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Review: Linksys Velop Pro 6E

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In today’s fast-paced world, a speedy internet connection is non-negotiable. However, the harsh reality is that many of us find ourselves grappling with less-than-stellar Wi-Fi connections, turning our digital lives into a daily struggle. Picture this: you’re diligently working from home, and just as you’re about to hit a productivity peak, the Wi-Fi signal decides to play hide-and-seek. It’s the frustrating dance of unreliable strength, connections that seem to have a mind of their own, and that one mysterious dead zone in your bedroom that defies all attempts at connectivity. The Linksys Velop Pro 6E has been designed to solve this exact problem.

The Linksys Velop Pro 6E, a Wi-Fi mesh system operating on three radio bands, including the 6GHz band, delivers comprehensive Wi-Fi 6E coverage for the entire home while adhering to the latest standards. Linksys offers three configurations: a one-pack, a two-pack, and a three-pack variant covering 3,000, 6,000, and 9,000 sq ft, respectively. In this review, we tested the three-pack option provided by Linksys.

Linksys says that the setup can be completed in under ten minutes using its mobile app, and this claim holds true. Despite previous experiences with complicated setups and not-so-user-friendly apps, configuring the Velop Pro 6E proved to be remarkably straightforward. Simply plug in a few cables, launch the app, follow the instructions, and you’re ready to go.

It’s important to note that initially, all three nodes should be positioned close to each other. Each unit of the Velop Pro 6E comes with only two Ethernet ports, one WAN and one LAN. This might be a drawback for some users as most mesh systems offer at least a couple of extra LAN ports.

The Velop Pro 6E boasts a design featuring six internal antennas housed in sleek minimalist towers with curved sides. Each unit stands just under 20cm tall and includes a rubbery base for surface protection. Although constructed from plastic, the units feel durable, though these can’t be wall-mounted. The Velop Pro 6E is powered by the Qualcomm Immersive Home 316 platform, providing tri-band networking and incorporating Wi-Fi 6E technologies such as 6GHz data transmissions, 160MHz channel bandwidth, WPA3 encryption, MU-MIMO data streaming, direct-to-client beamforming, and Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) data transmissions.

A standout feature of the Velop Pro 6E is its compatibility with the 6GHz band, an integral component of the Wi-Fi 6E standard. This cutting-edge frequency is capable of delivering impressive speeds, particularly if you’ve recently transitioned to a new phone or laptop that supports 6E. With a compatible device, you can expect blazing-fast wireless speeds exceeding 1Gbps. Even older devices stand to gain from clearer, less congested connections on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

The Velop Pro 6E offers good overall coverage and can support gigabit speeds on the latest devices. However, it’s worth noting that the fast 6GHz Wi-Fi is only available in short ranges. The system also provides seamless home-wide Wi-Fi coverage and allows for remote management of your home network through the Linksys app.

The Linksys Velop Pro 6E is a strong performer that covers a lot of ground. It is a robust and reliable Wi-Fi 6E mesh system that offers fast connectivity and good coverage. It’s reasonably priced for a Wi-Fi 6E system and is straightforward to set up. The Velop Pro 6E represents good value for money and is a solid choice for those looking to upgrade their home network. It thus comes across as highly recommended.

Price: AED 2165

Photography by Ryan Chris

Linksys Velop Pro 6E AED 2165
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The Linksys Velop Pro 6E, a Wi-Fi mesh system operating on three radio bands, including the 6GHz band, delivers comprehensive Wi-Fi 6E coverage for the entire home while adhering to the latest standards.

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HONOR Unveils AI-Powered HONOR 200 Series at Dubai Launch Event

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HONOR unveiled its highly anticipated HONOR 200 Series at a spectacular launch event recently. The series boasts two new smartphones, the HONOR 200 Pro and HONOR 200, designed to revolutionize smartphone photography with advanced AI features.

The launch event, themed “HONOR AI World,” showcased the power of AI in portrait photography. Guests experienced interactive zones and a dedicated shooting booth, highlighting the HONOR 200 Series’ innovative camera capabilities. HONOR executives highlighted the brand’s impressive regional growth, boasting a 154% year-over-year revenue surge in 2023 and a strong 90% growth in the first half of 2024. Notably, the premium segment witnessed a remarkable 544% growth, reflecting HONOR’s strategic expansion and growing consumer preference.

The event also featured Dr. Ghalib Al Shammari, Chairman of The Saudi Society for Artificial Intelligence and Smart Systems. He shared his vision for AI’s transformative impact on society, aligning perfectly with HONOR’s mission to create a new intelligent world.

Features of the HONOR 200 Series include:

  1. Triple 50MP AI Portrait Camera: Capture exceptional detail and clarity with a powerful camera system featuring three 50MP lenses (main, telephoto, and selfie).
  2. Blazing-Fast Charging: The HONOR 200 Pro boasts the revolutionary 100W HONOR SuperCharge, allowing a full charge in just 41 minutes. Additionally, the Pro version offers 66W Wireless HONOR SuperCharge for ultimate convenience.
  3. Unmatched Performance: Equipped with the cutting-edge Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 AI Chipset, the HONOR 200 Series delivers seamless graphics and real-time responsiveness.
  4. Intelligent User Experience: MagicOS 8.0 empowers users with a range of AI-powered features, including AI-empowered Magic Portal, Magic Capsule, and Magic Ring (on the Pro version) for streamlined digital interactions.
  5. Eye-Catching Design and Comfort: The HONOR 200 Pro features a sleek, nature-inspired design and comes in three stunning colours: Ocean Cyan, Moonlight White, and Black. Additionally, the HONOR 200 boasts a 0-Risk AI Eye Comfort Display, minimizing eye strain with advanced technologies.
  6. Powerful New Tablet: HONOR also showcased its latest tablet during the event, featuring a large 11-inch display, long-lasting battery, and ample storage.

The HONOR 200 Pro is available for pre-order at AED 2499 with exciting free gifts worth AED 1696, including a HONOR CHOICE Watch, Earbuds, Backpack, and 12-month screen protection. The HONOR 200 comes in Moonlight White, Emerald Green, and Black, with prices starting at AED 1599 (12GB+256GB version). Purchases include free gifts worth AED 1496, including HONOR CHOICE Earbuds, MOECEN Band, Backpack, and 12-month screen protection.

This launch marks a significant step forward for HONOR, solidifying its position as a leader in AI-powered smartphone technology.

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Audio Devices

Sonos Ace Headphones Review: A Stylish Entry with Excellent Performance

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Sonos, the renowned home audio brand, took a bold step into the world of personal audio by introducing the Sonos Ace headphones. This premium, over-ear wireless headphones boast a sleek design, active noise cancellation (ANC), and the promise of signature Sonos sound.

Design and Comfort
Sonos doesn’t disappoint when it comes to aesthetics. The Ace headphones exude a minimalist elegance. Available in black and soft white, they feature a matte finish with metallic accents. The build quality feels substantial, with a mix of plush memory foam earcups and a sturdy, lightweight frame. These headphones are comfortable to wear for extended periods, thanks to the generous earcup padding and a well-distributed weight balance.

Controls and Functionality
Sonos opts for physical buttons over the now-commonplace touch controls. A multi-function “Content Key” on the right earcup handles playback, volume, and track skipping. A separate button cycles through ANC modes and voice assistant activation. The buttons offer a satisfying tactile response, a welcome change from the finicky nature of touch controls.

The Sonos app, though not as feature-rich as some competitors’ offerings, provides basic controls such as ANC adjustments and a five-band EQ, which allows for some sound customisation. One notable feature is multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect to two devices simultaneously. This is a convenient feature for users who switch frequently between phones and laptops.

Sound Quality
The Sonos Ace delivers a pleasant listening experience. The sound signature leans towards the warm side, with a satisfying bass presence without overwhelming the mids and highs. The instruments are well-defined, and the vocals come through clearly. For audiophiles, the Sonos Ace offers an outstanding soundstage.

The ANC is excellent, effectively blocking out low-frequency noise such as aeroplane hum and traffic rumble. Call quality is also very good, with the built-in microphones doing an adequate job of picking up your voice during calls.

Battery Life and Connectivity
Sonos boasts a stellar battery life of 30+ hours with ANC turned on. This is a major plus for frequent travellers and long listening sessions. The headphones use Bluetooth 5.3, offering a reliable connection with minimal latency.

A unique feature of the Sonos Ace is its potential integration with the Sonos ecosystem. The app allows you to switch seamlessly between the headphones and your Sonos home speakers. This functionality is currently limited, but future updates could unlock features such as using the headphones as surround sound speakers for your Sonos home theatre setup.

Verdict
The Sonos Ace headphones are a solid first entry into the wireless headphone market. They boast excellent noise cancellation, a comfortable design, and long battery life. The sound quality is quite good, too. The potential for deeper integration with the Sonos ecosystem is intriguing, however, the hefty price tag might deter some budget-conscious consumers.

If you’re a Sonos loyalist looking for a pair of stylish headphones with excellent ANC and good sound quality, the Sonos Ace is a compelling option, especially if the promise of future ecosystem integration appeals to you. The Sonos Ace headphones are a promising debut with a clear focus on comfort, noise cancellation, and design. They offer a well-rounded listening experience with the potential for exciting future developments within the Sonos ecosystem.

Price: AED 2099

Sonos Ace Headphones AED 2099
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The Sonos Ace delivers a pleasant listening experience. The sound signature leans towards the warm side, with a satisfying bass presence without overwhelming the mids and highs. The instruments are well-defined, and the vocals come through clearly.

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Gadgets

Apple Detects Spyware Targeting iPhones in Multiple Countries

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Apple has issued a second spyware attack warning to iPhone users in 98 countries, raising concerns about the growing threat to mobile security. This follows a similar alert in April targeting users in 92 countries.

While specific details about the latest attacks remain under wraps, the alert serves as a stark reminder of the evolving threat landscape. India is one confirmed country where users received the notification.

Spyware, a particularly invasive type of malware, can grant attackers complete access to an iPhone, including encrypted messages, audio, and video. The notorious Pegasus spyware from NSO Group is a well-known example.

“Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-,” Apple wrote in its new spyware alert.

Adding to the concern, researchers recently revealed the return of LightSpy, a “particularly dangerous” campaign capable of pinpointing a target’s location with “near-perfect accuracy.”

The worrying aspect of these attacks is their ability to exploit “zero-click” vulnerabilities, meaning infection can occur without any user interaction, such as opening a malicious link or attachment.

This highlights the importance of remaining vigilant and following Apple’s security recommendations, which may include updating your device to the latest iOS version.

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