Lenovo has announced a new range specifically for its PC accessories line predicting that the new ‘hybrid model’ is the future. The company is calling it Lenovo Go and the range will include products made for better mobile productivity, while keeping a hybrid workforce ecosystem in mind. The announced accessories in the Lenovo Go range are the Lenovo Go USB Type-C Laptop Power Bank and Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse. The power bank offers a capacity of 20,000mAh.
The Lenovo Go USB Type-C Laptop Power Bank is priced starting at $89.99 (roughly Rs. 6,600) and will be available from June 2021. On the other hand, the Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse is priced at $59.99 (roughly Rs. 4,400) and will also be available sometime next month. The company also teases the arrival of audio products, with the company hinting at a new pair of headphones on the company site.
The Lenovo Go USB Type-C Laptop Power Bank has 20,000mAh capacity with a 65-watt power output. The company claims that it takes about 3 hours to fully charge the power bank and it enables you to simultaneously charge up to 3 devices via dual USB Type-C ports and one USB Type-A port. The dual USB Type-C capabilities can also charge up to 2 devices while recharging the power bank itself. The cable is fixed into the device itself eliminating the need to carry an extra cable.
Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse can be paired with up to 3 devices and users can switch between them easily with a push of a button. Beyond 3-device pairing, you can use a Lenovo Unified Pairing Receiver to connect other devices with one dongle. The company claims that it can be used on nearly any surface and rarely runs out of battery, thanks to its blue optical sensor on board. This mouse features an adjustable DPI sensitivity, a programmable utility button with shortcuts configured for TEAMS meetings by default. The Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse offers two months of use on a single 1.5 hours of charge, thanks to support for both wired USB Type-C and wireless Qi charging. Connectivity options include 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v5.
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The Mi 11X Pro could potentially be a disruptive phone in the market thanks to its hardware and aggressive price. It fits the definition of a flagship killer thanks to its top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and a 108-megapixel camera at a starting price of Rs 39,999. Naturally, this looks very appealing to those who care a lot about specifications. So does the Mi 11X Pro offer the kind of value for money that will make its competitors take notice? I’ve tested it to find out.
The base variant of the Mi 11X Pro is priced at Rs. 39,999 in India and has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The higher variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is priced at Rs. 41,999 which makes it only slightly more expensive. Xiaomi offers the Mi 11X Pro in the same three colours as the Mi 11X: Lunar White, Cosmic Black, and Celestial Silver.
The Mi 11X Pro looks identical to the Mi 11X (Review) and it would be hard to tell these two apart. The Mi 11X Pro sports a big 6.67-inch AMOLED display with thin bezels all around. Xiaomi has also tried to keep the size of the camera hole down, and I did not find it distracting. The Mi 11X Pro is slim and has curved sides which make it comfortable to hold. Its weight is manageable at 196g.
Xiaomi has used Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for the front and the back, which should be able to resist scratches to some extent. The frame of the Mi 11X is made out of polycarbonate, with the fingerprint scanner and volume buttons on the right side, I found these buttons to be well positioned. My thumb rested naturally on the fingerprint scanner while holding the Mi 11X Pro, which made unlocking it very easy. While the side-mounted fingerprint scanner is well placed, I am surprised to see Xiaomi not opting for an in-display one at this price level.
There are no buttons on the left of the frame. Xiaomi has gone with stereo speakers at the top and the bottom. An IR emitter is neatly integrated into one of the holes of the speaker grille at the top. The SIM tray, USB Type C port and main speaker are on the bottom. Xiaomi has made this smartphone IP53 dust and water-resistant, and there is a small rubber seal around the SIM tray to help keep water out.
You get a 4,520mAh battery on the Mi 11X Pro. Xiaomi bundles a 33W charger in the box and promises short charging times.
I had a Celestial Silver unit of the Mi 11X Pro, which has a gradient finish at the back and looks flashy. The phone did not pick up smudges very easily and I did not have to wipe it frequently. Apart from the colour, the one thing that did grab my attention very often was the big camera module at the back. It protrudes quite a bit, causing the device to rock when placed on a flat surface.
The Mi 11X Pro boasts of some impressive specifications. It has a full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz maximum refresh rate. This is an HDR10+ Samsung AMOLED panel with a peak brightness of 1300nits. The gorgeous display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Powering the Mi 11X Pro is the Snapdragon 888 processor, which is the best that Qualcomm has to offer right now. This processor is also seen in the Mi 11 Ultra (Review), OnePlus 9 series (Review) and the recently launched iQoo 7 Legend. Xiaomi has paired the Snapdragon 888 processor with 8GB of RAM, and you get to choose between 128GB and 256GB storage variants. Storage isn’t expandable, and given the small difference in the prices of the two variants, I would recommend that you pick the 256GB option.
The Mi 11X Pro is 5G-ready and has two Nano-SIM slots, it also has support for Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, dual 4G VoLTE, and six satellite navigation systems including our homegrown NavIC.
Xiaomi ships the Mi 11X Pro with MIUI 12 on top of Android 11. My unit was running MIUI 12.0.1 and had the April Android security patch which was the latest at the time of this review. The UI is similar to that of any other Xiaomi smartphone running MIUI 12, and there aren’t any major changes that stand out. Xiaomi still preloads a number of apps on the device and also suggests installing more bloat via GetApps during setup. The ‘Glance’ lockscreen carousel shows promotional content, and there’s an option to disable it during setup which I chose to do. I did notice some spammy notifications during the review period, which was annoying.
The Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro has a gorgeous AMOLED display, and watching content on it felt engaging. Thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate, scrolling was super smooth. Colours were punchy and I could tweak the output quite easily. I found the display to be bright enough outdoors and did not encounter any issue with sunlight legibility.
Xiaomi has gone with stereo speakers which do justice to the display. These speakers are loud enough to fill a small room but they didn’t sound very full. There is Dolby Atmos, and toggling this has a noticeable impact on audio. Xiaomi’s side-mounted fingerprint scanner is quick to unlock the smartphone and it never failed during the review period.
Considering the top-of-the-line hardware, benchmark scores weren’t surprising. In AnTuTu, the Mi 11X Pro managed 780,671 points which is almost as high as the Mi 11 Ultra’s score. In Geekbench 5’s single and multi-core tests, it managed 1,136 and 3,246 points respectively. The Mi 11X Pro also scored 113fps and 60fps in GFXBench’s T-Rex and Car Chase tests respectively.
Given the hardware, the Mi 11X Pro should be able to run every app and game on the Play Store. I played Call of Duty Mobile on the Mi 11X Pro and it defaulted to the Very High setting for graphics and the High preset for frame rate. I did bump the frame rate up to Very High and the game was still easily playable. I did not notice any slowdowns or stutters. I played for 20 minutes and noticed that the top half of the phone became slightly warm to the touch.
Battery life on the Mi 11X Pro was good and the phone lasted me for over a day very easily. In our HD video loop test, it managed to run for 14 hours and 53 minutes which is only slightly longer than what the Samsung Galaxy S21 (Review) managed. Xiaomi’s bundled 33W charger is quick to charge the Mi 11X Pro but the device tends to get hot in the process. The charger got the phone to 64 percent in 30 minutes and to 99 percent in an hour.
The Mi 11X Pro has a triple camera system with the highlight being a 108-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.75 aperture. There is also an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a 119-degree field of view, and a 5-megapixel “telemacro” camera with an f/2.4 aperture and 2X zoom. For selfies, the Mi 11X Pro has a 20-megapixel front camera with an f/2.45 aperture that sits in a tiny hole on the display. The Mi camera app remains unchanged from what we’ve seen before, and switching between different shooting modes is easy. Switching to the Macro camera toggle is still a two-step process and I think it might be hard for people to find this option. Xiaomi should have listed it as a mode with all the others instead.
The Mi 11X Pro was quick to lock focus and the AI could detect what I had the camera pointed towards. Photos taken with the Mi 11X Pro in daylight were good. It captures details quite well though I wish it had better dynamic range. It also seems that this smartphone sharpens photos in post-processing, causing some loss in quality in the shadows. Photos are saved at 12-megapixels by default, but you do have the option to shoot at the full 108-megapixel resolution. These shots were not as bright as the pixel-binned 12-megapixel ones, but had better details on magnifying later.
The ultra-wide angle camera doesn’t offer the same kind of quality, but you can capture a very wide field of view which could help when shooting tricky compositions. The output did have some distortion at the edges.
Close-up shots taken with the Mi 11X Pro had good colour reproduction and the phone managed to capture textures quite well. Portraits had good edge detection and I could set the level of blur before taking a shot. The “telemacro” camera is a good addition, as it lets people take macros without going too close to the subject.
Low-light shots were decent, and the Mi 11X Pro does a good job of keeping noise under control. There is no unnecessary sharpening here. Shots taken in the Night mode were brighter with better details in the shadows. The ultra-wide angle camera did not fare well in low light and is better left unused in such situations.
Selfies turned out well but these are softened since beautification is enabled by default. I did shoot selfies in portrait mode too, and these had good edge detection. Selfies taken at night also turned out well enough.
Video recording tops out at 8K 30fps for the primary camera and 1080p 60fps for the selfie camera. Footage was well stabilised at 1080p as well as 4K, in daylight though low-light footage had a visible shimmer effect. The camera app has a dual-video feature that lets you shoot using the primary and the selfie cameras simultaneously. This might be useful for vloggers, but footage from the selfie camera didn’t seem stabilised.
Xiaomi seems to have taken a page out of OnePlus’ book and has come up with a flagship killer. The company has not skimped on hardware. In fact, the Mi 11X Pro is better equipped than the OnePlus 9R when it comes to the performance that they offer for the same price.
Apart from the Snapdragon 888 processor, the Mi 11X Pro also offers an excellent AMOLED display, stereo speakers, decent cameras, and an IP53 rating. The UI is one place that could do with some polish and thankfully, MIUI 12.5 which should reduce clutter and promotions, has already been announced.. Xiaomi could have offered faster charging just like the competition to sweeten the deal further.
For those looking for a powerful smartphone priced at around Rs. 40,000 the Mi 11X Pro will offer a lot of value. Given the small difference in price between the two variants, I would recommend going for the one with more storage. For those looking at better software support, the OnePlus 9R (Review) still makes sense given OnePlus’ track record. The similarly specced iQoo 7 Legend could be another alternative to the Mi 11X Pro.
Lenovo Yoga Pad Pro is being teased by the company as an upcoming tablet that doubles as a portable display. Lenovo shared a few posters for the Yoga Pad Pro on Chinese microblogging website Weibo, hinting at some of its functions as well as its unique stand design. The Yoga Pad Pro supports stylus with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and has slim bezels on three sides. As of now, the company has not shared a release date for the Yoga Pad Pro.
Through a series of posts on Weibo, Lenovo has teased its upcoming tablet that has a few different usages thanks to its unique stand design and HDMI in port. The Yoga Pad Pro has a slim profile overall with a thick rounded bar at the bottom. This bar houses the HDMI port that, as per one of the posts by Lenovo, allows the tablet to be used as a display for gaming or extending your setup. This makes the tablet quite versatile.
There is also a slim stand on the back that can be used to prop up the Yoga Pad Pro in various angles and in one of the posts, Lenovo shows it can be used to hang the tablet to use it in the kitchen or other such scenarios. The tablet can be used for sketching as well, as it supports a new smaller stylus with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. There are three ports on the right side, one of which is the HDMI in port.
As of now, Lenovo has not shared any information on the release date, pricing, or availability for the Yoga Pad Pro. It will be unveiled in China first and at this point, it is unclear if the company will release the tablet in other markets.
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WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will suggest stickers based on the words you type, according to a report. The new feature is said to be currently under development and it could be made available to both Android and iOS users. Some references suggesting how the sticker suggestion feature could work have surfaced online. It is also said to be initially limited to WhatsApp’s native sticker collections. Companies including Apple and Google already offer contextual emoji and sticker suggestions to their users.
The new feature will analyse the first word you type in the chat bar to suggest relevant stickers, WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo reports. The source has also provided a screenshot and a video that suggests the default sticker icon in the textbox would flash to notify users when a sticker suggestion is available. Users would just need to tap the flashed sticker icon to view the suggestions, as shown in the video.
WhatsApp is reportedly testing the new feature for its in-house sticker collections at this moment. Nevertheless, we can expect it to be available for third-party stickers as well. It could also be expanded to emojis over time.
The sticker suggestion feature is not yet available even to beta testers. It is, thus, safe to expect that it would not be available for experience anytime soon.
Having said that, the reported details suggest that WhatsApp is working on growing the usage of stickers and emojis on its platform.
WhatsApp introduced stickers on its platform in October 2018. Since then, it has made several moves to convince more users to send stickers via the app. The Facebook-owned company enabled support for third-party stickers, allowed users to create their personalised stickers, and even introduced a search bar to find stickers. Last year, WhatsApp also brought animated stickers to enhance the experience.
Similar to WhatsApp’s ongoing development, Apple has offered predictive emoji support to iOS users to let them send emojis instead of simple text messages. Google’s Gboard also has had artificial intelligence (AI) based emoji and sticker suggestions since late 2018.
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Sony seems to have discontinued its A-mount DSLR cameras and is focusing on mirrorless cameras, going by the listings on its own website and a leading photography e-commerce website. Sony launched its last A-mount DSLR camera – the A99 Mark II – back in 2016 which has now been removed from the official website. Along with the A99 Mark II, the Sony A68 and A77 Mark II have also been removed, but no announcements have been made about this so far.
Sony is among the top players when it comes to mirrorless or A-mount DSLR cameras. Having launched the flagship Sony A99 Mark II DSLR camera in 2016, it seems to have taken a backseat since then, but has added several new mirrorless cameras to its portfolio. Sony Alpha Rumours was first to notice that the company no longer lists the Sony A99 Mark II, Sony A77 Mark II, or the Sony A68 on its website. Furthermore, the three DSLR camera models are listed as “No Longer Available” on B&H Photo Video website.
Sony has not officially announced if it has discontinued making DSLR cameras yet and we have reached out to the company for a statement, and will update the article on getting a response.
Sony has been focusing on its mirrorless cameras having launched the Sony Alpha 1 globally in January this year. It comes with up to 8K video recording capability, a 50.1-megapixel stacked sensor, and an upgraded Bionz XR image processor. It is priced at Rs. 5,59,990 in India for the camera body. We recently reviewed Sony’s slimmest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera, the Sony A7C, and found that it offers pretty much the same features as the A7 III, but with improved autofocus and a rotating display, all in a more compact body.
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SSD maker Galax is warning users that mining cryptocurrencies that require excessive volume and speed on storage devices will void warranty of its SSDs. The company posted a notice on its Chinese website to warn users about losing their SSDs’ warranty amid a large number of people looking to mine Chia, a new cryptocurrency created by BitTorrent protocol developer Bram Cohen. Unlike commonly known cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum that require powerful processing, Chia demands more storage over processing for its mining.
Without specifically naming Chia, Galax said in the notice that the users of its SSDs would void their warranty if they use them for mining cryptocurrencies resulting in much higher data write volume than the regular usage patterns. The Hong Kong-based company becomes one of the first SSD manufacturers to comment on the emerging impact of cryptocurrencies requiring SSD storage for mining.
Chia is one such cryptocurrency, and while it is yet to start trading, it has attracted people looking to mine cryptocurrencies. A large number of Chia’s potential miners are coming from the Asia Pacific region — most of them from China — who have already stock high-capacity SSDs to mine Chia.
According to a report by DigiTimes, as cited by TechSpot, orders for Adata’s high-capacity SSDs grew to up to 500 percent in April compared to the previous month. China’s memory peripheral manufacturer Jiahe Jinwei also reported that its 1TB and 2TB NVMe SSDs were sold out in the market.
Chia is based on the proof of time and storage mining mechanism that exists as an alternative to the traditional proofs of work, that is used by Bitcoin and Ethereum. It, thus, requires a large amount of storage and faster writing speeds over high-end performance that other cryptocurrency miners often get from premium graphic cards.
Although proofs of time and storage is believed to be a fairer and greener alternative to the existing mechanism in the world of blockchain, the growing interest towards Chia is likely to adversely affect the SSD market as its potential miners have started stocking high-performing SSDs. The increase demand for SSDs — specifically the ones that have terabytes of storage capacity — is likely to put burden on their supplies and eventually push their prices.
That said, growing storage demand for mining Chia may also encourage SSD makers to build mining-specific SSDs over time.
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Nokia is developing a 5G smartphone that could come with an 108-megapixel penta rear camera setup, as per a report. Additionally, the purported smartphone in question could be called Nokia X50, and may be launched in the third quarter of 2021. Furthermore, the specifications of the smartphone have also surfaced on the Internet. The phone may be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 775 SoC and may feature a display with 120Hz refresh rate. The phone may pack a large 6,000mAh battery.
As per a report by NokiaPowerUser, the alleged Nokia X50 could be a successor to Nokia 8.3 5G and the 5G smartphone is reported to be in the works for some time. It is claimed to be powered by the yet-to-launched Qualcomm Snapdragon 775 SoC.
The other highlight of the purported Nokia X50 smartphone is the penta rear camera setup that is claimed to have a 108-megapixel primary sensor. The report says that the primary sensor will be complemented by ultra-wide, depth, macro, and telephoto cameras. Furthermore, this Nokia smartphone is expected to feature Zeiss optics and OZO Audio tech just like Nokia 8.3 5G.
When it comes to display, the alleged Nokia X50 may feature a 6.5-inch QHD+ display with PureDisplay V4. The report says that the display may come with a 120Hz refresh rate and the smartphone could pack a 6,000mAh battery. A separate report claimed that the two smartphones from Nokia have got TUV certification. One of them has 6,000mAh capacity with 22W fast charging support.
Recently, a report suggested that Nokia X20 will not ship with a wall charger in order to reduce the ecological impact of the recently-launched smartphone. The report also mentioned that the back case of the smartphone is “100 percent compostable.”
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Android 12 will be Google’s next OS for Android devices and is expected to launch later this year, but it seems like an early draft of a document that summarises Android 12 features has been leaked. It comes with screenshots that show the new UI changes including a new notifications panel, more pronounced rounded corners, new privacy features, and a new widget selection. As of now, Google has not officially shared any details on Android 12 so this information should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Before a beta release for an OS, Google shares documentation and source code with its partners to allow them to prepare for their devices. A report by XDA Developers claims that an early draft from the said documentation has been leaked and it shows some of the changes, along with screenshots, that can be expected from Android 12.
A new notifications panel UI can be seen in one of the screenshots. It now has an opaque background and more pronounced rounded corners for each notification. There seem to be four Quick Settings tiles that are bigger in size instead of the usual six. The date and time that appears on the top left of the notifications panel has been interchanged. The top right of the notifications panel shows new icons, presumably for privacy features in Android 12.
These new icons seem to show if the camera or microphone is being used. The report points out that tapping on these icons may show which app is using the camera or microphone. Privacy setting also seems to have been revamped in Android 12. It could allow a user to completely disable the camera, microphone, and location access.
In terms of changes to the widgets, there now seems to be a ‘Conversations’ widget that may show recent messages, missed calls, or activity statuses, the report states. It also adds that Google plans to make the Conversation widget mandatory for all devices that will run Android 12. There are also ‘People Shortcuts’ that provide quick information on a contact.
As mentioned earlier, since Google has not shared any information on Android 12 and its features, we can’t say for sure what all will make its way to the final version of the OS.
Is LG Wing’s unique design alone enough to help it succeed in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
For a long time, Sony and Bose competed to produce the best premium wireless over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation. With the excellent WH-1000XM4 headphones, Sony finally took the lead in the race. The Sony WH-1000XM4 offers a wholesome all-round experience when it comes to design, sound quality, active noise cancellation, and battery life, and is priced at Rs. 29,990 in India. Many will agree that this is one of the best pairs of wireless headphones you can buy right now.
Sony’s undisputed dominance in the space didn’t last very long though; a challenger emerged in the form of the Apple AirPods Max in late 2020. Priced at Rs. 59,900, the AirPods Max costs twice as much here. However, it delivers a more premium experience in many ways, and offers connectivity and ease-of-use benefits for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users.
Although there is a considerable price difference between the Apple AirPods Max (Review) and the Sony WH-1000XM4 (Review), they are currently each other’s biggest competition, in my opinion. Which one is worth buying, then? Find out in this detailed comparison between these two premium wireless active noise cancelling headphones.
At Rs. 59,900, the Apple AirPods Max is twice the price of the Rs. 29,990 Sony WH-1000XM4, and this alone will be a huge barrier to many people. However, the AirPods Max isn’t meant for most people; if you recently bought an Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (Review) for Rs. 1,29,900 or more, you probably won’t be too fazed by the price.
Buyers using Android smartphones or simply unable to fathom such a price for wireless headphones would be better off considering the Sony WH-1000XM4 for Rs. 29,990. Both headsets are available across e-commerce portals, the respective companies’ online stores, and offline retailers across the country. While the AirPods Max is available in five colour options including some rather bright tones, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is only available in black and silver.
As with all its products, Apple has paid close attention to the design and build quality of the AirPods Max, and this has resulted in an incredibly beautiful, luxurious, and comfortable pair of headphones. The liberal use of anodised aluminium for the ear cups, the soft foam ear pads, stainless steel frame, and knit-mesh headband make the headphones look and feel beautiful, and the bright colours give it some character as well.
The controls are excellent and very easy to get used to, and the AirPods Max also uses its custom Apple-made H1 chip to enable quick, stable, and seamless connectivity with Apple source devices. If you have an iPhone, Mac computer, and iPad, the AirPods Max almost magically switches between each of them, sensing exactly which one’s sounds you need to hear. You can also use it as a wired headset with a Lightning-to-3.5mm audio cable, though this is an expensive optional purchase.
There are some shortcomings with the AirPods Max, particularly the rather strange-looking Smart Case, the lack of a power button, and Apple’s continued use of the proprietary Lightning charging port. The headset is primarily meant to be used with Apple source devices, and although it works just fine over Bluetooth with most other smartphones, tablets, and computers, many of its benefits and customisation options are only available when connected to an Apple device.
Sony, on the other hand, has gone with a safe and familiar look for the WH-1000XM4; it looks very similar to its predecessors in the 1000X range. That said, it remains comfortable and sophisticated, with controls that are easy to get used to and work well. Charging is through a USB Type-C port, and you can use it as a wired headset by connecting the included 3.5mm stereo cable.
Where the Sony WH-1000XM4 really beats the AirPods Max is in terms of Bluetooth codec support. While the latter supports only the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs, the Sony headset goes a step further with support for the LDAC high-resolution Bluetooth codec in addition. This particularly suits use with Android devices, as it allows for more data to be transmitted, and therefore makes for a more detailed and enjoyable sound. There is, however, no support for the Qualcomm aptX Bluetooth codec.
The Apple AirPods Max are clearly meant to be used with Apple source devices, but the Sony WH-1000XM4 doesn’t discriminate in this department. It works equally well with both Android and iOS devices, and also supports multipoint connectivity to maintain a simultaneous connection with two Bluetooth sources.
Many of the customisations and tweaks you can get with modern wireless headphones require the use of a companion app or similar implementation, which is the case with both the Apple AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM4. While the Sony headphones have a dedicated app for iOS and Android, controls for various aspects of the Apple headphones are integrated into iOS and macOS.
Sony’s app offers a lot more customisation options and the ability to set the headphones up the way you want, including the equaliser settings, the speak-to-chat feature, adjustable levels for ANC and hear-through, and more. Most options are available on both iOS and Android, making for a largely consistent usage experience regardless of the source device in use.
While you can pair and use the AirPods Max with any Bluetooth device, it’s only possible to modify settings and customise controls when the headphones are paired with an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad. These settings can be accessed through the Bluetooth menu, and there are only basic toggles and orientation options for the controls, rather than detailed settings or the ability to tweak the equaliser or ANC. On an Android device, you won’t see any of these options, and will have to use the default or last used controls and settings on the headset.
Battery life is considerably different between the Apple AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM4, with the latter offering better performance. As per my testing, the AirPods Max can run for around 13-14 hours per charge in typical conditions, while the Sony WH-1000XM4 ran for twice as long at around 28 hours per charge.
Part of this is because the Apple AirPods Max does not have a power button and never really powers down; it’s always on and ready to quickly connect to a source device. Naturally, Sony’s approach is objectively better, and is recommended for anyone looking for reliable and long-lasting battery times.
The Apple AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM4 are the best-sounding wireless headphones you can buy today, thanks to a combination of good hardware and software. Active noise cancellation is effective and class-leading on both of these headphones as well. However, Sony’s superior Bluetooth codec support does mean that when used with the right source device and with high-resolution audio, the WH-1000XM4 sounds noticeably better than the Apple AirPods Max.
That said, when using the AAC Bluetooth codec – as would be the case if you used the Sony WH-1000XM4 with an iPhone or iPad – there’s very little difference in sound quality between the two. Both pairs of headphones offer detailed sound, a flexible and energetic sonic signature, and the ability to bring the most out of your audio tracks.
What also stands out about the two headsets is that the sound isn’t meant to be analytical or neutral; it’s enjoyable, and meant for the everyday listener rather than the discerning audiophile. Sony does go a step further than Apple in offering a bit more detail without losing out on the ‘fun’ element, while the AirPods Max is a bit more flexible and capable of adjusting its sound to different genres.
Active noise cancellation on both pairs of headphones is very effective, but Sony’s range of customisation options gives it an edge here. I often found the starkness of the AirPods Max’s active noise cancellation to be unnerving, and I liked that I could adjust this on the Sony WH-1000XM4. Additionally, the Sony WH-1000XM4 will support the default voice assistant on your smartphone, while the AirPods Max expectedly only allows Siri to be used with Apple devices.
Despite the large difference in price between the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Apple AirPods Max, these two pairs of headphones have both put up a strong fight for the crown. The price difference will actually help many people make their decisions – you either cannot wrap your head around what Apple is charging, and should pick the Sony WH-1000XM4 for that reason, or it doesn’t matter to you at all.
If you’re among the latter set and if you own one or more Apple devices that you intend to use as your primary source(s), the AirPods Max should definitely be your top pick. The seamless connectivity, ability to switch quickly between different Apple devices, good sound quality and active noise cancellation, and beautiful design makes this a premium listening experience in every way.
However, if you’re looking for what is objectively the better-sounding pair of headphones, that title goes to the Sony WH-1000XM4. Better codec support, more impressive features, and plenty of customisation options for both iOS and Android through the app make this the better value-for-money option. Excellent battery life is a pretty big factor as well.
Will iPhone 12 mini become the affordable iPhone we’ve been waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.