Accessories

Treblab X2 Hands-On: Give in-ear headphones a chance

For people done with wires getting magically tangled

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In-ear headphones aren’t exactly stylish and there’s always this fear that you’ll easily lose either one. I used the Treblab X2 for roughly three weeks and this is how it went.

Before we proceed, I need to get a few things out of the way. This is by no means an expert review; I’m nowhere near an audio expert; I’m just like a lot of you — a casual listener who enjoys a good tune or two. With that said, let’s go.

Design

When Apple’s AirPods were first announced, it wasn’t received warmly. Two small in-ear headphones sticking out your ear is not exactly a good look. It also didn’t look secure and appeared like one might fall off at any given moment.

These concerns remain true today, even for other in-ear headphones. I did a quick poll on Instagram stories to ask people if they dig the look of the Treblab X2. It was a landslide victory for the no votes.

While taking photos for this article, our Creative Director Chay even said, “It looks like there are tiny hammers sticking out of your ear.”

I have to admit, in the beginning, I shared this opinion. Not anymore.

Nope, that’s not Mjolnir in my ear

The Treblab X2’s hammer-like design actually helps in keeping the headphones inside your ear. It’s something our Lifestyle Editor Isa isn’t too fond off, but it doesn’t bother me.

I had these on while doing some light basketball shooting drills for a little over an hour and not once did it feel like they were going to fall off. Those drills involve a lot of running and jumping, but even then, the Treblab X2 stayed firmly in place.

It also has an IPX4 rating which means it can withstand body sweat and even a little rain.

Ballin’ with the Treblab X2

I did get weird looks from some people as I made my way to the basketball court. It went on as I was going through the drills. It may take a while before people are used to seeing in-ear headphones out and about.

Basics

Inside the box are, of course, the two in-ear headphones. Each one has two buttons and are labeled L and R at the bottom tip so you know which one goes where.

It also comes with a charging dock that doubles as a carrying case. The dock can provide one full charge for each earbud. There’s a carrying strap for the dock so it’s easier to grab.

The Treblab X2 looks nice if you ask me

You’ll also find three sizes of silicone eartips, three sizes of expandable foam eartips, and three sizes of X-Drop ear-fins so you can find the one that works best for you.

Pairing is a breeze. Turn on the right earbud first. When you turn the left one on, it should immediately connect to the right earbud.

Press and hold the power button for about four to five seconds. If you have them on, you should hear a voice prompt say “pairing.” Otherwise, there is an LED light indicator that should blink red and blue to indicate the device is ready for pairing.

The Treblab X2 is made of beryllium — it’s the same material used in other high-end sound devices. How exactly does it perform?

Performance

In a word: Fantastic.

I’ve had a rough go with previous wireless headphones. The previous two or three I used didn’t quite live up to their billing and would quickly disconnect from the device even if I’m about 10 or 15 feet away. That’s not the case with the Treblab X2.

It can be paired with two devices and has a range of 38 feet or roughly around 11.5 meters. Once turned on, it pairs to your preferred device right away. There were moments when I would wonder why no sound was coming from my phone. I didn’t realize they quickly connected to the Treblab, but that’s just me being stupid.

Pairing the Treblab X2 is a breeze

The pairing and quick connection is key for me since I’ve used Bluetooth headphones wherein the connection didn’t feel seamless. It’s a little detail that users should not have to worry about and Treblab does it well.

How about sound quality?

As mentioned earlier, I am by no means an audio expert. However, I do deal with audio a lot. I have been in the business of video production for roughly five to six years now (yikes, I’m old), so it’s imperative I always have a good pair of headphones with me to make sure audio is good for publishing.

I’ve edited several videos and some podcasts already with the Treblab X2, and I am more than satisfied.

It produces a clear and loud enough sound that I can maintain focus despite editing in a noisy environment. But it’s not too loud that it would hurt my ears.

Video editing with the Treblab X2

The bass doesn’t come at you with full force. Using the Treblab X2 feels more like watching a low-key gig at a bar than being in a jam-packed coliseum concert.

Its passive noise cancellation is great for when you still want to hear what’s going on around you despite having the headphones on. That’s perfect since I also use them while walking to and from work.

I still need to hear if there’s anything coming my way despite “Sugar We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy blasting in my ear.

In case you were wondering, I like listening to upbeat tracks while walking so I can keep my pace up. Here’s my playlist if you want to give a try.

Final thoughts

Its battery is supposed to last for up to 10 hours. During my test, it actually felt like it lasted longer. I’ve gone two days without charging and I usually use it for roughly six hours per day.

I don’t recommend having it on for longer than four hours. Make sure you let your ears breathe after two or three hours of use. That goes for any in-ear headphones.

Take the earbuds off every two or three hours

Will I use it even after completing this hands-on review? The answer is yes. It does everything I need it to do and accompanies me while playing ball or walking home.

The Treblab X2 performs probably better than you would expect from any wireless in-ear headphones. The look might put some people off, but if you’re after headphones you can use while working out, this is a solid option.

If, like me, you’re fed up with wires magically getting tangled inside your pocket, I would give the Treblab X2 a chance.

Accessories

Alcatel introduces their fastest LTE mobile broadband devices

You should get these if you want the speed

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TCL just announced their fastest LTE mobile broadband devices under the Alcatel brand. Two new mobile hotspots join the brand’s Linkzone series — the Linkzone Cat12 and the Linkzone Cat7.

The Alcatel Linkzone Cat12 has maximum download speeds of up to 600Mbps and upload speeds of 100Mbps, but that’s if your telco supports 3-channel LTE carrier aggregation. It’s also one of the smallest pocket Wi-Fi models in the market, but it still has a massive 4300mAh battery. Alcatel claims that the Linkzone Cat12 can deliver 15 straight hours of usage or up to 300 hours of standby time. The device has dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and can also act as a power bank for other mobile devices.

Then there’s the Alcatel Linkzone Cat7 which might not be as fast as the Cat12 but still has respectable download speeds of up to 300Mbps and upload speeds of 100Mbps using 2-channel LTE carrier aggregation. The mobile Wi-Fi is pocketable, lightweight, and can last for 8 hours on a single charge.

The Linkzone Cat12 and Linkzone Cat7 from Alcatel will be available in select regions around the world starting later this year at EUR 180 (US$ 220) and EUR 100 (US$ 125), respectively.

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LG Watch Sport Review

Fitness buddy on your wrist

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With the influx of smartwatches available today, it sometimes gets confusing to choose which specific device suits your needs. Although they all have a common purpose, some of these wearables cater to specific audiences. There are the straightforward variants that simply track your activities, or smartwatches with unique designs that will cost you. There are also those that boast built-in features.

This is where the LG Watch Sport comes in as it runs on the latest Android Wear 2.0 OS and comes with goodies not usually seen on normal smartwatches.

Minimalist design

The LG Watch Sport doesn’t have the rotating bezel of the Samsung Gear S3 or the textured strap of the Fitbit Ionic. No, it flaunts a plain design for the bezel with a simple strap devoid of anything eye-catching.

Still, I personally like how it’s made. The watch itself is a bit thick, but nothing out of the ordinary when you compare it against other smartwatches.

The 1.38-inch circular P-OLED display has pleasing colors even under sunlight and viewing angles are decent.

On its right side, there are three buttons with the main crown having the ability to rotate. The top button launches Google Fit in an instant while the bottom is for Android Pay.

When you turn it over on its belly, you’ll be introduced to its heart rate sensor. It’s also worth noting that since this is activewear, the body is sealed to have an IP68 certification. This means it can withstand sweat, a shower, and even being submerged in up to 1.5m of water for 30 minutes.

The Watch Sport charges wirelessly through its included cradle. Just plug the USB-C cable and dock the watch to charge. This has always been my preferred charging setup — better than fumbling while trying to connect the cable to the device.

A smooth experience

As mentioned earlier, the Watch Sport already runs on Android Wear 2.0. It now comes with design updates and needed features that make the experience more enjoyable as a whole.

A selection of watch faces are fun to switch around from time to time, and standalone apps make the watch easily accessible in just a few taps.

One press of the middle button and the available apps come as a scrolling list. Apart from swiping the display to browse through them, rotating the crown scrolls through the selection which gives the experience a more tactile feel.

The LG Watch proves to be responsive when you’re swiping across the display, but tapping on selections sometimes need be done knowingly — precise and with a bit of effort.

Overall, it’s been pretty easy to navigate through its menu and submenu, even if the user isn’t familiar with the Android ecosystem.

Google Fit is your friend

Onto fitness tracking. The Sport in its name should be a dead giveaway that it focuses on your activities. Google Fit is a capable assistant during training or workout sessions as it works in tandem with the heart rate sensor to give users real-time info like BPM and calories burned.

The standalone app is accompanied by vast selections of exercise trackers ranging from backcountry skiing to kickboxing. If you’re just in the gym lifting weights, Strength Training mode is the way to go; it will give you a summary of how your workout went.

I’d say that a big chunk of why I appreciate this smartwatch is the fact that it’s somehow centered around Google Fit. The one-press button to launch and scrolling to browse through its activity features make it easy to just have it on your wrist when you hit the gym.

Extra features to enjoy (depending on where you are)

The Watch Sport isn’t just useful when you’re sweating it out. LG also made it capable to be used for everyday payments through Android Pay. Although there’s already a fair number of countries that support this system, it’s still not available widely so that’s one thing to consider.

Another thing is that the watch accepts a nano-SIM card which allows users to still be connected without using a phone. The problem is, it works only in the US, as other countries don’t currently support full features (like NumberSync).

Battery life could be better

But then again, most smartwatches don’t excel in this department. This is because it’s always been a challenge to equip watches with a large capacity pack while at the same time making the shell as thin as possible.

In real-life use, taking it off its charging cradle in the morning will last you for about 10 hours, so you’ll barely make it in time back to your place to charge. Activate its always-on display and expect battery life to drain almost twice as fast.

Verdict

The LG Watch Sport is easily a friend to gym buffs and fitness freaks, if you have the US$ 300 budget. It might not help list down your caloric or water intake, but it will be with you every step of your training.

It does all the things that a usual smartwatch does, but it’s just a bit of a downer that you have to be in select places to fully take advantage of its features (although I still enjoy mine with no Android Pay and SIM connectivity).

At the end of the day, it’s your routine and what you do that dictates your need for devices like this.

Is the LG Watch Sport your GadgetMatch?

SEE ALSO: Fitbit Ionic review: What forced me to get fit

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Accessories

Official Samsung Galaxy S9 cases are now available including a Hyperknit cover

All are looking good!

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We’re just a week away from the official announcement of the Galaxy S9 from Samsung, but its official cases just can’t wait anymore.

With all the leaks we’ve seen and read about all over the internet, we already know everything about the physical looks of the Galaxy S9. It’s supposedly not much different compared to its predecessor, aside from the fingerprint reader placement at back. With probably the same fragile glass body, how do we protect it? Here’s a preview of the official cases from Samsung.

Fabric is the new thing in tech nowadays. If the luxurious Alcantara cases aren’t enough, the Galaxy S9 will also have Hyperknit covers in red or gray. There’s another cloth case with a flap on the front and shows time when closed.

The usual high-quality silicone cases will also be available and they’ll come in pink, black, and gray. The coverage of the silicone cases is the same as the Hyperknit’s sans the sporty-looking fabric cover.

The staple Clear View Stand cases will be on sale as usual. So far, there are three confirmed colors: gold, purple, and blue.

The source link below directs to the listing of MobileFun along with the corresponding prices of these and others like the new Alcantara cases but they don’t have available images as of writing.

Source: MobileFun

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S9 Preview Video

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