The hot rumor of the week was that Sonos is getting ready to announce its cheapest soundbar to date — and it’s expected to cost $249. Apple could be forced to shift all of its iPhones, iPads and AirPods over to USB-C thanks to a mandate in Europe. And if you’re an iPhone owner or Apple Watch wearer (or both) and you also use Google Maps, well, a bunch of new features just rolled out.
Also, a bunch of new gadgets were announced this week. Here’s what you need to know.
The Logitech Lift is an ergonomic mouse and its standout feature is its size: it’s small. In fact, it’s about 20-percent smaller than the company’s 2018-released MX Vertical. It looks and feels very similar — it’s designed with the same 57-degree angle that positions your hand and arm in a natural handshake position, which Logitech claims is the best angle for reducing stress and pressure of the wrist — but it’s specifically designed for people with small-to-medium-sized hands. It’s available now in three colors: graphite (shown), pink and off-white. And there are left-handed versions available, too.
Garmin Vivosmart 5
For the first time in several years, Garmin has introduced a new fitness tracker to its Vivosmart line. The Vivosmart 5 is essentially a new-and-improved version of the 2018-released Vivosmart 4; it has a significantly bigger touchscreen display (66-percent bigger than its predecessor), a more sport-focused design, and a more tactile button for easy navigation. The fitness tracker comes equipped with a built-in GPS, a heart-rate sensor and SpO2 sensors (for measuring blood-oxygen levels). It also has a seven-day battery life. This looks poised to be a great budget alternative for people who don’t want to spend the extra $100+ on a smartwatch (or don’t want the extra bulk on their wrist).
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX
Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay EX adopts a different design from any of its previous wireless earbuds — they have stem-like design just like Apple’s entry-level AirPods. According to the company, this new design is to help fit in more people’s ears as well as position the mics closer to your mouth for improved call quality. That said, these are also really premium wireless earbuds with a bunch of high-end features. They boast active noise-cancellation and transparency modes, a case that wirelessly charges, Bluetooth multi-point pairing and an app that lets you adjust EQ settings. They are available for preorder now.
Pro-Ject X8 Evolution
The Pro-Ject X8 Evolution is a new belt-drive turntable that the Austrian hi-fi company claims is a “true high-end solution.” It has many features that have been adapted from its existing audiophile-grade turntables, the Xtension 9 and Xtension 10, all of which are designed to create an isolated and stable hi-fi system. The X8 is available in one of three finishes: white, black or walnut. Pro-Ject also announced two high-end phono preamps, the Phono Box DS3B ($799) and Phono Box S3B ($499), as well.
Price: $2,399 (w/o cartridge); $2,699 (with Sumiko Blue Point NO. 3)
Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2
The Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 was announced earlier this year at CES 2022 — but it’s finally available for purchase. It’s the second-generation of the Alva TT, which was released in 2019, but the “V2” model has a few key upgrades, including an improved tonearm with a detachable headshell (in case you want to upgrade later on) and a switchable phono internship. Like its predecessor, the Alva TT V2’s standout feature is that it’s capable of wirelessly streaming high-resolution audio (up to 24-bit/48kHz) over Bluetooth to a compatible amp, speaker or headphone.
Wyze Lock Bolt
A week after it announced its first smart air purifier, Wyze announced a new smart home gadget — this time it’s a door lock. The Wyze Lock Bolt is effectively a keypad (with backlit keys) that replaces your door’s existing deadbolt, and it allows you to unlock your door one of two ways: a passcode or its fingerprint reader. You can also use the Wyze app to lock and unlock the door, but it needs a Bluetooth connection meaning you need to be within roughly 16-feet to do that.
Editor’s Note: Wyze recently came under fire for failing to address known security vulnerabilities in its cameras, which the company says have since been addressed. To read Wyze’s full response, click here.
The ShiftCam SnapGrip, a MagSafe-compatible accessory that adds a grip and a shutter button to your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 — basically, it allows you to use your iPhone as a full-sized camera. It has a built-in battery so it can charge your iPhone, too. And, when attached, it instantly opens up your iPhone’s camera app for quick shooting. It’s currently a Kickstarter campaign: If you commit $1, you get the “early bird special” of 25% off, which means the SnapGrip will cost you $119. It’s expected to ship later this year.
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