Google has announced a new streaming dongle, and it comes with perhaps the best evidence yet that time is cyclical: the new Chromecast runs "Google TV." No, not that Google TV—a new thing that's based on Android but designed for TVs. No, not that Android TV. I know, it's confusing. What's not confusing is that the dongle is essentially a better version of the Chromecast Ultra. It streams 4K video, has a remote, and there are some new features in Google TV. Granted, the new Google TV isn't perfect, but at $50, it's hard to complain.
The first pair of standalone earbuds I bought was the Sennheiser CX 400-II. It was 2009 and at the time, it seemed preposterous to spend money on an accessory that was bundled for free with every phone or iPod. But I'd heard Sennheiser's audio quality was worth the splurge and I wanted to see for myself. I was not disappointed. For years, the CX 400-II were my buds of choice thanks to their superb comfort and even more superb sound.
Sennheiser is now reviving that same brand with the CX 400BT, a pair of true wireless buds for 2020 with the same distinctive attribute of 2009: awesome sound quality.
The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is a clock radio. A glorified clock radio. A more sensible, smart clock radio. But a clock radio nonetheless. It tells the time and weather and it's a Google Assistant speaker to boot. I'll even go out to say that it's a well-made, well-intentioned product. But is it one you'd want to bring home? That depends on what you want out of your Assistant devices, but I like the Smart Clock Essential.
Google's first Assistant speaker, Google Home, turns four this year. The company says that device was designed primarily as a means to access the Google Assistant, and music playback was secondary. But the de facto second generation, the new Nest Audio, was purpose-built as a media device — and boy, does it ever show.
Phones have gotten boring in the last few years, but things are getting weird again, and thank goodness. I have been doing this long enough to remember the last time phones got weird—I've reviewed phones with spring-loaded keyboards, tablet docks, curved bodies, and all manner of multi-screen configurations. After settling on the flat glass slab form factor, OEMs are finally starting to take more risks. No phone better exemplifies this trend than the LG Wing. While LG has been pushing dual-screen accessories for a while, the Wing is the first modern LG phone that integrates a second screen in the handset.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Your Pixel 5 just arrived, clean, pristine, and unapologetically slippery with that speckled bio resin coating. It’s worth protecting, isn’t it? If you’re thinking about wrapping your new Google phone in a fancy case, we’ve rounded up five of the most compelling options on the market.
Samsung released the Galaxy Watch in 2018, a sequel to the earlier Gear S3, for everyone who wanted a smartwatch resembling a traditional timepiece. It was followed up by the sporty Watch Active and Watch Active2, but some fans were left disappointing by the more modern design. At long last, the Galaxy Watch3 is here — no, you didn't miss anything, Samsung skipped #2.
The Galaxy Watch3 is the best smartwatch Samsung has made yet, and as a result, it's probably the best smartwatch you can pair with an Android phone. However, the $400 starting price is laughable, considering the smallest Watch Active2 costs $230 right now, and many of the unique health features don't work in the United States.
Insta360 has made a name for itself in the enthusiast 360 camera market thanks to a line of consistently excellent products that culminated in the One X in 2018, possibly the most lauded 360 cam of its time. The company came back in 2020 with a more ambitious project: a modular cam that can transform from an action shooter to a 360 cam — and other potential form factors — in a snap.
But in aiming to do everything and in trying to copy the GoPro so much, the company has introduced a long list of compromises that didn't plague its previous offerings.
In the era before modern smartwatches, Fitbit's name became synonymous with wearable fitness trackers. Full-fledged smartwatches have become the norm as consumers have demanded more and more from wearables, and Fitbit stepped in with the Ionic and Versa smartwatches a few years ago. I had high hopes that Fitbit would continue to improve and provide Android users a viable alternative to the increasingly frustrating Wear OS experience, but the Sense has some of the same shortcomings and bugs I remember from the Ionic. The Sense also has its own raft of new glitches that I find equally annoying. At the same time, Fitbit promises this watch can do so many things!