All posts in “tech”

Here Are 4 of the Best Super Bowl Deals on 4K TVs

The Super Bowl is fast approaching and whether you plan on watching the big game or not, it’s still a great time to buy a new TV if you’re in the market for one. Not only are there big promotions leading up to the game, but most TV manufacturers just announced their 2020 TV lineup, so they’re looking to sell out of last year’s TVs.

The Super Bowl is February 2, so if you are aiming to get a new TV for the game, you’re going to want to order it as soon as possible. If you don’t care about the game, no problem — but these deals won’t last long either.

Vizio P-Series Quantum X (2019)

Best OLED Alternative: The Vizio P-Series Quantum X is the company’s top-of-the-line TV. Yes, it’s an LCD TV, but its overall picture quality is as close to that of an OLED TV as you’re going to get. Plus, it’s way cheaper.

Sizes:
• 65-inch: $1,500 $1,299
• 75-inch: $2,200 (No Deal)

TCL 6 Series (2019)

Best Budget 4K TV: The 6-Series is TCL’s high-end line of 4K Smart TVs. It has a Roku smart operating system and is a common choice for a budget smart TV among a wide swath of reviewers.

Sizes:
• 55-inch: $650 $549
• 65-inch: $900 $700

LG C9 OLED (2019)

Best OLED TV: LG’s C9 Series is Wirecutter‘s pick for best overall OLED TV. The TVs deliver excellent picture quality, with superb brightness and contrast, and right now you can get a pretty great deal on a 55-inch model.

Sizes:
• 55-inch: $2,000 $1,497
• 65-inch: $2,097 (No Deal)

Samsung Q60 Series (2019)

Best Big Screen: If you’re looking for a real big-screen 4K TV, meaning 75-inches or over, the best deals you’ll find are on Samsung’s Q60 Series. You can get up to $2,000 off, which is nuts! Also, Samsung’s QLED TVs have comprable brightness, contrast and over all picture quality to high-end OLED TVs.

Sizes:
• 75-inch: $3,000 $1,498
• 82-inch: $3,800 $1,998

The Nomad Universal Cable with Kevlar is for lifetime charges

The one cable to rule them all is none other than the Nomad Universal Cable with Kevlar. Built to last for many uses, this charging cable gets rid of lost cables or adapters. It makes travelling with your mobile gadgets a breeze since you don’t have to pack several cables with different adapters.

It has the ability to change between lightning cable, USB-C, and micro-USB connectors. The main part consists of a USB-A to micro USB ends while the lightning and USB-C adapters are found off to the side. The Nomad Universal Cable with Kevlar may only charge one device at a time but at least it saves you the trouble of having to find a different cable for every time you charge your tech gadgets. The best part is its Kevlar® 29 (K29) Aramid Fiber construction.

The cables with Kevlar feature double-braided exteriors that are guaranteed with super strength. The Kevlar extends to the central core to keep the cable tough even in the middle. The Kevlar definitely keeps this charging cable robust. Moreover, strong metal alloy connector housings and vulcanized LSR silicone cable tie enhance its durability so you can be assured of its lifetime usage.

On other technical aspects, the Nomad Universal Cable with Kevlar features RF shield for fast sync, uses a fire-resistant PVC jacket, and offers 20AWG fast charging. It supports up to 2.4 Amps at 5 volts (12W) and is quick-charge compatible. This charging cable supports Apple devices (iPhone and iPad), other USB-C devices, Bluetooth speakers, and Android gadgets. It comes in lengths of 0.3 meters and 1.5 meters.

Buy Yours Here

Nomad Universal Cable with Kevlar

Nomad Universal Cable with Kevlar

Nomad Universal Cable with Kevlar

Nomad Universal Cable with KevlarNomad Universal Cable with Kevlar

Images courtesy of Nomad

ADT Blue Doorbell Camera offers two-way talk for enhanced home security

The ADT Blue Doorbell Camera brings the functionality of a doorbell and a security camera in one device. This latest home automation system not only ensures security but gives you peace of mind whenever you’re away from home.

This easy-to-install device alerts you whenever anyone approaches your door from within a 180-degree field of view. The camera provides HD video quality and infrared LED night vision too. So you’ll never be left wondering who or what is at your doorstep.

Moreover, the ADT Blue Doorbell Camera not only lets you see whoever is at your doorstep. It also features a full two-way talk system (with noise reduction) so you can speak to the other person and hear what the other is saying in real-time. All these are made possible via a mobile app that lets the user store video recordings online, access their front door remotely, and receive alerts when someone is at the front door. The camera records 30-second clips that you can store, playback, and even share.

Do not fret when it comes to bad weather conditions. This home security device is water-resistant. It can survive high or low temperatures. As for installation, the ADT Blue Doorbell Camera needs to be hardwired using 8-24 VAC and needs to connect through WiFi. It has a built-in 2.4GHz WiFi connection.

The ADT Blue Doorbell Camera also offers multiple mounting options using different mounting brackets that work with a variety of door frames and gang boxes. For ease in installation, an ADT security technician can do the work hassle-free.

Get Yours Here

ADT Blue Doorbell Camera

Images Courtesy of ADT

Kind of Obsessed: I Just Can’t Put Down This Plucky Point-and-Shoot

I am, charitably, a moderately competent hobbyist photographer. I owe pretty much every ounce of that competence to the instant, guess-and-check shooting style that modern digital cameras make possible. When the shutter-bug first bit me in earnest, I spent hours taking literally thousands of absolute garbage pictures with a borrowed DSLR, fiddling with all the settings and inching my way to a handful of decent shots, gigabytes of trash in my wake. My technique has improved since then, but the path to my favorite shots remains a trigger-happy tumble. When you have a digital camera, why not?

Then, I came across the Olympus XA2.

First sold in 1980, the XA2 is everything that my more serious digital camera, an Olympus OM-D EM10 MK II, is not. For starters, it’s a film camera, obviously. But it’s also a point-and-shoot, with mandatory automatic exposure and zone-based focusing you set manually based on your best guess as to the distance to your subject.

There are about a thousand things to love about the XA2’s design. It’s tiny, barely bigger than a deck of cards, making my already small Micro Four Thirds mainstay look like a goliath by comparison. And with the integrated dust-cover that snaps shut over the lens, it’s eminently pocketable and loads of fun to fidget with when you aren’t shooting. With its all-black design and legendarily quiet shutter, it’s extremely discreet. And with automatic exposure and focus distance you set before you fire, it’s lightning-fast to operate once you have it primed, far speedier than my phone. Last, but not least, it just looks extremely striking, which is how I found myself hunting one down on eBay after merely scrolling past a picture of the handsome little guy on Twitter.

But what I think I love most about this camera is that its combination of features puts it in a unique position between the digital camera I grab for premeditated sessions of Doing Artsy Photography, and my phone camera that I always have on hand and use for basic, documentation purposes. It’s got about the ease-of-use of an iPhone camera but also the convince of… film. And that’s making me think about my photography in an entirely new way.

When loaded with black and white film, the XA2 prevents me from leaning on color to carry my shots. Its complete lack of zoom makes me get creative with my framing, while the lack of exposure settings or ability to just jack up the ISO makes me carefully consider my environment. Its handiness and speed make me keep my eyes out for even split-second shots while, simultaneously, limited exposures and the time (and cost) of development encourage me to carefully pick my battles. The result is that stellar results are, for now, much rarer to come by, but even the merely decent ones tend to be pretty well-composed (at least to my eye). And the ones that are actually great? They’re a hard-won victory showcasing genuine technical skill, not just brute-force burst fire.

I’m sure some of this experience is more about the medium than the camera itself, but with its dead-simple, zippy operation and everyday-carry size, the XA2 has won my heart through far more than just shooting film. And better yet, it can be had for fairly cheap. You’ll find plenty of buy-it-now eBay listings for ostensibly pristine units in the $100 range, but I was able to snag my beat up but functional baby in an auction for $50 all told. (Albeit without the optional flash module.) Who knows how long it will last, but I will be using it until I find out.

So if you’re looking for the perfect first film camera for you, well, don’t look at me! I don’t know you! This is the only film camera I’ve ever seriously used! But what I can say is that this puppy has been living in my pocket non-stop for weeks, and I expect it to continue holing up there for months to come, making me a better photographer no matter what camera I’m using.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Eric Limer is Gear Patrol’s tech editor. A resident of Weehawken, NJ, his current obsessions include mechanical keyboards, mechanical pencils and Formula 1.

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The Anker Powercore 13000 offers fast dual charging

The Anker PowerCore 130000 provides power to your mobile devices anywhere and anytime. It supports simultaneous charging at high speed from a compact power bank that is only 9 ounces/255 grams in weight.

This portable power supply supports two USB Type-A and one Micro USB charging that provides a maximum output of 5V/3A. It can charge an iPhone 6s five times or a Galaxy S6 3.5 time. It uses PowerIQ intelligent high-speed charging and VoltageBoost prevents slowing down of charging speeds. Charging iPhones from zero to 50 per cent only takes 30 minutes and Samsung smartphones in under 50 minutes.

The Anker PowerCore 13000 ensures safety while charging using its multi protect safety system. It has overheating, overloading, surge, overcharging, and over-discharging protection. Moreover, you can take this card-size power bank with you on air too. It is TSA-certified at a limit of 100 Wh.

Recharging this portable power bank is fairly easy using a 2-A micro-USB input port. It takes 8 hours for a full charge using a 2A wall charger. On the downside, it takes 16 hours for a full juice using 1-A charger.

Outside of the technical aspects, the Anker PowerCore 13000 boasts physical aesthetics that protect it from dirt. It has a matte finish that keeps its interface safe from smudges, scratches, and fingerprints. The texture also enhances grip so as to prevent unwanted drops.  Its shell may be plastic but it is strong enough to withstand a few drops, extreme temperature, and vibration.

The Anker PowerCore 13000 comes with four blue LED power indicators on the top and each light represents 25 per cent. The light indicators help users estimate the remaining charge on the power device.

Get Yours Here

Anker PowerCore 13000Anker PowerCore 13000Anker PowerCore 13000

Images courtesy of Anker

The Best Stereo Receivers Under $500

To get the best out of your bookshelf speakers, you need to invest in a receiver that can properly drive them. You can buy a two-channel stereo receiver or you can buy an AV receiver, the latter of which is what you want if you’re connecting it to your TV and building a home theater system. If you’re only looking for an audio experience, however, a stereo receiver is the simpler, cheaper and arguably the all-around better option.

A stereo receiver is great for people who just want to listen to music, either streaming from your smartphone or from a CD player or turntable. As far as which receiver to buy, it should, of course, depend on how you plan on listening to music. But it should also come secondary to your speakers. A good rule of thumb, as far as the entry-level price bracket is concerned, is that the receiver shouldn’t cost more than your bookshelf speakers. That’s why we set a price cap at $500. Below, we’ve listed our favorite entry-level receivers under $500 to pair with your bookshelf speakers.

Best Budget: Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver

The Good: This Yamaha R-S202 is one of our favorite entry-level receivers. Its combination of price, looks, ease of use and stellar performance make it a no-brainer for anybody with bookshelf speakers looking to listen to great stereo audio. It can easily connect to your existing CD player or turntable. It streams Bluetooth and has a built-in FM/AM tuner, too.

Watch Out For: The Yamaha R-S202 isn’t the newest stereo receiver, having been around since 2016. The remote also feels dated, no backlit keys. If you’re somebody who may one day build out their audio system with more speakers, or connect it to your home theater system, this isn’t the receiver for you. No support for Bluetooth AptX.

Key Features: speaker selector lets you switch between two sets of speakers, built-in Bluetooth

Watts per Channel: 100-watts x 2, 8 ohms

Editor’s Pick: Onkyo TX-8220 Stereo Receiver

The Good: You can’t beat the Onkyo TX-8220’s combination of great sound and affordability. It has a RCA output so you can add a powered subwoofer. And, thanks to its A/B speaker connections, you can connect a second pair of bookshelf speakers, say if you want to have them play in separate room in your house.

Watch Out For: Some might not like its bulkiness or fairly ordinary design.

Key Features: subwoofer output, A/B switching for two different speaker pairs, AM/FM tuner, built-in Bluetooth

Watts per Channel: 45-watts, 8 ohms

The Hi-Fi Upgrade: Cambridge Audio AXR85 Stereo Receiver

The Good: The British hi-fi maker Cambridge Audio makes some of our favorite audio products and it’s actually rare for them something at such an entry-level price point. The AXR85 is excellent stereo reciever that’s pretty powerful and has a beautiful brushed aluminum front pane. It has a mono RCA output in case you want to add a powered subwoofer, and its front-panel A/B switching allows you to connect two pairs of bookshelf speakers and switch between them. With built-in Bluetooth, it’s also easy to stream audio straight from your smartphone.

Watch Out For: It’s more expensive than most other entry-level stereo receivers.

Key Features: subwoofer output, front-panel A/B switching, built-in Bluetooth, AM/FM tuner

Watts per Channel: 85-watts, 8 ohms

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Most Features: Denon CEOL RCD-N10

The Good: Denon’s all-in-one hi-fi receiver has a little bit of everything. Yes, it’s a solid stereo reciever, but it built-in CD player and FM tuner. It also has built-in Wi-Fi, which allows it to connect to your home’s network and then easily stream music from Spotify or Tidal directly from the CEOL RCD-N10. It also has built-in Bluetooth and supports Apple AirPlay 2, so you can stream from your smartphone just as easily, too.

Watch Out For: You’re paying for the features and multitude of streaming options, not necessarily the power of the amp of the quality of the music player (although it’ll have no problem powering a pair of passive bookshelf speakers). Its design isn’t for everyone.

Key Features: integrated CD player, FM tuner, subwoofer output, built-in Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility

Watts per Channel: 65-watts, 4 ohms

12 Free Add-Ons That Will Make Your Browser More Powerful

Welcome to Superuser Skills, a column devoted to making sure you get the most out of the gear you already own.

Web browsers can do a lot right out of the box, but thanks to the huge third-party add-on libraries for both Chrome and Firefox, you can get them to do much more. These extensions help you get around the web faster, add extra security for your online travels, change the look of your browser and much more.

We’ve picked out 12 indispensable add-ons that no browser should be without. You’ll never go back to a plain browser setup again.

1. Pocket


There’s not always enough time in the day to get through everything of note you find on the web, which is where Pocket comes in. Use it to store articles and videos for reading and watching later, at your leisure. You can organize saved items using tags, strip away distracting ads and other page clutter, and even get at your article lists from your phone. |

2. Ghostery


Ghostery does a hugely effective job of restricting how advertisers can track your movements online—it blocks a lot of the commonly used scripts and plug-ins that marketers use to work out who you are, and the dashboard that it uses to show you what it’s doing is simple to read. As an added bonus, you’ll find your browsing is quicker too. |

3. The Great Suspender


If you use a browser, chances are you tend to have too many tabs open at once. The Great Suspender is one of the best and simplest extensions for doing something about it, and will suspend tabs that have been inactive for a while, freeing up system resources until you need the tab again. If you’re on Firefox, Auto Tab Discard is built along similar lines.

4. Foxy Gestures


Using mouse gestures for key browser commands—forwards, backwards, reload—can genuinely transform the way you get around the web, and for the better: you’ll spend more time reading articles and less time hunting for menu buttons and keyboard shortcuts, and everything is fully customizable. If you’re on Chrome, then give CrxMouse Gestures a try.

5. LastPass


Your browser probably already does a decent job of storing passwords and auto-filling forms, but a dedicated password manager like LastPass can offer more features and a more intuitive interface—LastPass is a breeze to use and navigate around, and able to securely store other sensitive information (like passport numbers) alongside passwords. |

6. HTTPS Everywhere


HTTPS is the more secure, private version of HTTP, and most sites now support it—though it isn’t always applied (if you follow a link that omits the “S” for example). HTTPS Everywhere works in the background of your browser to make sure that you’re always on the upgraded version of the sites you’re visiting, for extra piece of mind while browsing. |

7. Grammarly


If you do a lot of writing inside your browser then get Grammarly on your side: it’ll keep an eye on your grammar, as the name suggests, but also your spelling and the style and tone that you’re using. The extension works with most websites where text can be entered, and can help you make sure you’re getting your messages across as effectively as possible.

8. Enhancer for YouTube


Don’t settle for the standard YouTube site any longer—use Enhancer For YouTube to upgrade your video streaming experience with extra playback controls, customizable ad removal, preferred playback quality settings, auto-pausing for background tabs, player pinning (so the current video stays on top of other windows), and more besides. |

9. LeechBlock


Spending more time on certain sites than you really should? LeechBlock keeps you honest and will restrict access to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or any URLs that you want to stay away from until the day’s work is done. You can take full control over which sites are blocked and at what times, see statistics on your browsing activity, and much more.

10. Google Translate


Never be stumped by a foreign language in your browser again—the official Google Translate extension will translate words, phrases or entire webpages on demand with just a click or two, and you can even get pronunciation guidance as well if you need it. The official add-on isn’t available for Firefox, but To Google Translate is a good unofficial one.

11. Nimbus Screen Capture


If you need to take screenshots of pages during the course of your browsing, then turn to Nimbus Screen Capture—it offers a whole host of functionality (full screen grabs, partial grabs, simple editing tools, a variety of export options) in an interface that’s accessible and easy to get to grips with. You can record browser activity as a video as well, if you need to. |

12. Buffer


If you find something that you want to share on the web, then Buffer is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do just that—click the Buffer icon in your browser toolbar to share the current page on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more, without having to visit all those sites individually. Paid-for upgrades are available, but the free version will be fine for most. |

How to Build a Smart Home

So you want to build an entry-level smart home and you don’t want it to cost a fortune. Good news: that’s totally possible. Here are the reasons to choose Apple, Amazon, or Google, and the best entry-level devices to get you off the ground. Read the Guide

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The Advantages of a “Smart” Phone That Can Never Have Instagram

It’s not a “dumb” phone. That’s one of the first things that Joe Hollier and Kai Tang, the two founders of Light Phone, corrected me on when I sat down with them a few weeks ago. Their preferred nomenclature is “minimalist.” You know, a phone that doesn’t have apps or the distractions of Instagram, Twitter or Gmail not because it’s dumb, but because it doesn’t want to.

The company’s first minimalist smartphone, the original Light Phone, was announced in 2015 (and then released in 2017) and it was wildly successful raising over $400,000 on Kickstarter. It was pretty bare-bones. It cost $150 and could only make and receive calls and it could only store nine phone numbers. In its defense, it was designed specifically to be a secondary phone.

The Light Phone 2, which started shipping to backers this past fall (with more units scheduled to ship out in early 2020), is definitely a more advanced device. It has an E-Ink touchscreen display (the original Light Phone just had an illuminated number pad) and it can send and receive text messages. It has a headphone jack and built-in Bluetooth, too, mainly just for hands-free calling. As for the price, the Light Phone 2 costs $350 (which is just a touch more affordable than a new Google Pixel).

The Light Phone 2 has an E-Ink Touchscreen display and can send and receive texts.

Interestingly, it also has built-in Wi-Fi, which will enable Light Phone 2 to download software updates. Hollier and Tang hope that future OS updates will add features like music, navigation and support for rideshare apps like Lyft or Uber. They hope to add a hotspot feature, too, so that if you need to access the internet, the Light Phone 2 would be able to act as the hotspot for a laptop. Right now, however, the Light Phone 2 is limited to calls, texts and alarms.

The company behind the phone thinks that, in the meantime, the demand for its product will only increase. “After Apple, Samsung, Google introduced its wellness apps, that actually increased a lot of people’s awareness of what smartphones are doing to us,” Tang explained. “It also drove a bunch of investors to us as well.” Those investors include John Zimmer (Lyft cofounder), Tim Kendall (former president of Pinterest and current CEO of Moment) and Scott Belsky (Adobe Chief Product Officer).

When I sat down with Hollier and Tang, we talked about quite a number of things. Chief among them, who was buying the Light Phone 2 and what they were actually looking to get out of it?

The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: What does it mean when you say “Going Light”?

Joe Hollier (JH): We’re a featureless phone and we really want to brand what the main feature is. It’s an experience. We wanted it to be some sort of conscious thing, like “I’m ‘Going Light today,” to kind of consciously set aside [your smartphone] for the day. Or just an hour.

Kai Tang (KT): Yeah. Sometimes we just need a break and this [Light Phone] is designed to make that experience special. Right? So I can pick up [the Light Phone] for an hour and go without my smartphone, and have peace of mind knowing I won’t miss a call. Then after we shipped tens of thousands of [Light Phones], people came back saying that switching was nerve-wracking in the beginning, but once you get over the fear of missing out, you start to feel the magic. You start paying [more] attention to people.

JH: You feel relieved even. The level of anxiety we’re not aware that we’re perpetually, constantly overwhelmed, and we’ve gotten so habitually used to it that we forget that sitting there for an hour can do wonders for your overall health.

Q: Gotcha. So, tell me about Light Phone 2? How did we get here?

JH: So basically people that were really liking [Light Phone 1] were like, “I don’t want to go back to a smartphone.” But without a full contact book, it was only limited to nine speed-dials without being able to get a text. You know, it was never meant to be an only phone. So we took a lot of that feedback. There are instances like if a couple goes on a date and they had a great time — like ‘My husband didn’t check his smartphone once during dinner, it was great” — but then when they tried to get home they couldn’t call a yellow car. So we had to reconcile with some of these utilities of a smartphone. Is there a way to make a phone that could take some of those [utilities] without the kind of [scrollable] feeds and advertisement-based apps, and make a phone that could be a full replacement — if not maybe full, much larger chunks of your life. So that was where the Light Phone 2 evolved from.

KT: Yeah, so there are five essential tools that are commonly requested. There’s phone calls, text message, directions, ride-sharing and music. We’re not against utility tools at this point. There’s just no [features] with infinite feeds. There’s no browser. There are no advertisements. So that’s how we designed the Light OS and the tool, so eventually, this list will grow and customers will have the ability to customize those tools whenever we release [new ones].

Q: One of the most popular features of today’s smartphones is the camera. And Light Phone 2 doesn’t have one. Will you create a Gen-Three Light Phone with a camera?

JH: It’s not off the table completely. I think we want to be really conscious of the experience of [using Light Phone] and I think what we want to avoid is someone going to see that sunset or that museum piece, not even looking at it and realize snapping a photo and then starting to post it. I shoot a lot of film photography and a lot of our users have been finding their own camera alternatives and talking about how it elevates their photography. Now it’s like the camera is on my shoulder and my day is about seeing things.

KT: Yeah, we decided not [add a camera] because we feel that behavior destructive right now. When you take a photo, all you’re thinking about is where do I share or how do I get likes. But the camera can be a useful tool if you’re just capturing the moment and not reviewing it. So maybe down the road, we could have a camera that you aren’t able to see the photo until you get home or something.

Q: What about music? Couldn’t that be considered a distraction, too?

KT: This is the debate. Our view is that if we design a way that you don’t browse, you don’t discover — you just have a playlist and that’s it. It’s to help you concentrate — focus but not discovering. No feeds. I think that made a lot of sense to us, so that’s why we are going to do a playlist, music playlist, and we are talking to Spotify but that’s probably done the road. Maybe we just grab the playlists from Spotify and people can play like that too.

Q: So $350. That’s not cheap. What type of people are buying this?

KT: The “overwhelmed smartphone user” is our core market. They are buying Light Phone 2 as a secondary phone. And now we have parents trying to buy Light Phone 2 and schools try to get Light Phone 2 for the students. That’s very interesting, a big surprise for us as well.

JH: I think an underlying value that [consumers] share is that there is a consciousness because it is expensive.

KT: Yeah, $350 sounds high, but we’re not really trying to become a cheap burner phone. We’re trying to say this is a potential replacement for your smartphone that still has the modern tools without advertisements, without the distractions and with 4G LTE. We’re trying to say this is a lifestyle. This is a choice that you can make. We’re also not saying everyone should switch to Light Phone and not use a smartphone. One percent of smartphone users resonate with Light Phone. We’re just saying, “Hey, it’s time for us to offer an option.”

Love Your Nintendo Switch? This Is the Ultimate Travel Accessory

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16 Apps Our Staff Can’t Live Without

There are over 2 million apps on the iOS App Store, over two million on the Google Play Store, and more than five million between them. Most of them, as I’m sure you’re well aware, are not with the data it takes to download, but others are as crucial as your phone itself. Here are some of the apps that our staff just can’t live without.

The Piano

“This app is straightforward and simple. No millennial upstart branding. It’s a piano. Sure, it has “features”, but I use it to keep my decent relative pitch in check. When I hear a song and I think I know what key it’s in, this app confirms or denies my inkling.” — Gerald Ortiz, Writer, Style

RiverApp

“RiverApp lets you check the flow of various rivers from around the world. Designed for kayakers, it aggregates info into an easy-to-use platform. Upgrade from the free version to set alerts, save favorite rivers and see historical flow information. Also makes a great app for anglers wanting to check water levels on your favorite trout streams.” — Jacob Sotak, Content Director, Gear Patrol Store

TD Ameritrade

“I am under the illusion that I will be able to retire one day. When I want to wake from that illusion, I go look at my IRA, laid out for me in all its digital glory by TD Ameritrade in this intuitive app.” — Oren Hartov, Editor, Watches

park4night

“This past fall, I lived out a long-held fantasy of mine: a #vanlife trip through part of Europe. The van was a 1981 Volkswagen and the destination was Portugal, where campervan camping in beach parking lots and up secret dirt roads is popular. This app, which categorizes camping spots by type and includes photos and reviews — a crucial piece in determining whether a place gets crowded or dirty or busted by the cops — is better than any guidebook you’ll find on the matter. Plus, it’s available in the US.” — Tanner Bowden, Writer, Outdoors & Fitness

Notes

“This app languished for a while during the earlier iOS days, but in the past several iOS updates, Apple has made huge leaps forward. Today, Notes has become one of my key productivity apps and an app that I probably spend an inordinate amount of time in. Sure, I use it for note taking and places to jot inspiration, but where it’s become truly essential is with its addition of collaboration and stronger organizational tools. Now I have a collaborative ongoing, live to-do list that my wife populates with tasks she needs me to handle (I love that it moves finished items to the bottom), I can build tables in real time (I’m a table nerd) that I have synced live with my Apple laptops and the improvements in markup and scanning tools allow me to build longer, more robust memos long before I dive into Google Docs. I’m glad Apple has removed as much of that skeuomorphism UI mumbo jumbo from the app, improved search and added permission levels so you can share notes without letting people make changes – perfect when you have to make your friends accountable to bringing over the beer and chips for the Saturday BBQ. In short, Notes is essentially where I start nearly all my work and personal docs.” — Eric Yang, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Audible

“Audiobooks have evolved greatly from the books on tape of yesteryear. With narrators like Nick Offerman, Meryl Streep, Samual L Jackson, and Tom Hanks (to name very few) your commute will be greatly improved with world class talent bringing new and old characters to life. Now that Audible’s allows for in app ios purchases, it’s the clear choice for audiobook enthusiasts.” — Andrew Siceloff, Director of Video

Snapseed

“Designed by Google, this is my go-to photo editing app on my iPhone, and I’ve tried a few. I don’t bother editing phone photos on the likes of the full desktop Lightroom and Photoshop, and Snapseed is simple to use but pretty powerful. Sure, you could use the filters, but you really get an app like this for the range of effects and control it offers. ” — Zen Love, Writer, Watches

Pigeon

“Living in New York City means you’re constantly struggling with figuring out the best way to get anywhere. Google’s crowdsourced transit app uses data culled from users and the subways/buses in realtime to help you figure out the most efficient route.” — Will Sabel Courtney, Editor, Motoring

Dunkin’

“I drink way too much Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and this app hooks me up with points for eating and drinking there. It’s not technically advanced or fancy, but damn it, do I need it.” — Will Sabel Courtney, Editor, Motoring

Soundprint

“Trying to find a quiet place to read or chat in NYC can be a nightmare. This app shows exactly how loud bars, restaurants and other public spaces are, based on crowd-sourced data. Also, the decibel meter is super-handy. (Our office averages 59dB, by the way.)” — Will Sabel Courtney, Editor, Motoring

Google Photos

“I offload all my photos to the Google Photos app, never worrying about my phone storage or iCloud backups filling up. The app is super simple to use and you can even set it up to automatically upload all your photos to Google’s cloud. It’ll then delete the duplicated images for you (only if you want). The search features are pretty tight as well — when I’m trying to find that recipe card my mom sent me to make a family favorite, the app pulls that right up. ” — Meg Lappe, Editorial Coordinator

Amazon Prime Now

“Amazon allows me to shop for anything from anywhere, but Prime now has also made me super lazy with free two-hour grocery delivery.” — Kasey Martin, Multimedia Editor

Pocket Casts

“There are about a bajillion podcast apps out there, and plenty of reasons you might choose one over the others. I picked Pocket Casts because I go between different phones a lot, and Pocket Cast lets me save all my podcasts and my progress through them in a single account I can log into on any device to get up and going extremely quickly.” — Eric Limer, Editor, Tech

Mullvad VPN

“Did you know it is 100 percent legal for your internet company to collect your browsing data and sell it to advertisers? It is! That is why I use Mullvad to protect all the data that goes in and out of my house. A VPN won’t magically make you invisible on the internet by a long shot, but it’s a good way to prevent your ISP, who can see literally everything you do otherwise, from selling you out to advertisers. For Android, there’s a dedicated app. For iOS users, you’ll have to set up something like OpenVPN.” — Eric Limer, Editor, Tech

Shazam

“Any music lover needs Shazam. It’s invaluable for those sporadic moments that perk your ears. It syncs with Spotify and saves songs into its own playlist for you to reference later. I also judge restaurants, bars and cafes by how much I open Shazam.” — Gerald Ortiz, Writer, Style

VSCO

“VSCO has really great presets that you can tweak. I love being able to adjust the tint of the highlights and shadows, as well as being able to adjust the skin tones. Of course, you are limited a bit with what you can tweak on your phone but it gets the job done pretty well for on the go editing. It’s a simple app and is super user friendly.” — Kasey Martin, Multimedia Editor

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Eric Limer is Gear Patrol’s tech editor. A resident of Weehawken, NJ, his current obsessions include mechanical keyboards, mechanical pencils and Formula 1.

More by Eric Limer | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock remotely secures your home

Protect your home from unwanted guests with the all-new August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. This security device not only monitors who comes in and out of your house. It also lets you share access to your home to family and friends.

Experience peace of mind when you leave your home with the added security features of the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. It uses an auto-lock function which automatically locks your front door once it’s closed or after a specified amount of time. It uses geofencing to automatically unlock the door when you come home.

Meanwhile, a DoorSense sensor tells you whether your door is secure. This saves you from a return trip home when you are uncertain if you’ve left your front door open or not. If not, then Smart Alerts let you know of any changes whether the door is ajar or unlocked.

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock works with a dedicated mobile app that lets you know the goings-on of your front door and also grants you remote access to your home. It lets you remotely open the door for friends and family and lock after them when they leave. You can also send them secure keys through the app. The app also provides an activity feed that lets you see the exact time when guests enter and leave your home.

The device is compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant for voice commands. The app uses both Bluetooth Energy (BLE) technology encryption and TLS for added protection. Likewise, it offers phone number or email verification and quick app disabling for lost phones.

Installation of the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is easy. It’s compatible with most cylinder deadbolts and takes less than 10 minutes to attach it on the inside of your door.

Get Yours Here

Images courtesy of August

The Samsung T7 Touch SSD enhances data security with biometrics

The Samsung T7 Touch SSD is “approximately twice as fast as its predecessor the T5” and features cosmetic updates, including a fingerprint sensor. Rarely do we find portable SSDs that feature biometrics as an added means of access. Not only does it provide ease of use but it also amps up the security level.

The use of biometrics makes unlocking seamless and prevents remote decryption of stored files. It enhances security even if you’re not using a laptop with a fingerprint reader. The beauty with this latest external SSD from the company’s T series is that it allows for multi-user access. You can register a maximum of four fingerprints with the Samsung T7 Touch SSD. This means you can share access with family or friends.

Another cosmetic update to the Samsung T7 Touch SSD that was strangely missing from its predecessor is the indicator light. An LED light turns on during file transfers and when the drive is on its idle state.

Outside of the physical additions, the Samsung T7 Touch SSD boasts a write speed up to 1,000MB/s and a maximum read speed of 1,050MB/s. It uses AES 256-bit hardware encryption for data security and 500GB of memory storage with two additional options: 1TB and 2TB capacity.

Its construction is solid aluminium chassis, which makes it tough and durable. It is drop-resistant up to about six and a half feet (up to 2 meters). It features a single USB-C port which you can connect with the USB Type-C-to-C and USB Type-C-to-A cables that come with the device. The Samsung T7 Touch SSD comes in silver and black colours.

Buy Yours Here

Images courtesy of Samsung

9 Strange and Beautiful TVs That Will Define 2020

The biggest show in consumer tech is on right now. Catch up on our highlights and follow us on Instagram for up-to-the-second coverage!

The Consumer Electronics Show has historically been host to industry-shifting announcements from the Commodore 64, to the DVD, to the original Xbox. But nowadays, its main attraction tends to be huge, expensive, absurd televisions. In that respect, 2020 is no exception, and heavy hitters like Samsung, LG and Sony are all bringing out their big guns and revealing a slate of boob tubes that run the gamut from experimental and fiendishly expensive to budget sets that punch above their weight. Here are some of the best, and some of the craziest, TVs that cropped up at CES this year.

Vizio’s First-Ever OLED TV

Vizio announced updated models of its V-Series, M-Series and P-Series Quantum X of 4K TVs, but the standout was its announcement of its first-ever OLED TVs. They’ll be available in 55-inch and 65-inch models, and both will released sometime later this year. Vizio has yet to release pricing, but you can expect these to be among the most affordable OLED TVs on the market.

LG’s Rollable TV

Technically a repeat from 2019, LG’s rollable TV has shown up at CES yet again, this time with the promise of an impending 2020 release. While LG hasn’t officially locked in price or availability just yet, CNET reports the set is slated to launch in the second or third quarter of 2020 for a whopping $60,000.

Samsung’s Shapeshifting Sero TV

Arguably the craziest TV that Samsung announced at CES, The Sero is a 4K TV that can rotate its screen between a traditional horizontal mode and a new vertical mode. (“Sero” means “vertical” in Korean.) The idea is that more people are sharing content directly from their smartphones to their TV, be it on YouTube, Snapchat or TikTok, and this TV will actually be able to show that content its proper orientation. Admittedly, it’s strange but also kind of neat. As of now the TV only comes in a 43-inch model. Samsung says it will “expand The Sero’s availability to several global markets in 2020,” after an initial launch in South Korea last year. Whether that means it’ll actually be available in the US, we’ll have to wait and see to find out.

LG’s GX Gallery TVs that Sit on Your Wall Like a Picture

LG’s new GX Gallery series of 4K Ultra HD TVs is designed to look like a piece of art hanging on your wall, similar to Samsung’s The Frame TVs. The Gallery Series TVs come with a specially-designed wall mount so that they hang completely flush on the wall, and you’ll be able to customize the art when you aren’t watching. The Gallery Series TVs all have the ultra-thin form factor (20 millimeters thin) that LG’s OLEDs are known for. And they will come in three different sizes — 55-, 65- and 77-inch. No pricing or availability information yet, but you can bet they will be freakishly expensive.

Samsung’s “Zero-Bezel” Q950 TV

Samsung’s new 8K QLED TV isn’t just notable for its picture, but also for what’s (not) around it. The new flagship Q950 has, according to Samsung, a 99 percent screen-to-frame ratio, which means that the border around its picture is practically non-existent at just 2.3mm thick, for however that much is worth to you. And it better be worth a lot. While Samsung hasn’t divulged price or availability quite yet, if it runs in the same league as its predecessors, you can expect a price tag well above $10,000.

Panasonic HZ2000 OLED TV

The next-generation of last year’s GZ2000, the Panasonic HZ2000 is the company’s newest OLED TV and it’s optimized for cinephiles, home theater buffs and industry professionals. It’s the first OLED TV to support both Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode, the later of which is a setting that promises to make movies look exactly how the director intended, Panasonic worked with famed Hollywood colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld (Wonder Woman, A Star is Born, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) to achieve this high-grade color accuracy. It will be available later this year and come in either 55-inch and 65-inch models

Sony Z8H 8K TV

Sony announced a bunch of new TVs at this year’s show, but the Z8H 8K LED is its most notable. It has a neat feature that Sony is calling “Ambient Optimization” which allows the TV to automatically tune its sound to the room its located in. Additionally, the Z8H 8K LED has a tweeter built directly into its frame and it vibrates to generate sound. Basically, if you don’t want to use additional speakers, the Z8H 8K LED’s built-in speakers should sound pretty darn impressive.

LG’s 2020 NanoCell OLED TVs

These are LG’s new creme de la creme TVs that are able to produce a “real 8K” picture. They have cool minimalistic design and a fancy-new processor — called the Alpha 9 Gen 3 AI Processor — that LG claims leverages more power and more advanced artificial intelligence deep learning algorithms; it’s basically able to deliver the best 8K picture possible. And it will be available in 88- and 77-inch models.

LG’s New 48-inch OLED TV

New year, new size. LG just announced that it will, for the first time, make a 48-inch OLED TV. This particular new model, the OLED48CX, has over 8 million pixels in its tiny 48-inch screen, which LG claims is a density comparable to that of a 96-inch 8K TV. Basically, for anybody who has wanted the best possible TV but in a very small form factor, now you can.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

A daily magazine of immersive stories, deals, buying advice, product-forward editorial, and reports from far-flung places.

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The Razer Tomahawk is a modular gaming-grade desktop PC in a compact form factor

Talking about gaming PCs, what immediately comes to mind are towering desktop enclosures with all the latest components. For the longest time, gamers rely on huge enclosures for specific reasons. Nevertheless, the footprint it comes with takes up a lot of space. Intel is introducing a cutting-edge solution for consumers in the form of its NUC 9 Extreme platform. Razer apparently wants in on the action and debuts the Tomahawk mini gaming desktop solution.

The first thing you’ll notice is the glowing triple-snake logo of the brand on the front panel. As with most products from the company, LED lighting is somewhat its signature feature. Roughly about the size of an external GPU enclosure, the Tomahawk is a minimalists dream come true. Thanks to the compact nature of Intel’s latest Compute Element, its partners can craft cool cases to meet their customer’s demands.

Razer delivers premium quality with small form factor build for PC gaming enthusiasts who want to build a miniature rig. This modular enclosure does not even require the usual tools to take apart and assemble. The Tomahawk demo unit features at CES 2020 had some elements installed ahead of time, but the process should be practically foolproof.

The chassis of the Tomahawk is mostly in black with a matte finish. The aluminium frame of the housing sports two tempered glass panels on each side to give owners a view inside. Since it is a bespoke platform, Razer will include an SFX power supply to get you started. Aside from the Intel NUC 9 Extreme and its upgradable Compute Element, the user can customize it to suit their needs. Moreover, fully decked-out variants will be available as well.

Learn more about it here

Images courtesy of Razer

Lenovo’s ThinkBook Plus Is Dual-Display Laptop With An E-Ink Exterior Screen

While every other big-name tech outfit is coming up with new ways to slap on a flexible display on their products, Lenovo is switching to a different approach. At CES 2020 almost every other manufacturer is showcasing a laptop with a foldable screen. Understanding the challenge when it comes to the limitations of a bendable screen, the Chinese tech giant is exploring the idea of dual screens. As such it is presenting the ThinkBook Plus – a laptop with an E-paper display on its lid.

The technology is a popular option for e-book readers such as Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite and others. Therefore, Lenovo is taking advantage of the unused space on the external surface of its laptops. The ThinkBook Plus sports a 13.3-inch Full-HD IPS panel for its primary display. When the lid closes, that’s when the 10.8-inch E-Ink monochromatic display springs into action.

According to the manufacturer, users can use the E-paper touchscreen to take notes, read documents, draw, and get notification alerts. Moreover, the ThinkBook Plus ships with a Lenovo Precision Pen as a bonus. Owners can apparently fire up the secondary display even when the primary system is shut down. Likewise, it is possible to use both at the same time.

The ThinkBook Plus is relying on a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU with Intel UHD graphics. The memory is available in either 8 GB or 16 GB DDR4 configurations. Internal SSD storage, on the other hand, is up to 512 GB. For extra security, the laptop’s power button houses a fingerprint scanner. Meanwhile, audio quality should be top-notch with the twin 2-Watt HARMAN-tuned, Dolby-certified speakers. Finally, the 45-Wh battery lasts up to 10 hours and supports RapidCharge technology.

Learn more about if from Lenovo

Images courtesy of Lenovo

The Best Things We Saw at CES 2020

Catch up on our highlights from 2020 and follow us on Instagram to see on-the-floor coverage!

The first Consumer Electronics Show of a new decade is coming to a close, and it has left us with a menagerie of new gadgets whose releases will be sprinkled out across the rest of the year (if they happen at all). As always, CES is an overwhelming flood of announcements so here is our roundup of the best things we saw at CES 2020.

Mophie Powerstation Go

Mophie announced one brand-new product at this year’s CES and it’s a first for the company. The Powerstation Go is still a portable powerbank, which Mophie is well-known for, but it’s unique because it can jump-start a car or SUV. It even comes with its own jumper cables. Additionally, the Powerstation Go has two USB-A ports, an AC output port and it can function as a wireless charging pad. It also has a built-in flashlight. The Powerstation Go will be available for purchase on January 9. It’ll cost $160.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

Samsung’s first-ever Galaxy Chromebook is probably the most spec’d out Chromebook ever made. The 2-in-1 laptop has a 4K OLED display, which is basically unheard of on a Chromebook, or any 13-inch laptop for that matter. And, according to Samsung, it’s the thinnest Chromebook ever made and 38-percent thinner than a MacBook Air. It’s beautiful, powerful, fast and fanless (meaning it’s quiet). And yes, it’s also expensive. The Galaxy Chromebook will start at $999 and be available in early 2020.

Suunto 7

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The Suunto 7 has basically everything you’d want in a multi-sport smartwatch by Suunto. It has a built-in GPS, heart rate sensor, altimeter and it can track up to 70 different exercises, such as swimming, skiing, surfing, running and cycling. It’s shock-proof, water-proof and dirt-proof, too. As for what separates it from its predecessors: It’s the first that runs on Wear OS, which is Google’s smartwatch operating system. It’s also the first Suunto smartwatch that lets you download offline maps; this way you can accurately track exercises even when you leave your smartphone at home. And it’s the first smartwatch that gives you access to Suunto’s built-in Heatmaps (these had previously only been accessible on the company’s smartphone app), which allows you to find popular running or biking routes in a specific area. The Suunto 7 is available now for $499.

Sennheiser HD 450BT Headphones

The HD 450BT are newest noise-canceling headphones and their standout feature is price; they cost $220, which is significantly less expensive than the company’s flagship noise-canceling headphones, the $400 Momentum 3 Wireless. Additionally, the HD 450BT charge via USB-C and will get roughly 30 hours of playtime with ANC turned on. They’ll be available February 2020.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

Lenovo just announced the ThinkPad X1 Fold, which the company is calling the “world’s first foldable PC.” It’s a tablet with a 13.3-inch OLED screen — it actually has the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as Apple’s affordable 9.7-inch iPad — and it can folded down into what looks like a small, easy-to-carry notebook. The ThinkPad X1 Fold actually has a built-in kickstand, which makes it easy to prop it up so that you can use as a laptop, and comes Bluetooth keyboard. This keyboard magnetically attaches itself to the bottom of the tablet when you’re not using it, so it doesn’t feel like an accessory that you need to bring separately.

Alienware Concept UFO

What if the Nintendo Switch was a full-fledged Windows 10 gaming PC? That is the idea behind Alienware’s Concept UFO. As a pre-production concept device that may not ever make it to market, a lot of the details for this gadget aren’t public. Dell hasn’t said what kind of graphics card its runs, what its battery life is or, crucially, how much it might cost. But the fact that Alienware could produce a working model to show off at CES shows the promise of fitting a truly top-of-the-line gaming right into the terrific handheld format that Nintendo has pioneered. Let’s just hope someone makes a version you can buy.

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is the company’s newest security camera, designed to be added to an existing Arlo Pro 3 security system. It’s unique because it’s the first security camera that has a built-in floodlight and can be completely wire-free. Its built-in, curved LED panel can deliver between 2,000 and 3,000 lumens. This variance in brightness depends on whether you’re on battery power (2,000 lumens) or hard-wired to your home’s electrical system (3,000 lumens). The Pro 3 Floodlight Camera will cost $249 and will be available this spring.

LG GX Gallery TV Series

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LG is getting more serious about “lifestyle TVs.” Each of its new GX Gallery series of 4K Ultra HD TVs is designed to look like a piece of art hanging on your wall, similar to Samsung’s The Frame TVs. The Gallery Series TVs come with a specially-designed wall mount so that they hang completely flush on the wall, and you’ll be able to customize the art when you aren’t watching. The Gallery Series TVs all have the ultra-thin form factor (20 millimeters thin) that LG’s OLEDs are known for. And they will come in three different sizes — 55-, 65- and 77-inch.

Klipsch T10 True Wireless Earphones

Klipsch claims that the new T10 are the world’s smallest and lightest wireless earbuds and after seeing them at this year’s show, I believe them — they are absolutely tiny. They also have an incredibly thin charging case that should barely take up any space in your pocket. They’re designed to sound great, which you’d expect from Klipsch, and have some pretty neat features such as gesture controls and active noise-cancellation. No pricing has been released just yet, but you can expect these to be on the high end when it comes to wireless earbuds. They’ll be released this summer.

Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub

Weber just announced a device that it’s claiming can turn any grill into a smart grill. The all-new Weber Connect smart device is grilling hub that works with temperature probes and the Weber Connect app. After placing the probs in your food, you’ll receive smartphone notifications telling you the precise times to flip your steak, and then of course serve and eat it. Basically, if you need help cooking a perfect steak, this “step-by-step grilling assistant” can help. It’s expected to cost $130 and be released in early 2020.

Samsung Sero TV

Arguably the craziest TV that Samsung announced at CES is The Sero. It’s a 4K TV that can rotate between being a traditional horizontal TV and a new vertical TV. (“Sero” means “vertical” in Korean.) The whole idea behind it is that more people are sharing content directly from their smartphones to their TV, be it on YouTube, Snapchat or TikTok, and this TV will actually be able to show that content its proper orientation. Admittedly, it’s strange but also kind of neat. As of now the TV only comes in a 43-inch model. Samsung says it will “expand The Sero’s availability to several global markets in 2020,” after an initial launch in South Korea last year. Whether that means it’ll actually be available in the US, we’ll have to wait and see.

Vizio’s First-Ever OLED TV

Vizio announced updated models of its V-Series, M-Series and P-Series Quantum X of 4K TVs, but the standout was its announcement of its first-ever OLED TVs. They’ll be available in 55-inch and 65-inch models, and both will released sometime later this year. Vizio has yet to release pricing, but you can expect these to be among the most affordable OLED TVs on the market. And that’s great news for consumers.

Vizio Elevate Soundbar

Vizio’s newest flagship soundbar sports a unique new trick. Yes, it has 18 drivers in total, but the left and right ends of the soundbar can actually rotate up, to increase height effects when they are working with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X encoded audio. Otherwise, they point forward like a typical soundbar. So far, no word on price or release date.

Harman Kardon Fly ANC Headphones

Harman Kardon hasn’t released new headphones in several years, but that all changed at this year’s CES. The company announced a number of wireless headphones and earbuds, with the most interesting being the FLY ANC, the company’s first wireless noise-canceling headphones. They look super comfy and will cost $250, which is more affordable than most other premium offerings. The Fly ANC headphones are available now.

Samsung’s “Zero-Bezel” Q950 TV

Samsung’s new 8K QLED TV isn’t just notable for its picture, but also for what’s (not) around it. The new flagship Q950 has, according to Samsung, a 99 percent screen-to-frame ratio, which means that the border around its picture is practically non-existent at just 2.3mm thick, for however that much is worth to you. And it better be worth a lot. While Samsung hasn’t divulged price or availability quite yet, if it runs in the same league as its predecessors, you can expect a price tag well above $10,000.

LG’s 2020 OLED TVs

These are LG’s new creme de la creme TVs that are able to produce a “real 8K” picture. They have cool minimalistic design and a fancy-new processor — called the Alpha 9 Gen 3 AI Processor — that LG claims leverages more power and more advanced artificial intelligence deep learning algorithms; it’s basically able to deliver the best 8K picture possible. And it will be available in 88- and 77-inch models.

We’ll be updating this post throughout the show, so check back for the latest highlights.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

A daily magazine of immersive stories, deals, buying advice, product-forward editorial, and reports from far-flung places.

More by Gear Patrol | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email

KEEP Secure Stash Box Is Perfect Protection For Your Herbs

Philip Wilkins and his co-founders want you to say goodbye to storing your weed inside Ziploc bags, makeup bags, or even under floorboards. They have created something far better: The KEEP Secure Stash Box, which is not just any ordinary portable storage device.

It not only keeps your cannabis stash safe from prying hands but also seals any odour at bay. It uses a hermetic seal to keep your weed fresh and odour-free. This way, it ensures that no one can smell your stash and know its location but you.

Moreover, the KEEP Secure Stash Box discreetly stores recreational drugs because of its sleek appearance. It features an LED display that shows the time and outdoor temperature. This makes people easily mistake it as a bedside alarm clock. It is no ordinary storage device too. It is smart-enabled so you can easily monitor your cannabis stash anytime and anywhere.

You can use its companion app to secure locking, unlocking, and monitoring through WIFI and Bluetooth. A built-in biometric lock that connects to your smartphone enables you to access the device through a passcode, thumbprint, or facial recognition, depending on your phone’s security feature.

Meanwhile, the interior features humidity and temperature monitors, a built-in scale, an organization pod, and a removable rolling tray. The device can store up to 28 grams of flower or a total cannabis weight of 4.4 pounds. The KEEP Secure Stash Box comes in two colour variants namely black and white. It also has a USB charging cable so you can recharge the battery.

Get your KEEP Secure Stash Box here

Images courtesy of KEEP

The 9 Best Headphones of CES 2020

The biggest show in consumer tech is on right now. Catch up on our highlights and follow us on Instagram for up-to-the-second coverage!

To nobody’s surprise, headphones and wireless earbuds were a big trend this year at CES 2020 — a lot of company’s announced new models. We’ve rounded up all our favorite new models that broke cover and will be coming out this year.

Jabra Elite Active 75t

Jabra announced “active” versions of the Elite 75t wireless earbuds that it released this past fall. The new active models are identical to the Elite 75t in pretty much every way — size, shape, case and sound — except they are slightly more sweat- and water-resistant (IP57 versus IP56). They also have a special coating that helps them stay in your ears better, which you’d want for working out. The Jabra Elite Active 75t will be available in February for $199, which is $20 more than Jabra’s flagship Elite 75t wireless earbuds.

Klipsch T10 True Wireless Earphones

Klipsch claims that the new T10 are the world’s smallest and lightest wireless earbuds and after seeing them at this year’s show, I believe it — they are absolutely tiny. They also have an incredibly thin charging case that should barely take up any space in your pocket. They’re designed to sound great, which you’d expect from Klipsch, and have some pretty neat features such as gesture controls and active noise-cancellation. No pricing has been released just yet, but you can expect these to be on the “high end” when it comes to wireless earbuds. They’ll be released this summer.

1More True Wireless ANC In-Ear Headphones

1More’s new true wireless earbuds will look to give AirPods Pro and Sony’s WF-1000XM3 a run for their money. They have two different levels of active noise cancelation, a pass-through mode, and you’ll be able to purchase them with a wireless charging case for a little bit extra. They’re also the first true wireless headphones with a (pending) THX certification and, as a result, should boast high quality sound. They cost $200 are available for pre-order now (expected to be released sometime in February).

Harman Kardon Fly ANC Headphones

Harman Kardon hasn’t released new headphones in several years, but that all changed at this year’s CES. The company announced a number of wireless headphones and earbuds, with the most interesting being the FLY ANC, Harman Kardon’s first wireless noise-canceling headphones. They look super comfy and will cost $250, which is more affordable than most other premium offerings. The Fly ANC headphones are available now.

Sennheiser HD 450BT Headphones

The HD 450BT are newest noise-canceling headphones and they’re standout feature is price; they cost $220, which is significantly less expensive than the company’s flagship noise-canceling headphones, the $400 Momentum 3 Wireless. Additionally, the HD 450BT charge via USB-C and will get roughly 30 hours of playtime with ANC turned on. They’ll be available next month (February 2020).

Klipsch Over-Ear Noise-Canceling Headphones

These are Klipsch’s first wireless headphones with active noise-cancellation. Klipsch partnered with Sony and these headphones have the same stellar noise-canceling technology as Sony’s WH-1000XM3, which are still some of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market. These new Klipsch headphones will have a special USB-C charing flight case, so you won’t need to take them out of the case to charge, and will be available later this year. They’re expected to cost $399.

Panasonic RZ-S500W Earbuds

The RZ-S500W is Panasonic’s first pair of wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation. They support Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C charging and Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. They also cost $180, which is actually pretty affordable. They’ll be available for purchase in June.

Jabra Elite 45h Headphones

The Elite 45h is a pair of new, wireless on-ear headphones. Jabra has released a number of new headphones at this year’s CES, but the Elite 45h might be the best value — they’re just $99. They’re also the first headphones to work with Jabra’s new MySound feature (within the Jabra Sound+ app), which essentially gives you a hearing test and then will optimize the EQ of the headphones for you. The Elite 45h will be available next month (February 2020).

Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC300TW

These are Audio-Technica’s first true wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation and they have many of the features you’d expect, such as USB-C charging and a pass-through listening mode. You’ll also be able to adjust various noise-canceling and EQ settings via the company’s companion app. Additionally, each earbud has an IPX2 water-resistance rating and a battery life of about 4.5 hours. They’ll cost $249.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The Best Fitness Tech Innovations of CES 2020

The biggest show in consumer tech is on right now. Catch up on our highlights and follow us on Instagram for up-to-the-second coverage!

On the surface, technology and fitness might not seem closely tied, but as the quest to live our best physical lives rolls on, the two worlds become inextricably linked. Nowhere is this connection more apparent than at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where brands unveil their latest efforts to help us get healthier and fitter. Some of the ideas are just fine, some are goofy and some are ahead of their time, but they all combine to move us forward. The following six tripped our sensors, for one reason or another, at this year’s show.

LIVALL Bling Helmet BH51M Neo

It’s not the first “smart helmet” to hit the market, but we dig the fact that LIVALL’s brain bucket offers a ton of handy tech while looking pretty streamlined and cool. Standout features include front and rear lights activated by built-in gravity acceleration sensors, turn signals controlled via a handlebar remote and walkie-talkie functionality to aid communication when riding with a group.

NURVV Run

We’ve gotta give NURVV points for creativity here. The brand has embedded 32 precision sensors into a pair of insoles with the goal of helping runners improve their form to go faster and risk less injury. The sensors capture data 1,000 times per second and pair with an app to provide realtime feedback on factors like cadence, step length, footstrike, pronation and balance. At £250 ($327), they are pricy, but who knows? Maybe a big running shoe company will buy the tech and start integrating.

Philips SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband

Assuming you can get used to sleeping with a giant headband, this product promises to make sleep more restorative by triggering quiet audio tones that boost the quality of “slow wave sleep” (a.k.a. deep sleep). There’s also an app-paired sleep tracker (of course), and Philips says 80 percent of testers report positive results within two weeks of use. And that’s not even including the bonus feature: we can’t imagine this thing stirring anyone’s ardor, so it doubles as birth control!

Samsung GEMS

File GEMS (“Gait Enhancing & Motivating System”), unveiled in 2019, under “ahead of its time.” The exoskeleton was designed to provide walking assistance and/or resistance, but Samsung rolled it back out this year as a potential home workout device, complete with a holographic personal trainer. We’re not quite ready to strap on this harness, a pair of AR glasses and a Galaxy smartwatch just to do lunges, but it lays the groundwork for more feasible options down the road.

Suunto 7

Suunto consistently makes burly and reliable sports watches, but as our own Oren Hartov noted in a story yesterday, the Suunto 7 is a bit of a departure. This watch seeks to blend sports watch functionality (offline maps, 70+ sport modes, GPS tracking) with a more accessible, lifestyle-y aesthetic (customizable faces, interchangeable straps) that won’t look out of place with a suit or at least a blazer. So far, so good.

Whistle FIT

Finally, a Fitbit for dogs!

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Steve Mazzucchi is Gear Patrol’s outdoors and fitness editor. Outside the office, you can find him mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling or sipping a dram of Laphroaig and daydreaming about such things.

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KOHLER Moxie Showerhead + Smart Speaker Is You All-In-One Bathroom GAdget

Take singing in the shower to the next level with KOHLER Moxie Showerhead + Smart Speaker. Equipped with Alexa, the showerhead allows you to queue up your favourite music playlist. This makes taking a bath not only fun and lively but also time-consuming (pun intended). If you prefer hearing the latest news then you can ask Alexa to play the daily news or current events for you straight from your showerhead.

The KOHLER Moxie Showerhead is a circular ring that easily allows the attachment of the speaker in the middle. The waterproof speaker attaches snugly around the ring-shaped showerhead through magnets. The magnets make it easy to remove the speaker and recharge its battery through its bundle, cordless dock. A full charge to the speaker’s built-in Lithium-ION battery gives up to five hours of audio playback with Alexa enabled. Without Alexa, it is up to seven hours of audio playback tuned by Harmon Kardon.

Unlike other speakers that muffle sound against running water, the speaker lets you listen to music or audio freely even when the shower is on full blast. The device emits a white noise-cancelling frequency that ensures that music or audio playback can still be heard over running water.

The beauty of the speaker on the KOHLER Moxie Showerhead is that it is not just specific for the showerhead. Since it is removable, then it can be used outside the shower space to stream music or news in any room.  It is also Bluetooth-ready, which means it can sync with any wireless devices including smartphones, laptops, MP3 players, and more.

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Images courtesy of KOHLER