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

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Accessories

Freitag R523 Hoffmann: Recycled laptop bags have never looked this good

Each bag is literally one-of-a-kind

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Continuing the never-ending search for a laptop bag I’d actually use, Freitag’s R523 Hoffmann was the next victim.

A good laptop bag is essential to your work, and your #OOTDs! When shopping for a bag that will house one of my most prized possessions (not to mention, the tool that gives me my living) there are certain considerations: Is the bag spacious enough? Will it protect my computer? Will I be able to carry it around on long days? Does it ruin my outfit?

So, does the Hoffman live up to my standards? What’s so special about this brand? Let’s find out.

What’s the deal with Freitag?

It’s really not your usual brand. Zurich-based Freitag boasts that each bag is made of truck tarpaulin, each one selected (yes, they have special truck spotters), washed, and cut to create bags — each one entirely unique to others.

So yes, these bags are made out of recycled materials but they look oh so good.

Also, they’re heavy-duty because, well, they are made out of materials designed to be outdoors under all elements. A big plus: That makes these bags waterproof, which is a great thing because I’m putting my laptop in it.

The bag I tried on for size was the Hoffmann:

Look and feel

My pick was a white bag because you can never go wrong with this color. It looks crisp, classic, and ready to match any given outfit.

Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like it’s a bag that’s made out of tarpaulin — at least not how I imagined a tarpaulin bag would look. It’s classy and it matches even business or work outfits which is great for those long meeting days. Also worth noting: Its texture gives off a great look and feel.

It has a strap handle which is pretty sturdy; no way this will break even when you have a laptop (and a whole lot of other things like I do 🙈).

It also has a longer strap so you can wear it around your shoulder. If you’re like me and you have frail arms, this feature is a godsend.

These straps are also very sturdy and adjustable. The better to carry everything you need with!

What’s inside?

There are two outside pockets for stuff you want to keep but need easy access to.

And of course, it has a dedicated laptop pocket! There are also smaller side pockets inside for other stuff and knick-knacks. Great for organizing your things — no more bags that are bottomless pits of random stuff.

This is a surprisingly spacious bag. It can house my work gear (laptop, external hard drive, small camera, cords, and chargers) plus all my everyday essentials (a semi-big makeup bag, wallet, and perfume).

Final thoughts

Despite it being sourced from upcycled materials, this is one expensive-looking bag. That’s also because it is. All those good qualities come at a price, listed at CHF 314.80 on their website and priced at over PhP 20,000 from Urban Traveller & Co. in the Philippines.

Freitag’s Hoffmann offers a good-looking laptop bag made out of heavy duty materials, ensuring your machine is always safe. A big plus is that it’s recycled — a great whoop for the environment!

One thing’s for sure: When you get yourself a Freitag bag, you get more than just a bag. You get a one-of-a-kind piece that’s not only an awesome home for your laptop, it’s also a statement on how you can breathe new life into random objects with some creativity. Each one serves as an example of how you can create new and amazing things from stuff that are seemingly worthless.

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My top 5 pink gadgets: A guide for the pink-loving techie

On Wednesdays we wear pink!

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It’s no secret that I like pink. When pink gadgets and tech come my way, I am understandably through the roof because I firmly believe that everything should just come in this rosy hue.

Since today is October 3 and it’s a Wednesday, you know what that means! I’m wearing pink! Kidding — I wear pink every day. 😂

But, seriously: Throughout my time reviewing tech, I’ve come across a number of pink gadgets. Here are my top picks for the pink-loving techies out there.

Huawei P20 in Rose Gold a.k.a. the Pink 20

Yes, we do actually call this phone the Pink 20. Yes, I still use it to this day because it looks good with my hair and it’s just the prettiest phone ever. Look:

Yep, I know you want this phone, too.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P20 review: Pink and perfect?

Samsung Galaxy Watch

This was the smartwatch I’d been waiting for because it finally came in my color! Samsung’s latest wearable comes with a rose gold face and a pastel pink strap. This thing hasn’t left my wrist since I reviewed it.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Who is it perfect for?

Dyson Supersonic

The Dyson Supersonic is every girl’s dream hair dryer. This top-of-the-line dryer is ergonomically designed for better handling.

Plus it’s pink and makes me pretty. Alternatively, there’s a purple version, but who’d want that over this color?

SEE ALSO: Dyson Supersonic review: Bladeless hair dryer

Instax SQ6

Fujifilm’s latest Instax release has that vintage feel — and it comes in rose gold. Create beautiful memories with an even more beautiful camera!

SEE ALSO: Shooting with a Fujifilm Instax SQ6: Walkthrough, review, and sample shots

Foreo UFO

This pink puck is actually a high-tech face mask! Foreo’s UFO allows you to have the Korean skincare experience in just 90 seconds.

SEE ALSO: Foreo UFO: A high-tech replacement for face masks?

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Microsoft Surface Headphones have adjustable noise cancellation, Cortana support

A first for the company

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Microsoft launched a set of refreshed Windows-powered devices today, but none are as interesting as the company’s first pair of noise-canceling wireless headphones.

The Microsoft Headphones are a US$ 350 pair of over-ear cans that have adjustable noise cancellation by turning the left cup. What does rotating the right cup do? Adjust volume, of course!

A cool trick shown in the video below is how the headphones pause music when taken off. Check it out:

Cortana support is also integrated, allowing you to speak to the voice assistant through the built-in microphones. If going full wireless isn’t your thing, you could also opt to connect the headphones via a 3.5mm audio cable. Charging is done over USB-C.

It may seem out of place at first alongside the current Surface lineup, but Microsoft assures consumers that it has been in the making for quite some time.

As of writing, these headphones will become available by the end of the year in the gray color seen above, but only in the US.

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