Conflicting Samsung Galaxy S9 launch date rumors explained

The successor to the Samsung Galaxy S8 is due to be revealed soon. At CES in Las Vegas, Samsung mobile division president DJ Koh confirmed that the highly anticipated Galaxy S9 would be revealed at MWC in Barcelona. And now, conflicting rumors on the exact launch date are starting to heat up.

MWC is taking place this year from February 26 to March 1, and as we expected, the S9 is confirmed to be revealed around that time. However, when it comes to the exact date, there are two conflicting rumors now floating around on the web. One of the leaks comes courtesy of the reliable Evan Blass of VentureBeat. According to his leak, February 26 will be the big day, followed by pre-orders on March 1 and a release on March 16. 

According to a C-level executive at a major casemaker, the go-to-market schedule for Galaxy S9 / S9+ is as follows:
Launch – 2/26Pre-orders – 3/1Ships/releases – 3/16
— Evan Blass (@evleaks)

The other leak says February 25 will be the launch date, and that it will be the most expensive Galaxy ever. This leak comes from the well-known Italian tipster Ricciolo.

Sorry but your leakers are WRONG… DUO are going to be annouced 25 FEBRUARY ! Prepare your money… the most EXPENSIVE GALAXY EVER… 💰✅🧙‍♂️
— Ricciolo (@Ricciolo1)

In the past, the Galaxy Unpacked events have more often taken place on Sundays rather than Mondays, and Samsung always puts on a big show just before doing the official public reveal. Assuming this pattern will hold true, Ricciolo’s leak would be the more plausible of the two since February 25 falls on a Sunday. Unfortunately, Ricciolo didn’t give any more information about the release or availability of the device, except to say that it will be the most expensive Galaxy ever, which isn’t a huge surprise. For reference, that means it will cost more than the Galaxy Note 8, which rang in at a whopping $929.
Are you excited for the Galaxy S9? What’s your assessment? Discuss it with us in the comments!

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A dark mode for YouTube’s mobile app is spotted in the wild

Last spring, YouTube rolled out a massive update to its desktop site that included a redesign, faster underlying framework, and the addition of a dark mode. Now, that dark theme may be making its way to the YouTube mobile app, as well.
The change was recently spotted by MacRumors (by way of Reddit), and is already appearing for some users of the most recent version (13.0.1) of the YouTube mobile app.
It’s not clear at this point which YouTube users have already received the dark mode option, though a number of commenters on the original Reddit posting chimed in to say that they’ve just received the new setting, too, along with the original poster.
If available, you’d find the option to turn on dark mode – called “Dark Theme” – in the YouTube app’s Settings screen, just above the Restricted Mode setting.
One Redditor claimed they were able to force the Dark Theme to appear by force-closing the app, then relaunching it. However, it could have been a coincidence that the setting appeared after they took that step – it didn’t work in our tests, we should note.
Another said they didn’t receive the option in Settings, but were rather prompted to try the dark mode via a pop up message that appeared.

Dark Theme screenshot, via Reddit user OustedHoChiMinh
While a relatively minor tweak, a dark mode has been among the top requests from YouTube users for a variety of reasons, beyond it just looking cool. When staring at a screen for long periods of time, dark mode can be easier on the eyes, for starters, and it allows users to better focus on the content itself, not the various controls and other navigational elements. Some tests have also shown dark modes to save on battery life. That’s useful, given that over half of YouTube’s views come from mobile, and users are spending more than an hour per day watching videos on mobile devices.
At the time YouTube originally launched the Dark Theme on desktop, the company wouldn’t confirm if it would port the theme to other devices, including mobile. Instead, YouTube said that it would track usage of the Dark Theme to see if the feature was widely adopted before determining if it made sense to roll out further.
Even if the Dark Theme on mobile is just a test at this time, it does at least indicate that YouTube saw enough traction on desktop to warrant trialing the option on mobile.
If YouTube were to launch a dark mode on mobile, it wouldn’t be the only app do so. Twitter also has a dark mode available, as do other apps like podcast player Overcast, Reddit client Apollo, and Twitter client Twitterific.
YouTube hasn’t yet responded to requests for comment on the appearance of Dark Theme, but we’ll update if we hear back.

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If your Wi-Fi is acting wonky, your Google Home and Chromecast could be to blame

If your internet connection has been going down, your Google Home and Chromecast devices could be to blame. The issue initially seemed to be relegated only to those who owned the Google Home Max speaker and TP-Link Archer C7 router. New issues have been reported involving other devices by both companies, and with routers from other brands, like Asus, Linksys, Netgear, and Synology.
The issue, according to TP-Link, stemmed from the line of Google Cast products. The Cast feature normally sends packets of information at regular intervals to keep a live connection with products like Google Home. However, if the device is awakened from a “sleep” mode, it will sometimes send a burst of information at once, which can overwhelm a router. The longer a Cast device has been in “sleep” mode, the more information it might send at once. According to the engineer, that could exceed over 100,000 packets, an amount that “may eventually cause some of router’s primary features to shut down — including wireless connectivity.”
The original issue with the TP-Link Archer C7 model router has been patched, but a broader fix from Google’s end has not been found. Google tells 9to5Google it is “working quickly to share a solution,” but as of now, the only recourse would be to reboot your router if you encounter this problem or disconnect your Cast device altogether if it’s not in use.
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Source: https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/16/16897426/wi-fi-google-home-chromecast-archer-router

The MLBPA might let MLB implement pace of play without a fight

It makes sense in some respects, but in other, far more troublesome senses, it makes no sense at all.
Rob Manfred wants to enact pace of play changes, and there isn’t anything that can be done to stop him from implementing some version of them. Instead of negotiating and trying to gain some kind of concession from Manfred and the owners, however, according to Ken Rosenthal, the MLBPA is considering just letting Manfred and ownership do what they want, in the hopes it backfires on MLB down the road.
The collective bargaining agreement allows Manfred to make changes to the CBA so long as he gives the Players Union a year’s notice. So, Manfred could push through pace of play whether the union wants it or not, so long as the version that is put into place is the one proposed a year ago. Rosenthal says the MLBPA might remain silent on this move for a very specific reason:

If enough players oppose the changes, they could absolve themselves of responsibility and allow Manfred to force the issue by introducing the two key elements of MLB’s plan: a 20-second pitch clock and reduction in mound visits. The onus then would be on Manfred to deal with any public fallout and unintended consequences the new rules might trigger.

It makes sense if you think of it from one specific angle: pace of play changes are destined to be universally reviled to the point ownership and MLB feels pressure to change them to compensate. If Manfred and Co. take the heat for the new rules, the MLBPA might have more leverage than they currently do, and could get something more to their liking in place a year from now.
The much larger issue, though, is that pace of play changes are unlikely to be disliked to this degree that this game of 12-dimensional chess requires. Minor League Baseball has had a pitch clock in place since 2015, and there hasn’t been any kind of mass revolt against attending MiLB games. There might be a few weeks early on where some fans are upset or confused, but like with every other major rule change in the game over the years, it’ll become the norm in no time, and the Players Union isn’t going to get this leverage they’re expecting to appear because of that.
Seriously, who out there is going to be upset about fewer mound visits to the point that MLB begins to worry about losing those fans if they don’t make changes?
The best plan here for the MLBPA is to extract whatever concession they can out of the owners in order to come up with the pace of play plan that will work best for 2018 and beyond. Giving in to ownership hasn’t exactly worked out for the Players Union for a couple of decades now, and, as Rosenthal notes, this is a “tense moment in baseball’s labor-management relations” given how free agency might no longer be the avenue for riches it’s supposed to be, despite agreeing to a CBA that supposedly emphasized free agency as the way to get paid.
The MLBPA punting here is not going to work out like they think it will, and if anything could just end up giving players another reason to be upset with Tony Clark’s conciliatory union leadership.
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Anthony Joshua laughs off glass jaw jibes by Parker team as ‘fake news’ | Sport

• Joshua hits back at Parker camp in build-up to 31 March fight
• Title holder denies being knocked down several times in sparring

Anthony Joshua pictured during the press conference with Joseph Parker ahead of their world heavyweight title clash.
Photograph: Ian Tuttle/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

Anthony Joshua laughed off jibes that he has a glass jaw as “fake news” as he met his next opponent Joseph Parker in London – and insisted that he more than proved his mettle by climbing off the canvas to defeat former champion Wladimir Klitschko last year.
Joshua’s heart, hand speed, and ability to take a punch have all been questioned by Parker’s camp in recent months, with the WBO heavyweight champion suggesting that Joshua has been knocked down several times in sparring.

However Joshua, who will be putting his WBA Super, IBF and IBO belts on the line against Parker on March 31 in Cardiff, denied it was true and said he had only been hurt three times in his career.
“There is a lot of talk about me being dropped,” he said. “But there have only been three times it’s happened. The first was the European championships, when only two weeks before I had been called back into the programme because I was banned from the GB team. I was very unfit but I got stopped, not dropped.
’The second time was with David Price, I came out of a police cell the day before and went up there to spar. Price is a puncher and that was down to a lack of experience.
“And Klitschko taught me that it will take more than a human to stop me from going where I am going. The rumours the Parker camp have heard are all fake news.”
Meanwhile a relaxed looking Parker, who is a 10-1 underdog with some bookies, insisted he could spring a massive surprise. “I have a big challenge in front of me,” he admitted at what was a largely respectful press conference. “I have watched Joshua for a long time. I know his strengths. He knows mine. I know his weaknesses. He thinks he knows mine. And I’m hoping to catch him on the chin and knock him out.”
Parker’s manager David Higgins added: “A lot of the English write Joseph off. But this is a 50-50 fight. Joseph is quicker, has a better chin and is probably mentally tougher.”

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The List: Let’s fill out my NBA All-Star ballot

NBA All-Star Game votes are in. Here is a look at how I made my 2018 starter choices.
It is NBA All-Star voting time and, once again, your LIST maker has a media vote. This is not something I take lightly. In addition to watching an unhealthy amount of basketball each night, I’ve devoured the stats and consulted with a few trusted NBA people to come up with my selections.
I’m throwing out that disclaimer because a few selections still came down to either/or propositions. Voting for all-stars is hard. Picking the reserves is going to be even more difficult, but that’s why we have coaches.
Reminder that we get two backcourt and three frontcourt picks from each conference. Traditional positions like point guard and center do not matter.
EAST BACKCOURT
Kyrie Irving: Much has been made of the fact that Irving’s numbers aren’t that much different than the ones he posted in Cleveland. He’s still the same old Irving, capable of jaw-dropping scoring bursts that leave defenders muttering expletives and shaking their heads. His defense has been a little bit better, but that’s not enough to vault him into all-star starter territory, let alone MVP talk.

The numbers may be similar, but Irving’s situation in Boston is completely different. Irving is the unquestioned leading man for the Celtics, so much so that their offense falls apart when he’s not on the court. When the game is on the line, there is no doubt Irving will be the focus of attention and his numbers in the clutch are strong. As impressive as he’s been, that kind of production was expected.

Watching Irving operate Brad Stevens’ system has been a revelation. He’s had epic scoring nights and he’s had games where he’s acted as a facilitator for his teammates in the face of double-teams. His teammates, meanwhile, have all testified to his leadership abilities. I’m still not all the way sold on Irving as a top-5 MVP candidate, but he’s earned the all-star nod.
DeMar DeRozan: I’ve always appreciated DeRozan’s throwback game. In a league of 3-and-D wings, any variance is welcome. DeRozan has worked and refined his game over the last few years to the point where it’s become notably effective. Still, it has its limits.
Meet the new DeRozan. His shooting percentages are up and his rate of three-point attempts has finally joined the current century. DeRozan has also taken on a bit more of a playmaking role and proven capable in that regard. It’s not that he changed his style as much as he’s evolved. Put it all together and this has the feel of a career year.

This pick was one of those gut calls between DeRozan and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo. I’m giving DeRozan the slight edge to honor Toronto’s regular-season success.
Others: Much as it pains me to leave the wonderful Oladipo off my ballot, it also hurts to not list Kyle Lowry among the starters. Both are deserving of all-star nods. Kemba Walker has been tremendous under difficult circumstances.
John Wall missed a few too many games to crack this starting lineup but he’s an all-star. Bradley Beal offers a compelling case. A few of these guys are going to feel justifiably snubbed. Ben Simmons is a year away. Goran Dragic has been Miami’s best player throughout the first half, but not to the level of Lowry, Walker, Wall, etc.
EAST FRONTCOURT
LeBron James: Watch him survey the floor and make precise passes. Witness his improved three-point stroke. Quake at the sight of James barreling down the paint with a head full of steam and fury. I’ve lost count of the number of career reinventions that James has undergone, but this current version is both frightening and age appropriate.

LEBRON JAMES.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs)

This is historic stuff, something we’ll tell our kids and our grandkids about once the sport is played by virtual holograms beamed into our eyeballs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: I didn’t spend a lot of time considering Antetokounmpo’s spot on my ballot. Knock on all the injury wood, this is his spot for the next decade. The only real question is where Antetokounmpo rates among the very best in the league. Top five? He’s close. Real close.

The best of The Greek Freak in today’s victory against the Wizards:
27 PTS | 20 REB | 6 AST | 2 BLK
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks)

Joel Embiid: This was the toughest call on the ballot. For a while I had Al Horford in this spot. Then I switched it to Embiid. I came really close to putting Andre Drummond here and Kevin Love has been really good. Decisions, decisions …
I’m going with Embiid. You don’t need to argue with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and a whole bunch of blocks, steals, and assists. His ability is undeniable. When he plays, the Sixers looks like a playoff team. Conversely, they’ve dropped seven of nine in the games he’s missed.
You can make a fine argument for any of the others, but let’s put this in purely unscientific terms: Who do you want to see in an NBA All-Star Game? It’s JoJo for me.
Others: Horford has been sublime. You really need to watch him every night to appreciate how many ways he impacts winning. Drummond and Love need to be in Los Angeles. I’d like to see Kristaps Porzingis there, as well, but not ahead of the other players on this list.
WEST BACKCOURT
James Harden: He was the MVP frontrunner before the hamstring injury took him out of the lineup and he might still be even with the missed games starting to accumulate. That pursuit is secondary to the Rockets’ goal of competing with the Warriors in the West, so perhaps this setback will be taken as a warning sign.

Regardless, Harden earned the spot with his play through the first 35 games of his season and he’s due back soon, possibly by the end of the week. He’s done more than enough at this juncture for a starting spot on the all-star team.
Steph Curry: I really wanted to put Jimmy Butler in this spot. If he was listed as a forward, this would be an easy problem to solve. Alas, Butler is basically a guard for the Wolves and there are only two backcourt options.
The problem for Butler is that Curry is having yet another historically great season. He’s averaging almost 28 points a game with a True Shooting Percentage of .672. That’s nuts. When Kevin Durant was out of the lineup, Curry performed like an MVP. When he and Durant are in there together, the Dubs are unstoppable.
It gave me pause that Curry has missed a dozen games, but not enough to deny him the nod. Sorry, Jimmy.
Others: Butler has to be in Los Angeles. After all the criticism of the first few months, Russell Westbrook has been tremendous. Damian Lillard has had an excellent under-the-radar campaign. All three should be in LA. I’d love to make space for Klay Thompson, as well.
Lou Williams has had an amazing season, but I don’t see how he makes it ahead of the others. Chris Paul has missed a few too many games, unfortunately. Every all-star game needs Chris Paul.
WEST FRONTCOURT
Kevin Durant: Who’s Golden State’s best player? Trick question, it doesn’t matter! So long as the Dubs avoid this man-made pratfall they should be just fine heading into the postseason. Both Durant and Curry are brilliant individual performers capable of carrying the franchise to a championship. That’s what makes them the overwhelming favorites.

No one cares about defense in the all-star game, but it’s worth noting Durant’s defense with the Warriors has been fantastic. He’s their best rim-protector and he’s taken on huge defensive assignments from James to Antetokounmpo. Anyone still taking shots at his game is just being obtuse.
Anthony Davis: DeMarcus Cousins is putting up obscene numbers, but Davis makes this team go. The Pels are 5.4 points per 100 possessions better when Davis on the floor and 7.1 worse when he’s on the bench. Boogie’s overall impact on the team’s fortunes are essentially neutral. If anything, Davis hasn’t received enough credit for making this pairing work.
Davis is putting up his own video game numbers: 26 points and 10 rebounds per night, along with improved shooting range. Take into account his impact on the team’s defense, and Davis has had the superior season.
Karl-Anthony Towns: This one could have gone a lot of ways. Between Boogie’s absurd stat line, LaMarcus Aldridge’s steady impact on the Spurs, and Draymond Green’s two-way brilliance there’s a case to be made for all of them. None are as compelling as Towns, however.
I wrote about Towns’ development at length in this space last week and won’t bother to rehash the particulars here. It’s finally all starting to fall into place for Towns and the Wolves.

Others: In addition to the aforementioned law firm of Aldridge, Cousins, and Green, I gave heavy consideration to Paul George and Nikola Jokic. Now that OKC has righted itself, George’s true value is apparent for all to see. He may be miscast as a franchise player, but as a co-star he’s perfect. Jokic may be the odd man out here, but he’s on the brink of becoming an all-star fixture.
The West frontcourt is so crowded that DeAndre Jordan and Clint Capela are basically afterthoughts. They’ve both been tremendous.

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Amazon Echo Spot Smart Clock: All You Need To Know

Paul Briden

16/01/2018 – 12:09pm

Amazon's Echo Spot alarm clock lands in the UK this month – here's what you need to know

Amazon’s announced its plans to release the Amazon Echo Spot smart clock in the UK, powered by the Amazon Alexa AI. Following success in the US, it’s landing in the UK market in late January with an RRP of £120 (or you can buy two for £200). You can pre-order it now and (in black or white) and it’ll ship on January 24.
The Amazon Echo Spot is a spherical clock with a built-in smart speaker much like Amazon’s other Echo branded devices. It features a 2.5in circular screen, which naturally shows you the time in its default mode as the clock-face, but it can also display other information too. You can customise clock-face to your tastes as well.

It also has a built-in camera. In many respects it is intended to be a smaller and more affordable version of the Amazon Echo Show; being a smaller device the speaker quality isn’t going to be quite as good, but it is cheaper and still comes fully-featured in terms of its personal assistant capabilities.
Likewise, it also has the ability to conduct video calls via the camera – you can call other Amazon Echo devices. You can also use a smartphone running the Amazon Alex app to ping music and video to the Amazon Echo Spot’s screen and speaker combination. The screen will also show you visual information on search results you conduct via voice commands, this is particularly handy if you’re searching for a product, as you can actually see an item and then buy it if you like the look of it.
The Echo Spot uses quad-mic array, compared to Amazon’s typical eight/seven mic arrangement on most of the Echo line-up, however, don’t expect this to impact its functionality in any noticable way. It also has a 3.5mm audio jack and Bluetooth capability, so you can pair it with other speakers and compatible devices.
Aside from the hardware, being loaded with Alexa means the functionality is continually evolving. Behind the scenes, just like rivals such as Google with the Google Assistant, Amazon is constantly tweaking and updating Alexa with a better user experience and more intelligence. A current focus is on better conversational features. Again, as with Google Assistant, these enhancements will come to existing devices already purchased by consumers through server-side patches and updates to the Alexa AI on Amazon’s end, so Alexa will become better without you having to do a thing.

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HTC U11 Plus review: A thing of rare beauty

There were rumours bouncing around last at the back end of last year that the HTC U11 Plus was the phone originally intended to be the Google Pixel 2 XL. Code-named ‘muskie’ it was, according to some reports, eventually replaced in Google’s plans by an LG-manufactured phone in the summer of 2017.
The result… well, you know what the result was. It was the LG-made Google Pixel 2 XL, which was, to my mind, the most disappointing flagship smartphone of 2017 with a screen that was afflicted by all sorts of problems, most notably a nasty blue tint. So how about the HTC U11 Plus? It was eventually announced late last year, I now finally have my hands on a review sample and it couldn’t be more different from the Pixel 2 XL.
READ NEXT: HTC U11 review – one of our favourite handsets of 2017
Most pertinently, none of the issues that affected the Pixel 2’s display are in evidence here. It uses a 6in Super LCD panel, which means it doesn’t benefit from the perfect black of the Google phone’s P-OLED screen, but there’s no colour shifting and colour accuracy is fine.
It isn’t the best smartphone screen I’ve seen – for ert_main_wide_image/public/2018/01/htc_u11_plus_cpu_performance.png?itok=uLs3_pHs” width=”600″ height=”374″ alt=””/>

It falls behind a couple of its rivals for native graphics performance. Because the OnePlus 5T and Huawei Mate 10 Pro both have lower resolution 1080p displays, they get much better “onscreen” results in GFXBench’s suite of GPU tests. Still, there’s very little on the Play Store that will faze the HTC U11 Plus.

However, HTC doesn’t appear to have optimised very well for video playback and the phone didn’t perform as well in our video rundown benchmark. In fact, it lasted a mere 11hrs 29mert_main_wide_image/public/2018/01/htc_u11_comparisons_3.jpg?itok=A5lyEzrP” width=”620″ height=”308″ alt=””/>

There’s a bit more of a gap when it comes to video, though, and that’s thanks to the fact that, although the HTC U11 Plus can record 4K video at 30fps you don’t get image stabilisation in that mode. It’s a shame because 4K footage shot on the HTC U11 Plus looks great – full of crisp details and vibrant colours – but if you don’t want shaky hands spoiling your clips you’d be advised to invest in a handheld gimbal.
And as for the front-facing camera, you get an 8-megapixel shooter, which is absolutely fine for selfies but oddly a downgrade in resolution on the HTC U11’s 16-megapixel effort. Given that this is a more expensive handset, that’s surprising.
HTC U11 Plus review: Verdict
It isn’t enough to dampen my enthusiasm for the HTC U11 Plus, though. This is a phone that takes the excellent HTC U11, but adds a bigger more modern-looking screen and retains many of its predecessor’s positive attributes. Battery life is good, the camera is great and performance is top notch.
The question you have to ask yourself, however, is can you get a better phone for the price? Unfortunately for HTC, the answer is yes. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro costs the same and is slimmer, even more attractive and has a better battery life, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is now £579 and, while the OnePlus 5T lacks the HTC’s dust- and water-resistant rating and its microSD storage expansion, it is the HTC’s equal in other areas – and it’s £250 cheaper.
In the end, as with most current flagship smartphones, you probably wouldn’t be disappointed with the HTC U11 Plus if you did buy one; it’s a superb smartphone. However, the simple fact is that you can do better for the money.

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Xbox One X support drifts into Forza Horizon 3 with free update

Microsoft has announced that open-world racer Forza Horizon 3 now officially supports Xbox One X.
Developed by Playground Games, Horizon 3 enables support for the 4K console with a recent free update that also adds a number of other enhancements.
Some of these include improved textures on cars, roads and terrain alongside far higher resolutions for shadows and other effects.
‘These enhancements are all about the visuals.  We know that our fans really value great image quality, so we’ve taken this opportunity to deliver that to them with this update on Xbox One X. On top of the obvious enhancement to native 4K, there are a number of other improvements we’ve made which really take advantage of the added definition 4K brings,’ explains Playground Games’ Ralph Fulton.
Related: Upcoming Xbox One Games
Loading times across Forza Horizon 3 have also received a healthy improvement making for a smoother experience overall, even for those without Xbox One X.
Forza Horizon 3 is a fantastic racer, earning a well-deserved 10/10 in our review back in 2016:
“This game gets my heart rate going like no other racer. It captures the childish glee of playing with toy cars and combines it with the adrenaline of throwing yourself around in a very expensive hunk of metal.”
Related: Best Xbox One Games
What’s been your favourite game on Xbox One X thus far? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews!

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Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH and APO-Summicron SL 90mm f/2 ASPH Lenses

Leica Camera has announced the first two editions of a new line of high-performance Summicron-SL lenses for the Leica SL-System; the APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. Both lenses seamlessly work with the SL-System’s lightning-fast autofocus and, as with all SL-Lenses, have been designed and constructed in Germany with exceptional materials for a long work life.
The APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. will be available in February.  In the second half of 2018, Leica will launchtow more lenses, the Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. and APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH.
Leica Camera Press Release
Leica Camera Unveils New Prime Lenses for the Leica SL-System
The new APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH and APO-Summicron SL 90mm f/2 ASPH lenses embody superior performance and the finest engineering in compact designs
January 15, 2018 – Today, Leica Camera announces the first two editions of a new line of high-performance Summicron-SL lenses for the Leica SL-System; the APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. that will be available in February for photographers across the country. Both lenses seamlessly work with the SL-System’s lightning-fast autofocus and, as with all SL-Lenses, have been designed and constructed in Germany with exceptional materials for a long work life, even withstanding the rigors of professional use while always providing superior image quality.
The focal lengths of these two SL-Lenses are ideal for all types of photography, and truly shine when used for portraiture. While the APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH., for example, captures exceptional natural portraits, the APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. is a classic telephoto focal length for portraits with the often sought-after compression between the subject and background, ultimately creating the ideal aesthetic for exquisite pictures of people. Another great feature of these new lenses is their fast and silent autofocusing, meaning the photographer does not have to wait to take the perfect shot to quickly capture their subject’s best look, even for a moment.
Both the construction and design of the new, cutting-edge Summicron-SL line represent the continuing innovation in the development of lenses for the Leica SL-System. State-of-the-art, extremely precise manufacturing methods and measuring technologies were developed specifically for the production of these lenses. The results of these developments are reflected not only in the more compact dimensions and considerably lower weight of the lenses, allowing for greater portability, but also in their excellent imaging performance.  As the Leica SL-System continues to evolve with new capabilities and lens options, the addition of these two primes further round out the Leica SL native lens selection, which now encompasses two zoom lenses and three prime lenses. Current Leica SL customers continue to receive new lens options at their disposal that can bolster their current capabilities, and new users have more selection than ever before.
Additionally, these lenses feature a new, faster autofocus system, as well as a considerably shorter close focusing limit for tight portraits of their subjects. The autofocus drive of all Summicron-SL lenses employs extremely powerful and robust stepping motors with DSD® (Dual Syncro Drive™). Thanks to this advanced focusing drive, the entire focusing range can be fully travelled in only around 250 milliseconds, providing photographers the confidence that they will always be able to instantaneously capture their subjects in crystal-clear sharp focus. 
As both Summicron-SL primes deliver extremely high imaging performance at their largest f/2 aperture, the lenses are also ideal for photography in low-light or difficult lighting conditions. The Leica promise of ‘maximum aperture is a usable aperture’ also applies to the new SL-Lenses. Users can rest assured that their lens is capable of creating a tack-sharp photograph in any situation.   Meticulous attention was paid to the prevention of stray light and reflections in the construction of the APO-Summicron-SL lenses. Together with optimizing the optical and mechanical design, the application of high-quality coatings to each lens surface reduces unavoidable reflections to an absolute minimum. Thus, photographers get a lens that always creates images with beautifully strong contrast, where other lenses may suffer from distracting flares and ghosting effects that detract from the photo.
All glass elements in any optical imaging system, including camera lenses, can sometimes refract certain colors of light at different lengths. Thus, not all rays of light from a multi-colored subject are always focused at the same point – the result of this imperfection is chromatic aberration, also known as color fringing. In order to reduce chromatic aberration to a hardly perceptible minimum, both new Summicron-SL lenses are Apochromatic, or in short, APO, corrected, allowing photographers to capture photos in high contrast situations without a distracting purple or green outline along backlit subjects. Further supporting this optical achievement, most of the eleven elements of the optical system, one of which is aspherical, feature anomalous partial dispersion and are manufactured from sensitive and specially formulated, high-quality glass. Without all of these state-of-the-art lens corrections, images could suffer from fringing, flares, ghosting or distortion. These incredibly well-corrected glass optics are what make a Leica lens special and so crystal clear.
The APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. will be available in February. Both can be purchased at Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers. In the second half of 2018, the SL-System will even further increase its prime lens arsenal with the launch of a Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. and APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH.

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