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Review: Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

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Xiaomi’s new Redmi Note 8 Pro is a photography-focused smartphone that comes packed with a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio G90T processor coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage space. On the front, you get a  6.53-inch display that offers a resolution of 1080-by-2340 pixels.

Flip the phone around and you will find a quad-camera setup at the back. The cameras include a 64-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.79 aperture; a second 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 aperture; a third 2-megapixel camera and a fourth 2-megapixel camera. The rear camera on the Red Note 8 Pro features autofocus. 

Sample 1

On the front, you get a 20-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture for selfies. On the software front, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro runs Android 9 Pie with MIUI 10 on top of it. The internal storage of 12GB can be further expanded to up to 512GB by inserting a microSD card into the dedicated microSD card slot.

Sample 2

Connectivity-wise, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with support for Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Bluetooth v5.00, NFC, Infrared, USB Type-C, 3G, and 4G. In terms of sensors on the phone, you get an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, compass/ magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, and fingerprint sensor. What’s more, the Redmi Note 8 Pro also supports face unlock for added security, in addition to the fingerprint sensor at the back of the device, just below the camera module.

Sample 3

While four colors are available – such as the Gamma Green, Halo White, Pearl White, and Shadow Black – the one we received for this review was the Shadow Black variant. The overall design and build quality are very good, though the glass body makes it a bit slippery to handle. If you do purchase the device, we highly recommend fixing the phone case onto it, before you start using it. 

Sample 4

In terms of pre-installed apps, you get a bunch of them. These include the Mi Video, Mi Drop, Security, RAM Jet and so on. But the smartphone still shows ADs after performing certain jobs – like the Security app will show some ADs as soon as it is done cleaning trash from your phone, which can get annoying at times. And there is no way to delete the pre-installed apps unless you root the device or use one of the third-party apps on Google Play (at your own risk).

To gauge the performance of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro, we ran our two standard benchmarks on it – AnTuTu and Geekbench. In AnTuTu, the Redmi Note 8 Pro managed to score 2,27,610, which is very good. The device also clocked 268 and 921 in Geekbench 5’s single-core and multi-core tests. The Redmi Note 8 Pro was able to handle all sorts of jobs thrown at it without ever freezing on us. We also did not notice any lags in the overall performance. 

Now, coming to the quad-camera setup on the Redmi Note 8 Pro, the overall experience was very good. We ended up with some good looking shots each time under good lighting conditions. Xiaomi hasn’t changed anything in the phone’s camera app – it is essentially the same app we have seen on other Xiaomi phones. 

The camera app has a button that lets you switch between the primary camera and the wide-angle one. This control also offers a 2X zoom which is achieved digitally. The toggle to switch to the Macro camera is at the top alongside the AI button. This could be easy to miss and we would’ve preferred it to be grouped with the other similar control. 

On the top, you get a bunch of icons such as the HDR, AI, the flash, and filters. The device also comes with various modes such as Portrait, Night, Panorama, Pro, Short video, Slow motion, and 64MP, apart from the standard Photo and Video modes. As I mentioned earlier, images shot using the Redmi Note 8 Pro was very sharp, with a good amount of details. The camera also supports HDR and does a really good job of enhancing images. Even under low light conditions, we saw that the camera’s performance was pretty good, using the Night mode.

For the price of AED 1049, the Xiami Redmi Note 8 Pro is worth every penny spent. It can be a very good primary smartphone for those who are looking for a smartphone that performs well, takes good photos and videos, offers excellent design and build quality, and is light on the pocket. 

Price: AED 1049

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Audio Devices

TOZO HT2 ANC Wireless Headphones Review: Affordable Excellence in Sound and Comfort

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At Gadget Voize, we’ve previously reviewed a couple of TOZO audio products such as the Golden X1 Wireless Earbuds and the Open Buds. Both offered commendable build and sound quality at a reasonable price.

Recently, we had the opportunity to test the new HT2 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones from TOZO. These over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones deliver quality sound, active noise cancellation (ANC), and equalizer (EQ).

What’s in the Box?
The package includes the TOZO HT2 Hybrid ANC Wireless Headphones, a 3.5mm analogue audio cable, a charging cable, a quick start guide, and a user manual.

Design and Comfort
The review unit we received was black with a matte finish. The headset is primarily made of polycarbonate materials, with the glossy TOZO logo offering a striking contrast against the matte backdrop.

The HT2 features an adjustable band with a brushed metal finish, allowing you to customise the fit. The right ear cup houses the power and volume buttons at the back, and the noise cancellation button at the front. Additionally, an audio port and a USB Type-C charging port are located at the bottom of the right ear cup, providing flexibility for wired or Bluetooth connections.

The headphones are extremely comfortable for prolonged use. The notably soft earmuffs enhance the overall comfort. The plastic build contributes to a lightweight design, making them an ideal travel companion.

Review of the TOZO Golden X1 Wireless Earbuds in the UAE

Sound Quality
The TOZO HT2 headphones offer a very good sound quality, characterised by deep bass, clear mids, and sharp highs. Although they might not meet the high standards of audiophiles, they provide a good sound signature, with a strong soundstage, and powerful bass response.

One of the standout features of the TOZO HT2 is the customisable EQ, available through the TOZO app. The app offers 16 EQ sound profiles, allowing you to adjust the sound to your preference. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who appreciate a personalised audio experience.

The TOZO HT2 comes with Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which effectively minimises low-frequency noise. While it may not be top-tier, the ANC is adequate and does a good job of blocking external noise.

Connectivity
The HT2 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, offering a reliable range of up to 10 meters. Beyond that range, the audio may start to stutter. The headphones also come with a built-in microphone. During testing, the call quality was quite good for a headset of this type. It’s also worth noting that the HT2 can connect to multiple devices simultaneously.

Battery Life
The TOZO HT2 headphones come with a 500mAh battery. At default settings with 50% volume, these headphones offer an impressive playback time of up to 60 hours without the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature.

Review: TOZO Open Buds

However, when ANC is enabled, the playback time decreases to around 40 hours under the same conditions. Such extensive battery life is remarkable, especially considering the price point at which the HT2 is available.

Verdict
The TOZO HT2 headphones deliver great value for their cost. They offer commendable sound quality, adjustable EQ settings, satisfactory noise cancellation, and a comfortable design. Whether you’re a budget-conscious audiophile or a casual listener, the TOZO HT2 headphones make for a reliable choice.

Price: $50

TOZO HT2 ANC Wireless Headphones
$50










  • Final Rating

4









Summary

The headphones are extremely comfortable for prolonged use. The notably soft earmuffs enhance the overall comfort. The plastic build contributes to a lightweight design, making them an ideal travel companion.

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Gadgets

Review: Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini

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The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini is a compact yet powerful soundbar, offering an expansive and meticulously detailed audio experience. The AMBEO Mini is also the most compact device in Sennheiser’s AMBEO soundbar lineup. Even though its small in stature, it goes head-to-head with some of its larger counterparts, by delivering an impressive audio performance.

Design and Build Quality
Although the design of the AMBEO Soundbar Mini is similar to some of the soundbars out there in the market, it distinguishes itself through subtle design changes. Sennheiser has chosen to feature illuminated (dimming-capable) AMBEO branding on the front right-hand corner. Furthermore, the top panel of the mini slopes gently from back to front, while the sides are enveloped in fabric, ensuring a cohesive aesthetic throughout.

On the top of the soundbar, you will find the controls for volume adjustment, Bluetooth connectivity, input selection, playback management, and microphone muting. There’s also a white light strip that lengthens progressively from left to right as volume levels increase, providing a nice visual touch.

Features and Specs
The soundbar offers an audio output of 250 watts and boasts a frequency response ranging from 43Hz to 20kHz. It also comes packed with four 1.6-inch full-range drivers, with two oriented forward and an additional pair situated at the ends, slightly angled outward for optimal dispersion. Positioned near the center of the soundbar are two four-inch woofers, facing upward to deliver immersive bass performance.

Complementing these drivers are six class D amplifiers, collectively capable of delivering 250 watts of power, ensuring a brilliant audio reproduction. Furthermore, the soundbar features four far-field microphones responsible for room calibration; it’s essential to ensure these microphones are unmuted before initiating the calibration process for optimal results. However, the soundbar’s connectivity options are limited to a single HDMI port, which may be a potential drawback for some users.

However, the AMBEO Soundbar Mini’s wireless connectivity makes up for the limitations in wired connectivity. Wireless connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2, thus offering seamless audio playback. The soundbar also integrates with popular streaming services such as Spotify Connect to enhance the overall user experience. Sennheiser’s dedicated app further enhances convenience by incorporating built-in media player controls, allowing you to stream to and manage the soundbar effortlessly from a single, centralised platform.

Performance
In terms of audio performance, the AMBEO Soundbar Mini offers an awesome overall audio experience by creating an immersive soundstage that includes outstanding detail and clarity, irrespective of what content you play on it. It excels in delivering exceptional audio performance, particularly in smaller environments. However, its effectiveness diminishes in larger spaces, particularly when attempting to replicate a 7.1.4 simulated surround sound experience.

This limitation becomes evident when one considers the Mini’s power output, which is capped at 250W. Meanwhile, the bass output of the Mini is impressively balanced, complementing the intricate details present throughout the sound profile. The delivery of impactful low-frequency effects is missing, however, which is crucial for enhancing the immersive cinematic experience. The absence of thunderous thuds, booming effects, and rumbling vibrations, that can elevate the overall movie-watching experience, is sadly missing.

Verdict
The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini stands as a testament to compact soundbar excellence, offering a brilliant audio performance within its diminutive form factor. It is ideal for those seeking a balance between size and sonic prowess since it excels in delivering superior sound quality and sleek design aesthetics. Despite its premium price tag and the absence of certain features found in competing models, the AMBEO Soundbar Mini comes across as an interesting choice for those who prioritise audio performance and space-saving design.

Price: AED 3300

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini
AED 3300










  • Final Rating

3.5









Summary

The soundbar offers an audio output of 250 watts and boasts a frequency response ranging from 43Hz to 20kHz. It also comes packed with four 1.6-inch full-range drivers, with two oriented forward and an additional pair situated at the ends, slightly angled outward for optimal dispersion.

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HONOR Magic V2 Review: Redefining Foldable Excellence

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The HONOR Magic V2 has emerged as a groundbreaking foldable smartphone, marking the third generation of excellence from Honor and surpassing its predecessor, the Honor Magic Vs. The V2 represents a milestone in foldable design, seamlessly marrying A+ hardware with a slender profile and exceptional battery life. HONOR sent us a review unit before the official regional launch for a quick test drive – so, here’s our review.

Design and Display
The HONOR Magic V2 impresses with its thin and lightweight profile. It’s the first foldable device to dip below 10mm in thickness and boasts a footprint even smaller than most smartphones out there in the market. The Magic V2 measures just 4.7mm thick when unfolded and 9.9mm thick when folded.

Once unfolded, you come face to face with a vivid, eye-friendly display with support for up to a 120Hz refresh rate, providing an immersive visual experience. The inner unfolded screen measures 7.92 inches, while the external folded screen measures 6.43 inches. The aspect ratio of the inner screen is rated at 9.78:9, while the external screen is rated at 20:9.

With a maximum brightness of 1600nits and a cover display claiming an impressive 2500nits, both LTPO OLEDs deliver stunning visuals and feature 3840Hz PWM dimming. When it comes to the resolution, the inner screen offers 2344-by-2156 pixels, with the external screen boasting 2376-by-1060 pixels.

Performance
Under the hood, the HONOR Magic V2 houses a powerhouse of technology. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and 16GB of RAM work in tandem to provide swift and responsive performance across various applications. Multitasking feels seamless, and resource-intensive tasks are handled with ease.

If you are into mobile gaming, you will appreciate the device’s prowess in delivering smooth graphics and lag-free gameplay. The optimisation of both hardware and software contributes to a device that can keep up with the demands of modern, resource-hungry applications. In terms of storage, you can choose between either 256GB or 512GB.

Camera
On the rear, the camera setup impresses with two 50MP modules for the main and ultrawide lenses, accompanied by a new 20MP telephoto lens offering 2.5x zoom. Completing the photography experience is a 16MP selfie camera that offers an aperture of f/2.2. , one per display. Both the front and rear cameras support capturing 4K videos.

In well-lit conditions, the camera captures intricate details with sharpness and clarity. The low-light performance is commendable, thanks to the excellent pairing of the hardware with the software elements. The inclusion of various shooting modes and AI enhancements adds a layer of creativity to your photography endeavours.

The front-facing camera doesn’t lag, ensuring your selfies are equally captivating. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or someone who simply wants to capture life’s moments, the HONOR Magic V2’s camera system is likely to meet your expectations, as seen in the samples below:

Software
The user interface is the bridge between the user and the device, and the HONOR Magic V2 packs in a seamless and intuitive interface. Running on MagicOS 7.2, which is based on Android 13, the device benefits from the latest features, security patches, and overall system improvements.

You also get a boatload of customisation features and uniqueness to the overall user experience. Navigating through the device feels intuitive, and the learning curve for new users is minimal. Having said that, however, there is room for improvement, and refinements could enhance the overall software experience.

Battery Life
A smartphone’s effectiveness is heavily reliant on its ability to stay powered throughout the day, and the HONOR Magic V2 addresses this with a 5000 mAh battery. The optimisation of the device’s hardware and software ensures that you can navigate through your day without constantly worrying about running out of battery.

The V2 also supports HONOR 66W SuperCharge, which further enhances the device’s practicality. Whether you’re in a rush in the morning or need a quick top-up between meetings, the HONOR Magic V2’s fast-charging feature proves to be a valuable asset.

Verdict
The HONOR Magic V2 marks a significant achievement in foldable design, presenting an exceptional phone with a captivating display housed within an impressively slim form factor. Despite lacking wireless charging and an IP rating, the Magic V2 emerges as a promising device that boldly ventures beyond the conventional boundaries of foldable smartphones.

Its technological strides suggest a potential lead over similar devices in the market, establishing itself as a pioneering device at the forefront of innovation within the foldable smartphone landscape. The HONOR Magic V2 comes across as Highly Recommended!

Price: AED 7000 approx.

HONOR Magic V2
AED 7000 approx.










  • HONOR Magic V2

4









Summary

Under the hood, the HONOR Magic V2 houses a powerhouse of technology. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and 16GB of RAM work in tandem to provide swift and responsive performance across various applications. Multitasking feels seamless, and resource-intensive tasks are handled with ease.

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