Last year, the Microsoft Band might not have been as successful as the Redmond giant had wanted it to be, but it was nonetheless an impressive step for the company as their first foray into the wearable market. The Microsoft Band 2 is supposedly coming this year, and the press renders that were leaked today suggest we’re in for a pretty neat new device from the company. The Microsoft Band 2, as it is being called in the tech community, will most likely see the light of day by the end of the month, if rumors are correct.
The Microsoft Band 2 release date is supposedly set for the first week of October, when Microsoft is said to announce the new Surface Pro 4 and maybe the Lumia 940 or another Lumia flagship to showcase Windows 10 Mobile with. While we’re not completely convinced that this is what Microsoft is planning, there are few ways that things can go and this seems to be most likely.
The renders of the Microsoft Band 2 showcase a not so different device from last year’s simple, a bit blocky, wearable. The new addition to the wearable portfolio of the company will sport the same style, but judging by the images, the company refined materials and redesigned the inner parts of the band to fit more comfortably.
Although the Microsoft Band 2 is still not looking like a truly innovative device, sources tell us it’s going to be an innovation in wearable technology. Since there’s little difference between the first and second generation devices, if these renders turn out to be real, we’re not expecting too much out of it. Still, sources say we should be looking more at the Samsung Gear S2 when thinking of competition than any other wearable, which leads us to believe Microsoft is adding a data connection or SIM card support to the new wearable.
Although pinpointing features that will be included in the next generation of Microsoft wearables is a hard task, we can try to piece together the bits and pieces of leaked info that has built up over the past few months. One guess that seems plausible is a new set of fitness tracking capabilities that would allow athletes to monitor their jumps, count the stairs that they climb and even determine altitude. A heart rate sensor (still optical, most likely) and a pedometer are a given when it comes to wearables and Microsoft is no exception.
Sleep tracking, notifications, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, water resistance and iOS and Android compatibility are also supposedly part of the Microsoft Band 2 feature-list. Although the Band 2 is less interesting than the Surface Pro 4 or Microsoft Lumia 940, it is still a curious device that people are looking forward to see and test out for themselves. With a rather big push into IoT over the past few years, we’re bound to see something innovative in the field from Microsoft sooner or later.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Return to All-Time Low Price at Best Buy, Grab a Pair for $80 Today
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live may be the better option if earbuds with a stem design, like Apple’s AirPods, feel unpleasant or frequently fall out of your ears. These bean-shaped true wireless earbuds are among our top picks because of their cutting-edge design and excellent sound, which we found to be even better than the original AirPods Pro. And right now, Best Buy has the opportunity to get them for less than half the regular cost. Only today, you can save $70 and get a pair of Galaxy Buds Live for just $80, which matches the lowest price we’ve seen thus far.
One of the most affordable pairs of earbuds you’ll find in this price range is the Galaxy Buds Live, which retail for about $80. They have three microphones for active noise-cancellation, as well as a 12mm speaker that has been adjusted and improved for bass for rich, immersive sound. Although they still let in a good bit of background noise because of their open-ear design.
The Buds Live feature an IPX2 water-resistance rating, making them safe to use during workouts and resistant to sweat and splashing, but you shouldn’t use them in the rain. They can operate for up to 29 hours on a single charge, including top-ups from the charging case, which doubles as a wireless charger for your phone. There are smaller reductions on other colors as well, but this offer is only valid on the white and black color options.
Read more in the 2020 Galaxy Buds Live review by David Carnoy. He gave them an 8.2 out of 10 and stated, “They’re quite unique-looking, inconspicuous, and not only do they fit securely, but they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time.”
In the upcoming fall, Sony’s wireless earbuds will support multipoint connections
Sony is not just using environmentally friendly materials to upgrade its wireless earbuds. Now, the business claims that multipoint audio functionality will be added to its LinkBuds, LinkBuds S, and WF-1000XM4 models this fall. This allows you to switch between the audio on two Bluetooth devices, just as other competing earbuds. For instance, while watching a video on your tablet, you can switch to a call on your phone.
Sony’s Headphones Connect app offers fresh firmware that is necessary for the enhancement. The multipoint update for the LinkBuds family should be available by November, while the WF-1000XM4 should follow suit this winter.
The WF-1000XM4 upgrade is fairly unexpected, as The Verge noted. Midway through 2021, when Sony first began to market that device, it had not even hinted at a multipoint update. The news won’t help you much if you have cheap headphones like the WF-C500, but at least you won’t feel left out if you spent a lot on wireless audio last year.
Sony now has a competitive advantage over some of its rivals, at least. While competitors like Apple’s AirPods offer smooth audio switching, you’re typically constrained to a single brand’s environment. If you don’t want to be restricted to specific platforms or goods merely to avoid slogging through Bluetooth device menus, Sony’s multipoint functionality might make more sense.
At $250, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 reaches a new low.
If you’ve had your eye on the brand-new Galaxy Watch 5 from Samsung but were awaiting a discount, one is now available. The 40mm model in three hues (Grey, Pink Gold, and Silver) is available for $250 on Amazon’s Woot site, saving you $30 or 11% off the list price.
In our previous review, the Galaxy Watch 5 received a strong 85 points, and we once again dubbed it “the greatest non-Apple smartwatch.” Over the Watch 4, Samsung concentrated more on improving it, giving it a longer battery life (up to 80 hours), stronger Sapphire Crystal glass, and an inactive temperature sensor.
The design and features are otherwise unchanged, which is a good thing. With a touch-sensitive ring surrounding the screen and a snappy 5-nanometer Exynos processor, it runs Wear OS and employs Samsung’s bezel-based navigation. This offers you access to a variety of apps, sleep tracking and coaching, health and fitness tracking, and countless other features. The body-impedance analysis tool allows you to take ECG scans, reply to messages, control music playing, and more. It also allows you to acquire a reading of your body composition.
The sensors are kept in contact with your wrist by the slightly curved underside, which is rated IP68, 5ATM, and MIL-STD-810H for durability (water, dust and pressure resistance). The biggest drawback is that, in comparison to the Apple Watch 7, battery life is significantly reduced with the always-on display. Even so, it’s the greatest Android smartwatch currently on the market, and discounts on such a brand-new product are uncommon. Remember that Woot’s offers have a shorter expiration date and a different return policy than its parent company, Amazon.
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