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Cat S62 Pro rugged Android phone gets a US release price

Cat Phone’s ruggedized S62 Pro smartphone has arrived in the US, offering a tougher option if you’re prone to dropping devices or smashing screens. Announced last year, the new Android handset packs midrange specifications into a seriously resilient casing, without necessarily looking like a rubber brick at the same time.

On the front there’s a 5.7-inch display running at 1080p resolution, while inside there’s a Snapdragon 660 chipset paired with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage. It’s running Android 10 out of the box, with an Android 11 update in the pipeline and three years of security patches.

There’s a 4,000 mAh battery – smaller than the 4,500 mAh pack in the old Cat S61, but Cat says it should still last for 1-2 days of general use – and a microSD slot. No 5G, but you do get 4G LTE Cat 13, and unlike the old phone the S62 Pro has a fingerprint sensor. For the camera, the 12-megapixel sensor is from Sony’s line-up, with an f/1.8 lens.

Of course, that’s not the only sensor the phone puts on the back. There’s a new FLIR Lepton 3.5 thermal camera sensor, with four times the number of thermal pixels – 19,200 versus 4,800 – compared to the old Cat S61. That helps the Cat S62 Pro with a 30-percent improvement in thermal camera sharpness, and a 10-percent wider field of view.

A new MyFLIR Pro app includes “hottest” and “coldest” markets, image annotation, isotherms, and custom alarms. It can also be used to highlight particular areas of interest, and then produce a PDF for distribution. By tweaking the MSX and VividIR image processing it’s possible to pull out a lot more detail from the end shot, Cat says.

While offering a bigger screen than the S61, the S62 Pro is actually slightly thinner and lighter. It complies with MIL-SPEC-810H, for thermal ranges between -25°C (-13°F) to 55°C (131°F) for up to 24 hours, resistance to humidity and salt mist, and Category 4 vibration testing. Cat says you can drop the phone repeatedly, onto steel, from almost six feet up, and it’ll survive: even if it lands on the side or a corner.

There’s IP68 and IP69 ingress protection from water, with the S62 Pro handling up to 1.5 meters of water for 35 minutes, and the display gets Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection. Cat even recesses that toughened glass between a protective ridge, for even more resilience, and the body is fully settled with waterproof connectors, a metal frame, and non-slip rubberized TPU rear housing.

If it’s COVID-19 or similar you’re worried about, you can wash the S62 Pro with soap and detergents, alcohol wipes and other disinfectants, and it’ll even hold up to bleach and other common chemicals.

Clearly, this isn’t the phone for everybody, but if your life or work takes you into challenging environments – or you’re just plain clumsy – then the Cat S62 Pro seems to offer the benefits associated with ruggedized devices yet without a lot of the chunky, ugly drawbacks we’ve come to assume of them. It’ll be available in April 2023 in the US, unlocked, priced at $699.

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Doogee S98 Pro Review: Rugged Handsome

Pros

Solid battery life

Great cameras including night vision and thermal

Tough IP69K protection

Affordable

Cons

Chunky

No 5G

60Hz refresh rate

Our Verdict

An excellent mid-range phone packed into a tough shell and sold at an impressively low price given its feature set. It may look like it could double as a house brick, but it’s actually very comfortable to hold and offers the kind of performance that blow the majority of rugged devices out of the water.

Best Prices Today: Doogee S98 Pro

Retailer

Price

£352.58

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Doogeemall

$439.99

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Doogee makes modern rugged phones and the S98 Pro is the latest model. It’s bulky and calls to mind what science-fiction movies from the 90s would have imagined a smartphone to look like.

It offers solid performance, good battery life, and an impressively bright display – even if it is an LCD. It’s also impressively built, with a tough outer shell and a Gorilla Glass display.

Then there are its cameras. The standard 48Mp sensor is sharp enough, but the additional night vision one is great – and can be used for thermal imaging, too.

If all of this sounds good to you, then you’ll be pleased to know that at around £350/$439, the Doogee S98 Pro is impressively affordable, and it should last you a while too since, not only is it tough, it’s running Android 12 right out of the box.

Design & Build

15.5mm

320g

IP68 and IP69K protection ratings

The Doogee S98 Pro looks an awful lot like the S98 that launched earlier this year – it’s bulky, with a ridged back that makes it surprisingly comfortable to hold with one hand. On the back, you’ll find a 48Mp main camera and a 20Mp Night Vision camera, both from Sony, positioned centrally. Doogee says it’s alien-inspired design features the camera bump as the alien’s head and the lenses as the eyes.

It’s also got a sizeable 6.3in LCD display with a ‘teardrop’ camera notch at the top that houses a 16Mp snapper that supports facial recognition. While the bezels are pretty thin, the ridges around the display’s edges make it tough to notice, while there’s a subtle hexagonal shape to the phone’s outer case.

Lloyde Coombes /Foundry

On the left-hand side, there’s SIM card slot with room for additional storage, as well as a customisable button that’s raised slightly and easy to find whichever way you’re holding the phone. On the right, there’s a volume rocker, a lock/sleep button that doubles as the on/off button, and a subtle fingerprint scanner if you’d prefer that to unlock with your face (for example, if you’re often wearing a mask).

On the bottom, there’s a flap that’s pretty tough to get into (which is kind of the point), with a USB-C port inside. All of this, combined with something Doogee calls an “anti-explosion film” helps the S98 Pro hit the water and dust-proof rating of IP68 and IP69K – the highest rating you can get including protection against high-temperature pressure jets.

Curiously, though, the phone comes bundled with an additional case that covers the corners and not a lot else. That could be an indication that it’s perhaps not as tough in those spots, but I wasn’t about to throw it against a wall.

It’s no surprise that the S98 Pro is thick and heavy, but some of the weight is due to the huge 6000mAh battery – more on that later. Still, 320g is a decent amount lighter than the Doogee S88 Pro.

Screen & Speakers

6.3in LCD

2400×1080

Mono speaker

While we’ve seen more affordable phones stretch to as big as 6.7in displays, the 6.3-inch panel on the S98 Pro is much better than you’d find on the likes of the Moto G22.

It’s impressively bright at 480 nits, even in direct sunlight, and it’s great for watching movies or TV shows – I enjoyed an episode of Kenobi on it just fine, with the Full HD+ resolution feeling just right for a phone at this price point. Viewing angles are decent, too, helped by solid contrast, and while this is an LCD screen as opposed to an OLED one, it never feels too dull. There’s a pixel density of 409ppi, which actually gets it close to iPhone 13 Pro levels, too.

You’ll also have to be ok with a standard 60Hz refresh rate here as Doogee hasn’t been able to fit anything higher for the price here.

Lloyde Coombes /Foundry

It’s also worth noting that, in line with its “rugged” ambitions, the screen is composed of Corning Gorilla Glass which makes it a tough customer – though Doogee doesn’t state what version. I chose not to take a hammer or anything similar to my review unit, but between the strengthened glass and the sizeable ridges that surround the display, it’s nice to know that the S98 Pro will be tough enough to take on whatever the world throws at it.

In fact, the only issue I have with using the S98 Pro as a multimedia device is that it lacks stereo speakers, although I do concede that the speakers it does have, at the bottom, are plenty loud and offer a solid soundstage.

Specs & Performance

MediaTek Helio G96

8GB RAM

256GB storage

Often, when a phone is designed for a very specific market (say, users that need their phone to be protected from the elements), performance can suffer as manufacturers take a ‘that’ll do’ approach. I’m very pleased to report that the S98 Pro is not such a case, and offers genuinely good performance thanks to its 8-core Helio G96 processor, as found in the Infinix Note 12 G96.

Lloyde Coombes /Foundry

I ran our usual series of benchmarks and hit a multi-core score on Geekbench 5 of 1690 – it’s not flagship material, but it’ll run a solid number of apps at once, backed up by 8GB of RAM.

I did get some stutter when playing the latest Diablo Immortal release, though, so hardcore gamers will want to look elsewhere. Interestingly, the Doogee offers a Game Turbo app that can help eke out additional performance.

If you keep a lot of photos and files on your device, though, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s 256GB of built-in storage, as well as support for additional storage up to 512GB via a microSD card (not included).

Cameras

48Mp main camera

20Mp night vision camera

Thermal imaging camera

16Mp selfie camera

Firstly, an apology – when heading out to test the S98 Pro’s cameras, I didn’t realise that there was a (bizarre) setting that added a Doogee watermark to each image until I was looking back at them the next day. Consider this a note to any prospective buyer to deactivate that in the settings immediately.

Still, once you get over that caveat, there’s a lot to like here. The main camera offers HDR support, while the night vision camera is ideal if you’re looking for, well, night vision on your phone. 

Lloyde Coombes /Foundry

Mid-range phones can often be undone by more complex light, such as the image of the figurine in the shadow of a room, but here, the S98 Pro adjusts well while maintaining detail. It can, however, have a little trouble finding focus in the foreground, as shown by the image of the figurine in front of the artwork.

Detail can be an issue with zoomed-in shots, though, as you can see from the image of the seagull where its face is completely obscured.

The selfie camera is solid, too, and picks up plenty of detail in average lighting conditions. The portrait mode is one of the better ones I’ve used in recent months when it comes to noting hair and ears, but the external background does get a little too blurred for my taste.

As for Night Vision, it’s excellent here and simply shows up in the camera menu alongside all of your more standard options. As you can see from the dusty keyboard I found at the back of a very dark cupboard, there’s an impressive amount of detail shown in shots.

Then there’s thermal imaging, which is accessed through a separate InfiRay app. As you can see, it’ll not only highlight the temperature of something, but it’ll mark it, too – I had no idea how warm my laptop’s docking station was getting!

Battery Life & Charging

6000mAh cell

33W PD fast charging

Adapter included

15W wireless charging

I took the Doogee on a few long walks to snap photos, used it as a way to catch up with social media and email, and played games on it and it gave me just over two days of battery life.

That’s thanks to its huge 6000mAh battery, but also likely down to a lack of 5G support as well as an LCD screen. Doogee says it can last up to three days, and with a little less playing around with the thermal camera, I got to around two and a half days with ease.

Lloyde Coombes /Foundry

Our usual PC Mark Work 3.0 test hit 13 hours and 33 minutes, which seems a little low considering the large capacity here and in the general mid-range market it’s solid but rivals like the Nokia XR20 and Motorola Defy went much longer in this test (see the benchmark chart above).

Fast-charging is supported, too, so you can top that sizeable battery up relatively quickly. I got it to just over 20% in 15 minutes, and 46% in half an hour. The charger in the box is a 33W PD (power delivery) fast-charger. There’s also wireless charging at a slower 15W speed, but this is rare for the mid-range.

Software & Apps

Android 12

A few Doogee additions

The Doogee S98 Pro offers Android 12 as standard, meaning you’ll get access to all of Google’s latest OS goodness, including the customisation features.

As you’d expect, all of Google’s stock apps are here, as well as Google Assistant, and everything is nice and responsive throughout. In fact, the only place we spotted even a modicum of slowdown was when opening the camera app,

In line with its rugged ambitions, there’s an app bundle called Outdoor Toolkit that includes a compass, alarm, protractor, and more, making it a handy device to have on a toolbelt. Aside from that and the aforementioned Game Turbo app, there’s little in the way of bloat here.

Lloyde Coombes /Foundry

There’s also the option to hide or show the software “navigation” buttons at the bottom of the screen. I was fine toggling them off, but many users will undoubtedly want to keep them on the screen for quick access to the home screen. As with any modern Android phone, you can switch to gesture-based controls, too, so that a swipe brings you to your home screen while holding opens multitasking.

Doogee doesn’t make any promises about OS updates but I imagine the phone will at least get Android 13.

Price & Availability

The S98 Pro is rolling out globally with a price of US$439.99. It’s only available in black and you can buy it from Doogeemall for that RRP, though it says it’s $160 off which does not match with the RRP given to us.

The phone is also available via AliExpress for around £350, which is slighter cheaper if you convert the $439.99. The regular S98 is available from Amazon UK so hopefully the Pro will be added soon.

Check out more options in our chart of the best rugged phones.

Verdict

Doogee’s S98 Pro is an excellent option for anyone looking for a phone that’s tough enough to withstand water, dust, and anything else thrown at it (maybe even explosions), but it’s also much more than that.

It’s a great Android 12 device with some very cool cameras, impressive battery life, and a bright display, and it’s easy to recommend at this price point – as long as you don’t need 5G.

Specs

Android 12

6.3in LCD, Full HD+ (2340×1080), 60Hz

MediaTek Helio G96 octa-core processor

8GB RAM

256GB UFS 2.2 strorage

MicroSD card slot (up to 512GB)

48Mp main, f/1.8, Sony IMX582

20Mp night vision, f/1.8, Sony IMX350

Thermal camera

16Mp front camera, f/2, Samsung S5K3P9SP

Side mounted fingerprint scanner

11ac dual-band Wi-Fi

3G/4G

Bluetooth 5.1

NFC

GPS

USB-C

6000mAh battery

33W charging

15W wireless charging

172 x 82 x 15.5mm

320g

IP68/IP69K

Classic black

Us Special Forces Will Soon Get Support From A Rugged New Aircraft

On August 1, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) announced that the next plane in its inventory would be a single-engine prop aircraft. SOCOM will buy up to 75 AT-802U Sky Warden planes, built by L3Harris Technologies and Air Tractor. These planes will support special operations forces, like Delta Force or Navy SEALs, as they fight irregular wars.

The name of this program is “Armed Overwatch.” The contract announcement says it “will provide Special Operations Forces deployable, affordable, and sustainable crewed aircraft systems fulfilling close air support, precision strike, and armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, requirements in austere and permissive environments for use in irregular warfare operations in support of the National Defense Strategy.”

Irregular warfare is a broad term that is easier to define by what it doesn’t include. Regular warfare is when the uniformed soldiers of one nation fight the uniformed soldiers of another. These conflicts usually involve the whole range of conventional military forces, from rifles through tanks and artillery to fighter jets and bombers. Irregular warfare, by contrast, involves fighting against insurgencies, rebellions, and tracking down people linked to terror operations. It can also involve helping other countries’ militaries do the same.

For example, in 2003, the US invaded Iraq with a conventional war, which lasted until the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s military. Armed resistance afterwards to the American military and to the new government of Iraq became irregular warfare, and to this day the US deploys forces in the country to assist in training Iraq’s military in irregular warfare. 

For SOCOM’s purposes, a plane that can support special operations forces doesn’t need to survive in a sky filled with hostile fighter jets or when the enemy brings dedicated anti-aircraft vehicles to the battle. Instead, what is most important is that the plane can fly easily, shoot what it needs to shoot, as well as take off and land if need be on rough runways and cleared fields, instead of dedicated airbases.

[Related: Navy SEALs could get new airborne backup. Here’s what the planes look like.]

Those characteristics, that rugged versatility, are likely why the Sky Warden won out over the four other planes SOCOM considered for the contract last summer. The contract initially awards $170 million, or about the price of two F-35A stealth jets, with a ceiling of $3 billion for the full fleet. L3Harris said in a statement that production will begin in 2023, for the initial lot of six Sky Wardens. 

“We want to deliver game-changing, modular solutions to U.S. special operators for their hardest missions, and Sky Warden does just that,” Christopher E. Kubasik, CEO of L3Harris, said in a statement.

“Armed Overwatch” is a role that involves both scouting for targets and attacking enemies on the ground. While SOCOM considered planes that could also perform a transport role for the special operators, the Sky Warden is built to scout and to attack. To that end, the Sky Warden can carry over 8,000 lbs of payload while armored. The wings can carry a range of weapons, from 500-pound bombs to small missiles to sensor pods, and the center of the aircraft can host two heavier systems as well. The wing station can fit a gun, like a .50-caliber machine gun or a 20mm cannon. With a full load of sensors and weapons, the plane can take off on a runway of just 1,400 feet, and it can land on one 1,200 feet long. The tandem cockpit seats two pilots.

The AT-802 (note the lack of a “U,” which denotes the latest variant, the AT-802U, that SOCOM is getting) first flew in 1990, where its rugged airframe and heavy payload capacity made it an ideal crop duster. As a crop duster, the plane was used to spray crops on counter-narcotics missions, an action that sometimes saw the planes shot at by farmers defending their crops. “Years of coca crop eradication missions in South America resulted in the development of lightweight composite ballistic armor for the AT-802U cockpit ‘bathtub’ and engine compartment,” notes the Air Tractor page for the plane.

In other words, SOCOM is getting a plane with crop duster origins, and one that can be used for the military missions of special operators. The Sky Warden is armored against attack, provided the enemy it is facing is armed mostly with small arms, like machine guns and rifles.

This was a concern 13 years ago, when the Air Force announced a plan to purchase 100 such planes in 2009. Skeptics of the Air Force’s 2009 plan for a light attack plane similar to the Sky Warden noted at the time that insurgent forces could get portable and effective anti-air weapons that could threaten the aircraft. With the award of the Armed Overwatch contract this week, former Popular Science contributor Peter W. Singer, now a fellow at New America, revisited an article he wrote that year, tweeting, “And note, since writing that in 2009, the cropduster [Sky Warden-style plane] has not improved, while both the enemy capabilities and the unmanned alternative has obviously drastically improved.”

As nations like Germany and the United States offload old anti-air missiles to Ukraine for use in its war against Russia, the possibility exists that some of these weapons will make their way onto the black market. While old anti-air missiles may struggle against modern jets or be overkill for modern drones, they are perfectly suited for attacking planes like the Sky Warden. As SOCOM makes a big bet on how to fight irregular wars from the sky, it is also gambling that the enemies it finds will lack anti-air weapons, even as war makes those weapons more available. 

Correction on August 3: This story has been updated to correct a typo that referred to the F-35 fighter jet as an F-25.

Oneplus Nord 2T Release Date, Price & Specs

churns out phones like nobody’s business these days but the new midrange OnePlus Nord 2T is a key release for the company.

The phone was officially launched on 13 May 2023 although several details were officially leaked by OnePlus in the run up to that date including the design and processor.

The Nord 2T looks like a modest upgrade on 2023’s OnePlus Nord 2 but has a couple of features that match the £799 OnePlus 10 Pro, meaning it should be a solid Android option if you don’t want to spend big on a smartphone.

It’s also the first Nord phone to adopt the firm’s ‘T’ branding for an updated version of its phones. This usually applies to the top of the range OnePlus phones since the 3 and 3T in 2023, though there was never a 9T launched.

If you want to spend even less on a new phone, OnePlus also announced a £279/€299 OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G.

When will the OnePlus Nord 2T be released?

The OnePlus Nord 2T is available to buy now from the official OnePlus website.

How much does the OnePlus Nord 2T cost?

The OnePlus Nord 2T costs £369 in the UK for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage model, while the 12GB RAM/256GB model costs £469. Both are available in the grey shadow (black) and jade fog (green) colours.

The cheaper model is £30 less than the £399 OnePlus Nord 2, a nice discount. The £469 pricing for the higher end version is the same.

OnePlus has said in Europe Nord 2T prices start from €399 for the 8GB/128GB model and from €499 for the 12GB/256GB model.

Rumour has it the handset will come to India, one of OnePlus’ biggest markets, in June, but it’s not yet confirmed.

What are the OnePlus Nord 2T specs?

The Nord 2T packs in the MediaTek Dimensity 1300 processor, an upgrade on the Dimensity 1200 in the Nord 2.

The two models have either 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, which is non expandable, but there are two nano SIM slots.

The camera specs are practically identical to the Nord 2 with the Sony IMX766 sensor used for the 50Mp f1/9 main camera, which has optical image stabilisation (OIS). There’s also an 8Mp f2/3 ultrawide and a 2Mp f/2.4 mono lens.

OnePlus says the set up paired with the Dimensiy 1300 means better night photography, and the ability to record slo-mo video at up to 960fps.

Pleasingly, the 32Mp selfie camera is the same sensor found on the OnePlus 10 Pro. There’s also the familiar and excellent alert slider for quickly setting the phone to silent, vibrate, or ring.

The Nord 2T’s 6.43in AMOLED display refreshes at 90Hz, a slight shame as other midrange phones are managing 120Hz for the price or less. Even the Nord CE 2 Lite has a 120Hz display, though it’s an LCD not an OLED.

Possibly the best upgrade here is the 80W wired fast charging for the 4,500mAh battery (there’s no wireless charging). This is the same speed as the OnePlus 10 Pro and faster than the 65W speeds of the original Nord 2.

80W promises to charge the phone from 0% to 100% in 27 minutes. We’ll put that to the test in our full review. The charging tech is now called SuperVOOC, the same as Oppo, following OnePlus merging with Oppo recently. Both companies are owned by BBK Electronics, who also owns Vivo and Realme.

OnePlus is shipping the Nord 2T with Oxygen OS 12.1 based on Android 12 but again, this is closely modelled on Oppo’s ColorOS post-merger. While it still maintains some of the OnePlus aesthetic, OxygenOS is now ColorOS but re-skinned.

There’s a promise of two Android platform updates and three years of security updates. Good to have, but pales in comparison to Samsung’s four years of Android and five years of security for an increasing number of its phones.

Wyze Video Doorbell Pro Review: A Decent Doorbell At A Discount Price

Wyze Labs, the company behind the Video Doorbell Pro, was started in Seattle, in 2023 by three former Amazon employees. The trio decided to start building smart gadgets after spotting two problems with the smart gadgets already on the market: firstly, they were too expensive; and secondly, they weren’t that smart.

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The three Wyze men set out to remedy that by, in their words, making “great technology accessible to everyone”. They began with the Wyze Cam, which they sold in the US for $19.99 (approx. £15) and went on to create a full range of home products, featuring everything from smart light bulbs and vacuum cleaners to smart thermostats and bathroom scales, and this smart video doorbell.

Before we get into the specifics of the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro, I have a confession to make: I fail to see a genuine need for most smart devices, especially when they’re white goods. Call me a Luddite but I don’t accept that the addition of an internet connection necessarily makes any device more useful, least of all a doorbell. And the last thing I need is one that sends me notifications, followed by a video, every time next door’s cat strolls by. All of which is to say that the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro is going to have its work cut out winning me over.

That said, I have, on occasion, come home to find Amazon packages left by my front door, in full view of anyone who happens to be passing by. And while it’s not the end of the world when it’s a few quids’ worth of used books, it’s another matter altogether when it’s hundreds of pounds of brand-new computer or audio equipment.

So, let’s see if the folks that used to work for Amazon have made a device that solves the problem their former employer is largely responsible for creating.

Set-up and installation

Set-up is easy and takes minutes (if you opt for the wi-fi installation – it may take a little longer if you want to wire the doorbell into your home’s electricity system). Pretty much everything you need is supplied in the box. except for one key item: a three-pin UK plug. Specifically, one that’s also an adapter for a two-pin US plug.

You need one of these to plug in the Wyze Chime Pro, which acts as a wi-fi extender and the internal chime for the doorbell. The Chime Pro needs to be paired to the doorbell and your home wi-fi system, and plugged in somewhere within nine metres (30 feet) of the doorbell.

Besides that, the only other things you need to do are download the Wyze app (from either Apple’s App Store or Google Play), create an account (which you can do for free), and then sync the doorbell and chime to your phone.

The app is simple enough to navigate and although it does initially appear to insist that you set up a subscription (albeit one with a free trial period), you can override the suggestion to run the basic, fully free, option.

If you don’t like the idea of drilling into your doorframes to hang the doorbell, double-sided adhesive strips are supplied so you can stick it on instead. Beyond that the only other point worth mentioning concerns recharging the doorbell’s battery.

A recharging cable is supplied but it has a micro USB jack on the doorbell end and a plain-old standard Micro-USB on the other end. Which is fine if you’ve got a computer with a spare USB socket, but if not, you’re going to need another three-pin plug – this time one with a USB socket to plug the doorbell and recharging cable into.

Wyze says the doorbell’s battery will last up to six months between charges and it does come already charged (to about 50 per cent if the model I had is anything to go by), so you at least have some time to make arrangements before it runs out and you’re back to relying on people actually knocking on your door (the horror).

Design

The Video Doorbell Pro is sleek looking. It’s a nice chunky unit (approx. 140 x 45 x 30mm – although it will stand out a little prouder than 30mm with the mounting plate) that has friendly-looking round bevelled edges (think first-generation iPod but with less chrome).

The more you live with it, however, the more you notice its plasticy appearance. Which is all well and good if you’ve got a modern UPVC front door that’s white, but might clash somewhat if you’ve got a more traditionally styled, and coloured, timber door (especially so if your home has an older architectural style). Some alternative colours or options in terms of materials would be nice.

The Wyze app though is really user-friendly, almost to the point of being foolproof. Once you’ve paired your doorbell to your phone, it appears on the app’s home screen and tapping on it shows you live footage of what it’s seeing, as well as the option to scroll back through the clips it recorded earlier.

Features

A blue light, around the bell button, comes on when the doorbell detects movement, letting visitors know where to push to alert you to their presence (and to give them fair warning that they’re on camera).

The camera’s ultra-wide-view lens does a good job of capturing most of the scene around your door, so even if you don’t get a chance to talk to any delivery people, provided they don’t drop the package at the foot of your door (or directly beneath the doorbell), you can generally see if one has been left. There’s also an angled back-plate to give the camera a better view of the area around your front door – useful if your door’s not dead centre or you live in a terrace and you want less of your neighbour’s entrance in view.

There is a little lag on the audio and video, but only enough to occasionally make for a little conversational awkwardness. And as far as I can tell, it takes only 10 seconds for a notification if a doorbell press to reach your phone (notifications of activity can take a few seconds longer).

The footage defaults to a square-view format but you have the option to make it full screen in a vertical orientation (although flip your phone to landscape and it switches to full screen automatically). You can also control the mic on the doorbell, take still images, change the volume and ‘ringtone’ of the chime, and generally fiddle around with the device to your heart’s content, quickly and easily, all from your phone.

There’s also a surprisingly clear night-vision mode that lets you see any visitors who may come calling after dark.

Stick with the free service model and the notifications you get are pretty basic: “Motion detected on front door at [time]” or “Hello, someone is calling you”, if the source of the motion actually presses the doorbell. Opt for a subscription package (starting at £2.99 per month or £17.99 per year) and you get more specific notifications that make use of the smart doorbell ability to recognise the source of the activity: “Package detected…” or “Person detected…” for example.

Verdict

Wyse’s Video Doorbell Pro is pretty good. It does a decent job, it’s a doddle to use and it’s cheaper than its major rivals. Is it good enough to convince me to buy one? No. Which isn’t to say there’s anything particularly bad about it, just that I wasn’t in the market for a smart doorbell to begin with and this hasn’t changed my mind.

That said, the lack of a three-pin plug does leave me thinking this version of it is the one meant for the US market and making it available in the UK is more of a ‘let’s go for broke’ afterthought than a considered ‘what will we need to do this right’ strategy.

But the real question is, will it stop anyone walking off with your unattended deliveries when you’re not at home to receive them? If you can open the app quick enough and get through to the delivery person in time, maybe. But Amazon drivers are under pressure and typically in a hurry. From experience, they’re under so much pressure that I barely have time to get to the door and collect my parcels by hand when I am home.

A simpler, possibly more effective alternative (if you have the space) might be an old-fashioned lockable parcel safe, which you can pick up for about the same price as a smart doorbell. Also, you’ll never have to recharge a parcel safe, so it doesn’t matter what plugs and sockets you don’t have.

Alternatives Wyze Cam Floodlight

If you’re more worried about nocturnal intruders than parcels being left unattended on your doorstep, then perhaps you should consider the Wyze Cam Floodlight. It has many similar features to the Video Doorbell Pro (motion-detector activation, HD video, night vision and two-way audio), but also includes a pair of 2,600-lumen LED lights and a 105dB siren so you can see whoever, or whatever, is prowling around your property after dark (and, if needs, be alert the entire neighbourhood to their presence.

The Cam Floodlight does more than just pick up movement and illuminate it, though; its camera records the activity and sends the footage directly to your smartphone so you can see what’s going on, without having to scrabble around for your slippers.

Wyze Cam v3

If it’s the inside of your home, rather than the outside, that you want to keep an eye on (whether it’s a baby sleeping in another room or a pet left home alone), the Wyze Cam v3 is up to the job.

Install it anywhere in your home, pair it to your phone or tablet and when it detects any sort of movement, the Cam v3 will let you know and show you what’s happening.

It also has two-way audio so if you need to sing a crying baby to sleep but can’t leave the pots on the cooker unattended, you’re in luck. Colour night vision and weather-resistant casing means the Cam v3 can also work outdoors as a security camera.

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Honor Magic Vs Release Date Window, Specs & Price

Honor Magic Vs release date window, specs & price

When does the Honor Magic Vs come out? Plus the latest specifications and pricing info

If you’re looking for the latest Honor Magic Vs release date, Honor Magic Vs specs, and Honor Magic Vs price info then read below!

While Samsung was fearless enough to introduce the foldable technology to the market, it seems the Chinese counterparts are quickly catching up. The Honor Magic Vs is the successor to the Honor Magic V.

In terms of looks and design, this foldable smartphone can give Samsung foldable a run for its money. The company has already launched the device in the Chinese market and is expected to hit the European market soon. Here’s what we know about its release date. 

The Honor Magic Vs was launched in China on November 23rd, 2023, and went on sale in China on November 30th. 

At the MWC Barcelona in February 2023, the company announced a bunch of new products, along with the flagship Honor Magic 5 Pro. The company also announced a European launch for the Honor Magic Vs.

Although we don’t have an actual date at the moment for the international release, it’s likely that it will hit the shelves at the same time as the Honor Magic 5 Pro, and our current best estimate for the release date of this phone is sometime in May.

Honor Magic Vs specs

The Honor Magic Vs is similar to its predecessor in terms of design. There’s a punch-hole camera on the foldable display, and the secondary screen is also on the larger side, with a punch-hole camera of its own. The Magic Vs also has an excellent hinge design with any gap that creates less of a crease on the foldable screen. 

Display: OLED panel

Screen Size: 7.9-inch foldable screen, 90 Hz, peak brightness up to 800 nits. The exterior display is a 6.45-inch, 120 Hz, and up to 1,200 nits. 

Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

RAM: 8GB/12GB

Storage: 256GB/512GB

Camera: A tiple-camera setup on the back, leading with a 54 MP f/1.9 primary sensor, a 50 MP f/2.0 ultra-wide sensor with a 122-degree field of view, and an 8 MP f/2.4 telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom.

There’s also a 16 MP f/2.45 camera on the secondary display. However, Honor hasn’t mentioned anything about a selfie camera. 

Battery: 5,000 mAh, 66W

Dimensions: 141.5 x 6.1mm when unfolded and 72.6 x 12.9mm when folded shut.

Weight: 261g

OS: MagicOS 7.0 based on Android 12. 

Honor Magic Vs price info

The Chinese pricing of Honor Magic Vs starts around $1,050 / £880 for the base variant. However, the company has revealed European pricing; unsurprisingly, the pricing outside China is higher. The Magic Vs retails for €1,599 in Europe (around $1,700).

Honor Magic Vs FAQs

Is the Honor Magic Vs the first foldable from Honor?

No, the Honor Magic Vs is the successor of the Honor Magic V.

Is Honor a Chinese brand?

Yes, Honor is a Chinese brand. Honor was founded as a Huawei sub-brand, but in 2023, the company was sold to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology, a state-owned company. It was done to ensure its then parent company, Huawei’s survival due to US sanctions against them.

You should now be fully up to speed on the most current Honor Magic Vs release date, Honor Magic Vs specs, and Honor Magic Vs price info. Do have a look at our other phone and Android guides and news pieces whilst you’re here.

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