If you’re like us, you have a huge hoard of old and new USB cables tucked away in some drawer. Even if you don’t use every single one, you’re prepared for any number of devices. With prices going up every year, your cable hoards might now become absolutely necessary, especially after this new device we just spotted. Apparently, Apple is selling a US$ 129 Thunderbolt cable.
Spotted by The Verge, Apple quietly launched the new product on its online store. At first glance, the new cable does look premium. However, does it really match up to the absurd price tag?
First of all, the Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable is braided. Instead of a flimsy cable you can easily bend and twist out of shape, the cable looks and feels robust. It’s not your usual run-of-the-mill cable.
Secondly, it measures to two meters, an absurdly long length for a USB cable. For reference, two meters is approximately 6.5 feet, more than the current social distancing prescription. Though you might not find the extra length necessary, it is still impressive. Normal USB cables lose efficiency past the first meter. That’s why normal cables aren’t as long.
Despite that caveat, the cable still promises transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps. The current top-of-the-line standard for the USB — USB 3.2 Gen 2 — can only go up to 20Gbps, making Apple’s latest product a big improvement in today’s standards.
With all that said, is the Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable worth it? The cable puts out very impressive specs that you might not find readily available anywhere else. For those who need that much high-speed data transferring, the cable is worth every buck. However, for most consumers, a normal USB cable is more than enough.
On the other hand, both USB and Thunderbolt both recently announced USB4 and Thunderbolt 4, respectively. Though both standards are not easily obtainable yet, it might be worth it to wait for those standards as well.
Huawei launches FreeBuds Studio before Apple’s AirPods Studio
Noise reduction upto 40dB
Officially called the Huawei FreeBuds Studio, it marks the entry of the company in the over-the-ear Bluetooth headphone market. The FreeBuds Studio are designed to be premium and go up against offerings from Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser.
The headphones offer a 40mm driver with 4-layer Polymer diaphragm. The company claims that it can reproduce frequencies as high as 48KHz and can go down to 4 Hz. It supports L2HC codec for best possible audio output and features six mics for calls that reduce background noise.
It also comes with eight mics that team up and provide dynamic noise cancellation. Huawei claims the headphones can reduce noise by 40dB and the headphones can automatically choose between three modes based on the surrounding environment. These modes are called Ultra Mode, Cozy Mode and General Mode.
Coming to battery life, the headphones can go 24 hours on a single charge, and fast charging ensures you get eight houts of playback within just 10 minutes. Although, these are official figures from the company and actual practical usage will definitely vary.
The FreeBuds Studio are priced at EUR 299 (US$ 354) and sales start from November. However, the brand hasn’t been clear about country-wise availability yet.
Huawei is a very interesting company because on one side it launches unique and mindboggling products like the Mate series, but leaves no stone unturned to take a cue from Apple. The AirPods Studio have been rumored for a long time and Huawei jumped the gun to launch its product first but took a lot of inspiration from Apple’s marketing.
Apple’s MagSafe charger works on Samsung and Google phones
Specifically the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Pixel 5
This month, Apple announced the return of the wireless MagSafe system. This time around, the wireless charging solution powers the iPhone 12 series with a convenient snap-to-place method. Of course, as with most of Apple’s products, you don’t really expect it to work with non-Apple device. Fortunately, the historical rule of thumb is wrong. Apparently, Apple’s MagSafe charger works on Samsung and Google phones.
As tested by Max Weinbach, the wireless charger can snap and work on the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Further, YouTuber Aaron Zollo tested the charger on the recently announced Google Pixel 5. Unfortunately, neither test revealed how well the charger does with the devices. However, Weinbach commented that it took some effort to dislodge the charger from the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
MagSafe magnetically connects and charges the Fold2 lol pic.twitter.com/sQ0L9pk4kN
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) October 19, 2020
Of course, it’s no surprise that the MagSafe charger will work on other Qi-based devices. However, it’s a surprise that Apple’s proprietary accessories are working on non-Apple devices.
Still, if you need an extra wireless charger, at least Apple’s charger can work on your device. That is, if you own both an Apple and Android device.
Now, the only remaining question is whether or not Apple’s other MagSafe accessories will work on non-Apple devices. The other accessories — like an attachable wallet — will come out later this year.
OPPO launches TV S1 and TV R1 series
As part of their “One More Step” to IoT campaign
OPPO started to seriously venture outside of phones in 2019 and now they’re taking a big leap as they launch two TVs as part of their “One More Step” into a robust IoT ecosystem. They also announced new noise cancelling TWS earphones and a new smartwatch.
The aforementioned additions are the OPPO TV S1, TV R1 Series, Enco X True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earphones, and Watch RX.
OPPO TV S1
The 65-inch OPPO TV S1 features a 4K QLED resolution Quantum Dot wide color gamut display. It also has NTSC 120% ultra-wide color gamut. This helps deliver a purer, more vibrant graphics as well as softer, smoother color transition.
The TV also supports 120Hz refresh rate and variable refresh rate (VRR) making it ideal for next gen gaming.
OPPO collaborated with HiFI audio brand Dynaudio to deliver an immersive cinematic sound quality. The TV S1 is also equipped with eighteen stereo surround speakers with total power of up to 85W. It supports 5.1.2 channels and Dolby Atmos.
OPPO TV R1 series
The OPPO TV R1 is available in 55-inch and 65-inch models. The TVs are equipped with a quad-core processor and high-speed Wi-Fi 6. These offer users a new living room experience with the “instant-on” feature.
OPPO Enco X
Taking aim at the likes of the Apple AirPods Pro, Sony WH-1000XM3, and Huawei Freebuds 3 Pro, OPPO launches the Enco X True Wireless Noise Cancelling earphones. OPPO collaborated again with Dynaudio to craft this product. The earphones were tuned by Daniel Emonts, Chief Acoustic Specialist of Dynaudio A/S. He is the acoustic designer of several award-winning Dynaudio speakers.
The Enco X is capable of reproducing rich, precise texture of music with HiFi quality with a balanced and natural sound. These are all possible thanks to the DBEE 3.0 acoustic system that features an innovative acoustic structural design.
Meanwhile, the noise cancelling feature functions in all kinds of scenarios. It has dual active noise cancellation, multi-level noise reduction management, and natural communication when in transparency mode. The Enco X also supports triple microphone call noise cancellation and wireless charging.
OPPO Watch RX
The OPPO Watch RX is the company’s first round dial smartwatch that features the updated ColorOS Watch 1.5. It’s part of three custom products launched in China: he OPPO Watch League of Legends Limited Edition, OPPO Watch RX League of Legends Limited Edition, and OPPO Find X2 League of Legends.
The OPPO TV S1, OPPO TV R1, and OPPO Watch RX are now available in China. No word yet on the availability of the OPPO Enco X.
OPPO formally announced their forray into an IoT ecosystem during OPPO INNO DAY 2019. In taking “One More Step” towards a more connected system of devices, the company will focus on these areas:
- Personal Entertainment
- Home appliance & Furnishing
- Sports & Health
We can expect more products that fall into these categories in the future.
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