With the smartphone season taking a short break after the S21 release, we are now waiting for Mobile World Congress to start. In the meantime, I figured I would share some of my EDC Tech Gear (Everyday Carry) that I use when I leave the house such as the Samsung S20+, Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and more, each with a short review. I will also include some alternatives (baller and budget options) for referencing. So, without further ado, this is my Tech EDC.

What’s in my Pockets?

Samsung S20+
Source: Samsung

Starting with the gear in my pockets. I still daily drive the Samsung S20+ I reviewed last year. Samsung has been pretty good with software updates recently and my main complaint about the battery has been largely resolved. Other than that, the S20 has an excellent AMOLED hole-punch display, a great camera even in 2021 and great build quality. I have been using this as my daily driver for 1 year now, and it still is as fast and great to use as the day I got it. Coupled with the updates that have addressed my battery life issues, the S20+ really shows why Samsung sets the bar every year with the S series.

dbrand Grip Case with MKBHD Icons Skin
Source: dbrand

I have a dbrand Grip Case with the MKBHD Icons Skin for protection as well. It is rated for 11 feet drops (if I remember correctly) and looks pretty clean in my opinion. If you need protection for your phone, I highly recommend it.

For earphones, I use the Sony WF-1000XM3s which I have also reviewed. Great bass control, nice mids and highs. This is a comfortable pair of noise-cancelling earphones. These are my current favourite pair of noise-cancelling true wireless earphones.

Finally, paired with the S20+ is the Samsung Gear Sport (which is no longer available) for my smartwatch.

An update to the S20+ will be the new S21+ and an iOS alternative would be the iPhone 12. For budget options, check out the Pixel 4a (review here) or the iPhone SE 2020 (review here). For audio, Airpods Pro or the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are great alternatives, while a nice budget-friendly option will be the Soundcore Liberty Air 2. Finally, you can’t ever go wrong with the Apple Watch or the new Galaxy Watch 3, and a more affordable smartwatch will be the Fitbit Inspire 2.

What’s in my Bag?

Lenovo Legion Y520

Ok, now let’s move on to my bag. These are things I typically carry around when I move around. The laptop I’m currently using is the Lenovo Legion Y520 (which is definitely NOT recommended). While I do love my Y520, I won’t recommend it as there are so many better options (see below). But to summarize it: mediocre screen, decent specs (for its time), excellent keyboard (even till today) and passable build. I love it for the value it gives, but in terms of performance in a portable package, I will choose something else.

Nintendo Switch
Source: Nintendo

The headphones of choice are the Bose QuietComfort (QC) 35iis. I have been using this pair of headphone for 2 years now, and I don’t see a point in upgrading. Great un-offensive sound quality, super convenient in a clean package, great comfort and excellent noise-cancelling. While it is a little pricey, I think you won’t regret picking a pair up.

Wrapping it all up is my Nintendo Switch with a white dbrand skin (which is basically a Mario Kart Machine at this point). It is a great little console that has great games like Mario Odyssey and Zelda Breath of the Wild. I love it.

M1 MacBook Air
Source: Apple

Looking forward, I am considering upgrading to an M1 Macbook Air (those things are amazing), and a good Windows Ultrabook would be the Dell XPS 13 (Intel Evo Model). A more budget-friendly machine will be the Acer Swift 3. I will recommend against gaming laptops (due to their weight and size), but if power is needed, Dell XPS 15, Razer Blade 15 (any model), Macbook Pro 16 and Asus ROG G14/G15 (G15 to release later in the year) are great choices.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Source: Bose

The updated version of my QC35ii will be the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 (Bose), and a great alternative will be the Sony WH-1000XM4s. A more budget-friendly alternative is the Sony XB-900N and for those looking to spend less than S$150, the JBL Tune 700BT sound pretty decent.

Finally, of course, the updated Switch (red-box) has better battery life, and the only “affordable” option is the Switch Lite.

What’s in My Room

Dreamcore BC, boutique PC builder in Singapore
Source: Dreamcore

I just got a PC from Dreamcore (a boutique PC builder in Singapore), and the experience has been pretty good. They are quick to respond and will walk you through the entire process of getting a PC. I wrote this using said PC as well. Overall, I would recommend them (more of them in the full review coming).

Source: Yamaha

I also use a Google Home Mini (now called the Nest Mini). It’s primarily used for casting music and asking questions in my room. If you have the cash to spare, I think it is a great addition to any room. Other functions include controlling smart appliances with your voice.

Finally, I do not own a portable speaker, but my room speaker is the Yamaha MusicCast 300. It sounds pretty good – well balanced (according to my ears) and punchy bass if you increase the low end via the app. I like it, but I wouldn’t pay full price for it (mine was a free gift).

Alternatives. For smart speakers, the Nest Mini is realistically the “cheapest” you can get, so the only other alternative is the Echo Dot (that uses Alexa, not Google Assistant). A great room speaker will be the Bose Home Speaker 500 or the Harmon Kardon Aura Studio 3. For budget-friendly option, I will recommend the Nest Mini. If I were to get a portable speaker, I will opt for the JBL Flip 5.

Source: Bose

Conclusion?

This is a departure from what I usually write, but I hope this gives you some ideas on the tech that I use daily. The tech here can be gifts or great upgrades to any older gear that you have. Whatever it is, I hope you have gotten to know some of the gear that I don’t normally review, and in the process know more about what is out there in the tech world.

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