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The 10 Best iPhone Smartwatches to Get Today

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Best iPhone Smartwatches 2020

iPhones are a technological marvel because it paved the way for other phone manufacturers to create their own smartphones. We are now in a new era of technology because of that.

And, while these capable phones are fine on their own, it would be best if you also get a smartwatch for it.

More than just a mere extension of your phone, smartwatches are actually pretty handy. Today, I am going to talk about the top 10 iPhone Smartwatches for your iPhone.

Why Buy a Smartwatch?

A smartwatch does a lot of things. While your iPhone is more than capable of doing a lot of things on its own, getting a complementary piece would make it even better.

These new-age watches act as a fitness tracker, your mobile heart sensor, and it can also serve as an extension of your mobile device.

With that being said, I will now go over some of the best options that you can find on the market.

Top iPhone Smartwatches

1.Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5

Price: $399

Let’s start off the list with the watch that was designed by the company that made the iPhone, Apple.

The Apple Watch Series 5 is a very capable smartwatch and is the 5th and newest version of the famous timepiece. It has a built-in heart sensor, a digital compass, and you can also listen to music on it as well.

It’s got an OLED ‘Always-On’ display that will make it easier for you to find out what the current time is. The good thing about the screen is that it has a sensor that can detect ambient light so that the brightness will adjust accordingly for better readability.

The watch has a titanium and ceramic finish which makes it look premium and it does still retain some design principles from its predecessor. It comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes.

There is just one major issue with the watch: Its battery life. On a full charge, it can last only up to 18 hours compared to its predecessor that can last two times more than that.

Still, with its robust feature set and its amazing integration with the iPhone ecosystem, it is definitely a must-have for Apple users.

2.Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3

Price: $199

If the Series 5 is too expensive for you, the Apple Watch Series 3 is still quite a competitive one to get. Now, you might be surprised why the 4th version is not here. Well, that is because the company does not sell them anymore.

Anyway, the Apple Watch Series 3 is pretty much the same as its newest brother in that it has a built-in heart rate monitor, digital compass, sleep tracker, and the works. You can even use Apple Pay with it as well.

Unlike the newest version, however, the Series 3 is a bit smaller at 38mm and 42mm. It still has a relatively short battery life at 18 hours, but since the price tag is also much cheaper, then this might be more appealing to you.

3.Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Price: $190-$199

For quite some time, both Samsung and Apple were the kings of the smartphone space. The former uses Google’s Android mobile operating system, while the latter uses its very own OS.

That being said, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch is made for Android devices, it still works perfectly well if you have an iPhone.

Where this watch shines is its build quality and its performance. It uses the company’s Tizen OS that proves to be snappy no matter what the use-case is.

It has a larger build quality at 42mm and 46mm and has an OLED display that provides you with an ‘Always-on’ screen.

I really love the rotating bezel on this thing and it being IP-certified makes it appealing to use if you go swimming.

Unlike the Apple Watches mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Watch actually has pretty competitive battery life.

On the 46mm model, the battery can last up to 4 days while its smaller sibling lasts a little bit lower than that (but still longer than the Apple Watch).

Even though the said timepiece is originally made for Android devices, it still works amazingly well on an iPhone.

4.Fossil Sport

Fossil Sport

Price: $200

The Fossil Sport is an affordable smartwatch for the iPhones. It sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100 chipset and makes use of the ever-popular Wear OS found in some Android smartwatches.

Its performance package is really good. You will experience no lags or stutters whenever you go through the different menus and it is pretty capable of handling some tasks from your iPhone (such as reading emails messages, making calls, etc.).

The watch is 43mm in diameter and is supported by a 22mm strap (which is interchangeable).

The Fossil Sport is lightweight, has all of the usual smartwatch features such as a fitness tracker and heart-rate monitor, and has a good 390 x 390 AMOLED display.

My only issue is that the watch uses a proprietary charger, so in the event that you lose it, you may have to buy another one from the company.

5.Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Price: $339

If you are an active person and you want a smartwatch that you can depend on, then the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is for you.

Think of this as your reliable fitness partner as it is touted by many experts as one of the best (if not the best) fitness smartwatches that you can find on the market.

Anyway, the watch comes in two sizes: 40mm and 45mm. This is good since previous versions only come at a uniform size.

It is swim-proof, gives you the ability to make mobile payments via Garmin Pay, and has competitive fitness tracking features.

Battery life is superb as the unit can last up to 7 days.

One standout feature of the watch is that it can suggest to you some workouts when you need them.

The downside to this is that it may experience some occasional syncing issues, though they are quite rare.

6.TicWatch E2

Mobvoi Ticwatch E2

Price: $159.99

An inexpensive smartwatch for iPhones that pack a punch, the TicWatch might not be as popular in the U.S., but it certainly is in other parts of the globe.

It uses the latest version of Wear OS and it has an always-on OLED display, making the on-screen elements crisp and readable.

The watch’s battery life is one of its strongest suits because it can last up to 10 days with moderate use.

If you are using a smartwatch for mobile payments, though, that would not be possible with this one since it doesn’t come with NFC.

7.Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (1)

Price: $279.99

Sure, the Apple Watch Series 5 is pretty good and has seamless integration with the iOS found in your iPhones, but do not scoff at the idea of getting a watch that was made for Android.

The Samsung Galaxy Active 2 was originally designed for Android smartphones, but it certainly works well even on the iOS platform.

Having said that, the watch comes at 40mm and 44mm and has a circular design that a lot of people may find quite appealing.

Based on Samsung’s Tizen mobile operating system, the watch is very capable of doing a lot of things.

Where it shines, though, is its fitness capabilities. Whether you are running, swimming, or just doing anything under the sun, this watch can provide you with some handy features that can help you track your progress and performance, among many others.

While this watch has a sleep tracking feature, it is not as accurate as of the Apple Watch Series 5. And oh, the watch doesn’t come with heart-rate monitoring, though, since the company would have to wait for the FDA’s approval before they can implement the said functionality.

8.Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2

Price: $199.99

Fitbit is another fitness-focused brand that manufactures smartwatches that can work in both Android smartphones and iPhones.

That being said, the Fitbit Versa 2 is the second version of the highly-successful Versa line of watches and its strongest feature is its sleep tracker.

Not only does this watch monitor your blood oxygen saturation levels, but it does a pretty good job of tracking the quality of your sleep.

Aside from that, it also comes with various features for active people like a fitness tracker, a heart rate monitor, and training programs to help you get fit.

If there is one thing that they could have added to make this watch perfect, it would be a built-in GPS tracker. Other than that, this watch deserves consideration.

9.Fossil Gen 5

Fossil Gen 5

Price: $295

Based on the Wear OS, the Fossil Gen 5 might be devoid of some of the features that can be found in smartwatches from Apple or Samsung, but if you really like the said operating system, this is one of the best out there.

It still comes with your standard array of features that are found in others such as a fitness tracker, heart rate monitor, and mobile payment functionality.

The watch has 1GB of RAM and although that may not seem a lot to you, it actually does make a difference in terms of its overall performance.

What I love about this is that you can set your own battery modes. You can tailor it to your needs so that its battery life can be extended if you do not need the other features.

It is a bit on the bulkier side at 44mm but again, this is one of the best that Wear OS has to offer.

10.Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945

Price: $534

Another amazing watch for active people, the Garmin Forerunner has a lot of fitness-specific features that will help you get more from your workouts.

You can design a program that works for you and you can assign different time markers to help you know if you need to switch to another exercise and so on.

It is definitely one of the biggest smartwatches on the market at 47mm but despite its large build, it is incredibly lightweight at only 50 grams.

To use this watch on your iPhone, you will have to download the Garmin fitness app on your device and have it synced from there.

Conclusion

A smartwatch is more than an extension of your phone. It can handle anything on its own. That being said, Apple smartwatches are special and all of the aforementioned timepieces should work perfectly with the iOS.

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo

Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.

You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.

That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!

Design

For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.

The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.

Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.

With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.

For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.

On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.

At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.

Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.

Sound Quality

Amazon Echo

If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.

This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.

Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.

Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.

Smart Features

Google Nest Audio

To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.

The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.

On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.

It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.

However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.

Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.

Availability

The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review

When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.

That being said, the 8th generation iPad was just released after the new iOS 14 update was launched. But, if you already have a 6th or 7th generation iPad, should you upgrade to the new one?

Design

Apple iPad 8th Generation Review 2020

There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.

You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.

Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.

Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.

There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.

Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.

Display

Apple iPad 8th Gen

The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.

You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).

What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: A12 Bionic
  • GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB/128GB
  • Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
  • OS: iPadOS 14
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Battery: 32.4 Wh

So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.

While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.

Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.

Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games

Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.

It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.

Apple iPad 8th Gen Review

Verdict

Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.

However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.

My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.

If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.

The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.

Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.

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Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes

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Amazon Echo Studio Review

Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.

It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?

Design

One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.

The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.

You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.

Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.

Audio Performance

Amazon Echo Studio Review 2020

The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.

I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.

Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.

An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.

So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.

3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.

I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.

To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.

The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.

You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.

Features

Amazon Echo Studio

Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.

Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball. 

For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.

You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.

You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.

Conclusion

Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.

The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.

You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.

Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?

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The 10 Best iPhone Smartwatches to Get Today

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Best iPhone Smartwatches 2020

iPhones are a technological marvel because it paved the way for other phone manufacturers to create their own smartphones. We are now in a new era of technology because of that.

And, while these capable phones are fine on their own, it would be best if you also get a smartwatch for it.

More than just a mere extension of your phone, smartwatches are actually pretty handy. Today, I am going to talk about the top 10 iPhone Smartwatches for your iPhone.

Why Buy a Smartwatch?

A smartwatch does a lot of things. While your iPhone is more than capable of doing a lot of things on its own, getting a complementary piece would make it even better.

These new-age watches act as a fitness tracker, your mobile heart sensor, and it can also serve as an extension of your mobile device.

With that being said, I will now go over some of the best options that you can find on the market.

Top iPhone Smartwatches

1.Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5

Price: $399

Let’s start off the list with the watch that was designed by the company that made the iPhone, Apple.

The Apple Watch Series 5 is a very capable smartwatch and is the 5th and newest version of the famous timepiece. It has a built-in heart sensor, a digital compass, and you can also listen to music on it as well.

It’s got an OLED ‘Always-On’ display that will make it easier for you to find out what the current time is. The good thing about the screen is that it has a sensor that can detect ambient light so that the brightness will adjust accordingly for better readability.

The watch has a titanium and ceramic finish which makes it look premium and it does still retain some design principles from its predecessor. It comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes.

There is just one major issue with the watch: Its battery life. On a full charge, it can last only up to 18 hours compared to its predecessor that can last two times more than that.

Still, with its robust feature set and its amazing integration with the iPhone ecosystem, it is definitely a must-have for Apple users.

2.Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3

Price: $199

If the Series 5 is too expensive for you, the Apple Watch Series 3 is still quite a competitive one to get. Now, you might be surprised why the 4th version is not here. Well, that is because the company does not sell them anymore.

Anyway, the Apple Watch Series 3 is pretty much the same as its newest brother in that it has a built-in heart rate monitor, digital compass, sleep tracker, and the works. You can even use Apple Pay with it as well.

Unlike the newest version, however, the Series 3 is a bit smaller at 38mm and 42mm. It still has a relatively short battery life at 18 hours, but since the price tag is also much cheaper, then this might be more appealing to you.

3.Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Price: $190-$199

For quite some time, both Samsung and Apple were the kings of the smartphone space. The former uses Google’s Android mobile operating system, while the latter uses its very own OS.

That being said, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch is made for Android devices, it still works perfectly well if you have an iPhone.

Where this watch shines is its build quality and its performance. It uses the company’s Tizen OS that proves to be snappy no matter what the use-case is.

It has a larger build quality at 42mm and 46mm and has an OLED display that provides you with an ‘Always-on’ screen.

I really love the rotating bezel on this thing and it being IP-certified makes it appealing to use if you go swimming.

Unlike the Apple Watches mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Watch actually has pretty competitive battery life.

On the 46mm model, the battery can last up to 4 days while its smaller sibling lasts a little bit lower than that (but still longer than the Apple Watch).

Even though the said timepiece is originally made for Android devices, it still works amazingly well on an iPhone.

4.Fossil Sport

Fossil Sport

Price: $200

The Fossil Sport is an affordable smartwatch for the iPhones. It sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100 chipset and makes use of the ever-popular Wear OS found in some Android smartwatches.

Its performance package is really good. You will experience no lags or stutters whenever you go through the different menus and it is pretty capable of handling some tasks from your iPhone (such as reading emails messages, making calls, etc.).

The watch is 43mm in diameter and is supported by a 22mm strap (which is interchangeable).

The Fossil Sport is lightweight, has all of the usual smartwatch features such as a fitness tracker and heart-rate monitor, and has a good 390 x 390 AMOLED display.

My only issue is that the watch uses a proprietary charger, so in the event that you lose it, you may have to buy another one from the company.

5.Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Price: $339

If you are an active person and you want a smartwatch that you can depend on, then the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is for you.

Think of this as your reliable fitness partner as it is touted by many experts as one of the best (if not the best) fitness smartwatches that you can find on the market.

Anyway, the watch comes in two sizes: 40mm and 45mm. This is good since previous versions only come at a uniform size.

It is swim-proof, gives you the ability to make mobile payments via Garmin Pay, and has competitive fitness tracking features.

Battery life is superb as the unit can last up to 7 days.

One standout feature of the watch is that it can suggest to you some workouts when you need them.

The downside to this is that it may experience some occasional syncing issues, though they are quite rare.

6.TicWatch E2

Mobvoi Ticwatch E2

Price: $159.99

An inexpensive smartwatch for iPhones that pack a punch, the TicWatch might not be as popular in the U.S., but it certainly is in other parts of the globe.

It uses the latest version of Wear OS and it has an always-on OLED display, making the on-screen elements crisp and readable.

The watch’s battery life is one of its strongest suits because it can last up to 10 days with moderate use.

If you are using a smartwatch for mobile payments, though, that would not be possible with this one since it doesn’t come with NFC.

7.Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (1)

Price: $279.99

Sure, the Apple Watch Series 5 is pretty good and has seamless integration with the iOS found in your iPhones, but do not scoff at the idea of getting a watch that was made for Android.

The Samsung Galaxy Active 2 was originally designed for Android smartphones, but it certainly works well even on the iOS platform.

Having said that, the watch comes at 40mm and 44mm and has a circular design that a lot of people may find quite appealing.

Based on Samsung’s Tizen mobile operating system, the watch is very capable of doing a lot of things.

Where it shines, though, is its fitness capabilities. Whether you are running, swimming, or just doing anything under the sun, this watch can provide you with some handy features that can help you track your progress and performance, among many others.

While this watch has a sleep tracking feature, it is not as accurate as of the Apple Watch Series 5. And oh, the watch doesn’t come with heart-rate monitoring, though, since the company would have to wait for the FDA’s approval before they can implement the said functionality.

8.Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2

Price: $199.99

Fitbit is another fitness-focused brand that manufactures smartwatches that can work in both Android smartphones and iPhones.

That being said, the Fitbit Versa 2 is the second version of the highly-successful Versa line of watches and its strongest feature is its sleep tracker.

Not only does this watch monitor your blood oxygen saturation levels, but it does a pretty good job of tracking the quality of your sleep.

Aside from that, it also comes with various features for active people like a fitness tracker, a heart rate monitor, and training programs to help you get fit.

If there is one thing that they could have added to make this watch perfect, it would be a built-in GPS tracker. Other than that, this watch deserves consideration.

9.Fossil Gen 5

Fossil Gen 5

Price: $295

Based on the Wear OS, the Fossil Gen 5 might be devoid of some of the features that can be found in smartwatches from Apple or Samsung, but if you really like the said operating system, this is one of the best out there.

It still comes with your standard array of features that are found in others such as a fitness tracker, heart rate monitor, and mobile payment functionality.

The watch has 1GB of RAM and although that may not seem a lot to you, it actually does make a difference in terms of its overall performance.

What I love about this is that you can set your own battery modes. You can tailor it to your needs so that its battery life can be extended if you do not need the other features.

It is a bit on the bulkier side at 44mm but again, this is one of the best that Wear OS has to offer.

10.Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945

Price: $534

Another amazing watch for active people, the Garmin Forerunner has a lot of fitness-specific features that will help you get more from your workouts.

You can design a program that works for you and you can assign different time markers to help you know if you need to switch to another exercise and so on.

It is definitely one of the biggest smartwatches on the market at 47mm but despite its large build, it is incredibly lightweight at only 50 grams.

To use this watch on your iPhone, you will have to download the Garmin fitness app on your device and have it synced from there.

Conclusion

A smartwatch is more than an extension of your phone. It can handle anything on its own. That being said, Apple smartwatches are special and all of the aforementioned timepieces should work perfectly with the iOS.

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo

Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.

You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.

That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!

Design

For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.

The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.

Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.

With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.

For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.

On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.

At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.

Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.

Sound Quality

Amazon Echo

If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.

This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.

Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.

Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.

Smart Features

Google Nest Audio

To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.

The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.

On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.

It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.

However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.

Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.

Availability

The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review

When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.

That being said, the 8th generation iPad was just released after the new iOS 14 update was launched. But, if you already have a 6th or 7th generation iPad, should you upgrade to the new one?

Design

Apple iPad 8th Generation Review 2020

There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.

You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.

Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.

Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.

There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.

Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.

Display

Apple iPad 8th Gen

The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.

You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).

What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: A12 Bionic
  • GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB/128GB
  • Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
  • OS: iPadOS 14
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Battery: 32.4 Wh

So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.

While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.

Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.

Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games

Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.

It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.

Apple iPad 8th Gen Review

Verdict

Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.

However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.

My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.

If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.

The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.

Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.

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Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes

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Amazon Echo Studio Review

Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.

It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?

Design

One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.

The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.

You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.

Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.

Audio Performance

Amazon Echo Studio Review 2020

The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.

I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.

Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.

An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.

So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.

3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.

I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.

To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.

The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.

You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.

Features

Amazon Echo Studio

Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.

Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball. 

For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.

You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.

You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.

Conclusion

Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.

The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.

You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.

Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?

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