Last year when Synology revealed its new LiveCam app, we knew we had to check it out. The potential convenience of turning an old phone into a remote, battery-augmented security camera was appealing, especially considering the existing power and flexibility of the company's Surveillance Station security camera management system. After months of testing, though, LiveCam makes a better stop-gap than a solution. Read More
There are an incredible number of choices when it comes to smaller capacity batteries, but the selection of big, camping-sized units thins out substantially especially if you want comparatively modern amenities like Type-C charging and output. Anker's new Powerhouse 200 fills a slightly smaller niche than its older Powerhouse 120,000, together with the addition of a more modern connector, but its $350 asking price is too much given the compatibility issues and feature set. Read More
Anker has been producing portable projectors since 2017, when it released the first Nebula Mars. Since then, it has made a sequel to the Mars, and a smaller Nebula Capsule the size of a soda can. While the hardware and build quality were excellent on all of them, the heavily-modified Android software always left a lot to be desired.
Anker's newest model, the Nebula Capsule II, is significant because it's the first portable projector to run full-blown Android TV. No more struggling with a remote to navigate Android apps intended for phones — you get a real TV interface with real TV apps. Read More
Over the last six months or so, Honor has undertaken a rebranding exercise in part to give the impression of a more modern smartphone maker that appeals to a youthful audience and in part to distance itself from parent company Huawei. In view of recent political developments, it’s obviously hugely beneficial for Huawei to have a sub-brand that carries a different name and cachet, although they come as a package as far as Google is concerned and that looks like it could spell trouble for both.
Let's assume, for a moment, that it will all get sorted out (otherwise this review will have been a massive waste of time). Read More
We've covered various connected home security systems from the likes of Nest and Ring, but these systems can cost hundreds of dollars. That's just for a starter kit, too. You might get north of a grand before all your doors and windows are linked up. Enter Wyze, which has made a name selling ultra-cheap security cameras. The new Wyze Sense system costs a mere $20, and pairs with your existing Wyze cameras.
It would be unreasonable to expect the same performance from Wyze Sense that you'd get from something like Nest Secure, and indeed, it's not that powerful. However, you do get a surprising amount of functionality for chump change. Read More
The Pixel 3a, Google’s new entry-level smartphone starts at an attractive $399, and comes in only two configurations: regular and extra large. The 3a XL is the phone I’ve been using for over a week now, and it costs a bit more, at $479. But that seems eminently reasonable for the larger 6” screen and 3700mAh battery the extra $80 net you. Otherwise, there really aren’t any noteworthy differences: both phones have 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM (yes, yes, I know), Snapdragon 670 processors, and identical cameras. And no doubt, many people’s first question with a cheaper version of any phone will be “what am I giving up?” To be sure, that’s important - and you can find the answers over here. Read More
Wireless chargers are defined by their simplicity; just set your phone down and bam, it's charging. With five charging coils to provide more usable surface area than most others, Choetech's Dual Wireless charging pad is particularly easy to use, even by Qi standards — and it's one of my favorite charging accessories in a long time. Read More
For a few years, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 has been one of the best Chrome OS devices around. Its MacBook-like design, great keyboard, Android app support (though that came a few months after release), good screen, and sub-$500 price point made it a great computer for many. I should know — it was my main laptop for over a year.
The C302 has been due for an upgrade for some time, and Asus has finally given it a sucessor. The Chromebook Flip C434 is Asus' new flagship Chromebook, with an updated design and a larger screen. It's also more expensive; while the C302 started at $500 for a Core M3 CPU and 4GB RAM (and now goes for ~$470), the entry-level C434 with an m3 CPU and 4GB RAM is $569.99. Read More
Premium Chromebooks are a niche product category; most Chromebooks in any price range can do pretty much all the same things. The difference comes in how well a particular device handles those tasks — and while HP's Chromebook x360 14 G1 is unlikely to convert anyone already against high-end Chrome OS devices on principle, it's an extremely competent laptop that's worth a look for anybody interested in a quality Chrome machine. Read More
At the start of this year, Google announced it was working on Assistant devices for your car. The idea is to bring the same convenience of an always-listening smart speaker into your vehicle of choice, without requiring an expensive Android Auto head unit. The first product in this category is the Anker Roav Bolt, a small device that plugs into a car charging port.
I was very excited to try out the Roav Bolt, after years of dealing with annoying adapters and Bluetooth receivers in my Android Auto-less car. I've always had issues with my phone hearing voice commands while I'm driving, even when using a vent mount. Read More