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Tools of the Trade: July 2022

By Michael Castelluccio
July 1, 2022

1. GOOGLE PIXEL 6A

Google’s new budget version of the Pixel 6, the 6a, will be available for $449 on July 21. The design is similar to that of the Pixel 6 with the same camera bar and tactile alloy frame, but with a different thermoformed composite back instead of the 6’s Gorilla Glass back. The processor is the same, a fast Google Tensor, with 6GB RAM, and 128GB of storage. The 6a battery lasts more than 24 hours, which can be extended up to 72 hours using the extreme battery saver that lets you choose which apps to run. The 6.1″ display is FHD+ OLED that refreshes up to 60 Hz. The dual rear camera system has a 12.2MP wide and 12MP ultrawide lenses, and the front camera is 8MP. The intelligent photo features include Face Unblur for sharper portraits, Magic Eraser to remove unwanted objects in the field of view or to change an object’s color and brightness to blend it in, lowlight Night Sight, and Real Tone for lifelike skin tones—all Pixel photographic exclusives. The 6a will be available in three colors: sage, chalk, and charcoal. You can sign up for release updates at the Google Store. store.google.com

 

2. JABRA WIRELESS EARBUDS

The Elite 3 are Jabra’s first true wireless earbuds to launch at under $100. The lightweight earbuds were designed in Copenhagen, Denmark, and are available at only $79 in four colors: dark gray, navy, light beige, or lilac. They don’t have active noise cancellation but are snug fitting and come with three silicon ear gels in three sizes to close out exterior sound. The case has a battery status LED and charges via USB-C, and it stores enough power for three recharges. Fully charged, the earbuds will play up to seven hours, providing, with the case, up to 28 hours of continuous play. The Jabra Sound Plus app works on Android and iOS, providing a selection of several EQ presets. The right earbud controls the audio settings, and the left can contact your voice assistant, Alexa, Siri, or Google. Both controls take up the complete outer surface of the earbud, so there’s no looking for the right area to press. You can pair up to six devices, and the auto-power turns the buds on when they’re out of the charging case or off after 15 minutes without connection or 30 minutes without activity. www.jabra.com

 

3. ANKER CHARGER

Anker has a solution for that box of assorted chargers you have for phones, laptops, and devices. The Anker 735 Charger Nano II 65W will fast-charge up to three devices simultaneously, and it’s universally compatible with notebooks, tablets, phones, and accessories. For high-speed charging of your notebooks, connect to either of the 65W USB-C ports. By swapping out silicon for gallium nitride, the charger is now only 1.5″ 5 1.15″ 5 2.60″, and it conforms to the latest International Electrotechnical Commission safety standards. us.anker.com

 

4. TILE TRACKING TAGS

Tile tracking tags are available in a number of sizes and shapes, but they all offer the same security for finding items like your keys, phone, wallet, laptop, or even devices like your TV remote. Attach one to your key ring and when you tap “find” on your phone, a speaker on the Tile will ring. Around the house you can ask your voice assistant such as Alexa or Google to find Tile-attached items. And it works two ways for finding your phone. Press a button on your Tile and your phone will ring. Locations of devices are also tracked at a distance showing recent locations on a map on your phone. www.thetileapp.com

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the technology editor for Strategic Finance for 26 years. His SF TechNotes blog is in its 23rd year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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