Xiaomi made a name for itself in the budget phone market, but the company has also made a big push into wearables. Xiaomi's affordable but capable Mi Band series (actually made by certified partner Huami) has always been a prime example of making great products that don’t break the bank. The latest iteration, the Mi Band 6, is a considerable step up, both in price and in functionality. The question that begs to be answered — is it still worth buying at $60?
When Apple announced MagSafe for the iPhone 12 range, I hoped someone would find a way to make it work with Android devices. MagSafe allows you to magnetically attach various accessories to the back of a compatible phone, including wireless chargers, battery packs, wallets, and car mounts. After using Mophie’s MagSafe adapter with my S21 Ultra for a few weeks, I must say I’m impressed.
When it comes to wireless earbuds, you might not care about the point to point upgrades going on with Bluetooth. After all, everything's backwards-compatible, so anything works with everything and there isn't much to worry about, right? Well, Tribit's FlyBuds C1 run with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 which offers big upgrades just for TWEs and they cost less than $100. But do these buds bring out the best of what the new tech has to offer?
If you're at all serious about online security, you're sure to have at least a passing familiarity with two-factor authentication, or 2FA. Single-use codes sent in text messages or emails are probably the most common type of 2FA, but there are more secure methods. The YubiKey 5C NFC facilitates several of those methods in a small, affordable package: at 55 bucks, it's a pretty fantastic little gadget. Honestly, everybody should have one of these things.
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.
Like an increasing number of people, I do all my work on a laptop. When I'm at home, it's generally docked at my desk, attached to a large, stationary monitor. When I take the show on the road, I find I miss the convenience of having two screens at my disposal. Less real estate to work with means more switching between tabs and windows, making for a workflow that's less productive overall.
So conceptually, I find the Vinpok Split enticing. It's a portable, 15.6-inch, 1080p touchscreen monitor that connects to your laptop over either HDMI or USB-C. I'm not the only one intrigued: the product's Indiegogo campaign, which initially set out to raise $5,000, has collected nearly $2 million since October.
You could be forgiven for thinking Google was new to wireless charging if you haven't been obsessively following its products for years. The Nexus 4, 5, and 6 all had wireless charging capabilities, and Google even released its own wireless charging pad in 2013. After ignoring wireless charging for several years, the feature is back on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Google is also selling a wireless charger again: the Pixel Stand.
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.
Wireless headphones are more important than ever as phones start (inadvisably) ditching the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack. Jaybird has been on the scene for a few years, making some of the most highly regarded wireless earbuds you can get. The Jaybird X2 are particularly popular, and have been coming down in price a lot. Earlier this year the company launched the Freedom earbuds, which didn't get such high praise.
What everyone wanted was a successor to the X2, and now we have that with the Jaybird X3. The design has been refined, it's got some cool new software features, the sound is nicer, and the launch price is more competitive.