Google Pixel 2 XL Unboxing & What’s New

Google’s new Pixel 2 smartphone has just been launched in Canada. The Android smartphone has some new features, like an always-on display, it’s waterproof, the headphone jack has been done away with (but an adapter has been provided) and there’s fun live wallpapers to choose from now. Continue reading “Google Pixel 2 XL Unboxing & What’s New”

T3 Micro Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe Review

I’ve been searching for a set of hot rollers for a while now. So I was excited when T3 Micro sent me a set of their Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe to test out. Continue reading “T3 Micro Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe Review”

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review + new features

sAMSUNG GALAXY nOTE 8 REVIEWThinking about upgrading your Android phone to the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8? Wondering what makes it different from previous Notes, what it’s got for Android fans and what sets it apart from other phones?

What’s new with Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Note 8 – Bigger size, added S-pen stylus

Palm Pilot vintage pen (L), with new S-pen.

Thing #1 is its size. it’s a bit bigger than other Samsung phones. It has a larger 6.3″ display, while the Galaxy S8+ is 6.2″ and Note 7 was 5.7″. Thing #2: is the added stylus, which Samsung calls the S-pen. Using the pen feels nice and natural; it’s a good size and a light weight, and is easy to adapt to. It feels like putting pen to a tablet of paper; smooth and easy, not like putting to metal to glass, which is the experience some styluses give you. Worth noting, the Note 8’s stylus/S-pen is not the same size as the one that is used on the Tab 3. That stylus is significantly larger.

Enjoy Screen Off Memo

You can use the S-pen for a feature called ‘Screen Off Memo’. This allows you to use the pen to hand write notes on the phone screen even though it’s technically not on. It’s a really handy feature that I love. I live my life with Post-It notes so this would save some paper.

Galaxy Note 8 has built-in translation

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review translationThe S-pen also drives translation functions in the Note 8. You use the pen to select languages, then hover over messages you want to translate. An English language version pops up automatically. There’s a huge number of language options and the feature is fast and seems to be quite accurate.

Live Message lets you have fun with texts

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has a new ‘Live Message’ feature which allows you to draw, annotate and liven up basic texts using the S-pen.

The Note 8 has the same 3000ma battery as the S8+ and all the same biometric features like fingerprint scanner, facial recognition and iris scanning. But the Note 8 adds wireless charging to its list of features.

Note 8 camera is great – dual cameras mean more features

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review cameraSamsung definitely excels with cameras and smartphone photography. You can launch the camera even faster with a shortcut: double-tap the power button in rapid succession. This will open the camera no matter what you’re doing, even if the phone is locked. But it’s the dual camera which makes more things possible.Two cameras means more depth, with a true 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom plus some other goodies.

Live Focus gives you control over photos

Tap the Live Focus button at the bottom of the viewfinder window and use the slider bar to adjust the background blur level. You’ll need something in the foreground about 4 feet away or the effect won’t work.

You can use Live Focus when you snap a photo, or go back and adjust the focus and blur (or bokeh) effect after. Just head to your Gallery, load the photo and look for the ones labelled with both “Normal picture” and “Adjust Background blur.”

There’s also something called dual capture. Dual capture lets you capture both the landscape and a person equally well. It’s worth noting that Dual Capture will take up about three times as much memory as standard photos, so you might want to invest in a microSD card before you fill up your phone’s internal storage.Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review – overall thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed using the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It’s sleek, with a beautiful screen. I love the new photography features, and the S-pen is a nice addition with cool new tools that make it worthwhile.  That’s your quick preview of the new Samsung Note 8 and some of the features that set it apart from previous notes, and the S8 series.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is available from most smartphone providers. You’ll pay anywhere from $549-$1350, depending on your carrier and monthly plan.


Smart Home, Smart Phone – Tech Talk

This month on Tech Talk we looked at Smart Gadgets.

Google Home

It’s a smart speaker that’s also a personal digital assistant. From answering questions, setting timers, to playing music and controlling other smart devices in your home, Google Home is the must-have home gadget you didn’t know you needed.
Read the full review about how it works and what it can do.

Philips Hue Smart Lights

Philips hue google home how to
The versatility of smart lights is amazing and now that you can control them with your voice and the power of Google Home, they’re even easier to use. We connected Philips Hue’s Go wireless lamp and the Bloom light to Google Home and used it to turn the lights on and off, change their colour and more.  Read more about how Google Home works with Philips Hue here.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8samsung galaxy note 8

 Samsung’s brand new Note 8 phone is big, slim with a vibrant screen and a host of new functions. Many are driven by the included S-pen like translation, and the ability to annotate texts and photos. The pen also can write on the phone’s screen when it’s off so you can create in-your-face reminders. The camera is also improved and has new features. Watch the video review here.

Samsung Gear VR

You can use your phone to create a virtual world using Samsung’s Gear VR headset. The phone slides into the visor, and using a special free app, you can access virtual worlds. I had a chance to see a concert in Virtual Reality, see what it was like, here.
 Samsung gear vr headset

**closedCONTEST – Win a Philips Hue Starter Kit!

**Contest is now closed** Congrats to D. Kervin of Calgary**

To enter, please write a (preferably nice!) comment in the comments section below and don’t forget to use today’s keywords.

You may enter today until midnight. Contest closes at 11:59pm MT Tuesday October 10th, 2017. One entry per person. Duplicate/additional entries on the same day will be discarded.

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I’ll pick one winner at random from among all the website entries. Only 1 entry per person, per day please; duplicate entries will be discarded. Contest closes at 11:59pm MT Tuesday October 10th, 2017. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Not valid in Quebec. 1 (one) winner will receive 1 (one)Philips Hue lighting Starter Kit. bears no responsibility for prizes not delivered, delayed or misdirected, or not claimed after 30 days. Prize has no cash value.

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TVs become art & Augmented Reality for all – new tech

New tv technology tech gdgetsThe holidays are one of the busiest times of year for technology. Retailers are getting ready for the rush by learning about what’s new. I recently had the chance to attend a mini technology trade show as manufacturers touted their newest gadgets and tech to London Drugs.

Smart TVs are amazing

TVs are no longer giant furniture-sized room hogs. Today’s newest TVs can blend seamlessly into your room by doubling as art. Samsung’s Frame TV is one of them. Engineered to hang on a wall with a slim and near-invisible cable, the Frame also has a large built in art gallery of masterworks and photography so when it’s not broadcasting television, it displays hyper-real art that looks like an actual painting, not like a shiny TV screen. It’s impossible to describe accurately in words; the effect is worth seeing for yourself.

LG has also gone the route of TV-as-art. Its new set is a sheet of glass that also features access to professional artworks. While it doesn’t have the option of getting wrapped in a wooden frame like Samsung’s does, it’s still ultra thin and the video picture is stunningly realistic in 4K resolution.

Sony showed off its near-flat TV that also features something called Acoustic Surface. Essentially it’s got a speaker built into the TV screen so the audio on a singer’s lips, actually sounds like it’s coming from her lips, not a tinny speaker under the set.

See how these Art TVs work in my YouTube video.

Augmented Reality for real people

One of the most amazing demonstrations I saw came from ASUS. The company showed off its new phones that come equipped with Augmented Reality capabilities.  Why might you need that? ASUS demonstrated the ability to virtually place furniture in your room using the Wayfair app; just use the phone’s video camera to view your room, then virtually place the furniture in your exact space. The effect is amazing, and brilliant.

Asus Zen Phone Augmented reality demo BMW car tourI saw an amazing demonstration from BMW and ASUS where you can take a virtual tur inside and outside a car, using Augmented reality and just your phone.

New tv technology tech gdgets samsung gear iconxWireless earbuds are getting better

If you’ve looked into wireless earbuds recently, you know battery life has been an issue. After all, getting just 2 hours on average from a set of buds isn’t going to do much for anyone. Fortunately manufacturers have been working hard to improve the hardware. Samsung’s IconX earbuds now boast more than double the battery life of before, going from about 2-3 hours to 7.

Similarly Jabra is now making its own fully wireless earbuds that delivers 4.5 hours of play time, coupled with a portable charging case that gives you a total 13.5 hours of power at your disposal. The Elite Sport earbuds are small and completely wire-free making them perfect for athletes or commuters.New tv technology tech gdgets

Both of these wireless earbud options now making investing in a pair of these worthwhile.

That’s just a snippet of the cool new tech I was able to see and test out in 24 hours. Watch for all the products named here to be in stores and online at London Drugs.