If there is one thing about summer in Seattle that we just can’t wait for, it would be the annual visit of Engadget Live! to the Emerald City. Each summer the amazing folks at Engadget.com and Engadget Events bring the latest in tech to our fair city and bring along the makers of the products to show us just how amazing they really are. This year’s event was a bit smaller than past years, but delivered quite a few great items for the tech-inclined person to add to that Christmas list.
Starting out with the Smartphone crowd, Huawei was present with their new Ascend Mat2 4G LTE monster phone. We use the term monster phone because of the capabilities of this device. It isn’t often that a manufacturer leads their product page with a battery spec, but this beast’s 3900mAh battery deserves top billing. This power plant is used to power the 6.1” display for days at a time. According to the reps on hand, you can stream 3 to 4 movies on it before the battery decides it is done. That is epic battery life, period.
Then we get to the normal specs of the device. The 6.1” display was simply gorgeous to look at. The IPS panel is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for extra resistance to breakage. The rear camera on the Ascend Mate2 is a 13 MP shooter that took good shots in low-light, but we will hopefully have a chance to investigate this more when Huawei sends over a review unit. The front camera features 5MP, which is double what most of the industry is offering on their front cameras. This makes the Ascend Mate2 a great camera for those Instagrammers and Selfie posters.
The device features 2GB of GAM, 16GB of internal storage which you can supplement with MicroSD cards. The device also features a 1.6GHz Quad-Core processor, 1080p video capture and playback, plus DTS sound. For those that are wondering, the radio setup also features LTE bands for AT&T, T-Mobile and their MVNO’s. All in all, the Ascend Mate2 is just about the perfect package for anyone wanting a Phablet. Now, we get to the competition destroyer, the retail price of the Ascend Mate2 is a measly $299, without contracts.
Escort, yes, those “radar detector guys from the 80’s,” were next up in line. While we didn’t expect much from their little table, what they had to offer was simply mind-blowing. Most of our readers are familiar with Waze, the social “GPS” app that allows users to share speed traps, traffic jams and other relevant road issues with other users via their App. Well, all I can say is Escort Live! is like Waze on steroids.
Escort Live! works with any iPhone or Android device. It also can be adapted to work with just about any Escort detection device from the last 5-7 years. A Bluetooth adapter plugs into the detector, which allows a signal to be sent to the App on your mobile device. The amount of data that Escort is able to provide to users in real time is incredible. Speed traps, red light cameras, caution areas and even congestion is all instantly accessible. The Escort Live! service is $5 a month or $50 for the year.
Next up on the tour of awesomeness is the perfect addition to the student or business user’s bag, the Boogie Board Sync. Now, the Boogie Board booth was loaded with note pads that ranged from $20-100. The one that hit us as brilliant was the Boogie Board Sync.
The Sync features a 9.7” e-Ink display that allows for sketching until your heart’s content. The feel of the pad is much more like a piece of paper than a digital tablet. The Sync isn’t just another notepad, it really offers a top notch sketching and note taking feel, while allowing everything you write to be instantly synced over many popular services. Evernote, Illustrator and OCR software are all able to import content from the Sync, as are the free Android and iOS Apps from Boogie Board.
The included rechargeable battery runs about 5 days under normal use. We’re hoping that the folks at Boogie Board are able to get us a review unit soon so we can give you a true hands on with this amazing device and see if there are any real limitations to it.
As we round the corner we felt a tinge of a flashback to 1995 when we saw the TiVo logo popping up out of the giant LCD in the corner of the room. Yes, that TiVo is back, but it is not your good ole TiVo any more. This device is aimed at the media consuming monster in all of us. With Apps from Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and more, the new TiVo Roamio series DVR’s are going to be under quite a few trees this Christmas.
The 6 way tuner support allows a single stream to be pulled to 6 different tuners inside the unit for simultaneous recording of 6 different channels. The addition of the TiVo Mini will expand the playback of your Roamio to any rooms of the house with just the placement of one tiny little accessory. Of course, the TiVo experience isn’t complete without having the TiVo App installed on your iOS or Android device.
The TiVo Roamio is available in 3 lines, the standard with 4 tuners and 75 hours of HD recording, the Plus with 6 tuners and 150 hours of HD recording and the Pro with 6 tuners and 450 hours of HD recording.
ExoLabs was also on hand with their new iPad microscope camera. Using the microscope you already own, the ExoLab camera replaces the eye piece on the microscope and shows a gorgeous magnified view of your subjects directly on your iPad’s screen. It’s a concept that has been done before, but this is one of the sharpest renditions we have ever seen before.
The Skylock by Velo Labs was also on hand in a prototype format. This brilliant product ditches the old combination lock in favor of bluetooth/NFC contact with your mobile device. Once connected to your mobile device, the SkyLock also links to your device to provide an additional layer of security in that if your bike is in a collision, it will automatically call emergency services or your ICE contact on your device.
The SkyLock is the perfect companion to the single long distance rider or the bike commuter.
More information at https://skylock.cc
The last of the mobile friendly devices that we saw at Engadget Live! was the Poppy3D iPhone camera goggles. At first it was a bit of a turn off that they were selling a gadget that just turned an iPhone into a ViewMaster, but after looking at the hardware, and seeing it in action, we quickly warmed to the idea. You really don’t get an idea of how fun the Poppy3D is until you try it.
VapShot brought a breath of fresh rum to the party at the Showbox Sodo. Their VapShot Mini compresses your alcoholic shots down to vapor and lets you inhale your shots instead of just drinking them. A great party enhancer and a fun way to experience some new drinks. The ‘shot’ takes about 15 minutes to exit your system but gives you the experience of having that shot for a few minutes.
PicoBrew was another device we couldn’t leave out of the report. Even though this has nothing to do with mobile phones, a beer making machine that is programmed by the internet is pretty darn amazing. The $1699 price tag is right in line with what one would spend setting up their own home brewery, but this takes all the guess work out of the process. Craft beer from recipes found online or just start tweaking them right off the bat. It’s your choice and you really can’t miss with the PicoBrew.
We want to give Endgaget a HUGE thank you for bringing Live! to Seattle again this year. The last three years that we have had the opportunity to cover has been great and we look forward to many more. For those in one of the upcoming cities, make sure to get in early to check out all the amazing swag before it’s gone!