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

Sony’s WF-H800 h.ear in TWS headphones offer rich sound

Available in five colors

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Already a leader in noise-cancelling headphones, Sony is offering something a little different in the true wireless headpones department — the Sony WF-H800 h.ear in headphones.

One of the first easily noticeable things is how the WF-H800 is available in five colors: red, orange, green, blue, and black.

Noticeably missing is the active noise-cancellation feature. However, it makes up for it with other Sony staple-features, primarily the 360 reality audio. The effect of which can only be truly felt once you experience it for yourself.

It also has a 6mm dynamic driver to deliver a wide range of audio frequencies as well as a feature Sony calls DSEE HX or Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. This tech restores the high-range sound that’s lost in compression. It reproduces digital music files with rich, natural sound.

It’s also lightweight and designed to fit your ears perfectly. The WF-H800 promises up to eight hours of music playback plus another eight hours with the carrying case giving you a total of 16 hours. Additionally, 10 minutes of charge time will give you up to 70 minutes of listening time.

Just like other Sony headphones, these are compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Price and availability

The Sony WF-H800 will be available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centers, Sony authorized dealers and the official Sony store on Lazada from March 2020. It will retail for SG$ 299.

SEE ALSO: Sony WF-1000XM3 review: Masterclass in noise cancellation

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Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ levels up battery, sound quality

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With the the headphone port nowhere to be found on the Galaxy S20 series comes a pair of improved true wireless earbuds — the Samsung Galaxy Buds+.

It’s a step up from last year’s Galaxy Buds. While last year’s version promised 6 hours of listening time, the Galaxy Buds+ takes it up to 11 hours on a single charge. You also get another 11 hours with the charging case.

In terms of sound quality, these are still tuned by AKG. It employs 2-way dynamic speakers and 3 mics to deliver better sound and voice quality

Inside the box you’ll also find a variety of wing and ear tips so you get the fit and comfort that’s made just for you.

It doesn’t have the noise-cancelling chip that you’ll find on the true wireless earbuds offered by Sony, Apple, and Huawei. Its approach to noise-cancelling has to do more with its physical design and rather than a tiny chip.

Speaking of its design, it retains the form factor of the original Galaxy Buds — which is great since it doesn’t look anything like the AirPods which many other manufacturers have taken a cue from. Speaking of Apple, if you’re not a fan of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+, along with its companion app, will be compatible with iOS devices.

Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ will be available in Cosmic Black, White, Red, and Cloud Blue, starting February 14, 2020 on Samsung.com, followed by major mobile carriers and retailers on March 6, 2020 and will retail for US$ 149.

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Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ price and availability in the Philippines

A minor improvement

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True wireless (TWS) earbuds are popping up one after the other. Samsung’s latest — the Galaxy Buds+ — is also making its way to the Philippines.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ improves upon the battery life of its predecessor promising up to 11 hours of listening time in a single charge. You also get another 11 hours thanks  to the charging case.

Its approach to noise cancellation has to do more with its 2-dynamic speaker and physical design which means this may not be in direct competition with the likes of the AirPods Pro, Huawei Freebuds 3, and Sony WF-1000XM3.

It maintains the same design as its predecessor — a welcome look in the sea of TWS earbuds that all look like AirPods. If you use an iPhone but are not fans of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+ will also be compatible with iOS devices.

Price and availabilty

The Galaxy Buds+ will be available starting March 6, 2020. It will retail for PhP 6,990.

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