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Reviews

6

Roborock S6 robotic vacuum review: Super-fine controls for cleaning your smart home

Robotic vacuums used to be a luxury product, but they've trickled down into the mainstream. For lots of folks, the math just works out: It costs less than the value in saved time, and those extra moments can be spent more productively. So if you want a high-end model with more granular controls, room mapping and detection, and Assistant integration, then the Roborock S6 might be a good choice. That is, if you can stomach the $650 price tag and a few noteworthy drawbacks.

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19

LG Tone Free review: Clearly designed by and for people without ears

True wireless earbuds used to be a luxury, and one that came with a hefty price tag. That's no longer the case with uncountable no-name companies selling mediocre true wireless earbuds on Amazon. The best audio experiences cost more, but that doesn't mean every expensive set of true wireless earbuds are worth it. Sony's $230 WF-1000XM3 earbuds are definitely worth the price, but I can't say the same for the new LG Tone Free earbuds. At $200, I would expect excellent sound quality, design, and features. These earbuds check precisely zero of those boxes.

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32

Huawei's FreeBuds 3 are a solid alternative to Apple’s AirPods Pro

By most estimates, Apple’s AirPods business alone is worth about $8 billion. Let that sink in for a minute. No wonder everyone’s getting into the true wireless earbuds game — from Samsung to Google to Microsoft to Amazon. And of course, Huawei joined the party a while ago. Its third generation FreeBuds 3, while beating the AirPods Pro to market (IFA 2019), compete directly with Apple’s latest offering.

I‘ve been using Huawei’s FreeBuds 3 on and off for a couple months now, but also enjoyed a brief stint with Apple’s AirPods Pro, so here’s what you need to know.

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64

Google Pixel 4 / Pixel 4 XL case roundup: Reviews of the best (and worst) cases out there (Updated)

Times have changed since the era of the $349 Nexus 5 and $499 Nexus 6P; instead, practically every flagship smartphone nowadays, Google's included, costs at least $800. The $800 Pixel 4 and the $900 Pixel 4 XL feel pretty great in the hand caseless, but if you don't want to risk damaging your shiny new gadget, a case is a must. A screen protector would be good to have, too.

This roundup will feature a wide variety of cases (and some screen protectors). Each review will contain the pros and cons, a few paragraphs on the experience, and a verdict. We will continually update the list as more cases come in.

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32

Moto 360 (2019) review: The direct-to-DVD sequel of smartwatches

The original Moto 360 was the first mainstream smartwatch with a round screen (ignoring the 'flat tire' at the bottom), which meant that despite its terrible internal hardware, it was definitely unique among a sea of ugly square smartwatches. Motorola followed it up with a sequel in 2015, and then in 2016, the company said it was done making wearables.

The new Moto 360 is almost entirely disconnected from its predecessor (it's manufactured by eBuyNow, not Motorola) and lacks the technological and design innovation that made the original watch so special. Much like a direct-to-video Disney sequel, there's not much to complain about, but there's also nothing unique or interesting to speak of.

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13

TicPods 2 Pro review: Good sound, but a fit that's not for everyone

When the TicPods Free came out in 2018, they were one of my favorite true wireless sets, especially given the relatively low price of $130. Cheaper models were few and far between at that point, and you’d have to pay significantly more to get anything that sounded truly excellent. The market has been flooded with half-decent affordable options in the time since then, however, and the original TicPods didn’t stand up to the test of time all that well.

I've been looking forward to an update, and now the TicPods 2 and TicPods 2 Pro are upon us, the latter of which I’ve been reviewing over the past week or so.

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12

Realme X2 Pro review: Incredible value, but plenty of room for camera improvements

Realme might be the newest and least well known of the BBK Electronics family that includes Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus, but it’s certainly no less ambitious. After starting out as an Oppo sub-brand it was given license to operate more independently in 2017, and since then Realme has sold so many devices that it’s now the fastest-growing smartphone maker in the world. Its foray into the European market only really began in earnest this year, but aggressive pricing looks to be to paying dividends as it goes after more established Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi and Honor/Huawei.

The X2 Pro is the company’s first proper flagship, and it quickly grabbed our attention when it was introduced to the European market in October due to the insane spec to price ratio.

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24

Power Support Claw review: If you've got a Stadia controller, you might as well

Google bills Stadia as "one place for all the ways we play" — meaning on TV, desktop, and mobile. But considering Stadia's games aren't controllable by touch, playing on a phone can get awkward. Enter the Claw: a made-for-Google phone cradle custom fit to the Stadia controller. It's not great, but outside of Stadia's inherent drawbacks, it does facilitate phone play, and for $15, you might as well pick one up.

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21

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro review: For the few who prioritize mobile gaming over all else

In spite of the fact that smartphones just don't make for great gaming platforms, there's no shortage of gaming-centric phones on the market. Xiaomi's Black Shark 2 Pro is the latest one to hit the market, going toe-to-toe with offerings from ASUS, Razer, and ZTE. The Black Shark 2 Pro certainly looks the part, and at $599 in the US, it offers some great specs for the money. That said, unless you champion the Android video game experience over all else, you're probably better off looking elsewhere.

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46

Fossil Hybrid HR review: Not quite the next Pebble, but a good start (Updated)

Fossil announced its new line of hybrid smartwatches earlier this month, after weeks of rumors. While the company has made hybrid wearables before, the e-paper screen makes this iteration much closer to what you might get from a full-blown smartwatch.

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