Posts Tagged: review

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review: A top notch phone, if you can buy one

Xiaomi has always been nearly universally praised for their smartphone hardware and pricing, but also pretty commonly panned for how difficult they are to buy if you aren’t in China. We’ve been hearing several rumors that the company is eventually planning on branching out into different countries, but here we are with the Mi Mix […]

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Bestek LED Desk Lamp review: The desk upgrade you didn’t know you needed

If you’re a productivity-focused person, you’re probably well aware of how important good lighting is for your workflow. If you have a desk where you do most of your work, you could definitely just get a boring old desk lamp and set it up for some boring old lighting, but why not upgrade that part […]

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Apple Watch Series 3 review: A good watch, a so-so phone replacement

With each generation, the Apple Watch's purpose has seemed to shift. The first one demonstrated what Apple thought a wearable should be, and the second tried to be the perfect workout companion. When it came time to build the Series 3, though, Apple…
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Petnet SmartFeeder review

Smart home devices are all the rage, and more companies are trying to automate the everyday things we have to do. You can set a schedule for when your lights turn on and off, check on your laundry while you’re away from home, and even see who’s ringing your doorbell without getting up, but what about […]

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Galaxy S8 Active review: A flagship for the clumsy and adventurous

Every year, Samsung likes to spice up their Galaxy S family with a ruggedized version of their current flagship. It offers the best of Samsung’s hardware, all of their software features, but with a tough-to-break frame and serious water and dust proofing. This year, we got the Galaxy S8 Active. This one’s tricky, though; Samsung […]

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Nokia 6 review: The brand is back, but this phone is full of compromises

The Nokia 6 is the first Nokia phone we’ve seen in several years. It also marks the first smartphone that’s technically from HMD Global, who has taken the reigns for producing Nokia devices. Most importantly, the Nokia 6 is the first in a new line of Android-powered devices from the historic company, who finally ditched Windows as […]

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ASUS ROG Zephyrus review: Gaming laptops will never be the same again

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus is an entirely new breed of gaming notebook. It packs in the most powerful laptop graphics hardware on the market, NVIDIA's GTX 1080, in a frame that's almost half the size of similar machines. Mostly, that's due to being one of…
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Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR review

With stunning on-screen graphics, stats, and performance metrics, the Spartan Sport Wrist HR is a great training watch, even if it does come up a little short concerning its nearly non-existent notification ability.

The post Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR review appeared first on Digital Trends.

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Moto G5 Plus review: Back to being the best mid-range phone

Over the last couple of years, a massive number of consumers around the world have shifted their buying preferences for phones. It’s no longer guaranteed that the biggest and most expensive phones should be the only ones considered. That change in philosophy can be credited in large part to the Moto G line, which was […]

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ZTE Quartz review

All that glitters is not gold – or quartz. ZTE’s Quartz may not be the most glamorous smartwatch, but it offers basic Android Wear functionality at a fraction of the cost.

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Fitbit Alta HR fitness tracker review

The Fitbit Alta HR isn’t the end-all be-all of fitness trackers, but its heart-rate monitor and sleep tracking make it a great fit for casual athletes.

The post Fitbit Alta HR fitness tracker review appeared first on Digital Trends.

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Huawei Watch 2 Sport review

LG’s Watch Sport may have been the first Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch, but the Huawei Watch 2 Sport is the one to buy. Here’s our full review.

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Huawei Fit review

Part activity tracker and part smartwatch, the Huawei Fit’s standout feature is its heart rate monitor, which maintains a careful eye on your heart health on a daily basis. Does this make it worth wearing?

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Whoop fitness band review

Whoop is a unique wearable that constantly records your heart rate to determine what kind of shape you are in. That gives it features few can match, but it’s not much fun to wear.

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IFROGZ Impulse Wireless Headphones review

There are a lot of great headphones on the market, but many of them are wired. Wireless audio is, without a doubt, the way the future is going as far as listening to audio goes. But, many of the wireless options that offer a level of quality right now are quite expensive; however, IFROGZ has a […]

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Pearl RearVision Backup Camera review

Tired of convoluted and invasive backup camera systems, a team of ex-Apple engineers developed RearVision, an entirely wireless backup camera with an integrated solar panel for keeping it charged.

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Garmin Vivofit 3 review

Garmin’s Vivofit 3 is a return to simpler fitness band days, with a few substantial upgrades.

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PicoBrew Pico review

Not meant for serious homebrewers, the PicoBrew Pico simplifies the process of making beer but still requires patience and effort.

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Lenovo Phab 2 Pro review

Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro falls short of delivering on Tango’s promise. Find out how in our full review.

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Fossil Q Crewmaster Hybrid Smartwatch Review

Not everyone wants to wear a touchscreen smartwatch, or a sporty fitness band, but does want the benefits both bring. The Q Crewmaster may be the answer, as it combines the best features found in both, and matches them with a cool, traditional watch body.

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HP Spectre x360 review (2016): Smaller, with more compromises

Here at Engadget, we don't have the time to review every new laptop, but we wanted to make time for HP's redesigned Spectre x360 convertible. After all, when the original came out a year and a half ago, we quickly named it one of our favorite Windows…
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ZTE Nubia Z11 review

Do you want a fast, flashy smartphone that stands out from the crowd? The Nubia Z11 has a bezel-less display that looks amazing, a great camera, and a Snapdragon 820 processor. Is it the phone for you? We tried one to find out.

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ZTE Axon 7 review

The ZTE Axon 7 is the best ‘flagship killers’ on the market. We review the $ 400 phone to see how powerful it is in comparison with the competition.

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Google Chromecast Ultra review

Google’s latest Chromecast doubles the price, but quadruples the resolution for a simple and affordable way to get 4K. Add in wide HDR support, and it’s got a lot going for it.

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eHang Ghostdrone 2.0 review

Smartphone controls and FPV goggles make the Ghost Drone fun and easy to fly, but its mushy and imprecise controls will leave you feeling limited

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YI 4K Action Camera review

YI Technology introduced itself to the United states with the YI Action Camera in late 2015. That device, which is still being sold today, surprised many because of its simple design and small price. It’s part of the imaging technology company’s strategy to penetrate the U.S. market with affordable, quality products. In 2016, YI revamped […]

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Garmin Fenix 3 HR review

Those who don’t mind a big, beautiful hunk of performance tracking tech on their wrist won’t find another watch that does what the fenix 3 HR does and looks so good doing it.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is a mighty phablet that offers both the novelty of a dual-edged screen and the productivity of the S Pen stylus. Read our review.

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Syllable D700 Wireless Sports Earbuds review

Wireless earbuds, particularly for sporting and fitness activities, can get expensive. The Jaybird X2’s sit at $ 100 or more. While quality headphones, not everyone wants to invest that much money into earphones. Enter, the Syllable D700 wireless sport earbuds. Syllable believes they’re on par with more pricey headphones, and they might just be. Find out […]

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Pokémon Go Plus review

Still playing Pokémon Go? Nintendo’s Pokémon Go Plus $ 35 wearable is now available to help with the grind of earning more stardust, and hatching more eggs.

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Lenovo Moto G4 Play review

Lenovo has another Moto G4 ready to join its lineup. The Moto G4 Play is the cheapest one yet, but is it a good deal?

The post Lenovo Moto G4 Play review appeared first on Digital Trends.

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Mio Fuse review

A quick glance at the Mio Fuse’s sporty design may leave you thinking it’s made to be worn when you’re building up a sweat. But with step counting and sleep tracking built in, it can be worn all day. But should it?

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Uno Noteband review

The Uno Noteband is a wearable that uses clever speed-reading technology to make the most out of its tiny screen. The tech really works, so why doesn’t the wearable itself live up to expectations?

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Coloud No. 16 Headphones review

Headphones are a dime a dozen. There’s an insane amount to choose from, ranging from cheap low-quality options to pricey high-end solutions. When you purchase a cheap pair, you normally end up with something that sounds like a can. High-end headphones are great. The sound is usually phenomenal, but most people don’t normally want to […]

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Turing Phone Dark Wyvern review

After months of delays, the Turing Phone is here. Though the device has an interesting design, it’s missing a number of key features.

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Polar A360 review

We’re getting pretty picky when it comes to fitness devices, and the A360 is as close to perfect as Polar has ever come.

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ZTE ZMax Pro review

ZTE’s ZMax Pro is the deal of the year. For a mere $ 100, it delivers hardware rivaling that of far pricier phones.

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Samsung Gear 360 review

Samsung has designed a 360-degree camera that plays well with its S7 phone and Gear VR headset, but its closed ecosystem shuts out others.

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Moto G4 & Moto G4 Plus review: Far from mid-range bliss

Up until three years ago, the mid-range segment of the mobile industry was an afterthought for most companies and consumers. Motorola, who was owned by Google at the time, changed everything when it introduced the Moto G in November 2013. The company released a phone with a low price that carried a ton of value. […]

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Samsung Gear Fit 2 review

Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 is better than a Fitbit in almost every way. Its design is sleek, it offers smart notifications, and it can automatically track your workouts. Here’s our review.

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Razer Turret review

The Turret is a unique accessory that lets gamers play any title from their couch, but its high price and barebones feature set weaken its impact. Should you ditch your Xbox controller, or does the gamepad’s dominance continue?

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Bragi Dash review

Loaded with sensors and smarts, the Dash barreled into the fully wireless earbud market with all the potential in the world. But their temperamental nature gives us cause to pause.

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Mini review video: Our verdict on the iPhone SE in about a minute

No, it's not the most exciting iPhone release, but the new SE still has a clear purpose: At $ 399, it's Apple's most affordable handset yet. Meanwhile, its 4-inch screen is likely to appeal to nostalgics who miss smaller iPhones. Indeed, the SE is nig…
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iPad Pro 9.7 review: Apple’s best tablet, but it won’t replace a laptop

The iPad Pro raised some eyebrows when it debuted last year, but it really shouldn't have. While tablet sales as a whole have been tanking, sales of tablets with detachable keyboards have actually grown. Is it any surprise, then, that Apple built a 9…
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Mini review video: Our take on the Galaxy S7 Edge, in just a minute

Though Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are both great phones — each earned a score of 90 — it's the Edge that's improved the most over the past year. Whereas the S6 Edge's curved screen felt like a gimmick (albeit a gorgeous one), this year's m…
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Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

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When you are on a budget, one of the biggest questions you must answer is which features you are willing to compromise on. Whether it’s a lower resolution display, less RAM, less capable cameras, poor build quality, or perhaps an underpowered processor, these are all things you must consider. There’s a host of budget smartphones to choose from, and most tend to compromise at least one area. Here in the United Kingdom, the Moto G (2015) is often viewed as the go-to device for people with limited budgets, but perhaps there’s an alternative, the Smart Ultra 6 that is available from Vodafone UK for just £115. 

Design

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The Smart Ultra 6 has a unibody design. But, before you get your hopes up with thoughts of the HTC One M9 and its beautiful aesthetics, without being too blunt about it, the Smart Ultra 6 is fairly bland. While many unibody designs will strive for a smooth, sleek appearance without a noticeable seam along the length of the device, the Smart Ultra 6 has gone the other way.

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For some reason, the designers went out of their way to put a fake seam on the Smart Ultra 6 that makes it appear as if its has a removable rear panel, except it doesn’t. It isn’t the worst thing you’ve ever seen on a smartphone, it’s just a little odd. On to the dimensions, and the Smart Ultra 6 is 154 x 77 x 8.35mm and weighs 159 grams. For a 5.5-inch handset, it’s quite pocketable, being a couple of millimeters narrower than my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The bezels aren’t the thinnest you’ve every seen, but then again, they aren’t the biggest either with the handset having a screen-to-body ratio of 70.3%.

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The silver volume and power buttons are both on the right-hand-side of the display. The power button is in the middle of the phone, which is far too low for my personal liking but that’s just my preference. The buttons themselves are responsive, easy to find, and reward each press with a satisfying clicking sound. Navigation achieved by way of the on-screen buttons, and there’s a neat blue LED light for notifications that also serves as the Home button.

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There’s a speaker on the rear of the handset, along with the Vodafone logo. Up top is the 3.5mm audio socket, with a microSD card slot on the left-hand side of the phone. On the right-hand-side is the SIM slot, just above the volume buttons. As you might expect, the micro-USB port is present on the bottom end of the handset.Vodafone_Smart_Ultra_6_TA (7)

When I say the Smart Ultra 6 is bland and inoffensive, don’t get me wrong. The build quality is good, the handset doesn’t creak or bend, and the glass feels sturdy enough. The Smart ultra 6 isn’t a terrible looking handset either, unlike some budget devices that are around. But it is bland, albeit inoffensive. The grey metallic plastic is not unpleasant to hold, the material isn’t terribly slippy in the hand, and it serves its purpose. Thankfully, a case can definitely smarten it up and add some bling if needed. If grey isn’t your thing, the Smart Ultra 6 is also available in silver.

Hardware

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The Smart Ultra 6 features a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS LCD display, Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, Adreno 405, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, a 3000mAh battery, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0.

Bands:

4G LTE (3, 7, 20)
HSDPA
GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900)

Performance

Smart_Ultra_6_Geekbench Smart_Ultra_6_Antutu

The Smart Ultra 6 is nippy. The Snapdragon 615 is a mid-range processor with 8 Cortex A53 cores providing enough grunt to play the high-end games such as Asphalt 8 with acceptable frame rates. While the Smart Ultra 6 isn’t going to set new benchmark records, it will do the job, without noticeable strain. The rear of the handset doesn’t become overly hot, but it does get warm after playing Asphalt 8 for around 30mins. Although the Snapdragon 615 does its job well, it is possible to make it stutter now and again. For reference, the Smart Ultra 6 scores 2359 on Geekbench 3, and 31192 on Antutu.

Where some affordable handsets fall down when it comes to the display, here the Smart Ultra 6 carries on going. It’s 5.5-inch Full HD LCD display, with In-Plane-Switching (IPS) technology allows for impressive viewing angles and vibrant colours. I think it’s safe to say that you won’t find a better display on a similarly priced handset. Possibly the only letdown with the display is the lack of an automatic brightness option.

The speaker on the rear of the handset offers a rather middling performance. Its single driver sounds a little thin and isn’t anything to write home about, but, it is acceptable and delivers its top volume without distorting. Call quality is also at a good level, with callers able to hear you talk clearly. You won’t be scratching your ears off, but you also won’t want to be using the Smart Ultra as a portable speaker for any length of time.

While the handset is naturally locked to the Vodafone network, it is possible to unlock the Smart Ultra 6 with a minimum of fuss thanks to the unlock codes found on Ebay, which only around £4.

Battery

On to the battery and here the 3000mAh battery really helps the Smart Ultra 6 stand out. Despite having to provide the juice for a large 5.5-inch Full HD display, the battery manages to hold out for around 2 days with light usage. For normal usage, most users should manage to get through the day without having to charge. I found that by 9 PM, I had around 15% left, after the usual notifications, calls and texts, social media, checking accounts and emails, 20-30 mins gaming, and around 20 minutes of YouTube. As with pretty everything else about the Smart Ultra 6, it’s a good result. Not fantastic, not terrible, but firmly in the middle. On average I managed around 4 and a half hours of screen-on time.

Software

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Quite often we see these overbearing custom UI’s on Android handsets, whether they are cheap or expensive. Thankfully, Vodafone has refrained from putting its stamp on proceedings, leaving an almost stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop experience. On that topic, there’s no word as yet when, or if, an update to Marshmallow is forthcoming.

While there are a few pre-installed apps present, that would appear to be the extent of Vodafone’s meddling. Even the wallpapers are stock Android, which is no bad thing. One feature that is missing, however, in common with stock Android, is the ability to see the battery percentage in the status bar. One way to get around it is by installing an app such as Circle Battery Widget from the Play Store.

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Let’s get to the pre-installed apps. While the apps themselves are no blight on the handset, Vodafone has somehow decided that these apps are to be front and centre when opening the app drawer. There are seven apps pre-installed, and luckily you can uninstall 5 of them while the other two can be disabled. Other than possibly the Smart Tips and Smart Flow apps, you’ll probably find the pre-installed apps to be fairly pointless.

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Pre-installed apps:

  • Updates: Lets you install more Vodafone applications
  • Direct Access: Links directly to Vodafone’s accessory store
  • Message: Vodafone’s free messaging app.
  • Discover: Helps you discover other Vodafone services
  • My Web: A shortcut to a Vodafone web page
  • Smart Flow: A wallpaper app that cycles through images. When it works it’s ok
  • Smart Tips: Helpful hints on how to use the Smart Ultra 6, and its features

Camera

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It would seem that almost all the mid-range budget phones are using a 13MP sensor for the rear camera, and here the Smart Ultra 6 is no different. Features such as HDR, Panorama, Smile Detection, Multi-Exposure as well as the option to add a filter to your masterpiece are present. You can choose between three modes: Manual, Automatic or Mode which gives you access to the features previously mentioned.

As to the quality of the images, that can be a bit of a mixed bag, but for the most part, the sensor copes adequately when taking pictures in good lighting. In low-light conditions, however, the sensor does struggle to give sharp, detailed results, and can look a little washed out. For a £125, the camera is more than acceptable, so long as you are okay with chucking out the odd photo here and there. You can check out the sample shots I took with the Smart Ultra 6 below.

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Closing

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Vodafone partnered up with ZTE to develop the Smart Ultra 6, and the result is a handset boasting an impressive array of components for a very affordable price. Yes, the design is somewhat uninspired and nondescript, but it isn’t terribly offensive, and you can always put a case on it to add a bit of excitement. No, the camera is not going to compete with the Galaxy Note 5, and yes, the Snapdragon 615 can stutter at times when you are racing through the apps. But for a handset with a Full HD display, a beefy battery, and competent cameras that usually costs just £115, it’s downright appealing.

I would say that the Smart Ultra 6 is the definitive budget smartphone in the UK at the moment. If you are on a tight budget, this is the mobile phone you should be looking at. For £115, you just can’t go wrong.

[Vodafone]

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Blu Pure XL review

On paper the Blu Pure XL smartphone should be an absolute monster, but after spending time with it, those amazing specs didn’t quite deliver on their promise. Is it still worth considering? We find out in our review.

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Fossil Q Founder review

The day has arrived when a smartwatch no longer has to look like a second-class citizen next to a regular watch. The Fossil Q Founder may lack on the tech side, but it makes up for it in style and class. Here’s our review.

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q-JAYS Reference earphones review

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Earphones are a vital accessory for many of our phones, tablets, and laptops, and it’s something that many people are comfortable spending quite a bit of money on to get a great experience. The q-JAYS reference earphones take this seriously, offering an extremely high-end listening experience with a price tag to match.

On the surface, the q-JAYS reference earphones look like any other pair of in-ear buds, although their packaging stands out compared to some others on the market. Instead of pulling the earphones out of the box in a usable state, you’ll actually have to put these things together. Sounds weird, I know, but it gives you a chance to really appreciate the high-quality materials and craftsmanship that goes into each pair of these earphones. Each pair supposedly takes about 40 hours of work to make, and it’s evident when you actually have these in hand.

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The box contains three components of these earphones: the cable, which is designed to be interchangeable to extend the lifespan of the earphones, the speaker, which actually creates the sound, and the cushion that will sit in your ear. Once everything’s pieced together, you’re good to go.

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These earphones were designed like reference monitors and less like speakers, and each ear piece features two speakers for low frequencies and mid/high frequencies. This provides an extremely accurate sound representation, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how much of an audiophile you are.

Full disclaimer: I’m not one of those audiophiles. I like nicer speakers and sound equipment and I’m willing to spend a little bit of money to get that better sound experience. However, that perfect tonal accuracy isn’t ever high up on my list. The q-JAYS offer that completely accurate sound, and the earphones don’t color the sound at all. Personally, I prefer a little coloration on my music that you’ll find from something like Bose or Beats equipment, but the q-JAYS are accurate to a fault.

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Low frequencies are full without any kind of distortion or clipping, details are extremely crisp and clear, and there’s never a hint of anything being too harsh on the high-end. For better or worse, these earphones will give you the exact sound that your favorite artists were hearing with their professional quality music equipment.

If that’s the kind of sound you’re after, these q-JAYS will be perfect for you. The build quality is immaculate, they’re light and comfortable, and there’s nothing to really complain about outside of the price tag. For the average person listening to their highly compressed music being streamed over Spotify, though, $ 400 would be a bit hard to swallow, especially considering that someone that’s not interested in an accurate sound probably wouldn’t be crazy about these over a cheaper pair of earphones that colored their sound better.

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Motorola Droid Turbo 2 review

Motorola’s latest concoction isn’t the nicest looking phone, but it has amazing specs and something that no other phone has: a shatterproof display.

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