Tag Archives: Gadgets

Tried out: The Amazon Fire TV Stick

With the Amazon Fire TV Stick the mail order company Amazon brings a compact offshoot of its set-top box Fire TV to the market. We’ve taken a closer look to the Google Chromecast competitor and given him a good try.

Design and Workmanship

The Fire TV stick weighs 25 grams and has sleek roughly the dimensions of a cigarette lighter. It is slightly longer but narrower than Chromecast. The Stick comes in a simple, matte black finish. The Amazon-label is engraved and stands out with a piano black finish from it. The workmanship is impeccable.

Technical specifications

  • Processor: Dual-core processor
  • Memory: 1 gigabyte
  • Flash Memory: 8 GB
  • WLAN: Dual-band antenna,  Standards of 802.11 A/B/G/N

This is in the Box:

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • remote
  • power Supply
  • USB cable
  • HDMI extension
  • Quick Reference Guide

Installation and Setup

The installation of the Fire Sticks TV is self-explanatory. First, connect the stick over the HDMI interface with an open slot on the TV or monitor. The power is supplied via the included power adapter, which is connected via the microUSB port with the stick. The power supply via a USB port on the TV is not enough. The initial start-up takes about five minutes to complete and will show you the key features and tips in a video introduction.

To use the TV Fire Sticks a stable Internet connection via Wi-Fi is required. The stick tests your connection quality within the facility. On additional ports like an Ethernet port or an audio output as in the Fire TV box you have to live without on the stick. At the conclusion of the initialization, you will still be asked for your e-mail address of your Amazon account.

You can use the streaming stick even without an existing Prime subscription. Free content however can only be watched via third-party apps. A Prime subscription for 49 Euros per year makes sense because the stick was especially designed for downloading movies, series and documentaries of Prime subscriptions. With the Fire TV Stick you have access to all Prime Instant video content and can, like on PC, rent (chargeable of course) films and series as well.

Operation and Navigation

The user interface is very clear, and the taken mainly from Amazon Fire TV Streaming Box. The clean-designed, clearly structured menus are very convincin. In addition, additional apps can be installed, with which you can go beyond the limitation os Amazon Prime. I for example use as well Netflix.  Optionally, the stick can be controlled with the supplied remote or with an app on your smartphone!

With the free Amazon Fire TV Remote app searching is also conveniently via voice input possible. The voice recognition worked well in the test  – no matter whether we were looking for movie titles, directors or actors. The smartphone app further simulates the hardware keys on the remote control – it hence easily replaced the remote easily completely. The navigation via smartphone and remote proved throughout the test more than convincing.

The compatible and separately available game controller comes not only as a joystick for many game apps that you can download. The controller can also be used as a remote control for the video content.

Unfortunately we miss the function to stream web content or streams of not supported streaming services on the TV . This works for Chromecast via an appropriate extension for the Chrome browser. This can reflect individual or multiple tabs on the TV.

Another cool add on is X-Ray. With X-Ray both streaming modules obtain a feature that allows some information appears to actors of the scene or to the currently playing music. X-Ray draws on the extensive database IMDB (Internet Movie Database). To be able to retrieve additional information must be paused only within a film or series. Who wants the inserts during playback, press the High button on the remote in the navigation pane. For more extensive information further submenus can be called. Switching off the function is currently not provided.

Performance and Quality

Amazon promises the highest performance HDMI stick on the market. Videos should be capable of rapid start and even start without delays at all caused by the relatively well-equipped hardware and with appropriate link quality. Videos loaded in the test really quickly, but installations of apps and games on the other hand took some time to complete. The performance therefore cannot fully be described as very good.

The sound and picture quality assessed as good to very good. Videos are available if reproduced in HD resolution. The reproductions of pictures and videos on the Amazon cloud in the test functioned properly. For playing elaborate gaming titles you should, however, rely on the Fire TV streaming box that has better hardware equipment.

Verdict:

The Fire TV Stick made by Amazon is a powerful HDMI Streaming stick, which for Prime subscribers provides particularly true added value compared to the competition models. The supplied remote control and the option on the smartphone or a game controller to access, knew to convince. The total package is right. But  streaming content directly on the web browser is left to the competition from the house of Google (Chromecast) .

Jawbone unveils new design and colour lineup for UP

Jawbone® has launched a new design for UP2™ and 10 elegant new colours for UP2 and UP3™, further expanding the portfolio of fashion-focused activity trackers.

In addition, Jawbone released a range of new features for UP2 and UP3 that improve product functionality and reliability through a free over-the-air firmware update.

“We’re excited to expand the design platform for UP2 and UP3 with a sleek new strap for UP2 and 10 eye-catching colours, making our lineup of UP® products even more versatile and jewellery-like.” said Travis Bogard, Vice President of product management and strategy at Jawbone. “We’ve combined our intelligent app – recently voted best fitness app for iOS and Android – with beautiful design and premium materials to create the ultimate fashion accessory for those who want to live better in style.”UP3-Hero-RubyCross.

Live Better in Style

Activity tracking has never looked so good with Jawbone’s new collection of designs and colours. Crafted by leading industrial designer Yves Behar, Jawbone’s new UP activity trackers feature slim and stylish designs that allow for 24/7 wear and can be easily accessorised with jewellery or watches on the wrist.
UP2, previously only offered in Black Diamond and Light Grey Hex with classic flat straps, is now available in 6 stunning new colours, 5 of which feature an all-new design with two lightweight thin straps – giving the slim tracker an even more fashionable and unique look and feel. The selection of new colours for UP2 includes Turquoise Circle, Oat Spectrum, Gunmetal Hex, Orchid Circle and Black Diamond with the new lightweight thin straps, along with Violet Circle with the classic flat strap.

UP3, Jawbone’s advanced multi-sensor tracker, is now available in 4 additional colours, including Indigo Twist, Ruby Cross, Sand Twist and Teal Cross, in addition to the previously available colours, Black Twist and Silver Cross.

Feature Updates for UP2 and UP3

A free over-the-air firmware update through the UP App has been released to UP2 and UP3 users, enabling new features including Automatic Sleep Detection and Passive Heart Rate monitoring.

With this new update, UP2 and UP3 users no longer need to tap the band to enter and exit sleep mode. The UP band now automatically detects when the user has fallen asleep at night and when they wake up in the morning. The system will continue to recognise and track detailed sleep stages, with UP3 still capturing REM, Light and Deep sleep.

The feature update also adds Passive Heart Rate tracking to Jawbone’s multi-sensor tracker, UP3, which previously only measured Resting Heart Rate and heart rate throughout the night. While Resting Heart Rate is one of the best indicators of overall heart health, the addition of Passive Heart Rate throughout the day gives users a more complete picture of their heart health.

Passive Heart Rate is taken periodically throughout the day when the user is still, and provides unique insight into how daily influences and choices such as diet, caffeine, stressful meetings, and other stimuli can affect heart rate and overall heart health. As UP captures a user’s Passive Heart Rate over time, Smart Coach will have a more complete picture of the user’s overall health and patterns, providing more tailored and customised advice based on the user’s baseline heart rate measurements.

These new features were extensively tested in an open beta trial over the past month and have been widely welcomed by the UP community as a significant enhancement to the overall user experience.

Availability

The UP3 tracker by Jawbone is available in September in 4 new colours for AED 690 at Virgin, Jumbo, Emax, Sharaf DG and iStyle. The new colours include:

  • UP3 Ruby Cross
  • UP3 Indigo Twist
  • UP3 Teal Cross
  • UP3 Sand Twist

The UP2 tracker by Jawbone will be available from early October in 6 new colours, 5 of which include an all-new strap design, for AED 479 at Virgin, Jumbo, Emax, Sharaf DG and iStyle.

  • UP2 Violet Circle Classic Strap
  • UP2 Orchid Circle Lightweight Thin Straps
  • UP2 Turquoise Circle Lightweight Thin Straps
  • UP2 Oat Spectrum Lightweight Thin Straps
  • UP2 Gunmetal Hex Lightweight Thin Straps
  • UP2 Black Diamond Lightweight Thin Straps

Violet Circle is now available at Virgin, Jumbo, Emac, Sharaf DG and iStyle

The new firmware update for UP2 and UP3 will rollout to all users and is available on both iOS and Android versions 4.7 or later.

Jabra launches world’s first wireless headset with cross training coaching in the UAE

If you’re a fan of burpees, lunges, squats and planks and want the added motivation of individual coaching and your favourite music, you need to know about Jabra Sport Coach Wireless. This pioneering wireless workout solution uses personalized in-ear coaching and premium Dolby sound to let you get more out of your cross training workout.

With Sport Coach Wireless Jabra extends its sport audio range of in-ear coaching solutions.

Jabra pioneered this area with the award winning Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds that gave users in-ear heart rate monitoring for the very first time.

Download your personal coach

Developed to meet the needs of cross training enthusiasts, the Jabra Sport Coach Wireless can create customized workouts based on over 40 different exercises. By downloading the Sport Life app on a Smartphone, users can design their own personalized workouts with real-time audio coaching through the unique earbuds.

This special Jabra developed app lets you plan, track, and analyze your cross training. Choose exercises from beginner to advanced. Get in-the-moment, personalized in-ear audio coaching, with time or repetition-based training. Jabra will ensure continuous app developments to maximize the customer training experience.

Creating the workout is only the start. To ensure you achieve optimal performance and your overall fitness goals, the integrated TrackFitTM motion sensor provides advanced tracking of pace, distance, step count, cadence and calories to make every workout count.

81% of consumers report[1] working out with music, and the Jabra Sport Coach makes it easy to get this extra motivation. By incorporating Dolby sound, users get their favourite tunes delivered in premium sound quality through the wireless earbuds. In other words, there’s no excuse for not staying focused on fitness.

Jabra Sport Coach (4)

First sport audio solution for cross training

This ground-breaking music and coaching solution for indoor workouts is the latest sport audio solution from Jabra. Renowned for pioneering in-ear heart rate monitoring with the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds, the innovative Jabra Sport Coach Wireless embraces the current trend for cross training.

Hanny Hanna, Regional Director MEA & Turkey at Jabra says “Jabra Coach has received an overwhelming response from the global markets and we are extremely pleased to launch the revolutionary headset in the UAE. Today, we are extremely encouraged as we witness a growing switch towards a fit lifestyle. The Jabra Coach enhances the training experience for fitness enthusiasts and we are committed to delivering innovative audio solutions designed to all needs. He continued by saying, “We started by specifically targeting runners, and now we are taking coaching to the next level by delivering a solution optimized for cross trainers. We see clear possibilities for in-ear audio solutions combined with biometrics,” he continues.

Reviewed: The Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones

Did you ever wish to be able to use Headphones that do not cover or stick inside your ears? We have given the Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones a try as they promise a new way of listening to audio on the go. Instead of covering you up and make it impossible to hear the world around you the Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones are using the  ‘Bone Conduction Technology’ to transfer the sound from your cheekbones direct to your inner ears, leaving your ears completley free to any ambient sounds. Specially on a bicycle this is a huge advantage.

Quality / Feeling:

At first the headphones that are sitting around your neck are feeling a bit awkward, this was the first time ever to have Headphones not over or inside the ear. But once getting used to this I really liked the advantage of the unique Bone Conduction Technology. While listening to your favorite tunes you can still react and pay attention to your surroundings. Needless to say that this makes your life much safer specially if you are one a bike or running down a road. Pretty cool is as well that you can use them while swimming. Yes, you read right, they are waterproof too and work well despite water in your ears. For me as a person enjoying deep bass while listening to music the real only single point I disliked about the headphones was that they could produce more bass to fit better my taste.

Connectivity:

The Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones are connected to your computer or charger via astandard micro USB cable. A full charge of the device gives you around 6 hours of usage time which is really good. It as well gives you the change to pair to other devices via Bluetooth. We have tried connecting it with various mobiles and even tablets and none of the connections gave us any problems. Paired to your phone it lets you even answer phone calls directlyfrom the headphones, so your phone can stay in your bag.

Verdict:

The Merlin Audiova Conduction Headphones are a first of its kind with its brand new technology. It is a great step towards safety while using headphones and they are having a sleek design. They are multiuseable, comfortable to wear and deliver a good and clear sound, though the bass could be stronger for me. The connection possibility via Bluetooth makes this device a real allrounder and very useful if you are an active person that is enjoying music on the go.

BlackBerry Introduces BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition

BlackBerry Limited , a global leader in secure mobile communications, today unveiled the BlackBerry® Passport Silver Edition, a premium device built for business professionals who want a smartphone with the mobile tools they need to get things done – without sacrificing style or portability.

The BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition is in a class of its own, featuring a stunning silver finish with refined, curved corners, large square touch screen display and reinforced stainless steel frame for extra strength and durability. An essential business tool, the device delivers the same productivity enjoyed by other BlackBerry Passport products, as well as an updated QWERTY touch-enabled keyboard, battery power that lasts more than a full day of mixed use, and BlackBerry® 10 OS 10.3.2.

“We strive to deliver products that combine cutting-edge technology with purposeful, globally recognized design, and the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition is the latest manifestation of this vision,” said Scott Wenger, Global Head of Design at BlackBerry. “It brings together BlackBerry’s latest OS platform, enhanced productivity features, and a refined industrial design based on customer and user feedback to deliver an unmatched experience for professionals who value precision and focus.”

Thoughtful Design for the Mobile Professional Continue reading BlackBerry Introduces BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition

This is cool: Darth Vader And Stormtrooper Star Wars USB Car Chargers

If you like the Empire or not is one thing, but another thing to admit is that the guys on the Dark side definitely have a faible for technology. And lets be honest, The Galactic Empire seems to have it all: Cool Cookie Jars, Toaster, BBQ Sets and Fancy ships. They even got the financial budget to build not just one but two moon-sized space stations! And they certainly got power. Lots and lots of power.

Plug these Star Wars USB Car Chargers into your 12V vehicle power socket (cigarette lighter) to activate the power of the Dark Side. Specifically, you’ll get 2.1 Amps of electricity flowing into your phone, tablet, or USB charged Light Saber. Needless to say that I already placed an order for the Darth Vader version.

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Order from ThinkGeek.com : Darth Vader / Stormtrooper $19.99 each.

Stay charged up this Summer with Microsoft Portable Dual chargers!

Whether it is planning a fishing trip with friends this Summer or having a family outing at the park, we always end up exhausting batteries of our devices and the absence of an electrical source outdoors only adds to the hassle. Well, no need to fret anymore! The new 5200mAh, 9000mAh and 12000mAh portable chargers by Microsoft will make sure your devices stay juiced wherever you spend your summer.

Leading this powered up line-up is the most portable of all: the 5200mAh charger. With its slender design and pocketable shape, it fits perfectly into your pocket or bag, and is easy to carry with you wherever you go.

Portable-Dual-Charger-DC-33-benefit2-jpg

For the more power-needy who might have more than one device or plan to stay out for longer, either the 9000mAh or 12000mAh charger might be the preferred option. While bigger in capacity and also physical size, these two are still portable and can easily be slipped into your bag, your glove-box, or in your tent while you prepare your smores.

All three portable chargers come equipped with not one, but two USB ports, which lets you charge more than one device at the same time.

The Microsoft Portable Dual chargers can charge your USB charging smartphone or tablet as fast as the AC-60 wall charger and can hold their charge for months at a time and still have up to 80% capacity after several months.

What more, all the chargers sport a easy-to-read LED power indicators, so checking your charging levels is quick and convenient and they all come in trendy, flashy colors complementing your personality and lifestyle.

The new Microsoft Portable Dual chargers will become available globally in select markets with an estimated retail price of USD 35, 45, and 55.

 

Microsoft Xbox One is coming with 1TB, releasing June 16!

At least almost. The June 16 release is for the US only. When it will reach the UAE is still open. I got the 500GB version and so far I got enough space left on the disk, but a 1TB version can never be bad, can it?

After havin already been leaked on Amazon last week, Microsoft has confirmed it will begin selling a version of the Xbox One console with a 1TB hard drive starting on June 16 for $399 in the US.

Microsoft says that the 1TB version will come with the revamped Xbox One Wireless Controller with its new 3.5mm stereo headset jack. People who buy the console in the US and other select markets will also be able to get the game Halo: The Master Chief Collection for free.

Are you in the market for a new console? leave your thoughts in the comments!

Check out below an official video on the 1TB Xbox:

For Geeks: The Han Solo in Carbonite Fridge

This fridge is probably more practical to opt for a standard refrigerator than a carbon freezing chamber (tibanna gas supplies being what they are today).

The Han Solo Fridge really is big: it can hold up to 18 cans of soda. It’s also one of those neat fridges that cools or heats its contents (depending on which temperature you need). And though the Han Solo Fridge be mighty, it’s still made to travel. It’s even got a handle on top for grabbing, which, let us tell you, is more convenient than carrying a huge block of flippin’ carbonite. Whether it’s blue milk or leftover bantha burgers, the Han Solo Fridge is ready for all your late-night bounty hunting.   (LINK)