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Nokia E3101: The wireless earbuds for everyone

A new TWS earbuds without breaking the bank

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When we hear the word ‘Nokia‘, it reminds us of the Finnish giant’s dominance in the feature phone and Windows Phone space. That goes hand-in-hand with durability and robustness.

Up until the Nokia brand was sold, things have changed. From offering budget to midrange Android smartphones, they also have tablets, smart TVs, and wireless earbuds in the lineup.

To be very specific, Nokia’s audio product line come from RichGo Technology while smartphones are under HMD Global. Their TVs (only sold in India) belong to Flipkart.

And take it as a good thing. Without Nokia branching out from a highly-competitive phone market, they would barely last long. But I’m pretty sure that these wireless earbuds I have for quite a while last longer than expected.

Minimal packaging

For a wireless earbuds this cheap, don’t expect anything grand. But if you want to legit check your (future) purchase, the pair comes with an outside sleeve showing the lifestyle photo of the product. Removing it reveals a less fancy white box.

Opening the box furthermore shows the product as well as the paperwork.

First, there’s the pair of wireless earbuds as well as its case in a flimsy plastic packaging.

And if you’ll flip it, there’s a USB-C cable wrapped in plastic that’s also taped beneath. Not the most fancy packaging ever but still does the job.

Easy to pair

Thanks to Bluetooth 5.1, pairing it to any smartphone is actually faster than sending Bluetooth files between two Android smartphones. All you have to do is to press the button behind the case, lights will show, and the device will instantly appear on your phone’s Bluetooth devices list.

I tried pairing it to my iPhone too and it was a breeze. It’s safe to say that these wireless buds will work regardless of how new or old your device is as long as your device has Bluetooth.

Pocketable and featherweight

First thing I noticed when I held this is that, it’s small and light. As you can see in my big hands, the Nokia E3101 looked small compared to other TWS buds offerings in the market.

If we talk about material, its entirely made out of plastic — from the case to its buds. But the differentiating factor has got to be the matte texture of the case versus the glossy plastic wireless earbuds inside.

Despite the material used, I gotta commend Nokia for that idea of combining two different finishes for that elegant touch of design.

When you remove and put the earbuds inside your ear, it feels like its almost non-existent. But mind you, I still felt it dropped when I fell asleep inside the bus. You just have to make sure that each bud fit inside your ears well.

Decent buds for its price

I’m not a 101 perecemt audiophile but for someone who loves listening to various musical genres, I have my list on what to check in any pair of wireless earbuds — especially the bass and clarity. I own an Apple AirPods, as well as the Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Buds Live. But for the Nokia E3101’s affordable price tag, I have to lower down my expectations.

Upon first usage, I wasn’t expecting anything grand but I’m surprised that it offers good sound quality. Bass could’ve been better but I have to remind myself this is a sub-PhP 2K pair of TWS earbuds. Clarity-wise, it’s enough for everyone with vocals that are audible. I’m pretty sure dialogues in films, series, or even calls all sound clear for anyone’s liking.

If you play more with your phone’s EQ or have some third-party apps like Boom 3D, you’ll totally be amazed with what these TWS earbuds have to offer. Not that it’s a big deal but the lack of wear detection means music will still play if you remove it from your ears. It even plays music even when I placed them inside the case.

There’s also a touch sensor for playing, pausing, or skipping tracks. As I’ve mentioned earlier that the buds work for both Android and Apple devices, Google Assistant and Alexa can be summoned with just that single press.

If you’re into long walks, running, or gym workouts, the Nokia E3101 is IP44-rated. That means it can withstand water splashes or sweat so you don’t have to worry that much in such situations. My regular pair of AirPods don’t even have this feature.

People who are eyeing to buy this would care less about the codec it supports. But if you’re that curious enough, it has SBC which is the default codec for all Bluetooth earphones.

Besides, would you expect Qualcomm’s aptX or Sony’s LDAC audio codecs at this price point? A thing I can guarantee is that, this isn’t marketed towards hardcore audiophiles so you shouldn’t expect anything monumental.

Long-lasting battery

Another thing I love about this pair is its battery life. On a single charge, both buds lasts for up to 4-5 hours depending on usage. That’s enough battery to get you in a video call meeting via Zoom or GMeet.

I also used it when I went out for work. Its battery capacity lasted more than enough taking into account how I got stuck in traffic for three hours. So whether it’s for playing music, making calls, streaming videos, or even playing games, the Nokia E3101 will surely last long for almost a full-day of use.

While not totally similar with the 150-hour-touting Nokia Power Earbuds, the case of the Nokia E3101 will give you a total of around 20 hours before you actually hook the USB-C port in its case once it gets drained. Fully charging both the earbuds and the case take around two hours — not ideal for people who are always in the hurry.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re that type of budget-conscious user who can’t wait to switch from your old wired earphones to a new pair of wireless earbuds, the Nokia E3101 might just be your GadgetMatch. With an SRP of just PhP 1,999, you can easily transition to a wireless ecosystem without breaking the bank.

The buds are available in Shopee, Lazada, and Nokia’s Facebook store. Other than the black colorway that I have, it’s also available in blue and white variations.

You can also check out other offerings from Nokia such as the cheaper Nokia E3100 and a more pricey Nokia E3500.

Accessories

2023 Minimal Desk Setup

With Logitech’s newest keyboard and mouse

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Last week, Apple launched the new Mac mini, a BYODKM device — bring your own display keyboard and mouse.

Paired with Apple’s Studio Display, this is the perfect time to pair it with a keyboard and mouse from Logitech!

But how will Michael Josh’s revamp his 2023 desk setup?

Watch our special Logitech desk setup and styling video now to know more!

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Google is working on an AirTag competitor

Codenamed “grogu”

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Since its launch, the AirTag has created a whirlwind of controversy because of how the tracking device was used (or misused). Today, the general consensus is that the AirTag offers more benefits than potential drawbacks. Everyone now wants in. Google, according to a recent finding, is reportedly working on its own AirTag competitor.

Via Kuba Wojciechowski and Mishaal Rahman on Twitter, Google is developing quite a bit in the tracking device segment. The developers are currently expanding the lineup of Fast Pair to include support for more locator tags like the AirTag. However, besides support for other devices, the development also includes references to a first-party tracking device.

The device, “grogu” as it’s currently called, is under development by the Nest team. It will include on-board speakers and Bluetooth LE support.

Google has not hinted at any developments to confirm any upcoming tracking device. With the currently available information, it’s impossible to check what the final product will be called or what features it will come with.

A Google-based tracking device will still be a godsend for users, though. Currently, only Tile offers an alternative to the Apple-based AirTag. Besides allowing users to keep track of their misplaced devices, a tracking device is now an essential must-have for travelers to make sure airlines don’t accidentally misplace pieces of luggage.

SEE ALSO: Android is working on a built-in detector for AirTags

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Sony brings back the Walkman

There are two new models

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Sony Walkman NW-ZX707

What is a Sony Walkman? For those who don’t know, ‘Walkman’ is essentially Sony’s branding for their line of portable music players. It had versions that played cassette tapes, CDs, and mp3 files. Now, in the era of streaming, the Walkman is making a comeback.

Two new models

Sony Walkman NW-ZX707

Sony is adding two models to the lineup. These are the NW-ZX707, and the NW-A306. Yes, Sony’s robotic nomenclature is alive in well even in the Walkman line.

The NW-ZX707 has a 5-inch display, enhanced battery life, balanced connection, and Wi-Fi compatibility for downloading and streaming. Updated components from high-ends models were used on the device. This is to make sure it delivers high sound quality.

It integrates a DSD Remastering Engine where PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) audio is resampled into an 11.2 MHz DSD (Direct Stream Digital).

Then, there’s the NW-A306. It’s a much more compact modern Walkman. It has a 3.6-inch touch screen as well tactile physical music controls for those who like to feel them buttons.

This new walkman is made with premium aluminium milled frame and weighs only 7oz.

High quality sound

Sony Walkman NW-A306

Naturally, high quality sound is the name of the game for this pair of devices. Walkman’s independently developed S-Master HX digital amp technology was used to make it compatible with native DSD format.

What it does is reduce distortion and noise across a wide range of frequencies. This results in a rich and full-bodied sound, further enhanced by a new high-quality sound lead-free solder.

The NW-ZX707 and the NW-A306 both use Edge-AI (Artificial Intelligence), and DSEE Ultimate™ (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) which upscales compressed digital music files in real-time. The evolving algorithm now delivers even greater benefits for CD-quality (16-bit 44.1/48kHz) lossless codec audio.
This restores subtleties and dynamic range providing a richer and more complete listening experience.

Battery life

The NW-ZX707 has a battery life of up to 25 hours of 44.1kHz FLAC playback, up to 23 hours1 of 96 kHz FLAC High-Resolution Audio playback, or up to 22 hours2 even when streaming.

The NW-A306 has a battery life of up to 36 hours1 of 44.1kHz FLAC playback, up to 32 hours1 of 96kHz FLAC high-resolution audio playback, or even up to 26 hours with streaming service apps.

Price and availability

The NW-ZX707 retails for PhP 44,999 while the NW-A306 is priced at PhP 19,999. They will be available in select Sony Authorized Dealers nationwide starting February 10, 2023.

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