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Mobvoi TicWatch E3 Wear OS smartwatch demands attention

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Following a recent leak, Mobvoi has officially launched its new TicWatch E3 smartwatch, a Wear OS device that packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform, as well as a variety of sensors and a round display. The TicWatch E3 offers all of the features you’d expect from a smartwatch, including the ability to track your health, access popular apps, and fire up more than a dozen workouts.

The TicWatch E3 features a polycarbonate frame, 2.5D curved glass display, and a silicone rubber strap that Mobvoi describes as ‘ultra-flexible.’ The company designed its new smartwatch with a quick-release mechanism that enables users to swap out the watchband without extra tools, assuming the customer purchases one of the other strap color options.

This model packs a number of notable features, including a heart rate sensor with 24/7 monitoring capabilities. Users will be able to monitor their real-time heart rate, view graphs of their weekly data, and get alerts if the watch detects ‘unusual’ changes to the user’s heart rate. Likewise, the TicWatch E3 has a built-in speaker that provides an alert when the user reaches their desired heart rate zone while exercising.

Other features include blood oxygen saturation monitoring with the option to record the data all day, support for a 30-minute HIIT workout in addition to more than 20 other workout modes (football, skating, etc.), calorie tracking, Vo2 max monitoring, and the ability to automatically detect workouts. As for navigation, the watch sports GLONASS, GPS, and Beidou positioning for outdoor activities without using a phone.

Mobvoi says the TicWatch E3 can be used with the TicPods to listen to music and use voice commands. Data, including activity and sleep information, is available to users in the Mobvoi companion app, providing immediate access to things like sleep stage graphs, past history, and the option of sharing the data with someone else.

As for battery life, the TicWatch E3 has a 380mAh battery, up to a 48-hour battery life, and an ‘Essential’ reduced power mode that automatically turns on when the charge hits 5-percent. The wearable also has a battery-saving display that presents key data while reducing battery demands to keep the watch running for longer.

Finally, the watch also supports Google Pay contactless payments and smart home control with Google Assistant, which can be activated by holding down the power button. The full list of hardware specs can be found on Mobvoi’s website. The watch is available to order now in Panther Black for $199.99 USD.

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Orbital Marine Power O2 begins grid-connected power generation

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Orbital Marine Power has announced that the world’s most powerful tidal turbine has begun grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Center. O2 is a floating turbine anchored off the Fall of Warness and connected via a subsea cable to the local onshore electricity network. O2 is a 2MW offshore power generation unit.

The power generation device was manufactured and launched in Dundee earlier in 2021 before being towed to Orkney. The device being deployed is the culmination of more than 15 years of development in the UK. The turbine is 74 meters long and is expected to operate in offshore waters for the next 15 years.

Its 2MW of energy production can meet the annual electricity demand for around 2000 UK homes. The power it generates is clean and predictable, thanks to the fast-flowing waters where it is anchored. Public lenders enabled O2’s construction via an ethical investment platform called Abundance Investment. The Scottish government also supported it via the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.

With its first power generating unit in place, Orbital is now looking to commercialize this technology via the deployment of multi-MW arrays. The company says UK suppliers delivered about 80 percent of the turbine, and its operation will bring long-term employment to coastal communities. Orbital also says that commercialization costs are expected to decrease significantly compared to the roll-out of the technology, which it says was previously demonstrated with both wind and solar energy.

O2 is designed with twin 1MW power generating nacelles at the end of a retractable leg structure that is designed for low-cost access to all major components for servicing throughout its lifetime. The turbine uses 10-meter blades to give more than 600 square meters of swept area to capture flowing tidal energy. Not only does the device produce enough electricity for about 2000 UK homes, it will offset about 2200 tonnes of carbon dioxide production yearly.

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B&O Beoplay EQ wireless earphones feature Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation

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Bang & Olufsen has unveiled a new set of wireless earphones that feature something it calls Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation. The noise cancellation feature eliminates surrounding noise and improves immersion with the music the wearer is listening to. The true wireless earphones are called the Beoplay EQ and also support wireless phone calls.

Bang & Olufsen‘s Adaptive Active Noise cancellation combines active noise cancellation with passive cancellation to block external noise. The earphones have a dedicated ANC DSP chip and six microphones to automatically adjust noise cancellation levels to create a more seamless listening experience. The six integrated microphones are also used for directional beamforming technology, providing clearer calls and speech quality.

While the earphones are smaller in-ear style compared to other offerings that Bang & Olufsen sells, they still offer long listening times. Beoplay EQ promises a powerful and authentic listening experience with up to 20 hours of total playtime per charge. The total playtime is expanded to 20 hours thanks to the aluminum charging case that provides an additional 6.5 hours of playtime with active noise cancellation turn on.

Integrated fast charging allows the Beoplay EQ to be charged for 20 minutes to provide two hours of playtime. Two colors are available, including Black Anthracite and Sand Gold Tone. Beoplay EQ was designed to be small, comfortable to wear, and offer a secure fit thanks to an ergonomic shape. They are sweat and water-resistant and ship with interchangeable air tips in different sizes for a custom fit.

Beoplay EQ earphones utilize aptX adaptive, Bluetooth 5.0, and are IP54 rated. In addition, the earphones support any Bluetooth device, have Microsoft Swift Pair technology, and are Made for iPhone. Beoplay EQ will be available to purchase on August 19 for $399.

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OnePlus 7 and 7T Widevine DRM fix comes with a caveat

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There has been a lot of griping about the quality and pace of OnePlus’ recent software updates, especially when OxygenOS 11 brought about major UI changes and, with it, some nasty bugs. OnePlus 7 and 7T owners, however, seem to have had it worse and have experienced the worst that the release has to offer. After two months since the issue appeared, OnePlus is finally rolling out the fix to a bug that locked users into watching SD quality streaming videos, but many users still aren’t satisfied with how the update is being handled.

Last May, owners of OnePlus 7/7 Pro and 7T/7T Pro phones reported losing access to the ability to watch HD videos on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming services. It was traced down to a still-unexplained bug from an OxygenOS 11 update that dropped the phone from Widevine DRM L1, which is required for HD or higher-res streaming, to L3, which only allows for SD content. Unsurprisingly, affected owners were none too happy, especially without an immediate solution.

Two months later, that solution finally comes with the OxygenOS 11.0.2.1 update for the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7T. Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone who has installed the update is actually seeing any change on that front. Some have reported the need to clear the cache of affected apps like Netflix, which potentially means messing up some of the stored data in those apps.

Owners of these phones aren’t just complaining about the questionable quality of the fix. Some have pointed out how the latest update brings Android’s June security patches near the end of July, a week before Google releases the next round of security fixes for August.

It’s all too easy to see these complaints as just whining, but OnePlus 7 and 7T users have really had it bad. In addition to what is considered to be a very buggy OxygenOS 11 rollout, those owners feel let down by the unexplained removal of an always-on display feature that was present in previous betas. OnePlus has remained silent on that matter, but that didn’t stop the company from asking those users about how much they enjoy that non-existent AOD feature.

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