45 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet.

Book Southwest Airlines’ low fares online at Southwest Airlines or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/southwest-airlines-extends-flight-schedule-through-oct-1-2018-300599245.html

SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.

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Nokia 6 4GB variant announced, will be available exclusively on Flipkart

HMD Global has announced a new 4GB variant of its mid-range offering, the Nokia 6, starting from February 20th exclusively on Flipkart.com. With the new 4GB variant of the Nokia 6, HMD Global is taking on competing smartphones like the Redmi Note 5/Note 5 Pro, Moto G5S Plus that also offer 4GB RAM options.

HMD Global has announced a new 4GB variant of its mid-range offering, the Nokia 6, starting from February 20th exclusively on Flipkart.com. With the new 4GB variant of the Nokia 6, HMD Global is taking on competing smartphones like the Redmi Note 5/Note 5 Pro, Moto G5S Plus that also offer 4GB RAM options.

Speaking on the announcement, Ajey Mehta, Vice President India, HMD Global, said,

“The Nokia 6 has emerged as the one of our most successful phones receiving plaudits for its design, durability and functionality from its countless fans. To take the Nokia 6 experience to the next level, we are now introducing an updated version of this great phone- one with 4GB of RAM,”

Nokia 6 Specifications

Featuring a metallic unibody design, each Nokia 6 unit is carved out of a single block of 6000 series aluminium, the Nokia 6 is sturdy phone. It features a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD panel, and runs on near-stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, with the Android 8.0 Oreo update on the way.

The Nokia 6 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset, paired with up to 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. Other features of the phone include support for microSD card, dual SIM, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM Radio and a fingerprint sensor. The phone is powered by a 3000mAh battery, and comes with a microUSB port.

Coming to the optics, the Nokia 6 features a 16MP rear camera with PDAF and an f/2.0 aperture. On the front, there is an 8MP camera with f/2.0 aperture and an 84-degree lens.

Nokia 6 4GB price and availability

The Nokia 6 4GB variant has been priced at Rs. 16,999 and comes with a launch offer of Rs. 2000 extra exchange discount. The phone will be available exclusively on Flipkart starting on February 20th.

Nokia sold 4.4 million smartphones in Q4 2017, surpasses OnePlus, Google and others

The Asus VivoBook S14 launched in India

Are you a gamer who’s frustrated carrying a bulky laptop? The Asus VivoBook S14 is here to help…or maybe not?

If you’re looking for other options in a budget price range, these are the best gaming laptops under Rs.50,000 .Don’t want a gaming laptop but still need something portable? Check out the best 13-inch laptops in India.

Are you a gamer who’s frustrated carrying a bulky laptop? The Asus VivoBook S14 is here to help…or maybe not?

If you’re looking for other options in a budget price range, these are the best gaming laptops under Rs.50,000 .Don’t want a gaming laptop but still need something portable? Check out the best 13-inch laptops in India.

The Asus VivoBook S14 is the newest addition to the Republic of Gamers (ROG) lineup of the company. With 8th Generation Intel Core Processors and a slim-bezel ‘NanoEdge’ display it certainly looks like a sleek laptop that packed with power.

The ROG line up is meant for hardcore gaming enthusiasts and has been advertised as ‘dedicated e-sports gaming notebooks’.

The Vivobook S14’s unique selling point (USP) is its weight. Kept at just 1.4 kilos, it meant for consumers who are on-the-go and need something portable that won’t break their back as they carry it around. Asus ran the following tests on the Vivobook S14 to check its durability:

20,000 cycle open and close hinge test 10,000 feet simulated high-altitude test for 24 hours10-million-key-press test for the keyboard

Its 14-inch Full HD in-plane switching (IPS) screen has been fit into a chassis that’s designed for a 13-inch display. The quality of color reproduction has been addressed while keeping the laptop smaller than most of its counterparts.The Vivobook S14 comes in 3 variations:

The base model with 7th Generation Intel Core i3 processorModel with 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processorModel with 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor

All three of these options come with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB SATA M.2 SSD and 1TB HDD storage. Essentially, it runs fast and has plenty of storage.

Equipped with a backlit keyboard and a multi-touch-supported touchpad as well as an integrated fingerprint scanner, the laptop has attempted to plug away any accessibility issues that a person can have.

In terms of connectivity, there’s nothing that’s particularly new. It has the usual Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a USB Type-C (1st Gen) Port topped off with an HDMI port. It’s nice to see that it supports SD and SDXC memory cards with an integrated two-in-one card reader.

Out-of-the-box, the VivoBook S14 runs Windows 10 Home with ‘Windows Hello’ support. That means users can log in with a single touch and no hassle.

The Taiwanese tech giant seems to have done a decent job with their latest offering claiming upto 8 hours of battery life and fast-charge up to 60% in just under 50 minutes.

In comparison to the S15, that was launched in September 2017, there isn’t much to talk about because very little is different. The screen is smaller but the battery life is shorter. Storage capacity has increased but the RAM has decreased. So, all in all, it’s just a matter a preference and nothing to write home about.

All three are available exclusively on Flipkart with prices that start at Rs 55,990 with an introductory offer between 14 and 28 February.

Looking to enhance your gaming experience? Maybe check out,The best gaming keyboards in IndiaThe best gaming mice in India

Accuris Networks and Eminent Display Launch Passpoint Southeast Asia Wi-Fi Hub

DUBLIN, Feb. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Accuris Networks and Eminent Display SB, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, have jointly launched a Passpoint/NGH Wi-Fi Roaming Hub for Wi-Fi, Broadband and Mobile Network Operators in the Southeast Asian region.

DUBLIN, Feb. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Accuris Networks and Eminent Display SB, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, have jointly launched a Passpoint/NGH Wi-Fi Roaming Hub for Wi-Fi, Broadband and Mobile Network Operators in the Southeast Asian region.

“Southeast Asia includes more than 650 million people and has some of the most advanced telecommunications providers and carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks in the world,” stated Mohd Ezizul Bin Mohd Taib, commercial director at Eminent Display. “Mobile and Broadband operators are looking for innovative ways to add value to their subscribers. By connecting to our ASEAN Hub, their subscribers will be able to enjoy a secure, seamless and low-cost global Wi-Fi roaming experience with access to over 100 countries. Accuris Networks have been the dominant global leader in carrier-grade Wi-Fi Offload, Roaming and Calling solutions and the latest Hub services include support for Passpoint-certified Wi-Fi roaming. We are pleased to bring these to the ASEAN market and help accelerate their adoption within the local mobile and broadband community.”

Accuris Networks is a leader in carrier Wi-Fi services, enabling Wi-Fi roaming, billing/clearing and hub services for Wi-Fi network providers and mobile network operators. With the Accuris CONNECT SaaS platform, service providers can quickly interconnect with other Wi-Fi providers and mobile operators to enable low-cost access to data services while their subscribers are traveling as well as supporting domestic data offload.

“Passpoint-ready networks are being deployed around the world, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, and now is the time to connect these networks together in a regional hub,” said Larry Quinn, chairman & CEO of Accuris Networks. “The world’s leading smartphone device manufacturers and operating system vendors have quickly adopted Passpoint as a secure Wi-Fi solution, which is ideally suited to large Wi-Fi networks with significant subscriber traffic, and we are very pleased to work with Eminent Display to launch this important service. We have an established history of deploying strategically based roaming and inter-connect hubs and our strategy is to utilize these to also support the emerging IoT market using multiple technologies, including carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks.”

About Eminent Display

Eminent Display Sdn Bhd is an IT and media-based company in Kota Damansara, Selangor Darul Ehsan. Eminent Display was incorporated on Oct. 31, 2006, with its registered address at NW-03-09, Cova Square, Jalan Teknologi PJU 5, Kota Damansara , 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan. Eminent Display Sdn Bhd’s core business is providing ICT and IT solutions. Eminent Display is 100 percent, fully owned by bumiputra and registered with Ministry of Finance (MOF).

More information at http://eminentdisplay.com.my.

About Accuris Networks

Accuris Networks helps service providers monetize the connectivity between networks. Accuris solutions enable subscribers to move seamlessly and securely between LTE, GSM, Wi-Fi, IPX and fixed networks while ensuring a superior quality of experience. Accuris Networks is a trusted supplier to blue-chip operators around the world including AT&T, Bell Canada, China Mobile Intl, EDCH, Telekom Malaysia, Telefonica and more. Visit us at www.accuris-networks.com or tweet us @AccurisNetworks.

For Accuris Networks

David Reeder
Vice President, Global Business Development
+353 (1) 881 8700
david.reeder@accuris-networks.com

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SOURCE Accuris Networks

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Modernized infrastructure that I love

802.11ax Wi-Fi. Wireless LANs are critically important to the future of business. Companies are connecting more things to the network, with most of them connecting to Wi-Fi. Also, organizations are looking to capture usage information from the Wi-Fi network to understand what customers and employees are doing so they can offer better services to make consumers happy and workers more productive.

802.11ax Wi-Fi. Wireless LANs are critically important to the future of business. Companies are connecting more things to the network, with most of them connecting to Wi-Fi. Also, organizations are looking to capture usage information from the Wi-Fi network to understand what customers and employees are doing so they can offer better services to make consumers happy and workers more productive.

The problem is, and forgive my language, the Wi-Fi experience sucks in many places. How can that be you may ask? The last release of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac Wave 2 promised Gigabit Wi-Fi, so we should have much more speed. But the problem isn’t about speed, it’s congestion. Consider you are sitting in the audience at your favorite conference, and there are 10 minutes before the keynote address begins. You’re emailing, tweeting, texting and Facebooking with no problem. Then the keynote starts, and nothing works. That isn’t speed; its congestion because too many people are trying to access the Wi-Fi network.

None of the advancements in Wi-Fi have addressed the congestion issue, but 802.11ax does. The technology uses something called orthogonal frequency division multiple access (ODFMA), which is a technical way of saying it can multiplex channels. Traditional Wi-Fi enables one client device to connect to the AP per channel, and it stays connected until the session is finished even if no data is being passed. ODFMA chops each channel up into smaller subchannels so signals can be stacked on top of each other. This lets each channel handle 30 client devices instead of a single one. 802.11ax will lead to a significantly better user experience than we have today.

To date, Aerohive is the only Wi-Fi vendor that has announced 802.11ax products, but I expect by summer will see announcements from every major Wi-Fi vendor. (Note: Aerohive is a client of ZK Research.)

25 laptops with the best battery life – CNET

The most important feature for many laptop shoppers is battery life, and rightly so.

Based on the extensive battery testing conducted in the CNET Labs, these are the 25 PCs with the longest battery-life scores that we’ve seen over 2017-2018.

The most important feature for many laptop shoppers is battery life, and rightly so.

Based on the extensive battery testing conducted in the CNET Labs, these are the 25 PCs with the longest battery-life scores that we’ve seen over 2017-2018. This list includes Windows and MacOS laptops, Windows two-in-one hybrids, and Chromebooks running Google’s Chrome OS. Not included are Android or iOS tablets.

The specific test used here streams a private video over Wi-Fi on an endless loop. Note that these scores reflect the specific configurations we tested, and that screen resolution and CPU choice are some of the major factors that affect battery life.

Read more CNET laptop reviews here, or jump to the last page in this gallery to see all the top performers listed.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The best 4K TVs of 2018 in India

The Indian television market is no stranger to 4K televisions but it’s still a fairly recent trend.

These TVs are yet to take over the market, but with more and more brands making cheaper 4K TVs, it only a matter of time.

The Indian television market is no stranger to 4K televisions but it’s still a fairly recent trend.

These TVs are yet to take over the market, but with more and more brands making cheaper 4K TVs, it only a matter of time. The high end TVs from Sony, Samsung and LG are still out of reach for most people, but one could expect these to become cheaper in the near future.

Sony announced its Bravia A1 television last year, competing with LG in the OLED market. Samsung’s answer to these OLED panels was with its own QLED technology. Needless to say, there’s really a lot happening in the television market, and we’re here to help you make the right choices.

Xiaomi Mi TV 4ASony Bravia A1 OLEDLG C7 OLEDSamsung QLED Q8CSony Z9DSamsung Frame TVNeed to give your TV’s sound a boost? Check out our guide to the best soundbars available.

Having won the Red Dot award, it’s one of the slimmest TVs on the market. Even at just 4.9mm, it doesn’t compromise on its ports and durability. It comes paired with 3 HDMI and USB ports as well as an ethernet port in case your Wi-Fi fails you.

It may not dazzle most people in the myriad of options available in the market right but it’s the cream of what’s available in under Rs. 40,000.

Sony’s Bravia A1 series is its first foray into the OLED market, unveiled at CES last year.

The television was launched in India during July 2017 and has reigned supreme, in terms of performance, since then.

Sony uses Acoustic Surface technology to deliver excellent audio despite the TV’s thin form factor. That, combined with the absolute best picture quality you can get today, makes this the best television to buy in the market. If you can afford it that is.

Read the full review:Sony A1E OLED

LG’s televisions used to be the best till Sony came along with its OLED TVs. Yet, the LG OLED C7 is a TV that many will like. It’s thin, good looking and runs on the company’s WebOS platform.

While LG’s TVs may not equal Sony’s in picture quality, that’s very tough to determine unless you’re comparing side by side. At the same price range, we wouldn’t be surprised if you’re conflicted between these two.

Read the full review:LG OLED C7

The Samsung Q8C runs on the company’s QLED technology, and its unique selling point is in the punchy colours and high contrast. Much like the two TVs mentioned above, this one also supports HDR playback, though it lacks Dolby Vision support right now.

The QLED Q8C is also curved and combined with Samsung’s no-gap wall mount, making it an excellent addition to any media center. It’s suited to anyone looking for a high end TV that adds to your living room’s aesthetics too.

Read the full review: Samsung Q8C QLED

With 500 dimming zones, the Sony Z9D is without a doubt the most value-for-money television among the high-end offerings. It supports HDR playback and provides picture quality that could rival the best OLED televisions on the market today, including Sony’s own Bravia A1.

The Z9D also provides decent audio quality, and is loud enough for small to medium sized rooms too.

Read the full review:Sony Z9D

The Samsung Frame is perhaps the most beautiful television in the market right now. It’s meant to look like a piece of art, and for the most part it does that job admirably.

The television comes with a built in art collection and that exemplifies itself to look like a picture frame. Samsung has compromised picture quality, but that’s only compared to the absolute high end TVs out there.

The Frame is cheaper in comparison to those. Buy it to believe it!

Read the full view: Samsung Frame