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Review: ASUS ZenWiFi XD5

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Over the past few years, Mesh WiFi systems have gained immense popularity due to their capability of eliminating WiFi dead zones without having to set up and manage multiple WiFi routers. We have reviewed a range of WiFi systems in the past including the ASUS ROG Rapture GT6 (W-2-PK) and the ASUS ZenWiFi XT9. Today, we are reviewing the ASUS ZenWiFi XD5, a mesh WiFi system designed to cover an entire household.

The XD5 comes in a package of up to three nodes, and despite their compact size, they offer robust features, including support for the WIFI 6 standard with a remarkable maximum wireless bandwidth of up to 3000 Mbps. Inside the box, you get two units of the ZenWiFi XD5, the warranty information leaflet, quick setup guide, wall mount setup guide, safety information leaflet, advanced WiFi tips leaflet, 2x power adapters with international power plug converter attachments, 2x wall mounting screw packs, and one Ethernet cable.

The ZenWiFi XD5 boasts a sleek and minimalist cube-like design with rounded edges. The nodes are constructed from plastic with a matte finish and the ASUS logo is featured in a gold chrome finish. Available in black and white colour options, our review sample was white in colour.

It is lightweight, weighing only 307 gms, and its compact design makes it easy to place the device in various locations in the room without worrying about desk space. Moreover, the router’s design allows you to wall mount it.

On the bottom of the XD5 nodes, you will find two wall mount openings, a Gigabit WAN port, a Gigabit LAN port, a power adapter port as well as a WPS button. The XD5 nodes unfortunately do not come with USB ports.

On paper, the ZenWiFi XD5 dual-band mesh system offers a maximum bandwidth of up to 3000 Mbps. For the 5 GHz band, the XD5 supports dual-stream (2×2) 160 MHz channel widths that provide transfer speeds of up to 2400 Mbps, while for the 2.4 GHz band, it supports dual-stream and offers a maximum transfer speed of up to 574 Mbps.

The dual-pack ZenWiFi XD5 provides WiFi coverage for up to 3500 sq ft. The XD5 supports ASUS’s AiMesh system, which allows other AiMesh-supported ASUS networking devices to be easily added to a mesh network for seamless connectivity.

The Smart Connect mode allows the ZenWiFi XD5 to assign appropriate bands to devices automatically, and clients will only see a single network. Users can also create up to six guest networks, with three in each range, and set individual access and speed parameters for them.

Additionally, standard features such as AiProtection, Parental Control, and QoS tabs are available. These tabs on the router’s web browser admin panel offer additional network protection and provide tips on how to improve it, as well as enabling users to set restrictions for individual devices.

The administrative capabilities of the XD5 are similar to those of other relatively new ASUS routers, with unified tabs and very similar settings for most ASUS network systems. The mobile application offers slightly fewer settings, but the vast majority of necessary parameters are present. The design is also unified, making it easy for users who have worked with ASUS routers before to navigate the interface.

Setting up the ZenWiFi XD5 was a breeze thanks to the pre-synced nodes straight out of the box. Once one of the nodes is connected to the mains and modem, you will need to download the “ASUS Router” app to complete the setup process. The app is available for download from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Following the app’s on-screen instructions, I was able to set up the first node and accompanying satellite node in under 10 minutes on my Android mobile phone for a quick test of the XD5’s wireless performance.

For this review, I placed the main node in the living room of a 2 bedroom apartment. The second node was placed in the second bedroom. The connectivity tests were conducted in the living room, kitchen, balcony of the first bedroom, and in the second bedroom. Connectivity throughout the house was quite strong and seamless. We did not encounter any lags, dropped connections, and so on.

Despite its small, antenna-free design, the ASUS ZenWiFi XD5 mesh system delivers impressive WIFI 6 speeds. It also features a sleek design that blends in seamlessly with its surroundings and is effortless to set up using the ASUS Router app.

With top-notch connectivity, tasks such as downloading or sending large files become effortless, and using devices such as laptops to stream TV shows or communicate with smart home gadgets became problem-free. Overall, the ASUS ZenWiFi XD5 makes everyday tasks much more comfortable.

Price: AED 1299 (W-2-PK, reviewed), AED 1499 (W-3-PK), AED 699 (W-1-PK)

ASUS ZenWiFi XD5 AED 1299
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The dual pack ZenWiFi XD5 provides WiFi coverage for up to 3500 sq ft. The XD5 supports ASUS’s AiMesh system, which allows other AiMesh-supported ASUS networking devices to be easily added to a mesh network for seamless connectivity.

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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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Gadgets

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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