Hasselblad's camera module adds 10x optical zoom to Moto Z phones

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“It’s not the camera, but the person behind the camera that makes great pictures.” 

Every seasoned photographer will bestow these words of wisdom on the less financially equipped. But in the case of smartphone cameras, superior hardware really makes a world a difference if you want great photos. 

Just when I thought Motorola’s Moto Mod attachments for its Moto Z, Z Force and the new Z Play Droid couldn’t get anymore over the top, out comes the Hasselblad True Zoom. 

The Hasselblad True Zoom is an entire camera that overrides the phone’s included back camera, while simultaneously adding a physical shutter button, grip handle and 10x optical zoom.  Read more…

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The Moto Z Play Droid is a more affordable modular phone

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The Moto Z and Moto Z Force are two of Lenovo/Motorola’s finest smartphones and its Moto Mods are the best shot at making modular phones a reality (at least until Google’s Project Ara launches next year). 

Joining the Z family is the new Moto Z Play Droid, an Android device with mid-range specs, a long-lasting battery and one feature the Z and Z Force don’t have: a headphone jack. 

Works with all Moto Mods 

A Verizon-exclusive in the U.S., the Z Play Droid eschews the Z and Z Force’s rigid metal design for a glass sandwich (a booming trend in the Android world).   Read more…

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Samsung Galaxy Note7 shipments delayed amid reports of exploding batteries

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The well-reviewed Galaxy Note7 from Samsung has, unfortunately, run into a major technical problem that may taint its otherwise successful launch. 

Distribution of the Galaxy Note7 is reportedly being delayed due to a new, unexplained series of product quality tests intiated by the South Korean electronics giant. 

“Shipments of the Galaxy Note7 are being delayed due to additional tests being conducted for product quality,” a Samsung spokesperson told Reuters on Wednesday. 

Although the company did not elaborate on what the specific quality control issue is, the same report mentions claims of exploding batteries from local news sources in South Korea.  Read more…

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Samsung goes BIG with Gear S3 smartwatch

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BERLIN — Last year saw many great smartwatches including the Apple Watch, Huawei Watch, Moto 360 and Samsung’s own Gear S2 get released.

Samsung’s following up on the well-received Gear S2 with the Gear S3. The new model boasts a handful of really compelling features like LTE, built-in GPS, longer battery life and Samsung Pay support. 

But you may not care for any of those things because it’s so big.

Intentionally big

The Gear S3 Classic and the slightly more rugged Gear S3 Frontier.

The Gear S3 Classic and the slightly more rugged Gear S3 Frontier.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Technically, the 46mm (diameter) Gear S3 is two smartwatches. It comes in a Classic and Frontier version. Both have identical specs and a Swiss-inspired watch case designed in partnership with Swiss designer Yvan Arpa. Read more…

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Google is absorbing parts of Nest, and that's a good thing

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Google’s Alphabet is shaking things up at Nest… againFortune reports, and Mashable has confirmed, that the tech giant is moving several software developers back to Google. Nest will continue to make, sell and market its hardware, but those developers will now work on Google’s broader Internet of Things platforms.

The move isn’t too surprising given what’s been happening with Nest — and the broader category of smart-home devices — over the past year. Nest has been dogged by lots of bad press about former founder and CEO Tony Fadell and the company’s inability to ship new products, which led to Fadell’s departure earlier this year. The same period has seen the rise of the Amazon Echo and its digital assistant, Alexa, which is rapidly developing into the leading smart-home platform. In response, Google announced its own “smart speaker,” Home, in May. Read more…

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Zoom comes to Instagram after a half-decade wait

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It has taken Instagram five whole years, but it has finally delivered the most basic feature to its users: Zoom. 

As of Wednesday, iOS users can zoom in on Instagram photos with a pinch of the fingers — a standard maneuver since Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone way back in 2007.

It isn’t clear why the app didn’t allow users to zoom so easily before, instead forcing iPhone users to change their phone’s setting to allow zoom before forcing a super awkward three-finger double-tap to get a closer look. It was like athletics for your fingers.  Read more…

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