ICYMI: Where OnePlus went wrong with its first smartwatch

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Examining tech products can be interesting work – sometimes you can test out gadgets that you might never think of buying yourself, like Sony’s professional-grade A1 at $ 6,500. Steve Dent spent time with the shooter and considered him the alpha of mirrorless cameras. Other times, you can review products that convince you of a company’s prowess, like the new ASUS Zephyrus G15, which Devindra Hardawar said offered pretty much everything it wanted in a gaming laptop. But every once in a while you get a product that falls so far below the mark that you have to warn potential buyers – like the OnePlus Watch, which Cherlynn Low found mediocre at best.

Steve Dent / Engadget

Steve Dent is calling Sony’s new mirrorless camera, the A1, a $ 6,500 showcase for the latest sensors, autofocus and EVF that are expected to appear in future models. The 50-megapixel A1 offers blazingly fast shooting speeds, 5-axis stabilization, and 8K 30p and 4K 10-bit 120fps video. The backlit stacked CMOS sensor is all new, as is the 240Hz 9.44 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder. All of this is packed into a compact body weighing just 737 grams or 1.6 pounds. Steve says it’s great to hold and use, and he liked that it’s even more sturdy and water resistant than previous models.

However, the A1 is clearly aimed at professional photographers given its sky-high price tag, and it lacks a flip-up screen, making it a harder sell for vloggers or individual teams. But given that it has a more intuitive menu system, incredible controls, a ton of useful ports (including a full-size HDMI), solid battery life (without using the electronic viewfinder) and with remarkable color accuracy, there are still a lot of positives. The A1 also works well in touch tracking and face and eye detection modes, and supports S-Log modes, so users can feel confident knowing they have a model dubbed the “Most powerful mirrorless ever built”.

Asus Zephryus G15

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

Already a fan of ASUS Zephryus G14, Devindra Hardawar was equally impressed with the biggest, G15 2021 Laptop. With an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS processor, 1440p, 165Hz Quad HD display, NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPU, and a lightweight 4.2-pound build, the G15 provided Devindra with solid gaming performance while gaming. Destiny 2 and Overwatch. The G15 also boasts an impressive battery life, lasting eight hours and 50 minutes during testing, and it has a flexible and responsive keyboard and plenty of ports, making it useful for classroom or classroom environments. home office.

However, the G15 struggled to run Cyberpunk 2077 with maximized ray tracing settings and 1440p graphics. It was playable, but not exactly what Devindra would have expected from a machine at this price point. And under load, the laptop fans were noticeably loud, but not to an annoying degree. The biggest drawback reported by Devindra is the lack of a webcam on the G15 – something it hasn’t missed much but it’s a strange omission at a time when video calls are so common. He suggests that ASUS include a cheap external webcam in the box. Otherwise, he felt the Zephyrus G15 offered almost everything it could want in a top-notch gaming laptop that doesn’t break the bank.

Positive Grid Spark Pearl

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Terrence O’Brien does not complain about the conception of Spark Pearl by Positive Grid digital amp: he says the company took it out of the park with the white vinyl, the separate grill, and the fluted knobs that give the amp a vintage, sleek vibe that looks great in a living room. And it sounds as good as it looks. Terrence said the sounds are full, rich and warm, that they are surprisingly loud at 40 watts and can easily cover a wide range of genres, from sludgy doom metal to nu-metal dissonance.

For $ 299, users get seven amp models (like acoustics, bass, and metal) and 40 different effects that cover a wide range of sounds. The Spark Pearl also has Bluetooth connectivity for pairing with the companion app, which includes a library of pre-designed sounds, backing tracks, voice commands, and a feature that analyzes popular songs to identify chords. However, Terrence points out that the app isn’t as polished as the hardware and has a clunky UI design – and the amp loses some of its value if not used to its full digital potential. . Terrence does his best for players who are not averse to technology and want a lot of versatility.

OnePlus Watch

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Cherlynn Low shares the same sentiment other critics have about The first smartwatch from OnePlus: it feels unfinished and backward. Cherlynn says the watch itself is a clean device with an easy-to-read 1.39-inch AMOLED display. She was also impressed with the charging speed: the company claims a full week of charging in 20 minutes. In her tests, Cherlynn was able to charge from zero to 43% in five to ten minutes. During testing, it still had 23% battery life after four days of heavy use, including GPS and workout tracking.

While the watch was more or less adept at tracking its exercise, Cherlynn encountered some issues with the hardware. First of all, it is only available in one size. The 46mm case was way too big on his wrist and the loose fit caused problems to accurately track his workouts. She also missed having a Always on mode and was annoyed by how quickly the app interrupted sessions – and how often it encountered bugs with notifications and sleep tracking. Overall, she felt that the app suffered from awkward navigation and lacked features that other portable devices had access to for some time. Despite the OnePlus Watch’s decent $ 159 price tag and excellent battery life, Cherlynn couldn’t recommend it over competing products from companies like Fitbit who already have a proven track record of smartwatches.

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