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    LG Neochef in the kitchen

    Wait a minute. Don’t you need a like a dutch oven and consistent temperature for the bacteria to magically turn milk into yogurt? And pottery? People build kilns for those kind of stuff.

    Latest microwave oven called LG NeoChef claims to be able to perform both feats and they made 2 videos to prove it.

    Apparently, acclaimed ceramic artist Daniel Les was able to bake something as delicate as glaze-on handcrafted pottery with this microwave that uses LG Smart Inverter’s uniform and controlled heating that reaches up to 1,100 watts.

    And yogurt? If it is as easy as it looks in the video, we are definitely going to have a lot more yogurt and yogurt ice cream. Although we have not tried making yogurt with LG NeoChef, we are already thinking of all sorts of flavour combinations once we get our hands on one.

    The LG Neochef microwave really has LG’s Smart Inverter technology to thank for all its abilities. The technology allows the humble microwave, a common tool in every kitchen, to prepare a wider variety of dishes with better results, and evenly cook or defrost food all the way through. If you are really pressed for time, NeoChef’s maximum power output of 1,100-watt is able to cook dishes more quickly than conventional microwaves while preserving nutrients and locking in the flavours of the ingredients.

    Design-wise, the LG NeoChef looks elegant and sleek with its clean lines and tempered glass door. Inside its glossy surface, instead of a circular turntable we are familiar with, sits a hexagonal turntable that comes with 6 points of support. According to LG, this improved stability helps solve the issue of possible spillage when the food being cooked is not positioned in the centre. The insides are coated with an unique anti-bacterial coating that makes cleaning easier and faster as well.

    LG Neochef - frontview

    “With a minimalist design that appeals to consumers of all stripes, LG’s striking new microwave oven represents the company’s dedication to creating appliances that can add both functionality and class to any kitchen,” said Jay Yang, Home Appliances Product Director, LG Electronics Singapore.

    LG NeoChef Pricing and availability

    The NeoChef microwave ovens come in three models: 25-litre solo unit (S$299); 25-litre grill unit (S$399); and 39-litre convection unit (S$969). You can get it at Audio House, Best Denki, Courts, Gain City, Harvey Norman and LG authorised retailers.

    For more information, please visit http://www.lg.com/sg/microwave-ovens.

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      2017 iPad from Apple

      Apple made a couple of changes a few weeks ago to their iPad lineup. If you missed that announcement, we wouldn’t be too surprised as there wasn’t much fanfare and there were definitely no snaking queues outside Apple authorised resellers.

      In summary, Apple dropped the iPad mini 2 and upgraded the iPad Air 2. Apple increased the storage for the iPad mini 4 to 128GB and made that the only storage capacity for the smaller screen tablet. The new tablet now goes for S$719. As for the 2017 iPad, Apple removed the “Air” from iPad Air and the 9.7-inch iPads are now simply called the iPad. Look-wise, there are no major changes and the new 9.7-inch iPad runs on the faster A9 chip. As for the price, the iPad starts at S$489 for the WIFI model.

      So, when looking for an iPad to replace our first gen iPad mini, we decided to place our faith on the new iPad instead of the iPad mini. The main reason of course, is the under S$500 price point. This makes the new iPad very attractive for us and makes the iPad mini with 128GB storage option just feels like a rip-off. Here are some other reasons that make the new iPad a clear winner.

      Retina display

      The 2,048 x 1,536 resolution Retina display looks amazing. The colours on the screen are bright and sharp and the colour saturation is very ‘Apple-ish’. While some people might be disappointed with the lack of a fully laminated display that makes everything look flatter, we have no issues with the slight increase in bulk or 1.4mm thicker to be exact.

      More power than iPad Air 2

      Performance-wise, the new iPad is more powerful running the A9 chip and the M9 motion co-processor. Beyond those upgrades, the new iPad spots the same Lightning port, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, 8-megapixel back camera, same 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, and same dual stereo speakers setup as the iPad Air 2.

      We are not huge fans of shooting photos with our iPads so the camera specifications matter less for us but the bump up in speed made us very happy. Videos, graphic intensive games and multitasking are now very smooth and we didn’t experience any freeze frames or lags.

      2017 iPad from Apple
      The new iPad runs on the A9 chip and M9 co-processor.

      Amazing battery life

      Even though Apple said all their tablets have a battery life of 10 hours, we hardly hit that mark with the iPad mini, even when it was new. But the 2017 iPad is a totally different story. We basically did everything with it, streaming videos, writing on GrateNews, browsing the internet, without heading for a power refill. We didn’t even have to change any settings except keeping it at 50% brightness.

      Who should buy?

      iPads are really hardy. Over the years, since the first iPad (which we still own), even though we bought more iPads that we should, they seemed to last forever. One thing for sure is that we are getting more and more impatient. We want something to work and we want it instantly. We are also more comfortable with multi-tasking, switching from one app to another with increased dexterity.

      The 2017 iPad offers us that comfort. And with an attractive price of $489, for the basic 32 Gb, WiFi only model, we are more than sold. For those who owns an iPad Pro, you can pretty much ignore this article, but for those like us who owns inaugural models of iPads and iPad mini, this is a major leap to one the most advanced tablets in the world at a steal. We are never ever going back.

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        LG G6

        Note: The LG G6 in this first look feature is a pre-production set and the actual features might defer.

        Over the last few years, LG’s flagship phones have gotten a lot of flak. From the G4 leather backs to last year’s ‘transformer’ modular design, these phones have had their fair share of love and hate from consumers. But it looks like LG pulling all stops for the G6 in order to stay on the radar of its fast dissipating fans.

        LG G6 first impressions

        Upon opening the box, the sleek and minimal profile of the phone resting quietly in a simple matte black box is strikingly eye-catching. The reflective Gorilla Glass 3 framed by a thin metallic rim and ever slight bezel looks like LG finally got the design right this time.

        What surprises me the most is how comfortable it feels on my hand. Unlike the slippery iPhone 7, the slight curvature on the edge of the back of the G6 nests comfortably on the palm, like it fits there.

        Upon hitting the on/off or standby button at the back of the phone which also provides fingerprint recognition, the lit screen looks even better and there is a certain flatness to how the colours renders on the G6. But more on the screen later. For those not used to having the standby button at the back, it does need a little getting used to. Furthermore, the button is ultra sensitive. This is probably the fastest we have seen a fingerprint recognition button work to activate the screen and that causes me to unintentionally fire up the phone simply by holding it.

        LG G6 - Astro Black
        G6 in Astro Black
        LG G6 dual lens camera
        Dual-lens camera and fingerprint recognition button

        5.7-inch display

        The G6 has a rather odd 18:9 display ratio. But that unusual ratio has allowed LG to stretch the screen and achieve an edge-to-edge 5.7-inch display on a smaller body. Even though I have relatively big hands, I still have trouble operating the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus single-handedly, but not with the G6. While the QHD+ 2,880 x 1,440 resolution screen looks amazing, we are very distracted with the rounded corners as oppose to the sharp edges on other smartphones.

        Another thing about such a screen ratio is its compatibility with the ecosystems of apps and video players. Although apps like Facebook and Instagram looks amazing on the phone, some games and apps will have a certain portion of the interface with these bars. Similarly, YouTube videos which uses 16:9 ratio will also have these black bars.

        Phone colours

        LG will release 3 colours for the new flagship–White, Platinum and Astro Black. I feel that the new astro black, with is a very usual colour for LG phones, is the best looking of the lot. The high gloss treatment (similar to Apple’s Jet Black) with matching matte black metal rim gives it a ‘premium’ feel.

        Performance and Storage colours

        For the techies, G6 runs on Snapdragon 821 Processor with 4GB of RAM. The LG G6 will go into production with an ample storage size of 64GB, which in my opinion is the sweet spot (for now) for mobile storage. This will also be the only model for the G6, so if you have gotten used to higher capacity of 128GB, touch luck. However, the microSD slot should solve that issue.


        LG seems to be focused on improving both the camera and the software for this phone. Unlike the dual lens setup on the iPhone 7 Plus to capture bokeh-like images in portraits, LG has its money on wide-angle shots. The dual-lens 13 megapixels rear cameras can shoot up to ultra wide 125-degrees field of view and according to LG representatives, it is equivalent to a 10mm wide angle view on a DSLR.

        After testing it for a day on outdoor and indoor environments as well as different lighting conditions, I am very happy with the f/2.4 aperture wide-angle camera lens, which happens to be pretty much what I shot with the entire day. Here are some shots straight out of the camera:

        Like most high-end smartphone cameras, a well-lit shot is always better, but in the case of the G6, the low-light shots are very good as well. Apart from the cameras, LG also introduced new camera modes like the ‘360-panoramic’ as well as ‘food’. I had a lot of fun with both modes but the ‘Auto’ mode is still my favourite.

        Battery life

        The removable battery option on the G5 is gone and what you are getting instead is an embedded 3,300mAh battery block that can power up the phone for an entire day. The added advantage of opting for a fixed battery is that G6 is now officially water-resistant. Just to prove a point, we placed the smartphone under a running tap for a minute, even though that’s an odd thing to do. And sure enough the phone works perfectly fine after. A minor detail, similar to the G5, the unit that we got charges using the USB-C port. USB-C is the emerging industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power, so consider this device to be future-ready as well.

        So wide it can fit a T-Rex (scaled down).
        The wide-angle is great for travel shots (scaled down).


        There are a couple of things that I really like about the LG G6. The design, size, how comfortable it fits on my palm and the wide-angle dual-lens camera setup all work together in a nice glossy package. Although LG faces tough competition ahead and it is still early to tell whether it will be a huge success, the G6 is already one of the “top 10 phones of 2017” in our opinion.


        LG G6 is now available at all major telcos with the following free gifts:

        • An extended 12-month warranty (24 months).
        • Free flip case worth S$58.
        • Telco Promotions:
          • M1 customers can enjoy up to S$200 off LG G6 when they sign up for selected Fibre broadband and mobile plans at the same time.
          • Singtel customers can get a Free LG 43″ 4K UHD TV worth $1,388* when they complete their Singtel Circle with a LG G6 purchase (Combo 3 and above plans) and re-contract or subscribe to Singtel Fibre Broadband or TV. Simply visit any Singtel Shop or sign up online at www.singtelshop.com
          • StarHub customers who sign up for a 2-year HomeHub Go 1Gbps plan with LG G6 will receive a FREE LG 43” 4K UHD TV worth S$1,388*.

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          sony extra bass headphones with noise cancelling XB950B1

          Sony expands its EXTRA BASS headphones series, adding four new models to its popular lineup. The four models are the wireless MDR-XB950N1 with added noise cancelling technology, the wireless MDR-XB950B1, the colourful range MDR-XB550AP, and the in-ear sports headphones MDR-XB510AS. If you ignore the model names, the new range features the wireless headphones with and without noise cancelling, a wired range that comes with a variety of colours and a in-ear headphones that is water resistant.

          If you love bass, this lineup lets you boost and control the intensity of bass notes wherever you are.

          MDR-XB950N1 and MDR-XB950B1 EXTRA BASS Wireless Headphones

          As mentioned, the main difference between these two models is that the MDR-XB950N1 model (S$339) comes with noise cancelling options. With noise cancelling on, the built-in rechargeable battery can power up to 22 hours of wireless music playback. The XB950B1 (S$269) on the other hand provides a less stellar 18 hours playback on a full charge. As these are wireless models, Sony also supplies a cable to ‘extend’ your play time on a passive mode when your battery runs low.

          Sony Extra Bass Wireless headphones with noise cancelling XB950N1
          XB950N1 with noise cancelling function
          Sony Extra Bass Wireless headphones with noise cancelling XB950B1
          XB950B1 in red

          Tweaking of EQ or equalisation to your taste can be done through Sony’s Headphones Connect mobile app. Other than being able to create listening experiences that puts you in a club, a concert hall or outdoor stage environment, you can also adjust the bass level with the CLEAR BASS to further fine-tune your music preferences. Both models come with and integrated microphone that allows you to do hands-free calls while on the move.

          MDR-XB550AP EXTRA BASS Wired On-Ear Headphones

          The budget-friendly XB550AP (S$89) is a wired on-ear headphones is a pretty straight-forward model that can deliver deep and punchy bass response with its 30mm driver units. The range is available in red, blue, white and black and comes with an in-line remote with microphone that lets you control incoming calls and audio track control functionality. The durable serrated cable that connects your device to the headphones also helps in keeping it a tangle-free experience.

          The affordable XB550AP comes in 4 colours--red, blue, white and black
          The affordable XB550AP comes in 4 colours–red, blue, white and black

          MDR-XB510AS EXTRA BASS In-Ear Sports Headphones

          The thing about sports headphones is that the sweat always gets in the way after working out with it. From Sony’s Walkman Sports Player to its Sports Bluetooth headphones, our usage with these sports gear had been relatively short-lived. According to Sony, the latest MDR-XB510AS In-Ear Sports Headphones (S$69) is highly sweat resistant, allowing users to exercise without compromising comfort. While we haven’t had a chance to try this out yet, the in-ear arc supporters fit seems like a popular choice among other makes of sports headphones. The IPX5/IPX7 water-resistant in-ear headphones comes with four sizes of earbuds and arc supporters for you to mix and match a better fit. The washable in-ear headphones comes in red, blue, green and black.

          Sony in-ear sports headphones - XB510AS
          XB510AS uses arc supporters for a better fit.
          Sony in-ear sports headphones - XB510AS
          We like it that we can rinse this pair of in-ear headphones.

          Of the new series, we love the MDR-XB950N1 wireless headphones with noise cancelling the best. The over-ear design is sleek, minimal and has a premium matte finish. However, if you are not used to wearing over-ears, the MDR-XB950N1 with its thick cushion can make you look like a F1 technician waiting to flag down a 350km/h car. The new series of headphones will be available at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres and selected Sony authorised dealers from April 2017 onwards.

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            iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in RED

            Apple introduces a new striking red for it’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus range. The tech giant has previously done similar treatment to it’s other products like the iPods and other accessories but it is the first time the colour has been coated on the flagship iPhones. A partnership between Apple and (RED), a portion of the revenue from the sales of the special edition special contributes to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. You can get your (PRODUCT)RED iPhones starting 24 March 2017.

            “Since we began working with (RED) 10 years ago, our customers have made a significant impact in fighting the spread of AIDS through the purchase of our products, from the original iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition all the way to today’s lineup of Beats products and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The introduction of this special edition iPhone in a gorgeous red finish is our biggest (PRODUCT)RED offering to date in celebration of our partnership with (RED), and we can’t wait to get it into customers’ hands.”

            According to (RED), Apple is the world’s largest corporate donor to the Global Fund, contributing more than $130 million to date.

            iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at S$1,218 from Apple.com and from Apple Authorised Resellers and select carriers.

            On top of the iPhone 7 updates, Apple also made several low-key announcements. These includes dropping the 16GB and 64GB models for iPhone SE and replacing them with 32GB and 128GB models as well as tweaks to its iPad lineups, streamlining the number of products available for sale. We were actually shopping for a new iPad when we saw the “Coming Soon” page on its iPad mini section. Here are the updates:

            iPad Mini

            Apple dropped the iPad mini 2. They have increased the storage for the iPad mini 4 to 128GB and made it the only storage capacity for the smaller screen tablet. The new tablet now goes for S$719.


            Apple also removed the “Air” from iPad Air and the 9.7-inch iPads are now simply called iPad. The “enhanced” new 9.7-inch iPad looks basically the same and replaces the iPad Air 2. The new iPad will feature the faster A9 chip (previously A8X on iPad Air 2) and is priced starting from S$489 for the WIFI model. If you are not after storage capacity, the new iPad is certainly a better deal than the more ‘sluggish’ iPad mini.

            In short, Apple’s iPad lineup now consists of the iPad mini 4, iPad, and iPad Pro in two sizes.

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              B&O Beoplay m5 on kitchen top

              Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay line has been very busy with new products recently. Shortly after the release of its BeoPlay H9 wireless over-ear headphones, the sub-brand from the Danish company is now rolling out its new premium wireless speaker called BeoPlay M5 with an equally premium price of S$899.

              The M5 offers a few ways to connect your music. You can sync over Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect, QPlay 2.02 or Beolink Multiroom from B&O. To make it worth the price, BeoPlay M5 also comes with Chromecast built-in, allowing access to a huge library of songs from music streaming services like Spotify, Google Play Music and Pandora. If you have other Chromecast supported speakers, the M5 can become part of a multi-room audio setup. We managed to connect both our iPhones and Android phones easily and the detection of the speaker was quick as well.

              “The design of B&O PLAY M5 is inspired by the way people use sound in their everyday lives – as a natural focal point for the family. The shape signals that sound is projected from all angles and visually, it can blend in or stand out in your home depending on personal preferences”, says the award-winning Danish industrial designer Cecilie Manz.

              Beoplay M5 wool cover
              Simply slip out the Beoplay M5 cover to change out the wool cover to one that suits your home or room
              BeoPlay M5 in Natural
              BeoPlay M5 in Natural

              The minimalist looking cylindrical speaker is covered in a premium and acoustically transparent wool-blend fabric from Danish high-end manufacturer Kvadrat similar to the wave-shaped BeoPlay A6. According to the company, the cover can easily be replaced to fit your interior decorations. Like a lot of B&O speakers, the M5 allows you to enjoy the same sound quality no matter where your speaker is placed. The top of the speaker where the controls are placed is a beautiful matte-looking disc that has been pearl blasted and anodized aluminium. Using the device it pretty straightforward. Turning the disc left or right will adjust the volume while pressing it down will play or pause the track you are listening to. Don’t be fooled by its seemingly lightweight design. At 19cm in height, the speaker is a lot heftier than it looks.

              Straight out the the box, the M5 is surprisingly heavy on the bass. In fact, all we hear is bass when we first stream our Spotify playlist over the meek looking speaker. We were looking for a sleek device much like the M5 to liven up the mood when we cook but the bass seems to be adding noise rather than complementing our ‘wok’ in the kitchen. Fortunately, with the BeoPlay app you can dial the bass down and EQ the premium wireless speaker to your liking. With some minor tweaks we were able to appreciate the full spectrum of notes and a solid and rich B&O sound that we love. The sound delivered through three tweeters, a full range front facing midrange driver and a powerful 5” neodymium powered woofer is certainly impressive and we feel that to do it justice, you may have to crank up the volume a little and let the music feel the room.

              The B&O PLAY M5 is more than just a high-end wireless speaker. It can be a great home decor statement piece of device to place in any home. Sure, there may be many other music systems that sounds just as good or better at the same price point but nothing quite as visually pleasing. If you can afford the premium price of S$899,  Beoplay M5 is certainly a great addition to the home.

              B&O PLAY M5 comes in Natural and Black and is available now at Bang & Olufsen Grand Hyatt and Takashimaya.

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                Nextbit Robin
                Nextbit Robin is a cloud-first smartphone

                In the order of the very best to the best, GrateNews round up the best of the best smartphones this year. In this year’s list, we have also included some of the lesser known brands that are making a big splash designing the device you use the most everyday. So, if you already own one of these great devices, a big pat on your back, if not, you have been informed.

                1. iPhone 7 Plus

                If you can get past the fact that the latest iPhone without a 35mm headphone jack, then the iPhone 7 Plus is the best phone launched this year. iPhone 7 Plus comes with a dual-lens element that combines a wide angle camera and a telephoto camera that have a 2 times optical zoom and and up to 10 times digital zoom for photos. The dual-lens camera will be able to shoot pictures with bokeh or “depth-of-field effect”, separating the background from the foreground for portraits. It is also one of the first water-resistant phone from Apple.

                2. Google Pixel XL

                2016 is the year of the Pixel. Discontinuing the Nexus series, Google’s latest phones, Pixel and Pixel XL, takes full advantage of the Android operating system and Google Assistant to offer an incredibly smooth performance. Although the phone’s battery is smaller than the Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge, the new Pixel XL comes with a fast charging feature that can revitalise your phone for up to 7 hours of usage from a mere 15-minute charge.

                3. Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge

                Although it is hard to ignore the exploding Samsung phones, Samsung still makes some of the best smartphones in the world. The Galaxy S7 Edge is one of them and features excellent performance, fantastic dual pixel camera and brilliant curve screen display.

                4. iPhone SE

                The iPhone SE is basically a very small iPhone 6s that packs Apple’s latest A9 chip, M9 co-processor, 12-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. According to Apple, the iPhone SE two times faster than the iPhone 5s on performance, and three times faster on graphics, making it the fastest 4-inch smartphone ever.

                5. HTC 10

                We have friends that swear by phones designed by HTC. Well if you are a HTC fan, you will be glad to know that HTC 10 is created by fusing the great design elements from previous models as well as improving the not-so-good features. The result is a premium looking smartphone has a great camera, up to 2 days of battery life and sounds incredible with the HTC BoomSound and speakers.

                6. OnePlus 3T

                If you still haven’t heard of the the company OnePlus, they are known in the industry as the “flagship killer” for producing one of the most talked­-about smartphones of 2014. This year, their OnePlus 3T will probably repeat the feat. OnePlus 3T is a super sough-after smartphone that packs a ultra-fast processor, 6GB worth of RAM and a 16MP camera into a sleek metal body.

                7. LG G5

                Ditching its plastic casing for an all-metal enclosure for the LG G5 seems to have done the South Korean company some good. The new phone doesn’t feel cheap now thanks to its firm aluminium frame. The phone is also full of geeky add-ons like the LG Cam Plus, an attachment that turns the phone into a point-and-shoot camera, the LG Hi-Fi Plus, a DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) tuned by Bang & Olufsen to improved audio playback and removable battery slot. When was the last time you had a smartphone with a removable battery?

                8. Sony Z5 Premium

                The Sony Z5 Premium is the world’s first ever 4K smartphone. That means that Sony has successfully crammed 3,840×2,160-pixel onto the 5.5-inch display. Unfortunately, that’s is probably the only headlining feature for the phone. Although the phone also features a new fingerprint sensor on top of the on/off button, a 23-megapixel rear camera with 4K capabilities and waterproof design, its hefty $1,100 price tag can be a turn off.

                9. Nextbit Robin

                Calling it the “first Android phone that makes running out of space history”, Nextbit Robin integrates the cloud with your Android OS seamlessly. The project that started on Kickstarter, received over USD 1.3 million in funding and looks on its way to make their cloud-first smartphone a hit. The company’s first phone, Robin, intelligently backs up your apps, photos and other items and restores them when you need it.

                10. Huawei P9

                It is hard not to compare Huawei with OPPO. Both Chinese company are vying for the leadership position of offering value-for-money smartphones. This year, Huawei certainly made some people sit up with their collaboration with legendary optics makers, Leica. The P9 is the third dual lens smartphone on the list but it works a little differently than that of the iPhone 7 Plus and LG G5. Both rear cameras takes the shot at the same time with one capturing a colour image and the other a monochromatic shot, resulting in better contrast and details in the images. And having Superman Henry Cavill and Scarlett Johansson promoting the phone for them certainly doesn’t hurt (see video).

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                  Beats x Alexander Wang Studio wireless headphone

                  Beats and Alexander Wang are back together again for another collaborative edition of the signature Beats Studio over-ear wireless headphones. This comes after their ever popular partnership on a series of Beats by Dr. Dre products featuring the New York designer’s signature gold accents and matte black finishes, topped with embossed glossy stingray case. The 2013 gold and black headphones are still listed as sold out on AlexandarWang.com.

                  Taking on the Beats Studio Wireless headphones solely this time, Alexander Wang worked his design magic, resulting in an uber stylish Dove Gray coloured headphones with croc-embossed Italian leather ear cups. The minimalistic look also features subtle chrome accents as well as a matte looking Beats logo on the ear cups. The flagship over-ear Bluetooth headphones from Beats also comes with matching croc-embossed leather case.

                  Sound-wise, the Beats Studio Wireless will be the same, featuring the labels’s Beats Acoustic Engine, a rechargeable 12-hour battery and Adaptive Noise Canceling.

                  Beats x Alexander Wang Studio wireless headphones

                  Beats x Alexander Wang Studio wireless headphones leather case
                  Match leather case in croc-embossed Italian leather

                  Alexander Wang x Beats Studio Wireless headphones is available at Apple.com for $868 (USD 599.95). For more information on the headphones, visit Beats by Dr. Dre.

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                    Audio manufacturers have been releasing wireless earphones and headphones in recent weeks. Whether it’s taking the cue from Apple’s “jack-less” iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus or suddenly realising that it is better without wires, we certainly welcome the options of wireless audio cans. The latest and probably one of the last wireless headphone models to be release before the year is up is from Danish company Bang & Olufsen. Called Beoplay H9, these over-ear headphones are a minimalist’s dream come true.

                    Design-wise, the Beoplay H9 is almost similar to its predecessors over-ear headphones, the Beoplay H6 and H7. The headband is a lightweight aluminium frame covered with stitched cowhide leather, while the ear cushion comes with adaptive memory foam enclosed with lambskin.

                    The big difference here is certainly the noise cancelling function. The hybrid Active Noise Cancellation technology consists of multiple microphones placed on the outside and inside of the ear cushion to produce a reverse signal, cancelling out noise. The result is a well-rounded clean sound. We love the H9’s more powerful and bassy sound compared to previous B&O headphones that sounded more “polite”.
                    But if you prefer a less bombastic sound, you can tune the sound with the Beoplay App for for Android, iPhone and Apple Watch.

                    The Beoplay App also allows you to monitor the battery strength of the headphones, which in the case of the Beoplay H9, can last up to 14 hours with noise cancelling activated. A full-charge with the Lithium-Ion battery takes 3 hours.

                    B&O BeoPlay H9 in Black

                    B&O BeoPlay H9 in Black
                    B&O BeoPlay H9 in Argilla Grey
                    Argilla Grey

                    The H9 features a touch interface on the right ear cup that allows you to activate the noise cancelling function, switch songs, answer calls and control the volume on the sleek anodized aluminium surface. The interface is said to work in all weather conditions, even with gloves on. Although it’s not that we can’t put on some gloves and try out whether the interface works, we prefer to fly to some winter wonderland to test out the climate with hooded hands.

                    The wireless over-ear headphone BeoPlay H9 with Active Noise Cancellation is available in two colours, Black and Argilla Grey and is going for a pricey S$699. For that price, we would have prefer the battery section of the headphones to be finished with anodised aluminum as well to complete the premium look. You can try them out at Bang & Olufsen Grand Hyatt and Takashimaya Showroom from 30 December 2016.

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                      If you are a Snapchat fan in Singapore yearning for a pair of the latest Snapchat Spectacles, tough luck. For now, Snapchat or now formerly known as Snap, is only selling these glasses through their minion-looking vending machines called “Snapbots”. That means to say, you won’t be able to buy the glasses in stores, or even online. And like the Snaps, these machines’ locations will change every 24 hours, “disappearing” from their current locations.

                      Cool? Unfortunately for local fans, Spectacles will only be available in the U.S. locations and if you happened to be on Venice Beach. To check for the updated locations of the Snapbot vending machines, you can visit Snap’s website. Other than being just a glasses dispensing machines, the yellow booths also allow you to try on colours to see how they fit before purchase.

                      Here’s how the Snapbot booths work:

                      From the company’s website, the recorded videos look very cool, allowing you to rotate the videos horizontally or vertically, thanks to the wide angle glasses. The glasses record 10 seconds of video at a time and then transfer the recording to your phone.

                      If you are lucky to have friends in those Snapbot locations to get one of these, the glasses are going for S$184 (USD129.99). In its bid to raise engagement on its popular social network Snapchat, Snap seems to have found the sweet spot for pricing the glasses, and a use for it, as compared to the discontinued Google Glasses.

                      Snapchat Spectacles and its casing that charges

                      How the recorded video looks like