The MINI is an iconic compact sedan that was first produced by the British Motor Corporation. The MINI transcended the normal gas-guzzling, bigger car design and replaced it with a smaller, more efficient design. What made MINI so unique was despite its small design it was still able to fit passengers and luggage.
I have a couple of buddies that have MINI Coopers and riding in one is an exhilarating experience. I never expected such a small, unimposing car to be as quick as it is. It’s only fitting that MINI puts out a compact bluetooth speaker that packs a serious punch.
- Model: Compact MIRROR PF-328M
- Weight: 0.22 Lbs
- Product Dimensions: H 2.14” x D3.1” x W2.39” (inches)
The package comes with the compact speaker, micro-USB charger, and user manual.
This Bluetooth speaker is really, really small. This is fitting because the MINI car itself is known for its miniature size. The MINI Compact Mirror speaker fits in the palm of my hand. The design is based off the actual MINI sideview mirror. On the back of the speaker is United Kingdom’s red, white, and blue flag. The front of the speaker is made of a metal grill with the a small MINI logo at the bottom.
The controls are located at the bottom of the MINI speaker. The bottom of the speaker sits on a rubber padding that ensures that the speaker will not move around. The controls are limited and only give you the option of turning the device on, turning it off, bluetooth pairing, and opening up Siri or Google assistant. The rubber bottom of the speaker is a button that when pressed will open up Google assistant. There are no volume rockers on the speaker, so increasing and decreasing volume will be controlled through your phone or tablet.
Charging the device is really simple. Just plug in the micro-USB cord and plug it into a power source. The speaker can be charged and play music at the same time. There will be a red light right above the MINI logo on the front grill that will indicate that it is charging.
To be honest, I did not expect much from the MINI Compact Mirror speaker when I first saw it. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of this speaker. The highlight of this speaker is that it can play music at full volume without noticeable sound distortion. You can’t say that about a lot of speakers, especially from one that is so small. The speaker can get decently loud, but I wouldn’t use it for a party. The best setting would be in your room, or in the living room with your roommates.
I found the MINI Compact Mirror speaker to have a well-balanced sound. Don’t expect huge bass from the 34mm driver. Speakers of this size do not have the capacity to produce the huge bass some people expect to hear from hip-hop or EDM genres. Instead, I listened to some acoustic playlists on Spotify and really enjoyed the sound experience from this little speaker. The guitar and vocals were really crisp even with the volume turned all the way up. Even my roommate who categorizes himself as an audiophile was extremely impressed with the well-balanced sound coming from such an unimposing speaker.
This speaker is roughly the size of an extra large egg. I actually forgot I put it in my pocket and spent half an hour looking for the speaker before realizing where it was. This could be a testament to how much of an idiot I am, but it also highlights the portability of this speaker.
I found myself using this speaker primarily in my living room. My roommates and I try to live like responsible adults and will “attempt” to clean every weekend. This was the perfect speaker to throw on some acoustic jams to help forget the awfulness of cleaning your house. I had no problem hearing the music from across my living room.
I got roughly five hours of use from the MINI Compact Mirror speaker. I found this battery life to be really good especially because I was listening to music at full volume. I can imagine you would get closer to six or seven hours if you are only listening at 50%.
The MINI Compact Mirror speaker also has a microphone to allow hands-free calling. This feature worked really, really well. Every one of my friends that I used this hands-free option with had no problem hearing me.
The MINI has always been known for its exceptional performance despite compact design. It’s only fitting that MINI keeps the same theme with its MINI Compact Mirror speaker as well. One might think that this speaker is only for MINI Cooper owners, however that is not the case. This little speaker has a huge presence with its ability to play music at full volume without distortion. It’s well-balanced sound and portability makes it a great speaker if you want to keep it at your desk or take it outside in the backyard.
The MINI Cooper Compact Mirror speaker is only $25.99 on Amazon with the discount code Q3S4LE4J (save $10). This is an absolute steal considering the quality you get for the cost. You don’t need to be a MINI Cooper owner to appreciate the unique design and sound performance this little speaker can put out.
I do quite a few product reviews for AndroidGuys and find most products fun to review. However when reviewing multiple products from the same category, many tend to blend together as they all generally perform the same functions. First world problems are real.
Headphones are one of the most popular mobile accessories, especially the wireless variety as companies like Apple and Motorola move away from the 3.5mm audio jack.
Today’s review is one that I found particularly fun to do: the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones.
Former NFL wide receiver Mark Clayton saw a need for high-performance headphones that could keep up with the most active of lifestyles. What drove him to be an NFL star was a passion and work ethic for perfection that less than .1% of the population will ever achieve. He turned that passion into headphones and did an incredible job with the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones.
I’m guessing like many NFL players, he got tired of the cheap build offered with Beats Headphones. He probably wasn’t impressed with the sound performance too. While they look good and arguably are entertaining to listen to, they offer very little substance.
I’ve been fortunate to use the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones for the past month and think they are a hit.
The LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones are designed for the active lifestyle. They are over-ear headphones that are made using a very glossy black plastic that is useful in keeping the weight down. They use memory foam earcups with 40mm drivers and are connected by a very strong headband that never touches your head. The earcups are easily removable so you can wash or replace them since you will be sweating if you use them during exercise.
The LIVV Pros use the all important aptX driver for improved audio quality over Bluetooth. Bluetooth in nature was not designed for music playback, and the aptX driver optimizes streaming quality. If your wireless headphones don’t use the aptX driver or custom software, you’re severely missing out on audio quality.
The headphones also come with 8GB of memory onboard so you can store your MP3 collection and go phone free.
On the side is where you will find the controls for your music, volume, as well as the microSD charging slot and 3.5mm audio jack for using them in passive mode if the battery dies. There’s also a built in microphone for taking phone calls.
Sound and Usage
When I come across “active lifestyle” headphones, I have the preconceived notion that they aren’t going to be as good as normal headphones. In many instances that is the case as sports headphones are tuned in a manner that emphasizes bass and treble to make music sound more fun. However, the LIVV Pro Headphones put the emphasis on sound quality first and foremost.
The LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones’ sound quality rivals any headphones I’ve used all year. That includes high-end headphones such as the Master & Dynamic MW60 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones that cost almost twice as much. The sound signature is balanced, but extremely powerful.
I almost never listened to these beyond 70% of the maximum volume as they get loud. With a snug fit using the patented SureFit headband that can be adjusted for any head-size, including my large noggin, in combination with memory foam earcups, these create an almost soundproof environment. There’s also enough space in between your ear and the large 40mm drivers to offer a huge soundstage. The detail and sound signature are where it’s at with these headphones.
I tested the sound with this list of songs:
- Get Lucky by Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers – for clarity
- Brass Monkey by the Beasite Boys – for ultra deep bass
- Everlong by the Foo Fighters – for overall sound depth
- Cherub Rock by the Smashing Pumpkins – for vocals over powerful guitars and drums
- Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major by Yo-Yo Ma – cello music for which these headphones were probably not designed
The LIVV Pro Wireless headphones sound incredible. The highs are crisp without being piercing, and maintain detail even when the volume is turned up. The mid-range sound quality is arguably the most important aspect of any headphones as it falls into the broadest range of spectrum our ears can detect and the LIVV Pros hit the nail square on the head. The mids manage to emphasize the right harmonics which are a fundamental required in all premium headphones.
The LIVV Pros are definitely forward sounding headphones and the bass is a piece of art. Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys tests the low end more than almost all songs that exist. The Pros managed to turn that bass into discernible frequencies that could be felt in my toes. Hearing the records scratch to the ridiculous bass, matched with proper highs and mids made this song sound like I was sitting in the recording studio.
Even though these headphones are designed for the active lifestyle, they are perfect for any type of scenario. I did use them for 60-90 minutes at a time during CrossFit, weight-lifting, running and hiking. However I found myself listening to music at home simply because they are so fun to listen to.
Battery life is excellent with a life expectancy of 12 hours. I frequently pulled in 12-14 hours on a single charge mainly because I couldn’t turn them up past 70%. When I did, my head hurt but they still managed to keep the sound balance clear.
The built-in mic was also a nice feature as I like to take phone calls on walks with my dog. I never noticed a single issue with call quality, and I would guess that was due to the strong Bluetooth signal these Pros maintained.
The LIVV Pros differentiate themselves from the crowd with the built-in 8GB of internal storage. For those who do serious workouts like NFL players, or in my case CrossFit, you can’t carry your phone on you or in your pocket while exercising. Nor would you want your phone as the last thing you need during a real workout is a notification or call to throw you off your game.
The headphones act as external an external disk when you connect them to your computer – all you need to do is drag and drop music (mp3) files to them. Then hit the red button on the headphones to put them into MP3 player mode and you can play those files. It’s simple but very useful.
Mark Clayton was a winner in the NFL whose career was cut short by injuries. He turned the work ethic and passion for football into a masterpiece with the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones.
The LIVV Pros sound exceptional, fit very well, and have great battery life with internal memory to keep you going strong while staying active. They come in White and Black and retail for $299 at http://www.livvheadphones.com. If you love audio and love the freedom to go wireless or wired, you won’t find a better set of cans priced under $300.
The included case to keep the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones safe.
It seems like every recent smartphone has a beautiful display. These high resolution displays come at a cost to your battery life. The average consumer spends a considerable amount of time on their cell phones and manufacturers do not seem to be focusing on improving battery life. I don’t know how many times I’ve sat in an airport, only to see every single outlet being occupied. The culprit is usually one person charging all five of their electronic devices.
This is where power banks come in. Let me introduce you to the Lumsing 15000mAh Glory P1 Plus.
- Battery: Li-Polymer
- Capacity: 15,000mAh
- Input: 5V, 1.8A
- Output: 0 ~ 3.2A, three
- Size: 6.2 x 3.0 x 0.7 inches
- Weight 331 g
- Warranty: 12 months
The great thing about Lumsing is that it focuses on simplicity. This device is built for function, rather than aesthetic appeal. There are two color options. White with orange trim, and black with orange trim. There are three USB ports, which provides the option of charging three devices at the same time. One of the three USB ports offers more room for bulkier cables.
The portable bank is idiot-proof and requires no directions to operate. Simply turn the power bank on (it has only one button), connect your charging cable and plug it into your phone.
There are four blue LED lights that indicate the battery life. Each LED light represents 25% battery. A fully charged portable bank will have all four LED lights on.
This power bank is a beast. Lumsing claims that it can fully charge a Galaxy S6 around five and a half times. I wanted to test how long I could go without using a wall charger and replaced it with this portable battery instead. I ended up going a full five days without having to use a wall charger. I normally let my battery drain from 100% to 20% battery before charging my phone. This easily charged my phone to 100% at least five times. I also tried charging my Nvidia Shield K1 tablet, iPhone 6s, and Huawei GX8 smartphone at the same time. The Lumsing Glory P1 Plus had no problem handling all those devices at once. The portable battery does not have pass through charging, which means that you cannot charge the portable battery and connected devices at the same time.
The portable power bank itself takes around nine hours to fully charge. I plugged it in right before going to bed and had a full battery when I woke up.
This portable battery is long and quite heavy. It is slightly bigger and much thicker than the LG G5. This is not the portable charger that you want to carry around in your pocket. The smaller Lumsing 8000mAh would be better suited for that role.
This power bank is better suited for things like camping or traveling where one can expect to be without an outlet for an extended amount of time. This portable bank will ensure that you never have to sit on the dirty floor, next to an outlet ever again. It is a great option for daily use as well. I carry a backpack to work everyday and have no problem storing this power bank in one of the pockets.
The Lumsing 15000mAh Glory P1 Plus is not the device to buy if you plan on carrying it around in your pocket. The portable bank is on the heavier side, but it’s a small price to pay for the usefulness of being able to charge your phone up to five or six times depending on the phone. You also have the capability of charging multiple devices at the same time.
Anyone who is going to be traveling for an extended period of time is going to really appreciate this portable battery. I’ve been on far too many road trips where my phone dies halfway through the car ride. Even if you aren’t traveling, it won’t hurt to keep this portable battery in your car or backpack just in case. The Lumsing Glory P1 Plus can be found on Amazon for only $19.99 with free shipping.
Right now PNY is offering up to 50% off a variety of its storage products at Amazon. The deal will save you big on microSD cards, SD cards, flash drives, and even external computer drives as well. Each category has a variety of storage capacities available to meet your needs, from 32GB all the way up to 408GB depending what you need.
If you are in the market for a new card for your phone, tablet, camera, or other device, be sure to check these deals out.
- 64GB microSD card with USB OTG reader – $19
- 128GB microSD card with USB OTG reader – $34
- 32GB SD card – $10
- 128GB SD card – $33
- 32GB Flash Drive for iPhone & iPad – $28
- 480GB Portable SSD – $110
These are just some of the deals. To check out the full list of available products at up to 50% off, hit the link below.
See at Amazon
Stand your phone up straight with Kenu’s Stance USB-C tripod.
I’m not a fan of gimmicks, which led me to a high degree of skepticism over Kenu’s Stance USB-C tripod. This is not the company’s first go around the bases with a product like this, and after reading negative reviews of the Micro-USB model, I moved beyond skepticism to concern over potential damage to my Pixel XL’s USB-C port.
Thankfully, I was wrong in both cases.
The Stance is pretty simple when it comes down to it: a combination of metal and plastic, with rubberized nubs on the feet and a flexible ball-and-socket joint that plugs into the USB-C port for stability.
Obviously, this means you can’t use the tripod while charging, but the Stance, at 34 grams and a built-in keychain attachment, doesn’t have to be hard to find when not in use.
There’s also a bottle opener, because what good keychain accessory doesn’t have a bottle opener?
It’s also quite flexible, both physically and attitudinally. It can stand the phone up straight as a true tripod for portrait photos, video calls, or just to go hands-free in general; it can also work as a stand to hold the phone at a convenient angle while in landscape, for watching videos or lining up a shake-free nighttime shot. There’s also a bottle opener, because what good keychain accessory doesn’t have a bottle opener?
So the question is, is it worth the $24.95? When inserted correctly — and it took me a couple of tries to realize the mount, which must be pressed in with a bit of force, holds the phone very securely — the legs pivot to allow for the phone to stand at myriad angles. After several weeks of almost daily use, the mount doesn’t seem to be damaged or frayed, and the socket still feels like it has a long life ahead of it. It has a limited vertical range of motion, so it’s easy to keep the attached phone straight, and the legs have enough resistance that there doesn’t appear to be any risk of them flopping around in your pocket, bag or wallet.
The major difference between the USB-C version of the Stance and its Micro-USB predecessor seems to be the robustness in the mounting mechanism, which, though it was reportedly made with the same “Grilamid” polymer, didn’t hold up so well over time. It also wasn’t, unlike USB-C, reversible and therefore the same shape throughout, which helps with longevity. (As an aside, the company that produced Grilamid, Swiss-based EMS-GRIVORY, calls the heat- and electricity-resistant compound “a noble polymer,” which is immediately one of my favorite phrases of all time.)
The Kenu Stance has quickly become one of my favorite tools to carry around.
At 1.2 ounces and barely an inch wide, the Stance is both a great party trick and a pretty handy tool. The bottle opener is a bonus, and is certainly an extra incentive to spend the $24.95 asking price. Kenu also makes a Lightning version for iPhones, and still sells the less-commendable Micro-USB model, but for my money the USB-C version is the best option, if your phone supports it.
The Kenu Stance has quickly become one of my favorite tools to carry around, and is definitely going to be high on my gift list this year.
See at Amazon
New Android compatibility definitions warn manufacturers against using nonstandard USB charging methods.
Between Qualcomm Quick Charge, MediaTek Pump Express, Oppo VOOC, OnePlus Dash Charge, Huawei SuperCharge, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging and Motorola Turbo Charge, fast charging methods on Android phones are kind of a mess. Some of them overlap, but not all are interoperable, and when you consider that some require not only a custom charger but a specific cable, it’s a confusing situation for consumers.
When you also consider the potential safety issues with dodgy USB-C chargers and cables, it’s easy to see why Google, as a platform holder, might want to step in.
In the latest Android Compatibility Definition Document — which lays out the rules manufacturers must adhere to in order to ship Google-approved Android 7.0 devices — the company lays out some strong recommendations intended to nudge phone makers away from nonstandard USB-C charging methods like Qualcomm QuickCharge. The references, first spotted by Android Police, suggest such changes may come into force in future Android versions.
From the Android 7.0 CDD:
Type-C devices are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to not support proprietary charging methods that modify Vbus voltage beyond default levels, or alter sink/source roles as such may result in interoperability issues with the chargers or devices that support the standard USB Power Delivery methods. While this is called out as “STRONGLY RECOMMENDED”, in future Android versions we might REQUIRE all type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard type-C chargers.
The first part of that quote basically describes Qualcomm QuickCharge over USB-C, as used today on devices like the HTC 10 and LG G5. And the second part telegraphs that device makers should prepare for the hammer to be brought down in some future release.
USB Power Delivery, the standard used by Google’s Pixel phones, is clearly the preferred way to bring interoperable fast charging to future Android devices. But needless to say, a hard requirement to ditch the likes of Quick Charge over USB-C is sure to ruffle a few feathers. (Qualcomm, for instance, makes money licensing the tech to manufacturers.)
AP also notes that the new docs require Android 7.0 devices with USB-C to detect both 1.5A and 3.0A chargers, including changes in how much power the charger can send. In theory, this means that standard 3A Type-C chargers should be a relatively reliable way to rapid-charge a vast majority of USB-C Android devices in future.
Who knows exactly when Google’s “strong recommendations” against the likes of Qualcomm Quick Charge might turn into a hard requirement. It’s possible this could come as soon as Android 7.1.1 (Nougat Maintenance Release 1) when that’s finalized in December. More likely, we’ll be looking at a longer trajectory, with such a change taking effect in Android O.
Google Pixel + Pixel XL
- Google Pixel and Pixel XL review
- Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective
- Google Pixel FAQ: Should you upgrade?
- Pixel + Pixel XL specs
- Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
- Join the discussion in the forums!
Nanoloop has been providing ways for music and gaming enthusiasts to create tunes with a Game Boy for years now. The company is back with a new card for the original Game Boy handheld: the Nanoloop Mono. With the €69 (around $76) accessory, you can transform that classic gaming device into an analog mono synth. Thanks to one pin of Game Boy’s cartridge connector working as an audio input and a built-in amplifier, the Nanoloop Mono can generate sound and output it through the headphone jack in a completely analog fashion.
The Nanoloop Mono packs in three analog filters and a noise generator on its hybrid sound chip. There’s also a step sequencer with per step control of the parameters and eight memory banks than can each hold 15 patterns per channel. While the card works best with the OG Game Boy, it will also provide some noise when used with the Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Color. However, Nanoloop says sound quality suffers with those gadgets. It doesn’t work at all with the Game Boy Advance, but the company makes another card for that handheld: the Nanoloop 2.0. While you decide whether or not to turn your collector’s item into a music making machine, the video below shows the Mono in action.
Bezel-free phones are starting to become like buses, wait long enough and three come along at once. Xiaomi unveiled the first one, the Mi Mix, at the end of October, then images of an alleged smartphone from Meizu leaked.
The Meizu phone appears to have its entire front taken up by screen, exceeding the 91.3 percent screen to body ratio of the Mi Mix. Now Huawei could be getting in on the game as well, at least that’s according to a post on Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
We haven’t been able to track down the original post ourselves, but several media outlets are reporting the news. Huawei’s phone is said to come with what it’s calling a “quad-edge display” which would see all four edges of the phone curve around towards the back. It could mean, like the Meizu phone, that Huawei’s is virtually all screen on the front with not a bezel in sight.
There’s also rumours suggesting Huawei will actually release the phone under a whole new brand, or at the very least, its Honor sub-brand.
Of course for now you should take these rumours with a very large pinch of salt, although if bezel-less phones start to become popular among consumers, we wouldn’t be surprised is Huawei wanted to exploit that.
- Huawei Mate 9 vs Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9: What’s the difference?
Huawei is also due to launch the Mate 9 and a new Mate 9 Pro in China on 14 November. We already know about the Mate 9, but the Mate 9 Pro may be an entirely different device to the Mate 9 Porsche Design that was recently unveiled in Munich. The Mate 9 Pro is said to come with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage for $679 or 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for $767. Unfortunately for us, the Mate 9 Pro is expected to be limited to China.
Electric Jukebox is the latest music streaming player to hit the UK. It’s backed by celebrities including Robbie Williams, Stephen Fry, Sheryl Crow and Alesha Dixon and aims to add nearly 30 million songs to your TV.
- Which is the best music streaming service in the UK?
The Electric Jukebox TV Stick plugs into an HDMI port on your TV and then connects to your Wi-Fi network. You then use the included controller to point and click on songs and albums you want to listen to, or use the built-in microphone to issue voice commands.
You also get the option of creating your own personal playlists and mixtapes and there’s even curated content which is tailored to your personal preferences.
Electric Jukebox has signed deals with the major record labels Warner Music, Sony Music and Universal Music, as well as several others, so you can be pretty confident in knowing the music you want will be available on the surface.
For £169, you get the Electric Jukebox TV Stick and controller, as well as a 1 year Premium ad-free subscription. After the year is up, you can buy another year’s membership for £52, making it cheaper than its major rivals Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and Deezer. You can choose to not pay the £52 and instead use the service but with adverts. Electric Jukebox will be available to buy from tomorrow in red, blue and charcoal finishes for £169.
Whether you’re in a spacious home or cramped apartment, WiFi coverage isn’t always what it could be. That’s usually solved by upgrading your router to something with more power and range. Ubiquiti Labs has just launched its Amplifi HD (high density) WiFi system to help power users get the most out of their wireless network. The router includes a color touchscreen, as well as a mobile app for easy setup and is said to be ideal for connections of 200Mbps or more, making it a good option high-capacity streaming, gaming and IoT households. Two mesh antennas help to provide up to 20,000SF in range and offer convenient signal indicators for quick status checks. The company has provided us with two of these Amplifi HD systems in advance of its November 21st release for a pair of lucky readers this week. All you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning this power-packed WiFi system.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
- Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties.
- Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older! Sorry, we don’t make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.
- Winners will be chosen randomly. Two (2) winners will each receive an Amplifi HD ($349 value each).
- If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes.
- This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. Engadget and AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.
- The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
- Entries can be submitted until Nov. 9th at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!