Android P is the latest iteration of Google’s mobile operating system, and it’s been available to test as a Developer Preview on the company’s Pixel phones for about a month now. I flashed the preview on my Pixel 2 XL a few weeks ago and have been using the phone as my daily driver since.
Overall, this is easily the most polished day-one build Google has released. I’m not having any battery drain issues, annoying app crashes, or random reboots. The P preview is, dare I say, very usable.
Still, flashing an early preview to your personal phone generally isn’t advisable. Read More
Taking a step away from fitness-oriented audio, I have recently spent some time with Phiaton's BT 150 NC noise canceling earphones. This is aimed at traveling professionals who want to have great noise canceling without breaking the bank. Phiaton manages that with the $150 BT 150 NC, all while providing very good sound quality and comfort. Read More
Bluetooth audio products take many forms at several price points, offering us the consumers multiple options to meet our respective needs. While some can go for the top-dollar, high-end items from Bose, others may need something under $100 or even $50. Affordable audio is potentially lucrative, especially when a customer can go find them at his or her nearest Walmart. Growing up, the only name of true note I knew in this particular market was Skullcandy, an edgy company set on providing decent-ish headphones and earphones that looked nice/cool, but didn't cost a whole ton. Read More
I've never been a fan of buying expensive laptops, even once I could actually afford them. Just like with smartphones, there's a certain point where the added features can't justify the $1,000+ prices, unless you are doing heavy productivity or gaming. My first laptop was the ASUS Eee PC 1001PXD netbook, which I was pretty happy with at the time (now the 1024x600 screen sounds atrocious), but the casing eventually started to crack apart. I later switched to the original Dell Chromebook 13, but the limitations of the browser-only environment were too much to bear, so I bought a Surface Pro 2. Read More
The cameras on smartphones are getting ridiculously good --- good to the point that most households don't even own standalone cameras anymore. But given the dimensions that phone cameras are restricted to, they're not as flexible as something like a mirrorless or DSLR with interchangeable lenses. That's where Moment comes in. The company offers a small collection of lenses that can be individually purchased and attached to its Photo Cases, which are available for a variety of phones.
Of course, this isn't the first time that someone has come up with the idea of attaching lenses to phones. There are loads of cheap solutions on Amazon, though none are as high-quality and cohesive. Read More
Fitbit has become a household name in fitness tracking, and it's not shy about its desire to get into smarter wearables. It acquired bits of Pebble's carcass a while back and then launched the Fitbit Ionic. That first smartwatch was somewhat lacking in features, and it didn't offer enough to justify the $300 asking price. Now, Fitbit is back with a cheaper smartwatch sporting almost as many features and a less "retro-future" design. In fact, the Versa looks quite a lot like another famous smartwatch. Read More
Logitech has been making webcams for many years, and a while back it turned its attention to the burgeoning home security market with the Logitech Circle camera. I thought that device was a surprisingly good value that competed well with established players like Netgear and Nest. There's a second generation camera now, and it improves on that first camera in almost every way. If you don't mind a few minor foibles, this could be the right camera to keep an eye on your humble abode. Read More
Over the last year, we've seen a tangible shift in Android Wear's — now Wear OS — direction. Previously geared toward the demanding techie crowd that was tough to win over, Google's smartwatch platform found a sort of reprieve in more niche markets. We've seen Wear watches made for extreme sports, outdoors, running, and a slew of fashion-forward models from recognized brands like Michael Kors, Diesel, GUESS, Fossil, Kate Spade, Emporio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, and more. The latter all come from the Fossil group, a company that I think should be credited for Wear's second lease of life — and likely its rebrand to Wear OS to attract iPhone users. Read More
When you travel, you get a good idea of the stuff it takes to keep your lifestyle going. It's one thing to be surrounded by all the things you need at home, but it's another to selectively pack them into a limited space with the expectation of maintaining the same standards. For me, the limiting factor has always been power: charging all my stuff means toting a pile of cables and bricks around. In fact, that's one of the biggest advantages of the growing ubiquity of USB-C and the PD spec.
So when I saw Satechi's 75W Travel Charger, with one USB-C PD and three USB-A ports, I knew I was interested, and it didn't disappoint. Read More
The thought of having a personal assistant right in your ears is an exciting prospect, which is why many of us were so hopeful for the Pixel Buds and even Bose's QC 35 II. Ahead of both of those, however, was the OnVocal OV, a pair of neckbuds that came equipped with Alexa. If you're tied into the Amazon ecosystem, then this would be quite appealing. Read More