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smart-speakers
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Google Home Max. The Smart Speaker You’re going to Love.

Smart speakers are beginning to hit the shelves Are they worth the buy or is this just another way for google to infiltrate your home.

With offerings by the likes of Amazon, Apple, Sonos, and Microsoft. Smart Speakers are combing your home speaker with an added voice assistant.

The $399 Price tag if Google Home Max Might be a bit of a shocker, but it does seem to be the best option for someone looking in this space. The device it self is a solid 12 pounds, is a similar size to the PLAY:5 device from Sonos.

Inside you’ll find four drivers, two 4.5-inch long-throw woofers and two 0.7-inch tweeters six Class-D amplifiers, and six far-field microphones. Outside there’s a switch to mute the microphones, a USB-C port, and a 3.5mm jack to connect the speaker to an AUX or external audio source.

The components are wrapped in a plastic shell available in two colors: “Chalk” or “Charcoal.” Or, in layman’s terms: dark grey or white. Its shell doesn’t feel high-end like speakers encased in wood, nor does it offer the aesthetic value, but Max doesn’t feel cheap, either. We’ll consider the aesthetic value a neutral; it’s not visually offensive, but it’s styling doesn’t convey the $399 price tag, either.

As for control options, there’s a touch strip on top that offers the ability to turn volume up or down by swiping right or left. Or, you can tap the center to pause or play. Tap works as intended, but the volume control swipe is finicky and not-at-all reliable. Luckily there’s a mobile app that offers fine-grain controls for everything else, including bass and treble — which I didn’t find myself adjusting all that much.

With a pricey speaker though, it’s all about sound. Google excels here. It’s not Sonos, but it’s closer than you might think. Vocals are clear, if a bit sharp at times, and low frequencies are as punchy as you’d expect in a speaker this size. The low end occasionally drifts out of control but overall performs admirably and compares favorably to most speakers in this price range.

As single enclosure, Home Max does have stereo capabilities — it has two woofers and two tweeters, remember — when positioned horizontally. When you stand it upright, sound switches to mono, allowing you to connect a second speaker for “real” stereo sound. While capable of stereo, the soundstage isn’t really there in the horizontal orientation, and I didn’t get a chance to try two units in a traditional stereo configuration.

It’s clear enough to separate individual instruments, but doesn’t really offer the opportunity to place them, mentally, on a stage in front of you. Some tracks feature excellent spacing and clear representations of the soundstage. But more often than not, they don’t. It’s really hit or miss.

Max still sounds great. But given the close proximity of the internal speakers, just inches apart, this is a problem Google is going to have to AI its way out of.

Volume-wise, it’s impressive. In a small space, Max gets far louder than I’m comfortable listening to. In larger rooms, it offers vibrant, rich, room-filling sound assuming it’s orientated in your direction; it’s not omni-directional, like Echo.

Home Max features a smart tuning mechanism called “Smart Sound” that calibrates the speaker for the size of the room it’s in. It’s a bit like Sonos’ ‘TruePlay’ but without the frenetic waving of an iOS device to calibrate the sound (TruePlay also doesn’t work with Android devices). Unlike Sonos, there’s no need to re calibrate; move it, and Max automatically adjusts the sound.

It’s unclear how beneficial this is, as there’s no option to turn the feature off. To me, it seemingly sounds the same in every room I put it in. So if that was the goal, mission accomplished.

Perhaps the biggest draw of Home Max is the always excellent Google Assistant. The six far-field microphones do an excellent job of picking up voices, even from distances of 20-ish feet or so. Even with loud music, I can typically trigger the assistant to adjust volume, skip tracks, pause, and interrupt whatever I’m listening to in order to ask a question.

My favorite feature though might be Voice Match. Once set up, Google Assistant will deliver differing commute times, calendar entries, and daily briefings depending on who’s doing the asking. It works exceptionally well at discerning who’s asking the questions and delivering the appropriate results.

On the connectivity front, Max works with any service that supports Google’s Cast protocol. Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, and others work without issue. Apple Music does not. You can, however, stream music over Bluetooth, or plug in your device using a 3.5mm jack — if yours still has one.

For the money, Home Max is easily best in class. It doesn’t sound quite as good as the Sonos One (but it’s close, real close); and it’s not as small as Apple’s HomePod; but when measuring features against price it’s still the superior option.

Options, though, are plentiful.

HomePod might be the best choice for an all Apple ecosystem. Or Audiophiles that care less about a great smart assistant and dazzling AI might favor Sonos. And those just looking to break into the smart speaker game would be over the moon with a $100 Echo.

ihphoneX
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Got the new iPhone X? Here’s our 5 Must Have accessories

With the launch of the iPhone X, Apple Inc. is writing new chapters of success in the history books of smartphones. This highly anticipated smartphone is Apple’s first infinity-display phone with a bunch of exciting features. Although iPhone X is a great phone, you cannot really get the best out of it without some iPhone X phone accessories. There are many different accessories available in the market that can simplify your life, however, here we will discuss top 5 of them. Let’s get started:

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iPhone X Case

iPhone X has a really high price and if you don’t care for it, you will really have to bear a significant loss. Unless you plan to buy AppleCare+ or iPhone X insurance, you should look for a suitable iPhone X skin. An iPhone X case costs around $10 but it can save you a lot of bucks by protecting your screen and the glass back. There are a lot of iPhone X cases available in the market today that can not only protect your phone from potential damages but enhances its look also.

iPhone X Wireless Charger

Those who are looking for the comfort of charging their phones should consider getting an iPhone X Wireless Charger. iPhone X supports wireless charging and you can easily charge your phone at your study desk. Good iPhone X wireless chargers start from around $60 but you can find cheaper ones from Amazon and other online stores. Before buying a wireless charger, please note that it is not the fastest way of charging but a convenient one.

Fast Charger & USB C To Lightning Cable

If you are looking for the fastest way of charging your iPhone X, you should look to get a fast charger for your phone. iPhone X supports fast charging and if you find the right USB C to Lightning Cable, you can charge your device up to 50% within 30 minutes. Apple’s genuine USB C to Lightning Cable is available for just $25.

Wireless Headphones

The joy of listening to your favorite music doubles if you are using top quality headphones. The uncanny thing about iPhone X is that there is no headphone jack on the device. The device comes with Lightning EarPods and a dongle, but if you want maximum bass and sound, you should consider going wireless. If you want maximum comfort and better sound quality, you should consider AirPods. These fit easily in your ears and connect automatically to the device.

Car Charger

iPhone X is the kind of device you cannot resist using. This is the reason why its battery can easily get drained. However, you don’t have to worry. If you travel often, you should consider getting a Fast Car Charger. It connects easily to your car and charges your iPhone X quickly. In just 30 minutes of the drive, you will have sufficient battery on your phone.

These are the top 5 iPhone X accessories selected by BestBuy that you should consider buying in order to get the most out of your phone.

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NOMU T18 Rugged android Phone
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Rugged Android Phone Keeps You Connected Anywhere You Go

Although most of us are looking for the latest Android phones that come with a sleek design and thin body, the outdoor lovers among us rather choose for a durable and tough rugged phone. Rugged smartphones have become more and more popular throughout the past decade. These durable phones usually feature an IP68 rugged design which makes them fully resistant to water, dust, and drops. They have been designed to withstand a hit. This makes rugged phones perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and for people such as engineers who work in rough environments.

 

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Just like any other Android phone, rugged phones come in all sorts and sizes. As of late, Chinavasion has added one of the latest rugged smartphones to our assortment. This Android smartphone comes with the latest hardware and software features alike and, like all rugged phones; it features an extremely tough body. Below, we’ll have a closer look at all its top-end specifications – explaining why we have chosen this Android phone to be this week’s product of the week.

 

NOMU T18 Rugged Android Phone

With its IP68 rugged body and abundance of outdoor features, the NOMU T18 smartphone is the ultimate Android phone for anybody who loves heading out into the wild. This waterproof smartphone features an extremely durable design. It is resistant to water, shocks, and dust. Therefore, you’ll be able to use it in any environment imaginable. Whether you use it at home, a construction site, or out in the forest – this Android phone will never let you down.

 

 

The NOMU T18 rugged phone supports 4G connectivity and Dual-Band WiFi. This means that it lets you stay connected to the internet at any given moment. You’ll be able to stay in touch with friends and family no matter where you’re at. As a real high-end rugged phone, this smartphone also supports a Walkie Talkie feature that allows you to stay in contact with people nearby even when there is no phone signal available. Along with its GPS support, this is the perfect outdoors phone that keeps you connected at all times.

Within its rugged body, this Android smartphone packs a powerful Octa-Core processor. Clocked at 1.5GHz, this CPU put forth an outstanding performance for you to enjoy. Along with 3GB of RAM, you’ll be able to tackle the most demanding software features available without ever experiencing any lag. The cell phone furthermore treats you to 32GB ROM and a 32GB SD card slot. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about running out of storage for your favorite files and media anytime soon.

 

 

The latest Android 7.0 operating system will treat you to a smooth user experience. On the phone’s 4.7-Inch HD Display, you can enjoy all the media of your liking in stunning color and detail. The Android phone furthermore treats you to a 5200mAh battery that gets you through multiple days of regular smartphone usage. This cell takes away all your worries about running out of juice while heading outdoors.

On the rear of this rugged smartphone, you can find a sophisticated 8MP camera. This snapper lets you shoot breathtaking pictures and video of all those special moments in life. Along with the NOMU T18 also comes a 1MP external camera accessory. This little gadget lets you record clear video and comes in particularly handy in certain industries such as construction work. With its ultra-fast fingerprint scanner, this Android phone can be unlocked in the blink of an eye and features great security.  To further increase your overall user experience, the rugged phone supports NFC, OTG, and Bluetooth for extra connectivity.

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