Tag Archives: Pixel

Pixel Buds A-Series review: Google's budget earbuds hit all the right notes

Google Pixel Buds A review

Google Pixel Buds A review (Image: GOOGLE)

When Google revealed its Pixel Buds last year we were left hugely impressed. These wireless earbuds offer good sound, a wireless charging case with a great design, and plenty of unique features, including easy access to the chatty Google Assistant to send texts with a voice command. Now Google is back with another new pair of Pixels Buds and they have one big advantage over their sibling as they land in stores at a much more affordable price. In fact, you can plug them into your ears for just £99 making them one of the cheapest options on the market. So, the big question is, does that lower price tag mean you comprise on sound? Express.co.uk has been putting them to the test and here’s our full Pixel Buds A review.

Google Pixel Buds A review

If you head to your local tech store you’ll now be bombarded with wireless earbuds from every manufacturer under the sun. Of course, Apple AirPods are easily the most popular, but there are some brilliant options from the likes of Samsung, Beats, Jabra, Panasonic and even Amazon. Almost all good wireless headphones will set you back around £150, so you might be wondering if Google’s £99 effort is really worth the money?

Well, the very simple answer is “yes!” From the minute we unwrapped these wireless buds and popped them in our ears we’ve been blown away by just how good they really are.

If you own an Android phone, especially a Pixel, set up is seamless with the Buds instantly connecting the moment you open the charging case.

Even if you have an iPhone in your pocket, you’ll find the Pixel Buds A immediately appear in the Bluetooth menu with a quick tap linking these Google gadgets to an Apple smartphone or tablet.

Google Pixel Buds A review

A comfy fit means you can wear them for long periods (Image: GOOGLE)

Once you’re all hooked up, the next thing that will strike you is how good they sound. We’ve been listening to endless playlists with everything sounding rich, clear and booming with bass.

They probably won’t be good enough for audiophiles who want the very best experience but we’ve honestly found them hugely enjoyable to use.

The incredibly comfortable fit means you can wear them for long periods without any issues. In fact, at times, we forget we even had them stuffed inside our head.

Like the original Pixel Buds, getting them perfectly positioned in your ears takes a bit of patience as there is a certain way to twist them into place. Once you’ve mastered it, the Pixel Buds feel incredibly secure.

The excellent fit has also allowed us to wear them in the gym without fear of them falling out during a gruellingly run on the treadmill.

Google Pixel Buds A review

The Pixel Buds A offer good sound and a premium design (Image: GOOGLE)

Another nice feature is Adaptive Sound, which subtly and automatically optimises volume based on the noise level of your environment. So, if you walk into a library – your earbuds should realise you don’t need as much volume as the street outside and tweak the settings accordingly. It works well and means you shouldn’t have to keep reaching for the phone in your pocket or talk to the Google Assistant to adjust the audio.

Along with sounding great the pebble-shaped charging case and earbud build also feels pretty premium for the low price and you certainly don’t get the feeling you’ve purchased a substandard product.

Google has also made sure these earbuds come packed with features that include the all-important auto-pause function when you take them out of your ears. They are water-resistant so a sweaty workout or quick British downpour shouldn’t be a problem.

When making calls you’ll find two beam-forming microphones focus on your voice making sure you’re heard and, if you lose them you can ring the buds to help track them down.

Of course, these are made by Google and the Pixel Buds A are fully compatible with the clever assistant meaning you can simply shout “Hey Google” and ask pretty much anything that pops into your head.

Google Pixel Buds A review

The Pixel Buds A offer 5 hours of playback (Image: GOOGLE)

So, that’s everything we love about the Pixel Buds A but are there any compromises?

Sadly, that low price has meant Google hasn’t been able to add some of the features found on pricier rivals, including active noise cancellation and a case that can be charged wirelessly.

The on-bud controls are also slightly annoying as, whilst you can skip tracks and pause songs, there’s no way to control volume without reaching for your phone.

Once charged you’ll get around 5 hours of playtime before they’ll need placing back in their case. That’s not bad, but certainly not market-leading with Samsung now offering around 8-hours of music before you need to remove your earbuds and pop them back into the case.

But if you’re not bothered by any of these missing features – and honestly, we soon forgot about all of them when listening to our favourite tracks on the Pixel Buds A – there’s very little wrong with these wireless earbuds, especially for that amazing £99 price tag.

Google Pixel Buds A review

Google Pixel Buds A review (Image: GOOGLE)

Google Pixel Buds A review: Final Verdict

PROS • Great price • Good sound quality • Premium design • Comfy fit
CONS • No volume controls • Battery life could be better • Case can’t recharge without a wire

We really like the new Pixel Buds A. They sound great, have a premium build, and plenty of smart features …and all for under £100.

If you want some of the cutting-edge extras found on pricier rivals, such as noise cancellation and a carry case with wireless charging, you will need to look elsewhere. But be warned that you’ll also be paying more than the £99 price tag on the Pixel Buds A for these features too.

If you simply want a solid pair of affordable wireless earbuds you really can’t go wrong with the Pixel Buds A. The only problem might be getting a pair as Google is yet to reveal exactly when they will go on sale. As it stands, all you can do is register your interest at the firm’s store and, hopefully, they’ll begin shipping very soon.

If you can’t wait, Google’s previous earbuds, the Pixel Buds, are on-sale for a similar price to the Pixel Buds A from some retailers, so it might be worth shopping around to sniff out a bargain.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

“Pokémon Redrawn” Is A Pixel Art Project That's Redesigning Johto And Kanto

Kanto Redrawn

Everyone loves a Pokémon remake, but what if those remakes kept the aesthetic of the original games? That’s the idea behind Pokémon Redrawn, a collection of over 100 artists who are redesigning the maps from Pokémon Red and Blue, and Gold and Silver.

So far, they’ve completed the entirety of Johto, and now they’ve moved on to Kanto, which is about 25% finished already. Speaking to Nintendo Life, foofarawr — one of the artists involved — said that the project began as an “accidental chain reaction of tweets” where a bunch of artist friends ended up inspiring each other to create “re-imagined scenes” of the first Pokémon games. What was just a joke on Twitter quickly grew into an actual project between them.

The Pokémon Centre
The Pokémon Centre (Image: @King_Worrell)

When it comes to the Kanto Redrawn project, which is in the works now, the artists have some style guides to follow, but nothing too strict. “We’re limiting it to the original palette from [Gold, Silver, and Crystal],” says foofarawr, “allowing a few extra colours if necessary.” Sadly, though, bringing these re-imagined maps to Game Boy Color isn’t likely — “we’re clearly going beyond the color limitations,” says foofarawr, “and we also want to avoid any possible trouble with Nintendo!”

Between Johto and Kanto, the team decided to “[step] it up a bit”, and as a result, Kanto has interior maps, caves, and gyms as well as the overworld maps. If that sounds like a lot of work, it is — somewhere between 34 and 50 per cent of the maps have not yet been assigned to an artist (which means there’s room for more, if you’re interested!).

Foofarawr is proud of Pokémon Redrawn so far, having worked on it from the start. “I love the positivity of the project,” they said in a chat with us. “It’s a great bunch of people.” The ability to add details and references into beloved scenes is a cool opportunity, and foofarawr says that the best part for them was remaking the National Park: “it was fun to add life to it, and some Easter Eggs, like Cooltrainer Nick who’d always beat you in the Bug-Catching Contest!”

If you want to check out more about the Pokémon Redrawn project, you can check out the Kanto Redrawn art so far, or you can visit the website to look at the completed Johto Redrawn map, which has a lovely “tour” option that can take you through all the separate areas. When Kanto is done, it’ll be added to the website, too!

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Google Pixel smartwatch design leaks …and looks set to borrow from both Samsung and Apple

Rumours of a Google-designed smartwatch are nothing new. Ever since Samsung and Apple launched smartwatches to accompany their best-selling smartphone ranges, people have wondered whether Google will follow the same playbook. And thanks to Jon Prosser, who created the popular YouTube show FrontPageTech and has been a reliable source of leaks about Google’s forthcoming products, we have now had a good look at the long-rumoured Pixel Watch.
Sources within Google have revealed some new details about the so-called Pixel Watch to Prosser, who has commissioned some high-resolution renders based on the information. These new images depict a smartwatch with a circular display, a flexible rubber strap, and a physical crown to interact with elements on-screen.

Google is tipped to have created an almost bezel-less display – to minimise the total size of the device on your wrist. Google already has a fitness-tracking app, Google Fit, so we can be pretty confident that Pixel Watch will include some level of step, calorie, or heart-rate tracking.

Interestingly, the Pixel Watch seems to borrow from both market-leading smartwatches – the Samsung Galaxy Watch series and Apple Watch. While it was Apple that pioneered the crown – a staple of analogue watches – as a way to interact with a smartwatch. This solves the issue of smearing the touchscreen with fingerprints (making it difficult to see the time) and endless swipes on the small display. However, it is Samsung that has rigidly stuck with a round design – like a traditional timepiece.

While a number of rivals have flocked to copy the rounded square shape of the best-selling Apple Watch (Fitbit, for example), Samsung has stuck firm with its circular design. And now, Google looks set to join its ranks too. According to Prosser, Google is eyeing up an October release date for its Pixel Watch. That would make sense. After all, Google regularly unveils the latest entry in its flagship Pixel smartphone series in October, alongside Chromebook and new Google Nest gadgets.

You can watch the whole report, complete with exclusive renders, in the latest edition of FrontPageTech below.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Google has just made owning its new Pixel seem way more attractive

Google’s Pixel 5 went on sale in October last year and offered-up some impressive upgrades over the Pixel 4. Perhaps the biggest change was the inclusion of 5G superfast mobile downloads. This allows owners to access the web at speeds of over 300Mbps when away from their fixed-line home broadband. At that rapid rate, you could download a blockbuster movie in around 2 minutes, which is pretty impressive.
Along with speedier web access, there’s also an improved dual-lens camera with better night photography, a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, some of the best battery life we’ve ever tested on a phone, and a bright six-inch OLED edge-to-edge screen with a 90Hz refresh rate.

If those specs have got wondering if it’s worth investing in a Pixel 5, Google has now given you an incentive to make the switch seem much more attractive. The US tech firm has just announced a big sale which has slashed the price of the Pixel 5 to an all-new low.

In fact, you can pop this device in your pocket for just £529 which is a saving of £70 off the launch price. This discount is available via Google’s online store along with some other UK retailers including John Lewis and Currys PC World.

If you want to know more about the Pixel 5 before taking the plunge, then you can check out our full review here.

Along with the Pixel 5 getting cut in price, there are a number of other Google devices which have also received a hefty discount.

Right now, you can pick up the new Google Nest Audio for £79.99, which save £10 off the launch price. This latest smart speaker boasts better sound which is around 50 percent louder than before. It also includes a built-in tweeter and woofer for improved bass. The other big change is a new and very minimalistic look with Google even hiding the buttons behind the mesh fabric finish.

For those wanting something even cheaper, you’ll find the popular Nest Mini dropped to £34 – saving £15. Finally, if you want a speaker with a screen then Google is offering its Nest Hub Max for £189 – saving £30.