Corsair Void Surround

Corsair’s products have been ergonomic and eye catching. The Corsair Void Surround is no different. One of the 5 Void headsets on sale, the Void Surround has a few things the other Voids don’t.

To start off, imagine a peripheral device that can be used on pretty much anything that is up to date. That is the Void Surround. It is able to be used on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and even on mobile devices, if they have a 3.5 mm audio jack. The versatility of this headphone is one of its strengths. However it is still able to be used on older platforms, some however might require an adapter.

Another feature is a Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound, by using the USB Dolby Headphone adapter. What does this mean? You can have surround sound while playing your favourite games on console. So if you want to experience The Last of Us or Uncharted with surround sound to have the best experience possible, this is also a good pick.

The microphone and the frame is not to be underestimated. Corsair teamed up with a few designing experts from BMW to make an ultra-iconic and ultra-comfortable design. The ear cups are ear-shaped and fit around your ear instead of rubbing against them. This itself allows a long lasting gaming marathon without fatigue kicking in very quickly. The icing on the cake for comfort is that the ear cups have memory foam microfibre wrapped around it.

The microphone itself has a program called InfoMic. On the tip of the mic, there are two lights, one to notify you about battery life, microphone mute condition and some settings. Unlike most other headphones, the buttons to toggle mute, adjust volume or swapping presets are not on the cords. Instead of making the cords look slightly weird, with that little bulge,  the buttons are on the ear cup to make it more comfortable and efficient to use and there is no need to fumble about to find that bulge.

Sound quality wise, it is still something to look up to. With 50mm neodymium drives and the aforementioned Surround Sound, listening experience are both gaming and music are equally good. Due to its strong drivers, the bass is strong and its pirmary focus. It also has a very wide dynamic range. The mid-range and high-end might not be on par with the bass’ quality, they are regardless still very good and decently clear.

So, if you want a gaming headset that looks nice, have quite a good sound quality and have a microphone that updates you about its status. This is one of the best choices. The surround sound is an ad-on that quite some people will like, giving more immersion to those epic singleplayer games and campaigns. With a price of 115SGD, this headphone is a good deal for its price.

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Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

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When one thinks about a premium noise-cancelling headphone, products from Bose, Sony and Sennheiser might first come to the mind. However, those headphones costs an arm and a leg. Plantronic’s BackBeat Pro 2 offers similar quality, but is much cheaper.

BackBeat Pro 2 is in basic, a premium headphone made more affordable. Unlike its competitors, it is not as aesthetically pleasing in terms of mass. Compared to its predecessor, Plantronics has cut both the size and weight by quite a bit. Though it costs lesser, its sound quality can compete with other premium headphones.

The noise-cancelling is not as good as some Bose headphones, it muffles ambient noises without making a hissing noise. The headphone boasts sensors that will pause and resume your music when you take off and put on. The headphone does not give the user any fatigue from the sound or how it fits on your head. It works well both indoors and outdoors, though if you are outside, your ears might get steamy.

However, the identity of a Plantronic headphones lies in its ability to receive calls. On the left earcup, there is a ring to adjust the volume of music or the caller’s voice, a button to activate and deactivate the microphone. On the right earcup, there is a mute button which is helpful when there are unneeded background noise that the people from the other end does not want to hear.

The headphone has a 24 hour battery life at a moderate volume levels. It comes with a cable and a case, which essentially means it can also be a wired headphone. If you pay an extra 50 dollars, you will receive a hard case instead.

Overall, the BackBeat Pro 2, is a cheaper high end headphone with a quality that is as good as other high end headphones.However, as compared to Bose’s QuietComfort 35, the QuietComfort 35 has a slightly better noise cancelling. Same goes with the sound quality. The price of the BackBeat is 360SGD.

Photo Courtesy : https://www.cnet.com/products/plantronics-backbeat-pro-2/review/

Milestone Pod

Over time, smart watches and fitness trackers are getting relatively trendy while foot pods hasn’t been as popular. However, this does not reduce the reliability and functionality of foot pods and you should definitely consider the Milestone Pod if you are looking for one.

To start off, it records a wide variety of information that will be very useful for your physical activities. You would be able to view these data after syncing the device to your iOS or Android device. It can measure a variety of information like running pace, distance, duration and it is pretty consistent too.

One of its big plus point would indisputably be its incredibly light weight. It only weighs a meagre 9 grams which provides immense convenience to runners.

It also has sensors which will start recording when you beginning running and stop when you are stationary. Its waterproof feature also means that getting caught in the rain will not be much of an issue.

The pod is Bluetooth – enabled so that syncing is available. However, it does not sync automatically and you have to sync it by opening the app every time you use the pod.

The pod is also fairly accurate and its calculation is about 93% or better. The device is not chargeable as it uses a coin battery which typically lasts between 6 and 10 months.

In conclusion, the pod would be a good consideration for new runners to try out. Though its functions are not as in – depth as modern smartwatches or other forms of trackers, it has an excellence performance given its very affordable price.

 

Photo Courtesy of : http://www.milestonepod.com/the-product/the-milestone-pod/

Motorola Moto G4

The Motorola Moto G4 is a budget phone that is claimed by many to also be good. Certain key features that might seem interesting is that the phone is able to survive being dunked into water and will not turn off immediately after it comes in contact with water. This is really useful for those who have tendencies of spilling or are generally much clumsier.

The Motorola Moto G4 is also pretty thin which is handy if you want to keep and take out of your pocket easily. The Motorola Moto G4 has a 14cm screen with a HD display with 1080p resolution. The colours are well saturated which is ideal for usage.

The Motorola Moto G4 comes with a battery life of around 13 hours which is quite a long usage time for an average user and is really useful if you’re unable to charge the phone. There’s also a fingerprint scanner at the front which is a nifty function as it is more convenient for those who finds typing in the passcode repeatedly to get into their phone a burden. Do note that this is not a home button and some long time apple or android users may mistake the fingerprint scanner for it.

The Motorola Moto G4 comes with octa-core processors which are adequate for video streaming or playing casual games. However, if you’re planning on using this phone for gaming, this phone isn’t ideal for it.

The camera of the Motorola Moto G4 is a 13-megapixel camera which produces generally satisfying images that are acceptable by society’s standards. Even in bright lights, it will still produce really decent images.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a cheap yet decent phone to use for your everyday social media needs and have a battery that lasts for a long period of time. The phone can be bought at around S$269.99 at retail price. However, do not expect much from it if you’re using it for gaming.

Photo courtesy of:

https://www.motorola.com/us/products/moto-g

iLuv City Lights

There are tons of cheap in-ear headphones now but only a few are actually decent. Such include the Panasonic ErgoFit RP-TC 125, JVC Gumy Plus and of course, the iLuv City Lights.

Even though it may seem like any other ordinary in-ear headphones at first glance, the City Lights is actually pretty decent for a price of below 18 SGD. It is able to deliver relatively strong and deep base powered by its 13.5mm drivers, compared to other earphones of the same price, maybe even better than those that are more expensive.

There are five different colours options to select from, black, white, blue, pink and red, which is great considering most earphones in the market only give you a choice between 2-3 colours, some even none.

There is a built in microphone which allows you to answer calls and of course, control your music. It also comes with 3 different sizes of ear tips, small, medium and large.

However, like every in-earphones, there are cons. iLuv may have focused to hard on the base and had to sacrifice clarity, making the City Lights lack in the crispiness of the sound.

Overall, for a price of under 18 SGD, the iLuv City Lights is excellent, being able to deliver good quality audio and fit comfortably into the ears which definitely impresses me and I would highly recommend anyone to get this.

Photo courtesy of: http://www.elive.co.nz/iluv-city-lights-wired-earset-blue-citylightsbl.php

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles Trilogy

Though 2016 does not have an Assassin’s Creed game, this game is a spinoff of its main series set in 3 different time periods and 3 different locations with 3 different assassins. Though it is not part of the main series, this 2.5 D platformer has many unique details to a certain location.

First of all, will be the first game in this trilogy, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles : China. In basic, this game happens after Ezio’s death, which is depicted in this video. The game starts off where the protagonist, Shao Jun allowed her to be captured to get close to her target. She then proceeds to kill of each and every Chinese Templar to get back her Precusor Box.  In the end, the Box was on its way to India, the next part of the trilogy.

By watching the gameplay, I honestly think this is one of the harder games of the series, considering it has more button combos to remember and the type of levels to play. Though I would give credit where credit is due as the detail in this game is astronomical. Though Shao Jun did not speak in full Mandarin, the guards and NPCs do. Even with that, the background, blood effects and actions are all depicted in brush strokes, which fits the location of the game. To be honest, I did like China, but it is not my favorite in this trilogy.

Next game in the trilogy will be Assassin’s Creed Chronicles : India. This game took place 4 years before the outbreak of the First Anglo-Sikh War. The game starts off where the protagonist, Arbaaz Mir , sneaks into a palace to meet with his lover and to check out on the Koh-i-Noor diamond from his mentor. Most of  the game Mir spends his time finding the Box in quite diverse environments.

Personally, this is harder than China due to the fact that there are more puzzles to solve and the speed missions are harder. With the same issues as China, the new controls are quite complicated if you are new to the trilogy. Again like China, the effects of everything are depicted in traditional Indian art which is way more vibrant than China which I think is ok. Honestly , I like this one due to the puzzles within the game and the vibrancy.

Lastly, we have Assassin’s Creed Chronicles : Russia. The last installment of the series follows Nikolaï Orelov , an Assassin who wanted to cut his ties with the Russian Assassins, but he has to do one last assignment for them. He has to steal the Box from the Bolsheviks holding the Tsar’s family and witnessed the murder of all of them but Anastasia. Afterwards, both of them had to escape the Bolsheviks and back to Assassin controlled cities.

Along the way, the challenges and puzzles this time are really hard. Considering the fact that this game has a slightly slower pace, this does not make the game itself any easier. The aesthetics of the game are from the revolutionary posters around that time period, with the red stripes, pictures of factories and main colours of the Red October.

Personally, I like Assassin’s Creed Chornicles : Russia the most out of the three. Mainly due to it’s unique artstyle and the time period it is set in. Unlike the previous two games, Russia has its artwork based around history and not culture.

Overall, the trilogy costs $25, which is reasonable price for a trilogy spinoff. So, if you need to have an Assassin’s Creed game for 2016, you have a trilogy instead to play.

Photo Courtesy  : http://im.ziffdavisinternational.com/ign_in/cover/a/assassins-/assassins-creed-chronicles-trilogy-pack_xaw4.jpg

Samsung Gear S2 3G

This smartwatch, unlike others does not require you to pair this to your phone. It works independently.

The Samsung Gear S2 3G is a smartwatch that has its own cell service. It can work without any phone at all. The smartwatch has a little e-SIM card inside it which would mean that the smartwatch can receive messages, calls, and even allows you to checks the weather.

This smartwatch’s design is slick and comes with the rim of the watch which can be rotated. Inside it has many apps available for download from Tizen, a separate operating system with a separate app store from smartwatches on the Android Wear platform.

The rotatable rim of the watch allows you to view different pages of the phone, just like using your finger to swipe through the pages of your phone. Besides those, it also has different layouts of the digital watch within it.

The smartwatch costs only $200. When i saw it on display in a shop, it caught my eye as it was circular and most of the smartwatches were square which is not really appealing to the eye in my opinion as for those who wear watches who want to get a smartwatch, they may not get used to it as it is square. Overall, in my opinion, $200 is considered a cheap price for me for a smartwatch from Samsung considering that it has quite a lot of abilities.

Photo courtesy of : http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Z-7.jpg

HTC Desire 520

 

HTC’s latest budget-friendly smartphone is one of the cheapest available. On the surface, the phone looks appealing to average consumers.It’s when you dive deeper that you see a dated operating system, limited storage and poor battery life. While it may be cheaper than the competition, the Desire 520 sacrifices more to get there. For that reason, I don’t recommend it.

Sense gobble up most of the phone’s 8GB storage, leaving you with 3.25GB of storage for all of your apps, music, videos and photos. Luckily, there’s a microSD card slot under the back cover for added storage. Like many other recent budget-friendly phones, the Desire 520 lacks NFC, which means you can’t make mobile payments through Android Pay.

Overall,I think it is definitely not worth the money as its performance is extremely poor and its camera and battery life is not any better.It’s small, which makes it comfortable to hold, but the sleek backing which may cause it to slip from your hand more than once. The camera lens also protrudes slightly from the back which means you will have to worry when placing it on a rough surface. I would personally not purchase the phone due to its shortcomings.

HTC Vive

Bringing the virtual world to the real world is now possible. The Virtual Reality is what made it possible and there are more and more of it now that more companies are trying to create that device. The HTC Vive is one of the latest of it.

The HTC Vive costs $799 which is a lot but HTC and Washington-based game developer-Valve- mentioned that it was a “complete system”. It includes the headset, two base stations that detect your motion, earbuds, a link box to connect to your PC, two wireless controllers and a microphone. No wonder why the price was so high.

Remember the Oculus Rift? This HTC Vive is around the same but its the two wireless controllers that set both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive apart. The wireless controllers act as your hands or weapons in the virtual world which, to HTC and Valve is critical to the experience of gaming. Buying the HTC Vive comes with 2 free games, the Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives by Owlchemy Labs and Fantastic Contraption by Northway Games and Radial Games. The microphone which comes with the HTC Vive allows you to answer and make calls while wearing the headset.

Why buy the Oculus Rift which cost around the same than the HTC Vive ?Overall, in my opinion, the HTC Vive is definitely more worth buying than the Oculus Rift as it comes with everything you need to play your games.

Photo courtesy of: http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/HTC-Vive_White.jpg

Turtle Beach Grip 300

The Turtle Beach Grip 300 is a plug-in and you’re ready to go gaming mouse that is quite affordable by many. The mouse is a small and black with red backlighting and a design that leans towards the left. If you’re a left-handed, sadly this mouse isn’t for you. There is no thumb rest though the mouse juts out to support the thumb. The texture of it is smooth but rough enough so that your sweaty hands won’t slip off.

If you travel often, the mice is small enough which makes it convenient to pack. However, this does mean that the mouse is unable to support a palm grip. This is made for gamers with smaller hands.

The mouse doesn’t have any special drivers or software to be installed to work properly. Though it may seem the mouse doesn’t have much customisation, it does have 2 switches at the bottom of the mouse. You can control both the DPI and polling rates of the mouse using the switches provided. You can use this to fit your play-style really well.

The mouse performs best on first-person shooters and is not very suitable for RTS or RPG games that require lots of scrolling across the screen but not terrible. You would also still feel comfortable even after your hand perspires a lot.

In conclusion, this mouse is really useful if you’re an avid gamer who travels often, it is also not at all expensive at the price at S$57. Not only is the mouse affordable by many it also has excellent performance when playing games. Though this mouse is generally targeted at first-person shooters, you could find fun in other games of other genres too. I would recommend this mouse to anyone who loves FPS games and is looking for a cheap but effective mouse to use then this mouse would really suit you.

Photo courtesy of:

http://www.turtlebeach.com/product-detail/pc-gamer-accessories/turtle-beach-grip-300-optical-gaming-mouse/630