Dedicated reviews of affordable technology including headphones, mice, monitors, printers and other peripherals for the budget user. And, once in a while, a pinch of random opinion.

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Showing posts with label Logitech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Logitech. Show all posts

What you should get instead of an iPhone 11 (Xiaomi Mi 9)


The iPhone 11 costs a mammoth $700 and is widely regarded as more of a status symbol than a communications tool. In this post, we explore the opportunity costs of the $700 spent on the iPhone and see what we could use that money for. We start with picking the best affordable flagship out there and will then move on to the accessories that could be bought for the money saved by buying our featured phone.
Why buy a phone when you can get a Smartwatch and Headset too?

The Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9 (about $400)

Xiaomi Mi 9 is probably the best phone you can exchange your money for at the moment. It gives you an enormous bang for every single dollar or pound you pay for it. The phone is capable of using both 4G and 5G networks – providing blistering futuristic internet speeds. It runs the best of class Snapdragon 855 and packs 6 gigs of RAM, a combination which in term of pure performance outshines the best of most brands flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S10.

The Xaomi Mi 9
It has an AnTuTu rating of about 372 which is about 14% better than the S10. (which is at 326) You could play any game and use any app at the speed of light. The iPhone 11 itself is slightly better in terms of performance but from a lens of performance per dollar spend, it is not even in the game.
AnTuTu ratings of the iPhone 11, Mi 9 and Galaxy S10. Higher is better.
According to Android Authority, its battery capacity at 3300mAh is adequate, but not extraordinary. They are awed by the phone’s gorgeous screen, slick premium look and snappy UI response when using regular apps.  The phone’s 6.39-inch screen is made of AMOLED which gives it an infinite contrast ratio and superb visibility in sunlight. There is also a under-screen finger print reader. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 which reinforces drop damage resistance and extends the life of the phone in general.

It has three cameras at the back, a 4k-capable 48-megapixel Sony sensor as well as ones with telephoto and wide-angle lenses. The picture quality is arguably close, but obviously not better than those taken by the iPhone 11 and is significantly improved if the inbuilt camera app is ditched for the Google Photos app.

It has wireless charging up to 20 watts, which we don’t recommend using for two reasons – wireless charging in general is less power-efficient and wastes energy and the charger itself needs to be purchased separately, which eats into the affordable user’s wallet.

The slick premium look of the Mi 9's back
For all of these reasons, Kategat firmly believes that you are better off spending $400 on the Mi 9 rather than $300 extra for just the marginal benefits of the iPhone 11. Let’s now explore what we can do for the remaining $300.

As an alternative, consider the OnePlus 5T as an affordable but older flagship which you can get for even cheaper.

Get the Mi 9 from Amazon now

 

The Headset: Logitech H800 Bluetooth headset (under $100)

The next item we could buy is a headset to go with the phone. The H800 is an excellent headset in terms of quality and durability. It would go well with the Mi 9. The H800 features a sleek and elegant design with plenty of padding for comfort. It pairs with a phone via Bluetooth and also has a wireless receiver to be used for laptops without Bluetooth or if you don’t want to use Bluetooth. The mic is noise cancelling for a crisp calling experience and can also be retracted and tucked away out of sight.

The H800's small profile makes it an ideal companion for anyone on the go.
In terms of quality, it offers a modest frequency response suitable for all users outside of hobbies audiophiles. You get good base and average treble, however the most important part of the spectrum for calls – the mids – would be excellent for both the mic while recording and the headset while reproducing sound.  It offers between 5 and 7 hours of wireless use, suitable for most casual users. It has two other features which adds added convenience, buttons on the side allows you to answer calls and control music without reaching for your phone. A fold-able design means you can tuck it away in a small pouch when not used.

Learn more about other Logitech headsets below this price point.

Get the Logitech H800 from Amazon now.


Smartwatch: Amazfit Bip (under $100)

Yes, of course, we still can afford a smartwatch too. The Amazfit bip is certainly a unique watch primarily intended as a sports watch but could also be used as a casual watch. It has all of the core features a smartwatch would have: a heart rate monitor and an activity tracker with a pedometer and GPS/GLONASS. The watch has an enduring battery life of close to a month of use, and is water resistant too. You also get the traditional smartwatch notifications such as WhatsApp, Facebook messages and information on incoming calls. The Oynx black version goes well with the Mi 9 phone too.
The Amazfit Bip
With the Mi 9, the H800 and the Amazfit Bip, you now have a phone, a solid headset and a time-tested smartwatch, and yet we still have $100 to spend on anything else we wish for. What a deal indeed.
Packaging of the Amazfit Bip
Get the Amazfit Bip from Amazon now:



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Inexpensive but reliable Logitech mice


Mice come in three primary formats; corded mice are connected via a cable; Bluetooth mice connect with any device that has Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz mice have their own receiver which is plugged into a USB port.  A 2.4Ghz receiver has a better response rate than Bluetooth and it has an advantage in areas saturated with Bluetooth devices. Here, we explore some affordable entry-level mice from Logitech.



M100 (Wired)
The M100 is a simple wired mouse that just works. Being wired it has the fastest response time and does not need battery changes. It comes in matte black and is bulged in the sides, designed to fill a palm. This model does not give you anything fancy, but the Logitech brand guarantees reliability and ease of use.

M185 (2.4 Ghz)
The M185 is the most basic of Logitech’s wireless mice. It uses the 2.4Ghz connection system with its own receiver and so cannot be easily used in mobile devices and tablets, unless an OTG cable is used. Response rates can be very snappy – in the range of 1-2ms -- which is great for gaming and situations where precise control of the pointer is required.
It has a simple, ergonomic design with dimples on the sides – designed to be held with fingers – and the Logitech logo on top. Its powered by an AA battery and could get more than a year of constant use with a good alkaline battery.

M500 (Wired) 
The M500 is pitched as a “precision laser-mouse”. It features a free-spinning scroll wheel – the wheel continues to spin for a few cycles once you scroll down fast. It also features two thumb-button, which are usually used to navigate back and forth on a webpage but can be configured to do anything else. We recommend configuring the “Ctrl+Tab” function to move quickly switch back and forth tabs on a web browser.
The contoured twisted design gives ample room for a fat thumb on one side and two fingers on the other.

M557 (Bluetooth)

The M557 has a very simple and elegant design flat design. It connects via Bluetooth and does not require a separate receiver. It could easily work with smartphones and tabs. Logitech however, claims the mouse is designed for Windows. It has a single additional button in between the right and left buttons which is dedicated to launch the Windows Start Menu.
The simple design means it can be suited to both right- and left-handed people. One minor weakness though is response time, it has a 5-6ms delay which could impact hardcore gamers.

Affordable Logitech headsets


Logitech is ubiquitous within both the gaming community as well as the white-collar class. The brand is the bread and butter of computing peripherals. This time we will be reviewing their affordable headset offerings.

H111 (3.5mm jack)
Logitech H111
Logitech H111
The H111 is an inexpensive yet highly versatile headset with a full 20Hz – 200kHz frequency response. The impedance level of 32 ohms will also give you good volume and will be just enough to hear some base. The boom microphone also has a good frequency and will be able to record with clarity. This headset is okay for gaming, excellent for calls on your smartphone or computer, and will be an affordable daily driver.

The foam rests comfortably on the external ear and the size is extendable by a good two inches. It can be worn for about four hours comfortably. The H110 is another model that features two 3.5mm jacks but is exactly the same in all other regard.

Get it from Amazon:



H151 (3.5 mm jack with volume dial)
Logitech H151
The H151 is an upgrade over the H111 – it has a volume dial and a mute toggle. It still has the full spectrum audio and excellent sound capture through the noise cancelling microphone. This suits calling and use as a phone headset as the recording range is slightly lower. The impedance is also lower which means that clarity might reduce at earsplitting high volumes. It has a slightly more comfortable foam than the H151. The dual jack equivalent of this is the H150.

Get it from Amazon:



H370 (USB A)
Logitech H370
Logitech H370
The H370 is a bit more stylish than the previous ones with a curved angle just above the ear pads. Unlike the 111 and the 151, it does not have a 3.5mm jack and instead uses USB Type-A or the standard USB port. Like the H151, it has controls for volume and a mute button; however, the controls are on the wire and not on the ear pad itself.

All three of these models are quite lightweight and do not put a lot of strain on your head. However, there is one interesting downside, the frequency response for the speakers are 100 – 10KHz which reduces the dynamic range on the treble side. And because of this, the sound will usually be dynamically compressed to the new range, so there could be a loss of base too. This is surprising, since the H370 has a higher price point compared to the other Logitech offers above, the H111 and H151.

The H370 is suited to uses of computers and laptop that don’t have a 3.5mm jack – especially those that use a soft phone. Using this for casual music is not recommended unless your source music too is of an inferior quality.

The H370 isn't on Amazon, check out a related headphone: