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Apple Vision Pro Review

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The new Apple Vision Pro, Apple’s highly anticipated foray into wearable computers, faces significant expectations. Priced at $3,499, it introduces “spatial computing,” aiming to seamlessly integrate apps into your surroundings. Apple’s bold advertisements depict people wearing the Vision Pro in various daily scenarios, emphasizing the ambitious goal of augmenting reality by layering apps and information over the real world.

Pros:

  • Impressive display, a technical marvel, offering the best video passthrough to date.
  • Noteworthy advancements in hand and eye tracking technology.
  • Seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem.
  • Enjoyable experience placing windows throughout space.

Cons:

  • Come with a hefty price tag.
  • Video passthrough may still be blurry.
  • Inconsistent and occasionally frustrating hand and eye tracking.
  • Personas can be uncanny and somewhat unsettling.
  • Can feel isolated or lonely during use.

Apple’s Vision Pro marks the tech giant’s inaugural venture into constructing a computer that seamlessly integrates into your surroundings. The aim is to position the Vision Pro as a comprehensive device, coexisting with Macs and iPads in Apple’s ecosystem, enabling users to accomplish meaningful tasks. From handling productivity tools like Excel, Webex, and Slack to leisure activities such as watching movies on a virtual 4K HDR display, the Vision Pro offers a versatile experience. Additionally, users can mirror their Mac’s display, utilizing the Vision Pro as a vast monitor suspended in virtual space.

While the Vision Pro boasts impressive features, it comes with significant tradeoffs that cannot be overlooked. Tangibly, the headset’s tech contributes to considerable weight on the face, leading Apple to opt for an external battery pack connected by a cable. Beyond physical aspects, there are also philosophical tradeoffs inherent in the design and functionality of the device.

Hardware

Apple positions the Vision Pro as more than just a VR headset, blending virtual and real-world experiences. Its compact design, crafted from magnesium, carbon fiber, and aluminum, defies expectations of bulkier VR headsets. The front EyeSight display attempts real-world connection but falls short with a low-res OLED.

Under the cover glass, the Vision Pro boasts an array of cameras and sensors for video passthrough, hand tracking, and spatial awareness. Powered by an M2 processor, it incorporates a unique R1 spatial coprocessor and includes detachable headbands, magnetic light seals, and adjustable headbands.

The speakers deliver impressive spatial audio but tend to be leaky, prompting the need for headphones. Weighing between 600 and 650 grams, the Vision Pro’s front-loaded distribution may impact comfort during extended use. The external battery, while contributing to weight management, limits runtime to around two and a half hours.

Setup is simplified, utilizing motorized adjustments and familiar iOS processes. Despite its design excellence, the Vision Pro’s weight becomes noticeable during prolonged use, emphasizing the trade-off for its sleek appearance.

Apple showcases the Vision Pro’s displays as a remarkable technological leap, featuring MicroOLEDs with 23 million pixels at just 7.5 micrometers. Despite their excellence, the high cost and inherent tradeoffs highlight the challenges of implementing them in this device.

The headset prioritizes real-time video passthrough, blurring the line between VR and AR. Apple’s claimed 12ms latency and adept video processing deliver an impressive experience, even in challenging situations like working in front of a large window.

However, Apple acknowledges display effects, with spokesperson Jacqueline Roy detailing hardware and software efforts to minimize these issues. While the Vision Pro’s video passthrough is the most advanced in consumer devices, occasional quirks persist, challenging the perception of flawless visuals given the high price tag.

In essence, the Vision Pro’s display, while exceptional, serves as a reminder that screens can’t fully replicate the richness of reality, falling short in capturing the vibrant colors and intricacies found in the world around us.

 

Controls

Apple takes pride in the Vision Pro’s cutting-edge eye and hand tracking control system, surpassing other consumer systems. Operating as if your eyes are the mouse and your fingers are the button, you navigate the interface by looking at and tapping on desired elements.

Initially, using hand and eye tracking feels like a superpower, with external cameras effortlessly capturing hand movements within a generous zone. However, the novelty fades as the requirement to constantly look at what you want to control becomes distracting and, in some cases, hinders usability. Unlike traditional computers where input is independent of your gaze, the Vision Pro demands your attention, leading to moments of frustration, especially in activities that require sustained focus.

The Apple Vision Pro, priced at $3,499, marks Apple’s venture into “spatial computing,” aiming to integrate augmented reality into daily life. While the display impresses with stellar video passthrough and remarkable MicroOLED technology, weighing between 600 and 650 grams, it poses ergonomic challenges, and its external battery pack adds to the bulk. The headset’s visuals, despite advancements, suffer from common VR limitations such as motion blur and color gamut restrictions.

Controlled by a sophisticated eye and hand tracking system, the Vision Pro offers a unique interface, but the constant need to look at what you want to control becomes distracting, deviating from the independent input mechanisms of traditional computers. The eye tracking, while awe-inspiring initially, exhibits inconsistencies over time, hindering the overall user experience.

In essence, the Vision Pro presents an impressive step towards spatial computing but grapples with weight, display limitations, and occasional control challenges, prompting users to weigh the magic it offers against notable tradeoffs.

Complaining about a hand tracking system needing to see hands might seem silly, yet the Vision Pro’s limitations become evident. While Siri and dictation help navigate visionOS, the constant awareness of hands and the visual tracking system’s occasional failures make it a unique, sometimes frustrating, experience. The system, keen on capturing hand movements, can lead to amusing unintended inputs, showcasing both the system’s brilliance and its pitfalls. Achieving rock-solid reliability in the input system is crucial for a seamless computing experience in the Vision Pro.

 

Spatial cameras

Shooting photos with the Vision Pro yields low-quality 6.5-megapixel stills, and videos, though slightly better, suffer from noticeable compression and barrel distortion when viewed on non-Vision Pro devices. The impracticality of taking photos with the headset and the assumption that most users own iPhones with superior video capabilities make these features seem less significant. However, spatial videos shot on the iPhone 15 Pro Max and viewed in 3D on the Vision Pro offer a compelling, albeit solitary, experience, allowing users to relive memories in a bittersweet fashion.

VisionOS

The Vision Pro operates on visionOS, a customized version of iPadOS with optimizations for spatial computing. Leveraging iPadOS provides Apple with a robust app library from the start, although early controversies involve major developers like Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube holding off on supporting the Vision Pro. While Safari on the device accommodates web-based experiences, WebXR support is inconsistent. Apple expresses commitment to contributing to WebXR but acknowledges the current variability. Notably, YouTube VR lacks support, with Apple citing a focus on delivering high-quality spatial media experiences. The Vision Pro’s app ecosystem and web compatibility remain evolving aspects.

VisionOS sets itself apart with a novel experience featuring free-floating windows for unlimited app openings and spatial arrangement. The multi-operating system support adds versatility, integrating native visionOS apps, iPad apps, and Mac connectivity. However, the personal nature of the spatial environment limits shared experiences. The intuitive gestures for window management lack centralized controls, making it more complex than typical iOS devices. Seamless Mac display sharing showcases the Vision Pro’s versatility, transforming it into a virtual Mac display.

While Vision Pro falls short in true AR interaction, subtle features like the “connect display” button and a text preview window during Bluetooth keyboard use offer a glimpse into AR possibilities. In mixed reality scenarios, particularly in entertainment, Vision Pro excels. Immersive movie experiences, 3D content, and Apple’s library of 3D movies enhance the viewing experience. Yet, the device’s weight and DRM limitations pose challenges during screen captures.

Gaming on the Vision Pro lacks popular VR titles and fitness apps, highlighting a gap compared to competitors like Quest. Concerns about the device’s weight and design arise, impacting its suitability for physical gaming experiences. While developers work on porting more games, the absence of established titles like Beat Saber points to a current limitation. A cautionary note emphasizes the need for users to adapt gradually to VR motion, acknowledging potential motion sickness.

Despite its impressive features, the Vision Pro’s hefty price and specific limitations raise questions about its broader market appeal, especially compared to dedicated VR platforms. While its transformation into a virtual Mac display showcases versatility, considerations about weight, gaming ecosystem, and adapting to VR motion suggest a niche audience for this mixed reality device.

 

The Vision Pro is a testament to Apple’s engineering prowess, showcasing a stunning display, sophisticated passthrough technology, and seamless integration within the ecosystem. However, it may unintentionally reveal that certain core ideas, like camera-based mixed reality passthrough or advanced hand- and eye-tracking, could be dead ends, facing challenges for mainstream adoption. Despite its magical moments, the device’s complex technology might be ahead of its time.

Alternatively, the Vision Pro could serve as a precursor to Apple’s envisioned true AR glasses, acting as a simulator or developer kit. This perspective suggests the current device is a stepping stone for app and use case development, preparing the ground for future optical AR glasses capable of shared digital experiences. However, these scenarios come with significant tradeoffs, emphasizing the inherent loneliness of the Vision Pro experience. Tim Cook’s acknowledgment of headsets being isolating rings true, posing challenges for a device aiming to be a primary computing tool. Despite its impressive features, the Vision Pro raises questions about its role in collaborative workspaces and everyday computing.

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Honor 200 Pro Review

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The Honor 200 trio, originally launched in China, is now making waves globally with the release of the Honor 200 and Honor 200 Pro, joining the previously announced Honor 200 Lite. Today, we dive into the Honor 200 Pro, a device that clearly deserves a worldwide audience.

Body and Design

The Honor 200 Pro boasts dimensions of 163.3 x 75.2 x 8.2mm and a weight of 199g, featuring a glass front and back with a plastic frame. It offers IP65 dust and water resistance, adding a layer of durability. The design continues the aesthetic from the Honor 100 Pro with a capsule-shaped camera module, branded as the ‘Realm of Art.’ The white variant we reviewed has a water-flow-like texture under the back cover, providing a sophisticated yet unique tactile feel.

The 200 Pro’s 6.78-inch Quad-edge-curved OLED display has minimal curvature at the top and bottom, enhancing visual appeal without compromising color accuracy at the edges. The phone is lightweight, thanks to its 5200mAh battery, which is larger than many of its competitors, like the Xiaomi Civi 4 Pro.

Despite its elegance, the plastic outer frame feels somewhat inconsistent with the premium design. Available in Black, Silver, Green, and Pink, the Honor 200 Pro offers a variety of finishes to suit different tastes.

Display

The 6.78-inch OLED display of the Honor 200 Pro features a resolution of 1224 x 2700 pixels (437ppi), supporting 10-bit color depth, a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR, and an impressive peak brightness of 4,000 nits. While manual maximum brightness reaches 614 nits, automatic peak brightness can go up to 1,110 nits, which is below some flagships but still impressive for HDR content.

The screen is equipped with adaptive 3840Hz PWM dimming, providing excellent flicker control. Honor’s Eye Comfort Display technology, along with the HONOR Oasis Eye Protection, adjusts the screen’s color temperature based on the ambient light and usage scenarios, ensuring a comfortable viewing experience.

Performance

Powered by the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset, the Honor 200 Pro performs admirably in everyday use and gaming. It features an octa-core CPU (1×3.0 GHz Cortex-X4, 4×2.8 GHz Cortex-A720, and 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A520) and an Adreno 735 GPU. Although not the highest in its class, the chipset ensures smooth performance across most applications and games.

Memory options range from 12GB RAM with 256GB or 512GB storage to 16GB RAM with 512GB or 1TB storage, providing ample space for apps and media.

Camera

The Honor 200 Pro’s camera system is a standout feature. It includes a 50 MP main sensor, a 50 MP telephoto lens with 2.5x optical zoom, and a 12 MP ultra-wide lens. The front camera also boasts a 50 MP sensor for high-quality selfies.

In terms of performance, the main camera uses the H9000 flagship sensor, delivering sharp and vibrant images. The telephoto camera, debuting the Sony IMX856 sensor, offers excellent zoom capabilities. The ultra-wide camera, though modest, includes autofocus for macro shots.

The camera setup is complemented by features like the AUTHENTIC color mode and collaborations with Studio Harcourt Paris for unique portrait modes, enhancing the overall photography experience.

Battery and Charging

The Honor 200 Pro is equipped with a 5200mAh Silicon-Carbon battery, offering substantial longevity. It supports 100W wired charging and 66W wireless charging. In our tests, the phone charged from 0 to 100% in about 48 minutes with the wired charger included in the box. The phone also supports High-Power PPS protocol, ensuring compatibility with various fast-charging accessories.

Software

Running on Android 14 with MagicOS 8, the Honor 200 Pro offers a seamless and customizable user experience. MagicOS 8 includes features like large folders, widgets, and the iOS-like Magic Capsule notification system. Honor promises four major OS updates and five years of security patches, ensuring long-term support.

Verdict

The Honor 200 Pro is a well-rounded smartphone that balances design, performance, and features. It stands out with its impressive camera system, excellent display, and fast charging capabilities. While the plastic frame might feel less premium, the overall build quality and design are commendable. As it enters the global market, the Honor 200 Pro is poised to be a strong contender in the mid-range segment, offering a blend of features that are hard to match at its price point.

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HTC U24 Pro Specifications

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Design and Dimensions

Dimensions: 167.1 x 74.9 x 8.98 mm

Weight: 198.7 grams

Display

The HTC U24 Pro features a 6.8-inch OLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and FHD+ resolution of 1080 x 2436 pixels. The screen supports a 120 Hz variable refresh rate for smooth visuals and is protected by Gorilla® Glass.

Camera System

The device is equipped with a versatile camera setup:

Main Camera: 50 MP with EIS and 4K OIS video recording.

Telephoto Camera: 50 MP with 2x optical zoom.

Wide-angle and Depth Camera: 8 MP.

Front Camera: 50 MP with auto-focus and real-time portrait mode.

Additional camera features include AI scene detection, Auto HDR, Pro mode (RAW), timelapse, beauty mode, portrait mode, night mode, motion photo, panorama mode, AI group photo, and AI gesture controls.

 

Operating System

The HTC U24 Pro runs on Android 14, providing the latest features and security updates.

 

Chipset

Powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon® 7 Gen 3 Mobile Platform, the HTC U24 Pro ensures robust performance for multitasking and gaming.

 

Memory and Storage

The device includes 12 GB of DDR5 RAM and 256 GB of UFS 3.1 ROM, with the option to expand storage via a microSD card.

 

Battery and Charging

The HTC U24 Pro is equipped with a 4,600 mAh battery. It supports 60 W fast charging, 15 W wireless charging, and 5 W reverse wireless charging.

 

Battery Performance

The phone supports Power Delivery 3.0 and Quick Charge 4.0 for up to 60 W charging. Wireless charging capabilities include 15 W standard and 5 W reverse charging. Battery life includes up to 12.5 hours of HD video playback and up to 10.9 hours of internet use over Wi-Fi.

Protection

The smartphone boasts an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance and features Gorilla® Glass for added durability.

 

Inputs and Connectivity

The device includes a 3.5 mm audio jack and a USB-C port. It supports 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and NFC for seamless connectivity.

 

SIM and Networking

The HTC U24 Pro supports dual nano SIM cards with dual standby. It includes a SIM card manager for easy mobile data connection setup. The device supports a wide range of network bands across 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G NR.

 

Location and Sensors

Location services are supported by internal GPS with Glonass, A-GPS, Galileo, and Beidou. The phone includes various sensors such as ambient light, proximity, motion G-sensor/accelerometer, compass, gyro, and a fingerprint sensor.

 

Audio and Video Formats

The HTC U24 Pro supports various audio playback formats (.3gp, .aac, .amr, .flac, .mp3, .mid, .ogg, .wav) and recording formats (.amr, .3gpp, .aac, .wav). Video playback formats include (.mp4, .3gp, .flv, .mkv, .webm, .mpg, .3g2) and recording in .mp4.

The HTC U24 Pro is a comprehensive smartphone featuring a high-resolution OLED display, powerful Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset, versatile camera system, and robust battery with fast charging capabilities. Its IP67 rating and Gorilla® Glass protection add durability, while extensive connectivity options and sensor suite ensure a modern and versatile user experience.

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HTC A101 Plus Specifications

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Display

The HTC A101 Plus features an 11.0-inch MIPI INCELL display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, providing a Full HD experience with a pixel density of 226 PPI. The large 11-inch screen is ideal for watching videos, browsing photos, and viewing documents, offering an excellent visual experience at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

 

Dimensions and Weight

Size: 256.6 x 168.2 x 7.5 mm

Weight: 501 grams

 

Operating System

The device runs on Android 14.0, providing the latest features and updates.

 

Processor

Powered by the Unisoc T606 processor, the HTC A101 Plus includes a combination of two Cortex-A75 cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores also clocked at 1.6 GHz, ensuring efficient performance.

 

Camera

Main Camera

Resolution: 13 MP

Features: Auto-focus, f/2.2 aperture, single LED flash, timer up to 10 seconds, FHD 1080p video recording, Video Pic (capture photos while recording)

 

Sub-Camera

Resolution: 2 MP

Features: f/2.8 aperture, macro functionality

 

Front Camera

Resolution: 8 MP

Features: Fixed-focus, f/2.2 aperture, face detection, AI face unlock, FHD 1080p video recording, Video Pic (capture photos while recording)

Battery

Capacity: 7000 mAh

Charging: 5V/2A

SIM and Mobile Networking

SIM Card: Nano SIM with dual standby

Mobile Networking: Dual LTE support

2G/2.5G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE): GSM850/900/1800/1900

3G (UMTS): WCDMA850/900/1700/1900/2100

4G LTE:

FDD: Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/20/28AB

TDD: Bands 38/40/41

Data Rates: Cat.4 download up to 150 Mbps, upload up to 75 Mbps

 

Buttons, Keys, and Ports

Controls: Volume +/-, Power on/off, Reset

Ports: USB Type-C with OTG support

 

Memory

RAM: 8 GB

ROM: 128 GB

Expandable Memory: Supports microSD cards up to 256 GB

 

Location

GPS: Internal GPS antenna with GLONASS and Galileo support via software

 

Sensors

  • Gravity sensor
  • Gyroscope sensor
  • Acceleration sensor

 

Connectivity

Bluetooth: 5.0

Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz)

Other: OTG support

 

Audio and Video Formats

Audio Playback: .3gp, .3gpp, .aac, .mp3, .mid, .ogg, .wav (AAC and WMA licenses required)

Audio Recording: .amr, .3gpp, .mp3

Video Playback: .3gp, .mp4, .avi

Video Recording: .mp4

 

The HTC A101 Plus is a robust device featuring a large 11-inch Full HD display, efficient Unisoc T606 processor, and ample memory and storage options. Its dual SIM capability with comprehensive network support makes it versatile for mobile connectivity. With a high-capacity 7000 mAh battery, extensive camera features, and modern connectivity options, the HTC A101 Plus is well-suited for both entertainment and productivity.

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