Moto Z Review Rewind ⏪

Released in 2016 the Moto Z and its Moto Mods were primed to change the way we use our smartphones. 5 years later, 4 Moto Z versions and no Moto Z5 on the horizon the dream is dead.⁠

But, how has the original Moto Z held up since 2016 and is it still usable in 2021? ⁠

In 2016 Motorola released the Moto Z. This was the phone that was intended to change the way we think of and use our phones. What made the Moto Z special was not so much the phone itself, as it was fairly standard spec-wise when compared to other flagships at the time. It was a small patch around the back of the phone that contained pogo-style pins which allowed users to connect a variety of peripherals to the phone known as Moto Mods that was supposed to make the Moto Z stand out from the rest. While you could argue that the Moto Z did stand out, it was not in the way Motorola, freshly acquired from Google by Lenovo, would have hoped. 


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I recently had been listening to a few Android related podcasts talking about how manufacturers, the media, and tech reviewers (at least the top ones) discard an earlier generation smartphone as incapable of doing the job for users day-to-day. The podcast challenged that, and its hosts/guests discussed how many phones that are 2-3 years old can do just as much as the current generation. I decided to take that and run with it. I pulled my 2016 Moto Z out of the box, charged it up and committed to using it for a month. Let us find out how it went! 



Specs 

As I mentioned, the Moto Z specs were within the ballpark of other smartphones released around the same time. Powered by a Snapdragon 820 processor the Moto Z had a 5.5” AMOLED display, 32 or 64 GB of onboard storage which could be expanded via a microSD card, 4GB of RAM, a 13 MP rear facing camera and a 5 MP front facing camera. Also on board were a front facing fingerprint scanner and a tiny 2,600 mAh battery. It is worth noting that this was also one of the first Android phones to, at least temporarily, remove the headphone jack and provide a proprietary USB C to 3.5mm headphone adapter. The Moto Z launched with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and in true Motorola fashion slowly made its way up to Android 8.0 Oreo. This was back when Motorola committed to 2 Android version updates verses the single version update on its current phones. 


Moto Z Spec Sheet

Experience 

Using the 2016 Moto Z for the first few days had me thinking this was going to be a breeze and that there was no reason a phone of this age couldn’t be used as a daily driver. However, by day three, the battery life of the Moto Z was so poor I was not even making it to noon before needing to charge the device.  

This is where the point or the goal of Moto Mods started to show. One of many Moto Mods were various battery mods. I was fortunate enough to have the Motorola branded battery mod available which doubled my battery to nearly 5,000 mAh. Battery problem solved! 

The Moto Z is stuck at Android 8.0 Oreo which means that it is no longer able to receive security updates and features found in newer versions of Android will never be seen. In my month of use with the Moto Z I did not find I was missing any features that my Pixel or newer devices have. I missed having the option for gesture navigation, but the three-button method that Android used for years was completely adequate. 


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The screen size of 5.5” was good for 2016, but by today’s standards it was a bit of a challenge to enjoy content designed with larger and taller screens in mind. I also couldn’t stop staring at the mammoth-sized bezels found on the original Moto Z. The device has a 72% screen-to-body ratio. Today’s phones are pushing well into the 90% range. Even the final Moto Z, the Moto Z4 had an 84% screen-to-body ratio, while maintaining the exact overall footprint of the original Moto Z. 

The camera on the Moto Z, by any standard, is just not good. In 2016 when I first started using the device it could do ok in outdoor conditions, and in perfect indoor conditions the images were passable. However, anything with any movement or low-light and the camera started to fall apart. Today, it is much of the same. Using it next to a Pixel, or even its older sibling, the Z4, shows how far cameras have come. For me, the camera is the most important function of a smartphone. If the camera is bad, the phone is of no use to me. Battery life is a close second, and as I mentioned already, the Z’s 2,600 mAh battery has pretty much given up. 


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My experience with the rest of my Moto Mod collection is not exclusive to the Moto Z 2016, since all mods with across the entire family of Moto Z phones, but it certainly helped make the phone, which feels otherwise stale, into something more fun. 

The mods I have on hard are: 

  • Battery 
  • Incipio Projector 
  • Polaroid Instashare Printer 
  • Moto Gamepad 
  • Moto 360 Camera 
Mot Z with Mods

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I already discussed how the battery saved me from having to charge 2-3 times per day. The rest of the Mods worked great on the phone and like I said, added some incentive to keep using this phone despite its shortcomings and age. The Alexa speaker is staple day-to-day in my use of the Moto Z. Now, caveat, the Alexa hands-free app does not support Android 8.0 and the Moto Z, so the speaker is just a speaker, sans the smart/connected features. It was a bit of a letdown to be unable to use this feature, but even without it, the speaker sound excellent. 

Moto Z with Moto Mod Battery Pack

The Polaroid is just a party trick strapped to the back of a smartphone, but it is a lot of fun to use.  

Polaroid Instashare Printer Mod

The Instashare Projector did not get much this time around. However, I used to use it daily as a bedroom TV and was also a trusted travel companion ensuring we always had the movie or shows that we wanted to watch available. 

The gamepad had a lot of potential and is fun to use depending on the game, most games I play on my phone are racing games and the gamepad handles hat well for the most part, but the design of the controller can make its use a challenge from time to time. 

Finally, the Moto 360 camera is a fun accessory, makes for a great travel accessory or if you have a specific thing you want to capture. However, in day-to-day use, it is not something you really need. 

Final note on the Mods. They all sound great, and mostly work great, but the cost of Mods on top of what is, or was, an expensive phone is a roadblock to making this practical for most people. This brings me back to what I was eluding to earlier. The Moto Z 2016 cannot really stand on its own as a viable smartphone in 2021, 5-years after its launch. The Mods were the only thing that made the phone usable and to purchase all the Mods I own would cost you about $500 today. 

Conclusion – Can you or should you use a 5-year-old smartphone? 

For the most things sure. However, your experience is going to be severely compromised, and the lack of OS and security updates will leave you vulnerable to issues that do not make the tradeoff worth it. Any other 5-year-old phone, without the ability to augment its function using Moto Mods would leave most wanting to pull their hair out. In the end it was a fun experience, but I am happy to put the Moto Z back in its box and get back to using something more modern and up to date! 


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Happy Plugs Air 1 Wireless Headphones Review

I’ve always said good headphones shouldn’t cost a fortune. However, cheap headphones shouldn’t be bad either. Check why the Happy Plugs Air 1s made me anything but happy.

You should probably just get the Air Pods.

When I first opened the Happy Plugs Air 1 Wireless Headphones, my first impression was that they were close in look and feel to Apple’s ubiquitous Air Pods. However, my experience was far from what you experience when setting up and using Air Pods. 


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What’s In The Box

It was a box of Q-Tips…

The unboxing experience of the Happy Plugs Air 1 was utilitarian, which is expected from lower priced wireless headphones. 

Inside the box were. 

  • Happy Plus Air 1 Ear Buds
  • Charging Case 
  • Silicon Ear Sleeves 
  • Micro USB Cable 
  • Multilingual Manual

Happy Plugs promises 14 hrs of playback time with the Air 1s

What I Liked – Pros 

Comfort & Fit 

When I first tried to use the Air 1 earbuds, the fit in my ear was awful. Anything more than sitting perfectly still led to one or both buds falling from my ear. Then I tried the silicon ear sleeves and the fit in the ear was far better. Time will tell if natural oils from my skin will lead to the earbuds falling out again. Overall, the fit is solid, and they are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time as long as you use the ear sleeves.


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Control, Control, You Must Have Control 

Like many other wireless headphones, the Air 1s offer touch controls built into each earbud, but one thing that stood out was the quantity of controls available. 

There are 14 different touch controls including Play/Pause, Volume Up/Down, Previous/Next Track and Google Assistant/Siri launch.  Sadly my use of them was short lived. Read on to see why!

Sound Quality 

The Air 1 sound quality far exceeded what I was expecting given the price point of $49.99. Music was punchy and there were no issues with overly thin sounds. They were a tad on the bassy side, but I would rather that over the alternative of flat, thin audio. 

Spoken audio from podcasts and audiobooks were handled well and the few phone calls I made with them were great. However, as is the case with all lower-end wireless ear buds, they only have 2 microphones so in some instances, callers on the other end had issues hearing me. 


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What I Did Not Like – Cons 

Reliability 

When I first charged and connected the Happy Plug, both buds worked great. However, since that first use, the left ear bud will power on, but cannot connect to any device I try to pair it with.  I have tried the reset function a dozen times and have had no luck. Without the use of the left ear bud, 50% of the touch functions are unavailable including the Google Assistant/Siri activation.

Design 

There are two types of people in the world; those who like Air Pods and those who do not. While I do not mind wearing ear buds using the Air Pod, or Q-tip, design, they look odd. I much prefer the more bean style like those of the Samsung Galaxy Buds or the Jabra series. The Happy Plugs, using the Air Pod approach have an added layer of design I do not like. The silver trim at the bottom of the ear bud just looks tacky. The Air Pods have it, see below, but it is more subtle and does not look as cheap.

Air Pod 2 (left) | Air 1 (Right)

I will give the case some props though. I like how easy it is to open and pulling the ear bud out is quite easy too. I am also reviewing the Anker Soundcore Life P2 TWS ear buds right now and the orientation used for the case makes it particularly challenging to pull out the buds without having to preform hand gymnastics to get them ready for your ear. 


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Should You Buy The Happy Plugs Air 1

In a word, no. Yes, at about $50 depending on where you find the Air 1s, they cost a fraction of what the Air Pods do and look almost the same. However, the overall form, function and quality leave me doubting that you would get more than a few months out of these. If cost is a factor, there are dozens of other brands out there that make a reliable product. They may not look this close to the Air Pods, but something like the aforementioned Soundcore Life P2’s from Anker are a far better option and cost considerably less.

You should probably just buy the Air Pods…


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Overall, I gave the Happy Plugs Air 1s a 2.5 out of 5. They got some things right, but overall they missed the mark for me.

Let me know what you think about the Happy Plugs, Air Pods or other true wireless headphones in the comments!


Check out other Wireless Headphone Reviews!

Blitzwolf BW-FYE4 Review

Blitzwolf BW-FYE5 Review

Blitzwold BW-ANC1 Review

Best Tech Gifts For Mother’s Day 2021

Treat the Mom’s in your life to the best tech gifts available in 2021.

Looking for the best tech gifts to give the Moms in your life this year? I have rounded up some of my favourite tech gifts to consider this year!


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FOSSIL GEN 5 JULIANNA STAINLESS STEEL – $269 – $390

One of the biggest times draws is picking up our phones to check if that notification was important or not. A smartwatch is a device that is going to save Mom loads of time.  The Apple Watch is always the go to for most lists like this, or a Fitbit, but there are dozens of other great looking smartwatches to consider.

The Fossil Gen 5 runs Google’s Wear OS platform and works with Android and iPhone. 

This watch offers swim proofing, so there is no need to remove it before jumping in the pool, taking a shower or a trip to the beach. 

Other useful features are heart rate tracking, Google Assistant, built-in GPS and Google Pay integration for contactless payment. 


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AIR PODS – $226 OR AIR PODS PRO – $262-$329

If Mom uses an iPhone, there should only be one consideration for earbuds and that is either the Air Pods or Air Pods Pro. 

Both options provide iPhone users with seamless integrations into Apple’s iOS for features like “Hey Siri” and quick pairing. The quick pairing feature begins as soon as the Air Pod case is opened within the vicinity of your iPhone. 

Air Pods (left) and Air Pods Pro (right)

Battery life is also respectable for both options with the regular Air Pods getting 5 hrs. of listening time per charge and an additional 24 hrs. of charge via the Air Pod case. The Air Pods Pro offer only 4.5 hrs. of playing time per charge with the same 24 hrs. of additional charge via the case.  

The only reason to consider the Pro is for their Active Noise Cancellation feature which will block out all outside noise. Something I am sure all Moms could use from time to time!

It is also worth noting that the Air Pods work with Android too. You won’t have access to Hey Siri or Apple’s quick pairing feature.


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EMBER TEMPERATURE CONTROL SMART MUG 2 – $149.99

The EMBER TEMPERATURE CONTROL SMART MUG is something I have had my eyes on for years. The mug has a built-in battery which powers a small heating coil in the base of the mug. Controllable via a smartphone app, you can keep your coffee or other hot drink at your desired temperature for up to 90 minutes.  

Ember Smart Mug 2 & App

This is something all Mom’s, especially those with younger kids, will appreciate. There is nothing worse than making your coffee, sitting down to enjoy it only to have to deal with any number of things your kids may throw at you. When you finally sit down again, your coffee is ice cold!


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FACEBOOK PORTAL MINI – $119-$179

ECHO SHOW 5 – $64.99-$99.99

Regardless of if we are stuck at home due to a pandemic or going about our lives like we used to, and hope to be doing soon, a device like an Echo Show or Facebook Portal is a great idea for Mother’s Day. I have grouped these together because the decision comes down to the ecosystem your Mother and she wants to connect with are in. If your family is firmly in the Amazon ecosystem and you already have echo devices throughout the house, the Echo Show would be the best pick. Not only does it provide the video calling capability to others using an Echo, but the tie into the rest of Amazon’s ever-growing network of services is a big plus. 

However, if Amazon’s ecosystem is not where other friends and family are invested, the Facebook Portal is the next best option. 

Facebook’s Portal allows you to chat with anyone using Facebook Messenger. The device has a camera built in that uses a feature called “Smart Camera” which allows you to move around the room freely while the camera always keeps you in the frame. 

A bonus to the Portal is that it is also Amazon Alexa enabled, allowing the device to perform nearly all the same tasks the Echo Show can. 

Finally, the Portal doubles as a digital picture frame which can display random or selected albums of Facebook photos.  

Facebook Portal Mini
Echo Show 5

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EUFY BY ANKER, BOOSTIQ ROBOVAC 15C MAX – $399

We are all starved for time, especially if you are a busy Mom with young kids running around. Finding time to do housework is a challenge. One item many people think is an unnecessary luxury is a smart vacuum, and until recently I would have completely agreed with that sentiment. Until we got our first smart vacuum. 

Smart vacuums like the Anker Eufy Robovac are not going to do a deep clean, like a Dyson will, but sending it out each day to stay on top of the crumbs, dirt and dog hair that inevitably is spread across the house is a lifesaver. With our kids and dogs there is always some sort of mess being spread around the floors. Having a smart vacuum is a vital part of keeping our house clean, while also freeing us up to take on other tasks. 

If you do opt for a smart vacuum, you will need to consider your needs Anker offers various versions of its Eufy Robovac. The Robovac 15C offers up to 2000pa of suction, is WI-FI connected and is Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant enabled, allowing you to start vacuuming by voice command.

Eufy’s BoostIQ technology allows the Robovac to adjust its vacuuming settings when it detects a different type of surface, which is great if you are moving from hardwood to carpet.


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TILE MATE – 2 PACK – $52.99

The Tile tracker has long been the stalwart of every gift guide found on the internet so I would be remiss to exclude it from this one! 

Tile is a Bluetooth device tracker that lets you keep track of whatever it attached to. Be it keys, a bag, the dog or a toddler, the tile can be found via its companion app. 

If your Tile-equipped item is within 200m of your phone, the Tile app can locate you item by playing an audible tone. If you are beyond the 200m range, the Tile app will show you the last location your item was when connected to your phone. 

Finally, the biggest strength of the Tile, and its long-standing popularity, is the Tile network. If you leave an item somewhere while on a trip, and how no luck tracking it down using the above methods, the next time another Tile user gets within range of your Tile, the app will alert you with its location. 


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That’s all for this years list? Are there any items that you would have added to the list? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to check out my Best Camping Tech for 2021 if you are planning on doing any camping or hiking this year!

Smartphone Apps Gadget Syrup Cannot Live Without

We can do nearly anything on our phones today. In fact, I can run my entire site from my phone. Want to see how? Check out the apps Gadget Syrup cannot live without.

As time goes on, we can do more and more day-to-day work from our smartphones. Some people I know run their entire life off their phone, never sitting down at a computer to get things done.

I recently started looking at home much I actually do from my phone and I was quite surprised how much I do, or can do from my phone.

As a result, I wanted to compile a list of the apps and services I use on mobile to run Gadget Syrup. Check it out!



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WordPress

This first one is self-explanatory. This is the WordPress mobile app. It allows me to monitor stats, create or posts and reply to comments, among other things all from my phone. You can even write a whole post from the mobile app. However, not only is it a lot of work to create a quality post on a screen this size, a lot of WordPress blocks are not compatible or able to be added from the app.

WordPress

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Asana

Asana is a take management application that I have been a religious user of for last 3-4 yrs. Ideally, you use it with a team of people but for a content and admin planning tool it is a must. Best of all, for most of what you need, you can use Asana completely free of charge.

Asana

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Google Analytics

Another obvious one by the title. Google Analytics gives you details on anything you could ever want to know about your websites traffic. It is far superior to what the WordPress stats offer.

Google Analytics

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Creator Studio

This one is new to the list. From Facebook, Creator Studio gives you analytics on your Facebook page tied to your business or website. It focuses a lot of video creators, but still works well to triage comments.

Facebook Creator Studio

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Buffer

Planning is everything when it comes to running your own site and social channels.

I have been a Buffer user for a decade now, using it to schedule Tweets and Facebook posts for Gadget Syrup.

Buffer can also setup Instagram posts among other social accounts, but it works best for Twitter and Facebook.

Buffer


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Later

Later is a service I have used off and on for the past year. It allows you to schedule social posts, like Buffer, but I only use it for Instagram posts. It is very handy if you find your best time to post is a time where you may not be there to post. Set it and forget it!

Their Instagram account is also a great follow!

Later

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Canva

I am not a graphic designer, but I like to pretend! Canva enables users of any level to create axing designs using their templates. They offer various presets for posts like Stories and Feed posts on Instagram as well as Twitter, Facebook and others ensuring your creation is the proper ratio for the given network.

Canva

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Snapseed

Snapseed is a powerful photo editing app that has been available for years.

It is owned by Google l, and they have been rolling a lot of the features of Snapseed into Google Photos. However, Snapseed still has a lot to offer if you want to add a little more to your pictures.

Snapseed

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Regrann

Regrann is the best all-around Instagram repost app available, on Android at least.

You can repost to your feed, stories or just save the image/story to your camera roll.

It is worth the purchase for the upgraded version too allowing you to remove watermarking and the “posted with Regrann” message from your posts.

Regrann

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PanoramaCrop

PanoramaCrop is another new one I have used only a few times. The app helps you create perfectly sized divided images for your feed that flow from left to right like one single image.

PanoramaCrop

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Pexels and Unsplash

I grouped Pexels and Unsplash together because for all intents and purposes they are the same thing. Each app has an enormous collection of free stock images to use. I have started using them both to generate feature images for the pages pf Gadget Syrup, as well as the hero image for some blog posts.

Both services also offer their services on the web to use from your PC.

Pexels
Unsplash

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Snapmod

This is one of my favourite apps. Snapmod contains hundreds of smartphones renders and through this very well-designed app you can insert screenshots from your device onto a render of your device or any other.

You’ll also notice that all of the app screenshots in this article were created with Snapmod!

There are a few caveats to be aware of now that many devices come with different screen ratios and the placement of any notches or camera cutouts will make your screen shot look out of place.

I’ve also noticed the developer for this app is slow to add new models, sometimes months after a phones release. In time, my feeling is that this app will stop being updated. Fingers crossed I am wrong!


Snapmod

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As you can see it is a pretty long list of apps. Do you use any in your day to day? Are there any other apps you would suggest I look at? Let me know in the comments below.


Check out some recent posts from Gadget Syrup

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Best Camping Tech for 2021

If you are going camping this summer, you are going to want to check out this list of the best camping and outdoor tech.

While it is certainly nice to step away from the busy tech-focused world we live in, leaving our phones and computers behind, there is also something to be said for getting away on an adventure with the best outdoor tech and gadgets available. 

Check out my list of the best camping and outdoor tech for 2021 


BIOLITE CAMPSTOVE 2 – $299.95

I covered the BIOLITE CampStove 2 back in back 2017 when it was first released. The CampStove 2 is a portable wood burning stove that converts heat into electricity. 

BioLite’s patented core technology captures waste heat from the fire through a heat probe attached to the stove’s power pack. The captured heat is converted into electricity via a thermoelectric generator. This powers a fan and sends electricity to a USB charging port. Excess power is stored in the internal. The internal fan injects air back into the burn chamber which improves combustion and creating a cleaner, more efficient burn.

The CampStove also comes with an array of accessories such as a lamp, kettle and cooking grill.

Check out the BIOLITE CAMPSTOVE 2.  


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LUMINAID PACKLITE LANTERN – $49.99

The LUMINAID PACKLITE LANTERN is something I have never considered needing before. However, when I think back to every time my family and I have gone camping, one thing that inevitably happens is we arrive to the site late in the day and are trying to setup camp and cook dinner since we are all starving after a long drive. 

I have used trouble lights, oil lanterns or even our van’s headlights, but none of those are ideal. When I came across the LUMINAID I knew it needed to be on this list! 

The lantern is solar powered so you will need to do a bit of planning to ensure it has a charge to get you up and running. You can also charge via a USB port if solar is not an option, however.

Delivering up to 150 lumens of LED light at max power and can supply up to 50 hrs. of light in low power mode. 

My suggestion is to pick up 4-5 of these lanterns to illuminate your entire campsite. They are also waterproof with an IP67 rating so they can stay setup for the whole trip. 

Check out the LUMINAID PACKLITE LANTERN


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LIFESTRAW PERSONAL WATER FILTER – $25

The LIFESTRAW PERSONAL WATER FILTER is something you are going to want to have on hand if you are going to be away from a potable water source on your next camping or hiking adventure. 

The LIFESTRAW filter removes a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and filters to 0.2 microns. It does this without the need for iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals. 

You can place this in any body of water like a river or stream and drink through the straw delivery clean, filtered water that will not harm you. A must if you are going to heading into the back county.

Check out the LIFESTRAW PERSONAL WATER FILTER 


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AKASO V50 PRO NATIVE 4K 30FPS 20MP WI-FI ACTION CAMERA WITH EIS TOUCH SCREEN – $189.99

Now we are into some real gadgets in the Gadget Syrup sense! You likely have not heard of AKASO before but think of them as a poor-man’s GoPro. And that is not a bad a thing! 

The AKASO V50 ACTION CAMERA records in up to 4K/30FPS, shoots 20MP stills and has WI-FI to transmit your content a smartphone for editing and sharing. 

This action cam also offers EIS or Electronic Image Stabilization to ensure your videos and images are stable and clear. There is also a 6-position gyroscope onboard to ensure the camera always knows which direction it is oriented. 

This camera bundle includes 2 x rechargeable 1100 mAh batteries, chargers, a remote-control wristband, and lots of other useful accessories. 

AKASO V50 Pro Action Cam
AKASO 14 in 1 Action Camera Accessory Kit

If you really want to step up your action camera game, you should also consider the AKASO 14 IN 1 ACTION CAMERA ACCESSORY KIT. This add-on kit only costs $24.99 CAD and includes useful add-ons such as the chest strap, mini tripod, and floating wrist strap. 

Check out the AKASO V50 PRO ACTION CAMERA 


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JBL FLIP 5 PORTABLE WATERPROOF WIRELESS BLUETOOTH SPEAKER – $149.98

The JBL FLIP 5 is one of the best rugged and waterproof speakers available and comes in a variety of assorted colours. Eleven to be exact.

Look at all those colours!

The 4800mAh battery provides up to 12 hours of playback time and the speaker is IPX7 rated, which means it can be submerged in up to 3 ft of water with no fear of damage. 

Its cylindrical design also makes the FLIP 5 easy to pack in your back, taking up minimal space.

The FLIP 5 also supports pairing with other “partyboost” speakers giving you the ability to create a stereo pair.

Check out the JBL FLIP 5 PORTABLE WATERPROOF WIRELESS BLUETOOTH SPEAKER


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JACKERY PORTABLE POWER STATION EXPLORER – From $259.99

A few years ago, the family and I went camping in Northern Ontario. The site we selected was a no-power site. We figured we would be fine without electricity and we could use the battery from our SUV to keep our cooler running overnight. Using the car each day to keep the battery charged for the next night would be fine. We woke up on day two and the battery to the SUV was dead and our food was warm.  

Sigh. We moved to a powered site immediately. 

Had we planned better we would have brought one of these with us. 

The JACKERY PORTABLE POWER STATION EXPLORER will let you power and charge your devices when you cannot get to a wall charger. You can power up to 4 devices at a time including smartphones, laptops, small heaters, and lights. 

The JACKERY PORTABLE POWER STATION EXPLORER also can be recharged via solar, but you will need to purchase the solar panel separately. 

Its biggest limitation is that it cannot power devices like a kettle because of the wattage requirements. 

Check out the JACKERY PORTABLE POWER STATION EXPLORER 


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VANKYO BURGER 101 3D PICO PROJECTOR – $276.99

The VANKYO BURGER 101 3D PICO PROJECTOR may be a bit of an unnecessary camping item, but it sure is a lot of fun. I have long been a user of the Motorola Z line of phone and Moto Mods. The mod I have used most has been the Incipio InstaShare Projector which snaps onto the back of the phone, turning it into a fully functional projector. 

The VANKYO BURGER 101 3D PICO PROJECTOR does not snap onto the phone, but instead connects via Wi-Fi or HDMI to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. 

This projector provides up to the equivalent of a 100” screen size at 1080p resolution and has a built-in 5200mAh battery which is more than enough to get through a movie or a few TV shows on Netflix. 

All of this comes in a device that weighs about the same as an iPhone 12. 

The projector also supports 3D playback if you have 3D glasses, which are not included. However, I would not buy this for its 3D capabilities, but more for its size and convenience.

Don’t forget a big white sheet and some rope to create a makeshift projector screen!

Check out the VANKYO BURGER 101 3D PICO PROJECTOR 


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That is it! There are hundreds of other fun and useful gadgets you could take camping with you, but these are some of my favourites. I hope you enjoyed and let me know in the comments what type of tech you take with you when venture to the great outdoors.


If you would like to see other guides like this, send me an email HERE.

Kickstarter Spotlight: STORM 2 Sci-Fi EDC Power Bank For Digital Nomads

The STORM 2 EDC Portable Battery is not your average power bank.

There are a lot, like a lot, of different portable battery packs on the market. You see them everywhere. Like Google Home Minis, you find them everywhere you turn, even in the the bottom of the cereal box. For the most part, they are all the same boring black slab of battery with nothing that sets it apart from the others. Ever once in a while, you find one that stands out. However, they’re a pretty boring category of tech gear.


I will admit, the Pikachu one is pretty damn cool. It also has USB C for charging which is nice ⚡

I don’t use these very often any more. Mostly because they either lack the power to run everything I need them to or just don’t like to lug the ugly bricks around. Then I came across the STORM 2 Power Bank courtesy of Daniel Rubino from Windows Central. Much like Daniel, I find these battery packs tend to all be the same, but the STORM 2 has an LCD which ties into the battery pack’s OS/firmware and the housing for the battery is completely clear. It caught my attention.


I have seen a lot of comparisons to a Cyberpunk-style design, but for me it feels more like a prop from Star Trek.


STORM 2 Power Bank from Kickstarter
Microsoft Surface Duo connected to the Storm 2 Power Bank. 📸: Daniel Rubino

What is the STORM 2 Sci-Fi EDC Power Bank For Digital Nomads?

The STORM 2 is a 27,600mAh / 99.36 Wh battery pack at its core, but it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve. The housing that encases the battery is clear, which serves no purpose other than to look cool and nerdy which is right in my wheelhouse. You can see the battery, circuitry and ports.

On the top-side the STORM 2 has a LCD display which allows you to control the power banks OS/firmware. Yes, this battery pack runs its own OS. The OS runs on a 32-bit M3 ARM MCU chip.

Check out the spec breakdown:

Power100W PD In/Out
3.3-25.2V DC Out
Pass-through charging
Battery27,600mAh/99.36Wh
Panasonic-Sanyo NCR18650GA
Ports2x USB Type-C (100W, 30W)
1x USB Type-A (5V)
1x DC Output (3.3-25.2V/3A)
Display1.14″ IPS TFT LCD
FeaturesAirline Safe Compact Battery Bank
Retro Style Monitor
Manual Power Control
Voltage Protection
Short Circuit, and Temperature Protection
Lifespan500 charges
Recharge time1.5 hours
Size151 x 46 x 59 mm
Weight578 grams
MaterialAluminum Alloy/V0 fireproof chassis

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Using the single button on the battery allows you to control the batteries settings for things like temperature control, voltage, etc.



Thanks to the impressive spec list the STORM 2 can fast-charge 3 devices simultaneously. On their Kickstarter page they state you can “charge your DJI drone with the DC port, MacBook Pro & iPhone with two USB-C ports, and your smart watch at the same time to boost your productivity.” It is pretty impressive that a portable pack this small has the ability to charge a MacBook Pro plus additional peripherals.


Charge your DJI drone with the DC port, MacBook Pro & iPhone with two USB-C ports, and your smart watch at the same time to boost your productivity.


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The DC port which allows for passthrough charging is also key for the STORM 2. Many, or rather most power banks do not allow for this, unless you’re breaking the bank and getting something like the massive Anker batteries that are more akin to a car battery in size. It is this kind of convenience coupled with a good price that make this so compelling.


It is also worth nothing the Watt-Hour size of this battery, which is 99.36Wh. Why 99.36? The STORM 2 is “airline safe” and they were able to achieve this by keeping the battery capacity under the 100Wh airline restriction. When we are allowed to do things like fly again and travel you will be able to bring your STORM 2 with you keeping your devices charged, even above 30,000 ft!


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Where can you buy the STORM 2?

The STORM 2 is currently running its campaign on Kickstarter. The team behind this battery pack reached their goal of $10,000 USD or $12,900 CAD about 5 minutes after going live and the project currently has a little over $200,000 CAD in funding. If you would like to back the STORM 2, Early Bird pricing is still available for $138 CAD + $24 CAD in shipping. The campaign runs until March 25, 2021 and orders are expected to start shipping internationally in April of 2021.

Check out the STORM 2 on Kickstarter

Syrup Drop: Keep Your Android Phone Unlocked While At Home And On The Go

Google Smart Lock is a convenient feature that will help you unlock your phone easier when at home and on the go!

There has been a lot of fuss over the upcoming iOS update that will make unlocking your iPhone easier with a mask on if you are paired with an Apple Watch. As a result, I’ve seen a lot of Android users complaining about Googles’ lack of a response on the Android side.

However, Android has had a built in feature to assist with unlocking your phone, or rather keeping it unlocked, for years now.

Smart Lock is a feature introduced in Android all the way back in 2014 with Android 5.0. It has evolved over the years adding some really useful features. The most noteworthy being trusted places and trusted devices.


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Smart Lock Trusted Places

Trusted places is a Smart Lock feature that keeps your Android device unlocked when you are at a designated location. By default it selects your home location as an option but you can add others as desired. Such as work, the gym, or wherever. The setting uses your geolocation to keep the device unlocked.

Use this one with caution though, because if you leave your phone behind, it won’t lock until a period of about 4 hours has passed.


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Smart Lock Trusted Devices

The trusted devices setting is the closest to what Apple is trying to achieve with its Apple Watch tie-in for the next iOS iteration. When your Android devices is connected to a Bluetooth device you can tell Android to keep your phone unlocked as long as this connection is active. This works best with devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy. Below shows the various Bluetooth devices I have paired with my Android device. Anytime these devices are connected by device is unlocked and ready to use. In my case, my Samsung smartwatch is connected to the phone 99% of the time, which cancels the other devices out, but I suggest adding them regardless of that as a fall back.


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Smart Lock On-Body Detection

The final Smart Lock setting available to users is the on-body detection. I do not recommend using this one as it is the least secure of the bunch and Android has been known to think it is in motion even when completely stationary.

When working correctly Smart Lock will lock your device once motion is no longer detected. It is not a secure method, to say the least. Consider this one a major trade off for convenience.


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That is Smart Lock in a but shell. A simple solution to keeping your phone conveniently unlocked while keeping security, for the most part, in tact. If you’re using a device that relies on face unlock, like the Pixel 4 using these features should be a big help when rocking your mask when out and about.


Thanks for reading the latest Syrup Drop! If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share get in touch with me HERE.

Syrup Drop: Turn Off Google Maps Turn-By-Turn Audio.

Turn off turn-by-turn audio in Google Maps with this handy tip!

I was listening to the All About Android podcast recently, and the show’s crew was talking about the annoyance of Google Maps barking out directions while driving that was more disruptive than helpful. One of the show hosts, Ron, said that he had never come across the option to reduce or silence Google Maps voice directions in all his years of using Android.

This is a feature I have used for years while using Google Maps as a passive timer and route avoidance tool. I was pretty surprised to hear someone on an Android Podcast say they had no idea that this feature existed. I also got a laugh out of Ron stating he was too busy with twins to sit down and learn about things like that. This was funny to me, because I too have twins, but they are kid number 4 and 5!

Regardless of the humour and surprise, I thought that if the AA crew didn’t know this function, many of you might not know about it as well.


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Enter Syrup Drop; A series of posts that will feature a quick and useful tech-related tip that you may find helpful!

By default, Google Maps has all voice navigation unmuted and provides users with turn-by-turn directions while navigating from place to place. While this feature is beneficial when visiting a new destination, it can be somewhat distracting and in some case annoying when using Maps to plan you busy drive to work or some other location.

It is a pretty straightforward function to alter as well; there is no Apple-style digging through the settings to find this. The setting is staring right at you during your navigation. Check it out below.



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The options are as follows;

  • Unmuted – Full voice navigation. Each turn, a different route or traffic issue is announced.
  • Alarms only – You’ll hear alerts like traffic, construction, and crashes. You won’t hear the constant turn-by-turn navigation.
  • Muted – This one is pretty self-explanatory. When active, Google Maps will stay completely silent. The only issue with this option is that should Google discover trouble on your route or a faster route, you’re likely to miss the onscreen pop-up.

That is it for this one! Hopefully, we can all get back to travelling soon and put this handy feature to use.


If you have any other tips and tricks like this, please get in touch with me HERE.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go Review

The Surface Laptop Go Review: Everything you would expect from a Microsoft Surface in a smaller package.

My Favourite Surface Ever!


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Intro

I’ve spent the last two months using the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go. After getting over the lack of a few premium features such as inking support and a backlit keyboard, I am convinced that this is possibly one of the best Surface devices ever released. It is certainly my favourite.

I used the Surface Go and Go 2 in the past few years and enjoyed them; they left me wanting more out of them and feeling like I wasn’t getting the full Surface experience. On the face of it, the Surface Go is a miniaturized Surface Pro, but with the power of the Pentium Gold processor, lack of RAM and a slightly cramped keyboard and trackpad, I felt slightly underwhelmed compared to my times with the Surface Pros and Books.

I went into my time with the Surface Laptop Go expecting the same thing—a boiled-down version of the Surface Laptop. After two months, that absolutely wasn’t the experience I had.



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Specs

The below specs are of the unit Microsoft send me for review. It was a top-end version of the Surface Laptop Go, so please keep that in mind while reading through!

Display: 12.4-inch PixelSense Display, 1536 x 1024 pixel resolution (148ppi), 3:2 aspect ratio, 10-point multi-touch

Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1

Memory: 8GB LPDDR 4x RAM

Storage: 256GB SSD

Dimensions: 278.18 x 205.67 x 15.69mm Weight: 1,110g (2.45lb)

Camera: 720p HD f/2.0 front-facing camera

Operating System: Windows 10 Home in S Mode

Battery: Up to 13 hours of “typical device usage”

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 6

Sensors: Ambient light sensor Ports: 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x Surface Connect port

Graphics: Intel UHD graphics



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Display

The display on the Surface Laptop Go is a lower resolution (1536 x 1024 pixels) than what you find on other Surface machines but, as was the case with previous Surfaces I have used, including the Go versions, the Laptop Go’s display was bright, vibrant and for my use, accurate. No, it isn’t Full HD, but this is not a media consumption device. It is geared towards users who are on the go and need something small, reliable and well built.

Like all other Surface devices, the Laptop Go has the same 3:2 aspect ratio. I think that all laptops should have this aspect ratio. I think the world is over 16:9. Some manufacturers have moved to 16:10, which is great, but for productivity, nothing beats 3:2.

Like all Surface computers, the Laptop Go has a touch screen. It works well, but with the laptop form factor compared to the Surface Pro and Go tablet-style, I didn’t use it much. It was more for scrolling webpages and documents.


Ports and Connectivity

I/O ports and Surface devices have always been a point of contention. Microsoft has taken the Apple approach of less is more, but they have also taken a safe approach by being slow to adopt the newest I/O connectivity on their devices.

The Surface Laptop Go is no exception. Onboard you have a Surface connect power port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, one USB 3.0 Type-A port and one USB 3.0 Type-C port.

I read many complaints that the Laptop Go should have had USB-C charging and Thunderbolt 3. While I agree with the charging, this is a budget laptop, and for the target market, Thunderbolt 3 would have driven up the cost of the device.

In my opinion, this is the first Surface to strike the right amount of ports for the type of customer it is geared towards. The single USB-C port is acceptable in this context, considering the most you will need to connect to a machine of this type is a USB-C display adapter, your smartphone or other USB-C peripherals such as a card reader. If the USB-C port is occupied, you can easily fall back to the USB-A port.

I don’t have strong feelings about the 3.5mm headphone port. That was a feature on many devices a few years ago, but TWS headphones are much more readily available and affordable today than wired headphones are nothing more than an inconvenience.

The only port I would change would be to ditch the Surface Connect port for another USB-C port for charging. I am hoping Microsoft takes that bold move away from the proprietary power connection some time in 2021. Fingers crossed!


USB-A – USB-C – 3.5mm
Surface Connect Power

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Performance

I eluded to this earlier, but I had low expectations for the Laptop Go. My previous Go experiences were positive but slightly underwhelming. In my time with the Laptop Go, I was amazed at how well it kept pace with other more powerful devices.

The 8GB of RAM helped, but I think the difference-maker is the processor compared to the Surface Go devices. The Laptop Go comes with an i5, regardless of the model, whereas the Surface Go offers a Pentium Gold processor, which is wildly underpowered by today’s standards.

Microsoft’s decision to avoid a low powered processor is a massive win for Laptop Go customers.

My Surface Laptop Go use was not incredibly heavy, but I did have to jump in and out of Photoshop periodically. Not once did I feel like the Go was lacking. Like all other Adobe apps, Photoshop is a heavy app, but the Go was up for the challenge.


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Fingerprint reader in the power button.

Keyboard, Touchpad and Pen

The keyboard on the Laptop Go is amazing. I can’t really say much more than that. With each new surface device, I use I fall more and more for the keyboard. I used to put Lenovo on a pedestal when it came to keyboards. However, as I type this review between an X1 Carbon and this very Surface Laptop Go for the purposes of comparison, the X1 doesn’t meet the mark. Surface Laptop, to me, is the new keyboard king.

The touchpad, like all other surface devices is large and pleasant to use. I found it to be accurate and responsive.

When I initially received the Laptop Go, I was excited to use my Surface Pen, like all other surfaces. However, I had forgotten that the Laptop Go does not support inking. At first, I viewed this as a disappointment and a mark against the device. Then, when considering my earlier points about the device’s form factor, its intended audience and its price, the pen and inking support would add cost to an already premium-priced device.



Software and Windows 10

The Surface Laptop Go, like its other Go family members and the original Surface Laptop, ships with Windows 10 in S mode. In case you are unaware, Windows 10 in S mode restricts users to install apps from the Microsoft Store only. This is good for organizations that do not want their users getting into trouble installing potentially harmful applications. It is also good if you’re only browsing the web and happy with the default apps like Edge (which you should be because it is great!) and the Mail and Calendar apps. The store does contain many popular apps like Twitter and Facebook Messenger as well.

For someone like myself who likes to test various different applications or has legacy applications, I use for various purposes, S mode does not work for me. Thankfully, you can easily turn off S mode with a quick settings toggle.

Other than S mode, Windows 10 is Windows 10 and for me, that is a good thing!


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Windows 10 in S Mode Settings
A few clicks will free you from the shackles of Windows 10 in S Mode.

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Pros:

  • Premium build quality
  • Outstanding webcam
  • Excellent keyboard and trackpad
  • Intel Core i5 processor

Cons:

  • No backlit keyboard
  • No support for inking
  • Lower resolution display
  • Limited I/O

Conclusion: Should You Buy The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go?

I always find myself hard-pressed not to recommend a Surface device, which is still the case here. I will admit, the Surface Laptop Go is expensive, some may say too expensive, but with a Surface device, you are buying into a family of devices that are incredibly well built, well supported and look great. The Surface Laptop Go makes the perfect laptop for someone on the go who wants to consume the web, send email but can hold its own for tasks like editing photos and consuming multimedia when needed.

If your needs are exceptionally low and you live only in email and on the web, with no need for more power from time to time, a Chromebook may suit you fine. However, a Chromebook boxes you in with no way out, even with a more expensive model. The Surface Laptop Go will have its limits, but the ceiling is considerably higher.



The Surface Laptop Go is available from Microsoft starting at $759.99 CAD and the configuration I reviewed will set you back $1,229.99 CAD.

Check out the Surface Laptop Go from Amazon right HERE!

Is the Moto Z Dead?

What does the Moto Edge+ mean for the future of the Moto Z line?

This week we saw Motorola come back to the flagship game with the Edge + and to a lesser degree the Edge. But, what does that mean for the Moto Z? Motorola has release several devices since the Z4 went to market and since then the company has hardly made a peep regarding what is likely their most polarizing family of devices.


Moto Z4, Launched June 2019

The Edge+ is a true flagship beast. It has 5G, 12GB of RAM, a camera array that is led by a 108MP sensor, a massive 5,000mAh battery and wireless charging. It is a monster! Nearly every tech writer, blogger, pundit, etc. has had a Motorola phone at one time or another and every outlet I have visited since the announcement has had excellent things to say about the Edge+ so far. The only concern I have seen is related to the curved waterfall screen. As device makers move away from that design, Motorola is marking it as a defining feature due to user-complaints over touch rejection, or lack thereof. I will reserve judgement until I get one in my hands, but from a pure looks perspective, I think the device looks great.


Motorola’s new Edge+ flagship

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I have been reading media and fans a like argue back and fourth over the future of the Z Line. Many are saying the idea was a flop, they should have stopped after the Z2. While others are begging Motorola to keep the dream alive and bring out the Moto Z5. Motorola, when the original Moto Z launched in 2016, promised to give this form factor and mod-functionality going for 3 years. After the lukewarm reactions to the Z3 Play and the Z3, I expected that to be the end of the line.

However, one year on from the supposed end of modular phone experiment from Motorola, we were surprised by the launch of the Moto Z4. The Z4 though had a different feel right from the word “go”. It was positioned firmly in the middle-upper end of the mid-range phone market, and there was only one SKU last year. No Z4 Play. The Z4 was a mix of the flagship spec’ed Z and the mid-range focused Z Play line. For example, the Z4 had a mid-ranged Snapdragon 675 SoC and only 4GB of RAM. But it also had 128GB of storage, a 48MP camera sensor, a huge 4,600mAh battery and in-display fingerprint scanner.

I used the Z4 for most of 2019 and most of 2020 so far with a few other devices mixed in. Every time I moved a away from the Z4, I always had to keep it close by because it was a joy to use thanks to Motorola’s take on Android and more importantly the Moto Mods. I have 6 or 7 different mods and while I admit that most of them are not very useful or are too niche to justify there existence, the majority of them have become staples in my day to day. The projector has become the de facto TV in the bedroom, the Alexa speaker packs a serious punch for its size and the battery mod gives me an additional 2,200mAh of juice for a total of 6,800mAh of power.


Moto Mod Connector on the Z4

So, like many I wondered after the Edge and Edge + announcement. Is the Z line dead and gone? Maybe not…

I asked Motorola this exact question and their answer, well… Just read it.


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GadgetSyrup: Does the announcement of these two phones spell the end of the Moto Z and Moto Mods?

Motorola: “We aren’t defining motorola edge as a new franchise like moto z or moto g. We are approaching the top-tier, premium space in a different way than the competition and you’ll see how this unfolds over the years. For fans of moto z and moto mods, these products will continue to be available for purchase in North America.”

GadgetSyrup: Can you comment on if there will or will not be a Moto Z5 released?

Motorola: “Motorola does not comment on future products in our roadmap.”


It’s a pretty standard answer at the end, but as we near the one year anniversary of the Moto Z4, does this response from Motorola mean that there is hope for the Z line to see a 5th generation?

I honestly don’t think Motorola needs the Moto Z anymore. Despite my affinity for the device Motorola has had a tremendous amount of success with the Moto G series and more recently with the One family of devices. It is the success of those two lines that even made the Edge and Edge + possible. I’d be happy to see the Moto Z continue, but I think Motorola would do even better if they left it and the Mods in the rearview.

What do you think? Is it time for Motorola to say goodbye to the Moto Z for good?

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Meet The Motorola Edge+ and Motorola Edge

The wait is finally over! Motorola has unveiled two new flagship devices. The Edge+ and the Edge. Check them out!

Motorola fans didn’t think the day would ever come. Motorola has been out of the flagship game for so long, most thought Motorola would continue to make bank in the mid-range smartphone market.

However, the wait is finally over. Today Motorola unveiled its new family of premium smartphones: motorola edge+ and motorola edge. These new devices mark Motorola’s “much-awaited return to the flagship space. Motorola’s newest smartphones are the fastest, loudest, and boldest on the market.”

The new Motorola flagship devices have been leaking all over the internet for a few months now, but with the curtains finally pulled back on them we can really dig into what this means for the former king of phone makers.


The New Motorola Edge+

Let’s look at the specs first!

SpecMotorola Edge +Motorol Edge
Screen 6.7″, Endless Edge, HDR10, 90Hz6.7″, Endless Edge, HDR10, 90Hz
ProcessorSnapdragon™ 865Snapdragon™ 765
Camera (rear)108 MP main sensor + 8 MP telephoto lens + 16 MP ultra-wide angle lens with built-in Macro Vision64MP main lens + 16MP ultra-wide lens with Macro Vision + 8 MP telephoto lens
Camera (front)25 MP front-facing25 MP front-facing
Battery5,000 mAh4,500 mAh
ColoursSmoky Sangria, Thunder GreyMidnight Magenta, Solar Black

There are other specs I could call out, for example, the Edge+ will have 5G, a headphone jack and wireless charging but lacks an official IP rating for dust and water protection. But I think the table covers the ones most people are concerned with. The waterfall edge screen, hence the Edge name, is already proving to be a polarizing decision made by Motorola. Flagships launched in late 2019 and early 2020 elected to drop the curved edge displays in favour of a flat panel. Motorola going with this deep curved edge may push some buyers away.

Edge+ in Smoky Sangria

My thoughts… The camera will make or break these devices

If you have scrolled through and read anything on GadgetSyrup, it is pretty obvious. I am a Motorola fan and have a great relationship with them. However, despite my affinity for their devices, their software and the company in general I am always left wanting more. Specifically in the camera department. The triple sensor package found on the Edge + looks great on paper and in the samples Motorola provided below, but I will have to wait patiently to test this camera out to know if Motorola has a winner in its hands this time. The last true flagship they released was the Moto Z2 and it fell flat in the camera department.

These image samples are only from the Edge+.


Pricing and Availability

The Edge + will retails for $999.99 USD. Below you can see when and where in the world the Edge + will be available for purchase.

  • Beginning in May, motorola edge+ will be available in various countries across Europe, in UAE at Etisalat and du and in KSA at stc. In the coming months, motorola edge+ will begin to roll out in India and select Latin American markets.
  • United States: In the U.S., the new edge+ will be available exclusively on Verizon, starting May 14 for $41.66 a month for 24 months on Verizon Device Payment (0% APR; $999.99 retail).
  • Promotions: 
    • Customers who get a new line of service on select Unlimited plans can save up to $550 on a new Motorola edge+ with an applicable trade-in.
    • Additionally, customers who switch from another carrier to a select Verizon Unlimited plan get a $150 Verizon e-gift card for a total savings of up to $700. Plus get a Verizon Stream TV, an Amazon Echo Dot and smart plug on us.
    • Current Verizon customers on select Unlimited plans can save up to $250 on a new Motorola edge+ with an applicable trade-in when you upgrade.
  • Canada: In Canada, the new edge+ will be available at Bell, Rogers, TELUS and Freedom Mobile. For more information, visit motorola.ca.

The standard Edge will retails for €699, and available in Italy first. Below shows further availability. Canadian availability is unknown at this time.

  • Motorola edge will be available in Italy beginning in May ( MSRP: €699 ) and launched  to various European countries in the following weeks. In the coming months, motorola edge will begin to roll out across select markets in Latin America and Asia Pacific.
  • In the U.S., the new edge will be available later this year. More information to come this summer.

I am waiting to hear from Motorola on review unit availability, but as soon as I have one in hand I will be sure to share my impressions as I put it through a full review.

Motorola To Announce New Flagship Tomorrow (4-22-2020)

We’ve been waiting a long time, an eternity if you’re a die-hard Motorola fan like myself, for Motorola to finally being the heat with a flagship smartphone.

Tomorrow, April 22, 2020, looks to be the day!



Motorola dropped these three videos on their Instagram story today which show the waterfall edge display the devices are rumoured to have.

The devices we’re expecting is the Motorola Edge+ and possibly the slightly lower powered Motorola Edge.

The new devices, specifically the Edge+ is expected to be a true flagship with the following spec sheet:


  • Snapdragon 865
  • 5G
  • 6.7″ Super AMOLED display
  • 108mp main camera, 16mp wide-angle camera, 8mp telephoto camera, 25mp selfie camera
  • 8 – 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB storage
  • 5,000 mAh battery

I’m excited to see Motorola finally get back into the flagship game after years of mid-range dominance with it’s Moto G line.

More to come!

Motorola Razr Now Available In Canada

Motorola Razr is finally available in Canada!

After being release a few months ago in the United States, the Motorola Razr is finally available in Canada. Although, only at select retailers.


Motorola Razr

Starting on April 17th the reincarnation of the original Razr is available from Telus Mobility and Freedom Mobile.

At the time I am posting this article, the Razr is not available to be purchased outright as an unlocked phone. And according to Motorola’s PR, it won’t be made available as an unlocked unit. It can be purchased outright from Telus or Freedom, but that will come at a pretty hefty price compared to if the likes of Amazon we’re selling the new Razr.

Another consideration with the Razr is it’s eSIM. With no ability to insert your own SIM card, using with your carrier may be a challenge.


Are foldable phones the future or a fad?

Motorola hasn’t sent out review units on the Razr at the time this post goes live, and I have the feeling they won’t based on the launch in the US and the scarcity of review devices in that Maker. However, if that changes I will be reviewing for sure. I’m a big Motorola fan and would love to take Razr out for a spin!


What are your thoughts? Any plans to purchase the Razr?

Motorola Edge + Leak Gives Full Render of Upcoming Device

Motorola is on the verge of launching its first true flagship since the Motorola Z2 and Z2 Force and thanks to Evan Blass, noted leaker has provided us with what appears to be the press renders of the upcoming device.

Motorola is on the verge of launching its first true flagship since the Motorola Z2 and Z2 Force and thanks to Evan Blass, noted leaker has provided us with what appears to be the press renders of the upcoming device.


Rumored Motorola Edge+ Flagship Render

The Edge+ is expected to bring the goods on the spec front too. Here is what we know about the device so far

  • Snapdragon 865
  • 5G
  • 6.7″ Super AMOLED display
  • 108mp main camera, 16mp wide-angle camera, 8mp telephoto camera, 25mp selfie camera
  • 8 – 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB storage
  • 5,000 mAh battery


There is no official word on when the device will launch, but we should expect to hear something from Motorola soon. A few media outlets are pointing to April 3rd for the announcement. However, any keen Moto fans will know that the date April 3rd on all Moto renders is a throwback to April 3rd, 1973. This marks the date Motorola placed the first ever call on a mobile network.


What are your thoughts on these leaks? If you ask me, Motorola is long over due getting back into the flagship game!

My Favourite Apps: ß-Maniac

Another one of my favourite apps! ß-Maniac helps you find and manage beta programs for Android apps.

Favourite app time! And this time it isn’t a Microsoft App!!

This new app is very, very niche. But given the focus of GadgetSyrup, I am sure anyone who sees this post will appreciate it.



What is ß-Maniac?

ß-Maniac, pronounced Beta Manic is an Android app that scans the apps installed on your phone to see if there is a beta program available via the Google Play Store.
If you are like me and love to be on the bleeding edge of what’s next for your favourite apps, this app, despite its relative simplicity, is worth checking out.


How Does ß-Maniac Work?

ß-Maniac, as mentioned, is pretty bare-bones. After launching the app, users are presented with their entire list of apps. Apps that do not have a beta channel available show no checkmark. A blue checkmark indicates apps that have a beta stream available but are currently not active on your device. A green checkmark indicates apps that are currently enrolled in a beta stream. Finally, apps that are registered in a closed or private beta stream are indicated with a grey checkmark.



Outside being able to pick and choose which beta programs you would like to participate in Beta Maniac will also send push notifications to your device when an installed app opens the doors to a new or previously closed beta for their app. For me, this is key. I like to be involved in as many beta programs as possible. However, in a lot of cases, a popular app will open up a beta to the public, but by the time I find out, the beta is full, and no new users can participate. Having Beta Maniac installed has really helped with this.

Gone are the days of searching the web for an apk for a beta version of an app while hoping you don’t get burned with a malware-laden application


Where Can You Download Beta Maniac?

Well, only one place, really. The Google Play Store. If you would like to download and dive deep into the world of Android beta apps, hit the button below!

My Favourite Apps: Microsoft Office Lens

Microsoft Office Lens is one of my favourite and most useful apps. Check out my mini-review of this must have app.

My wife and I have recently embarked on a Marie Kondo-Esque type clean up of our house. We moved in just over a year ago, and like with any move, many boxes of miscellaneous things ended up shoved into the storage rooms of the basement. As a result, more and more junk ended up was added to those rooms. Inevitably, the storage rooms were a complete nightmare. Our messy storage room, amplified by the welcoming of twins to the family (five kids now in total), started to spread into the rest of the basement. It was time to do something! It was time to be ruthless and finally rid ourselves of all of those things that would have been sure to spend many more years in a box.


One of those many things in boxes were old pictures, documents, schoolwork, certificates, awards, etc. Were we ever going to display them? Read them? Use them in any way, shape or form? The answer was NO. We didn’t want to throw out all of these memories, but the idea of scanning them on our now antiquated HP all-in-one wasn’t an inspiring option either. My wife suggested to me to take pictures of the papers we were planning to toss, but me being me, I had to find a more technologically involved method.


I had considered Google’s photo scanning app but, having tried that in the past, I decided it was a non-starter. Google’s offering requires you to take four shots of the same picture to capture it. Nope, not happening!

Enter yet another Microsoft app tucked away in my app drawer rose to the occasion to save the day. Microsoft Office Lens.



What is Microsoft Office Lens?

You can think of this app as a document scanner for your phone but backed by robust, well-thought software. Thanks to the far more powerful camera on your smartphone, results are better than the scanner attached to your printer.


Why I Like Office Lens

Effortless Use

Using Lens is as simple as using your camera. Open the app, line up the document, picture whiteboard or business card you are trying to capture and click.


Powerful

As you can see in the image, lining up, the whiteboard, or whatever you are capturing, doesn’t require a perfectly aligned head-on shot. Shooting from the side will yield the same result.


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Connects to All The Things

I initially used Lens to capture whiteboards in meetings at work. Since then, Microsoft has added a lot of features that make it appealing to use for personal reasons too. For example, this house clean up and capturing old school work and pictures from years past. Having the ability to seamlessly switch from personal and work accounts is a big value ad for Lens


Flexible

Lens lets you save a document in a handful of different locations and file formats at the same time. After capturing the image, you can save the output as a PDF or JPEG to your OneDrive account, add as an image to a OneNote notebook, add to a PowerPoint slide, save to your phones camera roll or if it is a text-based document use Microsoft word and OCR to output as an editable text document.


Overall, I have found Office Lens to be a big help at home and at work. It is available for download on Android and iOS at the links below.



Syrup Drop: Make Your In-Screen Fingerprint Reader More Accurate

In-screen fingerprint readers are a great step forward, but in these early days, they can be frustratingly inaccurate on some devices.

Check out this small hack to make unlocking your phone a breeze.

Welcome back to Syrup Drop. A series of posts that will feature a quick and useful tech related tip that you may find helpful.


It is still relatively early days in the transition from fingerprint readers that are on the back of a phone to the front of the phone, embedded in the screen. As is normally the case with new technologies, like an in-screen fingerprint reader, there are often hiccups and The functionally can be unreliable and frustrating to use.

Recently I discovered a little trick or hack to improve the in-screen reader on my Motorola Z4. Check it out down below!


Moto Z4 In-Screen Fingerprint Reader (image: Android Central)

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When setting up your fingerprint, you’re required to place your finger over the reader a series of times to allow for various angles of your fingerprint to be scanned and stored. However, the 6 or so times you scan your finger often isn’t enough for these newer in-screen reader. Especially in mid-range devices like the Z4.

The fix? It’s quite simple actually. Scan the same finger multiple times as a new finger. Each time you can a new finger the reader will store more and more angles of you thumb print, ensuring for a more accurate scan when it’s time to unlock your phone.


Scan the same finger multiple times as a new finger.


I have set up my thumb 5 times on the Moto Z4. After completing this little hack, I went from being frustrated and resorting to pin unlock to unlocking my phone within a second or two!


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Thanks for checking out the latest Syrup Drop! If you have any helpful tips and tricks feel free to share by visiting this link: Contact GadgetSyrup

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Motorola Moto G Power Preview

Motorola took the covers of two new mid-range Moto G phones today. Check out a preview of the Moto G Power.

Motorola took to covers off the latest editions to the Moto G family and they look very good!

First thing you’ll notice is that Moto dropped the number naming scheme used for all other Moto G phone since the Moto G2. I find this odd, since we say the Moto G8 Plus launch in late 2019. Oh well, I’m not that concerned.

There were two phones announced today the Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus

You can read more about the Moto G Stylus by clicking the link below



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First up though is the Moto G Power. I had a love hate relationship with the G7 Power last year. I loved the fit and finish of the phone, the size, the display and of course the insane battery life. However, the camera and the overall performance of the phone left much to be desired. It was still my pick for those who need a good, basic phone that has great battery life, but for my needs, I couldn’t make it work long term.



This year looks like the Power is taking a big step forward on the spec sheet, check it out!


Moto G Power Specs

Operating systemAndroid™ 10
System Architecture/ProcessorQualcomm® Snapdragon™ 665 Mobile Processor
Memory (RAM)4GB
Storage (ROM)64GB built-in* | up to 512GB microSD card* expandable
Dimensions159.85 x 75.84 x 9.63mm
Weight199g
Display6.4″ FHD+ Max Vision display
Battery5000mAh
Charging10w rapid charger
Water ProtectionWater repellent design
Rear Camera16MP (f/1.7, 1.12μm)
2MP (f/2.2, 1.75μm) | macro | minimum 2cm focus distance
8MP (f/2.2, 1.12μm) | 118° ultra-wide angle
Video CaptureRear main camera: UHD (30fps) | FHD (60/30fps) | HD (30fps)
Rear ultra-wide angle camera: FHD (30fps) | HD (30fps)
Rear macro camera: HD (30fps)
Front Camera16MP (f/2.0, 1μm) | Quad Pixel technology
Bluetooth® TechnologyBluetooth® 5.0
FM RadioYes
SpeakersDual stereo speakers tuned by Dolby
NFCNo
In-box AccessoriesCharger, USB Type-C cable, guides, SIM tool
ColorsSmoke Black
ExperiencesMoto Actions: Quick capture, Fast flashlight, Three finger screenshot, Screenshot editor, Flip for DND, Pick up to silence, Media controls, Swipe to shrink

That’s a pretty hefty spec sheet for a mid-range device but lets unpack a few oh the highlights.


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6.4″ FHD+ Max Vision display

This is a pretty good size and nice to see the Power finally get the proper FHD bump. The size is also slightly larger than last years G7 Power, which was 6.2″ and only 720p. It’s still LCD, but the G7 LCDs were very clean and crisp to look at.

The display also ditches the large forehead in exchange for a smaller holepunch display like that of the Moto One Action.


5,000 mAh Battery

Last years G7 Power had the same size battery and 2 days of battery life was an easy feat. I expect much of the same this year.


Camera

The G7 Power’s camera was fine, in some cases, but on the whole suffered to take consistently reliable shots and video. This year the G Power is getting a major upgrade on the camera. The array is a triple-camera setup with standard 16 megapixel shooter, an 8 megapixel ultra-wide angle camera and finally a 2 megapixel macro lens for ultra close ups.

I am most excited for the wide angle camera since being able to get more into a shot is always a good thing. Let’s hope the performance is there.

The samples Motorola provided appear to be very respectable, but as always we will need to see how it performs in the real world.



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I am also suspicious as to if we will see a Moto G to replace last years G7. The camera on the Power tells me no, but we will se if there is a standard G model for North America with the same specs as the Moto G8 Power.


Dual-Stereo Speakers

This is very exciting actually. Motorola’s single speaker setup on the Z and G series has always done well, but having stereo sound is always welcomed and is a big differentiator in the mid-range.


NFC

Again, the G series will not see NFC, at least for this device. I have become a big fan of Google Pay and will struggle to go back to a world where I need to use my actual card. I do have Samsung Pay on my Gear S3 Frontier, but it is clunky and slow to load. We will see how it goes when I review the G Power.


With all of that, pros and cons aside, I am very excited to see what the G Power will bring to the table once I get my hands on a review unit.


The Moto G Power will be available this spring in Canada with Videotron and Freedom Mobile. Pricing isn’t yet known for the Canadian market but US pricing bring come in at about $250.


What do you think about the Moto G Power, it’s upgraded camera and massive battery?

Motorola Moto G Stylus Preview

Motorola has announced the rumored Moto G Stylus today. A mid-range smartphone with stylus. Check out the Moto G Stylus Preview.

Motorola took to covers off the latest editions to the Moto G family and they look very good!

First thing you’ll notice is that Moto dropped the number naming scheme used for all other Moto G phone since the Moto G2. I find this odd, since we say the Moto G8 Plus launch in late 2019. Oh well, I’m not that concerned.

There were two phones announced today the Moto G Stylus and Moto G Power.

You can read more about the Moto G Power by clicking the link below



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This year we get a new Moto G entrant in the form of Motorola’s first stylus-enabled device, the Moto G Stylus. This device isn’t meant to compete with Samsung’s incredibly successful Note series, but more something that should clobber LG’s Stylo line. Thinking about it, the G Stylus is true to the Moto G mission which is to bring a premium like experience to the mid-range.

So, what does the Stylus bring to the table? Let’s check out the specs below.



Motorola Moto G Stylus Specs

Operating systemAndroid™ 10
System
Architecture/Processor
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 665 Mobile Processor
Memory (RAM)4GB
Storage (ROM)128GB built-in* | up to 512GB microSD card* expandable
Dimensions158.55 x 75.8 x 9.2mm
Weight192g
Display6.4″ FHD+ Max Vision display
Battery4000mAh
Charging10w rapid charging
Water ProtectionWater repellent design
Rear Camera48MP Sensor (f/1.7, 1.6μm) | Quad Pixel technology
Macro Vision (2mp, f/2.2) | minimum xxxcm focus distance
Action Cam (16mp, f/2.2, 2.0μm) | Quad Pixel technology | 117° ultra-wide angle only
Laser autofocus (TOF)
Video CaptureRear main camera: UHD (30fps) | FHD (120/60/30fps) | HD (30fps)
Rear ultra-wide angle camera: FHD (30fps) | HD (30fps)
Rear macro camera: HD (30fps)
Front Camera16MP (f/2.0, 1μm)
Bluetooth® TechnologyBluetooth® 5.0
FM RadioYes
SpeakersDual stereo speakers tuned by Dolby
NFCNo
In-box AccessoriesCharger, USB Type-C cable, guides, SIM tool
ExperiencesMoto Actions: Quick capture, Fast flashlight, Three finger screenshot, Screenshot editor, Flip for DND,
Pick up to silence, Media controls, Swipe to shrink

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A lot going on with this spec sheet that really is pushing into the top end of the mid-range phone sector. As with the Power it is brining the Snapdragon 665 and 4GB of RAM. However, it also has a few key differences. Check out some of the specs that really stand out for the Moto G Stylus


The Stylus and Moto Notes

What would be the point of this phone if not for the Stylus!?

As mentioned the G Stylus is not a Note-Killer but it will certainly bring some really fun features to the mid-range. The pen with the G Stylus is a passive stylus, meaning it does not pack any of the fancy button tricks of Samsung’s Note line, but Motorola will be launching a new Moto app called Moto Notes which will give users the ability to take notes by simply pulling out the pen and writing on the screen.

The Stylus is a polarizing accessory for phones. You either love them or hate them. I haven’t owned a Note device since the Note 4, but I always enjoyed the ability to be more precise when poking around on a smaller display. I expect much of the same with the Moto G Stylus and its pen.


6.4″ FHD+ Max Vision display

Like the G Power, the G Stylus has a 6.4″ LCD display, the same size as 2019’s Z4 which has served me really well. I expect this display to be just fine in most cases.



Camera

On paper the G Stylus really takes a leap compared the the G Power. The camera array is a triple-camera setup with a 48 megapixel shooter which should do really well in most scenarios. Next is a 2 megapixel macro sensor like that of the Moto One Macro and also found on the G Power. The third camera is a 16 megapixel action camera. The action camera, taken from the Moto One Action allows you to shoot landscape video while holding the camera vertically for a better grip.

How will the cameras perform, only time will tell as the review units start rolling in, but I am expecting a big step over previous G series devices. Until then, check out a few samples Motorola has provided.



Dual Stereo Speakers

Like with the G Power we are fortunate to have a mid-range phone with stereo speakers. Most mid-range phones have a small top or bottom firing speaker that always underwhelms. Stereo speakers are a welcomed addition here for sure.


NFC

I get a lot of use of out Google Pay here in Canada since it is accepted virtually everywhere. The G series has never had NFC, and the G Stylus stays the course. It’s not going to be a deal breaker for me, but it will be a pain to have go back to the physical card.


Battery

The G Stylus does’t pack the camera chops of the G Power, but the 4,000 mAh battery is still impressive. Getting 1.5 to 2 days of normal use should be a breeze.


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With all of that, pros and cons aside, I am very excited to see what the G Stylus will bring to the table once I get my hands on a review unit.


The Moto G Stylus will be available this spring in Canada from Videotron. Pricing in Canada is unknown right now, but the US pricing will be around $300.


What do you think about the Moto G Stylus as Motorola’s first foray into a pen-based phone?

BlitzWolf BW-FYE4 True Wireless Headphones Review

You don’t need to break the bank for good true wireless headphones! Check out the GadgetSyrup review of the BlitzWolf BW-FYE4 True Wireless Headphones

Don’t break the bank on wireless headphones.

True wireless headphones shouldn’t cost a fortune!

This is the 3rd pair of BlitzWolf wireless headphones I have reviewed over the past year or so. I really have enjoyed each pair more than the previous. They are always affordable and provide an excellent bang for the buck. Yet I am still surprised every time I see someone dropping an insane amount of cash on wireless headphones. Sure, something like the Jabra 75t or Galaxy Buds are better if you compare them pound for pound, but most just buy those devices because they are placed in front of them at stores like Best Buy or Costco. I have used both of those headphones too and yes, I liked them, but did I like them several hundred dollars more than what I have tried from other, cheaper brands? Simply, no.

Read on below the break to see a set of true wireless headphones that don’t break the bank but delivery the quality you would expect from a higher priced pair.


Also, check out my other BlitzWolf Wireless Headphone reviews below!


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What if I told you there was a cake in the box?

  • 2 x True Wireless FYE4 Headphones
  • 1 x Large Replacement Ear Tips
  • 1 x Medium Replacement Ear Tips
  • 1 x Small Replacement Ear Tips
  • 1 x FYE4 Charging Case
  • 1 x Micro USB Cable
  • 1 x User Manual

Pretty standard unboxing with BlitzWolf FYE series headphones.


Design

I reviewed the BlitzWolf BW-FYE5 TWS headphones this past fall, and while I mostly liked everything about them, the design, wasn’t my favourite. Overtime I found they started to lose the quality fit and feel from when they were new. When I saw the chance to check out the FYE4 TWS, also from BlitzWolf, I was immediately interested, thanks to the earbuds design.


Left: BW-FYE5
Right: BW-FYE4

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As you can see the FYE4s are considerably larger than the FYE5s, however the larger size is actually deciving. The FYE4s are lighter than their smaller sibling.

Despite the larger size I found that it was easier to press the Play/Pause button. Also, the shape of the bud where it enters your ear provided a more comfortable and snug fit. Wearing the FYE5s for extended periods was pretty easy, but the FYE4s were far more computable, for my ears. I was a little concerned at first that they would look chunky or gaudy in my ears, but for the most part, they are pretty inconspicuous.

The design of the case isn’t ideal due to it’s size. Which makes it harder to put in a pants pocket, but it does come with a button that when pressed shows how much juice the cases battery has remaining. Something the FYE5 lacked.


Sound Quality

If you have read a headphone review on GadgetSyrup before you’ve heard this. If you’re new here, first off, thanks for reading!! But I like to mention in every review, I am not an audiophile and I don’t listen to that much music, especially through headphones.

Most of my listening is tech and Formula 1 related podcasts with the odd audiobook sprinkled in here and there. For the use case I have, and the small amount of Bud I did listen to, the FYE4s had excellent output. Volume was good and loud and there were no points where I thought the sound was distorted or cracking.

Outdoors I had next to no issues with volume and did not struggle with wind noise interfering with the audio output.

I will say though that phones calls are a total no go with these headphones. Most callers said I sounded far away or muffled. No matter what I did, indoors or out, it was a struggle to use these for phone calls.


Ports and Connectivity

The FYE4 use Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to your Smartphone meaning that power usage should be minimal when connected and latency should be less when compared to older Bluetooth devices. Not much else to say on this…

Unfortunately, BlitzWolf elected to continue on using micro USB to charge the headphones. This is fine, but I would have really preferred if they made the move to USB Type C. Yes, using the older standard is cheaper, but we have to make a leap forward at the low-end of this market at some point.


Micro USB is fine… but we really need everything to move to USB C

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Battery Life

I’m not sure if my FYE5s had battery issues or not but despite having the same 50 mAh battery inside, the FYE4s lasted considerably longer. I even went back to the FYE5s for a week to double-check and sure enough I was getting hours more life.

The biggest difference wasn’t just in the earbud use between charges, which choose to 5 hours of continuous use. The battery case, thanks to it’s larger size houses a larger 500 mAh battery. The FYE5 sports a 400 mAh battery.



Ease of Use

One thing I’ve noticed when using inexpensive Bluetooth true wireless headphones from any manufacturer is how difficult it is to get each earbud operational separate from the other. The process is backwards from FYE5s. With the FTE4s the left bud is the primary device. Meaning, if you take out both buds, use them and put away the left bud, the right bud stops working. Take out only the left bud, connection successful! Take out just the right bud… Crickets. You have to manually power down the bud by pressing and holding the button. Repeat to turn on, but hold to enter pairing mode. Then pair from your Bluetooth device.

With the initial setup taking out just the left bud you’re automatically entered into device pairing, but not with the right. Not impossible to sort out and maybe my expectations are too high for this process, but it certainly should be improved.

Once you get them paired, day-to-day use is not an issue at all.


Pros:

  • Comfortable to wear for long hours
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid build quality
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Micro USB charging instead of USB-C
  • Large charging case compared to other headphones, including the BlitzWolf BW-FYE5

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Conclusion: Should You Buy The BlitzWolf BW-FYE4?

I said you should buy the FYE5s when I reviewed them and they are still decent, but if you’re asking me if you should buy the FYE5s or the FYE4s, it is it contest. Buy the FYE4s. The superior battery life, ease of use and comfort make them a far better choice.


If you’d like to pick up a pair of BlitzWolf BW-FYE4 True Wireless Headphones you can pick them up on Amazon for CAD $49.99.



Thanks for reading and let me know what you think about the process of true wireless headphones. Do you agree with me?

Syrup Drop: Use the Windows 10 Virtual Track-Pad

Welcome back to Syrup Drop. A series of posts that will feature a quick and useful tech related tip that you may find helpful.

This tip shows off the Windows 10 Virtual Trackpad

Welcome back to Syrup Drop. A series of posts that will feature a quick and useful tech related tip that you may find helpful.

When I am using my Surface Pro I often find many websites or apps that I am frequently using are far from touch-friendly. I could go grab my mouse, yes, but there should be a better way. Until recently I would frustratingly poke around at a given site or app only to end up in a place I have no intention of getting to. Well, it turns out there has been a better way for quite some time. I simply have just not known about it until now.

Windows 10 has a built in virtual track-pad, just like the one on your laptops keyboard.


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To enable this useful tool right-click anywhere on the taskbar and select “Show touchpad button“.

After you click that the virtual trackpad will show up on the screen. You are able to move it to anywhere on the screen as well, to keep it out of the way while you work.


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The virtual trackpad can also be enabled via Windows 10 settings as seen above.

Another use or the onscreen trackpad would be to control something like a PowerPoint presentation when using a tablet.


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That’s it! It may be a niche feature, but something I have found incredibly helpful.

Thanks for checking out the latest Syrup Drop! If you have any helpful tips and tricks feel free to share by visiting this link: Contact GadgetSyrup


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Upcoming Motorola Edge+ with Flagship Level Specs Confirmed by New Benchmark (Updated)

Late last week notorious leaker Evan Blass, aka EvLeaks, shared details of a new Motorola device sporting a stylus. Many assumed and reported that this would be the rumoured Motorola Edge+ device, while many also argued it wasn’t. Well regardless of that debate, the Edge+ is a real device and new leaked benchmarks show off parts of its spec sheet. Check it out.

Late last week notorious leaker Evan Blass, aka EvLeaks, shared details of a new Motorola device sporting a stylus. Many assumed and reported that this would be the rumoured Motorola Edge+ device, while many also argued it wasn’t. Well regardless of that debate, the Edge+ is a real device and new leaked benchmarks show off parts of its spec sheet. Check it out below.


Stylus-enabled Motorola Smartphone Leaked by Evan Blass


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According to the Geekbench results, the Edge+ looks like it will come with a SnapDragon 865, 12GB of RAM and Android 10. With the 865 SoC, the Edge+ will likely have 5G connectivity too.


SnapDragon 865 SoC, 12GB RAM and Android 10. Yay!

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There is no way to tie the Edge+ with last weeks stylus enabled device leak yet, but given the timing, I think we can assume they are the same device. For now at least. Geekbench testing doesn’t show us anything related to the device camera, battery or physical design but I am hoping that we see a design similar to that of the Moto One Zoom and its triple camera setup on the back.


Motorola One Zoom

If you have poked around on GadgetSyrup, you will see that I am a big Motorola fan so I am very excited to see some real-world testing of a new Motorola flagship smartphone.

Update: GSM Arena is reporting that the Motorola Edge+, G8, G8 Power and another mid-range stylus device will launch on Feb 23rd, a day before Mobile World Congress.

From GSM Arena: Just a day before MWC 2020 kicks off, February 23, Motorola will host an event where we expect to see the Moto G8 and G8 Power as well as a midranger with a stylus and the Edge+ flagship. The event is scheduled to kick off at 7 PM CET but that’s the only official information we have at the moment.


What are your thoughts on the Motorola Edge+? I would love to hear from you!

And while you’re here, follow GadgetSyrup on Instagram. Every like and follow makes a huge difference!

Motorola To Launch Moto G8 At Mobile World Congress

Motorola expect to launch the Moto G8 and G8 Power at Mobile World Congress

Last year on February 7th, 2019, Motorola took the covers off the Moto G7 series of phones, but up to this point we haven’t heard much about when the Moto G8 will launch. I assumed that the G series would take a seat for a later spring launch since Motorola is firmly focused on pushing its February 6th, 2020 release of the new Motorola Razr. It looks like my speculation was right.

Reporting from 91mobiles, Motorola will be heading to Mobile World Congress 2020 to show it its Moto G8 handset.


Moto G8 Render from 91mobiles

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The new G8 will depart from the traditional surprised robot camera bump and adopt the camera layout seen on recent Motorola One devices as well as the Brazil exclusive G8 Plus device that launched in late 2019.


What to Expect from the Moto G8?

The G8 will still firmly be in the mid-range category running a SnapDragon 665 chipset, a 6.39-inch 720 x 1,560 LCD display, 3GB or 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage and will be running Android 10 out of the box.

The camera on the G7 was passable, but suffered in low-light like most other mid-rangers. The G8 will hopefully bring an incremental improvement. The device reportedly will ship with a 16-megapixel shooter with an f/1.7 primary shooter, a 2-megapixel f/2.2 macro camera and an 8-megapixel f/2.2 118-degree wide-angle sensor. On paper, it sounds promising, but we will have to wait and see how it performs.

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Moto G7

Around the front of the G8 we’re expecting am 8-megapixel f/2.0 hole-punch camera.

Finally, the battery is expected to get a 25% capacity bump over last year moving up to 4,000mAh with 10W fast charging.

There has also been rumors that the G8 Power will launch along side the G8 with a similar spec sheet. Last years G7 Power was only a single camera module with a lower-spec chipset. The G8 Power could also see a 25-megapixel front facing camera similar to that of the Z4. The G7 Power sported a 5,000mAh battery last year, so I hope to see the same, or larger, capacity this year.

I have been a fan of the G-series Moto phones since they came out and got a lot of use out of both the G7 and G7 Power so will be eager to review these units as they come to market.

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Thoughts on the Moto G8 and G8 Power? Let me know!


Check out other recent Motorola news, including the rumored Galaxy Note competitor.

New Motorola Razr Camera Features

The new Razr is coming soon. Check out some of the Razrs camera tricks!

As Razr Release day nears, February 6th for those in the US, Motorola has posted a series of YouTube videos showcasing some the features and functions of the highly anticipated folding smartphone. In this video, below, Motorola highlights some of the camera functionality found in the Razr.

A lot of these features can be found in every other recent Motorola smartphone such as Smile Selfie, Portrait Mode, and Night Vision. Some new and notable additions are Portrait Lighting and one that is going to be key for me (and my five kids), Camera Cartoon. This feature uses to external display to show a cartoon smiley face which will help to keep everyone’s attention while capturing the perfect shot.


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A lot of really fun features are packed into Motorola cameras, but we will need to wait and see if the camera quality is there or not.

Check out more Motorla Razr coverage here

New Motorola Razr Comes With Nightstand Amplifier Because Why Not

The new Moto Razr is coming soon! Moto has shown off some new features including the box doubling as a nightstand amplifier.

Motorola’s new Razr is due in the US on February 6th, with other areas coming soon thereafter. As we get closer to the launch date Motorola US has started dropping videos on their YouTube channel highlighting some of the features of the Razr.

In this first video we see what the unboxing experience looks like. The video is short, but shows that the Razr comes bundled with a Turbo Power charger, “Razr Earbuds”, which will likely be USB Type-C, an accessory carrying case and a “Nightstand Amplifier”. Ok, it actually doesn’t come with that, but they are saying the box doubles as one. Motorola didn’t share anything more than that, so we will need to wait and see what this amplifier really does. I think we can likely assume it will simply function as an ersatz loudspeaker (like when you put your phone in a cup or paper towel tube).


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Check out the video below;

“Unboxing Razr”

You can check out more Razr videos on the Motorola US YouTube Channel here.

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