Smart Home

HomePod mini is a bite-sized smart speaker for your home

Launches along with the iPhone 12

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Besides the much-awaited iPhone 12 series, Apple also complemented its home ecosystem during today’s online event. The company’s biggest addition (and the show’s opener) is the new HomePod mini. Touting a smaller frame, the new HomePod mini is a bite-sized smart speaker for your home.

Complementing the HomePod family, the recently announced HomePod mini stands at just 3.3 inches tall. As you’d expect, the new smart speaker integrates with Apple Music to fulfill the “speaker” side of “smart speaker.”

The speaker sports the Apple S5 chip, an audio processor that detects and optimizes performance based on the music played. Owing to its engineering, the HomePod mini also directs sound effectively into a 360-degree experience. A three-microphone array can listen for the “Hey, Siri” trigger from anywhere in a room.

Speaking of Siri, the new speaker comes with all the functionalities of Apple’s voice assistant. It can integrate seamlessly with other devices in Apple’s ecosystem, including iPhones, Macs, and Apple TVs.

For new functionalities, the HomePod mini comes with a new Intercom feature. Users can send audio messages from one HomePod to another in one household. The feature also works with iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, AirPods, and CarPlay.

After some recent controversies, Apple is now assuring users that the HomePod mini will not record or ship any conversations without the user’s permission.

The HomePod mini will ship in either black or white. It retails for only US$ 99.

News

Alexa is losing Amazon US$ 10 billion

Massive layoffs are coming

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Alexa is one of the more popular voice assistants in the world, alongside Siri and Google Assistant. However, despite the assistant’s popularity, it hasn’t been making as notable an impact as Amazon wants. According to a report, Alexa will cost a whopping US$ 10 billion with nary a profit to properly compensate the company this year.

According to Business Insider, Amazon is scheduled to lay off 10,000 employees, mostly focusing on the company’s Worldwide Digital division, covering the voice assistant and the corresponding Echo devices. Just from the first quarter of this year, the division was already operating on over US$ 3 billion in losses. The colossal figure is expected to balloon to US$ 10 billion when all is said and done this year.

While a lot of third-party devices already come with support for the assistant, Alexa primarily ships through Amazon’s palette of Echo devices. From a consumer’s point of view, Amazon’s Echo lineup focuses on being a smart speaker, a smart display, or a hub for a smart home.

However, Amazon has always had different expectations for the platform. Most importantly, the company expects users to go shopping through the assistant. It even features updates to remind users of when they should buy groceries. However, based on the losses, it’s highly likely that users aren’t using the assistant for that purpose. Instead, everyone is using the service similar to Siri and Google Assistant: a hands-free assistant.

Though the layoffs is concerning for Alexa users, there is no indication that Amazon is cutting the service entirely yet.

SEE ALSO: Amazon Prime Video expands content for Philippine viewers

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Deals

LG Red Fair 2022 Gift Guide

Featuring LG’s wide range of products

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The 2022 edition of LG Electronics’ LG Red Fair in Singapore is officially on, offering customers bundle deals for each purchased item from November 17 to December 31, including free vouchers, free services, and even more LG products.

There is basically something for everyone, with LG’s wide range of products such as TVs, speakers, wearables, and other home appliances and solutions – so let’s take you through them one by one in the list below.

LG DualUp Ergo Monitor

LG DualUp Ergo

The world’s first 16:18 aspect ratio monitor gives a unique double QHD square (2,560 x 2,880) resolution on a Nano IPS display, paired with an ergonomic arm.

Price – SG$ 999

  • Complimentary LOGITECH MX Master Wireless mouse worth SG$ 169

LG OLED Object Collection

The lifestyle art-inspired TV provides an excellent combination of OLED evo picture quality in a sleek design which features an opulent stand, gentle curved edges, and Gallery mode.

Price – SG$ 3,699

  • Complimentary grocery e-vouchers worth SG$ 300
  • Free delivery and installation

LG StanbyME

 

The LG StanbyMe, as we all know by now, is a wireless and tiltable screen mounted on a movable stand, which users can place wherever and in any position preferred.

Price – SG$ 1,799

  • Complimentary grocery e-vouchers worth SG$ 100

LG gram Laptop

The 16-inch lightweight laptop has the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i7 series processors. It has spacious DDR5 RAM and SSD storage capacities, and comes with an IPS (2,560 x 1,600) display.

Price – SG$ 2,599

  • Complimentary VERBATIM 100W 4-Port with Type C PD and QC3.0 USB Charger worth SG$ 99

LG TONE Free T-series earbuds

LG likewise has a handful of true wireless earbuds for an immersive listening experience. The T-series is headlined by the flagship T90 which features Dolby Atmos wireless earbuds with Dolby Head Tracking. It is also powered by Meridian Audio.

On the other hand, the T60 comes with a double-step Active Noise Cancellation, while the TF8 offers an IP67 water resistance rating.

Prices:

  • T60 – SG$ 229
  • T90 – SG$ 329
  • TF8 – SG$ 299 
  • FP9 – SG$ 298
  • FP5 – SG$ 198
  • FP8 – SG$ 258
  • Complimentary grocery e-vouchers worth SG$ 100 for every purchase of T60, T90, TF8, FP9 models
  • Complimentary grocery e-vouchers worth SG$ 50 for every purchase of FP5 and FP8 models

LG Eclair Sound Bar

LG Eclair QP5

For customers looking to complete their home sound systems, the LG Eclair provides powerful acoustics with Dolby Atmos, Meridian’s Horizon technology, and DTS:X for an immersive experience.

Price – SG$ 999

  • Complimentary grocery e-vouchers worth SG$ 100

LG styler

The LG styler with Mirrored Finish uses LG’s TrueSteam technology to eliminate germs and bacteria from even the toughest of fabrics.

Price – SG$ 2,499

  • Complimentary shopping vouchers worth SG$ 200

LG side-by-side Refrigerator

Packed with LinearCooling and DoorCooling technologies, LG’s side-by-side refrigerator possesses LG’s Smart Inverter Linear Compressor, reducing energy consumption while ensuring an evenly distributed cold air inside.

Price – SG$ 2,349

  • Complimentary grocery vouchers worth SG$ 50

LG QuadWash dishwasher

The LG QuadWash dishwasher has four high-pressure spray arms that clean dishes from multiple angles, with the help of TrueSteam technology.

Price – SG$ 2,099

  • Complimentary dishwasher tablet bundle

LG Front Load Washing Machine, Dual Inverter Heat Pump Dryer

LG’s AI Direct Drive mode-powered Front Load washing machine can thoroughly clean laundry in just 39 minutes.

On the other hand, the Dual Inverter Heat Pump Dryer pairs perfectly with the washer, with its Eco Hybrid Technology.

Prices: 

  • Washer – SG$ 1,799
  • Dryer – SG$ 2,149
  • Complimentary laundry detergent sheet bundle with every purchase of washer
  • Complimentary fabric softener sheet bundle with every purchase of dryer

LG PuriCare AeroTower

AeroTower

The innovative LG PuriCare AeroTower air purifying fan has a 3-step filtration system which also applies UVnano technology to remove airborne bacteria and distribute sanitized air.

Price – SG$ 1,099

  • Complimentary grocery vouchers worth SG$ 150

LG ARTCOOL, ALPHA+ air conditioners

Lastly, both the ARTCOOL and ALPHA+ air conditioners both have the Plastmaster Ionizer technology that infuses air with sterilizing ions. Both can also be controlled using the LG ThinQ app.

  • Free grocery vouchers worth up to SG$ 150 with every purchase of any air conditioning system

For the full details of the LG Red Fair promotions, please visit https://www.lg.com/sg/promotions/LGRedFair.

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Features

Samsung Soundbar and Lifestyle TV

A good TV needs a good soundbar to match

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So, you got a Samsung Lifestyle TV for your fancy place. It’s nice. It’s pretty. And is just really clean. But do you have the right Soundbar to match?

Seeing as this is a Samsung Serif TV. It can’t just be any other chunky soundbar. Thankfully, Samsung also made one that fits perfectly alongside its lifestyle TVs. This is the HW-S801B. Also known as the Samsung Lifestyle Soundbar.

It’s engineered by innovation experts at the Samsung Audio Lab in California, applying advanced technology to deliver perfectly balanced, room-filling sound. For brevity, we’re just gonna call it the lifestyle soundbar from here on out.

Much like Samsung’s TVs, it has a unique blend of pristine performance and minimalist aesthetics. You get all the usual soundbar benefits in a package that fits the TV like a glove.

But before everything else… Here’s everything that’s included in the box.

  • SOUNDBAR
  • USER GUIDE AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION
  • MICRO HDMI TO HDMI CABLE
  • REMOTE CONTROL
  • POWER CABLE

Sleek and sexy

The very first noticeable thing is how relatively thinner and lighter it is compared to regular soundbars. It’s only 1.5 inches deep and 1.6 inches tall. This lifestyle soundbar is small enough both for wall mounting or just resting on a TV stand. It comes in white which is a nice touch.

The soundbar complements everything about the Serif. In our review, we said the Serif has… “An allure that you can only experience when you’re graced by its perennial beauty… it makes you fall in love with it, with yourself, and with the life you’re living.”

This Samsung lifestyle soundbar gives off the exact same vibe. And that’s just talking about its looks.

Great sound

Naturally, this soundbar wouldn’t be worth its salt if it doesn’t deliver on the audio side of things. It has a 10-speaker, 3.1.2Ch setup. This means you have two upfiring speakers: one on the left and one on the right.

This Dolby Atmos setup makes you feel as if you’re in the middle of whatever it is you’re actually watching. And the experience expands should you decide to add more speakers other than the soundbar and included subwoofer.

Did you know? Samsung is actually the first to bring built-in wireless Dolby Atmos Connection. Another Fun fact: It works with DTS Virtual: X too so you get that 3D surround sound effect.

But what takes the cake is a feature called Q Symphony. This lets you use both the lifestyle soundbar and the TV speaker at the same time which will infinitely elevate your viewing experience.

Plug and play

Connecting this lifestyle soundbar is also easy. It comes with a micro HDMI to HDMI cable that you simply need to hook up to your Samsung TV. You can also connect via WIFI or Bluetooth. It also has a remote control for easier operation.

What’s more, you can use AirPlay or Chromecast on your smartphone to play music or simply use Tap Sound to connect your Samsung smartphone to the Soundbar So, you don’t need to turn the TV on to enjoy great sound.

The perfect match

With its looks and its sound, you’ll inevitably fall for the Lifestyle Soundbar twice. It has everything from a sleek and sexy look to match any TV to a fantastic audio output and features to elevate your entertainment experience.

If you value style in your entertainment setup, this Samsung Lifestyle Soundbaris the one for you. Check it out today at samsung.com or at any authorized Samsung dealer.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Samsung TV.

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