Accessories

AMX XP 60: The most convenient USB-C PD charger

One brick, four devices

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MicroUSB used to be a must-have on all phones a few years back. With rising megapixels and resolutions, the industry also moved on to a new port called USB-C. It’s easier to use thanks to a reversible connector and also carries more power as well as data. OnePlus was among the first to incorporate the port and pretty much every other brand has made the shift.

Though, Apple is yet to make up its mind. The Cupertino giant has equipped the MacBook’s with just USB-C ports and removed all older lesser beings. Unfortunately, the brand still uses a lightning port for the iPhones and that means I need to carry at least two charging wires — one for the MacBook and one for the iPhone.

And, if you’re carrying along any other Android phone or accessory, it’s a bare minimum rule to also carry a microUSB wire. With so many different ports, how do you charge your devices on the go? Each will need a separate charging brick that not only takes space but also weighs you down.

I’ve been using AMX’s XP 60 charger for a couple of weeks now and it has definitely become one of my favorite accessories of 2019. The brick has one USB-C port and three USB-A ports along with a tiny blue-colored indicator showing successful power delivery.

Obviously, finding a brick with multiple ports is not groundbreaking. However, the USB-C port on this charger supports PD charging, a standardized protocol for faster charging. PD charging doesn’t require any proprietary gear, so you can simply plug your mobile, laptop, accessory, or even power bank.

On top of that, PD optimizes power management across multiple peripherals so each device will draw only the power it requires for the current process.

The rest of the USB-A ports support 18W fast charging cheap. And it was pretty much every phone shipping with fast charging tech, it’s always nice to have more options. I’ve quickly managed to charge my iPhone 8, Redmi Note 8 Pro, Mi A3, and MacBook Air simultaneously from just one power outlet.

Considering the price of INR 1,199 (US$ 17), this is a steal. OEM chargers sometimes cost more than that and are often limited. However, the charging brick feels a little flimsy. Some improvements to the overall build quality would be highly appreciated.

Accessories

realme launches Watch 2 Pro, TechLife Robot Vacuum

While teasing more devices

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realme

This hardly comes as a surprise anymore as every brand is coming out with their slew of smart devices. realme is, likewise, venturing outside the smartphone arena as they launch the realme Watch 2 Pro and realme TechLife Robot Vacuum.

realme AIoT

The company is transitioning from their 1+4+N strategy to the 1+5+T strategy. Still tells the normal everyday person nothing at first glance but realme explains it as:

1 — smartphone, as realme’s smartphones are at the center of its AIoT ecosystem
5 — key categories for realme’s AIoT products. These include the True Wireless Stereo (TWS), Wearables, TV, laptops, and tablets.
T — stands for TechLife. This is realme’s open partner platform. It aims to support innovative and dynamic AIoT startups through the sharing of realme’s own sales channels.

TechLife focuses on three product categories: Smart Entertainment (TV boxes, projectors, speakers and game accessories), Smart Care (vacuum robots, air purifiers and body fat scales), Smart Connect (smart sockets, smart light bulbs and cameras)

After announcing the realme GT to take care of “1”, realme is covering “5” with the realme Watch 2 Pro, and the “T” with the Techlife Robot Vacuum.

realme Watch 2 Pro

If you follow tech news a lot, you know how this goes. The realme Watch 2 Pro is supposed to be your partner for an active and healthy lifestyle.

It comes with a variety of monitoring features. These are an accurate GPS system, an Sp02 monitor for blood oxygen tracking, and a heart rate monitor. For an active lifestyle, it comes with 90 sports modes.

It’s also larger than its predecessor. It has a 1.75-inch (4.4cm) display with 600 nits of peak brightness. It’s also again promising up to 14 days of power with its 390mAh battery. You’re also offered over 100 different watch faces so it’ll never feel old.

realme TechLife Robot Vacuum

This device is kicking off realme’s whole TechLife line. It has the LiDAR Smart Mapping and Navigation System, the same state-of-the-art technology used in the navigation systems of modern electric vehicles and aircraft. Sounds overkill for a vacuum but if you want your space spic and span you wanna make sure the vacuum can get to all areas that it should.

The realme TechLife Robot Vacuum has a super-high suction and mopping power of 3000Pa. This means it’s capable of cleaning large amounts of high-density garbage while keeping noise levels as low as 55dB on quiet mode.

It also features a 5200mAh battery, a 600ml dust bin and a 300ml smart electronic water tank, ensuring that users do not have to constantly charge and empty the vacuum during cleaning.

It’s designed to fit into any home with a maximum height of just above 10cm. It has a sleek and classy design with the top cover of the device made from an impact resistant tempered glass.

More TechLife products coming

realme also teased a media-focused realme Pad tablet and their first laptop — the realme Book.

Price and availability

The realme watch 2 Pro will be available starting June 16 for EUR 74.99. The basic realme watch 2 retails for EUR 54.99.

The realme TechLife Robot Vacuum price and availability details to follow.

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Nanoleaf launches new Elements Line

A wood look for smart light panels

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Nanoleaf announces new Elements Wood Look Hexagons, inspired by nature. The wood-like panels have backlit technology and can add an aesthetic to your room. Coming from a successful line of color-changing smart panels, Nanoleaf combines nature and modern technology.

Each of the panels has a wood grain-like texture and is something worth considering if you’re into these types of modern design. Even when powered off, Elements still stands on its own as a design. The panel is also ultra-slim so it may be a hassle-free experience installing the panels.

The Nanoleaf Elements also have a unique glowing effect as each apex of the panel lights up independently. Nanoleaf said that the panels can imitate embers on a fireplace or a moving cloud. Additionally, the panels also glow from the back adding a double-lit effect.

The Nanoleaf Elements also create more comfort and balance as the panels have a wide range of cool to warm white options. The range is about 1,500-4,000K, also with 11 preset lighting Scenes. The Scenes include “Organic” motion, from a fireplace to waterfalls, you can also create a personalized experience with the provided app. You can also select the 1,000 RGB Scenes in the Discover tab.

The panels also include Rhythm Music Sync, Schedules, Touch capabilities, and Circadian lighting. You can also schedule the time for the panels to turn on or off depending on your liking. Circadian Lighting adjusts the light’s color depending on the temperature throughout the day. You can the Rhythm Music Sync at night or any time of the day, play some relaxing jazz music or a coffeehouse playlist as the lights move with the melodies.

Price and Availability

Nanoleaf Elements come in Smarter Kits (7 light panels) and Expansion Pack add-ons (3 light panels).

The panels are Wifi-controlled with the Nanoleaf App, voice commands, or manually with the physical Controller. They are also compatible with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT integrations.

Nanoleaf Elements will be available on June 3rd at the Nanoleaf Shop. Elements will launch globally in Apple stores online later this year. SmarterKits will retail for US$ 299.99 (Smarter Kit) and US$ 99.99 (Expansion Pack).

 

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Sony unveils the WF-1000XM4 with smaller design, better ANC

There’s also a significant improvement in battery life

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WF-1000XM4

Sony has unveiled the WF-1000XM4, the latest product in the company’s long lineup of truly wireless earbuds. The successors to the wildly successful Sony WF-1000XM3, the earbuds come with a range of upgrades that push the ceiling further.

It comes equipped with a more capable Sony V1 chip and a redesigned body outside for maximum comfort, isolation, and fit. The processor, coupled with a pair of microphones on the sides of both earbuds, delivers best-in-class noise cancellation. Sony says the mics aid beamforming technology, making the earbuds bone conduction capable.

to reduce noise cancellation while talking or focusing on your surroundings, the ambient sound mode can be toggled. Lastly, there’s automatic wind noise suppression to prevent any leak. It’s keeping an eye on your voice, disabling ANC automatically when needed. Sony boasts it’s the first in the world to support Hi-Res audio over the LDAC codec.

It gets improved 24-bit amps, redesigned driver units with 20% larger magnets, and an improved diaphragm. There’s also EQ adjustment available with tonnes of presets and has space for customs ones too. It’ll automatically optimize those music streaming apps that offer 360 Reality Audio or Dolby Atmos.

Voice Assistant friendly

The WF-1000XM4 can be connected to your phone via the Sony Headphones Connect app. It’ll let you set up location-based profiles for Adaptive Sound Control. Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri can all be summoned by earbuds. Touch controls allow you to adjust your music playback, activate your preferred voice assistant, and toggle between active noise cancellation modes.

While it’s packed with more features, the overall size of the earbuds has come down by 10 percent. It can deliver up to 8 hours of playback with noise cancellation enabled, and 12 hours without it. The case can recharge the earbuds twice, providing total support of 24 hours with ANC switched on. Thanks to quick charging technology, a five-minute plug-in can deliver up to 60 minutes of playback.

Other features include low latency listening, Fast Pair, speak to chat, and Bluetooth 5.2. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is IPX4 rated.

Price and availability

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are available in Black and Silver and are priced at US$ 279 in the US and available for purchase now via Amazon, BestBuy, Sony’s website, and other retail partners. In Singapore, they retail for SG$ 379 and are available in all Sony Stores, Sony Store Online and Sony Authorized dealers.

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