Wearables

Pixel Watch blends the best of Google and Fitbit

Customizable and durable

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Back in May, Google announced the Pixel Watch. However, though the announcement was more than official, a lot more was reserved for today’s Made by Google event. Now that the event has come and gone, it’s time to shine the spotlight on the new wearable.

Durable and customizable

Much like the Pixel 7 series, the Pixel Watch focuses on personalization. With a unique band attachment mechanism that mimics a camera lens, you can easily switch between different bands while staying comfortable and secure. It also comes with 20 band choices already in the slate coming today and through sprint next year.

As for the watch face, users will have access to 19 watch faces. Each of which comes with its own personalization options, making for a plethora of variability.

Meanwhile, the watch itself stays durable and seamless with a circular 3D domed glass, sporting water and dust resistance. A tactile crown also adds more functionality for users.

Made by Google (and Fitbit)

Inside the smartwatch, the Pixel Watch melds the best of software from Google and Fitbit. Users can easily access most of a smartphone’s functions without the phone itself. Powered by Wear OS 3.5, the watch comes with Google Assistant, Home, Calendar, YouTube Music, among others. Regardless, it will still come with Fast Pair, which seamlessly transfers what you’re doing to your smartphone.

Meanwhile, the Pixel Watch is also the first one to integrate Fitbit as well. It works just as well as a Fitbit watch while still offering the same versatility as a lifestyle one. The watch adds in advance heart rate tracking and sleep tracking.

For emergencies, the watch will come with an emergency SOS feature to automatically alert authorities during critical situations. It will also ship with fall detection, a feature which will come sometime next year.

It will last for up to 24 hours. Plus, it will charge up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.

Price and availability

The Pixel Watch is available for pre-orders now. It will start shipping and appearing in stores on October 13. It will sell for US$ 349. Customers will get three free months of YouTube Premium and Fitbit Premium.

News

Huawei teases a smartwatch with earbuds inside

Officially called the Watch Buds

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Earlier this week, Huawei, along with other Chinese brands, postponed their launch event originally scheduled for early December. Though the launch is no longer happening on its scheduled date, the brand has already teased what’s coming next.

It’s hardly a secret at this point. Around the time of Huawei’s postponement, several teasers, including one from Huawei itself, have started popping up, revealing a mishmash between a smartwatch and a pair of earbuds. Instead of a simple smartwatch, the aptly named Watch Buds includes storage space for TWS earbuds inside the chassis.

Image source: Huawei Central

Other leaked videos, like from Huawei Central, have revealed how the device works. The watch’s frame flips up to reveal the earbuds’ housing. As a result, the Watch Buds is considerably thicker than most smartwatches. One can assume that it will have a larger battery, too.

Unfortunately, the teaser images don’t offer a lot of information about the device’s hardware. As such, we’ll have to wait for Huawei’s rescheduled launch for a complete list of specs. Still, the form factor offers a huge wave of convenience for those who use both smartwatches and wireless earbuds. Watch Buds users can finally ditch a bulky charging case and take their earbuds along with them on their wrist.

SEE ALSO: Huawei: Best gifts to buy this Christmas

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Apps

Oceanic+ turns the Apple Watch Ultra into a dive computer

Available now

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The Apple Watch has come a long way. From its humble beginnings in a sweaty gym, Apple’s iconic wearable can now go deep underwater. Released earlier this year, the rugged Apple Watch Ultra promised unparalleled durability designed to withstand extreme conditions. Adding to this durability, the Apple Watch Ultra now has the new Oceanic+, a new app that turns the smartwatch into an operational diving computer.

Built through a partnership between Apple and Huish Outdoors, Oceanic+ melds the ease of use of an Apple Watch and the technical complexity of a diving computer. “People who know how to use an Apple Watch already know how to use this dive computer,” said Mike Huish, CEO of Huish Outdoors.

The app will display much-needed information for divers in a timely fashion. Before a dive, users can set surface time, depth, and gas. The app can then calculate their No Deco time, an essential feature for planning a dive. Divers can see this information even when they are underwater.

Further, after a dive, the app automatically collates and summarizes information to give users feedback regarding their dive including GPS entry and exit locations.

Users can easily operate the app even underwater using the Action button and the crown. Plus, the watch’s strong haptic feedback provides users with vibrations that can be felt even underwater. With limited sound underwater, haptic feedback becomes a necessary tool to alert divers of any important information as they come.

The Oceanic+ app is now available through the App Store. Most of the common functionalities are available through the free basic plan. However, more premium features — like decompression tracking, tissue loading, and a location planner — are locked behind a US$ 9.99 per month subscription.

SEE ALSO: Apple Watch Ultra Unboxing and Review (Part 1)

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Accessories

5 reasons why I like using a pair of wireless earbuds

Time to say goodbye to wired earphones!

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JBL Tune 130NC

Wireless has always been the future. The newest wireless earbuds innovation is taking over the market by storm for years now. Even smartphones are choosing to let go of the traditional headphone jacks to promote their proprietary products.

In the midst of all these changes, I find myself tangled up in making a decision between using wired earphones or wireless ones.

But for months, I’ve been using JBL Tune 130NC TWS earbuds and in my experience, I’ve realized that wireless earbuds are miles better than the alternative. Here are five reasons why:

1. Do more than just listen

Here’s a fact: wired headphones limit our mobility. And yes I know, nothing is more annoying than wanting to listen to a song or watch a video, and the moment you take out your wired earphones, it’s all tangled up.

Wireless earbuds give me so much convenience as I can easily get them straight out of my pocket. The JBL Tune 130NC enabled me to do more. Having two earbuds without an interconnecting cable is a much simpler equation.

I can freely walk 30 feet to the kitchen and grab a handful of chips without missing a beat of music or a word from a podcast. Also, a lot of smartphones nowadays don’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, which means true wireless earbuds aren’t just more convenient, they’re actually now a full-blown necessity.

2. Awesome features and functionalities

The fact that the earbuds are wireless does not mean that they will not give you the best sound quality. The JBL Tune 130NC houses 10mm JBL tuned drivers, which deliver a bass-rich audio output. The audio volume is perfect and, hence, does not get uncomfortable or distorted even at 100%.

JBL Tune 130NC

The bass output is excellent and adds a good amount of thump to the audio. A decent pair of wireless earbuds like the JBL Tune 130NC is more than capable of playing back Spotify at its full bit rate. I’m not losing any sound quality through this.

For a long time, wireless earbuds used to sound noticeably worse than their wired counterparts. They just weren’t capable of the same quality of playback as a pair of wired headphones. Now, it comes with longer-lasting battery life! It can survive more than a few stops on the train before needing a quick charge.

The touch controls are nicely placed and can be easily accessed whenever needed. The controls are hyper responsive and work pretty well.

3. Great at compatibility

The moment I opened the case of the JBL Tune 130NC, my smartphone quickly received a notification for pairing and connecting with it. So convenient!

JBL Tune 130NC

But the main highlight of the pairing was its customizable audio settings, allowing you to alter the settings to your liking. You can also choose from a few presets in the JBL app by default. You also get audio and video modes for a lower latency which does a fairly decent job.

Finally, coming to the microphone, the JBL Tune wireless earbuds house four microphones (2 on each earbud) that record good-quality audio. Yes, it does capture a noticeable amount of background noise, but taking some calls or attending meetings is okay.

4. Look stylish and sophisticated

It’s simply impossible to look stylish while wearing a pair of bulky headphones that look absolutely messy & inconvenient. This challenge is never an issue with wireless earbuds, thanks to their slender design.

The first thing to notice about JBL Tune 130NC’s charging case is its minimal look. I got the black color variant which comes with a single-toned body that looks pretty neat. They are sporty in look and design.

They are made in such a way that they will remain firm when you are working out. It fits comfortably in my ear and the classy product designs make them an accessory that adds to its overall look. You will surely love it even if you are a casual user of earbuds. It is also affordable despite its stylish looks and nature.

5. It matches my lifestyle

A major benefit that true wireless earbuds have over a traditional pair of earbuds is that they can be used easily for a wide variety of activities.

For instance, I use this every day while working out, watching K-drama series in the middle of the night, listening to music, and refreshing my core memory of every song that I need to study — basically, anything else you can think of!

Another thing I love about JBL Tune 130NC earbuds is how it comes in three different sizes. The shape of the buds is so versatile. These true wireless earbuds nicely fit in my ears and offer a nice secure fit, which adds a decent amount of noise isolation to them.

JBL Tune 130NC

Is this your Gadgetmatch?

We finally reached the point where you can safely go wire-free with almost no downsides. Whether studying a new song, having a virtual presentation, traveling, or just wanting to be alone with music, the JBL Tune 130NC offers excellent audio quality and decent active noise canceling capabilities which you’ll really love.

Even better, these earbuds are usually ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and an even more secure fit. It all comes down to one highly prized factor: If you can’t get enough of the freedom that true wireless earbuds and their innovative, small, compact, versatile, and easy-to-transport design all delivered, you might wanna check this one out.

The JBL Tune 130NC has a good battery life which means 40 hours of exceptional JBL Pure Bass Sound, coupled with an ergonomic and water-resistant design for all-day comfort in any weather. It also comes with plenty of valuable features like customizable audio settings and touch controls.

Yes, these are not the best-looking earbuds and lack features like in-ear detection or multiple devices connected, but when it comes to sound quality, these wireless earbuds are the best earbuds under the price bracket of PhP 5,999.

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