Samsung is whipping its accessory offerings into shape today with two new fitness-oriented products. The Gear Fit2 is about what you'd expect, a followup to the original Gear Fit smart sports band. The Gear IconX is something new from Samsung. It's a pair of completely wireless earbuds that include some standalone fitness tracking features. If this sounds familiar, that's because both products leaked in April. Read More
There are earbuds, and then there are earbuds. I'm not sure what I mean by that, but I do know Jaybird's X2 wireless Bluetooth earbuds are solidly in the latter category. They may cost as much as a budget phone, but they provide your ears with the kind of luxury treatment not commonly experienced by mortal man.
You're going to pay three digits for this product. The question is, how close can you get back to two? Read More
You have two options when you sign up for Project Fi. You can buy a SIM card with a new Nexus 6. Or you can just buy the SIM card and stick it in your own Nexus 6. Want to use another phone? You can, as long as you tether it to a Nexus 6. A Project Fi SIM has to go into a Nexus 6.
For the time being, that eliminates a sizable chunk of interested consumers. Project Fi is relatively cheap, but the Nexus 6 is not. The latter is also a pretty girthy device to choose as your one-size-fits-all solution. Read More
I have tried more than a dozen Bluetooth earbud form factors, but the one I absolutely love for everyday use is the Jaybird Freedom Sprint / Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 design. Two small earbuds, one wire, and all the freedom you can think of. It's less cumbersome than the dog tag design (à la Jabra Tag) and lighter to carry around than the necklace style (think Samsung's Gear Circle or LG's Tone series). And when you have something like the Freedom Sprint, you simply wrap up the small wire and put it in a pouch, pocket, or purse and you're good to go whenever you need it. Read More
Ah, the good old days, when every phone, MP3 player, Walkman, and toaster included a pair of pack-in earbuds. These days you're lucky if you get a damn power adapter (just ask the folks over at Nintendo). If you're still using the ancient headphones that came as a freebie in you Nexus One or a long-forgotten iPod, then take a gander at this Sennheiser set over on Amazon. The MM30G, complete with in-line music controls and a mic, is $50 off of the retail price for a cool $24.99.
Sennheiser is one of the better audio brands, especially if you want good sound at a reasonable price - the kind that your audiophile uncle begs you to buy instead of Beats or Monster. Read More
This is a story you've heard before - Samsung has announced another smartwatch. Not content with its current bevy of smartwatch offerings, the South Korean manufacturer has introduced the Gear S, a new Tizen-powered watch with a curved display that Samsung says "enhances the smart wearable experience."
The watch has a 2.0" SAMOLED display at a 360x480 resolution, a 300mAh battery, a dual-core processor, and a handful of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart rate monitor, barometer, and sensors for ambient light and UV. Like some of Samsung's other watches, users can also make and receive calls from the device. Read More
Wires are totally for dopes, right? You're not a dope, are you? Of course not, but a lot of Bluetooth earbuds are rather spendy. That's why the current deal on MEElec Air-Fi Metro2 is of note. These earbuds usually go for $100, but they're on sale through StackSocial for $59.99.
Kickstarter projects appear in any number of shapes and sizes. FreeWavs smart earphones come in at the small end of things. These wireless buds aim specifically at the more active people among us who are tired of cables getting tangled and holding them back, their adrenaline-pumping heavy metal music drowning out the environment around them, and having to carry around so many gadgets to monitor their fitness levels. Now the project has narrowly managed to reach its $300k Kickstarter funding goal with just a day remaining, gathering pledges from over 1,400 people.
FreeWavs are designed to sit stably in a person's ears and stream music over a Bluetooth connection. Read More
Statistically speaking, if you're using a pair of earbuds, they probably suck. And not just because you've been using the same dingy pair that you got with your iPod Nano back in 2006: even premium earbuds come with the same circular silicone pads (or maybe three or four sets if the manufacturer is feeling generous), none of which are likely to fit you perfectly. There are custom-made options, but most of them require you to visit an audiologist to make impressions, which drives up the cost of hardware that's already expensive.
Normal hopes to streamline and mass-produce that process (or something like it) by combining some really cool emerging technologies. Read More
Are there just not enough wearable options in your life? Well, LG is going to be getting into the game come May 18th. The company's previously announced Lifeband Touch and corresponding Heart Rate Earphones will be on sale at that time to augment your person.
These devices were announced back at CES 2014, but now we've got a release date. The Lifeband Touch is mostly a fitness tracker with a small OLED screen, but it can also pipe in all your notifications and do a few other tricks. It's not a full-fledged smart watch, though. The earbuds are able to track your heart rate and log that data with a smartphone or the Lifetouch. Read More