Accessories

5 fitness resolutions and tech to help you achieve them

Published

on

As we gear up for New Year’s and the many exercise resolutions you will eventually break, I offer a better solution to your fitness woes: Start moving now.

Yes, you heard me. No need to wait until after the holiday festivities to get that booty in shape! Admittedly, this is easier said than done. So, I’ve compiled a few easy things you can do to jump start your healthier lifestyle.

These activities require no gym fees, equipment, or specialized instructors; all you need is a lot of motivation! But, since it’s 2017, I snuck in other devices and an app every now and then to make this switch in lifestyle easier and more enjoyable. Here we go:

Make it a habit to jog

Going out for a run is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to exercise. It’s literally as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.

If you’re just starting out like me, apps like Nike+ Run Club help map out and record your runs. Fitness trackers are also great if you don’t want to lug your phone around — they help track runtime, heart rate, and distance.

Bluetooth earphones are also a big help; this means no cords to your smartphone or music player, and more freedom to move.

Do some outdoor HIIT

The great outdoors is open to many workout possibilities. A quick high intensity interval training (HIIT) session is easily doable and will only take 20 to 30 minutes.

HIIT entails alternating between bursts of high-intensity exercises and intervals of low-intensity activities. You can start with basics like squats, crunches, and lunges for high intervals, and a light jog or a complete rest period for the low intervals.

Numerous interval timer apps are available on both iOS and Android for free. You can customize these timers to your HIIT exercise preference.

If you’re not so keen on doing HIIT, you can also download apps like Sworkit (iOS, Android), Nike+ Training Club (iOS, Android), or J&J Official 7 Minute Workout (iOS, Android) for different exercise routines. Some wearables, like the Samsung Gear Sport, offer a number of built-in exercises and automatically tracks movement.

Use the stairs when you can

This is one small habit that can make a big difference. Instead of taking elevators or escalators, get physical! Before you know it, these flights will accumulate and make a dent in your daily active minutes.

Most flagships like the Huawei Mate 10, Samsung S and Note series, and even iPhones, have trackers built in. They take note of everyday activities, including how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed. For those who aren’t so attached to their phones, most fitness trackers also have the same features.

Keep swimming

If you have access to a pool, swimming is also a great way to exercise and keep cool.

Apps like MySwimPro (iOS, Android) and Speedo On (iOS, Android) are useful tools for this wet workout.

There are also numerous waterproof fitness wearables, like the Fitbit Ionic, Garmin Vivoactive 3, or the Samsung Gear Sport (pictured above) in the market.

Make healthier food choices

You can exercise as much as you want, but you can’t exercise a bad diet away. Getting fit also means having healthy food intake.

Calorie counting can help — not to cut down on food, but to monitor what you eat. MyFitnessPal (iOS, Android) is a great app to track meals. They also have a standing partnership with Samsung that allows app integration with Samsung fitness devices.

SEE ALSO: Nike+ Training Club app review

[irp posts=”17113″ name=”Essential fitness apps for a healthier lifestyle”]

Accessories

Samsung has launched a personal phone sterilizer

Can kill 99 percent of germs in 10 minutes

Published

on

A smartphone is a germophobe’s worst nightmare. With the amount of handling our phones get every minute of every day, it’s almost impossible to keep them clean even with gloves on. As we suggested in the past, sterilizing your phones might be a sound idea in the age of COVID-19. That said, where do you get a phone sterilizer?

If alcohol doesn’t cut it, Samsung is now selling a personal UV sterilizer for your smartphones. On the outside, the ITFIT UV Sterilizer looks like a sleek phone case. However, a button can bombard your phone with enough UV to “kill up to 99 percent of bacteria within 10 minutes,” according to its official store listing. (The bacteria hit list explicitly includes E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Candida albicans.)

Since it’s big enough to house a Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung says you can also use it to sterilize other smaller items like the Galaxy Buds and a pair of glasses. This can include non-Samsung phones.

Oh, and it can also charge your devices wirelessly. Unfortunately, the device’s charging power is paltry at best, powering devices at just 10W. Since the sterilizer lasts for just 10 minutes, you might want to use a faster charger instead. Still, it’s a nifty feature we wouldn’t say no to.

Unfortunately, the ITFIT UV Sterilizer is difficult to get a hold of. Currently, Samsung is selling the device exclusively in Thailand at the moment. It retails for THB 1,590 (approximately US$ 51).

However, the currently linked listing is for Hong Kong, potentially hinting at the device’s wider availability in the future.

SEE ALSO: Tech companies post tips on proper hygiene

Continue Reading

Accessories

Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 review: Affordable, but far from perfect

Xiaomi’s premium TWS offering

Published

on

The truly wireless earphones market is filled with a plethora of options today, ranging from entry-level offerings like the Redmi Earbuds S to the premium Sony WF-1000XM3. However, the most popular TWS earphones are from Apple — the AirPods.

AirPods kickstarted the TWS trend, and since then, pretty much every brand has jumped onboard. Xiaomi is known for its reliable yet affordable products, and it has launched a few options previously, but it was limited to its home market of China.

Now, the brand has finally launched the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 in India, and it’s pretty much half the price of Apple’s AirPods.

The Redmi Earbuds S is an entry-level offering while Mi branding is now used for the company’s premium offerings. TWS earphones are incredibly convenient to use, and their demand is consistently rising. Can the Mi TWS 2 offer maximum features for the price and go against the competition?

Do they look like the AirPods?

 

At first sight, you’d think they are the AirPods for a quick second. But it’s soon clear that they aren’t. This is something I appreciate about the Mi TWS 2. In a market filled with AirPods knockoffs, it’s nice to see a different design. However, don’t set your expectations too high.

The earbud’s stem is exceptionally thick, and this is easily noticeable from the side. Thankfully, it doesn’t look that thick from the front view and is oval. The stem is also considerably long, giving the earbud a very bulky look.

The polycarbonate build has a matte finish on the stem while the driver is smooth and shiny. I feel the earphones were designed with utility and features in mind, and aesthetics took a back seat.

If the bulkier design can add more battery life and better drivers, I’m okay with it. This may not be the case with many since they tend to look like cheap AirPods knockoffs.

Each earbud weighs just 4 grams, and they slide in your ears very smoothly. Putting them on is a quick task, and for calls, while driving, these are exceedingly convenient to wear single-handedly. The semi-open design is supposed to be fit-for-all. But, this is where my primary concern lies.

How’s the overall user experience?

The earbuds fit perfectly and are rather stable. But the satisfaction of wearing an earbud is utterly absent because of reduced noise isolation. Even though they’ve never automatically snuggled out, I’m always afraid of losing them while walking. The confidence to wear them outdoors is low.

These too sport gesture-based controls, and the result is below satisfaction. I’d have to try a few times before they actively receive the command. Even play/pause function is rather cumbersome and paired with the loose fit; I’m afraid they don’t fall off.

Thankfully, they have an optical sensor that automatically plays/pauses a song when the earbud is worn or removed. Most times, I’d simply remove them from my ear instead of relying on the gesture buttons.

Lastly, the case is quite basic from a design point of view but gets the job done properly. The plastic build is solid, the lid has magnetic detection, and the earbuds aren’t finicky when plugged for charging. A small LED light on the front will show you the case’s battery status. A USB-C port is located on the bottom.

Pairing them is a straightforward task, and Xiaomi phones will automatically pop-up the status menu just like it’s on iOS. It’ll show you each earbud’s battery percentage along with the case.

But do they sound good?

The brand has added a lot of features on the audio side to make the product look premium. It has support for multiple codecs like SBC, AAC, and LHDC. The last one allows high-resolution audio streaming via Bluetooth. I used the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max to test the Mi TWS 2 and it automatically leveraged the AAC band.

Each earbud houses a 14.2mm audio driver, which isn’t the biggest. But, much of the audio output relies on tuning. Sound testing is also very subjective, so I’ll try to address everyone’s choice.

To start with, the output is very crisp and clear, and the vocals are perfectly heard. If you’re into Bollywood songs or even pop, these should be ideal for you.

Unlike the usual tuning, we see in Indian products; the bass here is well managed. It isn’t too much and ultimately does justice for every user. I’d say these are your GadgetMatch if you listen to podcasts and audiobooks.

The drivers are massively let down by non-existent noise isolation. The design of the earbuds inherently means you can hear pretty much everything happening around you. Even at maximum volume, it just didn’t feel enough.

Lastly, they have “Environment Noise Cancellation” that automatically kicks in when you’re on a call. Background noise is reduced drastically, and everyone I called could feel the change. The overall voice clarity is immensely improved, and high-winds too couldn’t deter them.

How long can they last?

Xiaomi claimed the earbuds can last up to four hours on a single charge and it’s on-point. I was able to get almost four hours with volume at 80 percent.

The case is capable of providing 10 hours of backup, taking the total to fourteen. Thankfully, the case takes just an hour to charge.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re an audiophile, the simple answer is no. The Mi TWS 2 will disappoint you in many ways. However, if you’re looking for work-related earphones, these are perfect.

Calls are ultra-clear, and the overall experience is better thanks to a loose fit. Keep them on, and get through a full day’s work. On the audio side, hip-hop or bass-intensive genre may not suit well here. However, all other vocal-centric songs shall swing by without a hitch.

With a price of INR 4,499, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 is a solid competitor. When compared to the realme Buds Air, these lose out on aesthetics. But, the minor additions from a function point of view are worth the slight bump in price.

Continue Reading

Accessories

realme Buds Q are an entry-level TWS offering

Are they better than Redmi’s offering?

Published

on

Alongside the realme X3 series, the brand also announced a new entry-level TWS offering called the realme Buds Q. The affordable TWS segment is getting very competitive now and brands are pouring more and more options to choose from.

The realme Buds Q is designed by French artist Jose Levy and they sport a cobble-based design that fits comfortably in the ear. Each earbud weighs just 3.6 grams and consists of a polycarbonate build.T

Each earbud has a 40mA battery while the case houses a 400mA backup battery. realme claims the earbuds can last up to 4.5 hours on a single charge and the case can extend the total experience to 20 hours. Furthermore, the company said with daily usage of 3 hours, the earbuds will last a week.

On the audio side, each earbud gets a 10mm driver with realme’s Dynamic Bass Boost technology. The earbuds consist of R1Q True Wireless chip that enables low latency Gaming Mode. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and supports AAC audio codec.

The case has a microUSB port for charging and both, the earbuds as well as the case, take two hours to fully charge. Lastly, the earbuds have IPX4 water resistance, meaning it can withstand some sweat and a few droplets.

The realme Buds Q cost INR 1,999 in India and will be available in three color options – Quite Black, Quite Yellow, and Quite White. Sales start from July 1 via Amazon.in and Realme.com. The earbuds shall be competing against Xiaomi’s Redmi Earbuds S which are priced slightly lower at INR 1,7999.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Gadget Reviews

Trending