Jaybird has been a pioneer in wireless audio for almost a decade, and in a field that seems crowded and stagnant, it continues to push the limits. Almost a year after Jaybird announced the next iteration the ultra popular X2 wireless sport headphones, it has finally released the X3 Wireless Sport Headphones.
Arguably wireless headphones are more important now than ever with Apple doing away with the 3.5 audio jack. Yet Jaybird saw the need for wireless headphones way before Apple ever dreamt of killing off the audio jack, and is now several generations into its products.
Unlike other manufacturers that have vast product lines, Jaybird focuses solely on wireless headphones and the results speak for themselves. The X3 headphones are the latest shining star from Jaybird and are well worth your attention if you love listening to music.
If you know the Jaybird X2 Wireless Sport Headphones, then you’ll be familiar with the X3s. They aren’t true wireless headphones with one wire that connects each earpiece, however there is no cable that connects to your audio device. The X3 headphones are made with metal and ultra durable polymers that are about 40% smaller than their predecessor.
An inline remote house the power button (play/pause, answer/end call), microphone, and +/- buttons for controlling volume and tracks. The inline remote is also where you charge the headphones with the included adapter. The design is very familiar to other wireless headphones, but remember that Jaybird was one of the first to come up with this design.
The wire that connects the two earbuds is worn behind the neck with the remote hanging just below your ear.
What creates the sound are 6mm drivers in each ear piece that are tunable through Jaybird’s iOS and Android MySound app. Almost all other wireless headphones are tuned to suit a large audience, but with the MySound app, you can adjust the sound settings and firmware within the X3 headphones for complete control and customization.
6mm drivers allowed Jaybird to shrink the size of each earbud. Size has been a typical limitation with most users as wireless earbuds are usually large and generally only suitable for men.
Similar to its other headphones, Jaybird designed the X3 headphones to last eight hours on a single charge.
The X3 headphones are also waterproof which is important since they are designed for sport use.
Included in the box are Jaybird’s patented ear fins, comply foam and silicone tips, shirt clip, charging cable, carrying case, cable shorteners, and a carrying case.
Sound and Usage
If you know Jaybird, then you know that it focuses on the entire package. Build, functionality, fit and sound quality are all equally important. It must master each category before it releases a product, and the X3 Sport Wireless Headphones definitely checked each box.
For me, nothing matters more than sound quality. But sound quality won’t really matter if the headphones don’t fit right, and fit won’t matter if the headphones aren’t durable. That’s why Jaybird gives users the ability to customize the sound anyway they want with the MySound app, while offering a plethora of tips and ear fins to get the right fit.
I chose to go ear fin free, and wore my X3s over my ears with cable shorteners to keep the headphones behind my head. This offered the most comfortable fit for me, especially in the gym. I am a gym rat and have been for the past 20 years. I can’t do wireless headphones that rest on my neck. When I am squatting, the bar sits across my traps and neck and can be extremely uncomfortable when a few hundred pounds is pressing a wire into my neck.
While comply memory foam tips are very comfortable and form fitting, I also chose to go with the soft silicone tips since they don’t dampen sound. With a proper fit, the headphones block out almost all of the outside noise and that allows me to truly enjoy my music. I did play with some of the sound presets that Jaybird offers in the app, but was more than satisfied with the balanced sound signature out of the box.
I’ve listened to dozens of different earbuds, wired and wireless, and Jaybird makes the best sounding wireless earbuds you can buy under $200. I’m not sure how the engineers managed to deliver so much sound over Bluetooth and compact 6mm drivers, but they sound detailed, rich and have a large sound stage. Lows are punchy and deep, highs are crisp and clear, and the mids are energetic and balanced that round out the entire sound package. However if you want more bass, less treble, or any combination, you can adjust the firmware settings through the app.
The mid-range sound is probably the most important aspect of sound reproduction. Many sport headphones, and generally many wireless headphones, focus on over emphasizing bass since people love to feel their music. That’s what you get with Beats Audio, but that kind of sound isn’t typically favored by most audiophiles.
Headphones that are too focused on highs can be detailed and analytic, but are tiring to listen to after a short period of time. I can imagine Jaybird sound engineers spending hundreds of hours in a sound lab perfecting the sound signature and they hit a home run with what they produced. If I were one of those engineers, I’d be pretty damn proud of myself for the X3 headphones, because they’re extremely good.
Jaybird claims eight hours of playback on the X3 headphones, and that amount is on the high end for wireless headphones. I averaged 6-9 hours of playback over two weeks of solid usage. I work out everyday, for a minimum of one hour and went about a week between charges.
Charging the headphones from almost dead to full took less than an hour. Jaybird managed to squeeze the batteries into each earbud while shrinking the size and maintaining the same playback time as its larger predecessor.
Wireless connection and microphone
The Jaybird X3 Sport Wireless Headphones have a newly designed antenna that offers an incredibly strong wireless connection. If you’re using a smartphone, you don’t have to worry about carrying it in front of your face to maintain a strong connection. Or if you’re using a smartwatch that allows music streaming without a smartphone like current Android Wear devices, there will be no signal issues no matter which wrist you wear it on.
I paired my X3 headphones to multiple smartphones, carried them in both pockets, and even left my phone underneath the dumbbell rack while I wandered the gym. I easily walked over 30 feet away and forgot my phone was across the room until the signal cut out at about 50 feet away. Other than that one signal drop from 50 feet, I never once experienced a connection issue with my Nixon Mission Android Wear, iPhone 7 Plus or Pixel XL.
I took several calls on the X3 headphones while I was on vacation in Maui. With a strong wireless signal, and clear microphone, I never once experienced issues with background noise or poor call quality. Keep in mind, Maui gets rather windy in the afternoons, and I dealt with that and background noise while laying out at the beach.
Many manufacturers make call quality a throw in feature, but Jaybird made sure this was an area that met its high standards.
Jaybird managed to build a great set of wireless headphones in the X3s. They’re not cheap at $129.99, but considering the quality of the build, sound output, battery life, MySound app, and call quality, it’s one of the better priced headphones when you factor in the entire package.
The Jaybird X3 Sport Wireless Headphones are designed to fit all ears, from small to large and are good enough to use beyond sport activities. If you’ve never used Jaybird headphones, or if you own the X2s, I highly recommend you try out the X3 Sport Wireless Headphones. You will not be disappointed.
Jaybird X3 Wireless Sport Headphones are expected to be available at jaybirdsport.com on Oct. 27, 2016 and in Best Buy stores and bestbuy.com in the U.S. and Canada in November 2016, for a suggested retail price of $129.99. The wireless headphones areavailable in four colors with metal accents: Blackout (Black and Silver), Sparta (White and Gold), Alpha (Military Green and Dark Chrome) and Road Rash (Red and Dark Chrome).
As companies like Apple and Motorola remove headphone jacks to accelerate our move towards the wireless age, the search for cheap wireless alternatives is at an all time high. Consumers quickly realize that going wireless is about much more than just cutting the cord. While Bluetooth technology has solved many issues like tangled cords, it introduces its challenges like range and battery life. Kinivo has an answer with their BTH260 Bluetooth Sports Headphones. These headphones retail for $79.99 but can be found for $44.99 on Amazon Prime.
I have been using the Kinivo BTH260 headphones exclusively for almost three weeks. I listen to music and podcasts daily while at work and the gym.
Build and Quality
The Kinivo BTH260 Bluetooth headphones are made entirely of plastic and do feel a bit cheap, but do not let that fool you, these headphones can take a beating and are sweat proof with an IPX7 rating. I have subjected these headphone to being stored in my pocket while at work, thrown in my locker, stored in the bottom of my backpack, and I have dropped them on at least two occasions. Despite my rough habits with my headphones, they survived and are still kicking.
More impressive than the BTH260’s ability to stand up to my abuse is how Kinivo was able to make the plastic frame of the headphones comfortable. After an hour or two of listening to music, I was able to adjust to the headphones sitting on the tops of my ears. The padding resting against your ears is also incredibly soft and comfortable, but it is worth noting that the pleather pads did make my ears sweat while wearing them for extended periods of time.
The standout feature on the Kinivo BTH260 Bluetooth headphones has to be the battery life. The box claims 25 hours of battery life on a single charge, and I easily got 22+ hours during the first six days of having the headphones. After my second charge, I got about seven days of use and 23+ hours. I am still working on burning through my third charge since getting the headphones 20 days ago. I have personally never owned headphones with this kind of longevity, and it is a breath of fresh air.
The sound quality of the headphones is where I begin to draw issue with the full retail price of the Kinivo BTH260s. While these headphones do a great job at staying on your head during various activities, the bass is not very punchy, and even spoken word can begin to garble together if the environment around you is mildly loud.
The maximum volume on the BTH260s is not enough to get you through many situations. These headphones may get as loud as many other “premium” headphones, but due to their on ear nature, they block almost no ambient sounds, making it, so any outside noise is a problem. On multiple occasions, I found myself extremely frustrated with the inability to listen to my podcasts and music because the exterior noise was loud enough to drown out the headphones. I find this to be my biggest complaint about the Kinivo BTH260s headphones.
Kinivo has created a set of sports headphones with amazing battery life, and ok sound in quiet environments. In ideal conditions, these headphones are an excellent companion for any athlete or professional who needs long battery life and does not want to worry about headphones falling out all day. Start to mix loud environments into the formula, and the value these headphones represent quickly diminishes. At only $45 on Amazon Prime for wireless freedom, Kinivo’s BTH260s will be a good value for many.
Many web browser creators like to boast about performance in ideal conditions, where there’s only one tab and the app is already open. But that’s not how it works in real life — many people launch their browsers with numerous tabs left over from their last session, and that can be glacially slow if you don’t have speedy storage or loads of memory. Opera thinks it can do better. It’s releasing a new version of its desktop browser (41) with a smart startup sequence that prioritizes the tabs you’ve been using recently, dramatically reducing the time it takes to get going.
In the company’s testing (on a modest Lenovo Yoga 300 with a Core i3 and a hybrid hard drive), the browser typically loaded over 50 percent faster with 10 or more tabs open in the last session. The improvements only got larger for intensive multi-taskers, according to Opera. With 42 or more tabs, the speed-up was about 86 percent — whether or not the browser was already in memory. Where the previous version of Opera took almost 64 seconds to load from a cold start, the updated software is ready to go in less than 9 seconds.
Of course, whether or not you’ll notice a difference depends on your system. If you have a powerful system (particularly if you have a solid-state drive), you aren’t going to see the same night-and-day difference. Having said this, Opera 41 could be worth a go if your not-so-beefy PC regularly struggles to keep up with your tab habit.
Developer: Urbandroid Team
Price: Free w/$2.99 Pro unlock
Category: Like to sleep better
What you need to know
No, this is not the tween 2010 vampire vs werewolves movies. This is the Twilight app. Do you use your phone at night? That was obviously rhetorical, of course, you do! If you are anything like me, your phone screen is the last thing you see before you close your eyes at night whether you are reading the Bible app, a news article, setting your alarm for the morning, or checking Facebook. But did you know that your phone emits blue light that can cause you to sleep uneasily? “Recent research suggests that exposure to blue light before sleep may distort your natural (circadian) rhythm and cause inability to fall asleep.The cause is the photoreceptor in your eyes, called Melanopsin. This receptor is sensitive to a narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range which may suppress Melatonin production – a hormone responsible for your healthy sleep-wake cycles.”
Twilight takes that blue light out of your phone screen by overlaying a red colored screen over the entire display. It is kind of hard to explain so let me show you.
See! It’s red! The first picture is with Twilight on and the second is with it off. Within the settings, you have the ability to turn up and down the intensity at which Twilight will overlay. The picture above is at about 40%. Now I know what are thinking, I’m not going to remember to turn this on every night. Well to that I say, “You are in luck!” Twilight can be set up to turn on at sundown and turn off at sunup. I know, amazing, right?
There are other ways to have the app turn on and off if you so choose. You can have it always on, have it detect your alarms, they suggest you use their alarm app called Sleep As Android for this setting to work the best, and there is also a custom setting that lets you set any time you want it to turn on and off.
As you can see in the tutorial for the app, there is some good info on why this app can actually help you get better sleep. There is also a warning, because of the screen overlay, you may see some issues when installing apps or even opening some apps that don’t allow a screen overlay. I know, for instance, I have to pause Twilight to open my Capital One app. This is no big deal, though. All you have to do is pull down the notification shade and tap the pause button. Just remember to pull down that shade again when you are done to un-pause Twilight.
If you like digging deeper into app settings you can also go to more settings and turn on the exclude apps from filtering option. This will prompt you to allow Twilight access to accessibility settings. Once that is done you can go through and check mark any apps you know will need the overlay turned off. Twilight will then know to turn off automatically and also turn on by itself when the specific app is closed. That’s it, set it and forget it.
This app seems like something you don’t need, but I have used it for the last six months and, when it’s not on, I really miss it. Give it a try and I bet you won’t want to turn it off either.
Download from the Google Play Store
If there’s one thing Motorola has been great at doing since the original Moto G, it’s creating a great phone for a very great price. Even under new Lenovo ownership, the same holds true for the Moto G4 Play. If you’re looking for a great valued, brand new smartphone under $200, you can’t go wrong with this phone.
The Moto G4 Play contains the same materials used on the outside on the regular Moto G4, which I ended up really liking. The back is a textured plastic that feels like rubber and gave me a good grip on the phone. The Motorola “M” dimple is back, and although it’s really subtle, it’s a good reference point for your index finger as you make calls. I’ve grown to prefer all-metal phones such as the HTC 10 and Nexus 6P, but after a couple days I didn’t mind the relatively “cheap” plastic feel of this phone. For the asking price, this phone feels solid.
I tried twisting the phone and bending it a bit, but didn’t feel any creaks or movements with the outer body. Motorola advertises this phone as water resistant too, but don’t go dipping this phone into a full tub of water. It’s meant to withstand rainfall and spills, but not full water submersion.
The body is definitely manageable to hold with one hand, but with wider bezels than most 5 inch phones on the sides and top, it’s not as easy to hold as the Nexus 5 for example (on the right in the image below), a phone that came out in 2013. However, I can’t complain for the price, and I was certainly able to use this phone one-handed without much hand adjustment.
Motorola sure knows how to put a decent display on an affordable device. A good comparison would be with the Nexus 4’s display, as they both look near identical, despite the G4 Play having a slightly larger 5 inch display and newer Gorilla Glass 3.
The colors look quite natural, but slightly more washed out than the regular G4. Color saturation matches just about all lower-end LCD displays, however the darker colors look lighter than they should be. There’s a noticeable light bleed coming from the back lights of the panel, but this is only apparent when the phone is viewed from the sides or bottom. If you’re worried about the lower 720p display, don’t be. Everything looks very crisp on it, and I really enjoyed scrolling through wallpaper apps trying out the sharpest offerings.
This is the aspect of the G4 Play that shocked me the most. This Snapdragon 410-powered phone actually runs really fast and everyday tasks felt very snappy to me. If I were to compare every day performance of this phone with another, it would be just slightly slower than the Nexus 5 powered by the Snapdragon 800. It sounds crazy, but I am using them side by side and the differences are extremely minimal.
Gaming performance was frustrating with the G4 Play, as games took a very long time to load, with an average of 88 seconds to load my Fallout Shelter game, with similar longer than average loading times with other games. Other than that, frame rates held up well enough and I didn’t notice any crazy slowdowns during intensive games like NOVA 3.
Multitasking on the G4 Play was a pleasant experience, with the 2GB of RAM providing just enough space for you to switch between your most recent 5-6 apps on average with no hesitation or reloading. Anything more than 6 apps though you’ll see some of them close and reload when you open them.
Performance is much better than I expected with this phone, and it shocks me that I can get very similar UI navigation speeds in a phone that costs a fraction of today’s highest end devices. You won’t be sorry with the Snapdragon 410 on-board.
Like the Moto G4, the Play version offers fantastic battery life. With this 2,800mAh battery, I’ve been consistently getting at least a day and a half of moderate to heavy usage. Using a lot of Snapchat, way more Groupme than I’d like to admit, occasional SMS texting, web browsing, lots of Reddit and an hour or two of YouTube and Netflix a day, I have not felt worried about getting through a day with this phone.
The only downside is this phone has a big battery but no fast-charging capabilities. This means charging this phone to 100% takes quite a bit of time and I recommend you plug it in at night regardless of what’s left after a day. And with Android Marshmallow, standby battery life is just as phenomenal as other phones, only draining 1% on average at night off the charger.
If you’re on the go more than the usual person and aren’t often around a charger or don’t want to wait for the slow charging, you’ll be glad to know the battery is removable so you can buy a new one to swap out whenever (after you power down the phone, of course).
You might be thinking you’ll be getting the world’s crappiest smartphone camera in a phone at costs $150 unlocked, and at first I was under that impression as well. But as I took more shots throughout my testing, I became more and more impressed with what a camera of this cost can get you.
Photography is not my expertise, but I’d like to talk about these photos I’ve included here. Shots in full daylight lack a bit of detail when zooming in, and blurriness is evident with the lack of OIS. I had to stand and hold the camera very still to get a crisp shot, but when I did I was happy with it.
Shots with HDR, such as the second photo above, don’t seem to capture the correct lighting in dark areas, and detail falls short because of this. HDR processing time took about two seconds as well, which is more than I’d like to wait. The graffiti wall shot pleasantly surprised me by keeping the correct lighting of the shot and the right amount of detail when looking at the wall. I also appreciate the outdoor shot of my campus, as the detail of the back building and the bushes looks pretty good for a camera of this price.
As you see with the night time shot, you might as well not bother taking pictures when the sun goes down. The lights in the field are way blown-out, the shutters on the houses are barely captured, and there is absolutely no detail found on the grass. However, finding a good phone that can take good pictures at night, even at expensive prices, can still be difficult.
With the G4 Play, Motorola clearly did a great job optimizing the software to take full advantage of this Snapdragon 410 chip, as this phone handles everyday tasks with no problem, and barely any hiccups. Navigation is far more fluid than it has a right to be at this price, and that more than likely has to do with Android Marshmallow on-board and Motorola’s dedication to optimizing software correctly.
The software is nearly stock Android, giving the user a clean, and clutter-free experience. The default homescreen launcher is Google Now Launcher, giving the user a clean homescreen with easy access to Google Now and an app drawer that contains all your apps.
Motorola added a few features not found on stock Android, but I’m disappointed they did not include some of the gestures that made other Moto phones great, such as twist for camera and chop for flashlight. Whether this is because of the lower-end CPU or something else, I really wish it had it anyway. Moto display is back, providing convenient pre-lockscreen notifications, but it doesn’t look as good as it does on other Moto phones because of the more noticeable light bleed coming from the display.
Motorola also included a screen shrink option for those wanting full range of the display with one hand. To activate this, simply swipe up from the navigation bar. To deactivate, you just have to touch any part of the black area above the display.
The Moto G4 Play impresses me almost as much as when the original Moto G came out years ago. For $150, you can grab a customizable phone directly from Motorola’s website that offers a crisp 5 inch 720p screen, a front facing speaker that gets fairly loud, speedy performance that almost matches flagship devices, incredible day-and-a-half to two-day battery life, and a solid build. The phone’s cameras are lackluster if you compare pics with other phones, but in daylight it’ll get the job done just fine. There’s also no quick charging, but the large battery makes up for this.
I recommend this phone, hands-down if you’re looking for a new phone under $200.
Amazon’s refreshed Fire TV stick with Alexa-enabled remote started shipping today, and along with the new hardware, we’re getting a look at the new Fire TV software update. The new look is said to be a “cinematic” experience, with video trailers and screenshots aplenty. Another change is how it features content from non-Amazon providers, which may increase support from other services on the Fire TV platform.
As SlashGear points out, the primary navigation elements have shifted from the left side to a bar across the top, with category labels. As far as individual apps, those can be reordered at will, while the FireTV and compatible apps are also accessible to more people with a VoiceView screen reader. This updated software is coming to the new stick and most recent Fire TV box first, later this year.
New Update Makes It Easier To Browse and Discover Content – Coming Soon
Coming later this year, a free software update for Fire TV will give customers a new on-screen experience that makes finding what to watch next even easier and more enjoyable. Fire TV will present a cinematic experience, offering video trailers and content screenshots to help customers access the content they want more quickly – without the need to open and close multiple apps. Finding and enjoying apps and games will be easier too with new support for a customizable apps list on the home screen. Accessibility improvements will also be included, allowing customers to use Fire TV and any compatible apps with the VoiceView screen reader. These features will be available for all Fire TV customers as a free, over-the-air update, starting with the new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and latest generation Fire TV later this year.
The all-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is available for pre-order beginning today for $39.99 at http://www.amazon.com/fire-tv-stick and will start shipping to customers on October 20. Eligible customers who purchase online or from a participating retailer and activate their device by October 31 will also receive a free content bundle. This limited-time offer includes one month of Sling TV and two months of Hulu (Limited Commercials) for new subscribers, and a $10 credit for Amazon Video – a value of up to $65.
I’m sitting on a flight and heading on vacation to Maui for a week. While packing for my trip it was hard to contain myself from bringing along every single device along to entertain myself. Portable power bank, laptop, headphones, smartwatch, and a Bluetooth speaker are what I chose to bring to the sunny weather in Maui.
I brought along a Bluetooth speaker from UNITEK mainly because it is the smallest one I own and has enough sound to keep me entertained in my hotel room. Beyond the sound, the great part about this UNITEL speaker is its low price of $16.99 at Amazon.
Design and Build
The UNITEK speaker is small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. If it wasn’t for its thickness, I could easily throw it into a pocket. However it does slide into my backpack side pocket rather easily as it is just a driver and battery encased in metal that is eerily reminiscent of Apple’s products. That’s not a bad thing as Apple product have great sandblasted finishes that are chamfered with polished edges, and this speaker is no different.
The version I have is Rose Gold and although it’s not the first color I’d normally choose, it does look nice nonetheless. It also comes in silver and gold too if you fancy a different shade.
The speaker grille is painted white metal that is sturdy enough to withstand and bumps and drops you can throw at it. The bottom is also white, but it is made of plastic which houses the microUSB charging port, slot for a microSD card, power button, and controls for volume and tracks.
It’s a simple design that looks luxurious while being ultra portable at the same time.
So how does $16.99 sound?
Surprisingly when kept in context of how small the speaker is, it actually sounds pretty good. What is surprising is how much bass this little sucker puts out. You can feel the driver vibrating when holding it in your palm, and when you set it on a solid surface, it reflects more sound from the surface beneath it.
This gives it a fuller and louder sound. If you’re expecting this speaker to compete with the competition that costs five times as much, don’t get your hopes up. The size alone limits how much sound this speaker can output, but for its size it is rather entertaining. The sound is good enough for two people to enjoy in a hotel room and it only takes up a little bit of space in your backpack.
When playing music you’ll also notice a nice blue LED light that illuminates the perimeter of the bottom of the speaker. It adds a nice ambiance that lets you know the speaker is powered on and is a nice touch most other speakers do not have.
The price alone already makes the UNITEK Aluminum speaker attractive at $16.99 at Amazon with free Prime Shipping included. The metal body that mimics Apple products also gives this speaker an attractive look that is sure to please anyone. The sound that comes from this single driver Bluetooth speaker is also impressive when you keep in it context of the price. It’s not going to blow your socks off, but it does make for a great travel device that won’t consume more than a few inches in your bag. It’s a heck of a deal when you consider the whole package.
Learn more about the UNITEK Aluminum Bluetooth speaker at amazon.com.
A smart and simple 3-port charger from UNITEK is a great value at just $8
One of the beautiful things about smartwatches is the ability to change watch faces to your heart’s content. You can have a feature-packed watch face with information from edge to edge, a clutter-free watch face with only the time displayed, or any watch face in between. Today, we’re taking a look at five colorful watch faces that are sure to add some brightness to your smartwatch. Most of the watch faces we feature will be free; however, there may be a few paid options here and there for the millionaires among us.
Bouncing Isaac, from developer Fathom information design, is one of the most interesting watch faces on this list. It is described as Android Experiment, and it uses the sensors in your smartwatch to create an ever-changing, colorful pattern for your watch face. As your watch moves, more patterns and colors will emerge, which makes each watch face unique to the person wearing it. It can also work as a representation of how active you have been that day as the more you more the more the watch face will change.
Of course, will all of this animation and the reliance on sensors, it will probably take a hit on your battery life. If you already have difficulty enough making it through the day with a normal watch face, you might want to skip Bouncing Issac. For those of you with battery to spare or those that are just too interested, you can download Bouncing Issac for free from the Play Store.
Fiore is from the WatchMaker devs who are a group of artists looking to forward the style of smartwatches, and I definitely think that this watch face fits the bill. Usable on both round and square watches, Fiore has super colorful, floral backgrounds that change depending on the day. I found that mine changed every time the watch’s screen turned off. Each design is absolutely beautiful, and the animations are basically nonexistent, which is a plus for battery life.
For some guys, the design may be a bit too floral, but that does not detract from the fact that Fiore has some of the best-designed backgrounds I have seen. There are a few customizations that can be made to the time layout as well as Ambient Mode. Best of all, Fiore is completely free to download and use so check it out!
Masque Simplicity, from developer Alex Pasquarella, is the most customizable watch faces in this list. The watch face itself is extremely colorful, but you can change just about every aspect of it. Along with the analog watch hands, you also have four dials that display the current weather, phone battery percentage, watch battery percentage, and the date. There are several preset styles to choose from in the app that cover a variety of colors to suit almost anyone’s preferences. After choosing a preset, you can go further back changing the hand style, tick marks, and even how the information circles look.
If for some reason this is not enough customization for you, you can pay $0.99 to create your own styles or $1.99 to unlock all of the options in the app. I went with the $1.99 tier, and it gave me the options to change all the colors of the watch face along with unlocking all of the options for hand styles and tick marks. For those who are content with the base level of customization, the app is free to download in the Play Store.
Jagger, from developer Pierre-Yves Ricau, is my favorite watch face on this list just because of the sheer creativity behind it. The premise behind the app is dead simple, the time (hour, minute, second) is displayed has a hex-code that corresponds to a particular color. As time progresses, your watch face will switch to whatever color the time represents and also display the color’s name under the time. When it comes to a colorful watch face, nothing matches that description better than Jagger.
Customization is limited with only a couple of options for ambient mode and date, but you won’t be using this for features anyway. You’ll get this because it is a completely unique watch face idea that is implemented perfectly. It has been my main watch face for the past week and will be for a while yet. Best of all, it is free in the Play Store!
Finally, we end with the only paid watch face on the list (aside from the add-ons with Masque Simplicity). Nature Gradients, from developer Marco Uberti, is a super minimal watch face that pops with is brightly-colored, gradient backgrounds. There is a large selection of color gradients to choose from, and you can choose the gradient you want straight from your smartwatch. Unfortunately, this is as far as the customization goes. You are stuck with the same font and color for your time, date, and second hand.
For the $1.99 price tag, I would definitely like to see some other options added to this watch face, but it is hard to deny that Nature Gradients isn’t a beautiful addition to your smartwatch. If you have a couple of extra dollars laying around and want a colorful but simple watch face, you can’t get much better than this one. Best of all, animations are almost nonexistent aside from the second hand, which means this watch face shouldn’t eat much into your battery life.
What do you think of our list? Are you going to check out any of the watch faces we recommended? Did we miss one of your favorite colorful faces? Let us know in the comments!
The post Watch Face Roundup: 5 bright, colorful watchfaces appeared first on SmarterWatching.
With the most accurate weather app, you can make sure to know more about the weather around you, while also ensuring that the information being given is the best possible information out there. This can be a great way to go about getting the most from the Google Play weather app. You can make sure to know more about the app and all that comes with it when the time comes. You can then move ahead and know much more about the accuracy of the weather app at hand.
Look at All That the Accurate Weather App Has to Provide
When it comes to accuracy, you want to make sure that the weather app is able to provide you with as much as you possibly need and more. This is something that you’re not able to get from just anyone. This is due to the fact that without the weather, you might be stuck in storms that you don’t want to be in. You can make sure that this is something that does not happen to you when it comes to downloading and using the Google Play weather app to your advantage. Download it today to find out for yourself.
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X-CORE. Galactic Plague. is an extremely familiar feeling “pandemic” game created by a Russian indie team. X-CORE takes the many virus and bacterium popular with the game type and recasts them into a variety of alien species looking to kill or enslave the planet.
You can find X-Core. Galactic Plague. for free in the Google Play Store. After download and installation are complete, you are ready to begin playing. Upon launching the game, you will cycle through a few load screens before finding yourself in the middle of a mildly confusing game set up. The lack of a main menu means you are either in a game or in a setup menu to begin a new one. This is my first real problem with the game. The lack of menu or explanations makes it so there is no clearly defined way to continue a saved game, no stats or perk charts to strategize with, and no menu to adjust settings.
The gameplay found in X-Core. Galatic Plague. is extremely simple, repetitive, and not very well explained. Every player will start out as the “Greys,” a well-balanced race with no leaning towards mobility, power, or influence. Should the player navigate them to victory on the normal difficulty or higher, they will unlock the “Reptiles.” The reptiles have very low mobility, low influence, and a lot of power. There are seven other races for the player to unlock throughout the game in the same way, “beat the game with X on a normal difficulty or better.” The only time we see a move away from this is when the app is looking to sell you two of the alien races via in-app purchases. This lack of diversity makes subsequent playthroughs feel “familiar” and the game quickly lost my attention.
X-Core. Galatic Plague.’s gameplay is extremely similar and yet basic compared to many other pandemic games. You start your alien invasion in a country of your choosing. After that initial invasion, you begin to accumulate Skill Points (SP) which you can use to upgrade your alien force. There are five areas you can spend your accumulated SP:
- Mobility – How quickly your alien race can spread
- Military Power – How quickly and inconspicuously your aliens can kill people
- Influence – How effectively your alien race can brainwash the masses
- Awareness – The level of awareness the rest of the globe is to the presence of aliens
- Secret Weapon Prevention – Hurt the progress of the secret weapon designed to kill your alien race. (Known as “The Cure” in normal traditional games)
These five categories contribute heavily to your success, but going all out in any one will likely cause your game to end in defeat.
X-Core. Galactic Plague. is a simple game that is fun for three to five playthroughs after you have figured out the basics (which are not explained to you). After this threshold, the game quickly becomes repetitive, and even switching amongst the unlockable races available to the player does nothing to make the game feel fresh. The fact that the game is free does add some value to picking up the app for the afternoon, but I would not suggest investing any money in the in-app purchases.