While most of the smartphones that you can buy on the market all use the Android operating system, there is still a sizable number of devices that use the iOS ecosystem.
The iOS, when you look at it objectively, provides a stable platform for most users and if you want to extend its reach to wearable devices, then you will need a smartwatch for that.
If you are looking for the best smartwatch that you can buy for your iPhone, you are in luck. I will recommend only the best for the platform. Without further delay, let’s get started.
Best Smartwatches for the iPhone
1.Apple Watch Series 5
If you are looking for the best smartwatch to pair with your iPhone, then one need not look too far away as the Apple Watch Series 5 is the best one yet.
Unlike its predecessors, the 5th version of the Apple Watch has an always-on display, so if you want to know what the time is, you do not need to press any buttons or tap the screen to do so.
It is quite expensive but it actually comes with a lot of nice things. It is using the latest version of Watch OS that has many improvements across the board. Not only that but the interface is so much smoother now more than ever before.
You will also be getting a smartwatch that has a 1.78-inch OLED display that is vibrant with amazing brightness for outdoor activities.
It is water-resistant up to 50 meters which means that you can use this when you are in the swimming pool or when you are taking a shower.
The Apple Watch 5 is also considered to be one of the best sleep trackers that you can wear, so if you want to know the quality of your sleep, you can use this one as well.
It charges wirelessly which is a good thing. But, my main gripe with the 5th Apple Watch is that its battery life is abysmal at only 36 hours.
Still, for the features that you are getting and its seamless integration with the iOS ecosystem, the Apple Watch Series 5 is the best smartwatch to buy for your iPhone right now.
2.Apple Watch Series 3
Now, you might be wondering why I do not recommend the Apple Watch Series 4 in this article and that is because it has plenty of issues which, until now, have not been ironed out by Apple. So, you go a bit lower and go for the Apple Watch 3.
Aside from its amazing battery life, the Apple Watch Series 3 runs on Watch OS 6 which means that you get all of the same basic features that are also offered in the 5th iteration of this device.
You get to choose between two different sizes: 38mm or a 42mm model, but if you opt for the latter, you will be paying a little bit more.
For $200, you are getting the non-LTE version which means that you can only connect to a wireless network if you want to enjoy some online functionality.
You could grab the 4G/LTE version that allows you to use Apple Pay while on the go, but that would, again, be an extra expense.
Still, the Apple Watch Series 3 is pretty easy to recommend and I am glad that its price is now considerably better, especially for people that want a seamless smartwatch that they can pair with any iOS-enabled devices.
3.Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the first smartwatch on this list that doesn’t come from Apple. But, despite it being manufactured by a different company (let alone, a major competitor of Apple), this particular product has all of the bells and whistles for most users, especially those that are always on the go.
This thing can pair up with your iPhone without any problems. Since this smartwatch is meant for active users, this thing can take a beating. It is waterproof and sweat-resistant so even if you are using this extensively in the gym, it can handle any punishment you throw at it.
People that want a relatively accurate heart monitor will also love the fact that the Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes with one. In fact, it even alerts you if your heart rate is way too low for a normal person.
Its battery life is good as it can last up to 7 days and you can charge this device wirelessly for convenience.
The Fossil Sport is one of your more stylish watches that can still be used by active users as well.
Aside from its IP68 rating, it can go a full two days on a single charge so you have plenty of room to tinker with the device’s capabilities.
Its 1.2-inch AMOLED display has enough brightness for outdoor visibility and its screen real estate also allows you to quickly and easily get a hold of this watch’s features.
It does have GPS which is quite rare for a smartwatch at this price point and you can connect this to your home network if you want to use some online features as well. Sadly, it doesn’t have a 4G/LTE version which means that you cannot use Apple Pay or other cashless payment methods unless of course there is WiFi connectivity in the establishment you are in.
The watch is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon’s 3100 wearable chipset and it runs on Wear OS, so if you’ve used a device that runs on the same operating system, this should feel right at home.
Although this thing lacks some high-end features that are normally found in more premium devices, the Fossil Sport still provides excellent functionality at a relatively affordable price.
5.Huawei Watch GT 2e
Another smartwatch that provides amazing value, the Huawei Watch GT 2e is another great Apple Watch alternative.
Unlike most smartwatches with a square or rectangular display, the GT 2e has a familiar round 1.39-inch AMOLED display that just feels right. It provides enough screen real estate for you to enjoy its plethora of features.
Although this is a stylish watch, you can also use this device for sports as well since it comes with an activity-tracking feature that allows you to track different sports and activities as you see fit.
Its 5ATM water-resistance means that you do not have to worry about wearing this thing even if you submerge yourself underwater for quite some time.
It also has sleep tracking capabilities but it is not as accurate as the Apple Watch Series 5. Still, it is there if you still want to know some information about the quality of your nightly slumber.
Apart from its design and performance, the Huawei Watch GT 2e is lauded for its amazing 2-week battery life. That is a 14-day battery capacity with moderate use.
The only downside to this (and it is not a fault of the watch itself) is that users from the U.S. may have to find an alternative as this is not being offered in the country due to the US Trade War against China.
Still, if we talk about a great Apple Watch alternative, the Huawei Watch GT 2e is definitely a good choice.
6.Withings Steel HR Sport
If you want a smartwatch that is sleek and stylish and doesn’t look like a children’s toy, then the Withings Steel HR Sport is for you.
It comes with a leather strap to ensure that you are looking suave while you are wearing this amazing device.
Although it is not as feature-rich as the others, it doesn’t have some basic smartwatch functionality such as the ability to send and receive messages, receive notifications, sleep tracking, and so much more.
It is worth noting that you might have a bit of trouble when pairing this watch with your iPhone. Apparently, it has something to do with its operating system. But, once it is synced up the first time, connecting this thing to your iPhone should be seamless from that point onward.
7.Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit is a renowned brand when it comes to smart wearable devices and if you want a smartwatch that also serves as a reliable fitness tracker, then the Fitbit Versa 2 is for you.
It can seamlessly integrate with the iOS platform and has your usual fitness tracking capabilities such as a heart rate monitor, the ability to track steps, and so much more.
Its design allows you to comfortably and confidently wear this thing when you are outside thanks to its stylish looks.
I love the fact that you can use Spotify or any other music streaming services on this thing, so skipping a track, for example, is quite easy to do now when you are using the Versa 2.
One major downside (for some users) is the fact that this thing doesn’t come with GPS. But, if you are okay with that, the Fitbit Versa 2 is definitely what I would consider as one of the best Apple Smart Watch alternatives on the market.
If you are a fan of Wear OS devices, then the TicWatch Pro will be right up your alley. Aside from the fact that you can instantly pair this with your iPhone, this smartwatch has a pretty cool feature.
You see, the TicWatch Pro has two displays: One OLED display that is paired with an LCD screen at the bottom. If the watch’s battery runs out (which by the way, lasts for 2 full days), you still have the other display to give you important information such as the time, how many steps you’ve taken, among other things.
Because it uses Wear OS, navigating through its different menus and features is easy to do. So easy, in fact, that even the complete beginner will have no problems doing so.
It does come with GPS and NFC which means that you can instantly pair with your iOS-enabled devices and you also have the ability to track this watch if you’ve lost it somehow.
My only gripe with this thing is that it uses a relatively old chipset in the form of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 but other than that, the TicWatch Pro is still worth considering.
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
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.
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.
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.
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.
Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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