Meta Stresses the Need to Build Shared Platform for Metaverse, to Enable Digital Ownership

Meta (formerly Facebook) is putting a lot of importance on the “metaverse” — think of it like the Internet, but with presence or immersion, where you can work, play, and socialise — and Vishal Shah, Vice President, Metaverse at Meta spoke to Gadgets 360 at a press conference to explain what the company is planning, and how it sees the metaverse expanding in India. Although Shah stressed the importance of India for the metaverse and Meta, if you’re hoping that this means that the Oculus Quest line finally comes to India, then you’ll have to wait a little longer. “We’re just getting started but you could absolutely expect as we launch new things and make them available especially as they cut across devices and helping people access them from more than just a VR headset,” Shah said.

Shah, former head of product at Instagram, added that while Meta’s goal is to bring the hardware are far, he couldn’t give a date for it, although Oculus Quest 2 was launched in October 2020, over a year ago. But Shah also described Meta’s focus on the metaverse as a 15-year long journey, highlighting how the company, which was synonymous with Facebook, sees itself changing today.

“We genuinely believe that this is the successor to the mobile Internet, not a new Internet, not a new set of protocols, not an entirely new foundation, but a new way to experience the Internet,” Shah said. Back when it was still known as Facebook, the company had drawn a lot of criticism for attempts to redefine the Internet — its Free Basics free Internet access programme for example, was criticised for violating net neutrality, and in some parts of the world, the distinction between Facebook and the Internet was completely elided, sometimes to dangerous results.

All of that is far and away from where Shah says the metaverse is today. With VR being limited to just a few people with headsets, and augmented reality remaining highly niche in its application, standards are still being designed.

When Meta talks about the metaverse, it’s not talking about just a silo of Facebook powered applications, but a broader Internet that others can connect to. “This idea of co-presence stitches through a lot of what we’re trying to do,” Shah said. “But also, this idea of continuity — the idea that, just like in the physical world if I was to go and buy a piece of clothing, and own that piece of clothing, I could wear it anywhere I wanted to. I could move from place to place, and I could wear that same thing but that’s not how digital environments work today. If you buy a digital good, that tends to be mostly restricted to the place in which you bought them.”

“The idea of continuity, of being able to move from space to space, and being able to take things with you is a pretty powerful construct, which will require a set of interoperable standards that we will build because at the end of the day, while we’re investing deeply in the space, we believe strongly that the metaverse will not be built by any one company,” he added.

This could come in many ways, including through the use of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, he suggested, adding, “We are making explicit investments to embrace that ecosystem and to give people more control over objects, over rules, and we’ll kind of see how those things continue to evolve.”

There’s no such thing as a JPEG for 3D

A number of companies are now building experiences for the metaverse, though depending on what stage of funding they’re in right now, they might be called virtual reality experiences instead. Mozilla was an early leader in the open standard of WebVR (now WebXR, or Mixed Reality), and anyone with a browser can go to Mozilla Hubs to see what this can be like.

Largely though, most companies are working in their own sandboxes, and their tools can’t talk to each other.

“I think some of the work that we’re going to do is going to be open standards, that many companies will adopt, that they’ll just become industry standard,” Shah said. “A couple of examples of that might be the work that we’re doing with GLTF and some of the 3D object standards, you know, there is no such thing today yet as like a JPEG for 3D. What is the equivalent of that? So, working towards that just from a purely object perspective.”

But the need for standards, he added, goes beyond the technology, and to how we interact with it. For example, Pinch-to-Zoom seems very intuitive and obvious today, but at the time it was first introduced it was a powerful new idea and had a profound impact on how we use our phones.

Similarly, some very basic questions in virtual reality still need to be answered. “Some things might be more like, travel standard. Travel in the sense that how do you move and navigate from place to place just like a URL,” Shah said. “It’s pretty understood how you can navigate from one web page to the other. [But] how do you navigate from one space to the other? Even if it’s a completely different, 3D engine that you’re actually in. But a layer above that might be more kind of interoperable standards around. How those objects show up the environment that you’re in, the avatars that you have to kind of show up in your identity and how you move from space to space.”

“And actually, I would hope that most of that actually can be applied beyond just the platforms that Meta builds because I think that’s the best thing for both consumers and for creators to ensure that their work can be used as broadly as possible today,” Shah added.

To that end, Meta has also started promoting UGC-led experiences called Horizon Worlds in the US and Canada, and he also promised that over the next year or two, “Meta will continue to build VR centric experiences, but also bring them more broadly across different devices.”


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Nikon D610 DSLR Camera Review

Nikon D610 DSLR Camera detailed review

It feels just like yesterday that Nikon released the D600 into the Indian market, and the company’s already set the new D610 out into the wild. Many wondered why Nikon was releasing a replacement so soon, until the official specs were released and it was discovered that the D610 wasn’t even a full-fledged replacement. The reason the D610 came about was apparently the oil-spot issue that plagued the D600, which, it seems, is not the issue with the D610. The burst speed also seems to have been bumped up from 5.5 frames per second to 6 frames per second. Sports shooters are probably excited by now. However, the most notable change in the hardware of the D610 happens to be the mirrorbox, which we’ll get into in our performance section.

Build and Ergonomics

We COULD just say that it’s identical to the D600, but that would be incredibly frustrating to you. So we’re going to take some time to essentially highlight the main aspects of the D610, It has the same sturdy mag-alloy construction that we saw on the D600. The weather sealing is there, so is the pop-up flash (here’s to you Canon). The controls on the back are absolutely identical in layout as they are on the top.

We’re not sure whether it was the review units we received or just in general, but the horizontal control dials on the D610 seem to be a lot easier to work with, in that they require lesser force to move around, but worry not, for they will not spin out of control at the slightest touch. Force is still required, but just enough. But like we said, this behaviour could be specific to just the unit we received.

The camera comes in with quite a heft, but that’s just expected within the full frame territory.

Features

The D610 brings absolutely nothing new in terms of feature set to the table that the D600 already didn’t. It has the same 24.3 megapixel sensor coupled up with the same EXPEED 3 image processing chip, all out of the D600. It has the same 39 point AF system too, with 19 cross type focus points. What’s new is a more refined white balance system that should be able to render more accurate whites in difficult conditions.

The D610 does have one absolutely new part on the inside and that’s the mirrorbox. A new design helps the camera achieve a slightly faster burst rate of 6 fps compared to its predecessor, but more importantly, it gets a much better silent shooting mode. We found in our test that the silent mode on the D610 is indeed quieter, which makes the mirrorbox redesign totally justified.

As for other interesting features on the D610, the camera has the ability to control flashes wirelessly by using the on-camera flash as the commander. Also, just like its elder siblings, the D800 and the D4, the D610 is capable of spitting out uncompressed HD footage via the mini-HDMI port on the camera.

Performance

The D610 houses a 24 megapixel full frame sensor and an EXPEED 3 processor, which isn’t new in today’s rat race. We took a short road-trip to the Taj (Taj Mahal for the uninitiated) and took the D 610 with us to see how it would perform. One of the key reasons to do so was to test the AF and the dynamic range, to see whether the camera’s systems could render enough detail in the white dome of the Taj, even under the bright mid-day sun.

We arrived around 1 in the afternoon, when the sun was comfortably high. There was a palpable rush around the monument, so while we waited patiently in line to get inside the monument, we tried to capture the little eccentricities that exist around the boundary of the structure. Little domes, snaking lines of people, all lit by the noon sun made for some very interesting subjects, all bathed in a very strong contrast. These are very harsh shooting conditions and a true test of how much dynamic range you can squeeze out of a sensor, along with being a testament of just how much headroom the image files will give you in post-production. For full disclosure, we only shot in RAW because, well, JPEG sucks. You can see the images from the trip below.

 


A little bit of food and a little bit of transport, all in the name of Agra


Sights, Sounds and Signs of the Taj

The one thing that’s evident from the get go is that the images out of the D610 are incredibly sharp. The second thing that’s evident is that the sensor is particularly fond of its reds. At the Taj Mahal, we came across a lot of red stone structures and the Nikon D610 did a splendid job of not just recording the detail, but also the intricate shades of red that flowed through the ancient structures. Quite frankly, we’ve never seen reds turn out so well in any DSLR so far. Moving forth, the greens have always been a Nikon forte, so not much needs to be said about that.

 


Luscious Reds

The dynamic range on the Nikon D610 is definitely something that we should mention though. Even under the bright mid-day sun, we could easily process the RAW file to show a clear distinction between the white marble dome of the Taj Mahal and the blown out sky. Surprisingly, even though the RAW file was low in contrast, the distinction between the two was very evident. After pushing a little bit of contrast and saturation in Lightroom, we managed to get the photo to look rather good, and this is without any high-flying editing. We could have introduced the image into Photoshop and worked around with layer masks (which we might at a later point, maybe) to make it even more appealing, but we wanted to illustrate just how much of a difference even a basic setting change would make. We even managed to pull out detail in the shadow areas of some images with a very slight increase in the Blacks and Shadows levels in Lightroom.

 


The RAW files offer excellent dynamic range and a wide gamut for recovery and editing

In case you’re on the cusp of buying your first full frame DSLR and are contemplating between the D600, which will be available for much less (about Rs. 20K to Rs. 30K), and the D610, we recommend you go for the D610. There are a few simple reasons for this. For starters, there is the oil stain issue that Nikon seems to have resolved with the newer camera. Remember, Nikon hasn’t officially admitted to why the oil stain appears on the sensor, and while they did initiate a recall and have offered free cleanings to people whose sensors were affected, we don’t see why for a few thousand you’d want to get a camera that would be susceptible to breaking down and would require repair. The second thing is that the updated mirrorbox is far quieter than its predecessor. You could easily shoot live plays with the shutter set to quiet mode and do so at a whole 3 frames per second.

 

Conclusion

The Nikon D610 is not an upgrade by a long shot. In fact, it is such a minor update, that we think the oil issue must have been something very serious for Nikon to decide to release a new product altogether in order to fix it. Regardless, the D610 does everything the D600 gets right, along with a few perks of its own. However, we weren’t too happy about the fact that the D610 doesn’t allow the aperture to be changed in movie mode, something many Nikon users have been very upset about. Regardless though, the D610 is an incredibly camera to upgrade to (even as a first camera in fact) for anyone who is looking for stunning image quality. Just make sure you compliment the camera with a good lens.

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The Game Awards 2021 India Time, How to Watch, and More

The Game Awards 2021 is scheduled to be held on Thursday evening in the US / Friday morning in India. The awards will highlight the best game of the year, game direction, indie games, art direction, score and music, audio design, as well as the best games in various categories. There are a total of 107 different titles, individuals, teams, and events from different genres and platforms this year competing for 30 prizes. Some of the games nominated this year include Death Loops, Pyschonauts 2, It Takes Two, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and more. The winners have been voted on by a total of 103 jury publications including yours truly, Gadgets 360.

The 2021 edition of The Game Awards will have a physical event that will be held at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. But if you aren’t in Los Angeles and don’t have an invite, here’s how to tune into The Game Awards 2021.

The Game Awards 2021 time in India

The 2021 edition of The Game Awards will be held Thursday, December 9 at 4:30pm PT / 7:30pm ET. That translates to 6am IST on Friday, December 10 here in India.

The Game Awards 2021 live stream

Viewers who cannot attend the physical event need not fret as it will be livestreamed on various platforms. In India, you can watch The Game Awards 2021 through many online and television platforms. If you want, you can watch it right here with the YouTube embed below.

How to watch The Game Awards 2021

The Game Awards 2021 can also be viewed through MTV, Disney+ Hostar, MX Player, Voot, JioTV, Loco, Twitch, and Twitter in India.

There will also be a stream in Hindi over at YouTube Gaming. Other than these, interested viewers can also watch the awards ceremony on Facebook, Oculus Venues, TikTok Live, and Trovo.

The Game Awards 2021 presenters

The awards ceremony will be presented by Geoff Keighley, Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Reggie Fils-Aime, Giancarlo Esposito, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, Ming-Na Wen, Ashley Johnson, Jecksepticeye, Donald Mustard, Guillermo Del Toro, Jim Carrey, and Ben Schwartz.

Furthermore, The Game Awards 2021 will also see performances by The Sting and Imagine Dragons.

The Game Awards 2021 nominees

Nominations for the Game Awards 2021 were announced a while ago and they include 107 different titles, individuals, teams, and events from different genres and platforms this year. The six nominees for the Game of the Year awards are Deathloop, It Takes Two, Metroid Dread, Psychonauts 2, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Resident Evil: Village.


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Fantastic picture performance, unmatched gaming features

Every year, LG has delivered an excellent performance with its OLED TVs. From the C9 (review) which kicked off the HDMI 2.1 era on TVs to the LG CX (review) which was the first 48-inch OLED TV targeted at gamers, today we have with us the LG C1. The TV is a part of LG’s 2021 portfolio of OLED TVs and brings some much-needed changes to the UI, some interesting gaming features and an all-new remote control. It has four HDMI 2.1 ports for your gaming needs. Is it still the best gaming OLED money can buy?

LG 55-inch C1: Key specifications at a glance

Panel Size: 55-inch (available in 48, 65 77 and 83-inch screen sizes)

Panel Type: OLED

Panel Resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K

Panel Refresh Rate: 120Hz 

HDR 10 Support: Yes

HDR 10+ Support: No

Dolby Vision Support: Yes

Weight (with stand): 41.6 kgs

HDMI Ports: 4

USB Ports: 3

Bluetooth: Yes (v5.0)

Wi-Fi: Yes

Ethernet: Yes

Speakers: 40W (2.2Ch)

Price (MOP): Rs 1,49,999 for the 55-inch 

LG 55-inch C1: DISPLAY AND PICTURE QUALITY

The LG C1 is an OLED TV and in our Calman analysis, we recorded a peak brightness of about 750 nits on the TV which is very good. The TV has a fairly colour accurate display and, in the Cinema, preset we got an average delta error of 1.4 which is incredibly low and a good thing. Even in the ColorMatch HDR we got an average delta error of 1.66 which is also very low. The colour reproduction of the TV out of the box is very good for both HDR and SDR content consumption. 

Peak vs window size brightness LG C1.

Peak brightness stability LG C1.

Grayscale tracking LG C1.

2pt grayscale LG C1.

ColorMatch HDR for the LG C1.

LG 48-inch CX: 4K and HDR Performance

LG’s OLED TVs have offered some of the best performance money can buy, and the case is no different here. We saw our standard slew of HDR content on Netflix and Prime Video. The TV supports HDR 10, HLG and Dolby Vision including Dolby Vision IQ but does not support HDR 10+. With self-emitting backlighting, we get an infinite contrast ratio on this TV and the colours on the OLED look deep as ever. When it comes to HDR performance, the TV is sublime. We got some of the best colours and colour accurate performance from this TV which can rival the likes of the Sony X90J (review). In a show like Our Planet, the colours just popped. Even animated content has depth and vibrancy in colours. While an OLED panel can get reflective in a well-lit room, it is in a dark room that the performance of this TV really shines with absolutely no form of hallowing or blooming appearing on the display.  

LG C1 supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

I have the same qualm here with the Disney+ Hotstar app as I did with the LG CX and that is the lack of Dolby Vision and surround sound support. The feature is available on Disney+ Hotstar on budget Android TVs and it is high time we get support for it on the LG OLED TV as well. 

Dolby Vision Settings LG C1.

Long story short, HDR content looks fantastic on this TV, with bright highlights, and very good colours. You are paying for premium performance here and that’s what you get. 

LG C1 peak brightness controller.

LG 55-inch C1: SDR Performance

When it comes to SDR content, the overall performance of the TV is very good. Some people may complain that the SDR content looks slightly dim on this TV and that’s possibly due to the SDR peak brightness of 125 nits. While this is bright enough some may want a more Vivid image. Thankfully, the Vivid preset does just that! It bumps up the colours and even the brightness of content to give you a more enjoyable experience. This may not work for all types of content. There are shows like Young Sheldon where the Vivid preset works extremely well and some cases where the content looks oversaturated. Switching to the Standard or Cinema preset here helps a lot. 

LG C1 has a large number of picture presets.

LG 55-inch C1: Gaming performance

LG C1 supports 4K 120Hz RGB HDR gaming.

The LG C1 has all four HDMI 2.1 ports with support for ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), 4K at 120Hz, G-Sync and Free Sync support. If you are rocking an Xbox Series X (review), PS5 (review) or even the RTX 30 series GPU then, you can take full advantage of what the TV has to offer. LG has made some changes to the gaming UI of this TV. Pressing the settings button when in Game Mode no longer brings up the settings on the left side of the TV. You get this vibrant purple UI at the bottom of the display giving you information like FPS, black stabiliser, Low Latency, VRR, etc. The TV has different settings for different game modes and you can toggle the game modes from this UI. It has Standard, RTS, FPS and more modes to choose from which changes the settings to suit the game on the screen. For the most part, I found Standard to get the job done very well. 

LG game bar on the C1 gives a lot of information.

gaming settings on the LG C1.

We connected a PS5 to the TV to check out its gaming performance along with a few games that support a high refresh rate, like Dirt 5 and Ratchet & Clank. When we fired up these games in their 120Hz modes, the UI immediately recognized the high refresh rate of these games and displayed the same on the UI, very seamlessly. Unlike previous LG OLED TVs, the HDMI Ultra HD Deep colour was switched on automatically when the TV recognised the PS5 and we got full RGB HDR with support for 4K at 120Hz. 

Ultra HD Deep colour is automatically implemented on the LG C1.

All the games we played on this TV, be it Ghost of Tsushima (review), Deathloop (review), Spider-Man Miles Morales (review) and many more looked fantastic with deep blacks, vibrant colours and immensely immersive. If you are looking for a TV for the penultimate gaming experience, then you can consider the LG C1 hands down. Apart from being reflective in a very well-lit room, there are no coms I can think of why this shouldn’t be your next gaming TV. Sure, OLED TVs may still have the risk of burn-in, but if you vary the content you consume, then it shouldn’t be a problem. 

LG 55-inch C1: Audio Performance

While the picture performance of the LG C1 is sublime, the one place it suffers slightly is with its audio output. The LG C1 has a 2.2 Chanel set up with 40W of sound output, just like its predecessor. If you plan to use this TV in a small bedroom, then the output from the TV should get the job done for watching movies and playing games. The speakers on the TV support Dolby Atmos, but don’t expect the sound to surround you from all angles. But placed in a living room, you will miss the bass in the bangs and thuds. While dialogues and background scores are easily audible, the distinct lack of channel separation is missed especially when we watch a movie like Ready Player One which has all the cars whizzing around the screen. 

LG C1 comes with a bunch of audio modes.

LG C1: UI

One of the biggest changes to the LG C1 is the UI of the TV. LG announced the new UI at CES 2021 and we finally have it in action on the C1. We no longer have the rectangular tiles occupying the bottom of the display. Instead, the new UI takes up the entire screen. The first page of the UI is filled with content suggestions, smart capabilities and tips and tricks. Then we have a row of apps, sources, and the home dashboard. Below that have content suggestions from various streaming services. 

LG C1 comes with the new WebOS UI.

The TV still comes with a magic remote and the settings have been shuffled around a bit and in my opinion for the better. They are easier to navigate when compared to the C9. The colours of the settings have also changed from pink colour to grey giving it a slightly more mature look. 

LG C1 settings.

The only con with the UI is in the previous version, one could seamlessly switch between streaming services by pressing the home button and bringing the row of apps at the bottom of the display without leaving the current app. In the new UI, pressing the home button takes you full-screen home UI rather than bringing up the app switcher. It would be great if there was an app switcher in the UI just like the previous version of WebOS but this is a really small niggle in the grand scheme of things especially when you consider the overall changes to the UI. 

LG CX: Remote control

LG C1 remote control.

LG has redesigned the remote control that you get with the C1. When compared to the remote you got with the CX, you can see a lot of things have changed for the better. The new remote control feels slightly less weighty at the bottom making it more ergonomic to use as a magic wand with the TV. Another change which is very good is that the volume button and the channel buttons on the new remote control are a single toggle making it easier to use. Small change, but definitely worth it. It also has more squarish edges rather than rounded edges and I like the new design. You also have more OTT hotkeys and slightly bigger buttons at the bottom which includes Netflix, Prime Videos and Disney+ Hotstar. You also get dedicated buttons for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The scroll wheel is slightly depressed making it easier to use. Overall, a move in the right direction. There are two improvements I wish LG still made in their TV remote control. The first is that the tracking wheel only scrolls vertically. I wish it would scroll horizontally as well making the UI navigation more seamless. The other thing that I miss is that the older remote had a play and pause button and it worked across all OTT apps. The absence of the dedicated play and pause button is severely missed on the new remote control. 

LG C1 remote control compared to predecessor.

Left: Old LG Magic remote. Right: New LG Magic remote. 

Overall the remote control is a move in the right direction. Maybe next year LG turns the trackwheel into a ball and adds the play and pause button. The remote control also has an NFC chip. You can simply tap your smartphone to the remote control and be able to cast onto the TV which is also a great option.

LG CX: Build and Design

LG has gone with an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” with the design of the C1. Placed next to a C9, you wouldn’t know which TV is which. It has a long tabletop stand that holds the TV in place from the centre when kept on a tabletop. We have the LG B9 stand for this review due to logistical reasons, but the stand you get with the C1 is the same as the CX and the C9. The tabletop stand is angular and looks premium. 

The panel of the TV is extremely slim, with almost no bezels surrounding the display. It is slightly thick towards the bottom, where you have the components and connectivity options.

The LG C1 is extremely slim

Speaking of connectivity options, the TV has three HDMI ports and one USB port facing the side. Facing the back, we have one HDMI port, two USB ports, AV in, LAN, optical port, 3.5mm port and a good old antenna. 

LG C1 connectivity options.

Bottom Line

The LG C1 is a fantastic OLED TV and lives up to the legacy LG has set with its C series OLED TVs in the past few years. It has fantastic performance for HDR and SDR content and can get quite bright for HDR content. It has four HDMI 2.1 ports making it the ideal gaming TV. Its performance for gaming along with the new gaming settings UI is fantastic. Sure, OLED TVs have the risk of burn-in, but I think if you vary the content a bit, you should be OK. The TV is extremely slim and the design is the same as its predecessor. The new UI and remote control are a welcome change and an evolution in the right direction. The audio output from the TV is average and works well for a small room but for a cinematic content consumption experience, I highly recommend investing in a soundbar. As of writing this review, the LG C1 55-inch is priced at about Rs 1,50,000 but if you look for it offline, chances are you can get it cheaper. We have seen the 48-inch variant of this TV sell for around 95K online making it a great option for those looking for a premium 50-inch TV. In terms of its competition, we have the Sony X90J priced close to the C1 and can be one to consider if you are sceptical about getting an OLED TV. We also have the 55-inch TCL C825 (review) priced at about Rs 1,08,000 if you are in the market to give a Mini LED TV a go. Both the TCL C825 and Sony X90J have only 2 HDMI 2.1 ports when compared to the C1. Overall, the C1 is a fantastic option if you are looking for a premium cinematic content consumption experience and the ultimate gaming TV. 

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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Trailer Swings Through India in First Look

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is not due to release for another 10 months, but in a surprise trailer reveal early on Sunday, Marvel and Sony Pictures gave us our first look at the sequel to the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Officially, it’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) — that’s a mouthful, I know — because the Into the Spider-Verse sequel has been divided into a two-parter. The first look at Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse reunites Miles Morales/ Spider-Man (voiced by Shameik Moore) and his cross-dimension love interest Gwen Stacy/ Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld), before they swing through other dimensions, including what is clearly India for a bit.

Alongside, Sony Pictures India announced that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu in cinemas in India.

Miles is listening to “Sunflower” — the hit song by Post Malone and Swae Lee introduced in Into the Spider-Verse — in his bedroom when the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) trailer opens. He has no clue that there’s a multi-dimension portal open above him, through which Gwen is staring at home. After Gwen finally gets his attention by shouting his name, the awkward Miles tries to clean up his act and inquire about her well-being. “Ugh, it’s a long story,” Gwen says, “is this the room you grew up in?” Miles tries to play it off by hiding items that are not very “adult”, before Gwen chances upon his drawings in a book. She thinks they are good, but her face changes after she spots one of herself.

“I missed you too,” Gwen says cheekily as she hands him his book back. Miles wonders what Gwen is doing here in his dimension, as he assumed he would never see her again. “Wanna get out of here?” Gwen asks him without providing a response, though it’s possible the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) trailer is cutting something in between to hide spoiler-y stuff. Miles says he is grounded at home, and Gwen spins out the window as she says “Bummer.” As Miles races out to catch her again, Gwen asks Miles: “Is Spider-Man grounded?” Miles dithers for a bit, but as Gwen raises her eyes in her Spider-Woman costume, Miles seemingly agrees.

Cut to Miles in costume being thrown through dimension portals, before ending up in what we soon realise is a futuristic version of India that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) has cooked up. The background music changes to confirm that, with Indian instruments scoring the scene. You can even spot words in Devanagari script in the background, including “New Milan Family Resto Bar” and then onomatopoeia with “dhadaam” — that loosely translates as crash here in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) trailer — as Spider-Man 2099/ Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac) comes hurtling through another portal and crashes into Miles. Soon, they are jumping through another portal into another dimension.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is slated to premiere October 7, 2022 in cinemas worldwide. In India, Across the Spider-Verse will release in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.


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Apple iPhone 13 Pro Review: A pricey affair

There are smartphones, and there is the iPhone! 

It’s something that I’ve been told over and over again, to a point where I feel it has become part of my conditioning as a gadget reviewer. Yet, I stand here, holding the iPhone 13 Pro in my hands, asking myself the same question that I asked while holding the iPhone 12 Pro last year — is the latest iPhone just that much better than the best that Android flagships have to offer today?

Well, if I’m being completely honest, over the past few years, I’ve felt my answer leaning progressively towards a no. But will that progression be followed this year with the iPhone 13 Pro, or will I finally feel it’s time for me to accept that there are smartphones, and then there is the iPhone? 

Through this review, I’ll try and answer this question for myself, and in the process, hopefully, help you understand if the iPhone 13 Pro is indeed the phone for you. So without wasting any time, let’s get to the review of the iPhone 13 Pro. 

iPhone 13 Pro review: Display 

Let’s start with what I believe is the most striking thing about the iPhone 13 Pro — It’s big, bold and beautiful display!

The iPhone 13 Pro comes with the same 6.1-inch display that’s also found on the iPhone 13. Both of these are Super Retina OLED panels running at the same resolution (1170 x 2532 pixels). In fact, the aspect ratio of the two panels as well as their pixel density is also exactly the same at 460ppi. Apart from this, both the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro displays come with support for wide colour gamuts and also True-tone, a lighting feature on iPhones that adjusts brightness and colour based on your surroundings. 

But the similarities end there. 

While both support HDR10 and DolbyVision, the iPhone 13 promises a brightness of 800 nits of high brightness and 1200 nits of peak localised brightness. In comparison, the iPhone 13 Pro promises 1000 nits in the High Brightness Mode and 1200 nits of localised peak brightness. 

However, the biggest difference between the two displays this year is that the iPhone 13 Pro gets what Apple is calling the Pro Motion Display. This is essentially Apple’s take on high-refresh-rate technology which has now finally made its way to iPhones with the iPhone 13 Pro models. This enables the phone to dynamically switch between multiple refresh stops between 10Hz and 120Hz depending on the content the phone’s display is handling. 

As an end-user, the ability of the iPhone 13 Pro to display content at fast refresh rates, is something I appreciate. To explain why I’d simply urge you to look outside and see just how fast refresh rate displays are taking over the world of displays. On smartphones, fast refresh rate displays offer a lot of benefits, including improving gaming and the day-to-day experience of using the device. But unlike a lot of its Android counterparts, Apple’s decision to make this completely dynamic in nature gives the iPhone 13 Pro a unique advantage over its competitors. 

But away from the competition, how does the iPhone 13 Pro’s display perform in day-to-day life and benchmarks?

Well,  the answer to the first part of the question is not at all complicated. In our time with the phone, we found the iPhone 13 Pro’s panel to be one of the best we’ve used in a long time. It looks vibrant, the colours pop and it also gets plenty bright, all without losing colour accuracy. The iPhone 13 Pro in this respect lives up to Apple’s claims of providing great visual experiences at all times and in all conditions. 



However, things did get a little confusing when we tested the phone’s display using Calman Ultimate paired with Spectracal C6 colourimeter. In the ColorChecker Analysis, the iPhone 13 Pro threw up good results for sRGB content with an average DeltaE of 2.6 and max within acceptable levels — DeltaE of 4.4. Results were a little less impressive for HDR content as the phone threw up an average DeltaE 4.1 and a maximum of 6. 

iPhone 13 Pro’s display is also very well-calibrated and works very close to the average correlated colour temperature value of 6500. However, the iPhone 13 Pro did show some error in RGB balance, with blue and red shades not given almost equal preference. This is because the tests showed the iPhone 13 Pro has a very slight bias for reds — something we feel affects the colour accuracy of the phone when playing HDR content. As far as gamut coverage goes, the iPhone 13 Pro offers good coverage across the sRGB and DCI-P3 space, with all of these things coming together to create good visual experiences. 

iPhone 13 Pro review: Design 

Apart from the display, there’s a lot to the iPhone 13 Pro in terms of visual appeal. This is because, for the iPhone 13 Pro, Apple decided to not mess with what appears to be a winning formula. Despite having taken its design cues from the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 Pro manages to look desirable and even slips in a few points of differentiation that iPhone fanboys will be able to spot. The first is a smaller notch, and the other big change is the arrangement of the lenses in the camera module.

For the former, we have a what is a notch that’s about 20% smaller than before. This does not make itself visible at all times, but it definitely contributes to creating a more immersive experience on the phone while watching movies or playing games. The latter doesn’t have such an impact on the aesthetics of the phone, however, it still remains the major design upgrade on the iPhone 13 Pro over last year’s iPhone 12 Pro. There are other changes too in terms of design, but they don’t add to the visual appeal of the phone. 

For example, the iPhone 13 Pro comes with Ceramic Shield on top of the display, which according to Apple is more resistant than other screen security solutions. There’s also IP68 water and dust protection to help protect it from a lot of unwanted damages. 

iPhone 13 Pro: Performance and battery life

The iPhone 13 Pro also offers a lot when it comes to performance. This is because the new phone offers an upgrade on the already powerful chipset found on the iPhone 12 Pro last year. Yes, the iPhone 13 Pro gets Apple’s new A15 Bionic SoC that promises some serious upgrades over its predecessor, and more importantly, its biggest competitor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. But, that’s not it. 

The biggest performance upgrade this new chipset brings is in the GPU department, with the A15 Bionic claimed to bring improved performance over its predecessor. However, what’s more interesting, is the fact that the A15 Bionic used on the iPhone 13 Pro is also an upgrade on the chip used on the non-pro models of the iPhone 13 series this year. Or at least that’s the case when it comes to pure processing power. 

The reason for this is the addition of an extra GPU core on the iPhone 13 Pro’s A15 Bionic, over the four core GPU on the A15 Bionic on the iPhone 13. But does this translate to better performance on the iPhone 13 Pro when it comes to benchmarks and real-world performance? 

In real-world usage, the performance was comparable to the iPhone 13, with games running like a charm on the device. We ran Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9 Legends on the phone, and with Gamebench powering on the background only to realise both the games ran flawlessly on the phone. The same was the case for other GPU benchmarks such as GFXBench and 3D Mark WildLife. The two benchmarks appeared to utilise the extra GPU core on the iPhone 13 Pro as the scores for both of them were better on the iPhone 13 Pro than on the iPhone 13. 



However, when we moved to other benchmarks such as AnTuTu and Geekbench, the iPhone 13 Pro for some reason threw up slightly lesser scores than the iPhone 13. While we’re not sure what made this happen, our best guess is that the A15 Bionic on the iPhone 13 is possibly better optimised than the extra GPU totting the A15 Bionic chip on the iPhone 13 Pro. 

Our performance testing also saw us examine the battery prowess of the iPhone 13 Pro. Here the results were as expected, with the iPhone 13 Pro proving to be an absolute winner in this department. In our time with it, we achieved stellar standby times on the iPhone 13 Pro, with the phone also lasting well over a day on moderate usage. This performance is the result of multiple factors, including a well-optimised chipset in the A15 Bionic, and an LTPO panel on the phone which allows for variable refresh rates, and subsequently improved battery life. The phone also comes with a big 3,095mAh pack, that’s again an upgrade over the one found on the iPhone 12 Pro, thereby helping the newer device establish its superiority in the battery department. The only gripe we have here is that the phone does not support true modern-day fast charging as it caps out at 20W. 

iPhone 13 Pro: Cameras

Coming to the cameras, we have three 12-megapixel lenses on the back of the phone, and all three are upgrades on the ones on the iPhone 12 Pro. The configuration is also the same, with the iPhone 13 Pro getting a primary, an ultrawide angle and a telephoto lens — a 3x lens that’s also an upgrade in terms of numbers over the 2x lens on the iPhone 12 Pro. 

In terms of performance, all three leave you with very little to desire. Both the primary and the ultrawide lenses offer some of the best shots that any smartphone can click today. The iPhone 13 Pro’s lenses working in tandem with the new A15 Bionic chip’s computational photography algorithms produce fantastic results. The resultant shots capture a lot of detail and accurate colours. 

Both the lenses are backed by the efforts of the 3D LiDAR scanner, which makes them quick to focus on subjects. These lenses are also very light-sensitive, making them great for use in all lighting conditions. The iPhone 13 Pro also comes with a dedicated night mode which gets the job done in darker scenes, all while producing photos that are sharper and less prone to handshaking than what could be captured on the iPhone 12 Pro last year. This is particularly the case with the ultrawide camera on the new iPhone. 

Behind the improved stabilization is the sensor-shift optical image stabilization that’s been introduced on the Pro models this year. As a stabilization technology, this works a lot better than the optical stabilization on iPhone 12 Pro, and also the iPhone 13. 

Apart from this, the new telephoto lens offers 3x optical zoom that’s better than the magnification on the iPhone 12 Pro. However, it’s still not in the same league as Android flagships such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra which comes with a mind-boggling 10x optical zoom lens. Yet, despite this, the phone can still do really good telephoto shots, that’ll be more than good enough for most users. 

Last, but not least, we now also have support for macro shots on the iPhone 13 Pro. For anyone who loves taking macro shots, this is a big upgrade that can help you click striking pictures. Suffice to say, it’s something we’ve loved on Android phones in the past, and we’re glad that it’s now on iPhones as well. 

Talking about the selfie lens, we have another 12-megapixel camera on the front of the phone, which can capture a good amount of detail and accurate colour tones. There’s no oversharpening of textures as well, thereby making it good for clicking selfies in well-lit situations. 

iPhone 13 Pro: Should you buy it?

There are many reasons to buy Apple’s latest iPhones. But, the biggest in my opinion is the iPhone’s ability to serve as a window into the future of smartphones. Sadly, however, that’s not really the case with the iPhone 13 Pro. 

Despite being a stellar piece of technology, the iPhone 13 Pro is not the most forward-looking phone that you can buy right now. That crown this year is reserved for the foldables from Samsung — two phones that are high on innovation but are still not recommended because of their shortcomings. 

But that does not mean, it’s still not the phone for the here and now. In fact, as a sum of all its moving parts, the iPhone 13 Pro is arguably the best smartphone in the market right now. It offers great cameras, powerful performance, a brilliant display and a big battery. These combined make the iPhone 13 Pro a brilliant buy. The only catch here is, is it affordable?. 

Starting at Rs 1,19,900, the iPhone 13 Pro does not come cheap. In fact, this price point makes it much more expensive than pretty much all premium segment phones in the market right now. This honestly makes it difficult to recommend as there are multiple phones in the market right now which offer slightly lesser overall value but at a much affordable price point. 

But then again, an iPhone is an iPhone. As I’ve found out over the years, for someone who really just wants to buy an iPhone, dissecting the cost of premium services serves no purpose. For such buyers, the iPhone 13 Pro comes highly recommended. It is a definite upgrade over the iPhone 12 Pro, is also the best iPhone this year, and to top it off, also a better buy than all that the world of Android smartphones has to offer at the moment. 

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Spotify 2021 Wrapped Now Live to Give a Glimpse of What You Listened to This Year

Spotify 2021 Wrapped is now live. The personalised user experience, which the platform has been releasing for the last three years since 2019 on the first day of December, features top artists, albums, songs, playlists, and podcasts that you have played throughout the year. In addition to the dedicated Wrapped experience for mobile users, Spotify has released the top lists for both India and global markets to highlight the top songs, albums, playlists, and podcasts, as well as the most streamed artist on the platform. This year’s Spotify Wrapped is based on the theme of ‘totally normal’ — to celebrate the unprecedented time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Users on the Spotify app for Android and iOS can look at their personalised Wrapped experience to get an overall idea of what all the tracks, playlists, and podcasts they have played in 2021. Spotify has also introduced some new features to deliver a fresh experience over what it offered in 2020 and 2019.

One of the most notable additions to Spotify Wrapped is the cinematic experience that the company calls 2021: The Movie. This brings all your top songs paired with classic scenes from a movie. Spotify has also worked with an aura expert to visualise your audio aura on the app, based on your top two music moods.

For the first time, Spotify has also introduced playing cards on Wrapped to bring an interactive data-based game where some statements about your listening this year will be shown, and you will have to guess which are true.

spotify 2021 wrapped truth lie game image Spotify

Spotify has this time introduced an interactive data-based game
Photo Credit: Spotify

 

Spotify users can also tap the new Blend feature to see how their 2021 music taste matches up with friends and stream their blended playlists. If you want to share what you listened to, you can also put your Wrapped on social media.

Specifically for this year, Spotify has added videos from more than 170 artists and creators thanking their fans on the platform. You will get these videos if you have a song by one of the participating artists in ‘Your Top Songs 2021′ or ‘Your Artists Revealed’ playlists.

There will also be Spotify Clips for Podcasts that feature special thank you messages from podcast hosts. You can watch them by visiting a participating show’s page on Spotify.

You can also share your Wrapped cards on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

It is important to note that Spotify Wrapped is visible to all free or premium users who have streamed at least 30 tracks for over 30 seconds. If you aren’t among those, you can look at the global and India top trends below. You can also listen to the 2021 highlights from the dedicated online experience. 

Most streamed artist

Other top artists

  • Pritam
  • A. R. Rahman
  • BTS
  • Tanishk Bagchi
  • Shreya Ghoshal
  • Jubin Nautiyal
  • Neha Kakkar
  • Anirudh Ravichander
  • Vishal-Shekhar

Top 3 most-streamed female artists

  • Shreya Ghoshal
  • Neha Kakkar
  • Asees Kaur

Most streamed song

  • Raataan Lambiyan by Asees Kaur, Jubin Nautiyal, Tanishk Bagchi

Other top songs

  • Ranjha by Jasleen Royal, B Praak, Anvita Dutt
  • Brown Munde by AP Dhillon, Gminxr, Gurinder Gill, Shinda Kahlon
  • STAY (with Justin Bieber) by The Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber
  • Lut Gaye by Jubin Nautiyal, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Manoj Muntashir
  • Butter by BTS, Jenna Andrews
  • Agar Tum Saath Ho by Alka Yagnik, Arijit Singh, A.R. Rahman, Irshad Kamil
  • Tu Aake Dekhle by King, Arpan Kumar
  • Shayad by Pritam, Irshad Kamil
  • MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X, David Biral, Denzel Baptiste, Omer Fedi

Top 10 most streamed albums in India

  • Shershaah
  • Kabir Singh
  • Moosetape
  • Love Yourself 結 ‘Answer’
  • Love Aaj Kal
  • Justice
  • BE
  • MAP OF THE SOUL : 7
  • Master
  • Future Nostalgia

Top 5 genres with highest year-on-year growth in India

  • Concurso De Talentos Argentino
  • Indie Rock Italiano
  • Kyrgyz Hip Hop
  • Sinhala Indie
  • Musica Ponta-Grossense

Most popular podcasts

  • The Mythpat Podcast
  • The Ranveer Show
  • The Stories of Mahabharata
  • Naallanaa Murukku – The RJ Balaji Podcast
  • Srimad Bhagavad-Gita Adhyaya 1
  • The Joe Rogan Experience
  • Speak Better English with Harry
  • On Purpose with Jay Shetty
  • Bhaskar Bose (Hindi Thriller Podcast)
  • Unconventional Ghalib

Most streamed playlists

  • Top Hits Hindi
  • New Music Punjabi
  • Punjabi 101
  • Today’s Top Hits
  • This Is BTS

Most streamed artists globally

  • Bad Bunny
  • Taylor Swift
  • BTS
  • Drake
  • Justin Bieber

Most streamed songs globally

  • Drivers license by Olivia Rodrigo
  • MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X
  • STAY (with Justin Bieber) by The Kid LAROI
  • Good 4 u by Olivia Rodrigo
  • Levitating (featuring DaBaby) by Dua Lipa

Most streamed albums globally

  • SOUR by Olivia Rodigo
  • Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa
  • Justice by Justin Bieber
  • = by Ed Sheeran
  • Planet Her by Doja Cat

Most popular podcasts globally

  • The Joe Rogan Experience
  • Call Her Daddy
  • Crime Junkie
  • TED Talks Daily
  • The Daily

Spotify also revealed that while the Top Hits Hindi remained the top playlist in the country, it doubled the follower count from last year to 636,000 followers in 2021.

On the podcasts part, Spotify found that 50 percent of its top 10 podcasts consumed this year were the platform’s Originals. This was similar to last year. Local content also stood out in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata where PURIJAGANNADH (Telugu), Naallanaa Murukku – The RJ Balaji Podcast (Tamil) and Sunday Suspense (Bengali) take the lead, respectively. However, The Ranveer Show emerged as the most popular podcast in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Pune.

Spotify also found that Ahmedabad, Lucknow, and Jaipur were among the top 10 cities that stream podcasts on the platform.

In addition to its users, Spotify has also rolled out Wrapped creator experience for podcasters and artists. Creators can find it as a microsite through the Spotify for Artists and Spotify for Podcasters.

Spotify also told Gadgets 360 that it provides a custom personalised Spotify “Wrapped” experience to artists and their teams on its platform to let them learn facts about their fan’s listening throughout the year. It is not just limited to the number of playlists they were added to, number of countries their music was played in for the first time, and the journey of their top song, among others. This gives artists an opportunity to share these insights and engage with their fans, the company said.


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Best phones with variable refresh rate displays on Amazon India

Fast displays on smartphones are changing the way we look at mobile screens. A high refresh rate makes for smoother transitions, animations, and makes the phone seem a lot faster. The downside is that it takes up a lot of battery, but not in phones which can vary the refresh rate depending on what’s on screen. This means, when gaming, you can get up to 120Hz refresh rates, while on the ambient displays, it can drop down to even 1Hz, conserving battery. Smartphones perform this feat so seamlessly that it is almost impossible to notice the switch in refresh rates. Here are some of the best phones with variable refresh rate displays.  

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is backed by an A15 Bionic chipset, which is highly efficient at performing all tasks- be it gaming, photo processing, video editing, or handling regular day to day usage. This helps the battery operate optimally, and send only the required power for apps. This, along with the variable refresh rate make for a really long battery life on this iPhone. The refresh rate can go as high as 120Hz, which is great for gaming, video editing, and sometimes, even watching movies and video content. The display isn’t just fast, it is also highly detailed- it is a Retina XDR screen that’s rich and highly detailed. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Here’s a phone with a captivating display – it is curved at the sides, and a dynamic AMOLED panel that makes for an extremely rich representation of on-screen information. The display has a dynamic refresh rate that goes all the way up to 120Hz. When performing everyday tasks and swiping through applications, the refresh rate can match what is required for specific transitions, animations and more, making the screen look responsive and more attuned to your touch inputs. This, along with the AMOLED panel can help you conserve a lot of battery. The 120Hz panel is enhanced by the fact that you can perform next to all tasks on this highly performance-focused phone.

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

Leave no stone unturned with the OnePlus 9 Pro at your side. The screen is impressive to see on a smartphone- a 6.7-inch, fluid 120Hz AMOLED panel. The 120Hz AMOLED screen is great for video consumption, gaming, and forgetting day to day tasks done. Under the hood, the phone packs a Snapdragon 888 chipset, which is built around versatile use. Not just that, the performance is quite impressive to see too. At the back, you get a quad-camera setup co-developed by studio camera maker Hasselblad. The phone is capable enough to handle large amounts of data and applications at once thanks to the 12GB RAM and the 256GB storage. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

Even when working professionally on your phone, you need a display that works well. The Note 20 Ultra is perfect for productivity, and the display enhances that. You get a 6.9-inch curved screen, a 2X AMOLED infinity panel along with a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz. Backing your productivity is 12GB RAM and a Snapdragon 865+ processor. You also get a stylus with the phone which lets you get creative with how you use a phone. At the back, there are a set of three cameras which make for impressive photo quality. With the large screen and impressive internals, you get top-notch performance. 

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T-Mobile to Settle US Probe Into 2020 Outage for $19.5 Million

T-Mobile USA agreed to settle a US probe for $19.5 million (roughly Rs. 145 crore) after a massive 2020 outage led to more than 20,000 failed 911 emergency calls.

The settlement was prompted by a Federal Communications Commission investigation into a more than 12-hour outage in June 2020 that led to congestion across No. 3 wireless carrier T-Mobile’s networks, and caused “the complete failure of more than 23,000 911 calls.”

T-Mobile as part of the consent decree with the FCC has also agreed to make new commitments to improve 911 outage notices.

An October 2020 FCC report found the T-Mobile outage disrupted calling and texting services nationwide and access to data service in some areas. It resulted in at least 250 million total calls failing.

The FCC estimated “over 250 million calls … from other service providers’ subscribers to T-Mobile subscribers failed due to the outage” and “at least 41 percent of all calls that attempted to use T-Mobile’s network during the outage did not complete successfully.”

T-Mobile said Tuesday it has “built resiliency into our emergency systems to ensure that our 911 elements are available when they’re needed. Following this outage, we immediately took additional steps to further enhance our network to prevent this type of event from happening in the future.”

Then-FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the FCC staff report showed the company did not follow established network reliability best practices that could have potentially prevented or mitigated the outage.

The FCC report said the outage was caused “by an equipment failure and then exacerbated by a network routing misconfiguration that occurred when T-Mobile introduced a new router into its network.”

T-Mobile said earlier its network experienced an 18 percent reduction in completed calls during the outage but in the report acknowledged network congestion “likely required many of its subscribers to make 2-3 call attempts before successfully connecting.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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Does a 43-inch FHD TV shine in a sea of budget 4K HDR TVs?

The 43-inch TV market is a very interesting one. Not only is it still one of the most popular screen sizes for consumers in India, but it is also one where consumers have the option between a full HD TV and 4K HDR offerings making the purchase decision all the more confusing. Today we have with us the Redmi 43-inch TV for review. It has a Full HD display and comes with Xiaomi’s own PatchWall UI, the same one we have seen on the recently launched Mi TV 5X (review) and the Redmi Smart TV X series (review). So, should you consider the Redmi 43-inch FHD TV? Does it make a better offering than a 4K TV around the same price range? Let’s find out!

Redmi Smart TV 43 specs at a glance

Panel Size: 43-inch 

Panel Resolution: 1920 x 1080p – FHD

Panel Refresh Rate: 60Hz

HDR 10 support: No

HDR 10+ support: No

Dolby Vision Support: No

Weight: 6.5 kgs

HDMI Ports: 2

USB Ports: 2

Bluetooth: Yes, 5.0

Wi-Fi: Yes, dual-band

Ethernet: Yes

Speakers: 20W 

Built-in storage: 8GB

RAM: 1GB

Price: MRP: 25,999

Redmi Smart TV 43 Display Panel and Picture Quality

The Redmi Smart TV 43 has D-LED backlighting and we recorded a peak brightness slightly below 250 nits which is more than sufficient for SDR content. In our Calman analysis, we found that the Movie preset gave us an average delta error of 2.2 which is pretty good. To put things into perspective, the Mi TV 5X gave us an average delta error of 3.5 in SDR using the Movie preset. The lower delta error means better performance for SDR content, but we will talk more about this in our picture analysis. Even in the grayscale tracking, we found low delta errors in the 2-point grayscale tracking which is good with a slightly cool bias.

peak brightness of the Redmi smart TV 43.

Grayscale tracking of the Redmi smart tv 43.

ColorChecker analysis Movie preset of the redmi smart TV 43.

Above: ColorChecker Analysis for the Movie preset

Below: ColorChecker Analysis for the Standard preset

ColourChecker Analysis Standard preset Redmi smart TV 43

SDR playback

Since the TV does not support HDR, all the content we consume in HDR was played in SDR. This includes shows like Our Planet, Altered Carbon, and more on Netflix and Jack Ryan, Grand Tour and more on Prime Video. We also played our standard slew of SDR content like Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Spider-Man Homecoming and Young Sheldon. All the content on the TV looks quite enjoyable and even though the TV does not have dimming zones, a little bias light in the room ensures you get the best the TV has to offer. 

Prime Video on Redmi smart tv 43

The Movie preset presented the best colours for most of the content we consumed. By default, the backlighting is set to 80 in the movie preset and I recommend bumping it up to 100 to get the best experience from the TV. For some content like Young Sheldon, the Standard preset brought about slightly punchier colours but for the rest of the content, we stuck to the Movie preset which presented a slightly warmer tone (like it should) while maintaining good colours. You can use the Standard preset and switch the colour temperature to warm if you like but, in my experience, this solution did not work well for all content. If you are looking to leave the TV on one setting, then I recommend keeping it on Movie with the backlighting bumped up.

Netflix on Redmi smart TV 43.

What we would otherwise consume in HDR was in SDR on this TV and that is no bad thing. A lot of budget HDR TVs today do give a decent overall experience but none of them offer a true HDR experience which is found on much more expensive TVs. If you are looking for a good overall TV viewing experience, then the redmi 43-inch FHD TV will offer you a good experience overall. 

Redmi Smart TV 43 PS5 Gaming

We hooked up a PS5 (review) to the TV and the output we got was 1920x1080p HDCP 1.4 with RGB colours and naturally, no support for HDR. Once again, the experience we got from the console was quite good. There is a toggle to switch on ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), but there was no visible difference in our gaming experience when switching this toggle on or off. 

Redmi smart TV 43 supports HDCP 1.4.

We played games like Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart (review), Ghost of Tsushima (review), Dirt 5 (review) and Spider-Man: Miles Morales (review) and more. A good thing is that we got punchy colours with ample brightness for all the games. So, swinging towards the sun gave us a good experience in Spider-Man, but at the cost of details in the dark areas of the screen. In an HDR TV, you would have been able to make out the details in Spider-Man’s suit but the details are not highlighted well on this TV. The same is the case with Ratchet and Clank. But in the grand scheme of things, this is a small gripe as you will only know what you are missing if you know where to look. Else, you are presented with some very punchy colours and the overall gaming experience on this TV is good.

PS5 connected to the redmi smart TV 43

Ghost of Tsushima and Dirt 5 are great examples of how this TV works well. From the watercolour art style of Ghost to the summer filled tracks of Dirt 5, this is a very good TV for those looking for a gaming TV on a budget. I still recommend switching on the ALLM setting even though I didn’t find any noticeable difference with this setting off. 

Redmi Smart TV 43 Audio Performance

This is where the TV falls short like most budget TVs but the output isn’t unacceptable for the price. While the TV has just 20W of sound output they are clear which is important. We received an update during the course of this review which “Improved the audio performance”. When watching movies and TV shows the dialogues were clear and even during mixed audio, you can make out what characters on screen are saying. While an orchestral background score suffers at high volumes and there is no channel separation between the speakers for an immersive experience, the overall output is acceptable for everyday TV use. I sat about 6 feet away from the TV and was well immersed in everyday content consumption. 

HDMI CEC controls on the redmi samrt tv 43

Redmi Smart TV 43 UI

If you’ve used a Xiaomi TV in the past, you should feel right at home with the UI. It offers the best of both Android TV and the company’s own Patchwall UI. Patchwall has evolved to give you IMDB ratings of content as a part of the UI. There are also IMDB top 100 list, and more lists like HDR 10+ content, Dolby Vision content, etc. Although considering this is an FHD SDR TV, you will consume this HDR content in SDR, just so you know. 

Redmi smart tv 43 comes with patchwall UI

While PatchWall has cemented itself as a good alternative to Android TV, the experience on the Redmi 43-inch TV is a bit laggy. We experienced some random stutters when navigating the UI and while at times this can be because of apps updating in the background, it happened often enough to not be the case here. While the lags aren’t so bad that they detract from the overall experience of the TV, they are noticeable present in everyday use. 

Redmi Smart TV runs on Android 11 out of the box.

Redmi Smart TV 43 Remote control

You get the same remote control we’ve seen with Xiaomi TVs for a very long time now. It’s slim, sleek, and minimalistic. It has directional buttons, power, Google Assistant, OTT hotkeys for Netflix and Prime Video and a volume rocker. You still need to double-tap the volume down button to mute the TV and I wish we get a dedicated mute button on the remote with the next refresh.   

The redmi smart tv 43 comes with a sleak easy to use remote control.

Redmi Smart TV 43 Build and design

Considering this is a budget TV, we didn’t expect any outstanding features with the build and design and what’s on offer here is what you’d expect from a budget TV. The TV is held in place by 2 plastic feet and has glossy plastic bezels which aren’t too thick. 

The redmi TV is held in place by 2 plastic feet.

For connectivity we have 2 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, AV in and an ethernet port along with an antenna port. There is also Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi which is nice. Overall, it is a simple looking TV and that’s ok considering you’ll spend more time with the display which has decent performance. 

Redmi smart tv 43 has 2 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports

Redmi Smart TV 43 Bottom Line

The Redmi 43-inch FHD Smart TV is a good TV overall. Not supporting 4K and HDR is not a con in this case as its picture performance is very good in SDR and better than some 4K HDR TVs we’ve tested in this price range. It has good colour reproduction and the panel works well for movies, TV shows and games. The audio output is fine for everyday use, especially considering the price of the TV. The only downside to the TV is that the UI can get laggy. The Redmi 43-inch FHD SDR TV is a very good option for those that understand the drawbacks of a budget 4K HDR TV and who want a TV that can reproduce content well. The only downside to the TV is the stutters I faced in the UI and hope this is something Xiaomi can fix via an update.

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