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AirPods 3 review: Apple’s weird move (video)

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AirPods 3 on the table
Source: Pocketnow


If there’s one thing I feel I need to say about the new AirPods is that they would’ve been great for 2019.

And listen, this is not me trying to bash them. Love it or hate it, it’s been 5 years since their original release, and they’re still on top. Surely sales haven’t remained as strong, but Apple still dominates 38% of the market. You might think that’s not a lot, but the next competitor only owns 9%, and all you need to do is walk around New York city to notice it. Why did Apple take so long to launch this third generation is beyond me after so many leaks, but they’re finally here, and they’re late.


All you need to do is watch my review of the second AirPods, or even my thoughts on the AirPods Max to know that I struggle with some of Apple’s decisions. Surely I adore their convenience in the Apple ecosystem, but I struggle with this mentality of form over function. My biggest problem with the second AirPods was this one-size fits all mentality because it seems All didn’t include me. I couldn’t manage to keep them in my ears no matter how hard I tried, which only defeated their good audio experience. It wasn’t until AirPods Pro came to town that I truly fell in love with this concept, as they didn’t just fix the fit, but also the feel with their vent mechanism and both transparency mode and noise cancelling. These new AirPods 3 borrow on some of those design choices with stems that are now 33% shorter, so it doesn’t look like Q-Tips are hanging out of your ears anymore.

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The controls are also getting a revamp with the tap gestures now gone in favor of the Force Sensor controls you get on the Pros. I know some people prefer the tap, but I prefer the feedback of the new system. Single squeeze will pause the song, double or triple squeeze to change it and a long one to enable Siri, even if the Hey S command is also an option. Another great feature they bring from the Pros is that they’re finally IPX4 sweat and water resistant, for all of you that have dared to work out with the originals without this rating before.

AirPods 3 and case on table
Source: Pocketnow

Now, the reason why I won’t be one of those people using them at the gym is because the one thing I love most from the Pros is not here, and that’s the fit. Instead of the variable ear tips, they bring a different attempt into the classic open-ear design we had before. I will admit these do fit my ears better than the previous ones did, but I just can’t get around feeling paranoid doing any activity and dealing with this feel of them falling off. Again it’s better a better fit, but not what I’d call ideal, even if I know a ton of people that prefer no tips at all.

Something to like is this new case. It resembles the Pros at a glance, but is actually much smaller. Think of the case of the old models just getting wider and shorter, but nearly taking up the same footprint. The box includes a lightning to USB-C cable for charging, but I’m just shocked Apple was able to fit magnets in this case to not just support wireless charging, but adopt the more reliable MagSafe approach to keep them in place.

That said, I think the only reason these AirPods are superior even to the Pro models is in their endurance. You get 6 hours of listening time instead of 4.5, which is pretty much enough for a cross country flight across the US. The case will get you a total of 30 hours, and charges them fast enough to get you an extra hour in just five minutes of a charge.

Earbud held in hand by the stem
Source: Pocketnow

Now as for the most important reason why you’d ever buy these, sound quality is pretty great if you’re not in a noisy environment. We get a new low distortion driver that provides more bass, and I like that it’s now not trying to overcompensate for the noise by going hard on your ears like before. Highs also got a good increase, helping you notice a bit more detail. They also bring Dolby Atmos support and the same Adaptive EQ you get on the Pro models which adapts whatever you’re listening to “the way it’s supposed to sound” in Apple’s wording. I do find it to do a far better job than before at serving you a better experience while in a crowded area, but I still feel the design gets in the way of it being truly excellent. Probably one of my favorite features here is the new implementation of Find My, that’ll even let you know if you’re leaving these behind somewhere, and you know you’ve done it just as much as I have.. Also, Spatial audio is here, but it’s one of those features I actually disable. Like sure, it’s cool the first time to notice that audio will shift based on you moving your head around, but since I’m always moving around, it can get unnerving at times.

Man wearing AirPods 3 in park
Source: Pocketnow

As for what I see people using these for most, phone calls are still one thing AirPods do best. It’s come to the point where callers find phone calls to sound better from these than if I were on speaker or using the ear peace. It’s this plus little things like Apple’s H1 chip, which enable so many things in addition to the auto switching between your Apple devices that make these great for anyone that needs their earbuds to become more like necessary tools in your everyday life.

If only they had Noise Cancelling at a time where we’re permanently on Zoom Calls and need full concentration.

AirPods 3

Apple AirPods 3

Better design, sound quality, and IP rating

Here’s the problem: We’re no longer in 2016 or even 2019. Their price tag is really not something I’d call “in touch with reality.”

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To conclude, I think my feelings this time around are far more positive than the last time Apple decided to release a new pair of AirPods. We get a better design, better sound quality, an IP rating, and most of the cool factor we get on the Pro variants, now downsized into a somewhat smaller package.

Here’s the problem: We’re no longer in 2016 or even 2019. Their price tag is really not something I’d call “in touch with reality.” Back when these had no competition, the price made sense, but today we have devices like Amazon’s Echo Buds 2, or the Galaxy Buds 2 or even the Nothing Ear One, all offering water resistance, and noise cancelling, and some sort of ambient mode, and a better fit, and a compact case, all for a price that’s dramatically below what Apple is asking for here. Heck, even the AirPods Pro can be found for nearly the same starting price as these new AirPods on Amazon all the time.

Man wearing earbuds at the airport
Source: Pocketnow

Yes the AirPods 3 are a good pair of earbuds, and if this sort of fit plus the perks speak to you, then of course I have no problem in recommending them. I’m sadly on the boat of people that find them too expensive for what you get. Maybe it’s because I’ve been using the Pro models so long that I have a hard time going back, and that’s pretty much the case for me.

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I worked in many technical fields, but I always resort to blogging which has become an addiction to me

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Wearables

Mi Band 7 Available for Reservations on JD.com Ahead of Its Launch

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Mi Band 7 is currently available for reservation on Xiaomi’s storefront at JD.com, just ahead of its launch in China. There are two versions available for the wearable, regular and NFC. Recently, the Chinese company confirmed the launch date of the health band as May 24 and also provided some of its specifications. The company said that Mi Band 7 will feature a 1.62-inch AMOLED display with 25 percent larger viewing area. The fitness band is also to offer NFC functionality.

The new health band from Xiaomi that is set to launch on May 24 along with Redmi Note 11T series is currently available for reservation on the company’s storefront on JD.com. The Mi Band 7 is available for reservation in two variants, regular and NFC.

The Mi Band 7 has a larger runway-shaped display, said Zeng Xuezhong, Senior Vice President and President of Smartphone Department at Xiaomi, in a post on Weibo. Xuezhong also said that the Mi Band 7 will get NFC function and will cover over 300 bus cards. He claimed that this will be the strongest Mi Band yet.

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A recent report said that the upcoming health band from Xiaomi has been tipped to offer GPS support, always-on display, and a 192×490 pixel display. The fitness band is expected to have model numbers M2129B1 and M2130B1. The Mi Band 7 is also rumoured to get a power saving mode in order to extend the battery life of the fitness band. It will reportedly only record steps and basic sleep information in the power saving mode. The fitness band might also have a Smart Alarm feature to wake up a wearer 30 minutes ahead of their scheduled alarm, if light sleep has been detected.

The company has not provided any information regarding the availability and pricing of the Mi Band 7 in India and other countries.


Are affordable smartwatches worth it? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Fire-Boltt Torando Smartwatch With Bluetooth Calling Launched in India: Price, Specifications

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Fire-Boltt Tornado smartwatch with Bluetooth calling has been launched in India. It sports a 1.72-inch full touch HD display with ultra-high 320×380 pixels resolution. The smartwatch comes with a direct calling feature that enables the wearers to call directly from the dial pad of the smartwatch. It can track up to 30 sports modes and offers heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen (SpO2) tracking, and sleep monitoring, according to the company. The watch is claimed to offer 15 days of battery life.

Fire-Boltt Tornado smartwatch price in India

The Fire-Boltt Tornado smartwatch price in India is set at Rs.4,999. The smartwatch is now available to buy from the online shopping store Flipkart. Buyers will also get various colour options for this smartwatch, including Black, Grey, Blue, Green, and Red.

Fire-Boltt Tornado smartwatch specifications, features

As mentioned, the Fire-Boltt Tornado smartwatch sports a 1.72-inch full touch HD display with ultra-high 320×380 pixels resolution. The smartwatch supports an integrated calling-related features such as Quick Dial Pad, Call History, and Sync Contacts along with voice assistant support. It offers health-centric features like the ability to track the wearer’s heart rate, blood oxygen saturation levels, sleep monitoring, meditative breathing, female health, sedentary reminder as well as a reminder to drink water.

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The newly-unveiled Fire-Boltt Tornado smartwatch features 30 sports modes. The smartwatch supports Bluetooth-enabled calling that lets users call directly from the dial pad on the wearable. Moreover, it carries an IP67 dust and water resistance rating and can bear sweat, light drizzle, dust, and is claimed to work under water for up to 30 minutes, as per the company. Its lithium-ion battery is said to last for up to seven days on a single charge. It measures 34x39x9.8mm and weighs 37 grams.

“Fit for royalty, with its royal look, it literally ignites the fire within you. The norm-breaking feature of direct calling in the smartwatch enables the users to directly call from the dial pad of the smartwatch. With weather updates and music control synced with voice assistant, it will give you a truly hands-free experience. The smart notifications ensure that you are updated, even though the phone might be sitting nicely in your pocket,” said Aayushi and Arnav Kishore, Co-Founders of Fire-Boltt.


Are affordable smartwatches worth it? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

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Fire-Boltt Ninja 3 With 7-Day Battery Life, IP68 Water Resistance Launched in India

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Fire-Boltt Ninja 3 smartwatch with 1.69-inch HD touchscreen display has been launched in India. The wearable is the latest addition to Fire-Boltt’s Ninja lineup, and it gets 60 different sports modes. The smartwatch offers multiple watch faces and also has features such as drink water reminder, music control, among others. The battery of the smartwatch is claimed to last seven days, and the company says that the wearable is being targeted at the young, Generation Z audience. The smartwatch is available in five different colour options.

Fire-Boltt Ninja 3 price in India, availability

The Fire-Boltt Ninja 3 smartwatch is now available for purchase at a price of Rs. 1,799 on Amazon. It can be bought in five colour options: Black, Blue, Dark Green, Rose Gold, and Silver.

Fire-Boltt Ninja 3 specifications

The Fire-Boltt Ninja 3 smartwatch features a 1.69-inch display with a resolution of 240×280 pixels. There are multiple watch faces being offered as well for users to customise the smartwatch according to their preference. The smartwatch comes with IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. The company claims that the smartwatch’s unique selling proposition is its 60 different sports mode. “Staying true to its name, and taking forward the legacy of our Ninja series, Ninja 3 is a smarter, upgraded version of us,” said Aayushi and Arnav Kishore, co-founders of Fire-Boltt.

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The smartwatch is targeted towards the young audience, specifically the Generation Z. The Fire-Boltt Ninja 3 is said to offer seven days battery life along with 25 days of standby time. For real time health assessment, the smartwatch gets a SpO2 tracker, dynamic heart rate tracker, and a sleep monitoring feature. It also offers features such as reminding the wearer to drink water, music control, weather updates, sedentary reminder, and camera control.


Are affordable smartwatches worth it? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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