I’m a huge advocate of AfterShokz, especially if you’re the type to listen to music while running, walking, hiking, etc. Having your ears open while still being able to enjoy music is a home run. AfterShokz thinks hearing your surroundings is important when you’re working too, and they’re applying their bone conduction headphones concept to a work-centric headset with the AfterShokz OpenComm. Does bone conduction spiff up well for the office? Read on to find out!
Mobile Phones & Gear
Calm is the #1 sleep and meditation app in the App Store today. Not only does it allow you to listen to peaceful audio to match your mood, but they now have Calm Mindful Puzzles.
It seems more and more people have started a podcast during the pandemic, and with apps like Clubhouse, Stereo, and Zoom, it’s been made even easier to connect to your community. But how do you do it without spending a fortune on the setup? The answer is with the Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone and Shure AONIC 4 Sound Isolating Earphones.
5G is, if not yet everywhere, in a lot more places than it used to be. While it seems to be the biggest in cities, the suburbs and the rest of the world will eventually get that sweet, sweet speedy internet on the go. You may not be paying attention to how you’re getting that 5G, but under the hood of all your devices are new chips and modems to handle all that internet, and they’re making sure you’re getting the most out of your connectivity with their new MediaTek M80 5G modem.
True wireless earbuds have gotten dramatically better since they made their first appearance a few years ago. New models offer improved connectivity, increased battery life, and better sound. Many even offer active noise cancellation and battery cases that are Qi-wireless charging enabled. The new Jays t-Seven True Wireless earbuds offer all of these advances at an accessible price.
Remember when a portable battery pack that held 20,000mAh was a beast to lug around? Thankfully, those days are over. The 20,000mAh Aukey Basix Blade Series Power Banks are much smaller and lighter than many similar capacity Li-Ion battery packs. Wait until you see what I mean …
A storm some weeks ago left us in the cold, literally. We had no idea how long the power would be out, but my wife and I still needed to work. Thankfully, we’d been sent the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank and Yeti 200X Portable Power Station for us to check out; these power sources kept our phones, tablets, and computers going until our electricity returned.
The Google Pixel 5 was released last October as the follow-up to the Pixel 4. Rather than offering an XL version as Google had done with previous Pixel flagship models, the Pixel 5 was more of a “take it or leave it” proposition. It came in one size, a choice of two colors, and only one user memory option. There are some upgrades and some compromises, but overall it’s solid. Even so, I can admit that I wasn’t as enthused with it from the start as I had been with the Pixel 3 XL and the Pixel 4 XL.
MediaTek has just introduced it’s latest 5G smartphone chipsets, the Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100. These chipsets will give device manufacturers even more options to choose from as they design smartphone models that feature top of the line cameras, graphics, connectivity enhancements, and more.
Qualcomm has just revealed its follow-up to its flagship Snapdragon 865 Plus with the Snapdragon 870 5G Mobile Platform. Why should you care? Well, let me tell you …
For a few years now, Apple and Samsung have battled for leadership in the global smartphone market share. This is particularly obvious in regions like the US, where both brands dominate. But did you know that Chinese manufacturer Huawei is consistently in the top three as well? In fact, it was #1 in Q2 2020 — yes, the same Huawei that the US government put on an entity list in 2019, barring it from doing business with US companies like Google.
Samsung held its latest Unpacked event this morning, signaling the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The latest Galaxy S21 phones have 5G, updated designs, hardware, and software, but the cameras are the star of the show.
Kyocera has a solution for the men and women who work in challenging environments with its Duraforce Ultra 5G Rugged Smartphone. This phone will be the first 5G rugged smartphone on the Verizon network.
Designed for the modern household that has way more than two devices, the Satechi Dock5 is a multi-device charging station that can make our digital lives a bit more convenient.
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, JBL has expanded its headphone lineup with the new JBL Tour Series. These headphones, which will offer both an over-the-ear and a true-wireless option, are perfect for business professionals who want a sleek design with smart features and advanced technology.
Backed by the Kickstarter community in 2014, in 2015, Earin was the first company to introduce true wireless in-ear headphones with their M-1 earbuds, followed by the M-2 in 2017. For CES 2021, they’ve just announced their third generation of sleek, tiny, and innovative in-ear wireless headphones, the Earin A-3.
When Qi Wireless charging finally appeared on phones, there were (at least initially) a limited number of available chargers. That’s changed. There are more offerings than ever, and many of them deliver a full charge in far less time than ever. Then there is the SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger Sync. It’s a wireless charger and a solid-state backup device.
OnePlus released the Nord in Europe some time ago with the promise that it would eventually arrive on our US shores. They later released the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and Nord N100 in Europe with promises to eventually bring them to the US. I’ve been testing the European OnePlus Nord N10 5G, and I am quite impressed. It is an excellent phone in its own right, and it represents OnePlus returning to its roots and the approach that first put it on our radar.
If you live in Texas, as I do, you now have access to a new form of device insurance called Traverse. Underwritten by Travelers Indemnity, Traverse offers a way to insure your most important devices for as little as $1 a month.
One thing that’s truly been missed out of 2020 is the ability to party with family and friends. With the holidays in full swing and the New Year looming, you don’t want to end the year without having a bit of fun. And why not do so safely at home with the LG XBOOM Go PL7 portable Bluetooth speaker?
We all know Qualcomm makes zippy processors. No one’s doubting that Qualcomm is a big part of why we all have more power in our pockets than Neil Armstrong had when he landed on the moon. But it’s hard if you’re not a computer expert to know exactly what that means. Thankfully, Qualcomm put together a helpful video on their Snapdragon 888 to show us!