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review

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The newest, fastest "app class" microSD cards are still not very good for apps

There are plenty of reasons to pick up a microSD card, should your phone support one. It can be a lot cheaper to get a phone with less storage and plan to add more. Media maniacs and data hoarders can also make use of the super cheap extra space. But if you think SanDisk's new A1 and A2-rated microSD cards are going to provide anywhere near the experience of your phone's built-in storage, think again.

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Moshi's combo USB-C audio & power dongle is a must-buy for charging while listening — especially in the car

I will never change my opinion when it comes to the headphone jack: Taking it away was a terrible, consumer-unfriendly decision. Thanks to Google, Essential, OnePlus, and other OEMs, that means I have to work a bit harder to accommodate new devices into my firmly, happily tangled life, and one of the most annoying sacrifices up until now was using my phone in the car. The standalone Android Auto app actually works great just on your phone's screen, but having to choose between charging and audio was a major bummer.

Thanks to Moshi's power/3.5mm splitter dongle, that's not an issue for me anymore.

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Harman Kardon Citation One review: The high-end Google Home you’ve been waiting for

In the Samsung-owned Harman audio empire, consisting of JBL, AKG, and others, Harman Kardon is the original brand and it still has a fairly decent reputation for making products with relative audiophile appeal. The group is no stranger to Google Assistant-equipped devices, but the Citation/Enchant range of speakers, subs, towers, and soundbars really caught our attention when it was announced last summer. This could be the versatile Sonos competitor we've been waiting for.

The range went on sale last month, and I've been able to test the cheapest speaker in the lineup, the Citation One. At $200, it's competing with the Sonos One (I wonder where it got the name from), as well as other Assistant speakers from Sony, LG, JBL, and many more.

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Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 review: A must-have for anyone who plugs things in

Odds are you didn't buy your phone or laptop because of the charger that it came with. They're an incidental feature compared to the gadget itself — some reviews don't even mention them — but you definitely need one. If that dependency drives you to buy another USB Type-C PD-compliant wall-wart, Anker's new PowerPort Atom PD 1 is among the best 30W chargers you can get. It's tiny, powerful enough to drive some laptops, and pretty cheap at a mere $30.

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Honor View20 review: Flagship performance and photography for a more palatable price

Since Samsung unveiled the Infinity-O display, anticipation has been building for notchless phones with what's become known as the hole-punch camera cutout. The View20, from Huawei sub-brand Honor, was unveiled in Paris today for the European market after debuting in Hong Kong at the end of 2018. From a purely aesthetic point of view, it's certainly refreshing. The 4.5mm camera hole might not be quite as inconspicuous as Honor's marketing materials would have us believe, but it's got to be better than a notch, right?

The other major selling point of the View20 is that it's the first phone to ship with a 48MP camera sensor — the Sony IMX586 CMOS — with tiny 0.8 μm pixels.

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Review: Sony's $350 WH-1000XM3 headphones live up to the hype

In today's $350 wireless, ANC-equipped over-ear headphones space, there are two primary competitors: Bose's QuietComfort 35 II and Sony's WH-1000XM3. Bose has long been championed as the king of the segment by many, but it seems impossible to talk about the QC35 II these days without someone butting in about how the identically-priced 1000XM3 is superior. After some time with the 1000XM3, I understand why everyone has been talking about it.

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Philips Hue Play review: Impressive media-syncing light bars, but with room for improvement

As well as offering simple light bulbs and accessories for your home, Philips has been pushing its Hue lights for entertainment purposes more and more. The Zigbee-toting Hue lights can now be used as accent lighting for music, film, and even gaming, which may seem gimmicky or cool, depending on your outlook. I would say it’s a bit of both, or at least that’s how I view the latest addition to the lineup, the Hue Play.

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Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless review: Top of the class

German company Sennheiser has a sterling reputation for creating high-quality audio products, so I was understandably enthused when I learned they were making a pair of true wireless earbuds. These products have improved a great deal since they first burst onto the scene, but they still tend to lag behind wired equivalents in terms of sound and can’t compete with bulkier Bluetooth sets in battery life.

Since Sennheiser is pretty late to the true wireless game, you would hope its engineers have taken their time to craft something superior to the many rival products already on the market. As it turns out, that’s not far from the truth.

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Google Play Store is rolling out new darker colors, question cards in reviews, and testing a few more changes

The Google Play Store has been undergoing a major redesign over the past months. We've seen it (slooooowly) don a whiter color in many of its pages and spotted a new UI for reviews, but several screens remained untouched. That's changing now, as new darker accent colors are rolling out for each section, question cards are popping up when you leave a review, and a few other modifications are being tested.

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Xiaomi Mi 8 and Mi 8 Pro review: Putting OnePlus on notice

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is a jack of all trades. It makes a variety of connected gadgets, including TVs, toothbrushes, scooters, and even kettles. Yet, we know it mostly as a smartphone maker, and it’s now the fourth-largest in the world. It’s reached those lofty heights thanks to a simple promise: quality hardware at rock-bottom prices, and its flagship Mi 8 lineup is a prime example of that.

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