When you have a competitive Android mobile device, it is pretty good on its own. However, I think that if you do not include a smartwatch with it, you are really missing out.
You see, smartwatches not only tell you the time (in a more convenient way), but it can also serve as an extension of your phone.
In this article, I will talk about the Top 10 Android smartwatches that you can buy today.
Top Android Smartwatches
1.Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
The first watch on the list is highly recommended by a lot of Android users. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is Samsung’s offering to fitness enthusiasts.
The company is well-known for including vibrant and legible screens and that is evident in this timepiece. It comes with their own Super AMOLED display that makes things easy to read no matter the current lighting conditions are.
It is based on Samsung’s own Tizen operating system and the difference between this and Google’s Wear OS is that it is more responsive and battery-friendly.
The watch’s biggest selling point is its exercise-tracking capabilities. It allows you to program your own workout regimens and it comes with other nice features such as a GPS tracker, a food and water tracker, sleep tracking, heart-rate monitor, and so on.
Battery is not its strongest suit, though, but for its capabilities, this is definitely one of the best there is.
2.TicWatch Pro 4G
If you love an oversized watch that has a built-in LTE, the TicWatch Pro 4G has got you covered.
Owning a smartphone is kind of like a double-edged sword. On the one end, it can help you with a lot of things. On the other, it can also prove to be a huge time-sink.
If you do not want to hold your smartphone but would still like to receive notifications while on the go, the TicWatch’s LTE connectivity should still help you get connected no matter where you are (so long as there is a signal coming from your provider).
For its internals, it runs with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chipset, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage. Its processor, although a bit outdated, is still competitive nonetheless.
3.Mobvoi TicWatch E2
Although not as stylish as the other smartwatches for Android, the MobVoi TicWatch E2 is quite competitive; both in its price and its features.
It is powered by Google’s Wear OS technology, has the usual features found in other smartwatches such as fitness tracking capabilities, GPS, etc.
One standout feature of the watch is that it has what the company calls its Automatic Workout Detection feature that will instantly track your fitness progress whenever it detects fast movements.
The watch strap that comes with it might not be appealing to a lot of people but the good thing is that you can replace it with the one that you like.
Garmin is a brand that produces smartwatches specifically for active individuals. However, the Venu is actually one of its more stylish ones.
It comes with all of the company’s usual features such as a built-in exercise program module, heart-rate monitoring, GPS, activity and sleep tracking functionalities, and it even has a Pulse Ox sensor that can help monitor your blood oxygen saturation levels as well.
The watch is sleek and stylish but the only problem from an aesthetics standpoint is that it only comes in one size (43mm), which might be too big for some wrists.
Still, it is a pretty nice smartwatch to have if you are an Android user.
Fossil is still a relative newcomer in the smartwatch space but its newest product, the Fossil Sport, is arguably their best one yet.
It has a very amazing 390 x 390 AMOLED display, comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 Quad-core (1.2GHz) processor, and has respectable 2-day battery life. The timepiece is also rated at IP68 so you don’t have to worry about wearing it even in dusty and wet conditions.
The features of the watch are the same as other companies except that this watch is lightweight and is quite snappy (thanks to its powerful components).
Where it falls flat, though, is its proprietary charger. If you do not have a problem with that, then the Fossil Sport is a worthy consideration.
6.Skagen Falster 3
Now, the watches that I’ve mentioned thus far are all too bulky and style may not be their best suits. However, if you just want a smartwatch that has form and function, the Skagen Falster 3 is the one to get.
Skagen is a Danish watch brand that is known to make exceptionally stylish watches and this timepiece definitely is one of their best yet.
It is powered by Wear OS and you have a choice of choosing three different types of straps: Leather, silicone, or metal.
Anyway, the watch has three buttons. Its main one is the crown and you can use it to set the time, as well as navigate through the OS’s functions.
There really is nothing negative to talk about this watch other than its price.
7.Samsung Galaxy Watch
The previously-mentioned Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is what I would consider as the best overall Android smartwatch, but do not forget about the original version.
The latest Samsung Galaxy Watch is definitely one of the best out there and that is largely thanks to the company’s OLED display, as well as its well-known Tizen OS.
What’s really great about the watch (aside from the standard smartwatch features found in others) is its rotating bezel.
By default, you can navigate through the OS with it, but you can also do other things with it as well.
Although it comes with its own AI implementation in the form of Bixby, it still rivals Google’s own virtual assistant.
Still, with an impressive 4-day battery life and the style that comes with it, the Samsung Galaxy Watch is in the upper echelon of Android smartwatches, hands down.
8.Fitbit Versa 2
The biggest selling point of Fitbit smartwatches is, well, its features for active people. Not only does it track your activities and progress, but it also helps you track your sleep as well.
It is IP certified which means that you can swim with the watch on your wrist, take it to the shower, or even sleep with it.
The watch’s integration with the Android operating system is one of the best that I’ve ever seen. It can sync all of its tracked data seamlessly to your phone so that you can track your progress accordingly.
Even though this watch doesn’t come with a built-in GPS, it still makes up for it with its rich feature set.
My only gripe with this is that although you can switch its watchband, it is cumbersome to do so.
9.Huawei Watch GT 2
Most smartwatches, although they come with great features, do not look stylish at all. That is why there are still some people that do not like wearing them. Well, you might change your mind about this next watch.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 combines both form and function into one neat package. It looks really stylish and its feature set is pretty good overall.
It rocks the company’s own watch operating system and because of that, its app support is not as robust as the others.
Still, its style is not something to ignore.
Smartwatches might be extensions of your smartphone, but they are actually originally intended to work as fitness trackers, first and foremost.
For serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts, the Suunto 7 has got you covered. Aside from its accurate fitness tracking capabilities, it integrates well with Google Fit and can provide you with your own exercise program (that you can tinker with yourself).
It runs on Wear OS and even though, for the most part, the watch works as intended, you may experience some lag because of it. That is just the nature of the OS since it is still being refined by Google.
This is a really big watch at 50mm and if you are not a fan of oversized watches, this might turn you off.
But, with added functionality, this sporty smartwatch is fit for active individuals.
There is more freedom in the smartwatches that you can pair with your Android device. After all, it is an open-source operating system.
The watches from Samsung and other prominent brands should work with your device. You just have to find what works for you best.
A smartwatch usually comes with fitness tracking capabilities, sleep tracker, heart rate monitor, and the works.
Do keep in mind that some companies would choose to focus on one aspect. For example, one smartwatch might not focus on GPS but might instead focus on sleep tracking.
Ultimately, you will be the one to decide what kind of smartwatch you want for yourself.
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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