In trying to compete with more premium brands, some action camera makers are pushing the envelope in terms of quality at lower price points. Some of the best devices in the affordable category, while not on the same level as the latest GoPros, come reasonably close to the leading players, but at a fraction of the cost.
One of those devices that is touted to offer great value for money is the Elephone EleCam Explorer Elite. It comes in below the $70 mark, so it certainly delivers on the cost front. And, being powered by a proven and competitive chipset in the entry-level market, it seems to have what it takes to deliver quality videos. But, how does it perform in real life?
Smartphone users who want to enjoy their favorite music through a portable Bluetooth speaker have a sea of options to choose from these days. Many accessory makers offer small setups that promise to deliver a much higher sound quality than the built-in speakers, and in plenty of cases at a pretty reasonable cost too.
DKnight is no different. Its Big MagicBox setup, which features dual 10W drivers and "advanced bass enhancement technology", claims to offer "exceptional sound quality" and is touted as "the most competitive speaker" in its segment of the market. But, just how good is it in real life?
Amazon is my absolute favorite retailer. Not only are its prices fair, but with a Prime subscription, I get free two-day shipping on many products. Instant gratification is a must nowadays, and waiting more than a couple of days for an item to arrive can be unbearable. Of course, Prime gives you much more than just fast shipping, but I digress.
Another great aspect of the site is the customer reviews, helping shoppers find quality products based on the honest recommendations of others. Sadly, incentivized reviews have damaged the trustworthiness of the feedback. Too many recent Amazon reviews have the caveat that the product was given to the reviewer for free in exchange for a review. Many people, including yours truly, were getting tired of seeing this. Thankfully, as of today, Amazon is prohibiting these incentivized reviews.
The developing digital landscape has changed the way people interact with hardware. We are now more device-agnostic than ever -- both in our personal and professional lives -- meaning we are often carrying around two, sometimes three, devices to complete different tasks.
The 2-in-1 (or hybrid) market has looked to address this by merging the power and performance of a laptop with the flexibility and mobility of a tablet. For the most part, Microsoft has led the way in this area with its Surface and Surface Pro devices, but is now being pushed hard by the likes of Apple and Huawei.
Lenovo is already a well-established brand in Western Europe thanks to its personal computer brand which counts the legendary ThinkPad range and German manufacturer, Medion, amongst its ranks. It also absorbed storage vendor Iomega, IBM’s Intel-based server business and NEC personal computer range.
The company has acquired phone manufacturer Motorola, inheriting yet another iconic brand whose name still carries a lot of value for a mainstream audience. But the latest move of the Chinese company, which is also the biggest PC vendor in the world, has been surprising.
Two years ago, Huawei, one of the world’s largest mobile phone vendors, caused a surprise by unveiling a new brand called Honor which the parent company described as being a brand run by millennials for millennials.
Honor unveiled its latest flagship handset, the Honor 8, which is roughly equivalent to the Huawei P9 launched in April this year.
There are few smartphones that pique consumers' interest more than a new OnePlus flagship. And it is easy to understand why, after you go through that impressive specs sheet and find out that it undercuts rival high-end devices by hundreds of dollars. The OnePlus 3 seems to be no different, using the same recipe as before, but is it a "flagship killer"?
It has the bases covered, featuring flagship-worthy internals, a close-to-stock take on Android, and a price tag of just $399. But, after using the OnePlus 3 as my daily driver for the past couple of weeks, it is clear that there is much more to it than that. In fact, the OnePlus 3 seems to be one of those rare smartphones the saying "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" seems to have been coined for. The user experience is that good.
Multiport USB chargers are great for topping up the battery on a couple of mobile devices at the same time when you are on the go. They do not take much space in a bag, only require a single wall socket, and support a wide range of smartphones and tablets. Some are better than others though.
Syncwire's four-port USB charger is designed with travelers in mind. The main benefits, over many other multiport USB chargers that you can find, are the included travel adapters that allow it to be used with US, UK, and EU sockets and its cord-free design that allows it to be plugged right in and take up even less space.
As we become more and more reliant on our portable devices, running out of battery power at a crucial moment is always a risk.
Fortunately there are plenty of USB power banks on the market to give your device a boost. The latest to come our way is the Besiter Eclipse from UK company Kavson. It claims to have one of the most powerful batteries available, making it able to charge an iPhone 6S up to 5 times and a Samsung Galaxy S7 up to 3 times over.
The GoPro Hero4 Black has triggered a 4K craze in the action camera market. Just about any new device that comes out these days seems to have 4K video recording listed in its specs sheet. What's interesting is that many of these products are offered at some unbelievable prices, significantly lower than what you would have to spend for a premium action camera, like GoPro's flagship. So, you can understand their appeal.
The ThiEye i60 4K is good example, being one of the most affordable 4K action cameras on the market today. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of specs, boasting a built-in display on the back, 4k video recording at 25FPS and 1080p video recording at 60FPS, but it can be had for less than $100. The bang for the buck factor is quite certainly very appealing, as it delivers some of the best features of the Hero4 Black -- the 4K video recording -- and Hero4 Silver -- the screen -- at a much more reasonable price point. But just how good is it really? I've put the i60 4K to the test to find out.
Fitness bands are great for keeping track of your physical activity, calorie burn or sleep quality. What makes them especially appealing is the lower barrier of entry when compared to other wearables -- smartwatches in particular -- that can perform similar tasks. So, it should come as no surprise that this year fitness bands are expected to be the most popular wearables.
Although some fitness bands can be pretty costly -- especially true if you are looking at premium brands -- there are lots of extremely affordable options on the market. Teclast's latest fitness band, called H30, promises to give you all the right features while rocking a sub-$20 price tag. So, I've tested one to find out just how good it really is.
As employees have become more and more flexible in recent years thanks to the power and performance of mobile devices, the way we work has changed dramatically.
We frequently chop and change between smartphones, tablets and laptops for different tasks, which has led to the growth of the hybrid market -- devices such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 and Apple’s iPad Pro -- that provide the power and functionality of a laptop with the mobility and convenience of a tablet.
There are a number of secure flash drives on the market, but most of them rely on a software lock that requires you to enter a PIN on the computer after you've plugged in the drive. Apricorn takes a different approach with its Secure Key which has a keypad on the device itself, allowing you to lock and unlock it independently.
At 95.5 mm it's about half as long again as a normal flash drive and fits snugly into an aluminum slip case so you can't accidentally press buttons in your pocket. The keys are small but have a positive click action so you know they've been pressed. It comes formatted for NTFS ready for use on Windows systems and you can reformat it for Macs.
It used to be that buying an entry-level Windows device meant you had to settle for a big, bulky product with poor specs and a design that didn't try to hide the low price tag. These days, however, things are different. The arrival of Chromebooks has driven PC makers to change their approach and release laptops that are much more appealing to consumers shopping in this segment.
With a thin profile, solid specs and a nice design, the Jumper Ezbook 2 seems to be the perfect example of a new-age entry-level Windows laptop. It is priced well below the magical $200 mark, which, at least on paper, makes it a very attractive option. But just how good is it really?
USB cables may look durable, but it does not take much to bend a connector or damage the rubber jacket. These things happen, as you may have learned by now, and when they do they can easily ruin your day. Unless you have a spare, which is not always the case, you may be unable to charge your smartphone or power an important device.
Enter rugged USB cables. With tougher connectors and a more durable jacket, they can withstand a great deal of abuse -- even from curious pets. I've been testing Syncwire's "durable" microUSB offering for the past couple of weeks, and here are my impressions.