Iterative improvements refine the big update that was Android 12
Android 13 was released with much fanfare in August 2022, and the Google Pixel 7 Pro and its smaller sibling are the company's first phones to launch with the new operating system. In contrast to its predecessor, Android 12, this release only offers a handful of updates. It's more focused on making refinements and fixing up little bits and pieces here and there that were left over after the big Material You interface overhaul that Android 12 brought to the table. Like Android 12L, Google's tablet and foldable-focused mid-term update, Android 13 is less exciting, but it still comes with some select quality-of-life improvements for all the best Android phones out there.
The new Kindle for 2022 brings some big upgrades, including USB-C
Amazon is back again with the latest base Kindle, and it's called the All-new Kindle (taking a page out of Nintendo's misguided book.) This 11th-generation model is finally bringing plenty of long-requested features at a $99 price point. The most significant addition is the new 300ppi high-res screen, alleviating the blurry text the base Kindle was known for.
Budget phones are getting seriously good
Samsung has a phone for sale at just about every price point. While this has worked out very well for the company so far, it also means that Samsung has to compete with itself almost as much as with other manufacturers. Between the low-cost Samsung Galaxy A13 5G and the mid-range A53, it can be challenging to decide which phone deserves your money. Should you spend additional cash on one of the more powerful Android phones, or opt for a real budget device that might not deliver the performance you need?
They would still be nice, though
The Edifier W240TNs have a very plain bullet-style earbud design, but the hardware tucked away inside is much less run-of-the-mill. Rather than a single speaker driver, Edifier has opted for a 6mm and 10mm coaxial driver combo. Multiple drivers are less surprising in wired in-ear monitors, and this same coaxial arrangement is common with automotive speakers.
Exceptional hardware fulfills a tiny but respectable niche
Just like Google, ASUS has refined its hardware strategy with its sixth attempt. The ROG Phone 6 Pro is a distinct upgrade over last year's ROG Phone 5, paired with a continued focus on providing the best mobile gaming experience on the market.
You shouldn't have to choose between beauty and brains
Setting fitness targets and defining a new, healthier routine isn’t too hard. What’s more demanding is staying on top of these goals and making sure you stick to your new lifestyle in the long run. Thankfully, there are different ways you can ensure you’re following your new objectives with the help of dedicated health and fitness apps and smart fitness trackers.
The Halo View is a budget fitness tracker that feels lightweight and performs like it until you tap into the resources waiting in the Halo app
With the Halo View, it seems Amazon literally wanted to show you what its fitness tracking can do. Considering the company's previous tracker, the Halo Band — a device without a screen like the Fitbit-style View — it's likely that the goal here was a more traditional tracker with a more affordable price.
It only took five years, but Google finally got it right
The Pixel Buds Pro are Google's fourth crack at wireless earbuds (and its third pair of true wireless buds). With the exception of 2017's awkward first generation, which had a wire connecting the two buds and a hard-to-use charging case, each pair has been generally good, but never quite on par with what Google's competition was offering.
The new Chromecast is an economical way to get Netflix on your 1080p TV
The first Chromecast, launched way back in 2013, was a novel, dirt-cheap way to get your streaming content onto your TV. Subsequent Chromecast iterations have largely stuck to that ethos, but none have been able to match the original’s accessible $35 price point — that is, until the Chromecast with Google TV (HD).
The Momentum 4’s Achilles heel could be a deal-breaker
Legacy audio brand Sennheiser has been putting out great gear since the ‘40s, and it hasn’t slowed down: its Bluetooth headphones and earbuds are some of the greatest you can buy, regularly vying for best-of picks against market leaders like Sony. Sennheiser’s newest ANC headphones, the Momentum 4, offer outstanding audio quality that can go toe-to-toe with anything else in their segment and battery life that puts most headphones to shame — but middling performance in other areas means they might not be right for everyone.
Google's first smartwatch wows on style and build quality, but fumbles on some fundamentals
Wear OS has been around since 2014. In all that time, we’ve seen Android-powered wearables from Motorola, Fossil, Mobvoi, Samsung, and more — but until now, Google itself hasn’t built a single smartwatch. Now, we've been introduced to the very first Google Pixel Watch.
When having every option ever is too much of a bad thing, not a good thing
Amazfit's GTR 4 could have been an incredible smartwatch, but its mind-numbing user interface and sloppy companion app make messing with this device a chore, and I can't emphasize this any stronger.
Pristine clean floors with little effort
Robot vacuums are a simple way to keep your floors clean while requiring minimal attention and maintenance, as long as they work as expected. Unfortunately, many of them underperform, but high-performing ones such as the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra can cost a thousand dollars or more!
Despite some weak points, this is a great phone for $220
When a budget-friendly carrier-exclusive phone is announced, it’s natural to expect a lot of red flags. T-Mobile has been launching self-branded phones under the REVVL brand for several years, and as spec-to-price value continues to increase, it’s only producing better results over time. The new REVVL 6 Pro 5G is the latest to join this series, and thanks to a combination of software, performance, and battery life, it’s turning out to be one of the best budget phones I’ve ever used.
First attempts are hardly ever this good
Beyerdynamic is practically royalty in the headphone world, but the Free Byrds are the company's first true wireless earbuds. A latecomer to the premium earbud category, Beyerdynamic needed to start strong with highly competent, premium noise-canceling earbuds if it wanted to live up to its own reputation, especially with a $250 price tag
True audiophile-quality music has never been this portable
High-end audio has always been a pricey hobby, with people willing to spend ludicrous amounts of money for the best listening experience possible. Unfortunately, the best Android phones today don't have DACs powerful enough to satisfy audiophiles, let alone a headphone jack to take advantage of.
Respectable sound quality, solid battery life, and IP67 resistance provide a reliable portable audio companion
The latest iteration of JBL’s signature mini Bluetooth speaker is a graceful evolution. Taking a quick look at the Flip 6, the differences from the Flip 5 seem a bit minor. While things like the USB-C charging port, power and Bluetooth buttons, and various media control layout look the same, there have been some clever updates.
An affordable option to keep an eye on your yard
A smart security system is one of the best ways to ensure your home is safe from theft and intrusion when you're away. Sadly, many of these cost a lot and are usually associated with a mandatory subscription, which adds a financial burden that's not always justified.
Great audio and amazing ANC, but they ain't cheap
All the anymore have active noise canceling — they use a combination of software and hardware techniques to identify and neutralize sound in your environment before it reaches your ears. But it’s always been an immutable fact of ANC that over-ear headphones, by virtue of being larger, can provide better ANC than earbuds can.
This is where the G Series really shines
Motorola has gained a massive foothold in the smartphone space over the past year, and that’s in no small part due to a compelling selection of budget and midrange devices, including the Moto G 5G. Armed with the decently powerful MediaTek Dimensity 700 and 6GB of RAM, you’d be hard-pressed to find a smoother running device at the same price point. However, Motorola's update guarantee is a bit anemic, and the display is pitiful compared to other budget-friendly devices.