We have been getting tons of deals on Samsung Galaxy smartphones, on several MacBook Pro models, and more, but there’s still time for more deals. We have also found some rather compelling deals on wireless headphones that will help you enjoy your music whenever you want to. The most amazing deal comes from Sony, as the Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WHCH710N are currently getting a 51 percent discount. This means that you can get a pair for just $98 after almost $102 savings, and you get to choose between two color options.
Next up, we have the Sony WHXB900N Noise Cancelling Headphones, which are getting a $100 discount that leaves them at just $148. You can also choose between two color options that include Blue and Black, and the best part is that they will give you up to 30 hours of non-stop music playback.
These Sony headphones feature noise cancellation that automatically senses your environment with Dual Noise Sensor Technology to cancel out external noise, and you can go up to 35 hours before having to recharge them.
If you are looking for more affordable over-the-ear headphone options, we can suggest that you consider the Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphone. You can grab a pair for as low as $49, depending on the color option you go for. The most expensive option is priced at $70, but you still get to save $30 from its regular $100 price tag. However, you can get a pair of Skullcandy Riff Wireless On-Ear Headphones, which are currently selling for as low as $38 in Moab Red or get any of the other color options for $40 with $10 savings.
Now, if you’re not a fan of over-ear headphones, you can also grab a pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, as they are available for $139 with almost $31 savings. These small earbuds have been tuned by AKG, meaning that its 12mm speaker will provide amazing sound. The next option to consider are the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ selling for as low as $74 when choosing the White color option or grab the Black or Red color options that are selling for $110 that will score you $40 savings.
Finally, the AirPods with a wireless charging case are getting a $39 discount, meaning that you can get a pair for just $160. However, you can get the same AirPods with a wired charging case for $129 with $30 savings.
Apple’s latest Mac mini, smart home devices and more on sale today
Let’s begin today, one more time with deals, and can you believe we still have the Samsung trade-in deals that are just too good to be true? The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is still $1000, the Galaxy Note 20 is $450, the Note 20 Ultra is $750, the S20 starts at $420 for the FE and goes up to $915 with the Ultra, and the Galaxy Z Flip 5G is $650, again with an eligible trade-in device. The new M1 Mac Mini is currently $50 off. This means you can get the 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage model for $849, or $699 if you can live with 256GB of storage. If you want a powerful Intel MacBook Pro, the 16in is currently $400 off, leaving the Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage for $2399. Moving on to iPads, the latest 12.9in iPad Pro is $350 off, leaving it at $799 along with a pair of Audio Technica Earbuds for free. If you’re looking for headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM4’s are $72 off, leaving them for $278 which is a pretty good deal. Jabra’s Elite 85T are $30 off, leaving them at $200. We have other deals on over-the-ear headphones, other Earbuds, TVs and more in the links in the description.
OnePlus smartwatch plans confirmed by CEO Pete Lau, no rush towards foldables though
Let’s move on to OnePlus which always does a great job at teasing upcoming products. Pete Lau just went on an interview, confirming some products that have been on the rumor mill as of late. First off, he confirmed that they are working on a smartwatch after all, as they posted some teasers earlier in the fall. Lau said that Wear OS definitely has room to improve especially in aspects like connectivity with the rest of Google’s Ecosystem. Apparently Google has taken their feedback and they are interesting in developing that kind of connectivity between the OnePlus Watch and other OnePlus devices. Further on they reported that we might get this watch next year but of course, that isn’t confirmed. Moving on, they got onto the topics of foldables and it looks like OnePlus isn’t on that bandwagon just yet. Pete mentioned that one of the biggest issues is to have apps applied to leverage that larger displays to allow it to be of greater use. So, he didn’t rule out the possibility of getting one in the future but he did say that they are keeping a close eye on that industry so it sounds like it won’t happen soon. And you know what, I’d rather OnePlus continue to focus on getting the camera right, instead fo foldables.
New legislation in EU would promote competition and protect users from big tech companies
Let’s talk about big companies vs small companies, for two segments actually so bear with me here. The European Union just passed a new legislation that prevents big companies like Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook to self-preference. This means that if you search up a keyword on the App Store for example, the search cannot preference apps made by Apple over third party apps. Other changes include that, these companies will be obliged to allow users to uninstall all pre-installed apps and the performance metrics will be have to be shared for free advertisers and publishers. If they fail to comply with these rules it will result in hefty fines that go as high as ten percent of the company’s worldwide annual turnover. All of these changes are happening to allow smaller companies and developers to have more of a fair chance to compete in today’s landscape. These haven’t been fully approved yet but, they will reportedly come into force faster than usual so, we’ll see what happens one they come in to effect. That said, good one EU, we do need more developers to stand a chance if we want technology to go beyond just a few companies.
Moving on, let’s talk about my least favorite company, Facebook. Last week we talked about how Craig Federighi made some statements on Apple’s upcoming privacy features which have made other company’s like Facebook mad. Well, it looks like Facebook is really mad. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Facebook has attacked Apple in a series of full-page newspaper ads that claim that Apple’s changes around data gathering and targeted advertising are bad for small businesses. These ads will run in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post with the headline “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses anywhere”. Finally it notes that Apple’s changes to iOS 14 will curb the ability for company’s like Facebook to gather data about users to ply them with advertising. So, it looks like Facebook is trying to do what Epic did but, Epic’s efforts at least actually helped the small businesses and not them primarily. If you missed it last week, Craig said that if company’s didn’t comply to the new guidelines, they would be kicked out of the App Store, like Epic did. It’s just funny how Facebook needs to pay for newspaper ads to influence consumers. What, your social network isn’t big enough?
Apple to release lower-priced AirPods Pro ‘Lite’ without noise cancellation
Let’s keep talking Apple but don’t worry, no more drama. Yes, today was finally AirPods Max day for me, and let’s just say they rumble a lot. That said, let’s shift the focus on to regular AirPods as, we’ll be reportedly getting new AirPods and AirPods Pro this year. According to a new report from The Elec, Cupertino is working on some AirPods Pro Lite which will simply be marketed as the 3rd Gen AirPods. The reason as to why they’re called “AirPods Pro Lite” is because they are tipped to feature the same design of the Pros, but without bringing the “Pro” feature which is Active Noise Cancelling. They’re reportedly developing a new System-in-Package for these which brings the H1 chip. Apparently they will go under quality verification this year, allowing for production to start in 2021 but we have no word on when we’ll actually be getting these. The price will reportedly be around 20% less than the Pros as they won’t bring their main feature. We’ll see as, I think they could be a nice addition to their March Event, but you can’t deny Apple has made their AirPods launches mostly silent and independent.
Story of the day:
Samsung denies Galaxy Note series discontinuation rumors
And finally, the hottest news today have to do with Samsung and their most beloved lineup. Rumors have been intense, but not just of the S21, we also have heard that the Galaxy Note might finally be no more. All of the rumors pointed to Samsung moving their focus on to foldables, and adding the S Pen to the Galaxy S, for those of you wanting to replace the Note with a more conventional device. Well, very official sources claim that it’s not going to happen. TM Roh, the president of mobile business just discredited all of the rumors hinting that the Galaxy Note would be discontinued. To quote him again, yesterday he mentioned that they have payed attention to people’s favorite features from the Note and that they will add them to other devices. Now, the report also claims that the Galaxy Note isn’t coming to an end any time soon. But, it is still very likely that the S Pen is expanding to both the S Line and the Z Fold line. The thing about it is, it’s already December, there’s still no codename for the phone, no rumors, anything.. But the company claims that we’ll still be getting one
HUAWEI has seriously upped its audio game (to be honest, the company upped its entire game in the past years) starting with the FreeBuds 3 last year. For 2020, HUAWEI has a bulletproof audio line-up, from the excellent sounding FreeLace Pro all the way to the premium FreeBuds Pro.
For 2020, however, the company has ventured into over-ear full-fledged headphones, the FreeBuds Studio being the company’s first such product. The timing is perfect, as Apple has just announced its own similar product with the AirPods Max, which is really one of the FreeBuds Studio’s main competitors, among a select few from other brands like Sony, Bose, Shure, Jabra, and the likes.
We’re wrapping up the two weeks we’ve spent using the wireless noise-canceling cans with our HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio review below.
HUAWEI FreeBuds Studio Specs
Available in Gold and Black (our unit), the FreeBuds Studio weighs 260 grams, which is pretty lightweight considering its size. The claimed 24-hour playback (with ANC off) is achieved thanks to the 410mAh battery that you charge via a USB-Type C port on the right can.
Sound comes out of the two 40mm dynamic drivers, with an operating frequency of 4Hz to 48kHz, which goes way beyond the range of sound perceivable by human ears. Noise cancellation, which is Intelligent and Dynamic, is possible thanks to the six microphones inside the build of the headphones (there are eight in total, four on each side).
Other hardware components include radios for Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, three buttons (two on the right for power and Bluetooth, and one on the left for toggling ANC modes), and a touchpad on the back of the right can for gestures, in addition to a microphone sensor, a capacitance sensor, an IMU sensor, as well as a premium audio codec chip.
Design, build, and fit
Everything about the FreeBuds Studio screams premium (including their price point), from the moment you unbox the headphones. They come in a very nice carrying case (which is not leather) that offers protection during your travels.
The top part of the headrest (or headband) is soft-touch plastic, while the bottom part, in contact with your head is vegan leather (so are the speaker cushions that are in contact with your ears), softly padded in the middle.
The cushions themselves are also soft to the touch and very comfortable while wearing. The chassis is made of metal and sliding the two cans up and down to adjust your fit is very accurate and tight. The back of the cans and the outer shell is also made of polycarbonate, but the overall view and feel of the product is a premium one.
Once you find the best fit for your head size, you need to make sure that the cans (cushion) are fitting your ears well. It’s an easy fit, but we occasionally had to adjust a little bit for optimum isolation and audio quality.
Having done all of that, you’ll be surprised at how lightweight and soft they feel. After a period of time, you’ll actually forget you’re wearing them, which is the complete opposite with some other headphones, where they become uncomfortable to wear after a period of time.
This could be more of o personal impression or issue, but I didn’t start to sweat after wearing the FreeBuds Studio for a long period of time, something I occasionally run into when using other headphones.
It takes a little bit of getting used to the locations of the buttons on the two sides, but you’ll get used to them after a couple of hours of usage.
On the downside, the cushions don’t seem to be detachable, which could raise some problems with wear over time. We wish owners could easily remove old ones if they’re worn or damaged in order to replace them with new ones.
Audio quality, ANC, and Experience
The 40mm dynamic drivers live up to the expectations, however, as mentioned earlier, you need to make sure that the fit is tight in order for the drivers to shine. Why is it so important? HUAWEI is using a TAT structure (Tee Audio Tube), which is responsible for linking the inner ear space with the front and back sound cavity. Aside from balancing air pressure inside your ears, offering a comfortable wearing experience, the TAT structure also filters out the medium and high-frequency noise.
All of that, in simpler terms, means that these cans sound really good. With a very wide frequency response, you can rest assured you’ll hear even the deepest bass, as well as the highest hisses.
HUAWEI designed the FreeBuds Studio with Hi-Fi quality in mind. Adding to the potential of the drivers themselves is an audio codec chip that features less distortion and lower noise floor, while at the same time delivering higher dynamic range.
In order to utilize the headphones to their full potential, you need to make sure the source (your music) is high quality. When it comes to audio quality, audiophiles know that the overall quality of your entire system will be as good as the weakest component. It doesn’t matter how Hi-Fi your headphones are if the music you are playing back is low quality.
However, when playing back lossless, or very high bitrate encoded music, you’ll be more than satisfied with the audio quality of the FreeBuds Studio. The L2HC High-resolution Codec enables the headphones to transfer audio at speeds up to 960kbps. That’s more than double the frequency, and almost quadruple the transfer speed of the AAC codec for 24-bit audio.
If you’re not so much into technology and all the terminology above, all you need to know is that you won’t be disappointed. You’ll love the sounds you’ll hear, and you may even hear portions or instruments in a song you never knew they were there.
Similar to other products in the FreeBuds and FreeLace family of recent earphones, the FreeBuds Studio also features HUAWEI’s own Active Noise Cancelation system. If you have a recent HUAWEI or HONOR phone, you can fine-tune the ANC inside the AI Life app, choosing between Ultra, Cozy, and General modes. These instruct the ANC to be more or less aggressive, depending on your surroundings.
If you’re using the FreeBuds Studio with another phone (an iPhone for instance), you can only select one of the following three modes: ANC on, Awareness, and ANC off.
The Awareness mode will allow ambient sound to pass through, so you’re at all times aware of your surroundings while listening to music. The Voice Mode, which you can enable inside the AI Life app, will only allow human voices to pass through while blocking out the rest of the environmental sounds.
Noise cancellation also extends to phone calls. The FreeBuds Studio utilizes six microphones to properly enhance your calls. According to HUAWEI, “the four outward-facing mics effectively pick up human voices from the background noise based on the beamforming technique. The other two inward-facing mics collect the voice in-ear and avoid strong wind interference”.
And, since we’re talking about phone calls, I’ll mention here (and not in the Experience segment below) that we didn’t face any problems. We heard people really well and we were heard loud and clear on the other end of the call, let it be regular call or WhatsApp/Face Time/Facebook.
While the entire experience can vary, depending on what kind of phone you use (of course, your experience will be the best when paired with a recent HUAWEI phone) the FreeBuds Studio offers a superior UX.
Once you’re getting used to the gestures available on the touchpad, located on the back of the right can, you no longer need to have direct access to your phone. The gestures are intuitive and the learning curve is really flat. Swiping up and down increases or decreases audio volume. Swiping forward and back takes you to your next, or previous song. Double-tapping acts as a Play/Pause or Answer/End call button, while tapping and holding either activates your voice assistant or rejects the incoming call.
Adding to the experience is also the wear-detection feature. The FreeBuds Studio recognizes whether you are wearing it or not, and music is automatically paused upon removing the headphones, and it resumes once you put them back on.
We’ve tested the FreeBuds Studio both with a HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro and an iPhone 12 Pro Max, as well as a desktop computer, to fully grasp the pairing and overall experience. Worth mentioning here is that the FreeBuds studio features Dual Device Connection, which enables you to connect to two devices simultaneously.
With the Mate 40 Pro, pairing is seamless. EMUI 11 automatically detects and asks to pair the headphones, thanks to the pop-up pairing feature which searches, finds, and offers to connect to the FreeBuds Studio. From here on, it’s all about tweaking the settings to your liking inside the AI Life app, and EMUI’s Histen inside the sound settings, which could dramatically impact your experience.
Pairing to the, and using on the iPhone and desktop computer offers a similar experience. You have to manually put the FreeBuds Studio in pairing mode (there’s a Bluetooth button on the right can), and then manually pair it to your phone or computer. You have no software to tinker with the settings, so you should expect a raw user experience, but premium nonetheless. The ANC button on the left side still allows you to enable or disable noise cancellation, as well as toggle Awareness mode.
Battery life should not be a concern. Our mileage was fairly close to what HUAWEI claims: 24 hours of music playback with ANC off, and close to 20 with ANC on. We obviously didn’t manage to test it all in one take, but the periods of times used added up close to those numbers.
It did, however, take a hair over one hour to fully charge them from 0 to 100 percent, with 10 minutes of quick charging being enough for close to eight hours of music playback.
When it comes to the price of the FreeBuds Studio, it varies from market to market. This has been HUAWEI’s approach in the recent past, and that’s what it continues to do with this product.
In the UK, it will set you back, at the time of this review, £229.99, down from the initial £299.99, and HUAWEI throws in a Watch Fit, valued £119.99.
In France, you’ll pay €299,99, but in Spain, they’re discounted to €249,99. In any case, we’re looking at a rather premium price-point, but, compared to the close to €600 Apple is asking for the AirPods Max, it’s less than half the price.
Considering that the FreeBuds Studio is HUAWEI’s first full-fledged, over the ear, pair of headphones, the company nailed it in every aspect. With a great design, superior audio quality, excellent noise-canceling, and great battery life, the FreeBuds Studio are a great choice if you’re looking for a pair of wireless headphones for the holidays, and not only.
Pros and Cons
+ great design; + good battery life; + excellent audio quality; + top notch noise cancelling; + touch gestures; + multi-device connection; + wear detection.
– no IP rating whatsoever (beware of rain); – some features are exclusive to HUAWEI phones; – only two color options; – cushions non-user-removable/replaceable.
B&H has a huge selection of 11-inch iPad Pro models on sale. You can get yours starting at $699, and you get the late 2018 Wi-Fi only version with 64GB storage, which lets you save $100 from its regular price.
You can also get yourself a new Moto G8 Play for $130. This device is usually found for $199.99, but right now, you can save a little under $70 upon purchase. This is an unlocked device with 2GB RAM and 32GB in storage with a 13MP camera.
We then move into gamer territory, as the Razer Nari Ultimate gaming headset is getting an $80 discount, leaving it at just under $150. This wireless headset includes 7.1 surround sound, Chroma-RGB, a retractable microphone, and you can use it with your PC, PS4, and more. However, this price is only available with the Overwatch Lucio Edition, but you can still save $17 if you want the black version, which is currently selling for $182.99.
The Soundcore Liberty Air True Wireless Earphones are also on sale, in away. You can get yours for $42.99 after applying a coupon that will give you $30 off. This coupon can be applied to both its black and white color variants, so you choose which color suits you best.
You won’t believe all the deals that are available today from Apple, Samsung, LG and more
Deals. We have a bunch of deals to start the month of the June. Let’s start off with the latest 13in MacBook Pro which is $200 off on Amazon and Best Buy. This means you can get it for as low as $1099 for the 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage variant. You can get other prices depending on the configuration. Amazon also has the Samsung Galaxy S10, bundled with the 44mm Galaxy Watch Active 2 for $999, you can also get it for $850 if you go for the 40mm variant. The LG G8 ThinQ is $350 off, leaving it at $400 shipped. We have more deals on the Google Pixel Slate, iPads, Apple Watches, Sony headphones and more in the links in the description.
Sony postpones PlayStation 5 event on June 4 due to ongoing unrest
Last week we covered how Sony would be hosting an event on June 4th to showcase their newest game titles for the upcoming PS5 but it looks like that won’t be the case. The company just announced that they will be postponing their event as they feel that right now is not a time to celebrate and that more important voices should be heard at the moment. The company hasn’t revealed when the event will happen but, we’ll keep you posted. Bravo Sony. Thank you for taking a stand.
Android 11 leak shows a redesigned power button menu, controls for smart devices
Google delays Android 11 Beta Launch Show event scheduled for June 3
Now, even if Google just postponed their Android 11 Developers Preview Event that was happening on June 3rd, we have some Android 11 leaks. The event was postponed indefinitely due to the protests and the situation in the US but they claim the full Android 11 launch won’t be delayed. These new leaks come from Twitter and they basically show us the Power Button menu where we see 5 controls like Emergency, Power Off, Restart, Screenshot as well as a new Quick Controls menu which shows your smart devices and wallet access. The leak also shows that we will be getting a UI redesign at least in things like these. Google, also thank you for taking a stand.
if your iPhone runs on iOS 13, it could also get the new iOS 14 update
For those of you battling a tough economy, holding on to your device a bit longer is always a welcome relief, and you know Apple does that best. We have a new leak of which devices will be getting iOS 14 this year. We should take this with a grain of salt as this source doesn’t have the greatest track record but, according to them some inside sources claim that all devices running iOS 13 will be able to run iOS 14. This means that if you still have an iPhone 6s or iPod Touch7th gen or later, you’ll be able to get the update. They didn’t provide any information on iPads but we’re hoping it’ll be the same case if this actually happens.
Galaxy Note 20 might be able to pack a battery as big as the Galaxy Note 20+
I think one of the biggest deterrents of the small Galaxy Note 20 was that you weren’t getting a Galaxy Note Quality battery, and it looks like Samsung noticed. Apparently the company doesn’t want to cheap out on the batteries for the Galaxy Note 20 line. It just went through China’s 3C Certification and it shows that the regular Galaxy Note 20 will bring a 4300 mAh battery that’s rated at 4170 mAh. As a reference, last year’s Note 10 brought a 3500 mAh battery while the Note 10+ brought a 4300 mAh battery. According to another leak we got last week, the Note 20+ will bring a 4500 mAh battery so Samsung is closing that gap between the two variants.
Story of the day:
New images of alleged iPhone 12 dummy units suggest some changes
iPhone 12 allegedly begins mass production in 3Q20 with October launch in sight
And finally the hottest news today has to do with iPhones, and the fact that things might not be so bad for the launch timing, nor components. According to a new DigiTimes report, this year’s iPhones won’t get the regular September launch and we’ll have to wait until October, which switches things from the November we had heard. Due to the travel bans Apple hasn’t been able to send enough engineers to China which has delayed the production. DigiTimes also claims that the 6.1in iPhone will start production earlier than the rest. This is the iPhone that will allegedly bring the LG and BOE displays. The report suggests that this may happen to make sure that these panels meet the quality standards as LG display has had issues in the past. The Samsung displays on the other 3 are also easier to manufacture as they eliminate a separate touch layer. We also have some dummies of the iPhone 12 line up from MacOtakara which show the 4 designs but these don’t show the smaller notch that we’re expecting.
It seems that June has arrived with a massive amount of deals from Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo Video. We will start off with the new 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro, which is available for $1,299.99 after a $199 discount at Amazon. This will get you a model with 8GB RAM, 512GB storage, and a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor in silver. The same 13-inch MacBook Pro with 8GB but 256GB in storage is selling for $1,099.99 after a $200 discount over at Best Buy, and you can also check more MacBook deals by following the link.
You can also get the Samsung Galaxy S10 bundled with a 44mm Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 for $999.99 ($1,300 value) or the 40mm Galaxy Watch Active2 for $850 ($1,150 value). In both cases, you would get a Samsung Galaxy S10 factory unlocked device with 512GB in storage and a US valid warranty. You can also get a Samsung Galaxy A20 bundled with the Galaxy S10 for $950 ($1,200 value).
The LG G8 ThinQ is also on sale in its factory unlocked version with 128GB in storage. You get a US valid warranty and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with a 3,500mAh battery and 6GB RAM. This device usually sells for $750, but you can get it for just $400.
If you’re looking for a new Smart TV, the Sony X750H 65-inch 4K Ultra HD LED is currently available for $748 or $598 in its 55-inch version. This Smart TV is usually sold for $1,000, so you would be getting a $252 discount on the 64-inch version.
Next up is a nice selection of iPads. The latest 10.2-inch iPad with Wi-Fi + LTE connectivity and 32GB in storage is available for $379.99 after a $79 discount on Amazon. You can also get the Wi-Fi only variant from Best Buy for $330 after a $100 discount, and you get 128GB in storage.
More Apple products are on sale, and we find the Apple Watch Series 5 in its 40mm version with a Space Gray aluminum case and black sport band for $299.99. you will see the $384 price tag, but you will get the $84.01 discount at checkout.
Finally, the Sony WH1000XM3 headphones with noise cancelation are available for $280 after a $70 discount. However, this deal is only available in its black version, while the Silver variant is still selling for its regular price.