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This week, in addition to all of them Cyber Week offers we could find we also checked some unique gadgets. Steve Dent and a licensed drone pilot toured the French countryside using the DJI Mavic 3 drone, while Terrence O’Brien played with the Animoog Z app, a sequel that was developed over a decade. Also, Cherlynn Low played around with Android 12 to test out the new Material You design.
Steve Dent / Engadget
Steve Dent spent some time with that DJI Mavic 3 and a licensed drone pilot in the French countryside to see what the new device is capable of. He reports that the Mavic 3 is not only the easiest DJI drone to fly, but the large 4/3 sensor and dual camera system also produce incredible recordings – and the range of 46 minutes is twice as long the previous model. He tested the standard model in the $ 3,000 Fly More Combo Packagecontaining three batteries, a charger, a set of ND filters and a carrying case. The Mavic 3 is also available in a Cine mode with integrated 1 TB SSD and Apple ProRes 422 HQ video support.
While the Mavic 3 was easier to maneuver thanks to its improved obstacle avoidance, it was also easy to fold the 899-gram drone to a more compact size for storage and transport. Steve says the camera and video specifications are impressive: the main camera was built in collaboration with Hasselblad and has a 24mm f / 2.8 f / 11 lens with a color profile for accurate hues. The video camera can record 5.1K with 50fps or 4K with 60fps; Steve says the larger sensor has better low light performance, more detail, and wide dynamic range. However, there are some downsides – namely the price, but also that the additional features promised by DJI (such as ActiveTrack5 and QuickShots) are not available now, but will be released in January. Overall, Steve says the Mavic 3 delivers but is best suited for professionals and prosumers.
Cherlynn Low knows that the many versions of Android make checking the core functionality a little difficult, but the upgrades to the latest version of the operating system make for a refreshing experience and greater visibility into data and privacy. This is mainly thanks to the new Material You design, which has cleaned up the user interface and enlarged the buttons and sliders, among other things. Cherlynn especially liked the privacy dashboard, which lets users know when their camera and microphone are activated and which apps they need. Android 12 also has new indicators of active camera or microphone use.
Cherlynn noticed a few things that disappointed them, namely the standard way to access the Google Assistant and the confusing charts and graphs on the battery and privacy dashboards. She was also excited to try the audio-coupled haptic feedback, but couldn’t find any apps that supported it. Overall, she said the visual updates in Material You and the advanced privacy tools made the system feel drastically different – in a good way.
Terrence O’Brien / Engadget
Terrence O’Brien looked forward to trying it out Animoog Z, the successor to Moog’s original software instrument that used wavetable synthesis. This sequel to the app has largely the same core anisotropic synth engine, made up of dozens of waveforms for you to choose from, from samples of analog saw waves to more digital sounds. However, the new version adds a third dimension to the X / Y axis of the original – a Z axis that notes can move along.
Terrence says this will give the new app a little more depth and scope to keep moving. He found that certain presets used the additional modulation path to create more complex and unique sounds. There is also a new effects section with looper, delay, filter and arpeggiator as well as MPE support. In addition, Terrence makes the redesigned look and feel of the new app more modern and easier to navigate. After testing, he declared the Animoog Z a worthy successor to the groundbreaking original. A limited version is available as a free download, with the full version available for a flat fee of $ 10.