Apple Watch Series 4 will finally gain ECG support with watchOS 5.1.2 update

Undoubtedly the most exciting feature of the new Apple Watch Series 4 is the ECG functionality. However, it isn’t available yet and we are still waiting for Apple to enable it via a future update. And according to inside sources, watchOS 5.1.2 is going to be the one to bring it.

The software version is currently in beta testing and isn’t yet available for the public. But once it arrives, it will be able to read your heart rhythm. It can help detect atrial fibrillation or just an irregular heart rhythm.

Apple promised to enable the feature by the end of this year but it’s still unclear if it will manage that.

On a side note, the obtained training document states that you need at least iPhone 5s for the device to work and iOS 12.1.1 installed.

Yet again, if you are outside the US, don’t get your hopes up because it will take some time for Apple to enable the feature outside the country. After all, there’s are a lot of licenses that Apple needs to obtain and the USA’s FDA was just the first.


Asus ROG Phone finally lands in India with all its accessories in tow

Asus finally brought its flagship ROG Phone to the Indian market. The phone is priced at INR 69,999 ($1,002) and will be available exclusively on Flipkart starting today, November 29.

Asus is offering zero interest EMI option on the device, with a 12 month plan costing INR 5,833 per month. Flipkart will also be offering its Complete Mobile Protection plan for INR 999 instead of the usual INR 5,999. ASUS also has additional cashback offers for Reliance Jio customers.

Asus will also be releasing all the accessories for the ROG Phone over the coming days. This includes the Professional Dock (INR 5,499), GameVice (INR 5,999), TwinView Dock (INR 21,999), Desktop Dock (INR 12,999) and the ROG Phone Case (INR 2,499). The AeroActive cooler will be bundled with the phone for free.

Professional Dock GameVice TwinView Dock Desktop Dock ROG Phone Case
Professional Dock • GameVice • TwinView Dock • Desktop Dock • ROG Phone Case

The ROG Phone is Asus’ most capable smartphone with all the bells and whistles imaginable. It has a 6-inch, 2160×1080 AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, making it the only high refresh rate smartphone in India. It runs on a binned version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, which is clocked at 2.96GHz, making it the fastest Snapdragon smartphone in the world. It includes 6GB of LPDDR4X memory and 128GB storage.

The ROG Phone has the company’s AirTrigger feature, which uses ultrasonic touch sensors on the side that allow you to use them as shoulder buttons in game by mapping them to on-screen buttons. The phone also has dual USB-C ports, one on the side and one on the bottom, that allows you to plug in your charging cable on the side while you’re playing. Only one of these supports fast charging, however, and you can’t use both simultaneously.

The side port also allows you to plug in the bundled AeroActive cooler, a literal fan that sits on the back of the phone and cools it actively. The cooler includes a USB-C port and headphone jack at the bottom so you don’t lose out on connectivity while using it.

The ROG Phone also includes Asus Aura RGB lighting on the back, which can be customized. The AeroActive Cooler also includes the same, which takes over when you plug in the accessory.

As impressive and comprehensive as the ROG Phone’s feature list is, the high price makes it difficult to recommend. The cost of the accessories is especially prohibitive and pushes the total price into a territory few people would be comfortable with.

There is also an argument to be made of the need of a dedicated gaming phone, when cheaper devices with similar specifications can provide nearly the same experience despite not being marketed as a gaming phones. The quality of games on Android itself leaves a lot to be desired, as iOS still gets all the new games first and in some cases, exclusively.

Overall, undoubtedly a cool phone, but the price will certainly limit its reach.


Oppo will show its foldable phone at the Mobile World Congress 2019

Oppo will show its first foldable smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2019. The confirmation comes straight from Oppo’s Product Manager Chuck Wang.

While he didn’t disclose any specifics about the foldable phone, Wang has mentioned that Oppo will deliver a 5G smartphone in 2020 and will also aim to release its first phone with a display cutout in 2020.

Foldable phones will likely prove a key focus in 2019. Samsung already provided a glimpse of its Galaxy F foldable smartphone and is expected to give it more screen time at the MWC in February.

LG will show off its foldable phone at CES 2019 in January, while Huawei will also showcase a foldable phone at the MWC. And we know that Xiaomi is also working on a folding display phone.


Renders of Sony Xperia XZ4 cases support rumor of extra tall body

The renders of the Sony Xperia XZ4 showed an extra tall phone with a triple camera on the back. Now we have a second data point that supports this design – renders of a case for the phone have surfaced.

Those CAD renders show a screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio – taller than any phone currently on the market, it’s a proportion not seen since LG BL40 New Chocolate.

Renders of Sony Xperia XZ4 cases: check out how tall they are Renders of Sony Xperia XZ4 cases: check out how tall they are Renders of Sony Xperia XZ4 cases: check out how tall they are Renders of Sony Xperia XZ4 cases: check out how tall they are
Renders of Sony Xperia XZ4 cases: check out how tall they are

Here are a few more interesting details to note. There’s a cutout for the Power key while the other keys are covered (including the shutter key) – that agrees with the rumors of a side-mounted fingerprint reader. There’s a loudspeaker grille at the bottom, which supports the other rumor: no more front-firing speakers. And no, those aren’t holes for a 3.5mm jack, the case just gives the top and bottom mics a wide berth.

Sony only recently went taller than 16:9 (and all those Xperias have a conservative 18:9 screen aspect ratio). It only recently adopted multi-camera setups as well.

It seems that the maker is looking to quickly catch up to the competition with the Xperia XZ4. The extra-tall 6.5” screen will likely be one of a kind in early 2019 and we’re curious to see what Sony (a prolific camera maker) does with the triple rear camera.


Counterpoint: Xiaomi obliterates competition during Diwali

This year’s Diwali festive season ended on November 8 and thanks to the holiday spirit and plenty of discounts across retailers, smartphone sales grew 26%, compared with last year’s period.

Counterpoint Research announced that Flipkart and Amazon played a massive role with their respective online sale events “ Flipkart Big Billion Day” and “Amazon Great Indian Festival.” OEM stores, including, vivo e-store, and Hi Honor helped as the online sales went up 46% YoY.

The big winner of the shopping festival is Xiaomi with 43% online share and 14% offline share in the respective categories, solidifying its position as a market leader over Samsung.

One of the more impressive companies was Realme that registered a record performance for any new brand in India. It accounted for 18% of all online sales and 9% of the total smartphone sales, jumping at third place overall.

Hanish Bhatia, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint, said that emerging brand such as Pocophone, Asus, Nokia and OnePlus also did well online, unlike Apple and its iPhones that received a lukewarm response, compared with other makers.


Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Forbidden City Edition goes on sale in December

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Forbidden City Edition is going on sale in December (the company didn’t specify an exact date). It will cost CNY 5,000 ($720/€630). That’s the same price as the 8/256GB model (the base 6/128GB model is CNY 3,300).

This special edition will pack 10GB of RAM (the first model in the Mix 3 lineup to do so). Also, it’s a different kind of blue – it’s inspired by the ceramic vases of one of the ruling dynasties of China. Fitting as the back of the phone is made of ceramic.

Also, there’s a gold inlay of a mythical create on the back of the phone. The Forbidden City retail package will come with a cool case that features an even bigger rendition of the beast and you’ll get a statuette of it, a scale version of those found in the eponymous city (the statuette is plated with 24K gold).

The case also includes a 10W wireless charger, but all Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 models have it.