Wearables

Razer officially launches its Zephyr facemask

Yes, it has RGB lighting

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While we’re well into the post-pandemic world, face masks have progressed far beyond a simple fabric over our faces. Several tech companies have already developed their own hi-tech takes on the wearable. The most notable example of such, LG is consistently developing its wearable Air Purifier. After an extensive trial period, Razer has finally released its own face mask called the Zephyr.

Much like other technologically inclined masks nowadays, the Razer Zephyr comes with two detachable N95 filters attached to two valves. The filters can reportedly last for up to 72 hours before needing replacements. They can also filter out 99 percent of air particles larger than 0.3 microns in size.

The mask also has a transparent front, showing how the user’s face looks underneath the mask. It also has fans that can spin on configurations of 4200 and 6400 revolutions per minute. As with every Razer device, it also has RGB lighting around.

However, though Razer has impressive claims for the mask, the company warns that the mask hasn’t been explicitly tested for COVID-19 particles. At the very least, the mask is registered at the FDA. Still, while the FDA acknowledges the device’s existence, it doesn’t speak for the product’s effectivity compared to medical masks and PPEs.

If you’re still interested in getting the mask, the starting package for the Razer Zephyr sells for US$ 99.99. The package will come with the mask, a charging cable, a carrying tote, anti-fog spray, and three free filters. A higher-tier package with 33 filters will cost US$ 149.99. The filters themselves are available in packs of 10 and will sell for US$ 29.99.

SEE ALSO: Razer is developing face mask vending machines

Accessories

How to incorporate “Red” in your daily life

For when you love it in burning red

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It’s Red season, folks!

Whether it’s the red cups on Starbucks or “Red (Taylor’s Version)” streaming everywhere, Red is an iconic color that everyone should celebrate, own, and wear periodically.

But wearing Red isn’t limited to the month where Autumn leaves are falling like pieces into place. It’s a color that you can wear throughout the year, as long as you use it sporadically and pair it with the right colors.

Red smartphone

If you’re burning Red, you can always shop a smartphone in that blazing color. Throughout the years, it was Apple that consistently painted their phones Red. Specifically called Product (RED) — a colorway that, when purchased, helps Apple fund AIDS and COVID-19 research.

In case you didn’t know, Red is a company that partners with iconic brands to raise awareness and funds, fighting HIV/AIDS in several countries in Africa.

Red smartphone case

Red can sometimes be overbearing, especially if it’s your phone’s colorway. If you want Red to be worn occasionally, then you can opt for a smartphone case so you can always switch it up to pair with your mood.

The safest bet would be the Product (RED) silicone case with MagSafe from Apple — it’s not as striking as the usual Red, but enough to warrant attention without looking pompous.

Red scarf

Ah, the iconic red scarf that Jake Gyllenhaal kept because it reminded him of Taylor Swift’s innocence. It’d be really hard to forget someone wearing a red scarf; so luscious and prominent, it will bring back memories that anyone will remember all too well.

If you’re out for a fashion statement this holiday, draping a red scarf around your neck can help you stand out especially when you’re wearing neutrals or an all-black ensemble. Let the All Too Well Knit scarf be your statement piece.

Red wireless earbuds

There’s also a statement piece that doesn’t scream attention but captivates someone subtly. For instance, the Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick edition — painted in a sexy Red, housed in a lipstick case that will make women want one to pair with their actual red lipstick.

Red smartwatch band

Some people can’t stand attention. One reason why most people shy away from loud and head-turning colors for their outfits.

However, you can make Red an accent through a smartwatch band. For example, the Apple Watch Series 7 is compatible with Product (RED) smartwatch bands: Sport Band, Sport Loop, and Braided Solo Loop.

SEE MORE: How to wear red: 3 stylish pairings to try

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Accessories

Garmin Venu 2S: Reclaiming my female body

Pacing myself

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I’ll say it now and I won’t say it again. I have a hard time sometimes feeling like my body is my own. There’s some trauma, societal pressures, and toxic ideals of who I want to be.

Regardless, this dissociated feeling towards one’s own body isn’t new or uncommon of a sentiment. And, it can be extremely tough for women on top of all the other physiological qualms we go through.

But, having found Garmin Venu 2S, I feel better attuned to my female body. I finally feel and know I’m slowly working towards being healthier.

Reclaim your body

Because it is ultimately yours. Not everyone feels alien in their body but, it’s sad to say, most women do. So much of our body is policed not just by society but also, ourselves. And, honestly, I personally suffered immense alienation towards my body. It was ultimately refreshing to come across smartwatches that zeroed in on what I wanted and needed to know more about myself.

See your health not just “feel” it

In most of my perceptions of health, I often just ignore the quiet inner workings of my body. Healthiness used to be any time I wasn’t sick. Not being sick doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. But health can incrementally lessen the chances of you getting ill.

With the Garmin Venu 2S, I customized health and fitness goals. From drinking more water to being more active to sleeping more hours, the smartwatch not only tracked my progress and my health but also nudged me to pace myself into a healthier lifestyle.

And with it, you can not just feel better and be better, you have the watch to let you know you ARE doing better!

Have your feelings validated

The Garmin Venu 2S has everything for 24/7 health monitoring. From heart rate with alerts, a read on your fitness age, advanced sleep score and insights, respiration, Pulse Ox3, all-day stress, hydration, menstrual cycle, to pregnancy tracking. The watch has it all for you—making sure it gives you everything you need to know to achieve a healthier lifestyle!

It feels good to be validated by the data you encounter from the Venu 2S, especially with their highlighted feature for Women’s Health. The menstrual tracker and pregnancy tracker are a big help. IT validates what you’re feeling and soothes your worries when you get overwhelmed with worry.

I say that from someone who often forgets when her period is and weeps before it happens. I’m not insane, I just needed a watch that validated the pain and sadness that would inevitably ensue.

Plus, if you’re having a tough time articulating what you’re feeling to a health professional, the watch has a Health Snapshot feature. This lets you record two-minute sessions that log key health stats and generate a report that can be shared with your healthcare provider.

Listen to your body

Owning your body is one thing. Listening, knowing, and caring for your body is another. And, we must admit, the latter is often the hardest part. For me, it became clear that I had absolutely no idea I wasn’t taking care of myself as much. When I got the watch around my wrist and saw the near in shambles metrics of my health, I worked on it.

With the Body BatteryTM, I learned my energy levels throughout the day so I could adjust appropriate tasks. I got to scheduling workouts, rest times, and sleep.

I took Venu 2S’s breathing techniques to calm down when it showed horrid stress levels. I even went out for long walks to hit my daily step goals and forced myself to hydrate more.

For workouts, the watch felt easy to use and navigate through over 25 built-in sports apps with enhanced strength training profile and muscle map graphics. It’s even got an on-screen animation workout feature that guides you through specific workouts on-screen. Which, not going to lie, inspired me to hop back into working out more.

Serve looks

I mean, come on. Just look at it! The Garmin Venu 2S is a gorgeous watch. If you disagree, you have to get your eyes checked.

Jokes aside though, on top of the stunning AMOLED screen and yaaaasqueeen design, you can personalize it with apps and watch faces. That way, you bring your personality and aesthetics. If it’s yours, make it look like yours!

Feel even a little bit safe

It’s not women’s or victims’ jobs to counter garbage people with obscene methods to keep themselves safe. It is not their job nor should they be blamed for the hell they survive or go through.

As a woman with a ton of painful trauma from dangerous cases, I will say that the Garmin Venu 2S’s Incident Detection feature felt comforting.

I know this feature isn’t something revolutionary or new. But, it’s something some girls might feel is helpful when needing to find a way to discreetly reach someone in an endangering situation.

Fit for a Queen

If you’re looking for a smartwatch to keep track of anything and all, the Garmin Venu 2S is it. Just, drop the fru fru and get it because it just delivers.

From health to fitness to wellness, it’s just the perfect smartwatch for all my lovely ladies out there. Oh, I almost forgot to mention how the watch’s battery life lasts quite a while saving you from having to worry about the next soonest use.

I can’t find the words to describe how this watch has genuinely helped me know myself, my body, and my womanhood.

The Garmin Venu 2S costs PhP 22,995 in all Garmin Brand Stores, official online Garmin stores (Lazada, Shopee, Kinetic.com.ph), and the Garmin PH Viber Community.

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Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 review: High-end features, cut-rate price tag

That active noise cancellation is a warm welcome!

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Samsung’s latest pair of earbuds — the Galaxy Buds2 — is out. The successor to their original buds. And the most affordable pair in their lineup.

Pairing and controls

Before anything else, let’s pair the Galaxy Buds2. With any Samsung phone, it’s very easy to pair the new buds. All you need to do is open the case and you’ll get a prompt on your phone or tablet. Tap on ‘Connect’ and just like that, your earbuds are set up.

Pairing on a non-Samsung phone is quite easy, too. While there’s no prompt telling you to connect the earbuds detected, it’s as seamless as any wireless earbuds you pair on your smartphone via Bluetooth.

The top surface on both earbuds is touch-sensitive and controls are pretty standard. Tap Once to play or pause if you’re listening to music, or to answer or end a call. Tap Twice to go back to the previous track. Thrice to go forward to the next track. Tap and hold to switch between noise canceling and ambient mode.

Samsung Ecosystem

You can manage all the settings from the Galaxy Wearable app. Like toggle between Noise Cancellation modes, adjust EQ settings, or conduct an earbud fit test.

If you own a lot of Samsung devices, as long as each of them is logged onto your Samsung account, you don’t need to pair these buds again. They’ll automatically detect the device and switch over depending on which device has a call or is about to play Media.

So for example, when you’re watching on your Galaxy Tab S7 FE watching a YouTube video and a call comes in on your smartphone, all you need to do is answer the call on your phone and the earbuds will switch over from the tablet to the phone.

When you’re done with your call, it will switch back. As long as it works, it’s a great feature. I’m a big fan of seamless connectivity. It really gives you an incentive to stay within the Samsung ecosystem.

Another handy feature that’s built into the Galaxy Wearable App is called Smart Things Find. Do you know how sometimes it’s easy to misplace one or both of your earbuds? I do, especially on a hectic day.

But with the press of a button, you can have them play a sound so you can locate them. This only works if they are outside of the case. Now if your buds are not in the vicinity of your phone — you can also look to see on a map where each side individually is.

Differentiation

The Galaxy Buds2 replace the original Galaxy Buds and the Buds+ that came after that. Where the Buds Live are supposed to be more stylish looking buds and the Buds Pro are the pair with the more premium audio features, the Buds2 is clearly the most affordable.

They’re also much smaller and take up less space in the ear compared to last year’s Buds+. They’re 15 percent lighter and 20 percent smaller.

I really do like the look and fit of these buds. It isn’t flashy and they fit real snug. In fact, I’ve gone running with these and they stayed on the whole time. And I didn’t feel at any point that they’d fall out even as I started to get sweaty.

Noise cancellation

I think the feature I’m most excited to see come to this price point is the active noise cancellation. Previously only available on big cans, it’s good enough to block out the hum of your air-conditioning system.

Or the pitter-patter of the rain. Or children playing in the distance. And even the annoying chatter at alfresco cafés — I can still hear the sound of a lively night but with NC and music on — it’s easy to disappear into your own world.

Speaking of music — I am by any means no audiophile. But I had no complaints listening to music on the Buds2. The sound coming from these is pretty balanced and good enough considering its lower price point.

Samsung says the Galaxy Buds2 has two-way speakers with both tweeters and woofers. Which explains why the sound comes across as more balanced.

Now since we don’t only use our buds for listening to music especially these days when we’re on a lot of video calls. Samsung has given the Galaxy Buds2 an intelligent buds system. Machine learning will filter out background noise. And the three mics on the buds work together to isolate your voice. For clearer calls.

Battery and charging

Samsung Galaxy Buds are rated to last anywhere between five to 20 hours depending on use. In my tests, I got around 5 hours with noise cancellation activated the whole time. Of course, you can get more hours when you use the charging case.

Charging takes about just over an hour.  To be exact, 1 hour and 8 minutes are all it takes to reach 100%, starting from zero.

You can keep track of battery status via a widget on your Samsung phone. And for non-Samsung phone users, you still have the Galaxy Wearable app just in case you need to monitor your Galaxy Buds2.

Is the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 your GadgetMatch?

If you’re a Samsung user, the Galaxy Buds2 is highly recommended. I definitely prefer them to the Galaxy Buds Live, which claims to offer Noise Cancelling but really doesn’t work. And they are a better value compared to the Galaxy Buds Pro — unless superior audio quality is what you’re after.

On another note, non-Samsung users can still relish the experience the Galaxy Buds2 provides. But you don’t get the seamless connectivity that the Samsung ecosystem serves.

Overall I’m glad Samsung made these. Noise Cancellation in particular is a feature I’m glad that’s available at this price point. What I will say is that Samsung has brought what used to be high-end features to a more affordable price point. And has really improved on its seamless connectivity feature.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 retails for PhP 6,990 (US$ 150) and comes in stunning Olive Green, Graphite, White, and online-exclusive Lavender.

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