Gadget news
Garmin vivoactive 5 announced with AMOLED screen, NFC and 11-day battery life
4:58 pm | September 21, 2023

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Garmin announced its latest vivoactive 5 featuring a lightweight design with an anodized aluminum bezel and the same high-end avtivity tracking that Garmin is known for. Vivoactive 5 features a 1.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen with 390 x 390px resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The watch weighs just 23 grams and is 5 ATM waterproof. The newest vivoactive member can track your heart rate, blood oxygen, stress and sleep. Sleep tracking comes with personalized sleep insights and nap tracking. The watch supports over 30 sport-tracking apps with on-board GPS. Vivoactive 5 also...

itel S23+ arrives with a 6.78″ curved AMOLED screen and 50MP camera for $120
6:15 pm | September 19, 2023

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itel launched the S23 in June, and today the company followed it up with the itel S23+. The itel S23+ is built around a 6.78" FullHD+ curved always-on AMOLED display with 99% DCI-P3 color gamut, 500 nits peak brightness, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It also has a fingerprint reader underneath for biometric authentication and a centered punch-hole for the 32MP selfie camera. Moreover, the itel S23+ features Apple's Dynamic Island-like Dynamic Bar, allowing users to check notifications for incoming calls, reminders, and battery status. However, it won't be available out of the box...

Oppo A2 Pro debuts with curved AMOLED screen, Dimensity 7050 chipset and free battery replacement program
2:01 pm | September 15, 2023

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Oppo unveiled its latest A-series device earlier today in China with the A2 Pro. It brings a curved 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED with a 120Hz refresh rate and is equipped with MediaTek’s Dimensity 7050 chipset. The other notable bit is that Oppo promises the 5,000 mAh battery inside the A2 Pro will comfortably last you for at least 4 years after purchase. If it falls below 80% battery health within 4 years of the purchase date, Oppo will offer a free battery replacement. Oppo A2 Pro Based on Oppo’s tests, the battery reattained 88% of its original capacity after 1,000 charge cycles which...

Fairphone 5 specs leak: up to 8 years of support, new AMOLED display, more modules
12:07 pm | August 30, 2023

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Detailed information of the upcoming Fairphone 5 leaked, including the announcement date – tomorrow. The new model will be more powerful, more repairable, more durable and with longer support and, unfortunately, more costly. The Dutch phone company made an interesting choice for the chipset, it went with a Qualcomm QCM6490. That’s a chipset intended for embedded and industrial applications. In terms of performance it should be similar to the Snapdragon 778G. What makes it interesting is that Qualcomm offers long term software support – eight years or until 2031. Fairphone does its...

vivo V29e announced with curved AMOLED display, 50MP selfie cam and SD 695
11:48 am | August 28, 2023

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As expected, vivo announced its vivo V29e today in India as the latest addition to the midrange V-series lineup. The device brings a 6.78-inch curved AMOLED screen with FHD+ resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate and a 50MP front-facing camera with eye autofocus. vivo V29e The back features a dual-tone design with color-changing glass which vivo calls Artistic Design. The Artistic Red variant brings a UV-sensitive back which changes from red to black when exposed to UV light. There's a 64MP main camera alongside an 8MP ultrawide module housed inside the camera rings. vivo V29e...

Garmin Epix Pro review: One of Garmin’s best watches just got even better
5:04 pm | August 8, 2023

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Garmin Epix Pro: One minute review

I’ve been wearing the Garmin Epix Pro for about three weeks now, and it’s a phenomenal, premium-feeling Garmin watch. It’s essentially an AMOLED-screened version of the Fenix 7 Pro, which is the Fenix 7 with the 7X Solar’s LED torch and a few new exercise widgets. 

It’s a good watch by any measure, and experienced runners, riders, explorers and triathletes are sure to get their money’s worth. The new Up Ahead feature is a good idea for serious trail runners, and the extremely accurate optical heart rate monitors are a nice plus, but the highlights on the software front are the new Hill and Endurance scores, great new metrics that get you thinking about exercise in new ways. 

The AMOLED screen is virtually unchanged from the existing Epix line and still looks the business, a far cry from the battery-conserving MIP screen on the Fenix. Regardless, the battery serves well, even with the torch’s red mode on for an hour with GPS, which was nice for street running at night. The Garmin Epix Pro is certainly worth considering if you’re serious about outdoor fitness, and it’ll happily go toe-to-toe with anything the Apple Watch Ultra can throw at it. 

So why haven’t I given it five stars? Well, maybe I’ve seen too many of the best Garmin watches at this point, but nothing here feels truly transformative. Those looking to upgrade from their old tired Forerunner 945 or their best Apple Watch to something top-of-the-line will love it, but it’s unlikely to tempt existing Fenix or Epix users to trade in their old watch in favor of this one. 

Garmin Epix Pro: Specifications

Garmin Epix Pro: Price and availability

Garmin Fenix 7S Pro and Garmin Epix Pro side-by-side

(Image credit: Future)
  • 42mm and 47mm: $899.99 / £829.99 / AU$$1,529
  • 51mm: $999.99 / £929.99 / $1,699
  • More expensive Sapphire glass versions also available

The Garmin Epix Pro is available in the US, UK and Australia in a variety of different materials and sizes. The Epix Pro comes in 42mm, 47mm and 51mm widths (we tested the middle-of-the-pack 47mm version). While the 47mm and 42mm models both cost $899.99 / £829.99 / AU$$1,529, the 51mm is more expensive at $999.99 / £929.99 / $1,699, as you’re paying for not only a larger screen, but a beefier battery too.

All versions of the Epix Pro are available with both tough Corning Gorilla Glass and even tougher Sapphire crystal options. Naturally, the Sapphire crystal options are available at an additional premium: $100 / £100 / AU$150. 

All this means you’ve got plenty of options to choose from even after you’ve settled on the Epix Pro over the Garmin Epix (Gen 2) or the Garmin Fenix 7. All are premium-priced offerings with premium price tags to match, pricing out those looking for a common-or-garden smartwatch. 

And to be honest, that’s fine: at this end of the spectrum, the Garmin Epix Pro is an advanced, professional-grade training tool. It’s not badly priced by any means, but neither does it represent outstanding value. 

  • Value score: 3.5/5 

Garmin Epix Pro: Design and display

Garmin Epix Pro

(Image credit: Future / Matt Evans)
  • AMOLED screen is great
  • Satisfyingly premium-feeling
  • New information and torch well-integrated

The Garmin Epix Pro, like the Epix Gen 2 before it, is designed to be extremely robust while remaining attractive, even if it is very much a ‘rugged’ watch, and conforms to Garmin’s typical five-button conventions. A ‘light’ button at the top, when pressed and held down, activates a circular menu, at the top of which is the new torch functionality. ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ buttons allow you to call up and navigate your stack of widgets, providing a quick way to access your health information, and access other widgets such as your daily calendar, weather, and stock ticket.  On the other side of the watch is the ‘start/stop’ button, which provides quick access to your favorite workouts, and a ‘back’ button which can also be pressed to trigger a lap during an endurance exercise. You can also use the touchscreen to navigate the watch instead, if you feel so inclined.

If you’re familiar with Garmin watches, you’ll be able to jump in and get started straight away; and even if this is your first Garmin watch, the tried-and-tested design is pretty intuitive, and it won’t be long before using it becomes second nature. I’m glad, even all this time after Garmin incorporated touchscreen tech, that the buttons haven’t gone anywhere, as they’re infinitely easier to use mid-workout than fiddling around with the touchscreen. Gloved and wet workouts in particular, such as skiing, winter cycling and swimming, really benefit from button activations, and they’re essential on premium fitness tools – even Apple figured this one out, and implemented the Action Button on the Apple Watch Ultra. You can adjust the intensity and modes of the aforementioned new flashlight using either control method.

Moving on to the construction, the fiber-reinforced polymer shell and stainless steel back and bezel feel satisfyingly hefty without being a drag on my wrist. I like the 47mm Epix Pro as a size; I could really feel the huge Garmin Enduro 2 with its 51mm case during hour-long runs, never mind the endurance events it’s made for, so it’s nice to have a premium running watch from Garmin with the option of smaller sizes. The AMOLED screen operates really well in practice, although it’s virtually identical to the screen on the Epix Gen 2. It looks good, but still doesn’t have that butter-smooth refresh rate you get on Apple and Samsung wearables, as the emphasis is still on battery life and function rather than screen aesthetics.

This is only an iterative update in many ways, with the notable exception of the new flashlight. As on the Fenix 7X, this is incorporated at the top of the casing, facing outwards at 90 degrees from your hand. It’s a good design choice: when you raise your watch in the normal way, your flashlight is pointing forwards. Some brands use the watch face as a flashlight, which necessitates twisting your wrist at an awkward angle, or removing the watch entirely, to make use of it. 

The other new features, the Hill and Endurance scores, are integrated as you’d expect on the menu of widgets available on-watch, with the options now appearing on Garmin Connect, too. I love Garmin Connect – it could be designed to be a little more beginner-friendly in nature, but it’s by far the most comprehensive companion app around, is totally free, and comes with stacks of features, including pre-designed event training plans, advanced GPS tools, and helpful tips based on your watch’s readings. It’s half the reason I use Garmin watches day-to-day and blows competitors’ apps out of the water. 

  • Design score: 4.5/5 

Garmin Epix Pro: Features

Garmin Epix Pro

(Image credit: Future / Matt Evans)
  • All of Garmin’s usual smarts
  • New Hill and Endurance scores
  • Multiple flashlight options

I won’t be listing every feature the Garmin Epix Pro offers here due to the fact we covered so much of it in our original Garmin Epix (Gen 2) review, but suffice to say there’s some new stuff on offer. Topographical maps features now offer real-time weather information, and updated heart rate sensors are said to increase accuracy thanks to a new set of “spacially diverse optical sensors”, meaning they can cover more of what’s happening beneath your skin to provide a more accurate picture of your heart rate. 

The other new headline features are the flashlight and the two new software features: your Endurance score and Hill score. The Endurance score uses a variety of existing Garmin metrics, such as VO2 Max and training history, rolled into a single number to communicate how effective you’re likely to be at endurance exercises such as steady-state running or cycling. 

This is really useful for those training for distance events, as the individual metrics don’t quite communicate how ready you are to go the distance. I enjoyed getting to grips with mine, although I was disappointed by just how low my Endurance score actually was once generated – serves me right for taking a month off running!

Hill score is a little different, calculating how effective you are at running on inclines. Garmin says the Hill score is “calculated by using a combination of fitness and performance data. Higher scores indicate more skillful ascent running. Your score is also classified from recreational to elite, relative to others of the same age and gender, ensuring the progress you see is personally meaningful.” I love it as a feature; it’s eminently usable, and it’s even split into multiple sections – hill endurance, hill strength, and VO2 max – to help you understand how the hill score is calculated. 

The flashlight works in the same way as on the Garmin Fenix 7X Solar, with four intensities of white light, multiple flashing patterns for signaling, and an infrared red light that won’t dazzle, and which can be left on while you jog at night to keep you visible. I’m glad to see that it’s not just a single, solid LED light that’s been tacked on: real thought has been put into the use cases for this feature, and it works nicely as part of the overall package. 

Elsewhere, there are a load of features we’ve not yet talked about that come as standard on the Fenix and Epix chassis. To start with there are Garmin’s impressive GPS credentials, perhaps the best on any running watch, with the ability to create and run your own courses and view your route on the watch. PacePro, meanwhile, allows you to race against your previous times on these courses, charting your improvement in tangible ways. 

Then you have sleep scores, VO2 max, notification functionalities, music control, onboard music storage, estimated race prediction times, maps for thousands of golf courses and ski resorts… everything you’d expect from a premium multisport outdoors watch. Expedition mode allows you to use maps and set waypoints, leaving GPS on across multiple days and turning other sensors off to divert power to the features you need. It’s an all-in-one package that’s perfect for runners, riders, orienteers and every outdoors enthusiast who can afford it. 

  • Features score: 5/5 

Garmin Epix Pro: Performance

Garmin Epix Pro

(Image credit: Future / Matt Evans)
  • Battery performs as claimed
  • Hill score encouraged me to train in new ways
  • Maps a treat on AMOLED full-color screen

During my 30 days or so with the Garmin Epix Pro, I allowed the battery to drain all the way down twice. During that time I was wearing it near-constantly, training most nights of sleep and several runs a week. Each time, the battery lasted for around 11 days, which tracks quite well with Garmin’s claims. The 47mm Epix Pro I tested is said to last for 16 days, or 42 hours life in GPS mode; so with GPS running workouts draining the battery, 11 days means the Garmin Epix Pro lives up to expectations. 

The Epix Pro is a beast of a watch. Maps look great on the full-color AMOLED screen as you can see above, and I was able to create a simple 10K course on Garmin Connect and download it onto the watch, while TrackBack allows you to retrace your steps nicely. The GPS was highly accurate, comparable to within 0.2km of my Apple Watch Ultra, which I used as a baseline.

Most of my serious testing involved running, and just as expected, Garmin's metrics are best-in-class. Advanced running metrics include heart rate zones, running power (which used to require one of the best heart rate monitors to achieve), cadence in 'steps per minute', vertical oscillation, which tells you how much you bounce up and down while you run... I can't list them all here. But if you're a runner, this watch will tell you everything you could ever want to know. 

The new Hill and Endurance scores helped me change my training and challenge myself in new ways. As I hadn't been running long distances as much as I was during marathon prep (obviously), it was quite a shock at first to see how low my Endurance score had become, and it encouraged me to take the time to do less 5K runs and more long-distance work. As the evening wore on during my long run, I switched the flashlight to the duller 'red' mode to ensure I was clearly visible, while in no danger of dazzling cars.

Likewise, Hill score encouraged me to try hill-sprinting for the first time in a very long time, to try and build up my uphill power. Two very different kinds of training there, pairing together to help you achieve all-round improvement. 

The AMOLED screen was also a significant day-to-day improvement over the Fenix 7's dull MIP screen, especially when training at night. Even though it sacrifices battery life, the AMOLED screens on the Epix and Garmin Forerunner 265 offers far more visibility in dim light and darkness than the old MIP screens, even though they're easier on the eye and less 'screen-like' than the AMOLED option. 

  • Performance score: 5/5

Garmin Epix Pro: Scorecard

Garmin Epix Pro: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Garmin Epix Pro: Also consider

First reviewed: July 2023

Polar Ignite 3 review: A mid-range running watch for fitness data nerds
5:38 pm | April 19, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Polar Ignite 3: One minute review

The Polar Ignite 3 is a follow up to the hugely impressive Polar Ignite 2, which emerged back in 2021. A couple of years is a long time in the fast-moving world of smartwatch tech, so Polar has revised the already excellent and undeniably attractive Ignite design to reflect as much. 

The good news is that it still delivers the same value appeal, sitting nicely into the mid-range pricing category, which makes it an affordable option for those looking for one of the best running watches on a budget. 

The vibrant AMOLED display is a definite highpoint, but there are also new features including multi-band GPS (which brings it up to par with other mid-range Garmins) and powerful statistics tools like SleepWise, which proves impressive at monitoring your levels of shut-eye. The svelte and very lightweight design means it sits easily on the wrist, even during sleep. 

Unfortunately, the Polar Ignite 3 is also plagued by less than impressive battery life and a touchscreen interface that frequently feels sluggish, verging on buggy. If you can live with its frustrating edge, it can offer pretty good value for money, but there are better options at this price point.

Polar Ignite 3: Specifications

Polar Ignite 3: Price and availability

Polar Ignite 3

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)
  • $329.95 in the US
  • £289 in the UK
  • $428.67 in Australia

The Polar Ignite 3 is available now, directly from Polar itself or via many of the popular online outlets including Amazon. It has a current RRP of $329.95 in the US, £289 in the UK and $428.67 in Australia.  

Polar Ignite 3: Design

  • Bright, bold AMOLED screen
  • Slimline form factor
  • Cool color choices

The Polar Ignite 3 looks very tempting on the box, but it’s not until you take the watch out of its packaging that you realise just how good this slender creation looks. It’s just 9.5mm thick, weighs only 35 grams but still has a spacious touchscreen to enjoy. 

The 1.28-inch display is perhaps the highpoint of this model, which once powered up is gorgeous to look at with crisp, clear and very vibrant colours to enjoy. The edge of the bezel has a neat array of vertical grooves around its edge, although this does look and feel like it could be susceptible to marks and scratches over time.

It can be found in a number of colour options, including Night Black, Purple Dusk, Greige Sand and Brown Copper, so there’s a look that’ll suit just about any taste. Our review example was the Brown Copper model, which came with a spare strap in the box for when wear and tear gets the better of the original. 

Also in the box is a selection of micro manuals for just about any language plus a USB charging cable, which mates to the watch via a magnetic clip on the back. 

Meanwhile, the design of the supporting Polar Flow app is very respectable, with plenty of detailed metrics to get stuck into. It’s got comprehensive historic graphs of all your major data points with no additional subscription fees. It’s not quite as intuitive as it could be: it eschews nice well-rounded Sleep and Readiness scores in favor of complex graphs and data deep-dives, so it’s more for regular runners and data nerds rather than lifestyle and activity. 

Nevertheless, once you’ve figured out where everything lives, it is pretty comprehensive on the data front.

  • Design Score: 4/5

Polar Ignite 3: Features

Polar Ignite 3

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)
  • SleepWise monitors shut-eye closely
  • Customizable widgets work well
  • Polar Flow app is nicely designed

While it’s undoubtedly a good-looking thing, the Polar Ignite is slightly less impressive on the typical smartwatch features front. At first glance, it has most things you need, with notification services for emails and messages, alarms, timers and the ability to control your music all housed inside the interface. Dig a little deeper though and there are omissions. There is no way to make contactless payments, which is increasingly appealing for folks at places like the gym or on a run, who don’t want to carry anything else with them.

Similarly missing is any way of answering calls, and you can’t ping off a text from the watch either, only receive one. In fact, if you want to get any real mileage from the Polar Ignite 3, you’ll most likely end up taking your phone with you, because you’ll need it to tap into your music collection due to limited storage on board the watch itself. 

The GPS system can track your route on a localised run but, again, it feels like the features are a little underwhelming. It’s a shame to have the watch so tethered to your phone, especially when the UX promises so much on your first viewing.

SleepWise analyses your sleep patterns well enough as does Nightly Recharge, which reports back on how your body deals with stress. Polar’s FitSpark service offers up on-demand exercise suggestions should you need them, which also cleverly take into account your training load and recovery needs. For example, on the day after a hard run, it’ll recommend a less strenuous exercise than it might on a day which you’re fully recovered, and you have a better Nightly Recharge score. In-training voice guidance from the watch is another cool add-on. 

Getting to the features and functions is where the frustration creeps in though: we found basic tasks, such as starting a cross-trainer session, erratic and less than user-friendly. People who are exercising want quick and easy access to simple Stop/Start controls, which just doesn’t seem to happen with the Polar Ignite 3. There’s too much fiddling around the watch face itself, not enough immediacy. No-one wants to waste time in the gym. 

  • Features score: 3/5

Polar Ignite 3: Performance

Polar Ignite 3

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)
  • Dual-frequency GPS is solid
  • Latest processor is a step-up
  • Energy source breakdown is neat

While everything initially appears good in both the looks department and the feature setlist, it’s once you start using the Polar Ignite 3 that some holes start to appear. After installing the supporting Polar app, the setup process was okay – but not as seamless as some of its counterparts. The Polar Ignite 3 has subsequently seemed to be less than enthusiastic during syncing too, with often a few tries needed in order to get the process to kick into gear. 

More annoying though is the less-than-simple way this watch works during everyday use. It frequently seems unresponsive, promoting confusion as to whether or not it’s doing anything. That means repeated interaction with the screen, or pressing of the back button on the left-hand side of the bezel. 

This in itself feels quite stiff and unresponsive. It’s understandable to have a button that can’t be inadvertently pressed, thereby avoiding cancellation of workouts and suchlike, but it’s a bit too unforgiving for its own good.

Battery life isn’t too great either. Polar suggests that you’ll get up to five days in watch mode or up to 30 hours of continuous training using the GPS and heart rate monitoring features. That may well be right, but we found the watch battery ebbed away quite quickly during average everyday use, prompting you to feel like you need to charge it more frequently than the official figures suggest. 

Overall, performance and usability shortcomings are perhaps the biggest weakness with the Polar Ignite 3, which is a shame given just how good it looks.

  • Performance score: 3/5

Polar Ignite 3: Buy it if...

Polar Ignite 3: Don't buy it if...

Also consider

First reviewed: April 2023

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch review: AMOLED displays are awesome
8:41 pm | April 5, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch: Two-minute review

I’ll be upfront about this: I’m not an entirely unbiased man when it comes to laptops. I reviewed the previous-generation Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro back in 2022, and I adored it - so I was pretty excited to get my hands on the new model. Don’t play favorites, I told myself when it arrived. Be impartial, I thought as I tore open the box.

Turns out, I didn’t need to worry. The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch is a wonderful little laptop, make no mistake, but it doesn’t reach quite the same heights as its predecessor - and I didn’t find myself nearly as enthralled as I had been last time around. It’s still one of the best ultrabooks money can buy right now, though, and its $1,449 / £1,349 price tag is a lot more attractive than that of the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

This is still a premium product, however, and it makes that immediately clear when you fire it up. The 3K AMOLED display is absolutely stunning, with excellent maximum brightness, deep contrast, and crystal-clear colors. It’s one of the best laptop displays I’ve seen in a while, frankly.

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch laptop pictured atop a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

The overall design of the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro shouts ‘premium’, in truth. The brushed alloy exterior is clean and minimalist, with only the Samsung logo engraved in reflective metal on the lid. Opening it up, we’ve got a softly backlit keyboard and a pleasingly large trackpad.

To put it simply, the Book3 Pro just feels good to use. The keyboard is comfortable to type on, and the video-call experience is shockingly good thanks to a Full HD webcam and an impressive set of speakers and mic for such a compact laptop. It’s a bit heavier than the Book2 Pro was, but it does feel more durable and is not so weighty that it would be cumbersome to carry around with you.

It wasn’t until I started to put the Galaxy Book3 Pro through its paces that the facade began to crack a little. My review unit packs a 13th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, which itself performs great, but it’s backed up by just 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. For comparison, the similarly-priced M2 MacBook Air has 16GB of unified memory. 8GB is fine but means that this Book3 Pro could struggle with certain workloads (or if you like to have a lot of programs open at once).

The battery life also wasn’t particularly impressive, but I’ll get into that later. Luckily, the Galaxy Book3 Pro is also available in higher-powered configurations, which I’ll break down properly when I discuss the specs further down. Despite these small drawbacks, I still feel confident saying that the Book3 Pro is a strong choice of productivity laptop for office-bound professionals, able to hang with the best laptops, and offer great bang for your buck.

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch review: Price and availability

  • Starts at $1,499 / £1,349 / around AU$2,225
  • Variety of models configurable on the Samsung website
  • Not available in Australia at time of writing

While the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro obviously isn’t going to make it onto our best cheap laptops list, it’s still reasonably good value for money - which was a bit surprising, given that it looks and feels like such a premium piece of hardware. Those cutting-edge 13th Gen Intel CPUs aren’t cheap.

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch laptop pictured atop a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

The configurations vary a lot from region to region, and the Galaxy Book3 line isn’t currently available in Oceania (sorry Aussies), but the starting price is $1,499 / £1,349 / around AU$2,225 and goes up from there. It’s worth noting that there’s no Intel Core i5 version available in the US right now as far as I could see, hence the lower UK pricing; that $1,499 price tag is for the base i7 model.

Speaking of that base model, it’s on sale in the US at the time of writing for just $949.99 - an absolute steal for this laptop, if I do so say so myself. If you buy one new from Samsung, it comes bundled with a variety of software trials, including a year of Microsoft 365 and two months of Adobe Lightroom.

  • Price score: 4 / 5

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch review: Specs

As mentioned above, there are many configurations of the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro, which can be customized (to some degree) on Samsung's website. I've included spec lists for both my 14-inch i5 review model and the 16-inch i7 version below, for comparison, but bear in mind that other elements can be tweaked and screen size does not determine the processor.

The SSD is the main customizable element, which can be configured up to 1TB depending on your personal requirements. 5G LTE capabilities are also available on select models in select regions.

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch laptop pictured atop a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch review: Design

  • Full metal chassis, but still thin
  • Keyboard and touchpad are good
  • Decent port selection for a compact ultrabook

I’ve never had many complaints about the rebooted Samsung Galaxy Book line’s physical designs, and that hasn’t changed here: the Galaxy Book3 Pro looks fantastic and proves itself as a carefully-crafted piece of hardware at almost every turn.

The exterior chassis is, like previous Book Pro models, entirely made of brushed metal. This means it’s a little weightier than some ultrabooks at 1.17kg (slightly heavier than the 15.6-inch Book2 Pro, actually), but it also feels very durable and is still light enough to easily carry around with you.

The AMOLED display is available in 14- and 16-inch variants (ours is the 14-inch model), a shift from previous Book Pro laptops’ 13.3- and 15.6-inch screens. It’s got that sought-after 16:10 aspect ratio that is quickly becoming a staple of productivity notebooks, allowing you to fit more onto your screen when scrolling through web pages or documents. The resolution has also been cranked up to 3K for this model, and it makes a world of difference when watching video content.

As I mentioned higher up, the AMOLED screen is just gorgeous, packing 400 nits of brightness and fantastic color density. OLED panels are becoming a more common sight in ultrabooks and no longer the domain of prohibitively expensive hardware - as previously evidenced by the excellent Acer Swift 3 OLED.

The LED-backlit keys are nice and wide with good spacing, making the keyboard very comfortable for extended typing sessions. The 16-inch version of the Galaxy Book3 Pro also packs a numpad, which is absent in this model, but that’s fine - trying to cram in more keys would’ve made things crowded. The touchpad is similarly generous; in fact, it’s huge for a 14-inch laptop, with a decently firm click. There’s little to no flex in the chassis when using the keyboard and touchpad.

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch laptop pictured atop a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Considering the compact nature of the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch, it manages to pack plenty of physical ports onto its left and right edges. We’ve got two Thunderbolt 4-enabled USB-C ports along with a single USB-A, so it already beats the MacBook Air in my eyes - I’m not ready to give up conventional USB just yet, thank you very much.

These are joined by a headphone jack, HDMI port for connecting a second monitor, and a MicroSD card reader - the latter of which is slowly disappearing from modern laptops, so it’s nice to see it here. The Galaxy Book3 Pro charges via either of the Thunderbolt 4 ports, so bear in mind that you’ll only have one USB-C available when plugged in.

In terms of security features, Samsung hasn’t adopted the increasingly popular IR camera for Windows Hello logins using facial recognition, but there is a fingerprint scanner built into the power button. The webcam used here is a solid 1080p offering, great for video calls, and the microphone and dual Dolby speakers are surprisingly good for such a small laptop.

Ultimately, I have very little to criticize when it comes to the design of the Book3 Pro. The screen hinge perhaps isn’t as sturdy as I’d like, with a bit of wobble when adjusting the angle, but this was a problem shared by its predecessor. The metal finish is also a bit of a fingerprint magnet, but it’s nothing a microfiber cloth wouldn’t fix. Everyone’s tastes are different, but it’s hard to deny that this is one of the best-looking ultrabooks around right now.

  • Design score: 5 / 5

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch review: Performance

  • 13th-gen Intel CPU is powerful
  • Weaker in gaming and content creation
  • Galaxy Ecosystem is good for Samsung fans, bad for everyone else

Here's how the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Night Raid: 16,369; Fire Strike: 4,759; Time Spy: 1,657
GeekBench 5.4: 1,707 (single-core); 9,536 (multi-core)
25GB File Copy:
Handbrake 1.6: 6m 41s
CrossMark: Overall: 1,576 Productivity: 1,513 Creativity: 1,672 Responsiveness: 1,489
Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (1080p): 33fps
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 6hrs 51m
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 9hrs 44m 

After I finished benchmarking the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro, I did sit and wonder if it truly deserves the ‘Pro’ moniker. Professional ultrabooks can be different things to different people, sure. But in my experience, hardware bearing the ‘Pro’ title is generally well-suited for professional content creation, and that’s not the case here.

First things first: the Intel Core i5-1340P at the heart of this device is powerful. Intel’s 13th Gen laptop CPUs can pull their weight, with a split-core architecture that lets ‘performance’ cores handle primary processing while ‘efficiency’ cores take care of background tasks.

Raw CPU performance is strong across the board in office workloads, though not quite on the same level as the M2 Pro chip found in the (admittedly much more expensive) new MacBook Pro. Since this laptop bears the Intel ‘Evo’ badge, it wakes up from sleep near-instantaneously, letting you open the lid and get straight back to business.

Graphical performance doesn’t hold up to the same scrutiny, though. While Apple’s M2 silicon packs a very capable integrated GPU, the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics found here simply aren’t as strong, hampering the Galaxy Book3 Pro in creative workloads such as 3D rendering or animation.

Gaming isn’t great, either. Playing Sid Meier's Civilization VI at the native 1800p resolution gave us a framerate of less than 30fps - and that’s a relatively undemanding game. Don’t expect to be doing anything more than the most casual gaming on this laptop. Valorant, a game specifically built to be played on low-end hardware, did secure more than 30fps but wasn’t exactly running ultra-smoothly.

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch laptop pictured atop a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Still, if ‘Pro’ means ‘office work’ to you, that’s not a problem: the i5-1340P can comfortably handle everyday computing tasks without breaking a sweat, with solid scores in the GeekBench and CrossMark tests. I imagine the i7-1360P found in the standard US configurations has a bit more grunt, however - and the aforementioned limiting of the i5 model to 8GB of RAM is a downer.

The Intel CPU can do a lot with a little, as it turns out, but opening 20+ Chrome tabs while running Spotify and Slack in the background (as I often do while working) did result in a little bit of latency when switching between programs. 16GB of RAM would’ve been nice to see here, although it’s consistent with previous models in the Galaxy Book Pro line. It’s far from ruinous but something to bear in mind if you plan on running lots of software simultaneously.

The fans also kick in noticeably quite often, but they’re thankfully not too noisy. My trusty old 2020 HP Spectre x360 probably spins up its fans less frequently than the Book3 Pro, though I do have to admit that it also tends to get quite a bit warmer than this laptop. Still, if you want something that will always run completely silent, consider the fanless MacBook Air instead.

Finally, there’s a bunch of pre-loaded software designed to be used within the ‘Galaxy Ecosystem’ - that’s a connected network of any other Samsung Galaxy hardware you have. So if you’ve got a pair of Galaxy Buds 2 or sprung for the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, know that you’ll have advanced interactivity between your devices close to the level offered by Apple’s own competing ecosystem. But if you don’t, those programs may as well be bloatware.

  • Performance score: 3.5 / 5

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch laptop pictured atop a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch review: Battery life

  • Can just about last a full work day
  • Doesn’t come close to the MacBook Air or Pro
  • Charges fast and charger is compact

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro’s battery life left me feeling thoroughly whelmed. It’s fine. It’s not great, and it really should be better in a third-generation AMOLED laptop, but it’s good enough. You’ll get between 6 and 8 hours of longevity for general use, more if you use Windows 11’s built-in eco features to stretch the battery life.

When compared to the likes of Apple’s latest MacBooks, it doesn’t even come close. Granted, those are heavier devices with bigger batteries and custom-tuned CPUs, but still: you can get better battery life for the same price elsewhere. While I don’t have the testing stats to properly comment on this, it’s possible that the bigger 16-inch model has a superior battery, although it also has a larger display to power.

The good news is that the Galaxy Book3 Pro does charge very fast via its Thunderbolt 4 ports, and the charger itself is a simple plug and cable - no chunky power brick to be found here, which means carrying the charger with you to top up your battery on the go is no trouble.

  • Battery life: 3.5 / 5

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch?

Buy it if...

You’re a Samsung fan
Simply put, this is the laptop for you if you’ve already got a Samsung phone, watch, tablet, whatever. The Galaxy Ecosystem is useful and you’re sure to appreciate the aesthetics of the Book3 Pro.

You’re an office worker
A 16:10 display, fingerprint scanner, and generally compact, lightweight design make the Galaxy Book3 Pro perfect for office-bound professionals with busy commutes.

You want a great screen
The 14-inch AMOLED panel is the absolute highlight of this ultrabook, with its 3K resolution offering excellent sharpness along with vibrant color.

Don't buy it if...

You’re a content creator
The Intel Core i5-1340P is a very capable CPU, but if you’re looking to do a lot of creative work, it may be wiser to invest in a laptop with a dedicated GPU.

You want long-lasting battery life
Although you should theoretically be able to make it through the average workday on a single charge, in practice the Book3 Pro doesn’t offer the same longevity as some of its competitors.

You’re on a tight budget
I’m happy to say that the Galaxy Book3 Pro actually offers a decent price-to-performance proposition, but it’s still undeniably a rather expensive product.

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch review: Also consider

If our Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch review has you considering other options, here are two more laptops to consider...  

How I tested the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch

The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch laptop pictured atop a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Used for a week's everyday work
  • Watched Netflix in bed and on the couch
  • Took with me on a short trip

As has become my go-to approach for reviewing an ultrabook, I simply replaced my usual desktop PC and laptop with the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 14-inch for a few days.

This included using it for my day-to-day work (which is mostly composed of internet research, emails, and writing in Google Docs) as well as using it for video meetings and watching Netflix in bed in the evenings. For anyone wondering, I'm currently watching the rather excellent Korean fantasy drama Alchemy of Souls, which looked fantastic on the Book3 Pro's AMOLED screen.

I also took the Galaxy Book3 Pro with me for a day out to a nearby town, where it remained in my backpack until I found a dog-friendly cafe to stop for lunch and do a bit of personal work. While it's a little heavier than its precursor, it's still comfortably light enough that I barely noticed it was in my bag while walking my rescue pooch Lucy around town.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2023

The Huawei Watch Buds is a weird idea I love, but it’s not quite there yet
3:58 pm | March 24, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Huawei Watch Buds: One minute review

The Huawei Watch Buds is a smartwatch that wants to appeal to those people who never want to leave without their smartwatch and truly wireless earbuds. Instead of scrambling around looking for where you left those buds lying around outside of the case, Huawei wants to keep that case and buds where you can always find them - on your wrist.

Enter the Watch Buds, which becomes one of Huawei’s priciest smartwatches that in return for more of your money gives you a watch running on its HarmonyOS operating system and inside of the watch case lies a set of dinky truly wireless earbuds.

Do we need a smartwatch with earbuds inside? Huawei certainly thinks we do. Does it work? Surprisingly well is the answer to that question, but (and forgive us for sounding slightly dramatic) at what cost? What compromises has Huawei had to make to bring the two wearables closer together? 

Despite the fact it works well, this is clearly an initial iteration of a unique idea. it's neither the best smartwatch, nor the best wireless earbuds, but a perfectly average attempt at both. These compromises might put some people off from grabbing the first-generation version of this inventive take on the smartwatch.

Huawei Watch Buds: Price and availability

The Huawei Watch Buds is available now and is priced at £449, or 499 Euros. It doesn't currently have any official pricing in the US and Australia, likely due to Huawei's ongoing disputes with the US government. 

That price does mean it’s more expensive than Huawei’s Watch GT 3 Pro, so those added earbuds do come at a considerable extra cost. 

Huawei Watch Buds on blue background

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

Huawei Watch Buds: Design and display

  • Watch case thickness isn’t overly chunky
  • Uses same AMOLED screen as Huawei Watch GT 3
  • Lower waterproof rating due to lid design

At first glance, the Huawei Watch Buds just looks like a very nice (albeit rather thick) smartwatch. It veers more on the side of a traditional watch look with a stainless steel case that comes in black or silver and a 22mm leather strap that can be removed if you’re not a fan of the leather.

Look at the watch from side-on and it’s surprising how passable the Watch Buds is for a regular-sized smartwatch. It is absolutely thicker than other Huawei Watches, but at 14.99 mm thick, it’s not a hulking beast that protrudes from your wrist as notably as, say, the Huawei Watch D is. Huawei has had to make the case thicker to accommodate those buds, but it’s a lot slimmer than we’d anticipated it would be.

Then we get to the 'buds' part, which you can locate by pressing a button at the front of the watch case, which then lifts like a lid to reveal a set of two, small black earbuds. They’re tiny little things that come with a set of small, medium, and large eartips. They magnetically snap into place inside the case, which is where the buds also get charged up. The lid design thankfully feels well-made rather than cheap, and hasn’t posed any issues opening and closing it throughout our testing.

As a result of hosting those buds inside the watch's casing, Huawei needed to change things on the durability front, specifically on how well it can deal with water. Unlike the 5 ATM protection used on most of Huawei’s watches, the Watch Buds is only IPX7 rated to guard against sweat and rain. The earbuds are IPX4 rated, making them fit for sweat mainly. If you want to take it swimming, or in the shower, don’t. 

This is a real drawback to the watch, as many of the best running watches at this price point are fully water-resistant and can be taken surfing, swimming, showering, paddleboarding... basically, wherever your adventures will take you. The Watch Buds isn't an adventuring fitness watch – the gimmick simply doesn't allow for it.

Elsewhere it’s all a pretty familiar story. There’s the same colorful, vibrant 1.43-inch, 466 x 466 resolution AMOLED screen as found on the Huawei Watch GT 3 and a watch crown-style button to offer a way to physically interact with the watch. The result is an attractive smartwatch that doesn’t show any obvious sign that it’s hiding away some earbuds.

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Huawei Watch Buds on blue background

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

Huawei Watch Buds: Features

  • Harmony OS is nice and slick
  • Earbuds integration works well
  • Familiar sports and fitness tracking

If you’ve used a Huawei Watch, then using the Watch Buds will feel like a familiar experience. It uses basically the same version of HarmonyOS as the Watch GT series with a few features that are missing in action but are not hugely missed. There’s no temperature sensor or microphone or speaker, but in terms of the latter two things that’s where the earbuds come into play.

Those earbuds and how they work in conjunction with the watch is slick on the whole. You need to pair the watch to your phone if you want to listen to audio via your phone and they can be connected to other devices too. When you whip them out that opens up additional settings for the earbuds offering an EQ and both awareness and active noise cancellation modes.

The earbuds are small and we didn’t have an issue getting a good fit and when they’re in and your audio is playing, it does punch out very good audio quality for music and calls. There’s power, bass and there’s a good level of clarity and detail there too. Huawei has launched a fair few bright sounding truly wireless earbuds and these buds follow suit.

Using the awareness and active noise cancellation modes offer a good but not immaculate performance, particularly on the ANC side where it really depends on getting a good fit to block out that exterior sound. You’ll find earbuds that will deliver a more consistent ANC performance, but in the right environments it works well enough to make its inclusion useful.

While you can control the earbuds from the Watch you do also have some control on and around the buds as well. You can use a combination of taps on the buds on themselves or in specific areas around the ear to skip tracks, answer a call or enable one the ANC or Awareness modes. If you’re stationary, the responsiveness of those controls is very good, as soon as you introduce movement into the equation, things get a little trickier.

Outside of those buds, this is every bit a Huawei smartwatch. You’ve got that strong suite of sports tracking and activity tracking features. It doesn’t get the dual-band GPS mode featured on the GT Runner to improve outdoor tracking accuracy, but still gets good features like running courses and rich sleep tracking too. We found sports tracking in general to be good, though it doesn’t feel like the kind of watch you’d want to spend extended exercise time with unless you’ve got a more gym-friendly strap on it. You do get Huawei’s latest optical heart rate sensor here as well which is definitely a better fit for resting heart rate insights as opposed to exercise HR readings. 

As a smartwatch, it handles notification support well, particularly when paired to an Android smartphone, which does also support sending quick replies. You can carry around music on it as well, but you’ll need to load your own purchased and downloaded files yourself as opposed to storing offline playlists from a third party streaming service. You’ve got well implemented music controls and scope to add payment cards as well to use it to pay your way.

Adding the buds into the mix doesn’t adversely change what the Watch Buds is like to use as a watch, but you do have to live without a few features that you will find on Huawei’s cheaper smartwatch options.

  • Features score: 4/5

Huawei Watch Buds watch on wrist

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

Huawei Watch Buds: Battery life

  • Less battery than Huawei Watch GT series smartwatches
  • Short 4 hour battery life for earbuds
  • Buds charge quickly inside case

Huawei has made big strides with smartwatch battery life in more recent years, but you’ll have to live with a smaller battery life on the Watch Buds.

When using both watch and buds regularly, you will get up to 3 days before both need charging. The watch part has the ability to go for 7 days in a power-saving mode, but that means turning off charging the buds each time you drop them back in the case.

The earbuds promise up to 4 hours of battery life or 2.5 hours of handling calls when you’re not using the active noise cancellation. When you enable ANC, then you can expect 3 hours of music streaming and 2 hours to make your calls.

We’d say those battery quotes in general are on the money, particularly when using the buds and watch each day. The earbud battery life feels a touch generous though, especially if you’re using them with ANC turned on and at louder volumes. 

For the watch, there’s a pretty standard white Huawei charging cradle you need to drop it onto while the earbuds charge in the case hogging battery from the watch is why you’ll see a more severe drop-off compared to other Huawei smartwatches. Those buds do charge quickly and you can get back up to 100% in under an hour spent in that case.

  • Battery life score: 3.5/5

Huawei Watch Buds: Buy it if…

Huawei Watch Buds: Don't buy it if…

Also consider

First reviewed March 2023

Garmin Forerunner 965 and 265 finally come with AMOLED screens
6:40 pm | March 3, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Garmin introduced the new Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 265 smartwatches with one major improvement - the screens are now AMOLED, moving away from the transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) solution. According to the official numbers, the 900-series flagship could live 23 days on a single charge, while the 200-series should offer up to 15 days. The Garmin Forerunner 965 is targeted toward elite athletes. The new type of display is just one of the changes; other features include a new titanium bezel, a slightly thinner body and a 1.4” (35.4 mm) screen. Standalone GPS, detailed heart rate...

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