Smartphones are boring these days. Many are just the same variation of a glass sandwich with a front completely filled by a touchscreen and a back full of cameras. But in the past, phones came in many different shapes and sizes, and brand-new form factors used to be the norm. Specialty phone manufacturer Unihertz taps into this nostalgia to bring back something that we thought was dead: a Blackberry-like slab equipped with a physical keyboard.
Planning for a vacation is the next best thing to actually going on said vacation. I love opening hundreds of tabs, reading dozens of "must-do" listicles, bookmarking fun and odd things to do, and readying a half-rigid itinerary made of scheduled activities with room for on-the-spot whims. What I don't love is that there's no way to really tie all of this research together. Chrome bookmarks, Keep notes, Gmail, and Maps lists only go so far — I always end up going back and forth between them, fighting against this fragmented approach. Then a few weeks ago, I ran across Wanderlog and let me tell you one thing: If I was to build my ideal travel planning app from scratch, it would be pretty darn close to Wanderlog.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Whether you're in a white boy summer or hot girl summer mindset, having a good quality Bluetooth speaker is a must. Sonos, as one of the biggest names in premium audio, has thrown its hat into the portable speaker ring with the Sonos Roam. This compact Bluetooth speaker brings all the great aspects of a Sonos audio system to a portable and fantastic-sounding form factor. It's close to being the ideal portable speaker, but a couple of shortcomings keep it from true greatness.
Sony makes numerous headphones and earbuds across a range of prices, but the 1000X line is its flagship family with top dogs like the WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones and the aging but still capable WF-1000XM3 earbuds. The latter were top-of-the-line when they launched almost two years ago, but newer options like the ANC-equipped Galaxy Buds Pro and AirPods Pro have overshadowed Sony's old buds. The updated WF-1000XM4 puts Sony right back in the thick of things with phenomenal noise canceling and premium features. The XM4s are without a doubt my favorite earbuds right now, but they don't come cheap at $279.99, and some of the competition is only a little worse for a lot less money.
Smartphone gimbals have progressed quite a bit over the years, first serving just as tools to keep the image steady, but eventually evolving more targeted features and designs. Zhiyun released the Smooth-Q2 in 2019, and its small size and sturdy design made it ideal for travel. Now the brand new Smooth-Q3 is out, but this time the design and features are directed toward vloggers and social networking.
Chromebooks have come a long way since the CR-48 debuted 10 years ago. You have your choice of Chrome OS hardware ranging from ultra-budget to lavishly expensive — Acer’s new Chromebook 514 lands somewhere in the middle. Paired with Intel’s 11th generation Tiger Lake CPU and ultrafast storage, the Chromebook 514 is a solid laptop for the right buyer.
Xiaomi offers a compelling flagship lineup with the Mi 11 and the Mi 11 Ultra, though its bread and butter remains the budget market. But the company can still capitalize on the excellent Mi 11 brand name to make its latest budget offerings more appealing, and that's exactly what it's doing with the Mi 11 Lite 4G, the most affordable member of the family at roughly $300.
While Xiaomi has a long history of making impressive fitness trackers, its sub-brand Redmi is relatively new to the game with just a couple of wearables on offer. Much like other products in its lineup, the new Redmi Watch also caters to the budget segment, offering a smartwatch-like design at a price that isn’t much higher than a fitness band.
If you haven't been following digital picture frames (I don't blame you), it may not be immediately obvious why they still exist — when every screen you own is connected to the internet, after all, every screen you own is a potential picture frame. But modern digital frames aren't the Sharper Image novelties you're probably imagining. The Lenovo Smart Frame, for example, is a big, 21-inch screen that connects to Google Photos to seamlessly source pictures from any of your albums, and while it's got some rough edges, this thing has become one of my favorite gadgets. I just wish it were a little more affordable.
Being clumsy and handling expensive smartphones is not a good combination for me. That's why, for the past decade or so, all of my phones have gone into cases from the moment I took them out of the box. Looking for new case designs is a bit of a side hobby for me, so when I bought my Pixel 5, I followed a hunch and got the navy Gesma TPU case. That hunch paid off big time. I really love it.