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Samsung Galaxy Buds: The good and the bad

It takes two buds to tango

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We have to give lots of credit to Apple for making truly wireless earbuds mainstream. Not only are AirPods incredibly convenient, they’re easy to pair with any iPhone. But what are Android users left with?

The closest alternative so far are Samsung’s Galaxy Buds. They’re sportier too and fit inside a wider variety of ear types.


That’s only a fragment of the whole story, however. Two of our resident music lovers gathered their thoughts after several weeks with the Galaxy Buds.

Let’s see what these two buds have to say.

Producer Rodneil Quiteles

Marvin: I’ve had lots of experience with Bluetooth earphones in the past, but truly wireless earbuds? Not so much. I’ve gotta say, though: The Galaxy Buds are so convenient to use.

Rodneil: I believe this is my second or third truly wireless earbuds, and I have to agree, wireless is truly convenient! What did you like best about the Galaxy Buds?

Marvin: I love how it pairs so quickly to even my non-Samsung smartphone. Its battery life is cool too — up to six hours per charge, with an additional seven from the case. What about you?

Rodneil: As superficial as this sounds, I like how it doesn’t look like I have weird stuff sticking out of my ears! Haha. I also like how your interaction with the Galaxy Buds is limited to just tapping, so there’s not a lot for someone like me to think about.

Editor Marvin Velasco

Marvin: Actually, I’m not a fan of the touch controls. They don’t always work, especially when I try to skip tracks with a double tap. Don’t even get me started with the triple tap.

Rodneil: Oh right! I actually did have that problem. To be honest, I ended up not having to tap the thing too much and just shifted to controlling everything from my phone.

Marvin: Did you have any latency issues with your Bluetooth connection? This happened to me a couple of times, even while connected to my Galaxy S10+. Software updates (which come frequently, fortunately) gradually fixed this, though.

Rodneil: Yes, I noticed that happened. For me specifically, I experienced those while I was in a moving vehicle and during the time I used it while playing basketball. I wasn’t bothered by it as much, though.

Marvin: Yup, definitely not a deal-breaker.

Rodneil: But does it have any deal-breakers for you?

Marvin: I wish I got the black one, to be honest. The white is fine at first, but after a few weeks of use, I noticed some discoloration.

Rodneil: I normally prefer black over white, but I’ve been changing things up lately and actually like the white one, discoloration and all.

Marvin: Colors aside, I like how the Buds come with different silicon adjustments. It’s something completely missing from the AirPods, which makes Samsung’s earbuds more universally compatible with ears.

Rodneil: Yep! I tried putting on each one to test which works best for me, but I ended up with the default since it fits my ears perfectly. It didn’t drop once while I was playing, which was a major concern when I first started using it.

Marvin: I actually use my Buds without wing tips, and they fit perfectly. That matters a lot, because I’m able to maximize the audio quality, which is great for truly wireless earbuds, by the way.

Rodneil: I was surprised with the audio quality actually. It was so much better than the Treblab X2 I tried a while back. I expected a similar experience but this one was better. I listened to the playlist I made for hands-on sessions like this and I was completely immersed in the sound.

Marvin: Speaking of sound quality, funny story: I didn’t realize how important the Galaxy Wear app is until I was two weeks into using the Galaxy Buds. It was there where I could adjust the equalizer and get more bass out of it, which boosted the quality tremendously.  

Rodneil: I figured this out right away! I tried to play with the settings for a while but I’ve settled with increasing the bass since that’s what was most lacking when I first tried it on. On the Galaxy Wear app, you can also change the tap and hold functions to control the volume, but I opted to make it switch to ambient mode which I need more when I step out with the Galaxy Buds on.

Marvin: What’s great is that I could pair the Buds with any phone without needing to download the app first. But, well, I wish I did sooner to get the most out of the equalizer and extra settings.

Rodneil: Well, I wasn’t able to pair it right away with the Honor View 20 I’m currently using. That’s why I knew I had to get the app. After that, I had zero trouble pairing. I’m not sure how to control the pairing, though. One time I was out with a “friend” who had a Galaxy S10E and it was trying to automatically pair with her phone.

Marvin: So, would you recommend the Galaxy Buds to your friends given the price of US$ 129?

Rodneil: For anyone who wants a truly wireless experience, this ticks all of the boxes for me. The pairing convenience along with the surprising sound quality, for me, makes it a relatively easy recommendation.

Marvin: There are definitely cheaper options out there, but I feel the build quality and convenience Samsung injected into the Buds. Plus, it’s more affordable than its closest rival, the AirPods. What else is there to dislike?

Rodneil: My only concern is this pair is really easy to lose when out of its case. If you’re a klutz like me, I suggest you only put these on while in a familiar location. You should also make sure you get a pouch or have a designated spot in your bag where you can put it if you can’t reach the case right away.

Marvin: Otherwise, you’d use these over traditional wired earphones?

Rodneil: I want to permanently end my relationship with wires, so yes, I’ll choose this over traditional ones every single time.

Marvin: LOL, okay.

Accessories

9 gifts to enhance your kid’s multiple intelligence

There are more ways to learn!

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Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Every kid has its own potential. As grown-ups, we excel in different fields simply because we are smart in different ways. In Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, there are eight types of intelligence which are a big factor in how a kid learns.

Simply put, learning isn’t limited to school and there isn’t a single style of learning. The way your children play, interact and behave strongly shows how they learn differently, and what kind of field they will excel in.


Here are gift ideas for any occasion that you can get your children based on their intelligence:

For the word smart

Photo by Kindle

Kids exhibiting high linguistic intelligence are typically good at reading and writing. They’re also great storytellers and showcases strong memorization skills.

Help them enhance their verbal and written skills by giving them a Kindle Unlimited subscription, offering over 1 million titles and thousands of audiobooks. These can be easily accessed using your Kindle device, or through Kindle reading apps on your tablets or smartphones.

For the number smart

Photo by Square Off

Some kids are great at reasoning and critical thinking. Additionally, these are the kids that are great at logic, abstract, and numbers. In Gardner’s terms, these are the kids with logical-mathematical intelligence.

Let them polish their strategic and critical thinking by giving them an electronic chessboard, such as Square Off’s Chess Set.

For the picture smart

Photo by LEGO

Visual-spatial intelligence revolves around the ability to visualize and think through images. Kids exhibiting this style of learning are highly imaginative and creative, often they set on career paths related to arts and multimedia.

Hone their creativity by giving them a LEGO set, maybe The Rexcelsior ones? 

For the body smart

Photo from Amazon

There are kids who have higher energy compared to his/her peers. Most of them can’t sit still and would rather move around. Their learning style is a bit different, which requires them to use their bodies or observe someone’s movement. Kids like these exhibit bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.

Gift them a badminton racket and let them play to their heart’s content.

For the music smart

Photo by The ONE

If your kid recognizes sounds with ease, he/she probably exhibits strong musical intelligence. In other words, they have a good ear for music, and they can easily learn songs and melodies. Most of the time, they’re also gifted at singing, composing, and playing an instrument.

Support their talent by getting them a smart keyboard like The ONE’s Light Keyboard, which has keys that light up with sheet music, video lessons, and games when connected with The ONE Smart Piano app.

For the people smart

Photo by Amazon

Nowadays, technology makes it difficult for people to connect with someone. We’ve developed a culture where everyone would rather look down on screens than interact with the people they’re with. But there are kids who enjoy talking to people, and these are kids with high interpersonal intelligence.

Highlight the importance of engaging with people real-time and how fun it could be. Gift them a board game like Scrabble.

For the self smart

Some kids are more attuned to their self and have a far better understanding than their parents do. These are kids with high intrapersonal intelligence, and they are adept in figuring themselves out and knowing what they want.

Help them explore their inner selves by giving them a journal to write their thoughts down.

For the nature smart

Kids with naturalist intelligence are natural-born explorers, who know how to enjoy and appreciate nature. They love the great outdoors and they would thrive in activities that involve discovering the wonders of nature.

Next time you’re traveling with your family, instead of arcades and malls, bring them to a zoo or a botanical garden, like the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest in Singapore.

For the life smart

There are highly sensitive kids who have the capacity to tackle deep questions, and in Gardner’s theory, these are the kids who have existential intelligence. They ponder about human existence and they have a lot of questions about life (and even death).

Allow your children to be curious. Give them a book that makes them think and ask questions (and possible get answers), such as Stephen Hawking’s Brief Answers to the Big Questions.

What other gift ideas do you recommend for children? Sounds off in the comments below.

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Nomad releases new line of Kevlar charging cables

You’ll never see cables the same way again

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Until the world adapts a fully wireless lifestyle, we’re going to have to succumb to buying charging cables one after another. It’s typical for anyone to fall into the trap of buying inexpensive ones as they easily break anyway.

Nomad is here to change that mind set. The accessory maker rolls out a collection of 11 cables wrapped in Kevlar outer sheath as well as Kevlar internal reinforcement.


Kevlar is a synthetic fiber known for its durability and heat-resistance. It’s commonly used in creating gear to protect users from cuts and heat. Uniforms and body armor worn by firefighters, police officers, and military forces also use Kevlar as a key component.

Nomad’s Kevlar cables also feature internal components that ensure fast charging and data transfer. Each package includes a Kevlar badge to indicate the licensed partnership, as well as a 5-year warranty. It’s entirely possible that these cables will outlive your smartphone or your laptop.

The new collection includes:

18W USB-C to Lightning Cable

  • 1.5m – US$39.95
  • 3m – US$44.95

100W USB-C Cable

  • 1.5m – US$29.95
  • 3m – US$34.95

USB-A to Lightning Cable

  • 1.5m – US$34.95
  • 3m – US$39.95

Universal USB-C: USB-C core cable capable of up to 100W charging speeds. One end features a USB-A adaptor, while the other end is micro USB.

  • 0.3M – US$24.95
  • 1.5M – US$34.95
  • 3M – US$39.95

Universal USB-A: Standard USB-A cable with Micro USB, USBC, and Lightning adaptors on one end.

  • 0.3M – US$29.95
  • 1.5M – US$39.95

Get Nomad’s Kevlar cables on hellonomad.com.

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Xiaomi launches affordable Mi Super Bass Wireless headphones

20 hours of non-stop playback

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Xiaomi is known for its feature-packed smartphones, but the brand has a massive presence in the lifestyle segment. For now, a lot of these products are limited to Mainland China, but the brand is slowly releasing them in its core markets like India.

Today, the Chinese company launched the Mi Super Bass Wireless headphones in India and they’re priced quite aggressively. This week is going to be even more exciting because the Redmi K20 Pro is scheduled to launch on July 17.


The headphones come with a 400mAh battery that Xiaomi claims can last up to 20 hours on a single charge. In simpler words, it is sufficient to listen to 300 songs in one go. Equipped with 40mm drivers, they are tuned to deliver high bass and pressure-less earmuffs provide a comfortable listening experience over extended periods. The head beam is adjustable and has elastic shafts to rotate the ear muffs.

Lastly, they connect to any smartphone via Bluetooth 5.0, offering wider range and capability to connect two headphones simultaneously to one phone. They can also be used along with a wire if you want truly acoustic output. Operations can be handled via voice commands thanks to an in-built mic and support for virtual assistants.

They’re priced at INR 2,199 (US$ 32) and can be purchased via Amazon.in. Prime Day sale is going on and they can be grabbed for just INR 1,799 (US$26). Color options include Black and Red, as well as Black and Gold.

Previously, Xiaomi has launched its range of smart TVs, air purifiers, and light bulb in India. A couple of weeks back, they also unveiled a trimmer. We expect the brand to launch more of these in the coming future as it slowly scales up operations.

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