Anker’s Audio Brand, Soundcore, Is Releasing More than a Dozen New Speakers

Perfect timing to usher in the summer season, Soundcore, Anker’s audio brand, is releasing a bunch of new headphones and speakers. Soundcore develops high-quality products at a lower price, perfect for audio enthusiasts who are budget-conscious but want quality as well. These new speakers are great for their impeccable battery life, which is a specialty of the Anker brand. Here are a few of the new products they’re coming out with very soon:

Flare and Flare+

Even with their petite sizes, the Flare and Flare+ sure pack a great punch. They are water-resistant, which makes them perfect to take with you on a beach trip or by the pool. The Flare is priced at an affordable $59.99, and they come in several color options such as black, red, gray, and blue. On the other hand, the more advanced Flare+ retails for $99.99, with its louder sound and 20 hours of playback capability. The Flare+ will launch in August.

Space NC

These are headphones with over-ear cushions that are noise-canceling. They can last up to 20 hours of playback, complete with noise cancellation and 40 mm dynamic drivers. The design is sleek and chic with a matte finish. These headphones are priced at $99.99 and have been up for sale since last 14th of May. They will become available online at Amazon towards the end of May.

Liberty Lite

With the popularity of Apple’s AirPods, the Liberty Lite is Anker’s attempt at producing a better version. These were made to be a cheaper version of the Anker Zolo Liberty, which cost $99 and launched earlier this year. They are considered to be the first ever sweatproof sports earbuds available on the market, equipped with Anker’s innovative SweatGuard technology. The Liberty Lite earbuds are able to run for 3.5 hours after every charge. They will sell for $69 and are set to launch on June 18.

Split Series

The Split Series consists of 3 earbud pairs with varying battery lives and prices. They are sweatproof and designed specifically for athletes and active fitness enthusiasts. The Spirit is a set of in-ear earbuds that is priced at $39.99 with 9 hours of battery capacity, while the Spirit X is more hook-styled and has 12 hours of battery life, selling for the same price of $39.99. The Spirit Pro, on the other hand, is a premium choice at 10 dollars more with a 10-hour playback time and a Qualcomm chip.

More audio products are set to be announced by Anker in the coming weeks. Among the most anticipated is the Infini series, which are advanced soundbars for television and can also double as Bluetooth-capable speakers. The BassUp technology and the newest SweatGuard technology give these new Anker products an edge. The Anker Innovations brand is a leader in consumer and charging electronics and, with this new venture with Soundcore, they are looking to continue taking the lead, although quietly, in the audio game.

The Best Phones for Gaming on the Market Right Now

Smartphones are just that—smart. These devices are specifically designed to cater to human interests and to offer convenience, whether it’s for productivity or entertainment. One of the most prominent uses for smartphones, especially for the younger generation, is gaming.

Of course, not all smartphones are created equal. There are niches that big brands cater to, groups who have specific preferences such as the selfie-conscious crowd or the busy executives. This is why each phone is developed with a special feature that will sell to a specific group. As such, the gaming crowd is a particularly picky bunch, with their tech know-how and detailed specs preferences.

If you’re a part of this crowd and looking for a phone that will give you the ultimate gaming experience, here are the 5 best phones for gaming available on the market today:

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

After giving us a blast—literally—the previous year, Samsung has made a major comeback with the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It is considered to be the most ambitious flagship phone that Samsung has ever released. It has a crisp Infinity Display and houses powerful internal support perfect for heavy gaming. Its screen measures 6.3 inches with an AMOLED display and an excellent resolution of 1440p.

Under its sleek hardware, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 runs on Snapdragon 835 SoC with an Adreno 540 GPU and an octa-core 2.35 GHz processor. It has a 6 GB RAM and 256 GB internal storage. As for battery power, it has a capacity of 3,300 mAh.

OnePlus 5T

The OnePlus 5T is the cheapest phone on this list, without sacrificing performance. It has a new edge-to-edge screen that will give you an excellent viewing experience with its 1080p display. It also houses a Snapdragon 835 SoC, Adreno 540 GPU, and an octa-core 2.45 GHz CPU. It has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB internal storage. The battery power is also good, with a capacity of 3,300 mAh.

iPhone 8 Plus

Considered a top contender as the best gaming phone, the iPhone boasts excellent internals that will wow gaming fans. It is a classic iPhone with bezels at the top and bottom of its 5.5-inch display. The display is great with an IPS LCD 1080p, although not as great as the others on this list. As for its internals, it packs an A11 Bionic chipset, hexa-core CPU, and an Apple GPU. The downside is that it only has 3 GB worth of RAM.

Razer

A popular brand in the gaming community, the Razer phone lives up to its name. Its display features a reset rate of 120 Hz, making it the best display out of all the phones on this list. It has an IPS LCD of 5.71 inches with 1440p resolution. It houses a powerful Snapdragon 835 with Adreno 540 graphics and 2.35 GHz processor. As for storage, it has a staggering 8 GB of RAM, although it only has 64 GB internal storage. Among its best features is the battery power—an impressive 4,000 mAh battery pack that will last you through a gaming marathon just fine.  

What Is Android P? The Next Version of Android

If you’re an Android user, Android P is about to take over your digital life. During Google’s 2018 keynote event, which took place May 8–10, the tech giant highlighted its aim to make smartphones flexible for its users. This is mainly done through a comprehensive UI cleanup. The majority of these changes and updates will be on Android P, which is a follow-up to last year’s Oreo release.

There’s still time away before the new Android OS becomes available to the public. But even in its beta form, Android P is already exhibiting a great deal of promise. And while certain features and specs are bound to change before its official release, for the time being, here’s what you need to know about Android P:

Gesture-Based System

In 2011, Google launched the three-button navigation system—Back, Home, and Recents—via Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Since then, the system has grown to be an iconic Android feature that users have come to know and love. After seven years, this beloved navigation system will be replaced by a brand new gesture-based system. With the new Android OS, Google will heavily rely on gestures for user interface navigation.

This is how the new system works:

  • To go to Home, click the Home button.
  • To access the Recents page, swipe up.
  • To launch the app drawer, either make a long swipe or do a double swipe.

The Back button will appear on certain apps, and only if needed.

These combined actions of taps and swipes can be a bit confusing. But experts anticipate that Google will present a more sophisticated and polished version of the new gesture-based system in the final build.

Round and Vibrant User Interface

The visual improvements in the new Android OS are not as extreme as the changes made from KitKat to Lollipop. But Android P will certainly display noticeable changes compared to Oreo. Two obvious updates are easy to spot: the rounded corners of icons and the more colorful icons seen in Settings.

Another noticeable thing about Android P is its vibrancy. It has a more lively and dynamic feel compared to previous versions of the operating system. But this isn’t much of a surprise. Between the new gesture-based system and improved animations, Android P is definitely Google’s most animated OS yet.

Petit Four or Popsicle?

Google has already presented tons of information about Android P, but its official dessert-themed name remains undisclosed. There are a lot of speculations floating online, but the top contenders are Petit Four and Popsicle.

It’s not common knowledge, but prior to Google settling on alphabetized dessert names, Android 1.1. was known internally as Petit Four. As such, it’s likely that Android 9.0 will be named after this tiny, delicate French cake.

Alternatively, the new Android operating system may be introduced as Android 9.0 Popsicle. This isn’t a far-fetched idea since Google already used a frozen dessert before, the Ice Cream Sandwich.

Since Google hardly ever reveals the names of new OS versions during conferences, we can likely expect the announcement a few weeks before Android P’s release date.

 

Alexa Blueprints: Amazon Just Released a New Way for Users to Customize Alexa

If you’re an Alexa user, you’ll find Amazon’s newly released Alexa Blueprints a lifesaver. Not only does it make using Alexa less complicated, it also lets any beginner, with or without experience, use Alexa pretty well with ease.

What is Alexa?

For those who haven’t heard, Alexa is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon. It was originally developed to be used in Amazon Echo and the succeeding Amazon Echo Dot speakers back in 2014. Given that it is a virtual assistant, it has voice interaction capabilities, along with music playback, to-do list functionality, alarm setting, podcast and audiobook playback, and the usual traffic conditions, weather reports, and the latest news updates. It can also function as a home automation system as it can remotely control smart devices.

Alexa is activated through a wake word, while on other devices, a user will need to press a button to activate the listening mode on Alexa.

What is Alexa Blueprints?

Almost four years later since Alexa’s launch, Amazon has developed Alexa Blueprints. Alexa Blueprints is a new way for users to customize Alexa, giving them the chance to add new skills and responses without having to alter Alexa itself. There are no coding skills needed. Users can now create voice apps of their own and teach Alexa how to respond to certain questions. Be it a slew of stories for the little ones or some trivia games, Alexa Blueprints can help even those who have zero coding skills customize their own experience.  

How does one use Alexa Blueprints?

Given that it is marketed to those who have no prior background in app building and coding, Alexa Blueprints is very simple to use. You can create a new skill or personalized response on Alexa by simply visiting blueprints.amazon.com, where you can select a template to work with.

There is a selection of 20 templates available for users to customize. The templates are arranged under categories of interest, such as Learning & Knowledge, Fun & Games, Storyteller, and At Home. Once you’ve chosen a design, it is pretty straightforward from there. You simply enter your information or the things you want featured in your app. After you are finished filling up the template with your desired content, you can publish Alexa’s new skill or response with just a quick click of a button. Once you’ve published it, this new skill or response will now be available on all your devices that are Alexa-enabled and linked to your personal Amazon account.

 

With Alexa Blueprints, there are no complicated steps, nor will you even need to look up how to use it. The templates are available for you to try out before you are ready to make your own. Advanced users can of course proceed to making more complicated skills and responses to their own liking. Alexa Blueprints is a great way to personalize Alexa for all its users, whether they are tech-savvy or not.

How to Block and Filter Phone Numbers on Your iPhone with the Tools in iOS

Our phones receive tons of notifications, and they’re usually more than enough to keep us busy throughout the day. As we try to catch up with every single notification, we would often receive unsolicited calls or messages—in other words, spam.

Not to mention, there may be some people in our lives we’re not so keen to get in touch with. Whatever the personal reason may be, all you want is to rid your phone of unwanted messages. Whether it’s a telemarketer or someone we’d rather not talk to, we all have that one person we wish we could easily delete from our phone.

The good news is there are actually two easy ways to achieve this. The best part of it all is that you can do it discreetly without letting them know that you’ve blocked them. This guide is written for those who currently own an iPhone. So, for all iOS users out there, read on below to find out how to block and filter phone numbers on your iPhone.

Block This Caller Option

The easiest way to block a number is by using the Block this Caller option. As long as you have the sender or caller’s record on your phone, you will be able to use this option.

One way is to access the person’s number through the Phone app. To start, simply tap on the Phone app and head over to the Recent section. Find the number you wish to block, and you will see a blue “i” icon next to it. Tap on the “i” and scroll down to find the Block this Caller option. After you’ve tapped the option, you are now freed from the caller or sender.

Another way is to block the person through the Messages app. All you have to do is to find the conversation with the person, and you will see the blue “i” icon. Tap on it and find the Block this Caller option below.

Call Blocking Management

If you would like to access a list of all the contacts you’ve blocked, you may do so through the Call Blocking Management settings.

To access this list, you would need to head over to Settings. From there, you will find a list. Tap on Phone or Messages and it will bring you to another set of options. Go to Blocked or Call Blocking and Identification to manage all blocked contacts.

 

Once there, you will be able to see all the numbers you’ve blocked. If you would like to unblock someone, find the Edit tab in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. After tapping on it, you will find a red minus symbol beside each blocked number. To unblock, tap on the symbol.

Alternatively, you can also block someone while on the Blocked or Call Blocking and Identification page. Below the list of blocked numbers, you’ll find a Block Contact tab. Tap on it and search for the number you’d like to block.

Moto E5, Moto E5 Plus, Moto E5 Play Specifications and Price

Lenovo-owned Motorola didn’t just stop with the new Moto G6 Series this year. To accompany the G6 Series, they’ve also announced another line of smartphones to their roster: the Moto E5 Series. The Moto E5 series is currently composed of 3 models, namely, the Moto E5, the Moto E5 Plus, and the Moto E5 Play.

With the G6 right above the line, the Moto E5 series was actually created to accommodate a more entry-level segment. In fact, many have already named it as the ultimate budget phone of the year. However, this definitely doesn’t mean that the E5 falls behind the G6 in quality.

For a phone that’s friendly to the wallet, the E5 has a lot of promising features that are definitely worth more than the price it came with. The Moto E5 and E5 Plus will be available to the Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Latin America by June 2018. However, the E5 Play will be restricted to customers in the USA only.

For now, read on below to find out more about this series before it hits the shelves.

Moto E5 Price and Specifications

At an MSRP of EUR 149, the Moto E5 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo and it comes with a 5.7-inch LCD in 1,440 x 720 pixels. And for an entry-level phone, it has an impressive 13-megapixel camera—the best among the three.

The Moto E5 has a 2GB storage, expandable up to 128GB. It also has a notable battery capacity of 4,000 mAh—a far cry from the average of 2,800 mAh with other phones.

Moto E5 Plus Price and Specifications

The Moto E5 Plus is definitely at the top of the series with an impressive 5,000 mAh battery life and TurboCharge support. This system is said to provide extra power of up to 6 hours with just 15 minutes of charging time.

This phone also has a 6-inch LCD size, the biggest among the three. It is also the only phone in the E5 Series that has an 18:9 display ratio. Although its camera isn’t as advanced as the E5, it surely does not lag behind with its 12-megapixel camera. Also running on the Android 8.0 Oreo system, the E5 Plus has a storage of 3GB and is also expandable up to 128GB.

At EUR 169 MSRP, the E5 Plus is an entry-level phone that deserves to be at the top.

Moto E5 Play Price and Specifications

The price for the E5 Play has yet to be revealed, but based on its specifications, one can guess that this model will be the most budget-friendly of the three. With its display size at 5.2 inches, the E5 Play is obviously the smallest of the bunch. Its camera is also at the lower end of the spectrum with a resolution of just 8 megapixels.

And compared to the generous battery life of both the E5 and E5 Plus, the E5 Play has an average battery capacity of just 2,800 mAh. Also running on Android 8.0 Oreo, the phone has a 2GB storage, expandable up to 128GB.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs. Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X

No one can deny that smartphones are in the prime of their development today. The bad news is that consumers are becoming even more confused as to which smartphone to purchase.

As of today, the Sony Xperia XZ2, Samsung Galaxy S9, and the iPhone X are at the top of the list. Perhaps you’re looking for the smartest phone of the bunch and would still like to get your money’s worth. Here’s the rundown on the best qualities of each phone:

Design

Smartphone designs today are not very different from each other. But if there’s one aspect that consumers still take into consideration, it would have to be the overall size of the device. If bigger means better for you, the Sony Xperia XZ2 wins this round by a few millimeters. Alternatively, if you prefer something slim, the iPhone X is your choice among the three.

Display

In relation to the phone size, many people look to the display as well. Despite being the bigger phone in size, the Sony Xperia XZ2 has the smallest resolution among the three. It comes with a display size of 5.7 inches, while both the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S9 have a display size of 5.8 inches. However, the Samsung Galaxy S9 wins by a couple of pixels in resolution.

Camera

For all the photo junkies out there, you’ve probably already heard that these smartphones offer the best in photo quality. But if you’re looking for the ultimate choice, you might be interested in getting the Sony Xperia XZ2. With an impressive 19-megapixel camera, there’s no other phone that can give you a crisp and clear photo. On the other hand, both the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X are at a tie, both having 12-megapixel cameras.

Hardware

There are definitely some consumers who don’t care too much about appearances. But what matters most is what’s on the inside. Bearing this in mind, both the Sony and Samsung phones have the higher system memory at 4 GB RAM, while the iPhone X comes with only 3 GB RAM.

And no conversation about hardware will be complete without a comparison of storage. As we all know, the highest storage memory of an iPhone X at the moment is at 256 GB, while both the Sony and Samsung phones have their built-in storage at 64 GB with possible expansion up to 400 GB.

Battery life

When it comes to battery life, the Sony Xperia XZ2 clearly wins this round, having a capacity of 3,180 mAh. This number significantly means that it has the longest music and video playback time as well. At the other end of the scale, the iPhone X has a capacity of only 2,716 mAh, falling behind the 3,000 mAh Samsung S9. Now that we have listed the best smartphone for each category, the choice is yours to make. We hope that this simple guide was able to help you make a decision. Enjoy your new phone!

Thin, Powerful, and Secure as the Surface Laptop

Microsoft has definitely stepped up their game when it comes to creating innovative laptops that can rival Apple’s MacBook. Released only June of last year, the Surface Laptop comes in a sleek non-convertible clamshell design that draws minimalists and tech geeks alike.

Availability and value for money

The Surface Laptop starts at $799 dollars, and it carries an Intel Core m3-7Y30 processor. It has a RAM of 4GB and SSD storage up to 128GB. For upgrades on the specifications, the price will go higher depending on what you want.

Considering its price, the most basic Surface Laptop features would do fine for most users who will mostly use Windows Store apps on it. The Windows 10 S operating system restricts users to Windows Store apps, which are not as resource-hungry as other apps and will not cause the laptop to slow down. It also saves on a lot of battery power.

Overall, even for the most basic user, the Surface Laptop is a premium notebook comparable to other laptops in its league, and it is definitely worth the money.

Design

One of the most attractive attributes of the Surface Laptop is its sleek design that screams efficiency and modernity. It is 13.5 inches wide and is considered to be among the most attractive laptops ever produced by Microsoft. It features a lid and body fully built with aluminum, giving it that premium look. This material choice has kept the Surface Laptop light and durable, eliminating the risk of dents and scratches as compared to other materials. Its keys, however, are made of plastic, but the keyboard is covered with the Alcantara fabric, giving it that soft, velvety feeling when used.

The Surface Laptop’s speaker is placed behind the keyboard, using the gaps between the keys as the grille. This is a feature that has kept the laptop from being too bulky. When it comes to its weight, it is somewhere in between Apple’s MacBook, which weighs only 1.08 kg, and Dell, which weighs about 1.29 kg. With a weight of 1.25 kg, it’s light enough to carry around in your bag for daily errands and you can easily carry it with one hand.

Specifications

The Surface Laptop features a vibrant screen with PixelSense touchscreen display that is made with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The screen resolution is pretty impressive at 2256 x 1504, with 201 as its pixel density. The laptop’s screen is taller than it is wide, with an aspect ratio of 19:9, giving users more room when they are working. It’ll have an impressive widescreen display when used to view photos and videos, especially movies.

 

Overall, the Surface Laptop is a thin and powerful premium notebook that will give you your money’s worth. Its design is elegant with just the right amount of the modern industrial vibe with its aluminum cladding. It is efficient enough for your daily tasks at home or at the office, and light enough to carry around when traveling.

ZTE is the First Company to Bring a Smartphone Running Android Go to the US

In this rapidly advancing digital age, choosing what phone to purchase is just one among the many dilemmas gadget consumers face. More than ten years since Apple released the first iPhone, the number of smartphone users has been growing steadily. In fact, almost half of the world’s population today owns a smartphone.

We all have our own preferences and reasons for purchasing a phone. The most popular brands that sell cell-phones today continue to stay competitive in terms of quality in order to keep up with the market’s demand. Before purchasing, smartphone buyers take into consideration several factors such as affordability, camera features, storage, performance, and hardware. Those who are looking for a variety of choices when it comes to hardware design and price tend to opt for Android.

Just last year, Android Oreo Go Edition, more commonly referred to as Android Go, was introduced to the public.

What is Android Go?

Android Go is a simplified form of Android crafted to perform well on less sophisticated mobile phones with limited processing power and RAM. It takes up less storage space precisely because it provides apps that are stripped-down variants of the default Android apps – giving you Go editions of YouTube, Maps, Gmail, and others. Even lightweight versions of Instagram and Skype are now available.

Another highlight that the operating system offers is the chance for you to save on mobile data. For instance, on YouTube Go, you can see how much data will be used for the resolution you choose in streaming a video. This is particularly useful for people living in countries having very costly data plan packages with not much to choose from.  

ZTE First to Bring Android Go Smartphone to the US

The ZTE Tempo Go, now available for only $80, was released in the US earlier this year. It looks pretty plain and basic. It’s designed with a 5-inch screen with a resolution of 854 x 480, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB storage, and a 5 MP rear camera. It also includes a 2MP front camera and a 2,200 mAh battery capacity.

The phone’s specs are quite minimal and may not be highly impressive compared to the best-selling smartphones out there but with Android Go, users can still enjoy a smooth experience at par with the standard Android – and at an even remarkably affordable price.

ZTE was among the six companies to announce its Android Go smartphone at the Mobile World Congress this year. Alcatel is also expected to release a smartphone running Android Go in the US this year.

Although Android Go was designed to primarily target countries where lower priced phones sell more than famous expensive brands, ZTE was sure to include the US in their market. Through this, US buyers with not much to spare when it comes to phone-shopping can also relish in the advantages of a cheap but good-quality smartphone.

When they first came out, smartphones weren’t as accessible as they are today. Thanks to the ZTE Tempo Go and other phones powered by Android Go, you can now enjoy the benefits of a smartphone costing below $100, which nonetheless gives you the experience you’re looking for.

The News and Rumors About Apple’s New iPhones 2018

It’s never too early to talk about the up and coming iPhones. Now that the highly-anticipated iPhone X has hit the shelves, everyone’s turning their attention to the 2018 model. And most are hoping it will be better than the last — or should we say, hoping all three iPhones are significantly more advanced.

Yup, you read that right. You might be seeing three new iPhones this fall.

Apple seems to have an entirely new vision for their flagship line, and they’ll be turning that into a reality this year.  But what does that mean for the consumer?

Will prices hit the roof? Will you have to sell cellphone units that are preloved to afford a new iPhone? Will they be worth the upgrade?

Here’s everything we’ve heard about this year’s line-up:

Three iPhone Models: Sizes, Specs, Prices, and Names

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the poor demand for the iPhone X will lead the Cupertino-based tech giant to discontinue the 5.8-inch models. According to him, the notch holding the device’s sensors is partly to blame for its unpopularity as it gave consumers the impression that the device comes with less usable space than the iPhone 8 Plus.

Kuo believes that Apple will eventually get rid of the iPhone X. Instead of using it as a lower-cost alternative in the succeeding year, the device will be discontinued in the summer of 2018. Replacing the 10th-anniversary iPhone is a trio of devices which will be available in various sizes, specs, and prices.

Sizes

The first in the lineup is supposedly a second-generation version of the iPhone X. Much like it, the device will feature the same 5.8-inch OLED display.

The second is more of an iPhone X Plus version. It is the largest in the lineup and will also sport an OLED display.

The last and definitely the cheapest of the three is a 6.1-inch iPhone. Unlike the other two, this model won’t have an OLED display and several other iPhone X features.

Specs

All three devices will feature the TrueDepth camera system that will be able to support FaceID. That means you won’t be seeing more of home buttons and Touch ID fingerprint sensors in Apple’s flagship smartphone series.

The 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iPhones are expected to come with the same features as the iPhone X while the 6.1-inch variant won’t be equipped with most of them. For instance, the smartphone will have an aluminum frame instead of a stainless steel one. It will only have a single lens for the rear camera, and it may not even support wireless charging.

Prices

By cutting the aforementioned features, Apple will be able to keep the cost low for the 6.1-inch smartphone. As for the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch devices, it might still be priced at $999 and $1,099, respectively.

Names

Since Apple is rumored to be gradually moving past the iPhone X, you probably want to know if, at the very least, the moniker will stick. The company might decide to adopt this new naming scheme to usher in this big change in their flagship series. However, we won’t know until Apple makes it official.

The same goes for the rest of the information mentioned above. Apple has neither confirmed nor denied these statements. Hence, you must take all of it with a grain of salt.