Mark Pilgrim Kia Sandton

My latest gadget review

My wife is not so gadgety, so when I get a new device I like writing a quick blog about it in layman's terms without all the technical mumbo jumbo.  I got 2 new devices this past weekend that I quite like and thought I'd share with you:

Beats Solo 3

You get 3 main categories of headphones:
  • In-ear earphones: These are the types of earphones you wedge into your earhole (like those that come with your smartphone)
  • On-ear headphones: These usually have a band over your head and have medium sized capsules that are about the same size as your ears
  • Over-ear headphones: These have a bigger capsules and completely cover your ear and normally seal the sound off (like radio studio headphones)
Unless you want to look like you're in a control tower trying to communicate with a plane, you'd rather go for a set of in-ear or on-ear ones when at gym or travelling.

Whilst I do already have reasonable set of in-ear earphones, I find that I'm constantly fiddling with the things in my ear and I can still hear a lot of ambient room noise, so they are often just not loud enough for me. So this past weekend my wife bought me a pair of Beats Solo 3 wireless "on-ear" headphones and I'm in love. With the headphones. And my wife.

Beats Solo 3
There are those in the industry who say you're paying too much for a Beats product. Yes, you do pay a premium, but you are getting a premium headset. The Solo 3's fit snugly on my ears and produce a phenomenal sound (some people find Beats have too much bass... for me, I like a good thump).

Besides the audio quality, this specific model has another little gem up its sleeve... battery life. Now that Apple have the licence rights to the product they've spruced it up with a W1 chip. What does that mean for you? This chip has increased the battery life from an average of 12 hours (which the previous model had) to an industry leading 40 hours! It only takes about 2 hours to fully charge the headphones again.

Also, if you're an iPhone user its now even easier to sync the headphones with your device. You simply hold headphones close to your phone and you get a screen-pop up asking if it can sync for you. No more having to go into bluetooth settings and trying to pair the devices manually.

Most retailers are selling the headphones for about R4999, but Takealot often runs them on their site at a few hundred rand less.

Zagg Ignition 12

How often do you find yourself scrambling to find a power outlet because your smartphone or iPad is about to go flat, but you still need to use the device? Well, the solution is to have a portable power charger with you. It's essentially a spare battery that you have pre-charged and it supplies power to (and charges) your own phone's battery without you needing to find a plug socket.

They come in all sizes, but if you can think of it like a bucket, the larger the bucket, the more water (or in our case, power) it can store. The "size of the bucket" is usually measured in mAh. Don't worry about what it means, suffice to say a device that might be the size of a triple thick credit card might charge your phone once and is about 2300 mAh. A power bank the size of a pack of 20 ciggies might be about 5000 mAh and charge your phone twice.

Well, I just got sampled with the Zagg Ignition 12, which is the size of a tiny clutch purse (an analogy for my wife) and packs 12000 mAh, which means it can charge your smartphone 4 times before going flat, or fully charge an iPad and smartphone once. That's a lot of portable power in your hands.

Zagg Ignition 12

But what makes the Zagg Ignition 12 stand out for me is 2 extra little features built in.
  • It has 2 charge speeds. It has a 1Amp USB port (that charges about the same speed as a normal phone charger) and a 2.1Amp USB port (which charges an iPad at normal speed or an iPhone much faster).
  • A little gimmicky, but could come in handy, it has a LED torch light built in. 
This is not the kind of power bank you want to keep in your pocket as it's quite heavy, but it's ideal if you're going away for the weekend camping and need to keep your phones charged, or as an emergency power backup at home. It should retail in stores for about R699 (the supplier did mention it's in the Takealot store, but I couldn't find it there sth time of writing this blog).

Happy gadgeting!

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