Apple’s new MacBook Pros dominated the news cycle this week, but that was far from the only new product announcement. Google fully revealed its new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones. Samsung got in on the action, too, but letting people customize its foldable smartphone. And there were new gadgets by Wyze and PhoneSoap, as well.
14- and 16- MacBook Pros
Without a doubt, the biggest new product announcement was Apple’s new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros. They’re decked out with features that Pro users have been asking for years, such as more ports, a physical row of function keys, the return of MagSafe charging, an even more beautiful display and a better webcam. More importantly, they can be configured with Apple’s new higher-end silicone chipsets, the M1 Pro and M1 Max, which promise to put even last year’s much-lauded M1 chipset to shame in terms of power, graphics and efficiency.
The new MacBook Pros are available for preorder now and start shipping next week (October 26).
After months of rumors, Apple finally announced its third-generation AirPods and they are the new middle child of Apple’s AirPods lineup. They are priced between the AirPods (now just $129) and the AirPods Pro, and they look and work like a mix of the two as well. They have the shorter stem of the AirPods Pro, but also lack the in-ear design and silicone eartips — so they fit in your ears more similarly to the original AirPods. And they lack the active-noise cancellation and transparency modes modes of the Pro, but still support spatial audio and adaptive EQ. That said, Apple did these new AirPods some unique features, such as a magnetic charging case that can stick to a MagSafe charger (although there’s no charging speed advantage) and the best battery life (up to 6 hours per earbud) of any AirPods to date.
The third-generation AirPods are available for preorder now and start shipping next week (October 26).
Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
Google announced its much-anticipated flagship smartphones, the Pixel 6 and the Pixel Pro. Not only do they have the most “Pro” displays and camera systems that Google has ever put in its smartphones, but they also are the first Pixels to feature Google’s new custom processor called Tensor. This new custom processor was specifically designed for Pixels (similar to how Apple designs its own iPhone chipsets) and it will help them really excellent battery life and power some of the fancy AI features (such as real-time language translations and new computational photography skills) that Pixels have become known for. As far as differences between the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, there aren’t many. The Pro has a bigger better display, an extra telephoto lens, and a better selfie camera.
The Pixel 6 starts at $599 and the Pixel 6 Pro starts at $899. Both be preordered right now and will hit shelves October 28.
Wyze Video Doorbell Pro
Wyze announced a “Pro” version of its $30 Video Doorbell (released in 2020). At $65, it’s more than twice as expensive — which is still really affordable compared to other video doorbells — but it also comes with more features. The most significant thing is that you can use it wired or wirelessly, thanks to its built-in battery, but it also has a slightly better camera (in terms of resolution and field-of-view) and a wireless chime that you can place inside your home (so you can hear when somebody rings the doorbell). Like before, you’ll need to pay a small subscription fee ($1.49/mon) to get some of its more advanced features, like people and package detection.
The Wyze Video Door Pro is available for preorder now, but you’ll have to wait until December for it to ship.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 Bespoke Edition
Samsung didn’t exactly any new hardware at its Unpacked event this week, but it did announce a customizable version of its foldable smartphone. You can now order the Galaxy Z Flip3 with its front and back panels in a variety of different color, and you also have the choice of a black or silver frame. (There are apparently 49 different color combinations, according to Engadget.) This “Bespoke Edition” will cost you an extra $100 from the regular Galaxy Z Flip3.
PhoneSoap SurfaceSoap UV Wand
PhoneSoap specializes in making gadgets that use blue light clean your other gadgets, and the SurfaceSoap UV is its latest travel-friendly entry. It’s a UV wand that you turn on and wave over personal items, be it your car keys or your iPad, and it kills 99.9% of harmful bacteria and pathogens. There’s also a built-in hand guard to prevent your hand from rubbing up against something you haven’t cleaned yet.
The SurfaceSoap UV Wand is available for preorder now and is expected to ship in mid-November.
Apple 140-Watt USB-C Power Adapter
One thing that Apple didn’t really talk about at its Mac event is its new adapter ever, which is the most powerful one it’s ever made. The 140-watt USB-C wall adapter ships with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro and uses gallium nitride (GaN) technology, which it to fit more power in a smaller package; when paired with the new USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable, it can give the new MacBook Pro a 50-percent charge in just 30 minutes. For those interested, Apple is going to also sell this wall adapter separately for $99.
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