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Star Wars: The Rise of collabs with Samsung, adidas

The Force is strong with many brands

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Hype for Star Wars Episode XI: The Rise of Skywalker is reaching a fever pitch.

The final installment of the latest trilogy in the pop culture franchise is upon us. With it came a wave of Star Wars collaborations, merch, and everything else in between. Here’s a quick rundown of everything we spotted in no particular order.

adidas: Run with The Force 

The Star Wars X Ultraboost 19 running shoes received majority of the hype. Boost is life, after all. This collaboration came in two colorways: The X-Wing and the Millenium Falcon.

These kicks flew off the shelves so you might have a hard time getting your feet in them but fret not, Adidas actually has a few more Star Wars kicks that mostly flew under the radar.

If you’re looking to do more running you can check out the Nite Jogger with R2D2’s colors, or the AplhaEdge 4D shoe with more subtle Star Wars hints.

You play ball? The Harden Vol. 4, equipped with the Lightstrike cushioning, comes in the iconic purple lightsaber color. There’s also the D.O.N. Issue #1 Lightsaber blue and the Dame 5 Lightsaber Green.

There are also other collaborations with less popular adidas sneakers like the Pro Next 2019 which I copped for myself. Not into shoes? There’s also a bunch of shirts, joggers, and hoodies under the adidas Star Wars collection.

Dark side of The Force infused Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

If you rock with black and red then you’re sure to love the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition. Samsung really embraced the Dark Side on this one with the design centered around Kylo Ren — grandson of the iconic Darth Vader.

This package also includes the Galaxy Buds and a special case that’s all Kylo Ren-themed.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

If you want to live your Jedi dreams there’s a pretty nifty way to do it through a video game. The Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order action-adventure game came out just a couple of months shy of the latest Star Wars movie.

It received rave reviews from various gaming websites. It’s easily one of the better Star Wars games in very recent memory. The game is available on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

United’s Star Wars Boeing 737 plane

This one’s a direct tie-in with the upcoming movie. Facing the plane, on its right is Resistance-themed with blue being the main highlight color. On its left is the First Order with red being the highlight.

The same is true inside with the insignia of the Resistance and the First Order on the plane’s seats. To book this flight, passengers can look up the aircraft’s tail number — N36272. You won’t be jumping to lightspeed but at least you’ll fly in style.

Cook with The Force

Williams Sonoma might not be the first brand you think of when it comes to geek stuff but the cookware company came through for Star Wars enthusiasts.

Available for pre-order right now and hitting stores on December 13 are the following: BB-8 styled Duo Mini 3QT that costs US$ 79.95. Meanwhile the Pot Duo 6QT comes in three variants: Darth Vader, R2-D2, and Stormtrooper. Each one costs US$ 99.95. Finally there’s the Pot Duo 8QT with a Chewbacca look. It’s the largest one and costs US$ 119.95.

The company even promises each one will have a unique custom recipe along with the packaging. These are the Darth Vader’s Beef Stew, BB-8 Shrimp Pasta, Dark Side Deviled Eggs, R2-D2 Rotisserie Herb Chicken, and Chewie’s Chili.

World Balance X Star Wars

In the Philippines, shoes and apparel brand World Balance also have a collaboration with the Star Wars franchise. They have everything from shoes, shirts, to caps, and bags.

They have an insane collection and can probably dress you up in all Star Wars-themed garb from head to toe.

Bonus: Baby Yoda Funko Pop

This one is more in line with the Disney+ Original series Star Wars: The Mandalorian but it’s also Star Wars so I’m putting it here anyway. Baby Yoda is currently challenging Baby Groot as the most adorable baby under the Disney’s properties.

If you want to have him all to yourself, you can do so by copping the baby Yoda Funko Pop. It comes in both the regular-sized Funko and one that’s 10-inch tall. But real talk, a friend says she prefers a baby Yoda plushie. Maybe we’ll get that at some point.

SEE ALSO: Star Wars gadgets and accessories gift guide

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be shown on theaters worldwide starting December 20.

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Huawei Sound X with hi-end audio launches

Will work seamlessly with the P40 series

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Huawei is slowly but surely venturing out into more and more devices. After wearables, the company is now showing off a hi-end speaker — the Huawei Sound X.

It’s never easy to describe sound on text but Huawei claims the Sound X “will revolutionize high-end acoustic technology with sonorous audio that leaves an enduring, life-altering impression on the listener.”

It was made in collaboration with Devialet — a global audio brand known for its High-Fidelity products.

It’s not a smart speaker in the way that there’s a voice assistant integrated like the Google Home or the Amazon Echo, but it does have some ‘smart’ qualities.

For instance, it will work seamlessly with your Huawei P40 series phone. Gently tapping your phone against the Sound X transmits audio to the speaker.

The audio, Huawei says, is lossless and low-latency and can be tweaked thanks to a proprietary EMUI 10.1 multi-device control panel. Think of like Huawei’s own version of Apple’s AirPlay.

Another thing that Huawei is proud of about the Sound X is how compact it is compared to other speakers that promise to deliver the same level of hi-end audio. It’s able to deliver 60W of bass despite being relatively smaller than other speakers with the same capability.

The company says the “exterior design was inspired by the golden dome of the black, glazed surface hints at the robust sound that seems to emanate from a bottomless well.” But it really just reminds of Darth Vader from Star Wars.

The press photos even have the Sound X in this red room of sorts. Screams Sith to me.

Imagine playing the “Imperial Death March” on this thing! Whether you see the resemblance or not, it does kind of look cool.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P40 Series with ‘visionary photography’ now official

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Qualcomm’s new chipset could bring noise-cancellation to budget earbuds

Expect affordable earbuds soon

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Qualcomm unveiled two new Bluetooth audio chipsets intended for use in truly wireless headphones. For the end consumer, this could provide active noise cancellation (ANC), voice assistant support, and more.

It has unveiled two new chipsets — QCC514X (premium tier) and QCC304X (entry-level line). Both shall support Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Mirroring technology that requires connecting via Bluetooth to just one of the earbud. It’s useful as it will allow either earbud to be used alone without interruptions.

The new chipsets will also produce better battery life – offering up to 13 hours of playback based on a 65mAh battery, according to Qualcomm. Usually, active noise cancellation consumes more battery power.

The dedicated noise cancellation hardware integrated into the chipset enables super-low latency leak-through of the outside environment. It enables genuinely natural awareness of the surroundings. It’ll also come handy when you’re onboard a flight or trying to concentrate in an office environment where ambient noise is higher than usual.

The chips also bring voice assistant support with them, but the premium QCC514X features always-on voice support. Meaning you won’t have to manually long-press a button to summon the virtual assistant. With direct support in the entry-level chipset as well, it’ll make this feature more widely available in affordable earbuds as well.

Qualcomm has also promised “premium wireless sound and voice quality.” The smartphone industry started omitting the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of USB-C or wireless earphones. The wireless options have often been quite expensive, and with wired ones, you either have the opportunity to charge your phone, or listen to music or watch a movie. More affordable options should automatically start solving this dilemma.

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5 reasons why you should stick to wired earphones

You don’t have to give up comfort and familiarity!

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Photo by Daniel Fontenele

The advent of wireless earbuds has become gospel among my friends — techie and geeks alike. It’s like everyone’s preaching about switching to wireless like it’s some mandatory rite of passage for adults who’ve been in the workforce for god knows how long.

Though I have my own pair of wireless earbuds, I still have my trusty wired earphones — one that has a 3.5mm jack for my laptop, and one that comes in USB-C for my phone that has no headphone jack. Even before, wired earphones were my savior — from strangers and familiar people approaching me, to keep me entertained in between idle moments, and for being a companion in trying times.

Just like most people, I’m still having a hard time letting go of wired earphones. People had been asking me to stop using one, but I still stand to a few reasons why it’s perfectly okay to stick to the familiar.

You’re a plug-and-play person

A lot of times, I find myself having trouble with pairing my smartphones to my wireless earbuds. To ensure seamless pairing, you must be using top-of-the-line and/or premium earbuds. Imagine the time you spent trying to connect so you can listen to music when you can just plug your wired earphones to a headphone jack, play your music, and enjoy.

You love the feeling of being connected

I thrive in connections — whether it’s people, conversations, or earphones. I feel most reassured when I know I’m connected, and the tangibility of my earphones’ connection to my smartphone is comforting — especially when I’m commuting. I’ll know right away where my phone is, and having a wired connection makes my loving smartphone safe.

On certain occasions, my smartphone was saved from falling because of my wired earphones. It’s these prevented tragedies that reassure me a tangible connection is still a good choice.

You’re practical about your choices

Let’s admit it: wireless earbuds are expensive. As someone who follows a strict budget, wired earphones are a tad cheaper and is more accessible to most of us. There are plenty of us can’t live without music, and wired earphones sometimes become a necessity to keep us from falling apart in between trying times.

On the other hand, wireless earbuds are considered a luxury — a want, not a need. Imagine losing a pair, or even misplacing it when a pair of wireless earbuds is priced around US$ 100. I don’t have the money to replace it easily even with access to a credit card.

You find comfort in familiarity

Some people aren’t comfortable with change. Most are hesitant, and even resistant to it — even with the advent of functional and bang-for-the-buck wireless earbuds. If you find comfort in familiarity a.k.a. choosing wired earphones because you’ve been using it for a long time, that’s absolutely fine.

You don’t have to change your preferences in life just because someone asked you to do so. Stay unique and love your individuality!

You haven’t felt the urge to switch

Lastly, there comes a time in every modern individual where they need to switch to a wireless lifestyle. It could be for convenience, for more flexibility, or for safety during a commute. Whatever it is, you’ll always feel the urge to switch and when you do, heed the call.

When you feel like you’re being called to the other side, that’s when you take a leap of faith. If you’re still content with using wired earphones, just enjoy it and stop caring what the world thinks. You have your music with you, just keep playing!

SEE ALSO: 6 reasons why you should switch to wireless earbuds

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