7 new tools to keep on your radar

It was rumored this week that Sonos is preparing to announce its cheapest speaker yet – expected to cost $249. Apple may have to convert all iPhones, iPads and AirPods to USB-C thanks to an authorization in Europe. And if you’re an iPhone owner or wear an Apple Watch (or both) and you also use Google Maps, well, there’s a bunch of new features just rolled out.

Also, a bunch of new gadgets were announced this week. Here’s what you need to know.

Logitech elevators

Logitech

The Logitech Lift is an ergonomic mouse whose standout feature is its size: it’s small. In fact, it’s about 20 percent smaller than the company’s MX Vertical released in 2018. It looks and feels very similar — it’s designed with the same 57-degree angle that puts your hand and arm in a natural handshake position, which Logitech claims is the best angle for reducing stress and strain. On the wrist – but designed specifically for people with small to medium sized hands. It’s now available in three colors: graphite (shown), pink and off-white. There are versions available as well.

price: $70

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Garmin Vivosmart 5

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Garmin

For the first time in several years, Garmin has introduced a new fitness tracker to its Vivosmart line. Vivosmart 5 is basically a new and improved version of Vivosmart 4 released in 2018; It has a much larger touchscreen (66 percent larger than its predecessor), a more sport-focused design, and a more tactile button for easy navigation. The fitness tracker comes with a built-in GPS, heart rate sensor, and SpO2 sensors (for measuring blood oxygen levels). It also has a battery that lasts seven days. This seems to qualify as a great budget alternative for people who don’t want to spend an extra $100+ on a smartwatch (or don’t want the extra bulk on their wrist).

price: $150

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Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX

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Bang & amp; Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay EX adopts a different design than any of its previous wireless earbuds – they have a trunk-like design just like Apple’s AirPods. According to the company, this new design helps fit more people’s ears as well as place microphones closer to your mouth to improve call quality. However, these are also excellent wireless earbuds with a host of high-end features. It features effective noise-cancellation and transparency modes, a case that charges wirelessly, multi-point pairing via Bluetooth and an app that lets you adjust EQ settings. They are available for pre-order now.

price: $399

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Pro-Ject X8 Evolution

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project

The Pro-Ject X8 Evolution is a new belt-driven turntable that Austrian hi-fi claims is a “true advanced solution”. It has many features adapted from today’s audiophile turntables, the Xtension 9 and Xtension 10, all designed to create a stable, isolated hi-fi system. The X8 is available in one of three finishes: white, black or walnut. Pro-Ject has also announced two high-quality soundbars, the Phono Box DS3B ($799) and the Phono Box S3B ($499) as well.

price: $2,399 (without cartridge); $2,699 (with Sumiko Blue Point #3)

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Cambridge Audio Alpha TT V2.0

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Cambridge sound

The Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 was announced earlier this year at CES 2022 – but it’s finally available for purchase. It’s the second generation Alva TT, released in 2019, but the “V2” model has a few major upgrades, including improved audio with a detachable hood (in case you want to upgrade later) and a convertible phono stage. Like its predecessor, the Alva TT V2’s standout feature is its ability to wirelessly stream High-Resolution Audio (up to 24bit/48kHz) via Bluetooth to a compatible subwoofer, speaker or headphone.

price: 1999 dollars

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Wise Lock Bolt

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wizz

A week after announcing its first smart air purifier, Wyze announced a new smart home gadget — this time a door lock. The Wyze Lock Bolt is an efficient keypad (with backlit keys) that replaces the powerful lock on your door, and allows you to unlock your door in one of two ways: a passcode or its fingerprint reader. You can also use the Wyze app to lock and unlock the door, but it needs a Bluetooth connection which means you need to be about 16 feet away to do so.

price: $70

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Editor’s note: Wyze recently came under fire for failing to address known vulnerabilities in its cameras, which the company says have since been addressed. To read Wyze’s full response, click here.

ShiftCam SnapGrip

Technology news report

SnapGrip

ShiftCam SnapGrip, a MagSafe-compatible accessory that adds a grip and shutter button to your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 — essentially, it allows you to use your iPhone as a full-size camera. It has a built in battery so that it can charge the iPhone as well. And when plugged in, it instantly opens your iPhone’s camera app for quick shooting. It’s currently a Kickstarter campaign: If you stick with $1, you’ll get an “Early Bird Special” at 25% off, which means SnapGrip will cost you $119. It is expected to ship later this year.

price: $119 or more

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