Lifestyle

Petcube: The best Christmas gift you can give to Paw-rents

Featuring Juancho!

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Does it break your heart every time you leave your fur-baby at home? Ever wonder what they do when you’re not there to watch? Paw-renting guilt is real and Petcube Bites is the perfect way to deal with it on days when you just can’t bring your pet with you.

I was someone who didn’t want to be one of those pet owners who have a camera to stalk their pet. After my Pembroke Welsh Corgi Juancho came into my life, however, it all changed. A highly sociable dog, he loves the company of humans and hates being alone. On days when I had to leave him for a couple of hours to do the groceries or attend a formal event, he would howl in sadness. We proceeded to train him to be okay with being alone, giving treats before we leave and gradually increasing the time of separation.

However, it made me wonder how he was doing when he’s actually alone. Is he still howling? We needed a pet camera to check on him!

Enter Petcube’s latest version of their camera — Petcube Bites. Not only can you stalk and talk to your pet, you can even reward him for good behavior even when you’re not physically present by throwing treats at him.

Sleek and stylish

One thing I was worried about was how a pet camera would fit into our home. Most of the ones available in the market tend to look too cute-sy or even cheap because of the plastic elements used. The Petcube Bites, although quite big, can blend well with almost any type of room decor. It comes in four colors: Matte Silver, Rose Gold, Carbon Black, and Snow White. You can also put it on a flat surface or mount it on the wall.

Easy setup

Getting the camera up and running is a breeze. Download the app and sign up, plug your unit in, and follow the instructions on your screen. In a few minutes, our Petcube was up and running perfectly and I could see Juancho on the screen.

Security with notifications

You can’t spend all your time away from your pet with your eyes stuck on your mobile’s screen, watching him to make sure he’s okay. You can go about your business with ease as Petcube can detect movement and sound. It will also alert you through a push notification, prompting you to check on your pet.

Missed the moment? Don’t worry. The app saves videos of up to ten seconds from the past four hours into the cloud. You can check it later, download the video, and easily share it on social media. If you want longer videos and storage periods, you can always sign up for a membership to Petcube Care which starts at US$ 4.99.

It doubles as a great security camera for your home too. You’ll know if your pet had a busy day fighting off burglars. Your good boy definitely deserves a giant treat for driving them away!

Getting social

The Petcube app allows you to share photos and videos of your pet on an Instagram-like feed. You also have the choice to set your camera in public mode. This allows other app users to access your camera and interact with your pet. If you own the Play model, viewers can utilize the laser pointer and keep your pet busy. With Bites, you have the option to allow viewers to give treats to your pet, as well.

This is not for everybody, that’s for sure. Our Petcube is a locked camera but I must admit that I do enjoy playing with other people’s cats when Juancho’s asleep.

Capturing special moments with your fur-baby

The Petcube Bites streams 1080p HD video through a 138-degree wide-angle view. You can also zoom in the video up to three times. Night mode allows me to check on Juancho even when we’re already in bed and all the lights are off.

My favorite thing about it, though, is how it is able to record special moments between Juancho and I. Like the time I had to travel for work and he was left alone with his fur-daddy. I was gone for a couple of days and our Petcube Bites was able to capture our sweet reunion.

Acclimatise your pet

The only con I can say about the Petcube Bites is the sound it makes when you press for a treat to be thrown. This has startled Juancho one too many times and has given him some trust issues with it. This doesn’t come as a surprise since he’s still a puppy and is quite jumpy to begin with. He wouldn’t even go near the treats that came out of the device.

Another thing your pet should get used to is hearing your voice when you’re not around. Juancho freaked out the first time he heard my voice via the Petcube, telling him to get off the couch when I wasn’t even there. He jumped right off and it made me feel like God for a little bit but that added to the trust issues.

We’re currently in the process of reintroducing our unit to him. We’ve made some progress but we’re hoping he gets fully used to the sounds. He’s getting a lot bigger now and having more exposure to technology, anyways.

Verdict

So, is Petcube Bites the perfect gift for the paw-rent in your life? It makes sense to give someone the security of knowing their pet (and home) is safe while they’re away for a couple of hours. You can also prevent boredom which leads to destructive behavior. This, by either talking to them or distracting them with treats.

Peace of mind is always a good investment, as well as seeing your pet do something funny and having it on video to share with your friends and family.

What do you mean they’re fed up with my pet posts? Us paw-rents don’t really care.

Accessories

Sony’s WF-H800 h.ear in TWS headphones offer rich sound

Available in five colors

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Already a leader in noise-cancelling headphones, Sony is offering something a little different in the true wireless headpones department — the Sony WF-H800 h.ear in headphones.

One of the first easily noticeable things is how the WF-H800 is available in five colors: red, orange, green, blue, and black.

Noticeably missing is the active noise-cancellation feature. However, it makes up for it with other Sony staple-features, primarily the 360 reality audio. The effect of which can only be truly felt once you experience it for yourself.

It also has a 6mm dynamic driver to deliver a wide range of audio frequencies as well as a feature Sony calls DSEE HX or Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. This tech restores the high-range sound that’s lost in compression. It reproduces digital music files with rich, natural sound.

It’s also lightweight and designed to fit your ears perfectly. The WF-H800 promises up to eight hours of music playback plus another eight hours with the carrying case giving you a total of 16 hours. Additionally, 10 minutes of charge time will give you up to 70 minutes of listening time.

Just like other Sony headphones, these are compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Price and availability

The Sony WF-H800 will be available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centers, Sony authorized dealers and the official Sony store on Lazada from March 202. It will retail for SG$ 299.

SEE ALSO: Sony WF-1000XM3 review: Masterclass in noise cancellation

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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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