The tech tragedy of the 21st century aren’t exploding smartphones or those weird zen lawn cases; it’s the inescapable reality that after years and years of trying to make mobile phones smaller, the trend is now towards making smartphones bigger! All this is a disappointment to me and my small, dainty hands.
It was a cumbersome affair when I finally succumbed to such technological advances in the form of the bigger iPhone 6s, which I could hardly grasp. Obviously, there was something amiss in the hand-to-phone ratio.
Being the millennial I am, there was simply no way I’d part with my phone or be bothered with using two hands for texting.
I had to find a solution, for the sake of cute selfie optimization (yes, no selfies if you can’t even hold on to your phone). I sought to solve this dilemma with, well, more technology.
Phone rings, knobs, and hooks all served the purpose, but they really didn’t look cute and were bulky AF.
My search for what I dubbed the “small hands selfie enabler” took an exciting turn when I discovered Ungrip. I was ready to use it without even knowing what it was for just because of how pretty it looked.
As nice as it looked, the small thing also packed a punch in functionality.
The cloth strap allows for versatility when handling your phone without adding much to the size of your gadget (because the last thing we need is an even bigger phone size).
Ungrip is surprisingly strong, too!
The cloth strap itself is replaceable so you don’t have to worry about it getting dirty, and the mount has a hole you can loop lanyards or extra straps in.
Ungrip uses 3M adhesive tape (which is surprisingly powerful) to stick to your phone or case.
It comes with extra tape (and instructions!) in case you’d want to remove and mount the Ungrip on something else.
Honestly, I didn’t think such cute things can be so useful.
I have complete faith in Ungrip when it comes to my phone, and that says a lot because not even death will pry my phone from my cold, dead hands. If you still don’t believe me, remember that sometimes you just have to trust and let go.*
*applicable to phones and life in general.
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Samsung Galaxy Buds+ levels up battery, sound quality
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.
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.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ price and availability in the Philippines
A minor improvement
True wireless (TWS) earbuds are popping up one after the other. Samsung’s latest — the Galaxy Buds+ — is also making its way to the Philippines.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ improves upon the battery life of its predecessor promising up to 11 hours of listening time in a single charge. You also get another 11 hours thanks to the charging case.
Its approach to noise cancellation has to do more with its 2-dynamic speaker and physical design which means this may not be in direct competition with the likes of the AirPods Pro, Huawei Freebuds 3, and Sony WF-1000XM3.
It maintains the same design as its predecessor — a welcome look in the sea of TWS earbuds that all look like AirPods. If you use an iPhone but are not fans of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+ will also be compatible with iOS devices.
Price and availabilty
The Galaxy Buds+ will be available starting March 6, 2020. It will retail for PhP 6,990.
The Nokia Power Earbuds come with ‘150-hour battery life’
Available only in China
A few years ago, Nokia’s expansion beyond phones would have been preposterous. Since its dominance at the start of the millennium, Nokia has always found its closely guarded niche in the phone-making business. However, the company has announced the first Nokia-branded televisions late last year. Now, they are going even further.
Recently, Nokia has launched its own wireless earbuds in China. The Power Earbuds touts the most bombastic feature ever seen in wireless earbuds — a 150-hour battery life.
Design-wise, the Power Earbuds have the traditional set of components for the emerging technology: two in-ear pieces and a charging case. The set comes in two colors: charcoal black and light gray.
Inside, the earbuds sport a 6mm graphene driver unit, supposedly putting out high-quality audio. It is compatible with Google Assistant, allowing hands-free operation.
Further, they can support Bluetooth 5.0, extending usage by up to 800 feet. For durability, the Power Earbuds are certified for IP7 resistance. Supposedly, users can submerge the earbuds underwater for up to 30 minutes.
As for that battery life, Nokia presents an interesting caveat. The earbuds themselves don’t last for 150 hours; instead, they last for a more believable 5-hour charge. Each bud contains only 50mAh capacity for battery life.
The gargantuan battery belongs to the charging case. The 3000mAh case has as much battery life as a smartphone. As such, users can charge the earbuds multiple times through the case before charging the case itself.
The Nokia Power Earbuds are available exclusively online in China. They retail for CNY 699 or around US$ 100.
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