On Gear Live: Vizio E-Series 2018 4K TV review

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Amazon Fire TV Cube review

Amazon is trying to get its Alexa voice assistant into as many homes as possible. Its latest offering: The Fire TV Cube, which essentially turns any TV into a smart TV with Alexa voice control. We try it out live on this episode. The integration with certain apps, like Netflix and Hulu, is pretty cool. Simply saying "Alexa, play Stranger Things," opened the Netflix app and started playing right where we left off. Using voice control to fast forward, switch TV inputs and open apps also works well. But for other apps that aren't integrated, like Sling TV, the experience isn't quite so smooth. The box also doesn't work with over-the-air cable TV, as some reports said it would. In other news, Oculus announced a new virtual reality TV app this week, and some people are unimpressed. We also dive into a report that points to a new line of AirPods coming before the end of the year, including higher-end over-the-ear headphones.

Listen to the episode in the player below or subscribe to Geared Up in your favorite podcast app to listen on the go:

Gallery: Amazon Fire TV Cube hands-on review, new AirPods 2 coming soon - Geared Up!


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watchOS 5

During it's WWDC 2018, Apple announced watchOS 5, it's next generation software for the Apple Watch. Here's what's new!

HEALTH AND FITNESS

  • In watchOS 5, you can challenge any friend to a seven day Activity challenge. You get shown where you stand in the competition, and earn awards in the Activity app.
  • There is now a new workout type for yoga. You can more accurately track yoga sessions.
  • Hiking gets a new workout type.
  • You can now track your rolling mile pace when running, along with steps per minute data.
  • Automatic Workout Detection where the watch will offer to start a workout with a notification when it senses a workout has started, and give you credit retroactively. watchOS will also auto-recognize when you end a workout if you forget.

CONNECTED FEATURES

  • watchOS 5 will have a Walkie-Talkie feature. You just press to talk, and the person on the other end can hear you immediately. You have to specifically enable the feature on a per-contact basis.

SIRI WATCH FACE

  • Siri watch face will integrate sports data, Siri shortcuts
  • Siri watch face will support third-party apps on watchOS 5
  • You no longer need to say "Hey Siri" when you raise your wrist to speak to the Watch

NOTIFICATIONS

  • Interactive notifications are now in watchOS 5. You can Apple Pay, check in, leave reviews, etc right from a notification.
  • watchOS 5 includes WebKit to see web content right on the Watch from an email or message.

PODCASTS

  • Apple Podcasts app will be available on watchOS 5, with full account syncing and Siri support.

APPS

  • Apps can include interactive controls right in an app. Do things like extend parking, order food, etc.
  • Background audio for third-party apps
  • Add your student ID card to Wallet on your Watch

ACCESSORIES

  • New Pride watchband, with a new Pride watch face

That's watchOS 12!

Gallery: WWDC 2018: Apple announces watchOS 5


On our Geared Up podcast, we cover all the breaking tech and gadget news of the week. But on this episode, we take a step back and put the spotlight on two technologies that Co-hosts Andru Edwards and Todd Bishop have been trying out in their day-to-day lives.

Andru has been using two devices from Nokia Health, the Nokia Steel HR smart watch and the Nokia Body smart scale. He says the devices themselves are just fine, but they show just how much an impact smart health devices can have on our behavior.

Todd has been spending a lot of time with his new Lenovo ThinkPad X1, which is his first Windows computer in a decade. He tells us how the device lured him back into the Microsoft world after a long stint as a dedicated MacBook Pro user.

Watch a video of the podcast above, listen to the full episode below or subscribe in your favorite podcast player to hear every episode of Geared Up.

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Editor's note:†Nokia's technology comes from its acquisition of Withings. After this episode was recorded, Nokia announced it is selling its health division back to Withings co-founder†…ric Carreel.

Gallery: Tech spotlight on Nokia Health and the ThinkPad X1


Oculus Go, a new VR headset from the Facebook-owned company, sprang onto shelves in a surprise launch Tuesday. It's lower-powered than existing headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but is portable and costs just $199. Is it the future of virtual reality? We debate on this episode of Geared Up.

Plus, T-Mobile and Sprint are finally tieing the knot with a huge merger. It will give the combined company (still called T-Mobile) a shot at competing with Verizon and AT&T as long as they can convince the Trump Administration to let the deal go through.

And in more huge news, Apple reported record-breaking iPhone sales in the first months of 2018, squashing rumors that the iPhone 10 has been struggling. Hear all that and more on this weekís episode of Geared Up, hosted by GeekWire Editor Todd Bishop and Gear Live's Andru Edwards. Watch the behind-the-scenes video above, listen in the player below, or subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app.

Subscribe to the Geared Up podcast:

Gallery: Is Oculus Go the future of VR? Plus: T-Mobile, Sprint and Trump - Geared Up!


Tidal Force has jumped into the headphone arena with a pair of planar magnetic headphones, aimed at providing better sound than typical driver-based models which follow the loudspeaker model of projecting sound.

If you’re unfamiliar, planar magnetic headphones use a very thin, light diaphragm in order to reproduce sound - this is instead of the traditional driver. The diaphragm is “driven” by a neodymium magnetic system consisting of a matrix double pole which ends up moving its surface evenly back and forth. The Tidal Force Wave 5 features a 56mm diaphragm, which in turn is able to produce notes between 16Hz and 50kHz. Are they worth your attention though? Let’s find out.

Click to continue reading Tidal Force Wave 5 headphones review

Gallery: Tidal Force Wave 5 headphones review


This year during CES 2017 I had the opportunity to work with Panasonic in their booth as part of another influencer campaign, similar to last year. In 2016, I focused mostly on the Technics audio hardware--but this year it was all about the Future Tech Lab. Get a preview of the best tech that we found in the Panasonic booth in the video embedded above, and then hit the jump to check out all the products that I was able to learn about during this CES, like the bendable battery, the sports arena of the future, on the fly multilingual language translation, the incredible Lumix GH5, and more!

Click to continue reading Panasonic Innovation Shines: Lumix GH5, Future Tech Lab, and more

Gallery: Panasonic Innovation Shines: Lumix GH5, Future Tech Lab, and more


Haven’t been able to get your hands on an NES Classic Edition console yet? Our video today will give you a sense for what to expect when you finally do.

We go hands-on with the cute little console — the one that’s selling out instantly almost everywhere — with Andru Edwards of Gear Live in this special video recording of the GeekWire radio show and podcast, above.

Also check out Andru’s detailed video review below, and check out his YouTube channel for more reviews.

Click to continue reading NES Classic Edition Review: Hands-on with a device that very few people can get their hands on

Gallery: NES Classic Edition Review: Hands-on with a device that very few people can get their hands on


Apple Watch Series 2

During today's iPhone 7 event, Apple announced the new Apple Watch Series 2. The new Series 2 Watch is now swim proof, and can withstand depths of up to 50 meters. The display tech has been improved as well, with a 1,000 nit brightness level, and that's paired with the new S2 chip to provide more power to the Apple Watch. It's a dual-core chip that allows for 60 frames per second on your wrist. To keep up with sports watches, there's also a built-in GPS sensor which can work independently of Wi-Fi, so if you're out on a hike, your Watch Series 2 will work for you.

Apple also announced a new ceramic finish for the Apple Watch Series 2, which is a new addition and will sit alongside the Apple Watch Sport's aluminum finish and the stainless steel models.

Theres a new Apple Watch version as well, in the Apple Watch Nike+, which features a perforated Sport band. The Nike+ version of the Apple Watch includes software optimized for runners, including shortcuts for starting a run, custom motivation for runners, and more.

You'll be a ble to pick up the new Apple Watch Series 2 on September 16th, and it starts at $369. You can also pick up the original Apple Watch Series 1, which is updated with the new S2 chip, for $269.

Gallery: Apple Watch Series 2: Improved fitness tracking, swim proof, better battery, $369 on September 16th


Apple Watch woven nylon bands

During this morning's Let Us Loop You In event, Apple announced a few new Apple Watch bands. The company announced a new woven nylon band, with a four-layer construction, and will be available in blue, pink, and orange. The current bands also get new colors, like a yellow sport band, aqua blue leather band, and a space black Milanese Loop. Additionally, Apple announced a price drop on the Apple Watch - the Apple Watch Sport now starts at $299, a $50 decrease from the previous $349 price point.

Gallery: Apple announces new Apple Watch bands, drops price to $299


Technics EAH-T700 headphones

As many folks know, we're big fans of headphones here at Gear Live. We live in a portable world, with portable entertainment available at our fingertips, and we wanna make sure we have great sound when we are on the go. At CES 2016, Panasonic's Technics brand showcased a pair of headphones that may have been the best I've ever heard - the Technics EAH-T700.

Click to continue reading Technics EAH-T700 headphones have jaw-dropping sound

Gallery: Technics EAH-T700 headphones have jaw-dropping sound


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