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Reviews

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Ricoh Theta V review: The DSLR of 360-degree cameras

There is no shortage of portable 360-degree cameras. The most well-known in our circles is Samsung's Gear 360, but that only works with Samsung phones and iOS. Insta360's 'ONE' and 'Nano' cameras are also popular, though the latter only works with select iPhone models.

If price is no object, one of the leading devices in this category has been Ricoh's Theta V camera. It's tiny, but it packs a 4K sensor and the ability to record surround-sound audio (with a separate module). The camera's functionality can be extended by a variety of plug-ins, like one for streaming to YouTube or uploading media to Google Photos.

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Jaybird X4 review: Great earbuds without much new to offer

A confession: I gave up on my previous pair of Bluetooth earbuds, Jaybird's own X2, after about a year. It wasn't their fault; they sounded good, they were comfortable, and the battery lasted long enough. But keeping the things charged (with microUSB, no less — yuck) and juggling connections became a chore. I gave them away and cozied up to a pair of no-name wired buds. Once I got a Pixel 2, I was living the dongle life.

After spending a week with the Jaybird X4, though, I'm reminded of what I was missing. By virtue of being wireless, they're miles ahead of any wired earbuds for exercising — they don't catch on gym equipment and pop out.

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JBL Link View review: Great sound from JBL, but Smart Displays still have a long way to go

Smart displays aren't for everyone. They're not exactly tablets, but they look like ones and are both less and more useful, depending on how you look at them. With far superior sound and always listening mics, they act as a smart speaker for your home; but without real apps or a fully functional browser, you hit some roadblocks while using them and wish they could do just a little bit more.

Over the past few months, every time I've read someone compare Smart Displays to crippled tablets, I've had the same reply: I want one because it would work for me.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch review: A competent smartwatch you probably shouldn't buy right now

Samsung was among the first large tech companies to launch a smartwatch, and it ran Android before Android Wear existed. Samsung's interest in Android-powered wearables had waned since then. Now, it's all about Tizen despite recent rumors to the contrary. The Galaxy Watch drops the "Gear" branding, but it keeps Tizen. It looks like a real watch, like all of Samsung's recent models. Samsung is really embracing the watch aesthetic this time around, going so far as to make the device tick when you look at the watch face.

In the end, it's still not a real watch—you have to charge it every few days, and it's a bit bulky compared to a mechanical watch.

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Channel Master Stream+ Android TV DVR review: So much wasted potential

Some people are cord cutters — fed up with cable bills that seem to rise every month, hardware rental fees, and the unshakable sense that they aren't getting a ton of value for their entertainment buck. The just-under $150 Channel Master Stream+ and its ability to both stream online content and record free over-the-air broadcasts promises to keep them happy in a cable-free world. Does it deliver?

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BEAM review: Strap a funny GIF on your jacket for $85

A lot of the stuff we review here at Android Police has genuine utility behind it. Things like phones, Chromebooks, and wearables can enhance your life and your productivity. The BEAM will do none of those things, but it will let you stick a funny meme on your chest for $85, and I call that a win.

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Tribit X-Boom review: An incredible-sounding Bluetooth speaker for the money

I'll be honest - when we were first contacted about checking the new Tribit X-Boom out, I wasn't expecting much from it. I had never heard of the company, and the design looked a little cartoonish. On top of all that, the $69.99 price tag was much lower than competing models from companies like UE and JBL. But after using it, I've learned that the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" is quite appropriate here.

Don't get me wrong; the X-Boom isn't perfect. I still think that the design is a bit odd, and it's pretty barren in terms of features.

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Earin M–2 review: Great sounding low-latency earbuds, but not without a few compromises

Swedish company Earin was one of the frontrunners in developing true wireless earbuds, releasing the M–1 back in 2015. That first generation product had its fair share of issues, ranging from unreliable Bluetooth connectivity to unsatisfactory battery life. The startup that was recently acquired by Will.i.am brand i.am+ is now back with a follow-up it hopes will rectify some of those complaints.

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Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 and 810 review: Active noise cancelation at more affordable prices

Along with the three BackBeat Fit models that I reviewed a few days ago, Plantronics announced on Monday two new Go headsets: the in-ear Go 410 and the over-ear Go 810. The governing idea behind the two units is to bring wireless noise cancelation to the masses at a more affordable price. The company says it conducted studies with users and came away with the conclusion that 28% are looking for noise cancelation in their headsets, but 65% of them won't pay more than $150 for that. That seems about right, as I don't imagine many users have the spare cash to pay $300 or more for a pair of earbuds or headphones.

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CTL NL7TW-360 review: A decent Chromebook for clumsy students

CTL is virtually unknown in the consumer market, but the company has been manufacturing computers for schools and government facilities since 1989. It now mainly focuses on Chrome OS devices, like the Chromebox we previously reviewed.

The 'NL7TW-360' (excellent name, I know) is CTL's latest education-focused Chromebook. It has an 11.6-inch touch screen with Wacom stylus support, a durable 2-in-1 design, a water-resistant keyboard, and plenty of ports.

There is no shortage of durable Chromebooks designed for classrooms, like the Lenovo N22, Asus C213SA, and Acer 11 N7. CTL's newest entry is definitely a decent product with a competitive price, but it only makes sense if you absolutely need a tough Chromebook.

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