Accessories

Essential fitness apps for a healthier lifestyle

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Trying to get fit? These tech hacks may help!

Not that I’m suggesting that downloading apps would instantly transform your lifestyle, but they can definitely put you on the right track. Living a healthier lifestyle entails commitment and certain life changes (for most of us unhealthy mortals), but all it takes is a decision to try — and baby steps to get there.

Personally, living clean is something I still struggle with. Exercise, clean eating, getting enough sleep — these were not things that came naturally to me (like every other busy, caffeine-fuelled millennial in today’s fast paced time). Along the way, however, there were certain apps that helped me progress on my fitness journey.

Gym access apps

I used to never go to the gym because honestly, I didn’t know exactly how to gym. I grew up not knowing what exercise was and the gym didn’t exactly seem to be the most welcoming place to an exercise virgin. What got me to start going to gyms and experimenting on different workouts was, innocently enough, a gym access app.

Fitness app KFit!

Apps like Kfit and GuavaPass allow you to try different exercise activities from different gyms without the commitment. Instead of paying one gym for, let’s say, a month’s worth of membership, you can log on to these apps for limited access to different facilities. For an added fee, you get more gym access. This way, you can figure out what exercise activity you’re into before having to fully commit to a particular gym.

READ MORE: App Review: The road to getting Kfit

Workout apps

If you’re more the anti-social type (meaning you like suffering — er — exercising alone), these workout apps will help you create a better home program to get you moving in no time.

Interval Timer and Nike Training Club are great workout apps

There were times when I couldn’t make it to the gym or simply wasn’t in the mood to deal with other people — but that should never be reason to break your workout streak. Apps like Nike Training Club and HIIT Interval Timer allow you to do your own exercise program anytime, anywhere.

Food/diet apps

A good friend and constant gym buddy always told me: “You can’t exercise a bad diet away,” and as much as I try to ignore this statement, it will not cease to be true. A good diet is the foundation of a healthier life.

Plant Nanny and My Fitness Pal are great diet apps!

Although I can’t say that I’ve totally fixed my eating habits, there are certain apps that have helped me along the way. My Fitness Pal is a calorie counting app that allows me to monitor my food intake; it’s not so much cutting down on food but making sure that my intake consists of healthier options (bye bye, fastfood ?). Cute apps like Plant Nanny also make reminders to drink water throughout the day a little more fun.

Mindfulness/meditation apps

Being healthy is not just a physical thing; having a healthy mind is part of the whole fitness package.

Time to meditate with these apps: Aura and Stop, Breathe & Think

Apps like Aura, as well as Stop, Breathe & Think, facilitate meditation sessions that will allow you to clear your mind of any unwanted energy or stress. (This is no hipster mumbo jumbo. It does help you relax!)

All-around fitness apps with wearables

Once you get a little momentum on the exercise ball, it may be a good idea to invest in a fitness wearable like a Fitbit or a Huawei Band to track your progress. These devices come with their own apps that monitor just about any aspect of your health, depending on what type of fitness band you buy.

Wearables like the Huawei Band and the Fitbit Alta HR usually have a native app

Wearables like the Huawei Band and the Fitbit Alta HR usually have a native app

Movement and exercise tracking coupled with automatic data input in such apps can be a very effective way to measure your fitness success, not to mention, a great incentive to work out more.

READ MORE: Huawei Band review

READ MORE: Fitbit Alta HR review

[irp posts=”10747″ name=”App Review: The road to getting Kfit”]

Accessories

Samsung’s Note 20 accessories look fabulously polished

Sustainable, stylish protection

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Samsung’s newest Galaxy Note 20 series may look glamorous without a case, but having a stylish case is worth considering when you have an expensive phone.

Luckily, the South Korean company released fabulous phone cases to protect the Galaxy Note 20 while looking good. There’s the Kvadrat cover, a case familiar to most Samsung users and loyalists following the annual Unpacked event.

In case you’re just discovering Kvadrat, it’s a Danish textile company taking inspirations from its Scandinavian roots. The company produces a sustainable textile called Revive, made from post-consumer recycled polyester like plastic bottles.

Samsung and Kvadrat’s collaboration aims to reduce the environmental impact of production and plastic waste.

Even though it looks thin and stylish, the Kvadrat Cover complements the Note 20 series’ striking shape while staying durable — protecting your phone from accidental drops and damage. It comes in Red and Gray.


Samsung’s usual Clear View and LED View cover are still part of the Note 20 series’s lineup of accessories. It comes in Gray and Samsung’s most appreciated color this year and a step-up of the previous Rose Gold — Copper.

Price and availability are yet to be announced and may vary per region. This page will be updated accordingly.

WATCH our Galaxy Note 20 Series video

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Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live now official, has ANC

Building on previous Galaxy Buds

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Galaxy Buds Live

It took them three tries but Samsung finally offers TWS earphones with ANC or active noise cancellation with the new Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. 

Unlike most TWS earphones churned out by other brands, the Galaxy Buds has veered away from the AirPods design. Samsung says this is not only for a distinct look but also for a comfortable fit.

As usual with Galaxy audio devices, the Buds Live is tuned by AKG. It has a larger 12mm speaker compared to the Galaxy Buds+ and also has a bass duct for a deep and rich sound.

It has three microphones with Voice Pickup Unit so the person on the other line hears you loud and clear during calls.

Lastly, the Buds Live has an open type Active Noise Cancellation feature. This makes sure you’re isolated from the sound of your surroundings and are immersed in whatever it is you’re listening to.

Pricing and availability 

In the US, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live will be available starting August 6 for US$ 169.99, and will come in Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black. It will be available at Samsung.com, as well as major retailers and carriers.

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Accessories

47Ronin watch straps: Where smartwatch meets Japanese art

Bridging heritage and modern technology

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Japan and its culture have drawn people like moth to a flame. It’s incandescently captivating, irresistible, magnetizing. One even embraces and allows it to seep into their lives.

That’s what happened to Tong Cheuk Fung, a Hong-Kong born, Singaporean watch strap artist whose humble beginnings started in Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital.

Living in Japan made Tong love its crafts and culture, giving birth to 47Ronin — Tong’s very own watch strap brand designed and handcrafted by marrying horology, smartwatches, and Japanese art.

Japanese art on your wrists

47Ronin’s name traces back to a chronicle from over 300 years ago, where 47 Ronins — free-roaming Samurais without a master — exhibited bravado and loyalty through vengeance against the injustice committed to their late master.

The watch straps embody this tale to its designs, catering to a certain niche resembling Ronins; free-spirited individuals leading a life according to their own philosophy.

With pieces made and sourced from Japan, 47Ronin wraps the country’s history and beauty on people’s wrists through its watch straps. Most of its pieces were made from exotic materials such as leather, Kimono textile, and Katana elements — all sourced from Japan.

Where future meets history

Traditional crafts are declining; handcrafted straps are already considered a sunset industry. The advent of futuristic wearables made the younger generation prefer minimalist and sleek designs by the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Google.

For the fashion-oriented, hybrid smartwatches are the favored statement often sold by designer brands such as Fossil, Michael Kors, Frédérique Constant, and Skagen.

Yet even with a decline in demand and appreciation, 47Ronin perseveres to preserve the craftsman’s spirit and its culture. The brand cultivated designs that work with analog timepieces and smartwatches, putting the attention to the strap rather than the technology.

The traditional craft’s heritage lives on as 47Ronin forges its historic design into modern wristwatches. The Japanese-inspired Singaporean brand worked with technology companies like Mobvoi and produced bespoke designs for Apple watches.

Personalized, artisanal straps

Since 47Ronin’s watch straps are handcrafted by Tong himself,  ordered pieces are instilled with the artist’s creative thoughts, and tailored to the customer’s wrist and watch’s components.

The Singaporean brand houses multiple collections, too, where customers can pick a design that resonates with their personality.

Most designs retail above US$ 200, entailing a personalized process — communicating to customize the lug width, length, and thickness, and sourcing rare materials — for four weeks and up to two months.

47Ronin certainly pushes itself as an exemplar of art rather than an accessory, creating a unique proposition among leather watch straps.

A heart for the environment and people

Nowadays, sustainability becomes an integral part of a business. 47Ronin partakes in the fight to a sustainable future through its up-cycling program.

The watch strap maker retrieves damaged watch straps and buckets to repair it, preserving an artisanal watch straps’ life. Old watch straps and buckles are also retrieved and reused to create new products.

Moreover, 47Ronin collaborated with 20 local watchmakers in Singapore as a means to lift each other up, as businesses and online sales have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Shop custom, artisanal watch straps at 47Ronin’s online store with free worldwide shipping.

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