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5 Best Android TV Box in 2019 That Works with Kodi

Android TV boxes work with all modern televisions, providing access to millions of apps, games, and endless hours of audio and video entertainment. But not all Android TV boxes are made equal because not all can run Kodi—our favorite media player software. We have selected top 5 best Android TV boxes that work with Kodi, so you can just pick one you like the most, grab your favorite snack, and kick back and relax.

ProductBrandNamePrice
AmazonFire TV - Previous GenerationCheck Price on Amazon
NVIDIANVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media ServerBuy on Amazon|$310.63(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
Original Xiaomi Bluetooth Gamepad Game Controller Joystick for Smart Phone Tablet PC Xiaomi DevicesCheck Price on Amazon
MINIXMINIX NEO U1, 64-bit Quad-Core Media Hub for Android [2GB/16GB/4K/XBMC/KODI]Buy on Amazon|$99.9(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
MatricomMatricom G-Box Q² Android TV Streaming Media Mini PC [2GB/16GB/4K] Quad/Octo CoreBuy on Amazon|$89(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

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What Is Kodi?

Kodi is fantastic free and open-source media player software capable of turning any device running Linux, OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android into a multimedia powerhouse. Using Kodi, you can play all commonly used audio and video file formats, including H.264, HEVC, WEBM, MP3, FLAC, OGG, WAV, and countless others. You can also stream content directly from the internet, create stunning TV show collections complete with posters, banners, episode descriptions, or smart tags. If there’s still something the stock version of Kodi can’t do, there’s a good chance that the vast repository of add-ons will contain exactly what you’re looking for.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro and Kodi are a match made in heaven. For starters, The SHIELD offers an unprecedented performance thanks to its Tegra X1 processor. With its 256 GPU cores, multi-core 64-bit CPUs, and unbeatable 4K video capabilities, it’s the most advanced mobile processor ever created, delivering 34x better performance than Apple TV, and 8x better performance than Amazon Fire TV. It’s one only a handful of Android TV boxes that can display 4K H.265 and VP9 video content at 60 frames per second and do it without even breaking a sweat.

Besides its beastly specifications, NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro is also any audiophile’s dream. According to NVIDIA, the TV box lets you pass-through Dolby Digital Plus (5.1 and 7.1) to a receiver, placing you right in the center of the action. Many lesser Android TV boxes use the same audio processing chip as your smartphone does. That might be okay for a pair of headphones, but your living room loudspeakers deserve something better.

Perhaps the best thing about NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro is the pair of included controllers. They both feature Google’s revolutionary voice search technology, and they are both equally amazing. One is meant for gaming, while the other one is compact and optimized for multimedia consumption.

Amazon Fire TV

NVIDIA SHIELD will undeniably appeal to enthusiasts who seek maximum performance with no regard to the cost of the device. But for most people, Amazon Fire TV is a better option. Despite costing much less than the SHIELD, this streaming media player supports 4K, voice control, and our favorite media player software—Kodi.

But even without Kodi installed, the Fire TV can still do a lot. You can watch over 300,000 TV episodes and movies, enjoy more than 7,000 apps, games, and Alexa skills, and listen to millions of songs are available to stream on Amazon Fire TV through Pandora, Amazon Music, and iHeartRadio. All Amazon Prime subscribers get free storage in Amazon Drive, where they can store their entire photo collections and easily share them on the big screen.

Installing Kodi onto an Amazon Fire TV is slightly more involved than just opening the Play Store and clicking on the Install button, but it isn’t exactly a rocket science either. Even though Amazon encourages users to stick with apps downloaded from their own store, all Fire TV products allow sideloading. For detailed, easy-to-follow instructions on how to install Kodi onto an Amazon Fire TV, head over to Kodi’s official wiki.

Xiaomi Mi Box

From air conditioners to smartwatches, smartphones, laptops, tablets, power banks, cameras, to Android TV boxes—Xiaomi has something for everyone, and all their products are ingenious in design and remarkable in value.

The Mi Box is a recipient of both Red Dot and Good Design awards, and it even beats the Fire TV with its incredible price of just around $70. But make no mistake—this Android TV box you might want from it and more. It supports 4K and HDR video playback, comes with a compact Bluetooth voice remote, support for Google Cast, and compatibility with other Xiaomi products, including their Bluetooth gamepad.

Inside the sleek body of this TV box is a quad-core processor with 2 GB of DDR3 memory, 8 GB of flash storage, an audio chip with support for Dolby Digital Plus and DTS multichannel HD audio encoding, and fast Wi-Fi module. Because Xiaomi Mi Box comes with Android 6.0, you can simply download the official Kodi app from the Play Store and use it within minutes of turning the box on.

MINIX NEO U1

The NEO U1 Android TV box from MINIX comes with Kodi pre-installed, making it perfect for those who want something they can just plug in and use right out of the box. Its main feature is an external, upgradable Wi-Fi antenna, which provides an excellent signal reception even if your home router happens to be on the other side of your house.

Other pros of this affordable media player include its support of the 10-bit color format, 4K video playback at 60 frames per second, significantly increased dynamic range, and impeccable performance. MINIX may not be a big brand name like NVIDIA, Amazon, and Xiaomi, but their products, and especially this TV box, can certainly compete with the big boys.

Matricom G-Box Q²

The G-Box Q2 from Matricom builds upon the success of the Q1 with a faster processor, better GPU, and more memory and storage space. The combination of the S812 CPU paired with the powerful Mali-450 GPU makes it possible to play 4K content at 60 frames per second and play all the latest Android games without lags. Thanks to 16 GB of internal storage space, you’ll be able to download as many games and apps as you want and still have room to spare for other content.

According to the manufacturer, the box was developed with Kodi in mind, featuring tons of tweaks and optimizations to make it run as smoothly as possible. Matricom provides an excellent worry-free warranty which covers your device unconditionally for 1 year from purchase. If something goes wrong, you can just send it back to them directly, and they’ll refund you—no questions asked.

ProductBrandNamePrice
AmazonFire TV - Previous GenerationCheck Price on Amazon
NVIDIANVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media ServerBuy on Amazon|$310.63(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
Original Xiaomi Bluetooth Gamepad Game Controller Joystick for Smart Phone Tablet PC Xiaomi DevicesCheck Price on Amazon
MINIXMINIX NEO U1, 64-bit Quad-Core Media Hub for Android [2GB/16GB/4K/XBMC/KODI]Buy on Amazon|$99.9(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
MatricomMatricom G-Box Q² Android TV Streaming Media Mini PC [2GB/16GB/4K] Quad/Octo CoreBuy on Amazon|$89(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

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Google WiFi vs Netgear Orbi Smart Home WiFi System Comparison

Getting a smart home WiFi system is imperative if you want the best coverage for your home or office. However, given the sheer number of devices that are available out there, it can be quite an ask to pick the best one suited for your needs. Two of the best routers that come to mind are the Google WiFi and the Netgear Orbi.

ProductBrandNamePrice
GoogleGoogle WiFi systemBuy on Amazon|$239.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:30 ET)
NETGEARNETGEAR Orbi Ultra-Performance Whole Home Mesh WiFi SystemBuy on Amazon|$310.97(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

If you’re looking for an extended WiFi router with massive range, then you can’t do much better than the Netgear Orbi or the Google WiFi. But we have to remember that both products aren’t the same. The Netgear offering seems more solid on paper, given the company’s expertise with network equipment. However, Google WiFi comes with three routers to give you the best coverage possible for your home or office. It is one of the best routers one can ask for really. Keeping this in mind, a comparison between these two routers is bound to be very close. That’s not to say that either one is better or worse than the other, but simply that the two routers cater to a very specific set of people. Since they are pretty identical in terms of functionality, it makes sense to have a detailed comparison between the two routers.

Google WiFi vs Netgear Orbi Smart Home WiFi System Comparison

Google WiFi

Features

Google WiFi is the router you need to have to replace your aging low-frequency router. Although it can be bought individually, you can also add three of them, thanks to Amazon’s comprehensive package, which gives you a wider range in your home office. Each router comes with a range of 1,500 square feet, which means adding three of them together will give you a combined range of around 4,500 square feet, enough to cover any decently sized home. What makes this even better is the fact that you can add more routers depending on the size and range of your home/office. Google WiFi has received favorable reviews from experts and users alike, making it perfect for those who are still on the fence about its features.

Pros and Cons

A router like this doesn’t have a lot of cons, but if we’re talking about the pros, well, the Google WiFi mesh system is probably the best you can buy right now. A feature known as Network Assist ensures that you get the fastest speeds by accessing the clearest channel from your ISP. The speeds are catered for specific bands meant for your device. Google WiFi works with most internet providers, including Comcast, Verizon FiOS, and Time Warner. There’s a dedicated app for the Google WiFi, allowing you to connect and access the internet in just a few simple steps. Overall, the Google WiFi is just the router you need to get started on having high-speed WiFi throughout your home or office. The best part, as we mentioned above, is that users can add as many routers as they want to make sure they get the best range around. These devices work better than conventional range extenders, so it wouldn’t hurt to get three of them at once to get the optimum speed. One of the best features here is that Google WiFi comes with a dedicated Android and iOS app.

However, any great device isn’t without its faults. Users will need to get a Google account to use the app and set up their WiFi at home. This is not particularly a caveat since most users around have a Google account today. However, the fact that this is a necessity could be a problem for some customers. This is pretty much the only caveat we can think of right now, which tells a lot about the Google WiFi as a product. Mesh systems come with extensive WiFi range, making them suitable for entire homes. This is surely the way to go in the future, as we’re seeing more manufacturers coming up with mesh WiFi systems of their own.

Pricing

Getting one unit of the Google WiFi will set you back by $114.58. This makes sense if you have a small home of under 1,500 square feet. However, if you live in a bigger home or apartment, getting two or three of them makes a lot of sense. Amazon is currently offering three units of the Google WiFi for just $269.99. This is incredible given that you’re saving quite a bit on the third unit. This particular bundle makes a lot of sense even if you don’t have a large home. You can always replace the old one with a new router and so on, keeping the rest as backups almost.

Netgear Orbi

Features

Netgear is one of the most popular network equipment manufacturers out there. Their firewall security on some of the routers is one of the best in the industry. The company’s Orbi Home WiFi router comes with a fairly decent set of features, making it one of the most sought after routers in this range. Since this is a WiFi mesh system, customers can be assured of having their entire house covered with just one unit. The Netgear Orbi comes with a standard router and a satellite for range extension, thus making third-party range extenders pretty much obsolete. Many will consider this to be a step above Google’s offering in this segment, with the only setback being the pricing. However, that can be easily looked upon considering the fact that this is an industry topping router with state-of-the-art features on board. What’s even better is that this particular kit is compatible with Amazon Alexa, allowing Echo owners to basically control the router using just their voice.

Pros and Cons

One of my personal favorite features on this router is the ability to create separate guest accounts to allow guests in your house to browse the internet on your network. This will save you the trouble of divulging the home WiFi credentials with guests who won’t stay long at your place. Naturally, the service will pair with a multitude of existing internet service providers, so you simply need to have a functioning internet connection at home to setup the Netgear Orbi. The presence of Tri-Band WiFi means that you get the best speeds suited for every device at your home. Unlike the Google WiFi, this comes in a pack of two, which is sufficient given the kind of range it offers. This comes with an Android and iOS app as well, allowing you to conveniently set up your home WiFi without breaking a sweat. Overall, one can say that the pros far outweigh the cons of this particular device.

Each Netgear Orbi comes with a range of 2,500 square feet of range, so the two combined offer a comprehensive range of 5,000 square feet. The company also offers a satellite to extend the range of the network. If there’s one negative here, it’s with regards to the pricing. However, Netgear more than makes up for it with the wide net of range that it offers. Google WiFi, with three units comes up to only 4,500 square feet, whereas the Netgear Orbi comes with a range of 5,000 square feet with just two units. If you need more range, all you need to do is purchase some satellites (one offered with the device).

Pricing

Two units of the Netgear Orbi will set you back by $349. While this seems like an expensive proposition, for the reasons we’ve mentioned above, it’s a pretty fantastic offering. Considering the fact that Netgear is also offering a range extending satellite along with this bundle, the deal sounds even sweeter. Overall, one can find several mesh WiFi routers, but none can even come closer to the Netgear Orbi. This device is pretty much the best you can do at this price point, so we highly recommend you to give it a try.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for something that will give you unparalleled internet connectivity, you can’t really go wrong with either device. However, if you want simply the best home mesh WiFi router, you will have to pick the Netgear Orbi. Not just for the brand that it comes from, but also for the kind of features it offers. Sure, it’s slightly expensive compared to Google WiFi, but the manufacturer more than makes up for it with other features. When you’re getting a home WiFi router, it always makes sense to go with the best out there, so waste no time in getting this particular router if you’re pretty clear about your needs.

So what about the Google Home? Well, it comes with almost the same set of features, but at a much cheaper cost. You will get a range of around 1,500 square feet (per unit) with the Google WiFi, which should come up to nearly 4,500 square feet overall. If you don’t have a large home or an office space, it makes complete sense to go with Google WiFi. It’s a cost-effective option and something that offers exactly what most internet users are looking for. Setup is pretty easy and you simply have to download the app from the Play Store or the iTunes App Store if you’re an iOS user. And since it’s a Google product, customers don’t have to be too concerned about quality and performance. In short, users can’t really go wrong with either device, since they’re both pretty capable offerings.

ProductBrandNamePrice
GoogleGoogle WiFi systemBuy on Amazon|$239.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:30 ET)
NETGEARNETGEAR Orbi Ultra-Performance Whole Home Mesh WiFi SystemBuy on Amazon|$310.97(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

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Plantronics Voyager Legend vs Jabra Stealth Comparison of Best Bluetooth Headset 2019

There are many differences between Jabra and Plantronics: Jabra was founded in 1983, whereas Plantronics was founded more than two decades earlier, in 1961. Jabra is headquartered in Denmark, whereas Plantronics is located in the sunny California. Lastly, Jabra manufactures mostly for the consumer market, whereas Plantronics is well known for supplying headsets for the Apollo program.

ProductBrandNamePrice
JabraJabra Stealth Bluetooth HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$94.5(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
PlantronicsPlantronics Voyager Legend Wireless Bluetooth HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$62(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

Despite these differences, both companies offer two outstanding headsets with similar features and for a similar price: The Jabra Stealth and the Plantronics Voyager Legend. Has the younger managed to beat the Goliath that is Plantronics, or has Plantronics’s immense industry experience helped the company create the superior headset?

Build and Design

The name of Jabra’s headset says a lot about its design. The Jabra Stealth incorporates the microPOWER battery technology, which has allowed Jabra to use a very small battery and still achieve a decent talk time. With a special energy function called PowerNap turned on, the headset can last up to 6 hours of talk time.

The tiny size of the headset and its featherlight weight makes it truly disappear in the ear, making it easy to put it on in the morning and forget about it until the evening. Because the headset is so small, it can be slightly awkward to press the three call- headset-control buttons. One button powers the headset on and off, another allows you to answer calls and redial the last called number, and the last button is for activating an intelligent personal assistant on your smartphone.

At the tip of the Jabra Stealth is an NFC chip for simple pairing with smartphones on other NFC-enabled devices. The headset can be paired to two devices at the same time, which is great for those users who have one smartphone for personal use and another one for work.

You can easily manage your Jabra Stealth headset from the Jabra Assist app for iOS and Android. The app automatically geotags the position of your headset, making it easy to find it on a map when you misplace it. You can also use it to customize what the buttons on the headset do, set it to read out to you your text and Facebook messages, and more. It’s a handy addition that makes the headset a lot more useful than it would be without it.

Even though the Plantronics Voyager Legend is 25 percent smaller than the Voyager PRO HD, it still features a large battery that can power the headset for up to 7 hours of talk time. The Voyager Legend features a unique earhook design positioned behind the relatively heavy battery (compared with the rest of the headset) and all control buttons behind the ear where you don’t really feel the weight.

Charging is done via a magnetic, snap-fit connection that makes it very easy to plug in the included charger and protect the headset from damage when you accidentally trip over the charging cable. Instead of causing the headset to fall on the ground, the charging cable simply disconnects, and nothing bad happens. What’s more, the connection helps seal out moisture to prevent damage when charging in humid conditions. Plantronics also sells a range of optional accessories that take advantage of the innovative connector, such as a pocket-sized mobile charging case.

The entire headset is protected against rain and sweat by P2i technology and an invisible layer of liquid repellent. Considering how long the headset lasts on a single charge and how comfortable it is to wear, it’s definitely great to be able to wear it in all conditions.

Just like Jabra, Plantronics also offers a companion smartphone app for the headset. MyHeadset, as the app is called, can locate your Voyager Legend headset on a map, display how much charge is available, remotely control the volume, or help you select an alternate tone from the library to improve your chances of hearing your headset. Unfortunately, it’s only available for Android.

Calling Experience

The Jabra Stealth features plenty of state-of-the-art technology to improve the calling experience. The Noise Blackout noise canceling feature reduces outside noise to a bare minimum, helping the other party understand what you’re saying even when in a loud environment. Calls are recorded in high quality to capture as much detail as possible and then efficiently compressed before being transmitted wirelessly via Bluetooth.

One of the buttons on the Jabra Stealth headset activates the voice-controlled personal assistant of your choice, such as Siri or Google Now. You can keep your smartphone in your pocket and control all common features with ease.

The sound quality of the Jabra Stealth headset is very good, and we were surprised by how loud this tiny headset can get. You can be sure that you’ll be able to understand every single word even with a plane flying by just above your head.

When designing the Voyager Legend headset, Plantronics wanted to make incoming phone calls as non-distracting as possible. They’ve created something they call the Smart Sensor technology. Smart Sensor directs calls to your phone or headset and allows you to automatically answer by simply placing the headset on your ear, according to Plantronics. If you already have the Voyager Legend headset on your ear, you can simply say “answer” or “ignore” to either answer or decline the incoming phone call.

A dedicated button on the Voyager Legend headset can lock the call/answer button to prevent the headset from accidentally calling someone when not worn.

Just like the Jabra headset, the Voyager Legend actively eliminates background noise. It features Plantronics’s Windsmart technology, which is said to provide three layers of wind protection for clear calls regardless of your environment. It relies on precision-tuned triple microphones that record both your voice and everything else that goes on around you, separating your voice from up to 80 dB of background noise. Last but not least, the SoundGuard technology protects against audio spikes and transmission inconsistencies.

The result is a clear audio both from the high-quality microphone and the fine-tuned driver inside the headset.

Verdict

It’s not exactly a surprise to us that both headsets have performed equally well during our testing. What really differentiates the Plantronics Voyager Legend from the Jabra Stealth is apparent at the first sight: their construction. If you want a tiny headset that you’ll barely feel, the Jabra Stealth is what you need. If you would rather have a longer battery life and live with a small weight penalty, the Plantronics Voyager is the right headset for you.

ProductBrandNamePrice
JabraJabra Stealth Bluetooth HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$94.5(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
PlantronicsPlantronics Voyager Legend Wireless Bluetooth HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$62(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

Best Bluetooth Game Controller for Android and iOS Smartphones

Mobile gaming has never been as popular as it is now. In fact, 75 percent of all iOS App Store revenue comes from gaming apps. The appeal is clear: Our modern, fast-paced lives make it hard to just sit for a few hours and dedicate all of our attention to nothing but the TV screen. What’s more, smartphones are now so powerful that mobile gaming experience offers a very similar level of graphical fidelity and gameplay complexity as PC or console games.

ProductBrandNamePrice
MatricomMatricom G-Pad BX Wireless USB Rechargeable Bluetooth Pro Game Pad JoystickBuy on Amazon|$16.95(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
8Bitdo8bitdo SNES30 Wireless Bluetooth Controller Dual Classic JoystickCheck Price on Amazon
ipegaiPega PG-9023 Extendable gamepad Game Controller Portable Bluetooth Wireless Gamepad Joystick ControlBuy on Amazon|$27.5(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
Sminiker ProfessionalSminiker Android Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad Game ControllerCheck Price on Amazon
NykoNyko Smart Clip – PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller Clip On MountBuy on Amazon|$13.5(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)

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Despite all this, there is still, at least, one area where mobile gaming falls short: controls. Playing a twitch shooter or a precision-based platformer using virtual buttons on the touchscreen is a frustrating to experience that can sip away all the fun you would otherwise have. Luckily, there’s something you can do about it. Bluetooth gaming controllers are affordable, convenient, and highly portable devices that can easily add a new dimension to your mobile gaming experience.

There are countless manufacturers and individual controllers available for purchase, but only a small fraction is built up to our high expectations and demands. That’s why we have selected our 4 favorite Bluetooth controllers for 2016. Each controller on this list offers a slightly different set of features and gaming style, and players should consider their individual needs and preferences to determine which one to select.

Matricom G-Pad XYBA Wireless Rechargeable Bluetooth Pro Game Pad Joystick Controller

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The Matricom G-Pad is just about the best bluetooth controller you will find on the market.  The controller will connect to most devices that accept bluetooth connections, including all the latest Samsung Galaxy S series phones, iPhone, tablets, even PC on Windows 10, and of course on the PS3.  The rechargeable battery is a neat feature to have so you don’t need to constantly buying new batteries.

The controller itself is designed similar to a standard PS3 controller with comfortable feel.  Its 16 button design includes all the standard gaming XYBA buttons and top finger triggers.  The performance is flawless once you start playing the games without any lag or connectivity problems.

The Matricom G-Pad undoubtedly will become your go-to bluetooth game controller once you get your hands on these, it should become the standard for all other controllers to model after, especially for the price.
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Willgoo® 8bitdo SNES30 Wireless Bluetooth Controller

Inspired by the beloved Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Willgoo is a wireless Bluetooth gaming controller that is sure to please all fans of retro gaming and platformers.

The controller is essentially identical to the original and should be instantly recognized by those who grew up playing 16bit games. It features a spacious D-pad, start and select buttons, 4 action buttons, and left and right triggers.

It’s only when you take a look inside that you realize that this is far from 80s technology. A built-in 480 mAh Li-On battery lasts up to 20 hours and can be recharged more than thousand times. The controller connects to your device via either Bluetooth or USB connection, which makes it compatible with a wide range of platforms, including iOS, Windows, Mac, and Android. There’s no need for jailbreak or root, thanks to its compatibility with an iCade line of portable arcade cabinets. All games that support iCade are guaranteed to work with Willgoo. The optional smartphone stand can easily accommodate most modern smartphones, such as iPhone 5s or Samsung Note II.

We were initially worried that the controller might be difficult to use for people with larger hands, but this proved not to be true at all. It fits great in all hands and the buttons are precise and responsive. The overall build quality seems superb, especially considering how affordable the controller is.

The only real problem we stumbled upon is that it can turn on by accident when carried in a pocket. Fortunately, the battery lasts such a long time that you are likely to still have plenty of juice left for all your gaming needs throughout the day.

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iPega Extendable Wireless Game Controller

iPega definitely knows how to produce an innovative gaming controller that satisfies needs of modern players and offers compatibility with smartphones and tablet devices.

The controller is divided into two halves with an extendable telescoping arm in the middle. This arm is able to accommodate even larger tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S or the Apple iPad, thus removing the need to purchase separate controllers for different devices.

Pairing the controller with either iOS or Android via Bluetooth could hardly be any easier. It worked right out-of-the-box with GBA, N64, or PSX emulators without any additional configuration. All buttons were mapped as we would expect, and the handful of extra buttons on each half of the controller let us comfortable control various functions of different emulators.  All buttons feel very responsive and well-made. All of our inputs were registered with utmost precision without any noticeable delay.

The iPega controller charges very fast and lasts a reasonably long time to support the needs of even the most hardcore gamers out there. A nice bonus is the ability to charge it with the same micro USB cord that you use for your smartphone or tablet.

The only real negative that we had to deal with was the atrocious manual written in broken English. It’s a real shame that a company capable of producing such quality products as iPega doesn’t hire a professional copywriter or translator to take care of these things. However, we can’t really complain, given the fantastic price of the device.

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Sminiker® Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad

If you are looking for a classic controller inspired by the design of PlayStation DualShock, Sminiker might be exactly the right choice. This affordable controller works with all modern smartphones and tablets running on Android or iOS operating system and connects wirelessly through Bluetooth interface.

It offers familiar control scheme with 14 action buttons. Two analog sticks are perfect for playing first-person shooters, while the multidirectional D-pad gives you the much-needed precision for overcoming even the most difficult platforming challenges. All buttons work flawlessly without any delay or problems with accuracy.

The setup procedure is painless on both platform and all buttons work as expected. Actually, almost all. The turbo button seems to be incompatible with most current emulators, but we believe that this issue could be solved with just appropriate configuration settings.

Another advantage of the Sminiker Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad is its ability to work without root or additional drivers. This saves a lot of time and potential hassle; not to mention how much more accessible it becomes for gamers who are not willing to risk having their warranty voided.

The battery can easily last for several days of moderate gaming and charging is quick and straightforward.

It’s also good to know that the connector can be paired with PC or laptop computers. All you need to do is purchase a compatible Bluetooth adapter and configure it as a generic Bluetooth gamepad. Don’t expect it to be as compatible as, for example, the original Xbox Controller, but it’s nonetheless a great way how to get more value from your purchase.

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Nyko Smart Clip

The last device on our list isn’t a gaming controller. Instead, it’s a cleverly designed clip that attaches to your smartphone or tablet device and clips onto the Dual Shock 4 or Xbox One wireless controller.

The Nyko Smart Clip is designed to be compatible with a wide range of devices from different manufacturers, such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, or Blackberry. If your device is up to 6 inches tall, you will most likely have no problem hooking it up to your gaming controller. The only real exception are smartphones with protruding volume controls positioned in the same place where the clip attaches to the phone. In those cases, you can use a case to add some padding to prevent the clip from making contact with the buttons.

The attachment is done via a continent strap system that lets users adjust the viewing angle and position their smartphone for the most enjoyable gaming experience.

The Nyko Smart Clip was originally designed with console gamers in mind to allow them to stream games to their smartphone and tablet devices or display helpful information to enrich their gaming session. However, it was quickly adopted by the mobile gaming community, due to the availability of Xbox and PlayStation gaming controllers.

It’s by far the cheapest solution for mobile gaming (that is if you already own a compatible controller) and there is really nothing to complain about when it comes to the build quality and day-to-day usability.

The Nyko Smart Clip is a smart solution that helps you save money by enabling you to use what you already have at your disposal.

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ProductBrandNamePrice
MatricomMatricom G-Pad BX Wireless USB Rechargeable Bluetooth Pro Game Pad JoystickBuy on Amazon|$16.95(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
8Bitdo8bitdo SNES30 Wireless Bluetooth Controller Dual Classic JoystickCheck Price on Amazon
ipegaiPega PG-9023 Extendable gamepad Game Controller Portable Bluetooth Wireless Gamepad Joystick ControlBuy on Amazon|$27.5(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
Sminiker ProfessionalSminiker Android Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad Game ControllerCheck Price on Amazon
NykoNyko Smart Clip – PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller Clip On MountBuy on Amazon|$13.5(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)

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5 Best Bluetooth Meat Thermometer

Thermometers have been around for quite some time. Technology has advanced in such a way that we can now use technology to even measure the temperature of food. Although it’s technically the same as a standard thermometer, the margin for error with kitchen and meat thermometers is considerably slim. Having a meat thermometer allows users to get a better understanding of their meat and help them not to overcook or undercook them based on USDA’s recommended temperatures. If you have frozen meat at home, or a semi-cooked slab of meat, it helps to check the temperature before you consume it.

ProductBrandNamePrice
ARRISARRIS SURFboard SBG6900AC Docsis 3.0 16x4 Cable Modem/Wi-Fi AC1900 RouterBuy on Amazon|$159(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
iDevicesiDevices IGR0009CAP5 iGrill 2 Bluetooth Smart Meat ThermometerBuy on Amazon|$94.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
CAPPECCappec BTH02 Luxury Wireless Bluetooth Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for BBQ Grill Smoker Oven, 150 Feet Range,Orange BacklightCheck Price on Amazon
ThermoProThermoPro TP-07 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Turkey Food Meat Thermometer for Grilling Oven Kitchen Smoker BBQ Grill Thermometer with Probe, 300 Feet RangeBuy on Amazon|$35.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
InkbirdInkbird IBT-2X-2 150' Bluetooth Wireless BBQ Grill ThermometerBuy on Amazon|$35(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

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Taking these factors into account, a meat thermometer is a must have for practically any modern day kitchen. The best part about these thermometers is that they can be used for practically any foods given that they’re approved by the necessary authority. Further, these thermometers come with Bluetooth on board, helping users to track the temperatures directly from their smartphones from up to 150 feet away. All these thermometers are compatible with Android devices.

We’re going to discuss a handful of meat thermometers today, most of which you might be familiar with. Be sure to have a closer look at these products for a better understanding of which one to get.

GrillEye

This is one of the better kitchen thermometers you can get out there. It comes with six probe ports, allowing users to get a temperature reading from 6 different parts of the meat at the same time. The thermometer also comes with a digital display, which displays the existing temperature of the meat as well as the target temperature. The probes are FDA approved, which should put all safety related concerns to rest.

The GrillEye comes with a robust design, allowing it to withstand the nature of a regular kitchen. If we know something about kitchen’s it’s that there’s never a dull moment. So the build quality of a device like this is as important as the onboard features. The GrillEye can pair with your smartphones using Bluetooth. Using the companion app, you can track the temperature of your food from up to 300 feet away. This is a very convenient feature to have on a thermometer and assures users of being able to track the progress of their cooking without actually having to be physically present in the kitchen.

GrillEye is currently selling on Amazon for around $89.99, which makes it a very attractive offering overall.

iDevices iGrill2

This particular offering comes with only four probing ports, with two ports meant specifically for heavy duty stuff like steaming and other items with significantly higher temperatures. It comes with a Bluetooth range of 150 feet, which is still pretty decent considering how it can allow you the liberty to track your food from another room of your house. Users can set minimum and maximum temperatures of -22° F (-30°C) to 572° F (300°C) respectively. There is an alarm system to notify you when the meat has reached the desired temperature.

You might need an Android 4.3+ device to use this particular thermometer with your smartphone, but that’s not necessarily a caveat given how most modern day smartphones come with Android 6.0 or above. This particular offering is currently available for $116.99 via Amazon. The retailer specifies that this is the English Packaging. The French English packaging is even cheaper at just $70, which is worth a look as well.

Cappec BTH02

This device comes with a slightly larger display to better help you understand the kind of temperatures that it’s going to display. There are options like timer, target temperature, and current temperature. All these factors combined make for a truly pleasurable cooking experience. As for smartphone compatibility, the manufacturers claim that the device requires no syncing. You simply have to turn on the device and it automatically pairs with your phone. It comes with a Bluetooth range of 150 feet.

It takes three AAA batteries, and is expected to run for prolonged intervals. Given that it isn’t used all the time, the battery life will vary for every user. It comes with an aluminum magnetic stand, allowing you to snap it onto any metal surface around your home. The Cappec meat thermometer can sustain temperatures of -4° F (-20°C) to 482° F (250°C), The probe wires, on the other hand, can take temperatures of up to 716°F. You can get this particular thermometer for just $64.95.

ThermoPro

This particular offering comes with a lifetime sensor probe warranty, speaking volumes about the quality and the durability that the company offers with this product. Even if the sensor probe is damaged after prolonged use, the manufacturer will replace it for free. The thermometer has preset temperatures for commodities like ground beef, ground poultry, beef, veal, chicken, pork, poultry, lamb, and fish. You don’t have to setup anything when you get the product. The manufacturer mentions that you just need to install batteries and the device is synchronized automatically.

The probe comes can measure temperatures of up to 32°F to 572°F (0°C to 300°C), which is pretty decent given the size of this product. The ThermoPro comes with a range of 300 feet, making this only the second device on this list to have the feature. The device is priced at $32.39 and can be purchased right away from Amazon.

Inkbird

This thermometer comes with two probes and two different sensors, allowing you to get a detailed look of how your meat is being cooked. It comes with an Android app, allowing you to check the temperature of your food right from your phone. The thermometer has a range of 150 feet. Naturally, the device comes with preset temperatures to help you cook beef, pork, fish etc. There are timers and alarms that you can set for when the thermometer reaches a certain temperature.

You will require an Android smartphone with Android 4.4 or above for the app to work. Barring this caveat, the Inkbird thermometer is a decent offering with a handy set of features available by default. This particular thermometer with two sensors is currently priced at $27.99 via Amazon. Be sure to have a closer look at this. The manufacturer cautions the users against washing the cables with water, so be sure to read the instructions (if available) carefully before using.

ProductBrandNamePrice
ARRISARRIS SURFboard SBG6900AC Docsis 3.0 16x4 Cable Modem/Wi-Fi AC1900 RouterBuy on Amazon|$159(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
iDevicesiDevices IGR0009CAP5 iGrill 2 Bluetooth Smart Meat ThermometerBuy on Amazon|$94.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
CAPPECCappec BTH02 Luxury Wireless Bluetooth Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for BBQ Grill Smoker Oven, 150 Feet Range,Orange BacklightCheck Price on Amazon
ThermoProThermoPro TP-07 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Turkey Food Meat Thermometer for Grilling Oven Kitchen Smoker BBQ Grill Thermometer with Probe, 300 Feet RangeBuy on Amazon|$35.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
InkbirdInkbird IBT-2X-2 150' Bluetooth Wireless BBQ Grill ThermometerBuy on Amazon|$35(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

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5 Best Wireless Home Security Camera System That Works with Your Android Phone

Home monitoring and home alarm systems are useful not just to keep burglars away but also to monitor what the dog is up to, whether your children have closed the door after they went to school, or to see how exactly your maid spends her days. The problem with most home security camera systems is the wires that connect them to one another and to power outlets. In this article, we bring you top 5 best wireless home security camera systems that work with your Android smartphone and don’t require any wires whatsoever.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Blink Home SecurityBlink Indoor Home Security Camera System with Motion Detection, HD Video, 2-Year Battery Life and Cloud Storage Included - 3 Camera KitBuy on Amazon|$229.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
Arlo Technologies, IncArlo - Wireless Home Security Camera System with Motion Detection | Night vision, Indoor/Outdoor, HD Video, Wall Mount | Cloud Storage Included | 3 camera kit (VMS3330)Buy on Amazon|$234.34(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
NestNest Security Camera, Keep An Eye On What Matters to You, From Anywhere, For Outdoor Use, Works with AlexaBuy on Amazon|$164.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
CANARYCANARY (CAN100USBK) All-in-One Indoor 1080p HD Security Camera with Built-in Siren and Climate Monitor, Motion / Person / Air Quality Alerts, Works with Alexa, Insurance Discount Eligible - BlackBuy on Amazon|$73.66(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
FoscamFoscam Home Security Camera, R2 Full HD 1080P WiFi IP Camera with Real-time 1080P Video at 25FPS, Pan Tilt 8X Digital Zoom, Motion Detection & Alert, Optional Cloud Service Available, WhiteBuy on Amazon|$57.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

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Blink Home Security Camera System

Blink is a smart, wireless security camera system capable of capturing 720p video and wirelessly streaming it to the Blink Home Monitor for Android app. It’s powered entirely by a built-in battery capable of lasting up to one year of use without a single charge. This is possible thanks to a unique imaging sensor developed by Blink’s engineers specifically for this product.

In its resting state, Blink carefully monitors its surrounding environment using a built-in motion detector. When the detector senses a movement, it instantly sends an alert in a form of a push notification and automatically begins recording. A LED light enhances the camera’s low-light performance, allowing you to always receive full-color, high-quality video at any time of the day.

The video feed can also be accessed on-demand through the Blink app. Using an integrated microphone, you can not only see but also hear exactly what’s happening. Blink, unfortunately, doesn’t have a speaker, so you can’t use the device to command your dog to stop chewing on the sofa.

Installing Blink is as simple as placing it within any indoor environment with a Wi-Fi access. Need more coverage? Just purchase an extra unit and link it with the smartphone app. That way, you will be able to watch over your entire house or business. And don’t be afraid to install a Blink camera in your bedroom—a non-hackable, hardware-based LED indicator protects your privacy, ensuring that nobody besides you can see what the camera lens sees.

Arlo Smart Security

Arlo is a manufacturer of home security solutions that cover the entire gamut of what the average family might want to do in order to secure their home or apartment. Included in their product line are Arlo Q and Arlo Q Plus AC-powered 1080p HD cameras with 2-way audio. We are, however, more interested in Arlo Wire-Free, which Arlo calls “The world’s first 100% wire-free, weatherproof HD security camera.”

All Arlo products work in tandem with their Android app, simply called Arlo, and are sold as camera kits of different sizes. You can start conservatively with just one camera to test the waters, or you can go all in and purchase their Ultimate Kit, which includes 4 Arlo Wire-Free cameras, 2 Arlo Q cameras, 1 outdoor mount, and 3 magnetic wall mounts.

Irrespective of how you decide to strengthen the security of you and your family, the benefits of Arlo Wire-Free camera are always the same. The camera runs on a built-in battery, making wires obsolete, records sharp 720p video, is weatherproof, and can even see in the dark. When motion is detected, the camera automatically sends a push notification to your smartphone and starts recording the scene. The captured video is stored for a whole week in Arlo’s cloud storage solution.

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

Nest Labs, a home automation producer of programmable, self-learning, sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors, and other security systems, has recently released Nest Cam Outdoor security camera. The camera quickly became the best-selling product in the Remote Home Monitoring Systems category on Amazon.

If you already own a product from Nest—perhaps their smart thermostat—you likely have the Nest app installed on your smartphone. That’s a good news, because you can use the same app to view clear 1080p HD video from the Nest security camera.

The camera is equipped with a wide-angle lens, allowing it to  view more than what an ordinary camera can see. The lens is enclosed in a weatherproof body, which also contains a built-in speaker and microphone. With them, you can use the camera for communication with your kids, the mailman, or your aging parents.

You don’t have to be handyman with a stack of tools to install the Nest Cam either. Its magnetic base snaps to any metal surface, and you just plug the camera in into an outdoor outlet and let it wirelessly stream video to your smartphone.

Nest gives you the option to purchase just the security camera, or you can pay extra $100 or $300 a year for 10- and 30-day video history respectively. If you do the math, you likely realize that paying an equivalent of one cup of a fancy latte each month isn’t a bad deal at all.

Canary All-in-One Home Security Device

Designed to work in conjunction with the Canary Android app, this innovative home security solution connects your home to your phone, allowing you to view and protect what matters the most. With its oval, futuristic shape, Canary doesn’t look like a security device, which is a major plus, since an intruder might mistake it for a common household appliance.

Despite its form-factor, Canary packs an array of sensors that allow it to protect your place right out of the box. Setting it up is as simple as placing it on any flat surface and plugging it into any compatible electrical outlet. From there, Canary will wirelessly connect to your Android device and transmit 1080p HD video using its 147° wide angle lens with digital zoom and built-in night vision capability.

Unlike other security systems, Canary doesn’t require you to be on the watch 24/7, in order to react to security alerts. You can, instead, set up a personalized safety net and share access using the free canary app with anyone in your household. One Canary system can monitor multiple locations, letting you control them all from a single app.

In this day and age, digital criminals can be as dangerous as burglars and thieves. Fortunately, Canary was built with security in mind, featuring extensive security measures such as AES 256-bit symmetric-key encryption, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), secure HTTP access (HTTPS) using TLS/SSL, and more. All of these technologies ensures that nobody but you can access your Canary home security device.

Foscam R2 1080P HD Wireless Security Camera

The R2 security camera from Foscam is a compact, plug and play security solution designed to work with the compatible Android app. The camera records full 1080p video, resulting in vivid colors and crystal-clear image that lets you see even the tiniest detail. Despite the excellent video quality, the latest chipset from Ambarella delivers better video experience in terms of low bitrate than chipsets used by many other manufacturers.

Even though the camera has a fixed-focus lens, it is able to magnify any details of video streaming through a cutting-edge technique called Magic Zoom, allowing you to identify faces and check any details in your home or office.

Foscam’s Android app is like a window through which you can see what the camera can see. But make no mistake, there’s no need to have the app constantly open, observantly looking for any signs of an intruder. The R2 is able to send real-time push notifications with captured images directly to your mobile device. The same mobile device can also be used to upgrade your camera’s firmware to the latest version and fine-tune its settings to better fit your needs.

Final Words

If there’s one thing in the world worth investing money into, it’s the safety and security of you and your family. Repairing the damage caused by a low-life burglar often takes years, but you can install and set up a wireless home security camera for your Android device in just a few minutes. It’s like an investment that you hope will never pay off.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Blink Home SecurityBlink Indoor Home Security Camera System with Motion Detection, HD Video, 2-Year Battery Life and Cloud Storage Included - 3 Camera KitBuy on Amazon|$229.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
Arlo Technologies, IncArlo - Wireless Home Security Camera System with Motion Detection | Night vision, Indoor/Outdoor, HD Video, Wall Mount | Cloud Storage Included | 3 camera kit (VMS3330)Buy on Amazon|$234.34(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
NestNest Security Camera, Keep An Eye On What Matters to You, From Anywhere, For Outdoor Use, Works with AlexaBuy on Amazon|$164.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
CANARYCANARY (CAN100USBK) All-in-One Indoor 1080p HD Security Camera with Built-in Siren and Climate Monitor, Motion / Person / Air Quality Alerts, Works with Alexa, Insurance Discount Eligible - BlackBuy on Amazon|$73.66(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)
FoscamFoscam Home Security Camera, R2 Full HD 1080P WiFi IP Camera with Real-time 1080P Video at 25FPS, Pan Tilt 8X Digital Zoom, Motion Detection & Alert, Optional Cloud Service Available, WhiteBuy on Amazon|$57.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

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5 Best VR For OnePlus 6T

Virtual reality launched a couple of years ago to a lot of hesitation. Not a whole lot of people were sure about the technology at the time, though now it’s really starting to catch on, especially as the headsets improve and become more powerful. Many headset brands are actually becoming exclusive to certain brands of phones — such as the Gear VR for Samsung phones or the Daydream View for Daydream-ready phones. So if you have a OnePlus 6T, is there a platform available for you specifically? The answer is yes!

ProductBrandNamePrice
GoogleGoogle Daydream View - VR HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$164(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
LenovoLenovo Mirage Solo with DaydreamBuy on Amazon|$399.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
OculusOculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$199(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
VeeRVeeR Oasis VR Headset with VR RemoteCheck Price on Amazon
ELEGIANTELEGIANT 3D VR Glasses Virtual Reality BoxBuy on Amazon|$16.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)

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If you follow along below, we’ll show you the best virtual reality headsets that you can pick up for the OnePlus 6T. Here are our top picks.

 

Daydream View

Coming up as first on our list is the Daydream View. The OnePlus 6T doesn’t work as a Daydream-ready smartphone, but there is a way that you can force it. (instructions here). That said, it might be worth picking up the Daydream View for your OnePlus 6T, as it is one of the best virtual reality experiences available today. You’ll be able to experience all of the excellent content available on Netflix and Hulu VR, as well as the many games available now.

Buy it now: Amazon

 

Lenovo Mirage Solo

The Lenovo Mirage Solo comes in as second on our list, and is easily our favorite way to use virtual reality. It doesn’t require a smartphone to sit in the headset, actually. You just need to download the Mirage Solo app on your OnePlus 6T, and then pair it up with the VR hardware. After that, you’re ready to roll. Just put the VR headset on, power it on, and then you can enter Lenovo’s world of virtual reality. That does mean you get somewhat poor battery life — after just a couple of hours of use, you will have to power it down and throw it on the charger to use it again.

One of the neat things about the Mirage Solo is that it has excellent weight distribution. You’ll be to use it for a couple of hours straight without feeling a whole lot of discomfort.

Buy it now: Amazon

 

Oculus GO

Coming in as third on our list, the Oculus GO is an impressive piece of hardware that doesn’t require your smartphone to be sitting in a headset. All you have to do is download the Oculus GO app on your OnePlus 6T, pair it up with the actual Oculus GO hardware, and then you’re ready to enter the world of virtual reality. All the hardware you need is built right into the Oculus Go. It even comes with a remote so that you don’t have to use head tracking to navigate menus. The one “con” is that you can only use it for a couple of hours before needing to juice it up again!

Buy it now: Amazon

 

VeeR Oasis

Coming in as the fourth contender on our list, we have the VeeR Oasis. Many of the virtual reality headsets on our list have become independent, not requiring your smartphone to sit inside of it to use. Those come with a heftier price tag, which makes the VeeR Oasis just a little bit more attractive — it used standard VR technology, so it’ll actually only cost you a few dollars. With great weight distribution, you’ll be able to use this headset for hours without too much discomfort.

One of the neat things about the VeeR Oasis is that it comes with a remote. That means you don’t have to use head tracking all the time to navigate through the realm of VR.

Buy it now: Amazon

VR Elegiant

If you just want a standard virtual reality headset, the VR Elegiant is an excellent choice. It’s actually perfect for those that are on a budget. It won’t cost you more than a few dollars, and it’s actually really simple to use. Set it inside the headset, and the OnePlus 6T will act as the main processing system, while the “lens” will give you what you need to see the VR. The nice thing about the Elegiant is just how versatile it is — it works for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Buy it now: Amazon

Verdict

There are a lot of choices as far as virtual reality goes these days. You used to only have a couple of different headsets to choose from, but now the options are endless. If you want to make sure that you have the best of the best in virtual reality technology, you really cannot go wrong with the Oculus GO or the Lenovo Mirage Solo. Both are independent of the smartphone, and will give you the most powerful VR experience.

ProductBrandNamePrice
GoogleGoogle Daydream View - VR HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$164(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
LenovoLenovo Mirage Solo with DaydreamBuy on Amazon|$399.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
OculusOculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$199(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
VeeRVeeR Oasis VR Headset with VR RemoteCheck Price on Amazon
ELEGIANTELEGIANT 3D VR Glasses Virtual Reality BoxBuy on Amazon|$16.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)

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5 Best Bluetooth Speakerphones For Conference Calls Using Android Smartphones

Bluetooth headphones are quite crucial when we talk about everyday functionality. While most of us are limited to using it during driving or when our hands are occupied, Bluetooth headsets or speakers go far beyond this. It can be used for conference calls during meetings as well. You will encounter a lot of situations where some Bluetooth headphones simply don’t support the functionality or don’t do a good job of offering support to its users. In such circumstances, it makes sense to always seek out the best in the business. Today we’re going to list a couple of headphones like that, which will no doubt, help you get the best experience during conference calls. We are listing out headphones of varying prices to give you a broader variety of products out there. So be sure to have a closer look at all of them before making the choice for yourself.

Bluetooth Speakerphone For Android Conference Calls

5 best Bluetooth speakerphones for conference calls using Android smartphones

Jabra Speak510

Jabra is a widely popular audio accessories manufacturer, and a brand synonymous with quality. Keeping this in mind, this particular headset is high up on our list. The Jabra Speak510 is a pretty amazing device considering what it brings to the table. The size of the device is pretty convenient and you can carry it around practically anywhere thanks to a pouch offered by the company. The device is compatible with PCs, tablets and smartphones, so you don’t have to limit its use to just your handset.

Naturally, a device of this caliber won’t come cheap and you will have to shell out $93.99 for the Jabra Speak510. This is pretty reasonable considering the price of a few other offerings out there. What’s great about this device is that you can use it even with a conventional USB connection and don’t necessarily have to rely on Bluetooth to pair it with your devices. However, this won’t be possible with a few smartphones, so the customers will probably resort to using Bluetooth on this offering. Since it’s more of a speaker than a headset, you can stream your favorite music and other media content as you please. You can grab this speaker from Amazon right away.

Logitech P710e

The Logitech P710e is a bit sophisticated compared to the Jabra offering we spoke about above. It has a clever docking system in place which allows you to keep your phone on top like a conventional phone. This will allow you to use your phone as usual while also giving you the luxury of having it upright. It comes with USB connectivity in addition to Bluetooth. You can pair this particular speaker with up to eight devices at a time. Logitech mentions the presence of wideband audio on this device, allowing users to get impeccable audio on both sides of the conversation. The product is Skype certified, so if you plan to have a lot of conversations on the platform, this is the speaker to get.

My personal favorite feature here is the presence of a 15 hour battery life, which promises to last the typical work day and some. Naturally, this particular speaker has received very good reviews from the customers and experts alike, so you can get it without any hesitation. However, its price tag of $123.86 might be a bit concerning to prospective buyers. But if you’re looking to buy the best, you will have to compromise a bit in this department. You can snatch this up from Amazon right away.

Invoxia NVX 200

This comes from a not-so-popular manufacturer, but that’s not to say it’s a shabby product. The NVX 200 is a pretty stellar item and comes with a more than decent hardware under the hood. It lets you connect your phone and transform it into a proper workstation to make and receive phone calls in a professional environment. The onboard dock on the device charges your smartphone, which is quite an amazing feature to have for a device like this. This phone also works with pretty much any phone with Bluetooth on board, covering a broad range of devices.

Overall, when we consider the fact that this is a multi-functional piece of hardware, paying a premium price tag isn’t a major concern. This particular product will set you back by $249 from Amazon, which is quite amazing given the kind of features it offers. Sure, it’s expensive, but it also comes with a slew of features on board. If you’re considering the purchase of a premium ranged Bluetooth compatible speaker with conference calls support, we suggest you give this a closer look. The device can be snatched up from Amazon right away. Customer reviews are pretty decent as well, so you don’t have to be concerned about the speaker’s quality.

VTech VCS752 ErisStation

The futuristic looking VTech VCS752 ErisStation comes with 2 mics, which makes this a pretty useful product. The audio quality is something that’s mentioned in the product highlights here. The company mentions that the product allows customers to hear and be heard as well, pretty much like you’re in a face to face conversation. There are two microphones here, and each one carries a charge of 12 hours, which makes this a pretty power packed offering. Since you’re going to use this in an office atmosphere, you’re bound to keep it charged at all times.

You can set up three SIP lines here, and can shift conveniently between each lines thanks to the advanced tech used by the company here. The microphones are portable, so you can easily pass them around the conference table, allowing pretty much everyone to get their voice in on the conversation. It’s a pretty functional device as we’ve already mentioned, and the presence of features like these makes it a must have for every office conference room. This product will set you back by $270, which is not so bad given the kind of feature set that it comes with. The product can be grabbed from Amazon right away.

OontZ Curve

One of the cheapest offerings on this list, the OontZ Curve is a nifty little Bluetooth speaker, ideal for small conference calls. While it might not have the functionality of a few other devices on this list, it’s a pretty capable speaker. In addition to using the Bluetooth functionality, you can also use this with a 3.5mm AUX cable. This will allow you to save some precious battery life on the device. Given that this is a small offering, it’s not supposed to have a big battery on board. So features like these always help. The company promises to offer 360 degree sound with this product, which is not hard to believe, given the kind of design it possesses.

It usually comes in six colors, but Amazon is only offering it one color at the moment. Be sure to check out the device from Amazon right now. It will only set you back by $24.99. While this is no Jabra or Logitech when it comes to onboard features, it’s a very decent offering for the price quoted by the seller. The device is only 9 ounces (255 grams), which makes it easy to carry around. Pairing can be done within a matter of seconds, which is a big plus here. We highly recommend this product if you’re looking for a no frills Bluetooth speaker at a minimal cost.

Bluetooth Speakerphone For Android Conference Calls

Samsung SmartThings Vs Wink Hub 2 Best Smart Home Hubs in 2019

Back in the day, the average family would have approximately a bucketful of remotes spread across the living room. Finding the right one was a chore, so many people purchased a universal remote to control all electronic devices with a single remote. Now, we’re quickly entering the age when the average family will have a myriad of smart home devices from various manufacturers, each control from its own smartphone app.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Samsung SmartThingsSamsung SmartThings Smart Home HubBuy on Amazon|$79.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
WinkWink WNKHUB-2US 2 Smart home hub WhiteBuy on Amazon|$180.89(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

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Those who are already living the smart life know how frustrating it can be to constantly jump back and forth between multiple apps just to turn on and off the lights or disarm the alarm. Fortunately, smart home hubs offer similar functionality to universal remotes: they let you control all your smart devices from one app, and they can even make your smart home smarter with automatic routines that make multiple smart home gadgets sing in unison.

With a smart home hub, you can configure the lights in your home to turn on when you unlock your smart lock, or have the blinds automatically close when the ambient light sensor outside your home senses that it’s getting dark.

In 2017, your choice of smart home hubs essentially boils down to the second-generation Samsung SmartThings and the Wink Hub 2.

Samsung SmartThings Hub

On the official website of SmartThings, Samsung lists almost 150 products that work with the hub. These products cover everything from lights to sensors to door locks to speakers to cameras to voice assistants. They also span several smart home communication protocols, including Z-Wave and Zigbee.

The Samsung SmartThings Hub itself is a compact box that resembles the Apple TV. It has a single LED status light on the front side and a power port, a reset button, two USB ports for charging or powering various devices, and an Ethernet port on the back. The bottom lid hides a battery compartment with slots for four AA batteries, which are used to power the hub during power outages.

The Good

Even though the SmartThings Hub can at times be slightly more technical than we would like, connecting new smart devices is still quick and easy. Usually, the whole process is fully automated, excluding the occasional press of a pairing button.

The SmartThings platform is open source and protocol-agnostic, making it very easy for anyone to make any existing or new smart device work with the SmartThings Hub. Even though the Nest thermostat isn’t officially supported by the hub, the community around SmartThings has created a SmartApp and Device handlers to integrate Nest devices with the SmartThings ecosystem using Nest’s published API. That’s the power of open source in practice, and Samsung was smart to embrace it.

The SmartThings Hub can be easily turned into a full-fledged home security system with the Home Monitoring Kit from Samsung. Like any reliable security system, the hub has a backup power source (the four AA batteries hidden under the bottom lid), and it also supports USB cellular modems.

The SmartThings app offers extensive customization options, with multiple pre-configured scenarios that you can easily fine-tune to fit your needs. The app’s functionality can be infinitely extended with SmartApps, such as the one for the Nest thermostat. SmartApps provide much deeper integration with smart devices, allowing users to access all features right from the SmartThings app.

The Bad

Perhaps the biggest head-scratcher is the absence of Wi-Fi. While you don’t need Wi-Fi to easily connect smart home devices to the hub because the hub is designed to connect directly to your home router, Wi-Fi would be useful for backup Internet access. Many businesses pay two Internet providers to eliminate downtime, and it’s sad that the SmartThings hub can’t automatically switch to a backup Wi-Fi network when the main network goes down.

Even though the hub is very capable, it’s still not smart enough in places. For example, Samsung makes it easy for you to configure your smart lights to automatically turn on at night, but there’s no way how to account for the fact that the sun goes down at a different time during summer and during winter.

Wink Hub 2

The Wink Hub 2 supports Z-Wave, Zigbee, Lutron Clear Connect, Alexa, Google Home, and Kidde devices, has built-in support for Google’s Thread interface, and will also connect to Bluetooth LE. You can see exactly which smart home devices work with the hub by visiting the official website. There are lights, dimmers, switches, detectors, sensors, locks, thermostats, appliances, and motorized window treatments.

The Wink Hub 2 is a stylish device designed to stand upright, preferably somewhere where you can admire its sexy curves. The front side features a tall LED status light. The back side is where you find an Ethernet port and a power connector. There’s no on/off switch because the Wink Hub 2 turns on automatically as soon as it’s connected to power.

The Good

The Wink Hub 2 is meant to be as easy to use as it possibly can be. When connecting a smart home device, the hub shows helpful step-by-step instructions with pictures and animations. Usually, you just scan the barcode of the device you want to connect and go through one or two additional steps before everything is ready for use.

Creating complex home automation routines is similarly simple. Routines are called Robots, and their setup is very similar to IFTTT. First, you define the trigger condition; then you select what you want to happen when the condition is met. With a few taps on the screen, you can have the Wink Hub 2 to automatically turn on the lights when you come home, or you can set up your smart lock to automatically lock when all family members are at home and it’s after 8 pm. It’s simple, and it just works.

Wink’s smartphone app is beautiful, intuitive, and functional. It allows you to receive alerts directly to your smartphone, trigger your lights with a tap on the screen, and configure handy shortcuts to control multiple smart products with one action.

The Bad

The two main things that the Wink Hub 2 lacks is backup battery power and support for more smart devices. If you see a smart home device that’s not explicitly advertised as Wink-compatible, it most likely won’t work with the hub. There is a handful of workarounds for some devices, but we don’t see the average user consulting Google for help and following complicated multi-step instructions just to connect an unsupported bulb to the hub.

The lack of backup battery power can be solved by plugging the Wink Hub 2 into a UPS battery backup, but that seems like overkill considering that a few AA batteries would keep the hub running during a power outage just as well.

Verdict

Neither hub is without small kinks, but Samsung has convinced us that the SmartThings ecosystem is the more future-proof solution. The community around it is already huge and very active, and we expect it only to grow as smart home devices become more popular. The Wink Hub 2 is a good, simple solution for someone who isn’t ready to go all-in on home automation but still wants to control all smart devices from a single app and easily create useful automation routines.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Samsung SmartThingsSamsung SmartThings Smart Home HubBuy on Amazon|$79.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
WinkWink WNKHUB-2US 2 Smart home hub WhiteBuy on Amazon|$180.89(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:32 ET)

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5 Best Smart Speakers with Alexa Built-In and Enabled

The Amazon Echo family of smart speakers has first brought Alexa into our homes, but there are now far more options how to communicate with the intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon. Depending on which third-party smart speakers with Alexa you choose, you can get a better sound quality than what Echo speakers offer, and you can sometimes even enjoy extra features without paying more.

Best Smart Speakers with Alexa

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
SonosSonos One199
FABRIQFABRIQ Chorus99.99
GarminGarmin Speak58.19
MKMK Alexa Wireless Bluetooth SpeakerCheck Price

Amazon Echo Plus

With the Amazon Echo Plus, you can use Alexa to easily discover and add compatible smart home devices, such as smart lights, thermostats, locks, garage doors, and sprinklers, and control them with your voice. Unlike most other smart speakers with a built-in smart hub, Amazon Echo Plus doesn’t require any manual setup to communicate with other smart gadgets and electronics in your home. Instead, you just say, “Alexa, discover my devices,” and the Echo Plus will automatically discover and set up compatible smart home devices for you.

Apart from smart home device control and automation, the Amazon Echo Plus has all the features that you may already be used to from the older version. Thanks to a pair of 360-degree speakers, it can fill your room with clear music from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, or other streaming services, or it can play you an audiobook from Audible, among many other things. The Amazon Echo Plus relies on an array of seven beamforming microphones to accurately capture your voice, allowing you to compose text messages hands-free, without any tapping.

Amazon asks $149.99 for the Echo Plus, and you can choose between three colors: black, silver, and white.

MK Alexa Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

The MK Alexa Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is a portable smart speaker with built-in Alexa, destined the star of every picnic or backyard party. It has a built-in Li-Ion rechargeable battery with 2,200 mAh capacity and up to 6 hours of continuous playtime. Despite its large capacity, the battery recharges in just 3 to 4 hours with the included microUSB cable.

Thanks to Amazon Alexa, you can use the MK Alexa Wireless Bluetooth Speaker to play music, check the weather, listen to the news, control your smart home devices, order a pizza, and much more. Ask Alexa just about any question you want and don’t be too surprised when Alexa gives you a much better answer than your know-it-all mother-in-law because, unlike your mother-in-law, Alexa relies on advanced machine learning algorithms to acquire new information, becoming smarter every day.

If you get lucky and stumble upon the MK Alexa Wireless Bluetooth Speaker while it’s on sale, you can get it for just $129.00.

Sonos One

People like the Amazon Echo speakers for many different reasons, but listening to music usually isn’t among them. Don’t get us wrong, the Echo isn’t a bad speaker; it’s just a little underwhelming if you’re used to listening to music through high-end headphones or large home theater speakers. Unlike the Echo, the Sonos One has music in its blood.

It has all the smart home automation and control that the Echo has, but it features much larger speaker drivers backed by a pair of Class-D amplifiers, meticulously tuned to the speaker’s unique acoustic architecture. What’s more, you can pair two Sonos Ones together in the same room for instant stereo sound or add a dedicated subwoofer for deeper bass. Pair two Sonos Ones with the Sonos Playbar or Playbase, and you get epic home theater surround sound.

The Sonos One is more expensive than the Amazon Echo Plus, costing $199.99, but the price difference is proportionate to the difference in sound quality.

Garmin Speak

Do you have Alexa at home and think that it would be great to also use Alexa to stream music playlists and podcasts, play audio books, check the weather, listen to the news, sports stats, or traffic updates while driving your car? In that case, the Garmin Speak has you covered. This compact smart speaker with Amazon Alexa does everything the Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled smart speakers do, but it also features a round display for turn-by-turn navigation.

The Garmin Speak is designed to work with the audio system in your vehicle, which allows it deliver clear, audible sound even when driving on the highway close to the speed limit. The Garmin Speak has a built-in GPS module that precisely tracks your current location, helping you reach your destination.

The Garmin Speak costs $149.99, which is a bit pricey for what’s essentially a car-ready version of the much less expensive Echo Dot smart speaker. But if you would like to have Alexa in your car, the Garmin Speak is by far the best option how to achieve your goal.

FABRIQ Chorus

If the Amazon Echo reminds you of a tin can, the chances are that you will like the FABRIQ Chorus smart speaker with Amazon Alexa more. The FABRIQ Chorus is covered with soft fabric with an orient-inspired texture, and it hides two 8-watt precision speaker drivers that offer crisp sound and solid bass at any volume. It’s possible to connect up to 10 FABRIQ speakers together for a multiroom sound experience and either play music synchronously through your home or chose different songs for different rooms.

Just like the aforementioned MK Alexa Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, the FABRIQ Chorus is portable and has up to 8 hours of playback time. Every FABRIQ Chorus is a stand-alone Alexa device, which means that you can take advantage of the same voice-control features as you can with the Amazon Echo.

Even though the FABRIQ Chorus is in many ways a more refined version of the Amazon Echo, it costs exactly the same, $99.99.

Best Smart Speakers with Alexa

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
SonosSonos One199
FABRIQFABRIQ Chorus99.99
GarminGarmin Speak58.19
MKMK Alexa Wireless Bluetooth SpeakerCheck Price

Best rugged Android tablets money can buy

Update: check out our 2017 edition of best rugged tablet list and our best rugged smartphone list

From luxury to commodity to absolute necessity, being able to connect to the web while on the go and carrying your work with you far and wide have taken new meanings in recent years, as conventional PCs lost steam and ultraportable alternatives rapidly gained traction.

Best Rugged Android Tablet

Tablet construction site

And whereas most smartphone and tablet owners nowadays still fall in the light to moderate user categories in regards to their productivity and range of tasks completed, there are those who take gadgets very seriously, depending on them not to entertain and amuse, but put bread on the table.

These power users are not the same so-called power users that Apple or Samsung usually address with fancy new iPhone, iPad or Galaxy launches. They are real-life, modern John McClanes, who rock Casio Commandos, Kyocera Torques or Cat B15s as “daily drivers”, not because they make them feel manlier, but because a bendable 6 Plus or GNote 4 couldn’t get a through a workday without cracking under pressure.

They’re not heroes, they just like things done a certain way. They work in tough outdoor conditions but never complain. Even in their spare time, they love hanging out in the wild, with nature’s strengths and shortcomings.

Panasonic Toughpad

They’re not afraid of a splash of water, dust, dirt, extreme temperatures, altitudes or things like radiation or vibration. Some can even take a bullet without blinking. Each and every one of them however need survival tools, and a good starting point are the rugged Android smartphones we recommended a while back.

Next step? A solid yet compact and portable, secure, smooth and powerful ruggedized Android tablet. Yes, we know, Windows has the upper hand for the most part in this grossly overlooked niche. But if you look hard enough, here are some of the best Google-powered options you’ll be able to find:

Fujitsu Stylistic M532 – available at $358 on Amazon

Just so we don’t scare you right off the bat, we’ve decided to start the countdown of the best rugged Android tabs with possibly the world’s cheapest. Obviously, the M532 is thus not the most robust ultraportable money can buy.

On the bright side, it’s fairly thin and light, at 8.6 mm and 560 grams respectively. And given the wasp waist and low price, the 10 incher is no featherweight, withstanding extreme conditions such as high altitude, shocks, vibrations and minimal or maximum temperatures, courtesy of MIL-STD-810G certification.

Fujitsu Stylistic M532

The Stylistic can also remain whole after being dropped a few times, though it’s best to protect it from violent contacts with hard surfaces. Above all, the M532 is a business-oriented slab, offering a host of security add-ons and data protection methods, and ergo being a better fit for an enterprise environment rather than a construction site or war zone.

Last but not least, the thing runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, packs quad-core power, 1 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1

Just so you know, the Android “Terminators” are arranged in no particular order, as they’re simply too different to rank. Clearly, pitting the Toughpad FZ-A1 against the Stylistic M532 would have been comparing apple to oranges.

Toughpad FZ-A1

That said, deciding between the two is pretty easy. Fujitsu’s option is better for enterprise, this thing “dares to go where no tablet has gone before”. Meaning you definitely want to put on a protection helmet while on duty as, say, a contractor, but this baby can handle any and all environments by itself.

Yes, it’s that tough. It even comes with an extended 3-year warranty to show you how durable it is. And Panasonic may not list bullet resistance as one of the slate’s features, but honestly, this is your safest best for a war comrade.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1 back

It’s massive, at 2.1 pounds, it can handle repeated drops from dizziness-inducing heights, and it’s of course MIL-STD-810G certified. The carcass is encased in magnesium alloy, the corner guards are made of elastomer, and you get all kinds of hardware encryption methods, the highest degree of password security, root and anti-virus protection.

Panasonic Toughpad JT-B1 – available at $1,486 on Amazon

Does $1,500 feel a little too rich for your blood? We get where you’re coming from, and don’t blame you, but believe it or not, the JT-B1 is even stronger than the other Panasonic Toughpad. Aside from complying with all military standards for everything from extreme temperatures to rain and freeze, this compact little 7 incher sports a sealed “all-weather design”.

Toughpad JT-B1

And the raised bezel increases the LCD impact protection. Translation: you can drop the JT-B1 on its face over and over again, and it won’t crack. The craziest thing is the device’s weight, 1.2 pounds, although the 8-hour battery life is a close second.

Getac Z710 – $1,495

This is the last uber-expensive tab we’re going to list, we promise. And perhaps we’d never have recommended it in the first place, especially as it doesn’t come from a big-name manufacturer, but the Z710 breathes strength through its every pore. Maybe more than the Toughpad rivals.

What we like the most at Getac’s design approach is they knew from the get-go their target audience couldn’t care less about style and elegance. There are no aesthetical bells and whistles here, just a 7-inch tablet small enough to hold in one hand and “built to survive”.

Getac Z710

Six-foot drops, extreme temps, solar radiation, you name it. Oh, and the screen is perfectly readable in the most difficult lighting conditions, plus glove-friendly. A barcode scanner is inbuilt for obvious reasons, and 3G connectivity is not an option, it’s standard.

Guaranteed to last you at least three years of constant abuses, the Z710 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and packs 1 GB RAM, as well as 16 GB internal storage.

Xplore RangerX – $1,391

1,400 bucks is still a lot of money, but not only is the RangerX a little cheaper than our previous two recommendations, it’s also larger, at 10 inches, and thus more productive. Needless to stress this can also take a loooot of abuse, specifically repeated drops on every edge, corner, plus directly on its face, including on concrete from heights of up to 4 feet.

rangerx

Then you have all the extreme conditions that don’t affect the usability of the big guy in the least, which include -4° F to 140° F temperatures, blowing rain, 95% humidity, functional shock, 15,000 feet altitudes, fluid contamination and solar radiation.

As for security options and neat add-ons and features, Xplore Tech equipped this beast with Gigabit Ethernet, CAC and Smart Card Readers, a Kensington lock slot and optional Verizon 4G LTE among others. Just beware of the vague, fishy Amazon listing and maybe go over to Xplore directly for a quote depending on your exact needs.

Motorola ET1 – $1,246

Bet you didn’t know this thing still existed, huh? Well, it has amazingly survived Motorola’s rise and fall, its retreat from the tablet market and successive buyouts from Google and Lenovo. Of course, it’s no longer widely available, but Amazon sells it directly, and the price isn’t so bad… all things considered.

Keep in mind that Moto put Jelly Bean on the 7 incher a while back, so the software at least should be silky smooth. The hardware, not so much, as that dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor is horribly outdated. Not quite as indestructible as some of the above contenders, the ET1 remains a top choice for enterprise users, with its manageability, security and decent durability.

Motorola ET1

The spec sheet includes a bar code scanner, phenomenal 8 MP rear camera, 1 GB RAM and protection for 4-feet drops, thermal shock, humidity, etc., etc.

Before wrapping up, we’d like to remind you the Android universe is an extremely volatile one, so keep your eyes out for alternatives yet to come. Like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Active. Not recommended for the most extreme wild conditions, the $700 KitKat-loaded 8 incher will nevertheless fight water and dust, plus remain operational after dropped from 4-feet high… in theory. It’s your call now, so choose wisely and stay safe.

5 Best Headphones For Commuting In 2019

Music is a big part of our lives. This is why it’s imperative that every music lover gets the best headphones or earphones for their smart devices to ensure they get the best experience possible. However, headphones are no longer just limited to audio performance today. There are a variety of factors to consider when you buy a pair of headphones. For example, a pair of workout earbuds might not be suitable for commuting or prolonged usage and vice versa. If you’re one who commutes a lot, you will know how important it is to get the best product suited for your liking.

Headphones For Commuting

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
SonySony MDR1000X399.99
BoseBose QuietComfort 35 Headphones349
JBLJBL Everest Elite 700109.99
AnkerAnker SoundBuds29.99
BeatsBeatsX Wireless HeadphonesCheck Price

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to talk about a bunch of headphones today that are ideal for commuting. There are several headphones available in the market today, but ones that offer the best durability and performance are the ones that we’re mentioning here today. Since we’re talking about some big brands here, not all of them will be budget friendly. But if you want to make an investment in a pair of headphones meant specifically for commuting, shelling out a small premium doesn’t seem illogical. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Sony MDR1000X

These Sony headphones come with Bluetooth on board, which means you can enjoy music wirelessly without having to worry about cables tangling or any such mess while commuting. The flip side here is that you will need to charge it ever so often in order to use it during your trips, but that’s a small inconvenience for a pair of wireless headphones. The company mentions that the headphones can offer usage of 20 hours on a single charge, which is amazing for any short or long trips. Since commuting involves a lot of noise, the headphones come with built-in noise cancellation, allowing you to block out the external noise and immerse yourself in music.

Even though the headphones come with noise cancellation by default, a feature known as Quick Attention allows you to get a quick listen to the ambient sounds. The product is available in Black and Grey Beige, with both models setting you back by $298. This is pretty expensive, but given the kind of features it packs by default, we don’t think the steep price is too concerning. The product can be snatched up from Amazon right now.

Bose QuietComfort 35

The Bose QuietComfort series needs no introduction in the headphones segment, as it is rated one of the best wireless noise cancelling headphones available in the market today. Albeit slightly expensive, Bose offers the best in terms of features and quality. The QuietComfort 35 comes with 20 hours of battery life on wireless mode, and 40 hours of playback with the wire attached. The ability to mix and match between wired and wireless experience is what makes this an amazing pair of headphones to own.

The QC35 also comes with dual-microphones on board to negate background noise while on calls. Overall, the QuietComfort 35 will give you exactly what you need, and some. The headphones also come with a volume optimized equalizer, ensuring a smooth audio experience at any volume. Available in Silver and Black, the Bose QuietComfort 35 will set you back by $329, making it only slightly more expensive than the Sony MDR1000X that we briefly discussed above.

BeatsX Wireless Headphones

The BeatsX isn’t an ordinary pair of wireless headphones. It comes with a bunch of onboard features to rival the best in the industry. Launched last year, the BeatsX comes with a built-in processor that offers deep integration with Apple products. However, these are pretty decent wireless headphones and can pair with practically any modern Bluetooth toting smartphone, tablet or computer. The headphones come with a sporty design on board and are durable during commutes. If you have an iPhone, you can even activate Siri with a dedicated button. One major caveat with the BeatsX is that it only has a battery life of 8 hours. This means you will only have to use it during short trips or workouts. This is an area where over-the-ear headphones have a massive advantage over in-the-ear headphones.

But the revolutionary Fast Fuel feature gives you two hours worth of playback with a 5-minute charge. This significantly negates the otherwise low battery life. The Beats X is available for $109 via Amazon right now, and you will have to shell out $149 if you’re getting it directly from Apple’s retail and online stores. Apple recently added two new colors to the BeatsX lineup, thus giving you more choice in terms of personalization. As of now, there are 6 colors of the BeatsX to choose from.

JBL Everest Elite 700

The Everest Elite is one of the most exciting headphones on this list, simply for the kind of design it offers. The company is touting the addition of NXTGen Active Noise Canceling on the Everest Elite, which can block out a majority of the ambient noise around you, allowing you to get a completely immersive experience. The best part of these headphones is the fact that it comes with a dedicated app, known as My JBL Headphones. Using this Android app, you can control the functioning of the headphones.

In order to save battery life during wireless playback, the headphones automatically turns itself off when there’s no music playing. This feature could come in handy for quite a few of us. It is recommended to use these with Bluetooth 4.0 compatible smartphones for optimum performance. The JBL Everest Elite will set you back by $204.99, which is an amazing price considering the amount of features there are on board. The headphones can be bought in Black or White colors from Amazon.

Anker SoundBuds

Pretty similar to the BeatsX (but significantly cheaper), the Anker SoundBuds can be best utilized for workouts, although they make an excellent addition to your long distance trips. The fact that it comes with Bluetooth 4.0 allows for some really cool features like longer range (33 feet) and better audio performance. The headphones are IPX4 certified water/dust resistant, which is a bonus for headphones like these. Given the small size, the headphones can only offer battery life of about 8 hours. This is always a concern with smaller earbuds, although modern fast charging tech ensures that headphones are juiced back up in no time. The Anker SoundBuds are currently available in three colors, and can be snatched up for just $29.99.

Headphones For Commuting

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
SonySony MDR1000X399.99
BoseBose QuietComfort 35 Headphones349
JBLJBL Everest Elite 700109.99
AnkerAnker SoundBuds29.99
BeatsBeatsX Wireless HeadphonesCheck Price

Amazon Fire TV vs Fire TV Stick Differences

Amazon is heavily involved in the home entertainment business, even more so with the arrival of a handful of products. The company got the ball rolling with the Fire TV, which is a cost effective rival to the Apple TV and Roku, and comes with a myriad of features to lure the audiences towards it. The company also has a device known as the Fire TV Stick, which can be compared with the Google Chromecast, given the form factor it offers. In terms of functionality, both devices offer a vast number of TV shows and movies, including some Amazon exclusive content (Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent etc).

Fire Stick vs Fire TV Differences

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
AmazonAmazon Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD38.62
AmazonAmazon Fire Stick31.95

But that’s not to say that both devices are pretty much the same. Fundamentally, both devices aim to offer entertainment to the consumers at minimal expense. However, it heavily depends on what kind of user you are before you make a decision on getting either product (or both). We’re going to talk about this and everything else in this comparison story. So if you were wondering how the two devices are different from each other, reading this article will help you clear your mind once and for all. It must be mentioned that both devices are available exclusively through Amazon, and cannot be bought elsewhere.

Amazon Fire TV vs Fire TV Stick Differences

Fire TV

Features

The company’s most recent 4K HDR toting Fire TV update has received a healthy reception from the public and critics alike. It comes with native 4K HDR streaming support, which was absent on previous versions. The addition of 4K HDR is pretty much a game changer, especially in tandem with the content available on Amazon’s vast library of movies and TV shows. However, the bumped up resolution won’t count for much if you don’t have a compatible 4K TV, which is important to keep in mind. The Fire TV is a novel device to own, especially if you want to set it up as a home entertainment device for all your streaming needs. It also comes with a remote which lets you navigate the user interface and even launch Alexa voice assistant with just a button.

Pros and Cons

The Fire TV supports a wide range of games available via Amazon’s dedicated app hub. Thanks to the processor and GPU combo used underneath, the device won’t have any trouble handling games of higher resolutions. It is also important to note that Alexa works much better with the Fire TV than with the Fire TV Stick. Superior hardware could be a factor here. As with any device, the Fire TV also has its cons, although we must mention that the pros comfortably outweigh the cons here. One of the con to me personally is the fact that the key selling point with the Fire TV (i.e. 4K HDR support) is useless unless the user has a compatible television. In the future, however, 4K TVs are expected to become more popular. Further, unlike the Fire TV Stick, you cannot carry this around with you in your pocket.

Pricing

Amazon is currently selling the Fire TV for $69.99. It’s available on the company’s dedicated online store right now, although stocks aren’t guaranteed to last for long.

Fire TV Stick

Features

When we talk about the Fire TV Stick, it’s important to remember that this particular product was designed to serve a different niche. Hence any side-by-side comparison with the bigger and more powerful Fire TV Stick is somewhat ludicrous. However, the Fire TV Stick has its own advantages, with size being one of them. You basically have to take one of these over wherever you go, connect to the WiFi and get all your content streamed directly.

Pros and Cons

The best part here is that it can be connected to any monitor with an HDMI port. This ultra portable nature of the device alone is enough to convince users of its potential. The Fire TV Stick supports resolutions of up to 1920 x 1080 or Full HD, so this is an area where it falls behind compared to the Fire TV. But that’s to be expected, especially since the Fire TV Stick is significantly smaller and cheaper too. If you are a gamer, you are bound to be disappointed with the Fire TV Stick as it doesn’t have enough content on offer at the moment. Things are expected to change subsequently, although hardware restrictions might prove to be a factor going forward. If you are only looking to stream content, browse the internet, you will find yourself at home with the Fire TV Stick.

While the Fire TV Stick also comes with a remote, users are free to connect their Bluetooth keyboard or mouse with the device, which makes lives all the whole easier, especially if you’re looking to browse webpages. The onscreen keyboard is decent, but hovering over each alphabet to create a sentence can be a real pain sometimes. If you’re a big fan of portability, you will find that the Amazon Fire TV Stick is the best device you can get right now. You simply have to keep the device in your pocket and get going. All things considered, I would highly recommend users to get their hands on the Fire TV Stick, not simply for the price that it’s selling for, but also for the value it offers.

Pricing

The Fire TV Stick will set you back by $24.99 right now, although the price was previously $40. Given that it’s the holiday season, I wouldn’t be surprised if units of the Fire TV Stick are hard to come by. Users automatically get access to Prime Music and Videos along with this. As of today, Amazon is also offering a $25 discount on digital content in partnership with CBS All Access and Showtime.

Verdict

Both products are excellent in their own right, so it comes down to personal choice. But if I had a choice to pick either one, I would definitely go with the Fire TV Stick. Not only because it’s cheaper, but also for the ease of use. The plug and play nature of the device is pretty catchy, although the standard Fire TV isn’t too large either. If you’re looking for a complete package including gaming, movies, browsing etc, the $70 Fire TV is a good option. Overall, you can’t go wrong with either product. Be sure to know what exactly you’re looking for and make an informed decision based on that.

While the competition is pretty stiff in the industry right now, Amazon has somehow managed to remain in this particular business thanks to exciting promos and the ultra-low pricing model which appeals to the masses across the world.

Fire Stick vs Fire TV Differences

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
AmazonAmazon Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD38.62
AmazonAmazon Fire Stick31.95

Kindle Oasis vs Voyage Best Ebook Reader Tablet in 2019

Book reading is not as common as it was some years ago. eBooks have dominated the market for long now, with Amazon being at the forefront of all the eBook success. With the launch of its Kindle eBook reader several years ago, the company brought about a massive change in the industry, something that we didn’t quite expect. Today, Amazon has expanded to full blown tablets, sold under the Kindle name until recently. All this while, eBook readers have continued to flood the markets although Amazon continues on its merry way with its slew of eBook readers. The retailer currently offers Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis, and the Kindle Voyage.

ProductBrandNamePrice
AmazonKindle Oasis E-reader - Graphite, 7\" High-Resolution DisplayBuy on Amazon|$249.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
AmazonKindle Voyage E-reader, 6\" High-Resolution DisplayBuy on Amazon|$84.37(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)

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Interestingly, the company recently upgraded the Kindle Oasis with some attractive features. The Voyage, on the other hand, hasn’t been updated since 2016. But that’s not particularly a problem given that both eBook readers have their strengths and weaknesses. If you’re torn between the two devices, this comparison article is going to help you decide. Although the price could also play a big role in your decision, it’s not always about the cost. So let’s have a look at both the eBook readers to ascertain which one’s the best.

Kindle Oasis vs Voyage Best Ebook Reader Tablet in 2018

Kindle Oasis

Features

The 2017 Kindle Oasis is a significant upgrade over its predecessor. For starters, it comes with a larger display, allowing users to grasp in more content per book. The display also comes with 12 LEDs for illumination, something that the Voyage doesn’t have. Its gorgeous 7-inch display puts it in the tablet category, but it’s still very much an eBook reader at heart.

Pros and Cons

As with any device, there are bound to be pros and cons, although there aren’t many here. When we compare with the Voyage, the Oasis is miles ahead in most departments. Perhaps the pricing is the only difference, and perhaps the con here as you’ll have to shell out significantly more on the Oasis than on the Voyage. The Oasis is also slightly thicker than the Voyage, which is to be expected given the fact that it’s a significantly upgraded model.

Now for the pros. Well, it’s a long list. The eReader is water-resistant, which is a big deal for eReaders, although not particularly for mobile devices in the industry. The design also needs a special mention here as it comes with suitably placed hand grips for comfortable usage. There are buttons on the edge to help you flip the page conveniently. It’s clear that the device was prepared with ergonomics in mind. This ensures that you can stay hooked to your book for long intervals.

The Voyage is available in WiFi only as well as WiFi + 3G models, much like the Voyage. This allows users to sync their eBooks using mobile data, rather than waiting for a WiFi connection. It is recommended to be on an unlimited plan in order to avoid unnecessary overages. As for the battery life, Amazon claims that the Oasis can last for weeks on a single charge. This means you won’t have to shuffle around for a charger every two days. The device comes with 8 or 32GB of onboard storage, which can store thousands of books without ever running out of space.

Keeping these things in mind, it’s important to understand that the Oasis is better in almost every way possible. But that’s not saying much considering the fact that the Oasis doesn’t have a lot of competition in the market right now. It is expected to stay that way for the foreseeable future, and we’re unlikely to see any changes.

Pricing

As we said, the Oasis won’t come cheap. The eReader with WiFi + 3G will set you back by $349.99 on Amazon right now. Many would consider getting a full blown tablet for that price, and they won’t be wrong to consider that. However, this is the most advanced eBook reader that you will come across in the wild. If your goal is to simply read as many books as efficiently as you can, then you can’t look much further than the all-new Kindle Oasis.

Kindle Voyage

Features

The tried and tested premium Kindle, the Voyage could be old news very soon, given that Amazon is heavily marketing the all-new waterproof Oasis. However, the Voyage has its own appeal attached to it. Most importantly, its slender body, containing a 6-inch display is easier to hold, and lighter too. Although the weight between the two devices is barely distinguishable, so we can’t deem this to be an advantage for the Voyage.

Pros and Cons

One of the biggest positives with the Voyage is that it’s significantly cheaper than the new Oasis. Sure it lacks water resistance and some of the other fancy features, but it’s still a pretty decent eBook reader, meant for the purists. The display, however, leaves a lot to be desired, as it has a built-in light for illumination in the dark. This could prove to be a major factor for customers who are considering the two eBook readers.

As far as the design is concerned, the Voyage comes with a basic and standard slate like design that we’ve seen on innumerable Kindles before, so there’s nothing to write home about with regards to the design. The storage, in my opinion, is a real letdown here, as the Voyage only comes with 4GB onboard storage. While this allows you to store a lot of books on your Kindle, 4GB simply can’t be enough for someone with a vast collection. As the name suggests, Voyage is meant for the travelers who can’t carry all their books with them. It serves that purpose very well, although we feel some features are lacking here. But let’s put that down to time, since it was first launched in 2016. Back then, the Voyage was a pretty decent offering. However, with the new Oasis arriving in the scene, the Voyage has to take the back seat unfortunately.

Pricing

The Kindle Voyage bundle will cost you $254.97. This includes a leather cover, an AC adapter and of course, the device itself. While this price is justified for a bundle, we feel the Voyage is still too expensive in comparison with the Oasis. But if you’re torn on pricing, the fact that you will save nearly $100 here is comforting to know.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt in our minds that the new Oasis is the best eBook reader available in the market. Keeping this in mind, we find it very difficult to recommend the Voyage to our readers. If you’re looking for a basic eReader, you can look towards the Kindle Paperwhite, which is a much cheaper option. But if you’re looking to take a decision based on onboard features and benefits, it’s a no brainer, and you certainly will have to go with the Oasis.

ProductBrandNamePrice
AmazonKindle Oasis E-reader - Graphite, 7\" High-Resolution DisplayBuy on Amazon|$249.99(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)
AmazonKindle Voyage E-reader, 6\" High-Resolution DisplayBuy on Amazon|$84.37(Price as of 02/23/2019 23:31 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.