Smartwatches are getting better every year. They can now last for more than a day without a charge despite their tiny size while staying linked to your phone. Some give notifications and tell you when it’s going to rain while others can function as full-blown phones, untethered from your phone completely like the Apple Watch Series 3.
The Apple Watch is still the dominant force in the smartwatch market, but many smartwatches from the likes of LG and Moto run Android Wear, while Samsung’s run its own Tizen UI. Make sure your watch of choice is compatible with your phone before you buy.
Also bear in mind whether or not your phone will be compatible with the smartwatch you’re after – Apple Watch is only for iPhones, and most Android Wear watches require your phone to be of a certain age and running a certain version or later of Android.
There are also designer smartwatches that often run Android Wear from brands like Guess, D&G and Tag Heuer. They are often very expensive, so if you have your eye on one, it’s a good idea to look out for discounts.
Where to find smartwatch deals
Amazon often has some of the biggest discounts on smartwatches and other tech, but it’s always worth shopping around if you don’t see something you like in our selection here.
If you find that you’re missing out on Amazon’s Lightning deals, which run for just a few hours and offer limited stock, we’d recommend signing up for Amazon’s 30 day free trial of Prime, which will get you access to deals 30 minutes before everyone else. Plus, you’ll get free next-day delivery with the Prime trial, as well as access to Prime Instant Video and more.
Xiaomi will unveil its Mi Max 3 in China on Thursday 19 July at 7.30pm. China is eight hours ahead of us in the UK, which means we should see the giant new Xiaomi phone announced around 11.30am.
A new teaser released by Xiaomi on Weibo points to Tencent Video as a launch partner for the Mi Max 3, and Tencent Video Vice President Yan Na is said to be going to the Mi Max 3 launch.
The poster also refers to Westworld, which in China is broadcast exclusively on Tencent Video, a streaming service with 500 million monthly active users and 63 million subscribers.
It’s not clear whether we can expect to see a Mi Max 3 launch stream on Tencent Video itself, or if there is going to be some sort of rich video content within the phone. To our knowledge Xiaomi has not confirmed whether there will be a live stream.
If a stream is published on Tencent Video it will almost certainly be in Chinese. Not all content on the platform can be viewed by UK users, however, so if you are having any issues with geo-restrictions you should use a VPN such as NordVPN to connect to a Chinese server and obtain a Chinese IP address.
You can also follow live updates from the Mi Max 3 launch on the MI Forums, which will certainly be a more user-friendly solution for English-language readers.
Amazon Prime Day is now up and running in most territories, with the US set to get in on the action in just a few hours. So how can you find your way to the best Prime Day deals this year?
Browsing direct to Amazon is not often the best way for a number of reasons. Firstly, Amazon’s site is famous for being very hard to navigate – it relies heavily on users searching on site or landing from Google rather than browsing. And secondly, Amazon is obviously always going to be pushing the products it makes the most margin on the hardest.
In the UK for example, Amazon is putting its own Echo, Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick front and centre, along with a Bosch cordless drill, a Philips electric toothbrush, Fitbit Charge 2, a Philips Lumea body hair removal device and so forth. It’s no accident that these products are so prominently featured – Amazon thinks it’ll make more money from these products through a combination of margin and popularity.
So how can you make sure you actually find the best products rather than the things Amazon is more keen to sell you. Here’s 5 tips:
1. Check out our deals roundups!
We’ve got teams working around the clock pulling out the best products and best deals in the Prime Day sales. The goal is to help you get to the deals you’ll be most happy with, and we’ve divided our pages by product category so no matter whether you’re after Prime Day TV deals, laptops deals, smart speakers or anything else – we’re here to help.
2. Check out our reviews
TechRadar reviews hundreds of popular tech products every year. So obviously if you aren’t sure whether that thing you’re looking at is any good, check for a review. Use Google to find out what expert opinions are out there (hey, TechRadar can’t review every product in the world) and check out customer reviews as well. If a product has lots of happy customers that’s a great sign. If there are hardly any user reviews available or if they seem to be quite negative, steer clear.
3. Go for known brands
This is true in any product category, form sports gear to baby products and toys to gaming and fashion. But it’s particularly true in tech. With so many Chinese brands out there churning out reasonably priced tech items it can be hard to spot the products you’re going to be able to rely on. By sticking to brands you’ve heard of and have some trust in, you minimise the chances of being disappointed with your purchase.
4. Know your rights!
It’s always important to know your rights! You are entitled to return items you’re not happy with so there’s always a safety net if you’re wondering whether to take a chance.
5. Shop around!
Just because there’s a Prime Day deal happening, doesn’t mean it’s the best deal out there on that product. Check the other big online stores for prices – it’s a good way to get a gauge on how strong each deal is. And of course in our deals roundups we’re not featuring any deals which are available at a better price elsewhere! So if you want to guarantee yourself a great deal, stick with TechRadar!
These include Logitech keyboards, mice, webcams and speakers. We’ve collected the best deals below, so if you’re in the market for a new PC peripheral, you may be able to snap up a great bargain.
We like a lot of Logitech’s accessories, and the fact that they have had some hefty price cuts for Amazon Prime Day makes them even better value for money.
These deals will remain live until midnight Tuesday July 17.
Best Logitech deals on Amazon Prime Day
Logitech C920 HD Pro | was £59.98 now £27.99 at Amazon Save 53% on this fantastic 1080p webcam that plugs into your device’s USB port. Not only is it great at recording video, but the built-in mic offers top-quality audio.View Deal
Logitech MX Master AMZ | was £79.99 now £37.99 at Amazon This brilliant wireless Bluetooth mouse gets 53% knocked off its asking price for Prime Day. It’s a lovely-looking pointer, and it’s fast, responsive and feels great to hold.View Deal
Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury | was £35.21 now £19.99 at Amazon This fantastic gaming mouse with eight programmable buttons has had 48% knocked off its asking price for Amazon Prime Day. It would make a great gift for the gamer in your life.View Deal
Logitech G430 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset | was £51.98 now £29.99 at Amazon Save £26 off this gaming headset, which offers 7.1 Dolby Surround sound that will make you feel like you’re slap-bang in the middle of the action.View Deal
Logitech Z623 2.1 Speaker System | was £156.64 now £123.99 at Amazon This great 2.1 speaker set has had over £20 knocked off its asking price for Amazon Prime Day. If you’re looking for a great set of stereo speakers (and a subwoofer) for your PC or console, get this.View Deal
Logitech K400 Plus Wireless Touch Keyboard | was £21.98 now £17.99 at Amazon This excellent wireless keyboard which can be used with a wide range of devices doesn’t have the largest price cut on Amazon Prime Day, but it’s enough of a reduction to make it a tempting buy.View Deal
Logitech MK850 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo | was £79.99 now £59.99 at Amazon If you’re looking for a new keyboard and mouse, then this combo offers great value for money, especially with the 26% price cut it’s got for Amazon Prime Day.View Deal
We’ve gone through our fair share of headphones in the past, but nothing could have prepared us for our time with the Audeara A-01. While at first glance they look like an ordinary pair of headphones, there’s a much deeper level to them that you can almost instantly appreciate after a few minutes of listening time. They’re the first headphones to tailor the listening experience to each individual user, thanks to a handy in-app audio test that ensures you get the best listening experience.
After an initial bout of interest and funding through Kickstarter, the Audeara A-01 headphones were finally realized, and made their way to eager backers. But now that they’re also available to the general public, are they really as amazing as they’re supposed to sound?
Price and availability
The Audeara A-01 headphones are available through the company’s website, and retail for AU$499 (about $367, £278, AED 1,349).
That price point puts in squarely alongside the likes of the Bose QuietComfort 35 or the Sony WH-1000XM2, but priced just a tad higher. For that kind of money you’d expect exceptional build quality and absolutely superb audio, but unfortunately the Audeara A-01 doesn’t quite feel like you’re getting your money’s worth due to a couple of nagging issues.
Build Quality & Design
There’s no denying that the Audeara A-01 look quite – ordinary. Apart from the etched logo on each earcup, these look like your run-of-the-mill wireless headphones. That’s a shame, because they’re capable of so much more, so it’s unfortunate that they don’t look as good as they sound.
The headphones are mostly made out of hard black plastic, with an adjustable metal band for comfortable sizing. The earcups and headband itself are comfortably padded, and even after a few hours we didn’t feel much discomfort. Adjusting the headband can be a little bothersome as it’s quite stiff (and sharp – beware).
The right earcup features a microUSB port for charging, along with a small switch to turn the noise cancelling feature on or off. On the left earcup you have the power switch, as well buttons to adjust the volume up and down, and a multi-function button.
We say ‘multi-function’, but all it can do is play and pause your music, as well as answer incoming phone calls. There’s no way to use the button to skip through audio tracks or invoke a digital assistant such as Siri or Google Assistant, which is a must-have if you’re using wireless headphones and don’t want to be reaching for your device to have to skip through songs.
The other design flaw is how incredible tiny the controls are. Seriously, they’re minuscule compared to other similarly-designed headphones, and we really wish that they were considerably larger and easier to press while wearing.
In the well-packaged box you have a brief instruction manual on how to pair and setup your headphones, as well as a 3.5mm cable, a microUSB charging cable, a 3.5mm to 6.5mm audio jack, and a dual-jack headphones adapter so you can use the Audeara A-01 with an airplane entertainment system. There’s even a small fabric bag to carry all your cables and connectors in, or you can bundle them all up in the hard carrying case instead.
Connectivity & Setup
The Audeara A-01 can be used both in wired and wireless mode, but you’ll still need to properly charge and configure the headphones before listening. Charging takes about three and a half hours for a full battery, so you’ll want to make sure that these are topped up regularly.
The headphones will turn off automatically after a set period of inactivity, but interestingly the ANC will always stay on, unless you physically slide the switch off. Audeara have said that this is so that if you’re using the headphones in-flight and fall asleep, the headphones won’t suddenly switch off and let in the airplane noise.
To configure the headphones, you first have to download the Audeara app and create an account. Once logged in, you can then use the app to conduct one of three hearing tests to calibrate the headphones properly. The Standard test runs about 3 minutes, the High Detail tests lasts for 5 minutes, and the Ultimate Precision test (which we recommend) takes about 10 minutes to finish.
The test works by playing a certain number of beeps at increasing or decreasing frequencies. You then tap either a ‘Can hear’ or ‘Can’t hear’ button to adjust the volume until the beep is barely audible. After you’ve run through the test for each ear, your headphones are properly configured and can then be used to listen to music. You can then apply your specific custom audio profile to your Audeara A-01 headphones in percentages from 0-100%, in increments of 25% each.
We honestly found the sweetest listening spot between 50 and 75%, so we wish that there was a slider or perhaps 10% increments available. There were times that we would hear a faint clicking sound rather than a beep, and Audeara have confirmed this is just because the physical sound of the transducer moving is louder than the tone being generated. There’s a firmware update in the works to address this, which will be released after some more testing.
You can redo the audio tests any number of times, and if someone wants to borrow your headphones, you can quickly create a new profile in the app and have them do the audio test themselves. Once you’ve configured them and applied the required level of audio personalization, the settings are saved to the headphones, so you can pair them to another Bluetooth device or use them wired while still experiencing the correct audio.
The biggest problem with the setup process had to be the app itself. There were countless times where it just refused to see that the headphones were connected via Bluetooth until we turned off both the headphones and Bluetooth, and turned them on again via the app.
There were also occasions where triggering the audio test caused the headphones to become disconnected, making for a rather poor experience overall. Audeara have said that an app update is coming soon to improve on connectivity and address some of these issues.
Of course the million-dollar question is just how good the Audeara A-01 headphones actually are once you’ve started listening with them. The answer is they actually do improve the quality of what you’re listening to, so much so that it’s hard to accept that you may have been listening to music all wrong so far.
While listening to In the Hall of the Mountain King, the finer details like the faint plucking of violins could be heard much more clearly, followed by the resounding clash of cymbals and deep sounds of the brass sections. Coldplay’s Fix You also sounded crisper, with Chris Martin sounding less like he was singing while gargling a glass of water.
As mentioned before, you can adjust how much of the Audeara Experience you want to apply, but we definitely recommend steering away from the 100% setting, as it made the audio sound very artificial and a tad distorted. We’re hoping that Audeara considers adding a slider or more increments to choose from, as we found ourselves moving between the 50% and 75% settings on different songs.
The noise-cancelling provided by the Audeara A-01 is passable, but not as good as what we’ve experienced on other headphones in the same price bracket. There’s also a slight amount of audio leakage at higher volumes, so if someone is sitting next to you they’re going to enjoy whatever it is you’re listening to.
You’ll notice with these headphones that you can’t crank up the volume very high, and that’s intentional. Audeara wants you to listen to music at volumes where you can appreciate what you’re listening to, rather than blasting your eardrums every day.
Then there’s the battery life. Audeara says that on a full charge you can get about 35 hours of playback with ANC, Bluetooth, and the Audeara effect applied, but that’s wishful thinking. In our real-world usage we managed to squeeze about 20 hours instead, but this will of course improve if you’re using the headphones in wired mode or switch off ANC.
The Audeara A-01 markets itself as headphones that always deliver ‘perfect sound’. To a degree, it certainly does that, breathing new life into songs that you may have heard a million times before.
It still very much feels like a first-gen device, with room to improve on the overall design and feel of the product. There are certainly better noise-cancelling headphones on the market, but when it comes to the actual quality of audio and listening experience, the Audeara A-01 manages to just about slink past the competition.
The company behind a Kodak-branded crypto-currency mining scheme has confirmed the plan has collapsed.
In January, a Bitcoin mining computer labelled Kodak KashMiner was on display on Kodak’s official stand at the CES technology show in Las Vegas.
But critics labelled it a “scam” and said the advertised profits were unachievable and misleading.
Now the company behind the scheme says it will not go ahead. Kodak told the BBC it was never officially licensed.
What was the plan?
Spotlite USA is one of many companies that licenses the Kodak brand to put on its own products.
It showed off a Bitcoin-mining computer labelled Kodak KashMiner in January and told the BBC that it planned to let people rent the machines.
To mine crypto-currency, computers are tasked with solving complicated mathematical problems in order to verify crypto-currency transactions. Successful miners are rewarded with bitcoins for their efforts.
Spotlite planned to let people pay an up-front fee of around $3,400 (£2,500) to rent a KashMiner, and would let customers keep a cut of any bitcoins generated.
Its chief executive Halston Mikail detailed plans to install hundreds of the devices at the Kodak headquarters in Rochester, New York, to take advantage of cheap electricity offered by an on-site power plant.
He said 80 devices were already in operation.
But Kodak told the BBC that the venture was never officially licensed and that no devices had ever been installed.
In its promotional material, Spotlite said an up-front investment of $3,400 would generate earnings of $375 a month for two years by mining Bitcoin.
However, critics said the promised profits did not take into account that mining Bitcoin is becoming increasingly difficult.
Writer and sceptic David Gerard called it a “crypto-currency folly”, suggesting the scheme never went beyond its unfinished website.
“There is no way your magical Kodak miner will make the same $375 every month,” wrote economist Saifedean Ammous, who pointed out that anybody taking the gamble would have made a loss on their investment.
In a phone call with the BBC, Spotlite’s Halston Mikail said the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had prevented the scheme from going ahead.
He said the company would instead run its mining operation privately with equipment installed in Iceland, instead of renting capacity to consumers.
A spokesman for Kodak told the BBC: “While you saw units at CES from our licensee Spotlite, the KashMiner is not a Kodak brand licensed product. Units were not installed at our headquarters.”
Of the new 4K TVs launched in 2018, Philips’ 6-series is certainly one of the more affordable. The 6703 sits in the middle of the 6-series and is available in 43, 50, 55 and 65in screen sizes.
While you give up certain luxuries such as the more powerful P5 image processor that you get with higher series’, the 6703 strikes a great balance between features and quality, offering a great 4K picture along with 3-sided Ambilight at a sensible price. Note that the 6753 is identical except for a different stand design, so this review applies to this model as well.
Philips 55PUS6703: Price & Availability
The 55in model on review here costs £699 from Argos. But on Amazon Prime Day, there’s 30% off, bringing the price down to £490 when you buy from Amazon.
Here are the Amazon Prime Day discounted prices for all models in the range:
Normally the 50in model costs £599 and the 43in version is £499. If you jump up to 65in, the price also jumps to £1099.
These are European models, and as such aren’t available in the US.
For alternatives, see our list of the best TVs to buy.
Philips 55PUS6703: Design & Features
Being a more budget-focused model, the 6703 is not the thinnest 4K TV around at 68mm. This will only matter if you plan to wall-mount it, of course.
In the box are two aluminium feet which sit fairly far apart, so you’ll need a cabinet at least 85cm wide to accommodate it.
Bezels aren’t as slim as you’ll find on some rivals either.
Connectivity is decent, though, with three HDMI inputs, two USBs, Wi-Fi (with Miracast support) and Ethernet, plus an optical audio output. Only HDMI1 supports HDCP 2.2, though, which will be a deal-breaker for some as you need HMDI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 for full 4K HDR support. So if you plan to connect more than one device that supports it, such as a UDH Blu-ray Player and Xbox One, you will have issues.
There are built-in Freeview HD and satellite tuners, with Freeview Play software.
The screen itself isn’t the edge-lit panel you might expect at this price. Instead Philips uses a back-lit VA panel. This leads to better contrast and wider viewing angles than most IPS panels.
As mentioned, the 6703 doesn’t get the P5 processor that you get with the 7- and 8- series TVs. However, it does have Pixel Precise Ultra HD which does a fine job of smoothing motion, if you want it to.
There’s 3-sided Ambilight, which involves rear-mounted LEDs on the sides and top edge. There are various modes, but the default – and one you’ll use most – is picture tracking. Put simply, the LEDs match the colour of the image you’re watching which makes the picture seem larger and appear to blend into the room. It also reduces the glare if you’re watching at night with the light dimmed or off completely.
Of course, Ambilight is most effective when you put the TV close to a flat wall, which is ideally painted in a light colour. Far from being a gimmick, Ambilight is a real bonus that you have to experience to appreciate.
Saphi Smart TV
Instead of running Android, Philips has designed its own smart interface called Saphi. This is based on Linux and is intuitive to use.
It’s pretty responsive until you attempt to browse a large library of videos on a USB drive, but comes with all the video players you’d expect preinstalled.
These include Amazon Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Demand 5 and UKTV Play.
Amazon and Netflix both support 4K streaming, although you’ll need the top-tier subscription if you want watch Netflix shows un Ultra HD.
You can connect a hard drive to one of the USB ports and use it to record TV shows, pause and rewind live TV. When playing back files from a USB drive we found that the 6703 had no trouble with MP4 files, but wouldn’t play all our test MKV videos and outright refused to play MOV and FLV formats.
Philips told us that the Google Assistant would be added via a firmware update by around September 2018. There’s no mic built into the TV’s remote control, so you’ll have to use your phone instead – much less convenient. And a lot of Android phones already have the Assistant in any case.
Although it supports HDR Plus, the 6703 isn’t an amazingly bright TV. In Movie mode at a normal brightness level, the screen outputs around 150 nits. Switching to Vivid mode extracts the highest brightness, which with Brightness set to 100 saw a reading of 329 nits on our colorimeter.
It isn’t dim – don’t get us wrong – but you really need a peak brightness of 1000 nits or more to get the full benefit of HDR content.
Black levels are decent, but not excellent. Sadly there’s no local dimming which means that LEDs can’t be dimmed in zones as they can on some rivals. Local dimming allows for deeper blacks when there are also bright highlights in the same scene.
There’s also slight unevenness in the backlighting with dark patches noticeable in the corners in bright scenes.
Viewing angles pretty good, but colours become washed out if you’re sitting more than about 35 degrees off centre.
If this sounds overly negative, there are plenty of positives. Being a VA panel, colours are well saturated, but natural. If you prefer more vibrant hues, just switch to Dynamic mode.
Watching the Jungles episode from Planet Earth II on 4K Blu-ray is a treat on the 6703: greens look lush and skies a deep blue. Motion smoothing – long one of Philips’ strengths – is also excellent, so panning shots are completely judder-free. (It is important to reduce the default sharpness, though, which causes shimmering in some scenes.)
As you’d expect, details are pin-sharp, adding hugely to the realism, while Amibilight serves to make the whole experience even more immersing.
Audio performance isn’t quite on the same level. The speakers are loud enough, but they don’t offer much bass. So you’ll probably want to pair this TV with a good soundbar or a hi-fi system, particularly for movies.