Microsoft released its first Android phone back in 2020, the Surface Duo. It's the only modern Android device with two side-by-side displays (not counting the add-on cases for various LG phone), and even though it's still a questionable buy at its new $999 retail price, Microsoft plans to sell it in more regions this year, starting with Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany on February 18.
Bose and Sony headphones get most of the attention when it comes to active noise cancelation. Still, there are other contenders worth considering, especially if price is part of your buying criteria. The Surface headphones are a good alternative, but their MSRP was too similar to the leaders in the category for them to compete fiercely. Nevertheless, Microsoft's product is now down to just $200, which is about $50 off compared to the price it's been selling for lately. This makes it particularly relevant, especially if you're stranded at home, given the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Microsoft held a major event in New York today, during which it introduced a bunch of new Surface devices, including a laptop, tablets, and even a Galaxy Fold competitor. The company also unveiled its new Surface Earbuds, which are its take at true-wireless earphones. Even though they're a bit late to the game, their Office integration sets them apart from the competition.
As Samsung and Huawei attempt to re-engineer their foldable phones so that they don't break so easily once they limp to market, we're left with smartphones with tack-on screens, laptops, and convertible or so-called 2-in-1 tablets. Microsoft seems to have mastered the folding aspect of its hardware with its Surface lineup of PCs, but it may be stretching to produce a new "foldable" tablet that will run, of all things, Android apps.
The Bose QC35 II headphones get all the attention when it comes to being the best active noise canceling product on the market, but there are other contenders worth considering, especially when the price is part of your buying criteria. The Surface headphones are a good alternative, but their MSRP was too similar to the QC35 for them to fiercely compete, as both were worth about $350. Nevertheless, Microsoft's product is receiving a $100 price cut, which makes them a very interesting competitor to the most popular ANC headphones around
After its update to 5.0 on iOS about a week ago, Pocket has been upgraded for Android as well. I'm a long-time user of Pocket, and while my use case is probably different from the typical user's (there are probably only about 10 items in my list at any given time), it's clear to me that Pocket is always trying to find new ways to make simple save-and-read functionality better and more convenient. To that end, Pocket's new update offers users a new "Highlights" selection, which will pull and organize the best stories from your list, placing them in categories like "quick reads," or sorting by source, trending status, or subject matter (like "#photography").
For the last few weeks, I’ve had the fortuitous opportunity to spend some time with the Microsoft Surface RT. I have a few thoughts I’d like to share about that experience.
Productivity (Office vs. Drive)
Drive / document editing and creation at large on Android sucks. Office on the Surface RT blows it away. Not even close. Office RT still has its quirks, but Microsoft continues to show that it dominates the spreadsheet and document ecosystem for a reason: it’s had nearly 30 years of experience perfecting it. Google Docs is a middling product whose only real strength is real-time collaboration / sharing.
I want to ask everyone a question - well, everyone who owns an Android tablet, that is - how often do you instinctively reach for it, as opposed to your phone or laptop? I don't care what the reason is, I'm just genuinely curious how much of a "tweener" role your Android tablet has taken in your life. And after you read this editorial, share that story with me in the comments, because I'd really like to have a discussion with people on this.
I own a Transformer Prime. Know how often I use it? Once, maybe twice a week for a few minutes.
Although I've dropped a phone a total of about three times in my life, and although manufacturers are continually touting more and more durable glass, polycarbonate plastic, and even metal that's 3x stronger than stainless steel, there lingers in the back of my mind the question of what may happen if and when that fateful day comes – the day when I finally drop my phone onto an unforgiving concrete, asphalt, or otherwise hard surface. Looking to calm the fears of high-end device users everywhere, Seidio created their signature Surface, Active and Convert Combo cases.
I recently got my hands on a set of cases for my new EVO LTE, a device that (despite its quirks) is certainly worth protecting.
It's not much of a secret that I don't actually like cases for my devices. I appreciate the added protection, but I've found that most cases either hinder the device's overall use, deduct from the natural sleekness, or are just flat-out ugly.
Then I got my hands on the Surface, Active, and Convert cases from Seidio. Wow.
Never before have I actually wanted to use a case on my phone, but these are some of the best looking cases I've ever seen. Not only do they look great, but they feel great and don't negatively affect the way I use my device.