The God of War Ragnarok release date would be revealed today. But there was a change in plans.
That’s according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, who says a God of War Ragnarok update was on the cards for today. according to one tweet (opens in new tab) he released earlier today, “very recently, there was indeed a release date announcement planned for Thursday, June 30th.”
This is according to sources who are reportedly familiar with the situation. But game director Cory Barlog said otherwise in twitter (opens in new tab). Something Schreier recognizes in his tweet.
dear all, if it were up to me i would share all the information when i know about it. but it’s not up to me. so please be patient. I promise things will be shared asap. We make games for you. we can make games because of you. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/aw7dje5XxFJune 29, 2022
God of War Ragnarok is delayed
Barlog has unequivocally confirmed that no, God of War Ragnarok has not been delayed. In the worst case, the release date announcement, which could have been for today, has been delayed. This Twitter exchange between Barlog and a fan sums it up for you.
It’s on track for its 2022 release, so for God’s sake, be patient. And stop asking developers about the release date, that’s Twitter’s lesson today. They don’t like to be harassed.
Sony must have its fingers crossed that God of War Ragnarok is released before the end of the year. While we expect big releases for the Xbox Series X, especially after Starfield’s 2023 delay, in Sony’s latest State of Play you really feel like the PS5 was treading water.
Some wounds never heal. Just ask Apple, the new champion of the spiteful.
As we were all celebrating the 15th anniversary of the original iPhone, Apple took a moment during a rather extensive and fascinating interview with Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal to once again call out rival Samsung for allegedly copying iPhone technology.
Apple’s current head of marketing Greg Joswiak, an amiable guy I’ve had many pleasant and sometimes incisive conversations with, is one of the highlights in Stern’s video, which cleverly details the history of the iPhone through the eyes of someone who was born on the same day.
However, when she asks Joswiak about the rise of the big-screen Android phone and Samsung’s stake in it, Joswiak’s smile fades and he calls it “annoying”.
Okay, I understand this. Apple was on top of the world with an industry-changing device that came in exactly one flavor. There were no Pros or Maxes or screen size variants. You’re 3.5 inches and that was the end of it. Then Samsung arrives with devices like the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S4, all of which have screens at least an inch larger. Worse still, its icon-based designs and home screens were a little too familiar.
Yeah, I think I’d be upset too.
But Joswiak is not finished. “They were annoying because, as you know, they stole our technology.” Wow. so we go there. Warming up to the topic, Joswiak continues: “They took the innovations we created and created bad copy and just put a bigger canvas around it. Yeah, so we weren’t too pleased.”
Huh. It is as if the wounds are still fresh, although they are not, even from the point of view of litigation.
Apple vs Samsung
Already in 2011, Apple sues Samsung (opens in new tab) for patent infringement, alleging that Samsung copied the look of its iPhone 3GS. Later, Samsung counterattacked, claiming that Apple was copying them.
Yet here is Joswiak, opening that old wound as if the companies weren’t even partners.
That’s right, for all the pieces of technology that Apple seeks to build (including, now, Apple Silicon), it still relies on component manufacturers for various iPhone parts and technologies. In recent years, Qualcomm (another enemy) and Broadcom have both provided wireless chips and Samsung is often the provider of OLED screens in most modern iPhones.
It’s true that Apple insists on bespoke components from many of its partners, which means that whatever, say, Samsung might build for its own phones and other companies, Apple likely asks it to make various tweaks to satisfy it. its own stringent requirements.
Even though Apple and Samsung were never partners, Joswiak’s new enmity is striking. It’s as if he’s not aware that the entire cellphone industry is inexorably slipping into the middle. All smartphones are alike and even though Samsung hadn’t “copied” some of Apple’s design elements and functionality, there was a clear path for all smartphones:
Longer battery life
On-screen apps and app management
Better and more cameras
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it’s also how development works. Unless you are inventing something that no one has ever seen before, your product and design will inevitably build on what has come before.
Of course, Samsung (and other third-party Android smartphone designers Apple also ended up suing (opens in new tab)) everyone saw the seemingly ubiquitous iPhone and used them for a while. They had to understand this phenomenon. Even if they didn’t do teardowns and reverse engineering (many probably did), they would be influenced by the iPhone just the same.
It could be argued that the creation of another platform option and some aspirational design decisions made by Samsung (like bigger screens) really helped Apple, leading them to expand the iPhone options from one model to the current five options (iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone SE (2022)).
Typically, when you ask a tech executive about the competition, even from a historical perspective, they refuse and talk about how the competition has led to growth and innovation for them.
Joswiak, however, made it clear that Apple is still angry.
On reflection, though, maybe this isn’t a bad thing. That means Apple is as hungry as a young company. He can still feel the disrespects of the early days and uses them as fuel to drive new innovations.
Maybe it’s even a sign that Apple is preparing to, after all these years, strike back at Samsung where it hurts the most – in the market. And what better way to do that than with Apple’s first foldable iPhone. Imagine how Samsung will feel when that arrives.
Wear OS 3 is the biggest update to Wear OS smartwatches yet. Built in partnership with Samsung, it offers faster app load times, fitness tracking powered by Fitbit, a redesigned interface and more.
It’s a major update that could breathe new life into the operating system – if consumers and smartwatch makers alike adopt it.
Below you’ll find full details of everything Wear OS 3 offers, along with information on when, where and how you can get it.
Cut to the chase
What is it? The latest version of Google’s smartwatch operating system
When do you leave? Now – but currently only for select wearables
How much does it cost? It’s free
Wear OS 3 release date
Wear OS 3 was announced at the Google I/O developer conference in May 2021 and first became available in August 2021 or so. It’s available now, but only on an extremely limited number of smartwatches. Full details of the wearables that are available now and coming soon can be found below.
Wear OS 3 compatibility
Despite being available since 2021, there are currently very few smartwatches that actually run Wear OS 3. In fact, at the time of writing, you can only get it on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, and the – very expensive – Montblanc Summit 3.
No previously available smartwatch has received a software update to Wear OS 3, but some will; with the Fossil Gen 6, Michael Kors Gen 6, Skagen Falster Gen 6, Razer X Fossil Gen 6, TicWatch Pro 3, TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, and TicWatch E3, all theoretically being updated before the end of 2022.
Some of the current vintages of the best smartwatches may also be updated, but no other devices have been confirmed yet.
We also expect new smartwatches to be released with Wear OS 3 soon, including the Google Pixel Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 range.
Please note that in order to use a Wear OS 3 watch, you also need a supported operating system on your phone. In theory it works with iOS and Android, but at the time of writing only the Montblanc Summit 3 includes iOS support – the Galaxy Watch 4 line does not, and neither the Pixel Watch nor the Galaxy Watch 5 line should.
Wear OS 3 features
There’s a lot to see in Wear OS 3, but it’s worth noting that not all features will be available on all watches. Notably, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 lineup runs One UI Watch on top of Wear OS, which changes the look and feel of the UI.
Below you’ll find a rundown of Wear OS 3’s stock features – functionality you can expect to find on the Pixel Watch and any other Wear OS 3 wearables that haven’t been extensively customized, like Samsung’s current Galaxy Watch series, where you can expect to find more variation.
Faster and longer lasting
Google partnered with Samsung to build Wear OS 3, and the result is a combination of Wear OS 2 and Samsung’s Tizen-based wearable operating system; with some new features included for good measure.
Key improvements resulting from this collaboration include up to 30% faster app load times (than Wear OS 2) and longer battery life. This latest improvement makes it more feasible to do things like run your heart rate monitor all day or track your sleep without needing a charge first thing in the morning, every morning.
An updated interface
Wear OS 3 also brings UI changes, with Google focusing on making it faster and easier to operate your wearable. Nobody wants to spend a lot of time scrolling through menus on a relatively small clock screen, so there’s a focus on shortcuts and gesture controls; along with the ability to use Tiles (basically, mini widgets) to customize your watch’s home screen carousel in more ways than ever before.
You’ll also get quick access to smart home controls on Google Home and be able to quickly switch between apps in use with a new task switcher.
A custom overlay
Just like Android smartphone makers can add a custom interface on top of stock Android, smartwatch makers can now do a similar trick with Wear OS, so the platform doesn’t necessarily look or behave identically across all smartwatches. .
This should give shoppers more options and more opportunities to find an interface and features they really love.
One UI Watch, found in the Galaxy Watch 4 line, is an early example of this; it offers several Samsung apps and services in addition to Google’s, and draws more parallels with Samsung’s smartphone interface design.
New and Improved Google Apps
Google took this opportunity to redesign and improve Google Assistant and Google Maps, as well as adding support for more countries in Google Pay (soon to be replaced by the return of Google Wallet) and bringing YouTube Music to your wrist.
Fitness powered by Fitbit
Since Google now owns Fitbit, it’s no surprise that part of the latter company’s experience has made its way to Wear OS 3. That includes features like wrist goal celebrations and various tools to track your health progress throughout the day.
The exact fitness tracking features will depend on the hardware your smartwatch offers – most, but not all, include GPS and heart rate monitors, for example – and there are less common features like ECGs and blood oxygen monitors.
Best third-party apps
Google is also pushing for better support for third-party apps in a few ways. On the one hand, the company is making it easier for developers to build great apps in the first place; with tools like a new Tiles API and a clock face design editor.
In addition, Google also intends to reward developers for high-quality apps – and penalize low-effort ones – by adjusting their Play Store search ranking.
Google has guidelines on what good Wear OS apps should do, such as ensuring they are formatted for square and circular screens, having clear, easy-to-read text, and making the app work without a smartphone or tablet.
All the top smartwatch things you’d expect
Above, we’ve detailed the ways in which Wear OS 3 deviates from and improves on Wear OS 2, but also retains all the core functionality of that earlier platform, like notifications, timers, alarms, and more.
It was only recently that a user of Chinese tech giant Baidu reportedly revealed Intel’s latest NUC mini PC, and now new rumors have surfaced about its full specs. And from what we can see, these leaked specs show just how powerful these mini PCs will be compared to standard gaming PCs.
The NUC 12 Enthusiast, codenamed ‘Serpent Canyon’, is a continuation of the NUC 11 ‘Beast Canyon’ which will apparently use the 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake CPU and the latest Arc A7 series GPUs.
All three will reportedly use Intel Arc laptop GPUs rather than The Nvidia GeForce GPUs that the NUC 11s were equipped with. The 16GB variant points to the Arc A770M, while the 12GB and 8GB will likely be the Arc A730M and Arc A550M.
The NUC 12 Extreme also surfaced in the rumor mill – which, unlike the Enthusiast, which supposedly uses discrete GPUs, is said to use full-length discrete graphics cards.
Analysis: Can Intel be competitive in the GPU market?
It makes sense for Intel to break free from the shackles of its competitor Nvidia and use its own internal GPU for the NUC 12, especially in China where budget GPUs are more prevalent due to the popularity of internet cafes.
However, considering the rocky benchmark performances for the Arc A7 and the high starting prices on desktop Arc A380, there seem to be problems with Intel’s debut. In fact, Intel’s high-end GPU benchmarks lag behind Nvidia’s RTX 3060 in early tests, which is even worse.
There is also the fact that Intel has limiting your release of desktop Arc GPUs for China, which is resulting in delays for the rest of the world. And looking at the reasoning behind this decision, it’s clear that Intel is simply not ready for Arc GPUs to be released elsewhere.
“All these issues cast a huge shadow over Intel’s success in the GPU market, so we’ll have to wait and see how well the tech giant does when it fully releases products that use its lineup of GPUs, like the NUC 12. in the near future.”
The first non-promotional image of Sony’s PlayStation VR 2 has been released, showing us just how streamlined the upcoming VR headset is.
Developer Bit Planet Games uploaded a photo of a PSVR 2 system on Twitter. Although the studio was quick to delete the post, likely for breaking an internal NDA with Sony, the image was reuploaded to reddit (opens in new tab).
It shows the headset alongside two PSVR 2 controllers – Sense controllers, which are designed to replace the original system’s Move gamepads. It also shows two opaque plastic bags, which appear to be just the right size to hold a USB charging cable or controller wristbands.
While the image itself doesn’t show the VR headset in action, it certainly clarifies the direction Sony is taking with the next system. The PSVR 2 feels just as slim and streamlined as its predecessor, and a very portable package.
Sense controllers may be bulkier than PlayStation Move sticks, but they’re not big. Even its plastic orbs look pretty thin, and the headset itself doesn’t feel bigger than the original PSVR, despite its stronger specs.
The PSVR 2 is lighter than its predecessor, and should weigh less than 600g. That puts it just above the Oculus Quest 2 (now called the Meta Quest 2), which comes in at half a pound, but far below the Valve Index of 800g.
All this means that the PSVR 2 looks like a very mobile VR console with a small form factor. That’s good news for anyone planning to move the system around their home or were worried that Sony would replicate the massive size of the PS5. Add in the rumors that it will be backwards compatible and things are looking up for PSVR 2.
There’s great news for people who bought one of Sony’s ‘Perfect for PlayStation 5’ LED TVs from 2021 or 2022 and who play games on it using a PS5 or Xbox Series X – you’ll now be able to get full video quality and VRR ( update variable) at the same time!
Until now, enabling variable refresh rates on Sony’s LED TVs that use their XR Cognitive Processor disabled the backlight’s localized dimming feature, meaning you didn’t get as good HDR contrast if you had VRR. activated. We still rate some of these TVs as being among the best TVs for gaming due to their other great features, but that was definitely a huge frustration.
But an update is now being released for relevant TVs that fixes this issue so that VRR and local dimming can live in harmony. Affects Sony X90J, Sony X95J and Z9J 8K TV from 2021 models and Sony X90K, X95K and Z9K from 2022 models. The change was noticed by the TV critic Vincent Teoh (opens in new tab).
The update appears to be available now, but some TV software updates are slow to release, so check your settings to see if v6.5929 is already available for you.
Sony has released firmware update v6.5929 to enable local dimming in VRR mode on 2021 (X90J, X95J, Z9J) and 2022 (X90K, X95K, Z9K) BRAVIA XR LED LCDs, thereby improving contrast performance during VRR games. I don’t have any of these TVs to test, but let me know how you do! pic.twitter.com/NwIFsjGrTOJune 29, 2022
The update doesn’t affect Sony OLED TVs that support VRR, like the Sony A90J, because they don’t use the same kind of local dimming technology. It also doesn’t change anything for the Sony X85J and Sony X85K, which also support VRR and use LED backlighting, but they don’t have XR processor-powered local dimming, so it wasn’t an issue.
Opinion: Sony needs to talk more about its problems
It was strange that this was an issue in the first place, considering how much effort Sony has gone to to ensure their own TVs are very tempting to PS5 owners. One of the key features of ‘Perfect for PlayStation 5’ TVs is ‘Auto HDR Tone Mapping’, where the PS5 is able to recognize which Sony TV model you have and adjust its HDR output to make the most of your device’s maximum brightness. and deeper dark tones.
Around the same time, Sony finally added VRR to the PS5, which means games can have frame rates that shift and drop without causing screen tearing, giving developers more flexibility.
So having your TV’s specially supported HDR capabilities crippled by the other fancy new graphics feature felt like a major oversight. We approached Sony at the time to find out if a fix for this issue was in the cards, but Sony declined to comment on potential future plans.
That communication has been an ongoing annoyance with Sony’s TVs and gaming features: at launch, the X90J didn’t support VRR, for example, despite Sony saying it would. So we wait and wait, but there’s no indication of when to wait, leaving shoppers who bought it assuming the feature would come to wonder if they’ve been ripped off. It arrived eventually, of course.
In comparison, LG has commented on feature updates and issues in the past as they occur – even though it couldn’t provide details, we’ve seen the company say it’s aware of the issues and is working on a fix. This is helpful and comforting!
Sony TVs remain very popular and for good reason – they are some of the best 4K TVs on the market. I would gladly recommend the X90J as one of the best 120Hz TVs for gamers. And we’re reviewing the new Sony A80K OLED TV, and its performance matches more expensive TVs.
But as TVs increasingly rely on updates to add features over time, I think Sony needs to become a little more open customer.
Stranger Things fans rejoice! Netflix has announced a star-studded online party for the season 4 finale of the sci-fi series – and everyone is invited.
In partnership with live streaming service Scener, the streaming platform is hosting a virtual screening for the world premiere of Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 on Friday, July 1st, with stars David Harbor (Hopper) , Brett Gelman (Murray), Joe Quinn (Eddie) and Jamie Campbell Bower (Peter) in attendance as A-list guests.
Starting just before the global release of the final two episodes of season four, Netflix subscribers around the world will have the opportunity to join cast members for a live Q&A before the event turns into a real-time virtual display.
Harbour, Gelman, Quinn and Campbell Bower will be tucked away in a theater customized with thousands of real-life fans for the event, while online attendees will be able to dial in via live chat and stream the two new episodes via synchronous playback.
The viewing party is free for Netflix subscribers worldwide – just sign in Strangerthings4.scener.com (opens in new tab) to get involved. You will need to download the Scener Chrome extension, create a free Scener account and visit the brand page at the time of the event (June 30 at 11:15 PM PT / July 1 at 2:15 AM ET / July 1 at 7:15 AM BST) for access . Guests in the US will also be able to use the Scener mobile app to automatically sync their TVs to watch proceedings on the big screen.
We were very impressed with volume 1 of the highly anticipated fourth season of Stranger Things, describing it, in our review, as “an absorbing, action-packed, horror-filled entry” to the series. The show’s cliffhanger ending, however, left us with 11 questions that we hope Volume 2 will answer, and we’re excited to see how the showrunners, the Duffer Brothers, intend to tie up those loose ends.
Check out the full trailer for volume 2 of season 4 below:
The upcoming episodes of Stranger Things won’t mark the series’ last, mind. We know for sure that a fifth and final season is currently in development, which will end the story of the Hawkins gang – officially, anyway.
Rumors have suggested that the Stranger Things universe could continue in future films and spinoff series, though no future projects have been confirmed yet.
As mentioned, the show’s return is just days away, but if you’re in desperate need of an entertainment solution to help you get there, our pick of the best shows on Netflix is full of binge-worthy recommendations to enjoy.
AMD may be planning to take a different direction with FSR in the future, and if a clue highlighted on Twitter is anything to go by, Team Red’s intention is to develop the framerate boosting technology along AI-powered lines – as well as Nvidia DLSS.
This theory is based on a tip tweeted by well-known hardware leaker Greymon55, who detected a new commit in the LLVM repository that is about the introduction of WMMA (Wave Matrix Multi-Accumulate) instructions in GFX11.
AI accelerate! It should work with FSR3.0 and other features. https://t.co/Wh31UxdoaIJune 29, 2022
Okay, this sounds like a lot of gobbledygook, so how about a translation? Essentially, GFX11 refers to AMD’s next-gen RDNA 3 GPUs (and Radeon Pro cards), with WMMA instructions being a way to really boost machine learning (AI) operations. So this could point to FSR – perhaps in version 3.0 – making use of such AI cuts to get better quality upscaling results.
One theory that has emerged behind this is that perhaps RDNA 3 graphics cards offer some sort of built-in hardware functionality along the lines of Nvidia’s tensor cores – dedicated AI processors in RTX graphics cards, which are used as muscle to trigger DLSS. .
Analysis: Will AMD take the next step into the avenue of AI?
Obviously, we need to be very careful when drawing big conclusions from a single commit. And that certainly doesn’t mean that high-end RDNA 3 graphics cards will necessarily come with specific hardware designed to accelerate AI workloads (like Nvidia’s tensor cores).
There are some important things to consider here. Let’s not forget that AMD just released FSR 2.0 and with this technology many new moves have been made, including the transition to temporal upscaling, offering huge improvements over spatial upscaling (as used by FSR 1.0). We’ve seen this make a big difference in supported games, and comparisons indicate some pretty impressive image quality results for FSR 2.0 compared to DLSS 2.0, with Team Red catching up in style.
Furthermore, AMD argued that FSR 2.0 is an effective rival to DLSS without the need for any AI-powered acceleration (or even dedicated hardware on the GPU to improve these operations – which takes up space that could be used to boost other aspects of the GPU). GPU actuation). In fact, recently AMD has greatly downplayed the influence and importance of AI in upscaling technologies…
So for AMD to be looking to outfit its RX 7000 graphics cards with some sort of equivalent for tensor cores seems like a pretty old stretch, especially since we haven’t heard anything from the rumor mill about it so far – and these newer generations GPUs aren’t too far off the mark. launch (possibly arriving in October).
Certainly RDNA 3 boards can make use of these WMMA instructions in some way to further optimize FSR 2.0 perhaps, but any implementation of FSR 3.0 using machine learning and dedicated hardware combined with this is certainly a good way to go. What this seems to point to is that AI is indeed the way AMD is looking ahead (despite recent comments and doubts cast about exactly how much difference it really makes to DLSS).
In that case, the plan might be to keep FSR 2.0 in use going forward after the next generation implementation (FSR 3.0) arrives, just like with the release of FSR 2.0, games are still getting FSR 1.0 support (since the latter might not be as good, but it offers wider coverage for lower spec GPUs).
Who knows, ultimately, but what’s clear enough is that AMD built and pushed FSR to be an open standard and usable not only on their own Radeon graphics cards (even on slightly older models) but also on Nvidia and Intel GPUs. So whatever happens, presumably AMD won’t want to turn their backs on this core philosophy for frame rate boosting in the future.
Wear OS 3 is the biggest overhaul we’ve seen for Google’s smartwatch operating system so far, but it’s also one that apparently came with a huge disappointment, as the first – and so far only – Wear OS 3 watches were the Samsung Galaxy Watch. 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic and are not compatible with iPhones.
Far from being a limitation of Wear OS 3, it seems that this is simply a limitation that Samsung has decided to impose, as the Montblanc Summit 3 was recently announced, and is confirmed to have iOS support.
This detail was mentioned in the wearable’s official spec list and also confirmed for storable (opens in new tab) by a spokesperson for Qualcomm, which doesn’t make the Summit 3 but does make the Snapdragon 4100 Plus chipset at its heart, so they should know.
Now, chances are you won’t end up buying the Montblanc Summit 3 – even if you’re an Apple Watch-averse iPhone owner – as it costs $1,290 / £1,105 / AU$2,030.
What does he do to justify that price? It has Montblanc in the name, mostly, although it looks like a competent wearable, with a 1.28-inch 416 x 416 AMOLED display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, 5ATM water resistance, sapphire glass, a heart rate monitor and a premium build.
That’s fine, but mostly it’s just the presence of iOS support that worries us, as it suggests that we’ll soon see some affordable Wear OS 3 watches that include this.
Review: Don’t rely on iOS support for the Pixel Watch
One of the next big Wear OS 3 smartwatches we’re looking forward to is the Google Pixel Watch, but that might not have iOS support.
Google has already teased the wearable and only listed Android compatibility. Even more damning, a Google spokesperson said CNET (opens in new tab) that iPhones will not be supported.
It seems strange that Google and Samsung cut such a large potential audience, which makes us wonder if the chipsets used in these watches could be a factor – as the Pixel Watch is rumored to use an Exynos chipset like the company’s wearables. Samsung. That being the question is just speculation though.
But whatever the case, at this rate, it might still be a while before many of the best smartwatches running Wear OS 3 get iOS support.
Huawei just unveiled the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 headphones at a launch event in Berlin, the second iteration of the company’s true wireless headphones. And, of course, they promise even more improvements to our audio experience.
Based on the inaugural Huawei FreeBuds Pro released in September 2020, the latest headphones promise “true sound that brings beauty to your ears” and visually these headphones do a good job of looking attractive – they come in a ‘Silver Blue’ colorway, new to the FreeBuds family. Designed to be a “dreamy” finish, Silver Blue is, says Huawei, inspired by the stars of the galaxy. So the sky’s the limit, huh?
The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 feature a unique ‘Ultra-hearing True Sound Dual Driver’ sound system consisting of a quad-magnet dynamic driver with a planar diaphragm, and thanks to its ‘Triple Adaptive EQ’ technology, the headphones can apparently Tune audio according to ear canal structure, wear posture and volume level automatically, for real-time personalized sound.
You also get LDAC, Sony’s high-resolution audio codec protocol, and the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are co-engineered with French audio expert Devialet.
Advanced active noise cancellation is also promised – and as we said the originals had “excellent noise cancellation”, this should catch the attention of noise-canceling headphones fanatics. The claim is an increase in average ANC depth by an industry-leading 15% compared to predecessors, while “Intelligent Dynamic ANC 2.0” accurately identifies the external sound field (read: ambient) and selects a cancellation mode noise level to eliminate noise for comfortable listening – even if it’s on a flight.
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2’s new Pure Voice call noise canceling technology promises clear and quiet calls and is based on a quad microphone system combined with Huawei’s unique Deep Neural Network (DNN) noise canceling algorithm. That means the headphones must be able to accurately pick up human voices, improving noise cancellation and eradicating wind noise if you’re talking outside on a blustery day, say.
Opinion: They look good, but I’m struggling to get excited – but I hope I’m wrong
Elsewhere, there is IP54 dust and splash resistance and seamless connection between two devices for automatic call switching. Said dual connectivity allows users to view the last 10 devices connected to the headphones for easy switching of Huawei devices for all scenarios including smartphones, tablets, PCs and watches as well as with Android, iOS and Windows smart systems.
Battery life is standard rather than exceptional. With ANC enabled, you can expect up to four hours of playtime and a total of 18 hours with the case. With the ANC off, it’s a little better, with 6.5 hours of listening time and a total of 30 hours with the case on – but it’s not much better than the endurance of Apple’s AirPods Pro, which it certainly must be aiming to win. .
Silver Frost and Ceramic White, which Huawei says are customer favourites, are back for the update, and the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 will be available in the UK from July 6th, priced at €199 or £170 ( approximately $206, AU$300).
The fact is, we never doubted Huawei’s prowess when it comes to noise cancellation. But with the ANC cranked to full blast, the music on the original FreeBuds Pro can sound a little fabricated – the bass is boosted and the treble is a little crisper than best-in-class. Layered music has decent levels of separation, finesse, and breadth, but it falls short of going all the way when it comes to dynamic range.
All things considered, are we kind of scratching our heads to find the unique angle of Huawei’s newest headphones, beyond what were already very accomplished levels of ANC in a true wireless design? If it’s just superior sound quality in a similar design, we’ve already been impressed by the Honor Earbuds 3 Pro and its own unique driver technology – we’re not sure Huawei will really outperform them.
Ultimately, the real questions are: can Huawei finally wow us with sound, and can the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 finally challenge the best wireless headphones on the market? Check back soon for a full and detailed review…