Category Archives: Best Speakers

LAST MINUTE TECH FOR MOM

Attention Mother’s Day procrastinators! If you have not chosen your gift on the eve of honouring mothers, check my list of smart tech gift suggestions, apps and most importantly, why I like all of them. All come from reputable makers and are proven technology. Some of these are only available online but I’m sure husbands and children can find clever ways of stalling Mom with a small delivery gift delay, right?

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MOTO Z PLAY IS SWISS ARMY KNIFE OF SMARTPHONES

Shooting your child’s big-time school play or soccer game with your smartphone? It’s challenging. Camera phones zoom but with extreme photo quality loss.

Enter Lenovo’s Moto Z Play, a Swiss Army phone with useful accessory features unlike any other.

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AFFORDABLE PHONES KEEP ON GETTING BETTER

The new ZTE Axon 7 Mini, $0 on a gold two-year term or $399 with no term from Virgin Mobile, thinks it’s a top tier phone with a low sticker price.

It follows a smart industry trend of quality affordable phones like the Alcatel Idol 4S, Samsung Galaxy A5, Moto G4 Plus and Nexus 5X with features and performance that won’t break the bank.

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50th ANNIVERSARY OF CES HAS MUCH TO CELEBRATE

The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is over! With information overload beyond comprehension for most folks, and more than 3,800 exhibiting company booths to explore, the 50th anniversary tech Mecca show came to an end on Sunday.

Giant brands like Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony backed by a crew of several hundred each, in multi million dollar “booths” large enough to fill a dozen homes each, impressed. In contrast, one-person booths with a single table, among the 600 startup displays the CES Eureka Park Marketplace hoped for the break of a lifetime.

Robots at CES were entertaining but robotic vacuum cleaners from LG and Samsung were smarter

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12 TECH DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…DAY 12!

At last! My 12 tech days of Christmas comes to an end today. The words of the perennial 1909 festive song by Frederic Austin’s original had changed slightly, but the meaning is all the same. Merry Christmas!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my tech love gave to me, last minute presents, the most high-tech items, ten low tech gizmos, nine stocking stuffers, eight vacuum cleaners, seven image catchers, six shiny laptops, five top-tier smartphones, four odd collections, three streaming players, two instant photos and a java in a pear tree.

OK, it’s Saturday afternoon and you still have a few tech gifts to go on your list. You don’t want to order online, you need to have it all wrapped up for Christmas morning.  We know that someone special could be you!

Someone recently got the new Googe Pixel phone. What is the best accessory for it? The Google Daydream VR headset, $99 for watching surround 36 VR online, even playing games with the nifty handheld remote control. It’s compact and covered with fuzzy woolly grey fabric. cloth. Most phone shops have them.

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12 TECH DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…DAY 5

Follow my daily 12 tech days of Christmas. The words of the perennial 1909 festive song by Frederic Austin’s original have changed slightly, but the meaning is all the same. Merry Christmas!

On the fifth day of Christmas my tech love gave to me, five top-tier smartphones, four odd collections, three streaming players, two instant photos and a java in a pear tree…

The best smartphones today are getting so good, it’s hard to choose between them. Let’s take a quick look at the top five. First, let me pre-empt with one phone feature I am particularly fussy with…photography. On the long run, cool camera tricks each phone has don’t hold value because as time goes on, what matters more are the plain pictures of the folks important to you. What do I look for in a good phone camera? Natural colour, deep blacks, less digital noise when shooting in dark scenes without flash and the best red colours, the Achilles Heal of digital cameras.

Decisions, decisions – the LG V20 superwide, normal view lens or Hasselblad 10X zoom Moto Z Mod add-on.. I want both!

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Stumped for Valentines Day Tech?

Valentines Day is about expressing kind thoughts about folks you care about. Here is some enduring smart technology gifting, much of which can be shared. It is a click or a drive away. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive or outlandish tech. It simply cuts to the chase with smart design and value.

And needless to say, fun to give, receive and share!

SMARTPHONES

The HTC ONE A9 comes unlocked and can duke it out with top tier phones for less
The HTC ONE A9 comes unlocked and can duke it out with top tier phones for less

-The HTC One A9, available for $649 at HTC’s site only,   comes unlocked. You get what you pay for and its a lot, matching tier one phones costing hundereds more. It looks so much like an iPhone but it runs Android Marshmallow with cutting-edge features like optical image stabilization for it rear 13 MP camera, Full HD video for both rear and front UltraPixel camera which outshoots any phone selfie camera, with one of the widest lens views. The Corning Gorilla Glass full HD screen is plenty crisp with wide angle viewing. The slick touch finger reader is an unexpected bonus as is the extra powerful (loud) built-in DAC 24-bit, 192KHz – better than CD quality audio. You have to pair the BoomSound technology in this thin metal and glass beauty with the awesome HTC Pro Studio Earphones $107.99 at Amazon.ca.

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Second thoughts on great technology for boxing day

Boxing day has great deals on tech gizmos. But the adage of you get what you pay for is still true. You can still get a deal on a cheap product as you can on a quality one. It’s a mindset on wanting to own something that has extra value and features that work for you.

Here is my list of the best tech gizmos I experienced in 2015, which can be had for a better price on boxing day weekend. But there is fewer of these around compared to the bargain priced devices that attract most buyers. Good technology  will last into next year and pay itself off.

Why? Because it was well thought out, ahead of its time, designed and built to last. To me, it was conceived with a purpose:  to do something better than the competition and make you feel selfishly satisfied every time you use it. It’s like driving a luxury car.

Sonos Play:5 has the sound magic inside to bring life-like sounds in your room
Sonos Play:5 has the sound magic inside to bring life-like sounds in your room
A graphical view of why the Sonos Play:5 sounds so good. Using an Olympus Linear PCM Recorder LS-10 I recorded 70 seconds of Oriental Blue by Al Di Meola in audio CD quality on the Wave:5 from two meters away. I then converted the short audio track to a 3D Analysis view with Steinberg’s Wavelab Elements 8. The left column is the Play:5 audio recording, showing the bass frequency response, top and a view from the other side showing the higher notes or sounds. The verticals show the intensity or volume. The darker green range would be a typical singers range. The right column is typical of most speakers, showing less bass response (think of it as lower foothills – less bass - as you approach a mountain, the main song).
A graphical view of why the Sonos Play:5 sounds so good. Using an Olympus Linear PCM Recorder LS-10 I recorded 70 seconds of Oriental Blue by Al Di Meola in audio CD quality on the Play:5 from two meters away. I then converted the short audio track to a 3D Analysis view with Steinberg’s Wavelab Elements 8. The left column is the Play:5 audio recording, showing the bass frequency response, top and a view from the other side showing the higher notes or sounds. The verticals show the intensity or volume. The darker green range would be a typical singers range. The right column is typical of most speakers, including smaller Sonos speakers, showing less bass response (think of it as lower foothills – less bass – as you approach a mountain, the main song).

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