We've compiled the latest gear news, including Samsung's upcoming premium mobile device, audio components from Onkyo and Yamaha, and more.
From product announcements and streaming app updates to general industry news and recent gear trends, keeping up with the latest tech news can be a daunting task. With that in mind, we're here to offer you a roundup of some of the latest gear and consumer electronics news that you may have missed.
For this edition, we're covering Samsung's new Galaxy Note 8, the Yamaha R-N303 Network Hi-Fi Stereo Receiver, Onkyo's compact audio systems, and the expansion of Hulu Live TV to the Xbox 360.
So, without further ado, here's a rundown of some of the latest gear and tech news:
Samsung Reveals Galaxy Note 8 & New Gear VR
Samsung has detailed its newest mobile device, the Galaxy Note 8. The flagship smartphone serves as a successor to the defunct Galaxy Note 7 -- which was previously recalled and eventually canceled due to battery issues that caused some units to catch fire.
The Galaxy Note 8 features a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display along with an enhanced S Pen that offers improved pressure sensitivity compared to previous versions. Under the hood, the device is powered by an Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm processor or an Octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm processor depending on the market and carrier. A duel 12MP wide-angle/12MP telephoto camera and an 8MP front camera are integrated as well. Likewise, the smartphone provides water and dust resistance, fast wireless charging, and iris and fingerprint scanning for added security. Finally, the Galaxy Note 8's 3,300 mAh battery has undergone Samsung’s 8-Point Battery Safety Check process to prevent any of the Note 7's notorious problems.
"We appreciate the relentless passion of the Note community. They've been a constant inspiration to us, and we designed the new Note for them," said DJ Koh, president of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. "From the Infinity Display to the enhanced S Pen, to the powerful Dual Camera, Note8 lets people do things they never thought were possible."
Meanwhile, Samsung has also revealed a new version of its Gear VR headset ($130) with an updated controller and a larger size to fit the Note 8's 6.3-inch screen. The Galaxy Note 8 is now available for pre-order in the US from several carriers and retailers with an expected launch date of September 15. The Unlocked Galaxy Note 8 features an MSRP of $929.
Yamaha Details R-N303 Network Hi-Fi Stereo Receiver
Yamaha has announced the latest addition to its home audio lineup. The R-N303 network Hi-Fi stereo receiver is now available for an MSRP of $350.
"The R-N303 delivers exceptionally high performance, versatility and value, reflecting the Yamaha commitment to music and to Hi-Fi enthusiasts," said Robert Goedken, general manager, AV division, Yamaha Corporation of America. "It is a practical choice for enthusiasts who want to enjoy an array of music sources from vinyl to high-resolution audio files stored on networked devices. The R-N303 also inherits the simple and sophisticated design unique to Yamaha with an elegant hairline finished front panel and the aesthetic that harmonizes beautifully with other Hi-Fi audio equipment."
The stereo receiver features a Burr-Brown 192kHz/24-bit DAC (digital-to-analog converter) and an amplifier with maximum output of 140 watts per channel into 8 ohms. Likewise, the device offers robust connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay, DLNA, and ethernet, along with support for streaming apps like Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Napster, SiriusXM Internet Radio, and TIDAL. In addition, high-resolution audio playback is also provided, including support for 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, WAV and AIFF and 2.8/5.6MHz DSD. A phono input, optical input, and coaxial input are all integrated as well, allowing users to connect a wide range of devices, including CD players and turntables. Finally, the receiver also uses Yamaha's MusicCast wireless multiroom technology.
Onkyo Announces Two New Compact Audio Systems
Onkyo has unveiled two additions to its compact audio lineup. The new collection includes the CS-N575 Network Hi-Fi CD System (MSRP $499) and CS-375 CD Receiver System (MSRP $349).
Both models feature 20 W + 20 W (6 Ohms, 1 kHz, 10%, 2-channels driven) switching amplification with Onkyo's new Optimum Audio Control DSP tuning and a front-loading CD player for audio and MP3-encoded discs. Likewise, the systems each include acoustic-suspension speakers with a 5-inch pressed pulp-fiber woofer and 1-inch soft-dome tweeter in a thick MDF baffle. Bluetooth technology, an FM tuner, a 96 kHz/24-bit-capable optical digital audio input, and RCA line-level input are integrated on both as well.
Meanwhile, the step-up CS-N575 model adds a pre-out for subwoofer connection; Hi-Res Audio playback for 192 kHz/24-bit in FLAC, WAV, ALAC, and DSD in up to 5.6 MHz resolution; and Wi-Fi connectivity for Chromecast built-in, DTS Play-Fi, and FireConnect powered by Blackfire.
Hulu Brings Live TV Support to Xbox 360
Hulu has announced the expansion of its new Hulu interface and Hulu Live TV Beta to the Xbox 360 game console. The live service previously launched on the Apple TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android mobile devices, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick
The Hulu with Live TV beta costs $40 per month and combines a live/on-demand TV service with Hulu's standard streaming collection. The platform includes access to content from ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, with local live broadcast affiliate programming immediately available in many markets; live sporting events from top pro and college leagues on channels like CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and TNT; regional sports networks in many markets; news channels like CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and MSNBC; lifestyle programming from Bravo, E!, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel; additional networks like A&E, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, HISTORY, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, USA Network, Viceland, and more.
Likewise, Live TV subscribers also get to enjoy Hulu's existing $8 premium streaming plan with limited commercials and more than 3500 TV and film titles. In addition, users can subscribe to add-on packages for HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime.
And beyond the Live TV Beta, Xbox 360 users also now have access to the standard Hulu platform's updated interface and personalization features with support for up to six profiles.