Accessories

Skyroam Solis: The jet-setting girl’s best friend

Make the world your office

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I’m writing this at the Hamad International Airport in Doha. Work and life circumstances brought me here for a quick layover. And although this particular airport has great internet connectivity, I can’t say the same for, well, everywhere else in the world I travel to.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where global unfettered and unrestricted internet exists so instead, I resort to bringing around this tiny thing.

This is the Skyroam Solis and for those of you who move around a whole lot, this thing will be your best friend. This nifty little device is a hotspot that works in 130-plus countries (which is a lot). I’ve used it in the US, Japan, and the Philippines with no hitch.

It’s also mindblowingly simple: Turn it on, connect to its Wi-Fi and you’re all set. You can subscribe to different data plans, Wi-Fi cards, or day passes depending on your use. To monitor usage, you just log on to the Skyroam app, easy peasy.

Basically, it’s reliable LTE internet anywhere I go. This means I don’t ever need to hunt for hotspots and I have the flexibility to work anywhere I go. I’ve typed away and filed stories and articles from a beach and let me tell you, there’s no going back to a desk for me. Actually, there’s no going back to a desk for me and four more people because the Solis can handle up to five connected devices so you can share the internet love.

Of course, there are still some areas where the Solis had spotty signal. But, that was when I was on a teeny boat in the middle of the ocean, hopping from remote island to the next so I’m pretty sure any device would have a problem, seeing as I didn’t even have service from a local provider.

An added bonus: The Skyroam Solis doubles as a power bank with 6000mAh or close to two smartphone charge cycles. Obviously, this also means that it will take a while of nonstop use for this thing to die. The Skyroam website says 16-plus hours of non-stop Wi-Fi battery life and although I’m always online, I’ve never really needed to be online continuously for that long.

If you’re ready to make the world your office, you can buy the Skyroam Solis for US$ 150 and add on an internet plan of your choice. If you’re not sure about committing to the Solis just yet, or for those who don’t travel as much, Skyroam also rents out the device at a more affordable cost. 🌎✈️

Accessories

Apple is likely working on a midrange AirPods Pro

Coming mid-2020

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Have you bought into the wireless earbuds trend? Despite performing at a lesser capacity than wired earphones, wireless earbuds have infiltrated every major player in the tech industry. Currently, Apple, Huawei, and Samsung all sell their own variant of the growing market.

Now, Apple looks to expand their own catalog even further. According to Chinese publication Digitimes, the AirPods maker is developing a budget-friendly version of last year’s AirPods Pro — the AirPods Pro Lite.

Supposedly, Universal Scientific Industrial (USI), a Taiwan-based manufacturer will likely acquire orders from Apple for the upcoming device. The Taiwanese company is working with other manufacturers from China and the US to fulfill the orders.

According to the report, the AirPods Pro Lite will arrive sometime in the middle of the year. However, given the current situation in China, the device’s development might run into a few delays, especially if Apple pursues China-based manufacturers.

Because of the name, the AirPods Pro Lite will likely carry a price tag between the regular AirPods and the premium AirPods Pro. That puts it around US$ 199.

Despite being an accessory, the AirPods lineup is still one of Apple’s most successful products in the current generation. Of course, it helps that the audio accessory almost comes as a requirement for iPhone users.

SEE ALSO: Unboxing the Apple AirPods Pro

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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 2020. It will retail for SG$ 299.

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

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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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