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Reviews

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Razer Hammerhead USB-C earphones review: Best bang for your buck

With more and more phones dropping the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack, one might have hoped that more USB-C accessories, notably earphones, would have appeared by now. Sadly, the market of reliable, trustworthy options is still quite small and the ones you do find aren't cheap. If you own a Pixel 2 XL, for instance, you probably understand how frustrating the dongle situation can be... if you can even get one at time of writing.

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Acer Chromebook Spin 11 (2018) review: Costs too much for what you get

Chromebooks now spread across a wide range of price points. You have the ultra-premium Pixelbook, complete with a really high cost, and mid-range options like the Samsung Chromebook Pro. Then you have the budget models — it's still surprising to me that you can pick up a functional laptop that does most everything that a normal person needs for a few hundred bucks.

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Wearable Widgets turns your phone's app widgets into Wear OS watch face complications

It may be the silliest idea to some, but it may be the most interesting idea to others. Wearable Widgets, an app that transforms your phone's widgets into Wear OS (né Android Wear) watch faces, has added support for complications. So instead of replacing your entire watch face with a widget, you can leave whichever design you like and choose a widget from your phone as a complication inside it. How well does it work? I tested it to find out.

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Moto G6 review: A predictably good value

Motorola's high-end phones have disappointed in the last few years, but its budget devices have offered the best value of any low-cost phones. We don't know how Moto's 2018 flagship story will shake out, but the new Moto G6 has arrived to (mostly) carry on the tradition of giving you a lot of phone for just a little money.

This phone makes several changes that I love, as well as a few that I don't. The Moto G6 has a slower processor than its predecessor, but the performance is still solid, and Moto's software impresses. You also get a Type-C port (finally) and a taller 18:9 screen, both features that were rare on budget phones not long ago.

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HTC U12+ review: No buttons, no sale

The U12+ is the latest high-end smartphone from HTC, and while the ‘+’ moniker may have you wondering where the “regular” version is - this is it: HTC is, for the time being, only launching a large premium phone in 2018. It packs the latest Snapdragon 845 processor from Qualcomm, a large 6.0” Quad HD LCD display, and four cameras. It also costs a whopping $800, and you can only buy it direct from HTC or Amazon in the US.

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Cielo Breez review: Smartening up your air conditioner, the easy way

Depending on where you live, most houses could be built with central heating and thermostats in mind or not. Even in houses that have a fully ducted system, getting a small expansion done like a bigger garage, an additional room, or a guest house could require you start looking at other options for heating and cooling. Ductless systems, whether they're split air conditioner units, window ACs, portable or floor standing units, or heat pumps, are the go-to solution then. But in a world that's more connected than ever, they present one main disadvantage compared to thermostats: they can't be easily retrofitted for automation and smartphone control.

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Nokia 7 Plus review: A flagship at heart, a midranger in price

It feels a little bit surreal to see the Nokia name become relevant again in the smartphone market. Two years ago, I had thought the beloved mobile brand that I grew up with was hopelessly lost, and yet here we are today, devouring every piece of news to come out of HMD Global. The Finnish company has been doing an excellent job of reviving the brand by sticking to a few core guidelines: good hardware, competitive prices, pure Android software, and fast updates. That bet has paid off so far and, with one full generation of devices under its belt, HMD kicked things up a notch with the announcements it made at MWC this year.

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Hands-on with TV App Repo: Create a shortcut for any non-Leanback app on your Android TV

Google put in place a few restrictions when it comes to apps and games on Android TV. You either download the app through the Play Store on the TV itself or you browse through your computer and install remotely. And even in that case, there are plenty of apps that show themselves as compatible from the web Play Store but when installed are nowhere to be found in Android TV's Leanback Launcher. Usually, that means the app isn't fully optimized for Android TV, but it could still be properly functional (with remote and/or controller compatibility), except for the fact that you can't access it by default.

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The Elder Scrolls: Blades shows potential in first public demo (hands-on)

The yearly E3 expo is always a major event for video games, but smartphone games are rarely showcased. Even Fortnite, one of the most popular smartphone games in existence at the moment, only had playable demos of the home console versions. Earlier this week, Bethesda announced The Elder Scrolls: Blades for iPhone and Android, and it showed off the game to E3 attendees.

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AsteroidOS 1.0 is a promising open-source smartwatch OS with plenty of room for improvement

When smartwatches first hit the market several years ago, I immediately hopped on board. As an avid lover of watches, I found myself very interested in the concept of wearing a timepiece that also doubled as a notification mirror for my phone. At the time, I worked in jobs where phone use was either discouraged or outright prohibited, whether by policy or the frantic pace of the position. But unfortunately for me, I have a compulsion to know what's going on with my phone at any and all times — I can't just ignore my phone going off. So smartwatches offered me a chance to keep my phone in my pocket, but still be kept apprised of my incoming notifications.

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