Accessories

Huawei is developing Moto Mod-like accessories

Is this the return of the modular phone?

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Do you remember Motorola’s Moto Mods? In 2016, Motorola spearheaded the doomed modular smartphone movement, launching the Moto Mod family. The short-lived trend promises maximum customization from separately purchased accessories. Back then, Motorola released modular components for larger battery, better cameras, and an innovative projector feature, among others. Unfortunately, the trend never took off, existing mainly through Motorola’s niche of products.

Surprisingly, the modular trend is showing another spark of life. Based on a bunch of recently filed Bluetooth listings, Huawei and Honor are developing modular accessories of their own. The listings enumerate multiple cases for different functions: a game case, a snorkeling case, a health case, and an amplification case.

Because of the wording used, the potential devices will likely develop into phone cases, rather than actual modules. Further, these devices will connect wirelessly, instead of mechanically.

Regardless, it’s easy to imagine what these cases will be for. For one, the game case will likely come with detachable controllers for easy gaming. The snorkeling case can waterproof the phone for near-water use. The amplification case will create audio options for parties. Among these, the health case introduces a lot of interesting features. The case’s listing includes several health trackers including one for blood pressure, for temperature, and for weight.

Besides the actual cases, the listings also include a list of code-named phones. Unfortunately, Huawei and Honor haven’t revealed any indication of what these devices could pertain to. As such, no one knows which devices these cases will eventually connect to.

If anything, modularity will experience a surprising resurrection. Will you buy into these quirky cases in the future?

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 5T first appearance is at KL Fashion Week

Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ levels up battery, sound quality

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With the the headphone port nowhere to be found on the Galaxy S20 series comes a pair of improved true wireless earbuds — the Samsung Galaxy Buds+.

It’s a step up from last year’s Galaxy Buds. While last year’s version promised 6 hours of listening time, the Galaxy Buds+ takes it up to 11 hours on a single charge. You also get another 11 hours with the charging case.

In terms of sound quality, these are still tuned by AKG. It employs 2-way dynamic speakers and 3 mics to deliver better sound and voice quality

Inside the box you’ll also find a variety of wing and ear tips so you get the fit and comfort that’s made just for you.

It doesn’t have the noise-cancelling chip that you’ll find on the true wireless earbuds offered by Sony, Apple, and Huawei. Its approach to noise-cancelling has to do more with its physical design and rather than a tiny chip.

Speaking of its design, it retains the form factor of the original Galaxy Buds — which is great since it doesn’t look anything like the AirPods which many other manufacturers have taken a cue from. Speaking of Apple, if you’re not a fan of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+, along with its companion app, will be compatible with iOS devices.

Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ will be available in Cosmic Black, White, Red, and Cloud Blue, starting February 14, 2020 on Samsung.com, followed by major mobile carriers and retailers on March 6, 2020 and will retail for US$ 149.

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Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ price and availability in the Philippines

A minor improvement

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True wireless (TWS) earbuds are popping up one after the other. Samsung’s latest — the Galaxy Buds+ — is also making its way to the Philippines.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ improves upon the battery life of its predecessor promising up to 11 hours of listening time in a single charge. You also get another 11 hours thanks  to the charging case.

Its approach to noise cancellation has to do more with its 2-dynamic speaker and physical design which means this may not be in direct competition with the likes of the AirPods Pro, Huawei Freebuds 3, and Sony WF-1000XM3.

It maintains the same design as its predecessor — a welcome look in the sea of TWS earbuds that all look like AirPods. If you use an iPhone but are not fans of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+ will also be compatible with iOS devices.

Price and availabilty

The Galaxy Buds+ will be available starting March 6, 2020. It will retail for PhP 6,990.

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The Nokia Power Earbuds come with ‘150-hour battery life’

Available only in China

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A few years ago, Nokia’s expansion beyond phones would have been preposterous. Since its dominance at the start of the millennium, Nokia has always found its closely guarded niche in the phone-making business. However, the company has announced the first Nokia-branded televisions late last year. Now, they are going even further.

Recently, Nokia has launched its own wireless earbuds in China. The Power Earbuds touts the most bombastic feature ever seen in wireless earbuds — a 150-hour battery life.

Design-wise, the Power Earbuds have the traditional set of components for the emerging technology: two in-ear pieces and a charging case. The set comes in two colors: charcoal black and light gray.

Inside, the earbuds sport a 6mm graphene driver unit, supposedly putting out high-quality audio. It is compatible with Google Assistant, allowing hands-free operation.

Further, they can support Bluetooth 5.0, extending usage by up to 800 feet. For durability, the Power Earbuds are certified for IP7 resistance. Supposedly, users can submerge the earbuds underwater for up to 30 minutes.

As for that battery life, Nokia presents an interesting caveat. The earbuds themselves don’t last for 150 hours; instead, they last for a more believable 5-hour charge. Each bud contains only 50mAh capacity for battery life.

The gargantuan battery belongs to the charging case. The 3000mAh case has as much battery life as a smartphone. As such, users can charge the earbuds multiple times through the case before charging the case itself.

The Nokia Power Earbuds are available exclusively online in China. They retail for CNY 699 or around US$ 100.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 2.3 has AI on a budget

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