Accessories

Google Pixel Buds break language barriers in real-time

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Google had a lot of announcements during their annual hardware launch, but perhaps the most interesting (aside from the Pixel 2, of course) from were the Pixel Buds. These are not your ordinary wireless earphones, because they have something unique to offer that feels like it’s taken from the future.

These new Pixel Buds are Google’s first wireless earbuds (connected by a fabric loop), which further expands their hardware portfolio under the Made by Google mantra.

Like most wireless earbuds, the Pixels Buds feature gesture controls including swipes and touches to switch songs, adjust volume, and answer phone calls on the go. Since this is a Google product, it has Google Assistant built in for asking directions, setting reminders, searching for music and reading out messages.

Aside from the usual set of features that you can do with any Google Assistant-enabled device, the Pixel Buds can translate between 40 languages in real time when it’s paired with the Google Translate app on your Pixel. You can now speak in many languages when traveling — perfect for when you wish to order in a foreign restaurant.

Like Apple’s AirPods or Samsung’s Gear IconX, the Pixel Buds come with a charging case (also wrapped in fabric). The case has a 620mAh battery, which should provide up to 24 hours of listening time and charges through USB-C. It’s also pretty easy to pair with what’s called the “Fast Pair” feature. Just open the case near an Android phone and it’ll automatically detect and prompt you to connect.

The Google Pixel Buds are priced at US$ 159 and come in three colors — Just Black, Clearly White, and Kinda Blue — which all complement the new Pixel 2 phones. They are already up for pre-order in the US and will also come to Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, and Singapore in November.

SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL stick to proven single-camera setup

[irp posts=”21597″ name=”Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL stick to proven single-camera setup”]

Accessories

vivo introduces TWS Earphone Neo

Joining the TWS party!

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Another one has joined the TWS party!

vivo is launching its TWS Earphone Neo — a companion to the upcoming X50 series. It’s built to provide a stellar audio experience for everyday music lovers. It also features voice-activated smart controls and AI noise cancelling for clearer phone calls.

Neo runs Qualcomm’s 4th-generation TWS platform named QCC3046, offering low latency, high precision, and stable listening experience. Moreover, it’s equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 technology, reaching a maximum of 10-meter range.

This pair of wireless earphones carries a design-centric compact body. It has a 14.2mm ultra-large driver unit and a bio-fiber composite diaphragm, promising to deliver enhanced audio and powerful sound.

In 2012, vivo pioneered the Hi-Fi chip technology, being the first smartphone to incorporate the chip to deliver unparalleled audio experience. Together with the X50 series, the TWS Earphone Neo is the realization of vivo’s decade-long investments and commitment to improving consumers’ lives with their devices.

Pricing and availability of the TWS Earphone are yet to be announced.

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Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering

The price is unbelievable

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In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.

The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.

For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.

The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.

The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.

These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.

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Apple moving its AirPods assembly line to Vietnam

iPhone production is next in line

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Apple has started shifting its iPhone production line to India but it doesn’t end there. With the ongoing trade war between China and the US, more companies are slowly finding alternatives — such is the case with Apple moving AirPods assembly to Vietnam.

Asia Nikkei‘s report indicated that Apple has already done production trials of the AirPods line in Vietnam last year. Just this month, numerous buyers (including a MacForums user) have pointed out the sudden change. The ‘Assembled in Vietnam’ engraving at the back of the AirPods Pro is prominent since loyal users know that Apple products are assembled in China.

A Reddit user initially shared his concern about the product’s authenticity, even before the mentioned tweet started gaining attention.

It says mine are made in Vietnam but all other ones say China ? Should I be worried or it has nothing to do with it?? from r/AirpodsPro

Even a staff from The Verge shared a photo of her recently bought AirPods Pro with the same engraving.

Photo by Kara Verlaney (The Verge)

A follow-up report stated that the mass production of the new AirPods units took place in Vietnam last March. Despite the pandemic, they were able to secure permits from Vietnamese officials to bring in engineers for better and smoother production.

Some of the old EarPods were also assembled in Vietnam, which means the country isn’t exactly new to assembling Apple’s audio accessories. Even Apple’s long-awaited AirPods Studio might be produced there as well.

A recently-published article by DigiTimes states that other than India, they’re also moving the iPhone production line to Vietnam. It makes sense considering Foxconn has already built factories in the northern province of Bac Giang.

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