Accessories

HP Sprocket Review: The smallest instant printer

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When was the last time you held an actual photo in your hand?

I grew up with physical photo albums and picture frames. These days, though, you’d be hard-pressed to find photo printouts — most pictures are stored in your camera roll or tucked away as “Memories” on your Facebook feed.

A nifty device will change that.

This is the HP Sprocket

Printing photos with the HP Sprocket

From a computer brand known for desk printers comes the cutest photo printer I’ve ever seen. The HP Sprocket fits in the palm of my hands; it’s the same size as a smartphone!

The HP Sprocket comes with a free Sprocket app for your phone

This thing is so light and compact it would probably fit a standard-sized clutch bag. That says a lot because those things are usually pretty tiny.

It can print any photo on your phone

Simply download the Sprocket app (available on iOS or Android), connect the printer to your smartphone via Bluetooth and you’re ready to go. Now, I may be a tech writer, but I can be pretty daft with gadget setups and believe me, I was also pretty surprised at how easy this printer was to start up.

You can print any photo from your smartphone — whether it be from Facebook, Google Photos, Instagram (all of which are instantly linked to the app). As long as it can be saved in your camera roll, it’s as good as done. Another thing: The Sprocket doesn’t just print your pictures on photo paper, it prints them on sticker paper!

More importantly, it has cute stickers

What I especially love about this is not in the hardware. The Sprocket app offers the nicest stamps and stickers you could edit your pictures with — and this is pretty important. (I’ve refused to use Facebook Stories because their filters are just not as cute as Snapchat’s!)

Aside from these stickers, the app allows you to edit the photos (brightness, saturation, etc). There’s more: You can also add doodles, text, borders, and photo filters.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Some questions remain: Do I need a small printer that will allow me to instantly edit and print all photos I could ever put on my smartphone? Of course not. Do I want it? Hell yeah.

Technology has changed the way we take and store photos completely, and I’m totally fine with that, but when someone says “let’s print out our photos!” — whatever photos they may be — I’m always going to be super down with that.

The HP The HP Sprocket fits perfectly in your hands

The HP Sprocket fits perfectly in my hands, too!

Call it nostalgia, call it a misplaced appreciation for printouts; I will always appreciate having something that I can hold in my hands.

The HP Sprocket retails for PhP 7,290.00 in the Philippines through Lazada, and INR 19,499 in India on Amazon, as well.

SEE ALSO: This is what using a Nokia 3310 in 2017 is like

[irp posts=”15824″ name=”Top 5 Prettiest Pink Smartphones”]

 

Accessories

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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Accessories

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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Accessories

OnePlus TWS earbuds could look like the AirPods

Why are we not surprised?

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Apple was the first company to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack in iPhone 7 and release a wireless solution, the AirPods. Now, every phone maker wants a piece of the pie, and now a OnePlus TWS is coming our way as well.

Reliable leakster Max J. has revealed an illustration of the upcoming OnePlus truly wireless earbuds and they look eerily similar to the Apple AirPods. The signature in-ear design without rubber tips is considered to be Apple’s design language and many makers have tried to replicate it.

Realme launched the Buds Air this year and they look exactly like the AirPods. Even the charging case is a lookalike. Even the OPPO Enco Free wireless earbuds have a cop-cat design and are indistinguishable.

 

On the other hand, Xiaomi unveiled the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 and they have an entirely different design. The brand seems to have focused more on functionality than looks.

OnePlus has already released wireless earphones in the past, but they haven’t been truly wireless. The OnePlus Bullets Wireless and Bullets Wireless 2 had their own design language and were built to offer a premium experience. Along with the OnePlus 8 series, the company announced an affordable version called the Bullets Z.

Rumors suggest OnePlus could launch a midrange phone dubbed the OnePlus Z or OnePlus 8 Lite in July. These earbuds are expected to launch alongside the phone.

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