Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Icon Q Boundless H3 Introduces Beauty And Simplicity To Bluetooth Headphones

There is no doubt about the abundance when it comes to personal audio gear like Bluetooth headphones and it is also true to say that some makers are overdoing it on the design department, making the cans look absolutely clunky and complicated and topping that up with a wallet-busting price tag. Remembering that we need headphones that looks good and not one that looks like it was ripped out from Mission Control Center.

If you appreciate simplicity, then may we turn your attention to the Icon Q Boundless H3 Bluetooth headphones. This super sleek wireless audio cans from a young, New York-based outfit has only two goals: value for your money and look good while at it. packed into each rectangular earcup is a 50mm driver that promised to have both the low and high frequency covered, while super comfy ear cushions provides wear comfort and keeping ambient noise out, letting you immerse in what you are listening to.

Built-in Bluetooth 4.0 technology cuts you from the cable clutter and entanglement, providing up to 33 feet (10 meters) of wireless music enjoyment, while on an onboard rechargeable battery provides up to 10 hours of playback. There is also NFC built into it, enabling super quick, hassle-free pairing of the Boundless H3 with NFC-enabled devices and it is totally smartphone-friendly too, allowing you to take calls at a touch of the button. Speaking of controls, full control of the music such as skipping of tracks, volume adjustment, play/pause, is available to you directly from the beautifully integrated buttons on the side of the headphone.

It has an adjustable headband and it has a collapsible design that allows it to be folded into a really convenient package for easy storage and transportation. The Icon Q Boundless H3 Bluetooth Headphones is expected to retail for just $110 when it becomes available sometime this month.

Samsung's First Tizen Phone, The Samsung Z

We are avid watchers of new gadgets and so it is only natural that we get excited when we were hit up by a PR text from Samsung saying “Samsung launches industry’s first Tizen Smartphone”, but alas, our excitement was short-lived. While it is true that the South Korea giant has officially let the specs (we will come to that later…) out and claims that the first Tizen-powered handset, the Samsung Z, is the first commercially available smartphone, it won’t be available to you and me anytime soon – unless you are in Russia or some CIS countries. Aesthetically, the Samsung Z breaks the Samsung design language by opting for an angular design in a reasonably thin profile of 8.5mm. fronting the devices is a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, while under the hood is an unnamed quad-core processor clocking in at 2.3GHz, 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage that’s, as always, expandable up to 64GB via microSD.

So why should we get excited about Tizen-powered device? well, for starter, Tizen is yet another open-source operating system which promised “a fast, optimal performance with improved memory management.” additionally, the Tizen 2.2.1 running on the Samsung Z also promised faster startup time and “immediate multi-tasking capabilities.” according to Samsung, it will have “superb 2D and 3D graphic qualities, smoother scrolling and an improved rendering performance for web browsing.” promises are promises, how well it really works out remains to be seen. Anyhow, also built into the Z is a fingerprint sensor and an ‘Ultra Power Saving Mode’ that will enable the handset to continue operation even with minimal juice left.

The Tizen is also customizable, allowing you to tailor the UI using Dynamic Box and Color Theme. Design-wise, the handset looks ‘ok’. Really nothing jaw-dropping as much as Sammy might have wished for and at glance, it looks kind of like the handset might have pulled an Android handset’s design and stuff Tizen-specific specs into it. That said, we are not a huge fan of the fake stitching, similar to those found on a couple of Samsung Android models including Grand 2 and Note 3, on the back cover.

The Samsung Z is set to be available in Q3 in Russia with an unannounced price. There are plans to expand to other markets, but we doubt it will be reaching elsewhere other than CIS territories. In any case, a Tizen Store will also be launch in conjunction with the Samsung Z, but don’t expect a whole lot of stuff in there. Like other platform, it will take time for the apps to start piling up.

Blu Introduces 2 New Octa-Core Smartphones

Super phone is the seldom heard words in the world of smartphone, but that won’t stop BLU Products from claiming its new flagships, the LIFE 8 and VIvo IV, as super phones. and to top that off, it also stake the claim as the first mobile devices to be available in Americas with “true octa-core mobile processing.” both devices are powered by MediaTek’s MT6592 SoC featuring an advanced eight-core processor and Mali 450-MP4 GPU, promising “industry-leading multimedia capabilities and excellent power efficiency.” kicking off the duo is the Vivo IV, now into its fourth iterations, sporting a 5-inch Super AMOLED Full HD display with protection offered by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It has 2GB RAM and 16GB onboard memory, but no mention of expansion slot, so we are assuming it is a no, which means you will have live with the meagre 16GB.

However, we are sure you will look past this ‘shortfall’ if you knew has an amazingly affordable price tag of $299. Unlocked and contract-free. Other details on the Vivo IV include 2G/3G radios, HSPA+ 21Mbps support, 13MP rear-facing camera, 5MP front-facing camera, a built-in 2,300 mAh lithium polymer battery, wireless ac, Bluetooth 4.0 technology, plus the usual servings of connectivity and sensors. it also worthy to mention that this device measures a cool 5.5mm thin and is no doubt designed as an eye-pleaser. Just check out the angular design with large chamfer edges.

We though it looks pretty elegant and sophisticated. Up next is the LIFE 8, which though share the same processor and GPU, is only blessed with one GB of RAM and a super modest 8GB of storage. But storage is expandable up to 64GB with microSD card. In fact, there is really nothing to shout about other than the eight-core processor. expect details like a 5-inch HD IPS display with OGS Touch display and Full Lamination technology, a 8MP rear shooter and a 2MP front-facing imager, wireless ac, Bluetooth 4.0, a non-removable 2,000 mAh battery, dual sim support, plus the garden variety of connectivity and sensors.

Then again, the LIFE 8 has a really attractive price point: it is expected to retail for $199, unlocked and contract-free, of course. Both device will run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean at launch, but expect a jump to Android 4.4 KitKat in June 2014. Keep your eyes peeled on Amazon as they will be available through Amazon.

The Ecool Cranks Out Earth-Cooled Beer One Can At A Time

Having a cold one when you are in your humble pad doesn’t seem much of an issue, but when you out in the yard for extended period of time, cooler box is about the only way to keep the beer cool untethered (apart from shuttling back and forth from the yard to the kitchen). While inventions like the SolarCooler offers a solar-powered solution to keep your booze cold in an environmentally friendly way, Danish firm eCool proposed another eco-friendly solution with a more ancient approach by going down into the earth, literally. The idea behind eCool is to use the earth’s natural cool, which mankind has been doing for centuries with cellars and food shelters, to keep your cold one cold, or at least cool as compared to the blazing heat on the surface.

Obviously, it won’t be able to chill your can booze like a fridge does, but it will at least keep them from becoming yucky warm beers. However, if you are into warm beers (don’t laugh, some folks do), then you can forget about this 1,895 Danish Krone (about US$346) contraption, or any form of cooler box for that matter. the entire setup is 1.13 meters (3.7 feet) tall, measures 22-30 cm (8.7-11.8 inches) across, which means you will have to dig a pretty sizable hole to ‘install’ it, but once the deed is done, you all good to load up 24 cans of your favorite booze or soda and be greeted with earth-cool drink whenever you need one. According to eCool, it is advised to use a garden drill, though it can also be done with good’ol shovel if you are man enough to do so.

Retrieving and loading of the can drinks are done manually via a hand-crank. Just pop the giant bottle cap-like top up and start cranking away. the eCool underground beer cooler is no doubt a novel approach to keep the beers cool, but it looks like it is more suitable for use in your yard, as 12 kilograms (26.5 lbs) is quite a heft to be lugging to the beach or campsite and that’s not to mention the manual labor required – if the beach or campsite even allows you do so in the first place.

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