A team of engineers at Northwestern University have teamed up with cosmetics company L’Oreal to create a fingernail wearable that lets users know when they’ve had too much Sun. UV Sense is small enough to stick on your nail, simple enough to work without batteries, and sophisticated enough to record cumulative UV exposure to help wearers avoid skin cancer.
At last check, nearly 77,000 people were diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States, making melanoma the most common form of cancer in the country. It’s not hard to see why. We tend to worship the sun like ancient Egyptians, spending entire days basking in its rays, too often neglecting the fact that a dark tan can lead to cancer.
With UV Sense, L’Oreal wants to make monitoring UV exposure easy. No wider than a dime and as thick as an M&M, the solar-powered device has no battery, moving parts, or buttons. It sticks on your fingernail — or necklace, shirt button, or bracelet — and uses a sensor to measure UV exposure.
It’s not as feature-rich and flashy as most other wearables, but that’s kind of the point. Just stick it on and periodically swipe it over your phone, which wirelessly collects its measurements and shows them in an app, complete with a UV report and advice on how to avoid the sun. As a L’Oreal device, expect recommendations on L’Oreal products to purchase as well.
“UV exposure is so key to skin health and appearance,” John Rogers, a Northwestern engineer who led the technical development, told Digital Trends. “From a user standpoint, it’s hard to imagine anything simpler, in the sense that you never have to worry if you’re battery is charged up, since it doesn’t need one. There are no moving parts or buttons, and no physical interfaces to the device. It all happens wirelessly to the phone.”
One of the biggest challenges Rogers and his team faced in developing UV Sense was the antenna design and electronic circuit design that enable such a small device to interface with a phone. Solving those issues, “opened up the ability to mount technology in places that were previously not considered,” he said. Like the fingernail.
It also means Rogers and his research can experiment with other miniaturized sensors to monitor things like heart rate, respiration rate, blood oxygen levels. “You can do all of that from the nail,” he said.
UV Sense should be available in time for summer and will retail for under $50, The Verge reports.
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Civilization was once more than pleased with a slice of unevenly toasted bread. Today, however, people are finicky about their toast to say the least. Some people like their toast to be barely heat-kissed, while others prefer it on the verge of carbonization. In the era of the smart home, the ability to toast to order is woefully insufficient.
The modern toaster is a Swiss Army Knife of bells, whistles, and aftermarket accessories. A company based out of Vermont even specializes in personalized metal toaster inserts that allow individuals to singe their own selfie onto a slice of toast. That being said, the perfect piece of toast is no joke — you’ll want to toast your toast. Below are a few of the best toasters for getting your delicious carbs to the perfect crisp.
KitchenAid ProLine Toaster ($308+)
The KitchenAid Pro Line Series two-slice is about as good as it gets in home toasting tech and with a price tag of over $300 it ought to be. Loaded with features, this toaster does everything except place the toast physically inside your mouth. The self-centering, automatic lifting and lowering racks actually sense when the bread has been loaded and when it has reached your desired toasting shade. One of the more unique features to the ProLine is the Keep Warm function, which keeps bread toasty for up to three minutes after toasting, preventing the existential crisis that comes with consuming toast that is less than optimal temperature. The ProLine also has the ability to toast frozen items, as well as bagels, meaning the entire world of toasted carbohydrates is at your fingertips. With seven toasting settings to choose from, there’s guaranteed to be an option for every member of your household, whether you’re topping your carbs with avocado or plain old butter.
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Toasty timer — Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless ($80)
Like the ProLine, the Cuisinart Touch to Toast also comes with seven shade settings, and features slots that automatically adjust to the thickness of your bread and ensure even toasting. The most eye-catching feature on the Cuisinart is the front-mounted LCD display. Using a diminishing bar format, the display illustrates the remaining preparation time. Even with such fail-proof design enhancements, humans may still manage to forget about their toast once it’s left their line of sight. Thankfully, the reheat option allows you to revive your forgotten, cold toast without further browning. Designed to minimize heat on the uncut sides of bagels, you can say “so long” to burnt sesame seeds on your everything bagels with the Cuisinart Touch to Toast.
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Amazon Best Buy Home Depot
Warms your buns — Krups Control Line Toaster with Integrated Bun Warmer ($53+)
Although the Krups Control Line toaster only features a mere six toasting settings, the removable, top-mounted bun warmer more than makes up for the absent seventh setting. The extra-high lift feature means even the most hard-to-reach breads can easily be removed without burning your fingers. LED indicators and a stainless steel exterior add to the toaster’s modern aesthetic, while the removable crumb catch makes cleanup a breeze.
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See clearly — Dash Clear View Toaster ($42+)
As humans, we’re sometimes skeptical of the seemingly ubiquitous helper-bots in our lives. Thankfully, the built-in viewing window on the Dash Clear View allows you to keep a watchful eye on your precious toast. If it just so happens that the toaster has done everything expected of it and you forget about your now-cold toast, the reheat option can be quite useful. The Dash View incorporates seven browning settings, extra-long slots to accommodate breads of an array of widths and lengths, and an automatic shut off function designed to give consumers some additional peace of mind. The Dash Clear View even comes with access to the company’s expanding list of recipes.
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Lovely looks — De’Longhi Icona 4-Slice Toaster ($100+)
The De’Longhi Icona is by far the most visually stunning toaster on this list. One-sided bagel toasting, an extra lift for easier extraction, and a removable crumb catch are all standard features as far as modern toasters are concerned. However, the Icona is clearly where toasting fashion and functionality converge. The glossy pearl finish, chrome accents, and retro look make the Icona a toaster meant for everyday countertop display. If you’re all right with your toasting tech taking a backseat to visual appeal, the Icona is the toaster for you.
Buy it now at:
Amazon Best Buy
Keeps it cool — Cusiniart CPT-2000 2-Slice ($90+)
The extruded, insulated aluminum housing keeps the Cuisinart CPT 2000 cool to the touch while in use, rendering it exceptionally kid-friendly. Motorized lifting and lowering features also further automate and simplify the toasting process, while the narrow design means it won’t take up much counter space, as do some of the bulkier toasters on the market. Seven shade settings, enhanced bagel toasting, and a defrost option top off this high-end toaster.
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Sounds the alarm — Breville Die-Cast 4-Slice Long Slot ($180)
Sometimes you just want the arrival of your toast to be announced to the world — or just to the members of your immediate household. The Breville Die-Cast does just that. Once your toast is ready, an alarm sounds so that you and everyone in your house will know it’s officially time for breakfast. You can adjust the audible alarm to sound either high or low and mute it if the proclamation seems like a tad much. Extra design bonuses include an LED toasting indicator, automatic toasting carriages, and a cool-touch die-cast metal exterior. The Lift and Look feature also allows you to take a sneak peak at the toasting progression without interrupting the cycle. It is a little bulky given its 15-inch length, but the concealed cord housing make stowing it both convenient and easy.
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Simple yet mighty — Conair Cuisinart Compact CPT-122 ($30+)
At a fraction of the cost of many of these other toasting titans, this little guy can still hang. The Cuisinart CPT-122 may not be clad in stainless steel per the current kitchen status quo, but the stainless steel accents still give the toaster a modern, welcome air. The seven toasting shades keep up with the other toasters on our list, and the wide slots allow you to cook thin slices as well as thick bagels. You won’t have to miss out on the latest features either, as the Cuisinart CPT-122 comes with convenient defrost and reheat options. It may look like your stereotypical toaster, but it’s as good as it gets if you prefer your toasters with more function than feng shui.
Buy it now at:
Amazon Home Depot
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Wireless charging is great, but it can also be a fickle thing. Since each phone has a different wireless sweet spot, figuring out just how to position it on a charger can be tricky. And, of course, you also need to keep in mind which type of wireless charging your phone uses. Ventev is aiming to solve this problem with products like its Wireless Charge Stand and the recent Wirelesspro dock. Scott Franklin, the company’s director of marketing, sat down with Digital Trends at CES 2018 to talk about these products, as well as the future of wireless charging.
With the adjustable charging pad on the Wireless Charge Stand, which supports multiple charging platforms, you can easily match the stand to the sweet spot on your phone. This also allows you to charge your phone in landscape mode if that’s what you prefer. This latest model also bumps up the wattage from five volts to 15 volts, shaving a few hours off of your charge time.
“Historically, wireless charging has been five watts, which was great, but it was really, really slow, particularly in a car,” Franklin said. “If you wanted to use your apps, [or were] listening to music, you were really just buying yourself time. You were not able to put enough power back into the phone to really use the phone the way you want to. With these new chargers with 15 watts, you’re now able to charge your phone and use your phone while traveling.”
The industry is looking much further down the path toward a future where you’ll never have to plug your phone in. Franklin says the handset makers aren’t there yet, and neither are the chipsets, but as technology improves, this is becoming a realistic expectation for the future.
For now, Ventev is working on improving its own technology to work from further and further away. The Wireless Charge Stand will charge your phone even if you’ve got it covered in a heavy case, something that just wasn’t possible in the early days of wireless charging. It’s not quite charging the phone while it’s still in your pocket, but Franklin says that the distance between you and your wireless charger will continue to grow.
Ventev’s Wireless Charge Stand is available now.
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Your headphones may be more commonly used to shut out conversations rather than start them, but the new Yevo x Humanium Metal headphones are nothing short of a conversation piece about a global problem.
Created in partnership between Yevo Labs, a Stockholm-based innovation lab, and Humanium Metal by IM, which focuses on sourcing valuable metal from firearms, these are some seriously unique earbuds. Heralded as the first product to ever be created from metal melted down from illegal firearms, the headphone makers seek to repurpose violence and serve as the start of a global initiative for peace. Making their debut at CES 2018, Yevo 1 headphones will aid in creating a new source of funding for conflict-torn regions affected by illegal weapons violence.
“Creating Yevo x Humanian Metal, a product that elicits change in such a positive way, is the greatest reward,” said Andrea Vural, the founder of Yevo Labs. “This collaboration is bigger than headphones. It’s part of a global movement that removes illegal firearms from the streets and recycles them into a material that helps move us toward a more peaceful future, all while giving back to those affected by violent crime.”
Humanium Metal will be incorporated into the headphone’s earbuds, as well as the charging case. While there’s little information available about the new earbuds as far as sound quality or battery, images show that they appear to be sleekly designed, fully wireless earbuds. Of course, the real draw will be their backstory.
“For us, it’s of great meaning to be able to work with brands who want to invest in and contribute to a brighter future,” said Josefina Rovan, head of marketing and communications at IM. “By using Humanium Metal in products, [Yevo] can bring awareness and sustainable value to consumers, and at the same time, generate financial support and empower the people living in countries affected by gun violence.”
Be warned, though, these headphones will cost you a pretty penny. Sourcing metal from illegal firearms, after all, can’t be a cheap enterprise, and as such, the headphones will start at $499 when they become available early in 2018. Fifty percent of proceeds, however, will be dedicated to addressing illegal firearms violence.
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After an extensive audit of Apple’s accounts in the U.K. by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Apple has agreed to pay out an extra 137 million British pounds ($185 million), which it describes as a “corporate income tax adjustment.”
This payment covers the years up to September 2015, according to The Guardian, and also includes interest on the unpaid tax. HMRC got Apple Europe, one of the company’s U.K. subsidiaries engaged in marketing and sales for other Apple subsidiaries to agree to the extra charges, after pointing out that it had not received an appropriate commission on sales leads generated for the Irish-based subsidiary. Apple’s European headquarters are in Ireland.
Apple released a statement saying: “We know the important role that tax payments play in society. Apple pays all that we owe according to tax laws and local customs in the countries where we operate. As a multinational business and the largest taxpayer in the world, Apple is regularly audited by tax authorities around the world. HMRC recently concluded a multiyear audit of our U.K. accounts and the settlement we reached with HMRC is reflected in our recently filed accounts.”
The payment came to light after Apple Europe filed accounts on Monday, January 8, that showed a pre-tax profit of 297 million pounds covering the 18 months up to April 1, 2017, and 57 million pounds paid tax, with an additional 137 million British pounds in back taxes. Tax payments from Apple Europe are also set to increase going forward, following this new understanding with HMRC.
It’s not the first time that Apple has fallen foul of the taxman in Europe. A three-year investigation into Ireland’s relationship with Apple found that the company had received too many tax breaks there and it was ordered to pay more than 13 billion euros in back taxes (currently around $15.5 billion). The European Commission rejected an Irish appeal and insisted the tax benefits were illegal under European Union rules because other businesses have had to pay tax at a much higher rate than Apple. Though Apple has reportedly started paying that bill it is still hoping to get the decision overturned.
In recent years, Apple has also been hit with a $118 million fine for underreporting income in Japan and a $348 million fine for tax evasion in Italy. After all the fuss about Apple funneling business from Europe through Irish subsidiaries, the Paradise Papers revealed that it had switched many of them to the island of Jersey, which is a largely self-governing “British Crown Dependency” capable of striking its own tax deals, as a new way to shelter profits.
Apple is the most profitable company in the world with more than $250 billion in the bank.
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Much of 3D printing up until now focused on the idea of prototyping, or printing out things to test but not necessarily meant for the mass market. Formlabs is attempting to change that, showing off it’s recently released 3D printer, dubbed the Fuse 1, at CES 2018.
Chief Product Officer Dávid Lakatos stopped by the DT CES booth Tuesday afternoon to talk about the company’s efforts. After sorting out a bit of mic trouble on our part (sorry, folks!) Lakatos wowed us with what is the future of 3D printing, and what we crowned as the top emerging tech product of the year in 2017.
He pointed out that much of the current printers out there — including the one that printed the DT logo sitting on our desk this week — use a process that’s akin to a glue gun adding plastic layer by layer to form 3D shapes. The result isn’t the prettiest, and even the best printers still produce prints that are fairly rough without some post-print touch-ups.
The Fuse 1 uses a process known as “selective layer sintering.” Instead of the spools of plastic that we’re used to, Formlabs’ Fuse 1 uses a powder which is heated to right below the point where it would melt. From there a laser is selectively aimed at the particles, fusing them together.
As a result, not only are the prints much smoother — in fact some of the smoothest we’ve ever seen — they’re also incredibly strong. Dávid noted that this method creates highly durable parts, but due to its expensive nature, only about 2-3,000 of these types of 3D printers have been made. The Fuse 1 is an effort to double that number within a year.
At a price point of $10,000, the Fuse 1 definitely isn’t cheap, but compared to industrial SLS machines, it’s outrageously affordable. What’s more exiting though, is the fact that it can be used not only to produce prototype objects, but also “mass customized” products that can be sold and used directly after being printed.
Lakatos showed examples of custom earbuds that could be made to fit customer’s ear shapes perfectly in less than two hours, custom fit sunglasses, and a bevy of medical grade objects including prosthetics, casts, and even temporary dentures. Even the most complex prints wouldn’t take more than 8-10 hours, he says.
Formlabs is also working with New Balance to create custom insoles, which are important to prevent and relieve foot and back pain. That partnership was announced last year.
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Selfie sticks make for less awkward selfies, but you also can’t adjust the camera angle when your smartphone is a few feet in the air — or at least you couldn’t. During this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the popular China-based gimbal company Feiyu Technology announced a new gimbal with an extension pole built into the handle. It’s called the Vimble 2.
The Vimble 2 is both a gimbal and a selfie stick. The Vimble 2’s integrated controls allow smartphone photographers to adjust the angle of the phone, making it easier to get the right composition when using the extension. The extension pulls out from between the handle and the smartphone, which means those controls are still accessible when using the gimbal while it’s extended. The extension isn’t huge, but adds 5.5 inches to the handle in order to hold the smartphone a bit farther out.
The Vimble 2 incorporates a new stabilization algorithm working alongside the built-in brushless motor, which the company says offers “smooth image stabilization under all circumstances.” All circumstances might be a bit of a stretch, but previous gimbals from the company have offered excellent stabilization at an affordable price point.
While earlier Vimble models offered features like face tracking and panorama modes, the latest version brings object tracking and video editing inside the app. A new hyperlapse mode is also included.
Made from composite material, the Vimble 2 uses an ergonomic shape for more comfortable use. Full specs aren’t yet available, but the company says the battery lasts for “hours” and can also be used to charge a smartphone through the USB port on the handle.
The Vimble 2 is the company’s first announcement of the year, but new accessories including a tripod and time-lapse device are also on display during CES this week.
Feiyu Tech has now made omore than 20 different types of gimbals and stabilization systems, including a waterproof option for GoPros, as well as systems designed to handle larger cameras.
The company hasn’t yet announced the price or release date for the Vimble 2, though there will be at least three different color options. The earlier Vimble C retails for around $120, so the price point could be similar.
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Laptops and mobile gadgets of all kinds might be stealing the show at CES 2018, but there have also been some strong and delightfully unusual showings from desktop manufacturers. While they might not be as eye-catching as a pair of AR glasses, these desktops are decked out with the latest hardware and impressive lighting rigs. Here they are, they best desktops of CES 2018.
The 2018 Origin Millennium just might be the desktop to beat this year. We got to spend some quality time with it and really put it through its paces. This is a precision-engineered machine that is every bit as impressive inside as it is outside. Running an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8700K, 16GB of RAM, two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti graphics cards, the Millennium obliterated our benchmarks. Plus, all that hardware resides in a custom-made chassis with two smoky tempered-glass doors.
Asus ROG Strix GL12
A new entry in Asus’ strong lineup of ROG-branded desktops, the ROG Strix GL12 features the latest hardware and a slick black exterior. The chassis features Asus’ proprietary Aura lighting system that’s capable of reproducing 16 million colors. Internally, the Strix features an unlocked 8th-generation i7-8700K processor, with a factory overclcok of 4.7GHz. It will be available with graphics options including the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti.
MSI Trident 3 Arctic
The first of two impressive MSI desktops shown off at CES 2018, the Trident 3 Arctic bucks the trend of black-and-red styling and instead embraces a refreshing snowy white aesthetic. The whole PC is packed into a tiny set-top-box-style case that wouldn’t look out of place on your desk or in your living room. The compact Trident 3 Arctic features the latest 8th-generation Intel Core processors, and up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card.
MSI Infinite X
A more traditional gaming rig than the Trident 3, the MSI Infinite X offers high-end hardware and promises unparalleled performance. The Infinite X features an unlocked 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8700K, 16GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti graphics card and a Silent Storm Cooling 3 Pro cooling system.
Digital Storm Project Spark
In the mood for something a little different? The Digital Storm Project Spark has you covered. This is an ultra-compact gaming desktop with an unbelievable amount of power packed into its tiny chassis. Featuring a brand-new 5 x 7-inch motherboard from ASrock, the Project Spark is just 12-inches tall. Despite its size, Digital Storm managed to pack it to the gills with powerful hardware. It can be outfitted with an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, up to 32GB of RAM, and even has room for up to three M.2 NVMe SSDs and one SATA SSD. At base specs, it will start at $1,300.
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Make your home smarter in 2018 with the right smart plugs that work with both Google Home and Alexa.
Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers have been growing in popularity over the last couple of years as the technology transitions from early adopters to finding a mainstream market. Both are functional, but at this point, there’s no clear leader, so maybe you’re interested in testing both out.
While you’re doing that, you should be sure to buy smart home accessories that are compatible with both AI assistants. One of the best places to start is with smart plugs that let you control the stuff already in your house, such as lamps, TVs, and air purifiers. We’ve rounded up the best options for smart plugs that work with both Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Samsung SmartThings
- TP-Link Smart Home Outlet
- D-Link Smart Plug
- AWAIR Air Filtration Smart Plug
Samsung’s SmartThings is a very capable and customizable home automation system that’s a great place to start for both Alexa and Google Assistant users. The starter kit includes a Hub for connecting different smart sensors for monitoring your home. The SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit comes with a Hub, two Multipurpose Sensors, a Motion Sensor, and an Outlet. You can configure them however you like in your home, then get instant notifications if anything is out of the normal. You can also buy additional sensors, including an Arrival Sensor and a Water Leak Sensor, along with more smart plugs for controlling different lamps and devices around your home.
Since SmartThings works well with both Google Assistant and Alexa, it’s a great starting point for building out your wireless smart home system. The Hub starter kit is a good place to start, as many other smart devices are compatible with the SmartThings Hub, plus you’ll get some smart sensors to play around with, too. Samsung has also begun consolidating all of its smart home products under the SmartThings umbrella, so just another great reason to start with SmartThings when setting up your smart home. The whole kit is $154.
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TP-Link Smart Home
TP-Link offers a line of smart plugs and switches that allow you to convert the lamps and appliances you already own into smart devices you can automate to power on or control with your voice.
Their newest smart plug, the Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini, is their most compact option yet, leaving the second outlet free. The outlets work with either Alexa or Google Assistant and thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi technology, no hub is required to get things connected. Pick up the Mini or a Smart Plug 2-pack Kit from Amazon, both starting around $45.
See at Amazon
D-Link Smart Plug
D-Link is another brand that offers a smart plug that doesn’t require a hub to connect to either Alexa or Google Assistant. You’re able to control devices plugged into the D-Link Smart Plug via the D-Link app on your phone from anywhere, but more importantly, you’ll be able to use and control things with your voice with your Amazon Echo or Google Home
While not as compact as the TP-Link mini plug, the D-Link is still a great option for any room in your house and starts at $29.99 on Amazon.
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AWAIR Air Filtration Smart Plug
Smart plugs are cool enough as it is, but AWAIR has combined the technology with its own air filtration technology to create an uber-functional smart plug. According to AWAIR, the air inside your home can be up to five times more polluted than outside, and that can end up aggravating allergies or asthma, affecting your concentration or sleep quality, and much more.
To combat this, AWAIR has developed a line of smart products that monitor the air quality in your home. Each device monitors five aspects that determine air quality — temperature, humidity, CO2, airborne chemicals, and dust. AWAIR monitors all these factors and churns out a quick guide that gives you a good idea of how clean the air is in your home at a glance and will also send tips to your smartphone offering tips and suggestions.
The AWAIR Glow is arguably the coolest device AWAIR sells — it plugs right into an outlet and can be set up to turn on an appliance such as a dehumidifier or air filtration system at a specific time or when levels get a bit high.
Once connected to Google Home or Alexa, you’re also able to use the AWAIR Glow to control whichever device you have plugged in using just your voice.
The Glow starts at around $119.
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Did we miss any?
Got a favorite smart plug that didn’t make our list? Let us know in the comments and we’ll check it out!
Available in two main flavors.
Amidst all of the drama surrounding its Mate 10 flagship phone and its lacking availability on U.S. carriers, Huawei also used its time at CES 2018 to announce its first ever mesh Wi-Fi system. It’s called the Huawei WiFi Q2, and it’s available in two main variants – one base station and two satellites or three hybrid base units.
Both systems will essentially work the same, as the main difference lies with how much coverage you’ll get. The single base unit and two satellites should offer a comfy Wi-Fi blanket for up to five rooms, whereas the three base stations will provide coverage for five to seven rooms.
No matter which version you get, Huawei WiFi Q2 can be installed in just five easy steps and kicks out speeds of up to 1867 Mbps. It takes just 100 milliseconds to switch between satellites, and the whole system supports as many as 192 devices at once at 16 individual hotspots. Huawei WiFi Q2 also defaults to a 5Ghz network rather than the older 2.4Ghz, and there’s even a channel that’s used specifically for smart home gadgets.
Availability has yet to be announced, but Huawei says the Q2 will cost $219.99 for the single base station and two satellites and $349.99 for the three base station hybrid setup.
Samsung Galaxy S9 will be announced in February at MWC