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TCL MOVEAUDIO S200: Affordable TWS headphones

All the prime TWS features without the prime price

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TCL — primarily known for their affordable but quality TVs — continues to expand its portfolio. This time, they’re bringing over the same theme of prime features for less to the MOVEAUDIO S200.

First of, yes, it’s that AirPods design again. 😐

It leverages ENC noise reduction technology to reduce background noise helping you focus on whatever you’re listening to — may that be music or calls. Four built-in microphones use beamforming technology to filter noise and focus on your voice.

For sound quality, TCL equipped each earbud with a highly precise and sensitive coil. It connects to others devices via Bluetooth 5.0 with dual-Bluetooth transmission for low-latency. This means no delay from what you’re watching to what you’re hearing.

With an IP54 rating, the MOVEAUDIO S200 is also waterproof, dustproof and sweatproof. For comfort, TCL opted for what they call a superellipse design that should be easy on the ears for as long as 3.5 hours which happens to be its expected battery life on a single use. It goes all the way up to 23 hours when used with the charging case.

It has a smart wearing detection feature. It’ll pause songs when it realizes its been taken off. Put them back on and it’ll pick-up right where you left off. Like other TWS earphones, it uses touch gestures for controls. It’s also compatible with either Google Assistant or Siri.

Pricing and availability

The TCL MOVEAUDIO S200 is available in three colors: white, black or teal blue. They retail for EUR 99 (US$ 117) and will be available by end of September.

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Seagate One Touch SSD: 5 reasons why you need this external SSD

Seagate’s new portable SSD is truly a worthy investment

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If you’ve been fond of reading our posts, we already did an article that discusses the differences of SSDs (Solid State Drives) against regular HDDs (Hard Disk Drives). I even made a full article on how upgrading to an SSD vastly improved the performance of an old and sluggish laptop.

In this article, it’s all about this new storage device that caters not only me as a creative, but also to every other professional who always relies on large external drives for work on-the-go. Wrote five reasons why I find the Seagate One Touch SSD one of the best (if not the best) external storage device you can use for work and play.

1. Chic and stylish

Unlike other external HDDs that are mostly made up of plastic, Seagate’s One Touch SSD is made from textile that resembles a woven fabric, making it look and feel sleek.

Seagate One Touch SSD

It comes in two basic colors: White and Black. Obviously, I got the black one. But if neither is your cup of tea, there are special Camo and Sam Larson editions — especially if you prefer louder designs over the minimal-looking. Regardless of what color you choose, they all look modern and barely looks like a typical external storage device.

2. Compact and pocketable

Seagate’s One Touch SSD thinnest point is just at 10mm. That’s slimmer than most smartphones today. When held, you’ll barely notice it’s there because it weighs exactly at 0.065 kilograms or just 65 grams! If you come to think of it, conventional hard disk drives weigh around 170 to 220 grams. It may not sound a lot, but you’ll definitely feel the heft if you hold them with your hands.

Due to the lack of mechanical parts such as large spinning disks, this makes Seagate’s One Touch SSD ultra lightweight and compact — especially that it has immovable parts (chips) inside it. While I don’t recommend to just put this storage device inside your jeans’ pockets as it’s not totally built for butt pressure, this external SSD is greatly pocketable.

For real-world comparison, I’ve managed to place it side-by-side with my old laptop’s 500GB 2.5-inch SATA HDD (Hard Disk Drive)…

…and also compared its thin form factor against my extra thicc 4TB External HDD.

For another comparison, I also have another 2TB external HDD that’s as thicc as the previously mentioned hard drive.

Its size is quite close to my 65W USB-C PD power brick…

and quite smaller than my debit card.

Seagate One Touch SSD

Finally, here’s how it looks like versus three different coins from Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

Seagate One Touch SSD

3. Speedy and reliable performance

On paper, Seagate is confident that the One Touch SSD will reach up to 400MB/s of write speed. True to its words, it’s able to give me more than 300MB/s under a huge stress test. Others might say it doesn’t stick to its promise but devices like this don’t really reach the maximum limit — just like how it works in cars, other devices, and even human beings with utmost limits.

The image above shows a huge speed gap between my external HDD compared to Seagate’s SSD. It may not matter to most users, but for video editors and gamers, fast read and write speeds are everything.

4K videos are harder to read on slower disk drives. No wonder why a video editor app is sluggish even if your laptop/rig has all the best chipset and memory on board. Investing on a fast SSD like the One Touch SSD is a great solution for that.

Even gamers need fast drivers since most games run on 2K/4K resolution with maximum settings possible. The external SSD will not only load games faster, it can also be opened in other laptops as long as you figured out how to correctly install games in external drives.

I also tried comparing disk speeds versus two MacBook Pros with an internal, non-removable SSD. While they’re pretty far from what Seagate can \ offer, it’s still a huge feat considering an external SSD can achieve great feats of read and write speeds that regular disk drives can’t even do.

4. Utmost compatibility

Out of the box, the Seagate One Touch SSD is already formatted to exFAT. This means you don’t have to worry about storage platform incompatibilities. Usually, external disk drives come in NTFS format — which is limited to Windows systems. Other drives are specified for Mac. Thus, the Mac OS Extended format.

Whether that may be Windows, macOS, Linux, a smart/Android TV, or even an Android smartphone, the Seagate One Touch SSD will work wonders since exFAT can be read by most devices. Such file format is the most accessible across all platforms whether that is for reading or writing files.

Upon my usage, I tested it with the Galaxy S21 Ultra as it successfully detected the drive and was able to show its contents through Seagate’s SSD Touch app. File Manager works as well for copying and pasting several data. As long as your device supports USB On-The-Go, the portable drive would actually work.

5. Future-ready

Seagate One Touch SSD

Other than being available to almost every device, Seagate made sure that it’s safe for future use with the inclusion of a braided USB-A cable plus a USB-A to USB-C adapter. It’s “future-proof” in a sense that most upcoming devices will be shipped with USB-C anyway. While there’s still the USB-A plug for backwards compatibility with older machines.

BONUS: Free subscriptions

Upon any purchase of Seagate’s One Touch SSD (or even HDD), you’ll get free limited subscriptions with Mylio Create for one year. Mylio Create is an app that stores all your photos in one online library. Their system also organizes your photos depending on their visual story.

There’s even the free Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (Photoshop and Lightroom) for two (2) months. If you’ll try to list it down, that’s a great saving especially if your a creative or a content creator who relies on such apps. Adobe’s Creative Cloud plan alone will cost you thousands of dollars. If you’re new to the scene, this is a great way for you to test out their products while trying to build your creative portfolio.

Pricing (+ Giveaway!)

Seagate One Touch SSD

The Seagate One Touch SSD is currently available in only two storage options: 500GB and 1TB. Pricing varies per region but in the Philippines, the 500GB version is priced at PhP 7,999 while the 1TB version retails for PhP 9,999. While this portable storage device is pocketable, it’s definitely not pocket-friendly for most consumers. But don’t fret!

If you can’t wait to try this ultra-fast and compact storage device but you have budget limitations, well here’s your chance as we’re giving away a Seagate OneTouch SSD to a lucky reader! We’ll announce the mechanics soon on facebook.com/gadgetmatch.

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Huawei FreeBuds 4i review: “The” audio daily driver

An audio experience you simply can’t miss

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A great set of earphones becomes as integral to your everyday life as your preferred devices. Whether you like it wired or wireless, it’s simply something you can’t live without these days. From the early morning commutes to playing games with the squad, a daily driver like this comes in handy for all of those.

For the past few years, Huawei ventured into the wireless sound space much like their contemporaries. From the earphones and headsets to speakers, each iteration brings something new to the table. This is, what I felt, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i shapes itself up to be: something different, something more.

So, how much more does this new pair of TWS earphones bring to the table? For starters:

It comes in an oval-shaped charging case w/ an optional cover

Inside the box are a fast-charging USB-C cable and different earbud tip sizes

You have three colorways to choose from: Ceramic White, Carbon Black, or Red

Breaking down the full audio experience

As I was writing this, I went ahead and looked back at everything I said about the Huawei FreeBuds 4i the very instance I got my hands on it. I briefly touched on the audio experience, and even went out of my way to call it a great first impression — all things considered. After some more time using these wireless earphones, I have some more things to call out.

Enjoying the music every tone of the way

From my first impressions, I could already tell that these earphones were designed for you to listen to your music better. This isn’t just hearing the songs without any noise in the background, but rather for you to truly appreciate the songs you’re listening to. See, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i comes with two major audio enhancements: a dynamic 10mm audio driver and Active Noise Cancellation.

With the dynamic audio driver, I’m assuming that the music you’re listening to has some more explicit bass to it. Well, I wasn’t wrong but it was actually more than that the longer I listened to my playlist. When I was listening to most of the “pop” songs in my playlist, I could hear some level of depth to the tones and vocals. It’s those little intricacies that you only get to hear from a great set of headphones, to be honest.

However, the biggest selling point here is that sweet Active Noise Cancellation technology inside. Essentially, when it’s on, only your songs exist in your ears and not much else. It does a fantastic job blocking all background noise out, so you can immerse in your songs a bit longer. Honestly, it was a joy simply listening to all my songs with ANC on — especially early in the morning.

No delays with VODs, streams, and movies all the way through

In all honesty, this was the use case I was most concerned for because of my experience with my FreeBuds Lite. For some reason, I experienced some delay in my audio when I’m watching videos whether on YouTube or Netflix. For the longest time, it wasn’t a huge bother to me until I tried out the FreeBuds 4i and knew what I was missing.

Huawei included these low latency algorithms into the audio drivers that essentially remove lag between audio and video. While I was watching music videos and a KDrama on the side, it felt smooth to just see and hear the A/V sync like that. At least now, I wouldn’t laugh so hard when the audio is lagging behind.

Playing games and engaging in team comms

Where the ANC also shines in comes from, quite possibly, my 2nd most regular use case: gaming. In particular, I decided to play team-based games like League of Legends: Wild Rift and Call of Duty Mobile with full team comms. I’ve already touched on the ANC’s capabilities for rich, deep sounds, and it’s quite evident with games as well.

However, I’d like to touch on how the ANC helped out with team comms since I was sort of playing in a noisy environment. Essentially, apart from the ANC blocking out noise you hear, it also blocks out additional noise picked up by the microphone. In theory, it should project your voice in a clearer way.

I hopped on a Discord call on my phone, and my friends could tell the difference if I switched to wired earphones. They mentioned how they could hear the strong wind and my electric fan before switching to the FreeBuds 4i mid-game. Although, there were times they couldn’t hear me through my mic when I switched, but it didn’t happen regularly.

Define “daily driver?” for me please

Apart from the Active Noise Cancellation technologies, the FreeBuds 4i boasts 10 hours of continuous audio playback. Whether it’s a Spotify playlist or random YouTube videos, that’s quite a lot of nonstop audio banging in your ear. Actually, this is more of a battery life situation more than anything but it certainly stacks up.

What I love about the longevity of this accessory is that it still lasts long even if you charge for a few minutes. Within ten minutes of charging, I managed to use the earphones for a good 3-4 hours before running out of juice. That’s honestly quite long in itself, especially with the amount of songs and videos you can squeeze in at 50% volume.

With all the time I spent charging the buds, I managed to stretch my usage to 24 hours (yes, even in my sleep). This alone already made me believe that it fits the description of what a daily driver is all about. Plus, it charges quite fast while in its oval case, and its oval case also fully charges fast too (about an hour and a half).

Why the Huawei AI Life is a must-have

Like I mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of downloading additional software to make certain hardware work well. I mean, it just takes up more space on my phone that I would have needed for more photos and games. However, for the FreeBuds 4i, I installed the Huawei AI Life app to further maximize my use for it — and thank God I did.

See, if you’re not that big of a fan of using the gestures on the earphones, the AI Life app is where you need to go. In essence, it allows you to switch the ANC on/off, and you can even customize the touch gestures. Also, it even shows you the battery percentage of the buds and charging case. Honestly, I felt this added a bit more personalization to the FreeBuds 4i, something I was dying to experience.

Initially, I thought that you couldn’t change the gestures outright. I preferred having a gesture to play/pause songs and skip some of them — something the AI Life app covers. I genuinely think this is an app you should consider downloading if you plan to pick these earphones up.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 3,599, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i provides an audio experience that you simply cannot turn a blind eye to. Apart from the simple yet fashionable aesthetic, it comes with a pair of TWS earphones that bring deeper sound quality for any use case. With its long battery life and quick charge capabilities, it’s something worth using every single chance you get.

While there were some hiccups along the way, it doesn’t ruin the audio experience entirely. With integrations in the AI Life app, you can easily find ways around these hiccups to help ease these off. Also, the level of control it gives you makes the whole experience more personal.

It’s not something different in every sense of the word, but the Huawei FreeBuds 4i brings something more to the table. It’s simply not just great, but it poses itself as one of the best options for wireless earphones out there.

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Apple is cutting down AirPods production as sales drag

AirPods are losing their edge

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Apple posted its quarterly earnings report this week, marking a whopping 54 percent rise in revenues. While most of this was thanks to iPhone 12 series’ success, there’s one segment that’s losing steam quickly, and there’s little Apple can do about it — the AirPods.

The Cupertino-based giant is cutting production of its ultra-popular AirPods by around 25 percent to 30 percent due to a decrease in sales. Competition from budget-friendly offerings has severely dented the lineup’s dominance.

According to a Nikkei Asia report, Apple was expecting to ship 110 million units in 2021 but has now cut back its forecast to roughly 75-85 million units. Although, the report doesn’t specifically mention which AirPods are experiencing a slowdown.

The AirPods Max is an exceedingly premium offering that was recently unveiled. The device has been designed for a niche audience and was never expected to go fully mainstream. It has a lot of competition from veteran headphone makers like Sony, Sennheiser, Bose, and more.

Though, Apple could potentially turn the table for the smaller AirPods by releasing an updated iteration this year. The duo is long overdue for an upgrade, and a new release could encourage demand in the beginning.

Since their debut, the original AirPods, which has dominated the wireless earphone market, was one of the only Apple products not to receive an upgrade towards the end of the year.

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