Tech

From guides to product reviews

Since 2016, Akhil Arora has written and recorded dozens of tech reviews, be it keyboard apps, fitness wearables, smartwatches, or gaming monitors. These are the highlights.

Asus ROG Strix XG16
Fitbit Versa
Fitbit Ionic

“The ROG Strix XG16 is designed for a very narrow use case. Asus has clearly made it for gamers on the go, which explains the prominent ROG branding. […] Even for those that do find it useful, how often will that happen? And before you answer [that], think of the cumbersome and un-ergonomic setup that this involves.”

“It’s obvious at first sight that the Versa looks a lot like the Apple Watch. During the review process, a lot of people who saw the Versa remarked [on] exactly that. In reality, though, the Versa is more square-ish than Apple’s offering, or rather a ‘squarcle’—a portmanteau of square and circle—as Fitbit designers call it.”

“The Ionic is Fitbit’s first product in three years to have in-built GPS, and only the second after the Flex 2 to have full waterproofing. That means you can leave your phone behind while you take a dip in the pool, and still record your exercise metrics. However, all these improvements and additions come at a cost.”

Samsung Gear Sport
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro
Amazon Fire TV Stick remote

“[Smaller] and more comfortable on the wrist than the Gear S3, but its size and weight are still noticeable if you’re used to simple fitness trackers such as the Fitbit Alta or Charge 2. […] If you’ve always wanted a wearable that looks like a traditional watch, the Gear Sport is a fantastic choice—more so if you use a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.”

“The addition of the ‘Pro’ suffix is because of its more fitness-focused features, including waterproofing. […] This is Samsung’s third take on a complete fitness wearable, and it shows in its construction quality, ease of use, and feature list. Now that the Gear Fit 2 has been discontinued, this is the one to consider.”

“The Chromecast is made for people who know what they want to watch. You open an app on your phone and then cast it to your TV screen. The Fire TV Stick, by comparison, encourages that old TV habit of browsing around, and thanks to its interface, we did find ourselves going through apps that we might normally not bother with.”

iPhone keyboard
Samsung Gear Fit 2 on Akhil Arora's wrist
Fitbit Charge 2

“Picking the best keyboard is a challenge—so much depends on your personal preferences, for one thing. For us, out of all the available options, there isn’t a single, obvious winner. Rather, it’s a tie between two.”

“The Gear Fit 2 is only its second fitness-oriented offering, but after having spent over a week with it, I can say it’s as professional an effort as any of Fitbit’s. In fact, the Gear Fit 2 feels like the right amalgamation of the Charge 2 and the Blaze, borrowing the design aesthetic of the former and melding it with the capabilities of the latter—and then some.”

“When you’re trying to improve upon your most popular product, you’d better have some good ideas. With the Charge 2, Fitbit has brought its A game—giving it a much-needed upgrade in the screen real estate department along with a couple of new features. For most people then, [this] is the best fitness tracker available.”

Swiftmoji iPhone
Fitbit Alta

“While an app can’t help change how emojis appear to different people, it can help you pick better-suited ones for your messages. That’s what SwiftKey … is trying to do with its latest app: Swiftmoji. […] The app promises emoji prediction in response to what you’re typing, but it behaves completely differently depending on what device you’re using.”

“The Fitbit Alta meets the basic requirements of a fitness tracker and does so in one of the best-looking packages available today. However, it’s almost impossible to recommend the Alta for what it does when you can get the feature-packed Fitbit Charge HR at the same price.”