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Xiaomi creates impressive portable blender

Xiaomi, better known for its smartphones, has released a small portable blender called the 17PIN Juistar. BRYAN TURNER reviewed this kitchen gadget.

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When we were told Xiaomi is making blenders, we had to know what angle it was going to spin on this fairly common kitchen gadget. 

The Xiaomi 17PIN Juistar is a portable blender for 400ml, or medium sized smoothies when comparing it to health restaurant standards. At first, we had our doubts about the power a battery operated blender could put out, but it proved to be extremely capable of getting the job done.

Before jumping into the review: when searching for this brand, one may not encounter the Xiaomi branding. This is because 17PIN is a sub-brand of Xiaomi. Chinese brands generally segment their products to different consumer bases by changing the brand name altogether. Another example is Honor and Huawei, where Huawei creates and designs Honor smartphones, but does not label it Huawei.

Out of the box, we got a proprietary charging cable, the blender itself and a manual. The charger is a two pin to USB Type-A cable. We were puzzled about Xiaomi’s decision to move away from a Micro-USB or USB Type-C port, but we realised: the proprietary charger port makes it waterproof. This is extremely useful for just wiping off the contact and clipping on the charger. It is magnetic so it has a satisfying clip-on, similar to the MagSafe chargers in the older MacBooks.

The blender is made up of a plastic lid with a thick glass cup. We got the light pink version, which is pretty elegant and resembles pink Bakelite. Inside, there is a trio-blade blender configuration and the blades sit at different angles to make a deeper vortex for blending. The plastic lid contains the battery, and can be cleaned by wiping it down. The lid is not dishwasher safe and should not be submerged in water.

The glass cup is pretty thick, and can handle hot or cold liquids. The glass is also dishwasher safe. It has measurements on the side that go up to 300ml, while the cup itself can handle 400ml. The 300ml (max) mark indicates where users should stop putting in solid objects (like fruit) for a smoother blend. We went past this mark, overfilling the blender, and it still blended the fruit but it was a little bit chunkier. That said, always follow the instructions for a good experience.

It can blend up to 15 times on a single charge, which makes it pretty convenient for blending a beverage, and then washing the blades out by blending it with some hot water and dishwashing soap. 

It also has some safety features built in. One can’t start the blender if it isn’t tightly screwed onto the glass, and the blender will stop if it is unscrewed while blending. It’s great to see a lot of thought went into the design.

Overall, it’s a good blender for taking around and preparing fresher smoothies on the go. The battery powered aspect is very useful, and the form factor is very ergonomic.

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Wearable adapts body to stress

Apollo Neuroscience has introduced the first wearable that actively helps one’s body beat stress, for better sleep and energy.

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While other wearables track the body, Apollo is the first to empower its users to change it by delivering gentle waves of vibration, clinically shown to rapidly restore the  body’s natural equilibrium.

Developed by physicians and neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh, Apollo’s gentle waves of vibration improve heart rate variability (HRV), a key metric of health and recovery. These “safety signals” help engage the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in improved heart rate variability (HRV), sleep, focus, calm, energy, and more. Apollo says it works fast to offer users control over their stress.

“Chronic daily stress can have a profound, disruptive effect on our bodies and result in harmful symptoms including insomnia, anxiety-disorders, chronic pain, cognitive dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease,” says Dr David Rabin, co-inventor of the Apollo technology and chief innovation officer and co-founder at Apollo Neuroscience. “Apollo is the only technology that actually improves HRV and accelerates your body’s recovery from stress so you can feel energised, focused, and sleep better.”

Apollo works in tandem with an intuitive app for iOS and Android. Users can choose from a variety of Apollo programs to target and achieve goals in specific areas, including:

  •  Energy – Gives users a boost of energy when they’re feeling tired and sluggish.
  •  Focus – Filters out distraction and settles one’s nerves for clear, calm focus.
  •  Mindfulness – Prepares one for meditation by facilitating connection between mind and body.
  •  Relaxation – Rapidly relieves stress for deep relaxation.
  •  Sleep – Quiets the mind and eases one into restful sleep.
  •  Social – Elevates mood and energy for social situations.
  •  Recover – Accelerates one’s body’s recovery after a workout.

Apollo has been evaluated clinically in university-led trials, has undergone successful pilots to prevent burnout in the workplace, and has had over 2000 early users, with consistent results across the board. Over 90 percent of users reported enhanced productivity, focus and sleep when using Apollo.

“Many devices track your HRV and monitor your sleep, but do nothing to improve them. That’s where Apollo comes in,” says Kathryn Fantauzzi, chief executive officer and co-founder, Apollo Neuroscience. “We’re delivering the first wearable experience that actively improves your body’s resilience to stress, so you can have more energy, feel more relaxed, and get more sleep. Apollo’s mission is to democratize neuroscience discoveries to empower people to take control of their health.”

Apollo is made in the USA and comes with a one-year warranty. It features a versatile design that can be worn on the wrist or ankle and is available in 2 colors: stealth and silver. Apollo is waterproof, Bluetooth-enabled, and offers a powerful battery with up to three days in between charges.

Apollo is now available for preorder for an all-inclusive price of $199(for a $360 value). Customers receive the Apollo wearable along with access to the free app with seven goal-based programs, new features and software upgrades, exclusive content, and advanced access to new accessories and exclusive discounts. Shipping of the Apollo wearable will commence in January 2020.

Apollo can be purchased directly at apolloneuro.com.

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Huawei launches WiFi router with powerline connectivity

The new router by Huawei, the WiFi Q2 Pro, features PLC Turbo technology that sends data signal over power lines for more signal in one’s home.

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Huawei has launched a new Wi-Fi router, the Huawei WiFi Q2 Pro, which is the first hybrid home PLC (power line connectivity) and Wi-Fi System. This router reduces common problems experienced with other Wi-Fi routers, such as weak signal strength, poor coverage and slow connection speeds. 

The Huawei WiFi Q2 Pro three-pack hybrid utilises both mesh Wi-Fi technology and PLC turbo technology – which combines the best of both worlds. This hybrid consists of a main station and two secondary routers. The secondary stations can be plugged into a wall socket anywhere around the home to cover areas of poor signal and bring full-speed broadband to that location.

Wide-reaching connectivity with PLC Turbo technology

The PLC Turbo technology differs from traditional PLC modems, as it has a three-pin plug, which means the modem is less affected by electromagnetic interference from other household appliances. The Q2 Pro can also monitor interference from neighbouring Wi-Fi networks in real time and automatically switch the user’s Wi-Fi network to channels with the least interference.

In addition, PLC networking addresses the issue that Wi-Fi signal strength decreases significantly when it passes through walls, as PLC networking does not have to go through walls. This can help maintain excellent broadband speeds of up to 200Mps in every corner of the home, reducing frustrations related to a loss of signal and intermittent Wi-Fi coverage when moving around your house. 

Simply plug and play for full coverage

The router can be configured through the use of the Huawei AI Life app. Users can plug in the device, and the WiFi Q2 Pro’s secondary routers will automatically sync the Wi-Fi network’s name and password from the base router, ensuring an easier set up.

Users with very large homes, such as bed and breakfast establishments for example, also have the option to further improve the coverage by purchasing additional satellites. One HUAWEI WiFi Q2 Pro base can support up to 15 secondary routers simultaneously. 

Triple security protection

It also has advanced security features to protect the user’s home from hackers or people who want to covertly use their Wi-Fi. If someone attempts to crack the user’s Wi-Fi password using brute force cracking software, the router will recognise it and automatically blacklist them.

The router also has a Guest Wi-Fi feature, which operates on a completely different channel to a user’s main Wi-Fi network. This protects a user’s main Wi-Fi connection, as it uses a different SSID and password. Users can also disable their guest Wi-Fi network when their guests leave.

The Huawei WiFi Q2 Pro three-pack hybrid is available for R4,999.

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