Android is in a weird place. The latest version, 7.0 Nougat, is on very few devices, which highlights the operating system's biggest issue -- fragmentation. True, most apps will work fine on slightly older versions of the OS, but the true problem is security -- not compatibility. Once a manufacturer stops supporting a smartphone or tablet, the user is at risk of future vulnerabilities.
With OS upgrade concerns in mind, I decided to test Android Nougat on a new Verizon smartphone -- the highly anticipated LG V20. This is the followup to the sleeper-hit V10. The new device retains the famed "second screen", but improves upon its predecessor in every way. Is it worth your money, however?
Late last month, I sold my beloved Grado RS1e headphones, which get my highest recommendation. Parting ways, time is long overdue for a review, even if post-mortem. I let go the cans mainly because my lifestyle changed. Being tethered by wires is too confining; I listen to music more on the move now. As such, fine-fidelity Bluetooth cans—Master & Dynamic MW60—give great sound with more flexibility and mobility.
I purchased the RS1e direct from manufacturer Grado Labs in late July 2014, soon after release. Grado is a family-owned/run Brooklyn, New York-based business that opened in 1953 offering turntable cartridges. In 1990, the company started selling headphones, which are hand-crafted and tested for the distinctive, sound signature that defines them. Founder Joseph Grado passed away in February 2015 at age 90.
A few months ago we reviewed the Inateck BH1105 earphones and while we enjoyed the decent sound quality given their low price, we did criticise their lack of a microphone for smartphone use.
Well, either Inateck has been listening to us or it realized the design was limiting sales, because here we are with the BH1105M which is essentially the same product but does now have an in-line mic.
For Christmas 2015, I bought myself a new pair of Bluetooth headphones. After trying several sets, I settled on Master & Dynamic MW60, which were a fantastic choice then and are still my top recommendation nearly a year later. The wireless cans replaced my beloved Grado RS1e -- no small feat.
Read no further and buy the M&D cans, if wireless listening is priority -- and should be if using iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, which lack 3.5 mm jack. Authentic audio, spacious soundstage, and full fidelity (without over-punchy bass) make the MW60 the gold standard for Bluetooth cans.
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?
One of the fastest growing areas in home automation seems to be lighting. Every day new products come on the market and one of the most popular has been the Philips Hue, thanks to not only simple automation but also the ability to change colors. However, it is not the only one on the market with such a chameleon quality.
LIFX also produces bulbs that can set the color to your mood or taste. The LIFX Color 1000 is one of the latest models from the manufacturer and it will do all that other bulbs in this market are capable of.
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.
One of the biggest pain points for dual-booting computer users is Bluetooth devices. This is because every time you switch operating systems, you must do the pairing all over again. For a keyboard in particular, this is a big hassle. Logitech solved this dilemma in 2014 with the wonderful K480, and today, it unveils an update to the that model.
The all-new K780 MultiDevice Wireless Keyboard is designed for Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS -- it will work on traditional Linux distros too. It is thinner than its predecessor (thankfully), while adding a number pad. I have been testing this new product, and in my limited use, the Logitech K780 has left me quite impressed.
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.