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TicWatch 3 Pro is the first Wear OS smartwatch with a Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip

Mobvoi says its new TicWatch 3 Pro smartwatch its most advanced model yet, and a big part of this bold statement is that it’s the first to be officially announced with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset inside. The hope is the new chip will give watches with Google’s Wear OS software a serious boost in performance. Aside from what we’re expecting from the new chip, the TicWatch 3 Pro itself is exciting, as it’s thinner, lighter, stronger, and has a higher battery capacity than the previous version.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Qualcomm has made some bold claims about the new Snapdragon Wear 4100, saying it should be 85% faster than the old Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform, and provide a 25% improvement in battery life, too. It’s effectively an entry-level smartphone chipset, which has plenty of power — the question is whether the power savings come out in real-world use. One of the core problems with the old 3100 smartwatches is how poor their battery life was.

The Ticwatch Pro 3’s secondary LCD screen Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

In the TicWatch 3 Pro, it’s paired to the unusual dual-screen layout which made the TicWatch Pro and TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE so energy efficient. The main 1.4-inch screen has a second LCD screen on top of it, just like you can see in the image below. It’s used for always-on duties and very effectively extends the battery life both this way and through using special software modes.

Mobvoi says the watch’s 577mAh battery will last for 72 hours using a “Smart Mode,” but it’s not clear how many functions this will restrict to reach this time, if any. Put the TicWatch 3 Pro in Extended Mode and the battery will last for an impressive 45 days before needing a recharge. Despite the big battery the watch is still only 12.2mm thick with a 47mm case size.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

On the fitness side, the TicWatch 3 Pro will track SpO2 blood oxygen, which also works when tracking sleep, plus there’s a stress monitor, a heart rate monitor, a barometer, and GPS. There are several new apps made to take advantage of all these sensors, including a mindfulness app called TicBreathe, TicSleep for sleep tracking, and new exercise modes which include mountain climbing. Of course, there’s no major update to Wear OS in conjunction with this release, so it’s otherwise identical on the core software front.

The overall design of the watch hasn’t changed much based on the pictures, with two buttons on the side of the case and a chronograph-style bezel around the screen. It only comes in a shadow black color, matched to a 22mm black silicone strap with some orange stitching. The TicWatch 3 Pro will be available through Mobvoi’s own online store for $300, or 290 British pounds.

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Best cheap phone plans that use the T-Mobile network (October 2020)

T-Mobile is one of the most popular wireless service provider in the United States, but it’s not the company to use its towers. Indeed, many brands and services pay for access to its network.Each of these mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) offers their own rate plans, phone selection, billing, and customer service. These companies simply rely on T-Mobile for cellular coverage.We’ve gathered up some of the cheapest rate plans you can find for the various carriers that use T-Mobile’s network. This isn’t every option available, but rather a list of the ones we like best. Many of the carriers who use T-Mobile allow for Bring Your Own Device meaning you can keep the phone you have.Editor’s ChoiceMint MobileIntroductory Unlimited Plan ($30)The great thing about Mint Mobile is that it gets cheaper the longer you commit to using the service. As if that weren’t appealing enough, it offers an introductory discount for signing up.Indeed, you get unlimited data each month at just $30 per month. Once the first 90 days are up you only spend $40 for the same plan if you renew for three months. That’s still incredible, and better than most here. Sign up for a full year in advance and it’s yours for $30 per month.Get This Plan!Consumer CellularUnlimited Talk & Text + 3GB Data Plan ($30)For $30 per month subscribers receive unlimited talk and text with 3GB of data. Given that the carrier’s target demographic is for senior citizens this ought to be plenty of data. In a related note, AARP members can save 5% on their monthly bill.Get This Plan!Google FiUnlimited Talk & Text w/ 2GB Data ($40)The great thing about Google Fi is that you only pay for the data that you consume. While we pegged this particular option at 2GB of high-speed data, you could go higher or lower.  Data is just $10 per gigabyte and it’s prorated and/or refunded each billing cycle. Click here for a referral credit of $20 upon staying active 30 days.Get This Plan!Metro10GB High-Speed Data ($40)With considerably much more data than most other carriers at this price point, the Metro plan gives users 10GB of 4G LTE to consume. And, to make things even better, the music streamed over 40+ services doesn’t even count against usage.Get This Plan!Net10$20 Unlimited Plan ($20)Among the cheapest rate plans you’ll find with “unlimited” data, this $20 option gives subscribers 2GB of high speed access. Hit the threshold and speeds are slowed to 2G for the rest of the month, but that might not matter to its target users. Also comes with unlimited talk and text.Get This Plan!Republic WirelessUnlimited Talk, Text, and 2GB Data ($25)As a service that relies on Wi-Fi for coverage first, it’s a wonderful option for consumers who spend much of their day on hotspots and wireless routers. For your money you get all the talk and text you can handle plus 2GB data. While these rates are already competitive, you can save even more by opting for the annual plan.Get This Plan!Simple Mobile$25 Unlimited Plan ($25)Customers have unlimited calling and messaging in this plan, plus up to 3GB of data at 4G LTE speeds. Worried about overages? Fear not. Once you hit the data limit speeds are slowed for the remainder of the billing cycle. Save a few bucks on your first three months and get the plan at just $20 per month.Get This Plan!Straight TalkUnlimited Plan with 5GB ($35)Pick up unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of high speed data for the price of a steak dinner. Of course, you can have more data after hitting the threshold, but it’s slowed to 2G for the rest of the billing cycle. Save a buck on your plan each month by signing up for automatic refills.Get This Plan!

Metro Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

It might surprise some of you to know that companies like Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless operate on the Sprint and AT&T networks, respectively. These network operators license the towers and coverage from the tier-one providers and offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.Let’s take a look at another, similar situation. Metro, formerly known as MetroPCS, is a prepaid brand that uses T-Mobile’s network for coverage.About Metro and its networkFounded in 1994, the carrier ultimately merged with T-Mobile in 2013 and became one of the first companies to offer unlimited data plans. Although it was first established as General Wireless, it later changed to MetroPCS; in late 2018 it was changed again to Metro by T-Mobile.Thanks to T-Mobile, Metro gets to lay claim to being the first MVNO or prepaid brand to offer 5G. Its nationwide coverage went live in early December, 2019.What are Metro Rate Plans?Things are pretty simple when it comes to rate plans at Metro. Customers choose from four options with prices starting at $30 per month. Taxes and fees are included so the monthly bill is nice and flat.Rate Plans$30 – Unlimited talk, text, and 2GB high-speed data$40 – Unlimited talk, text, and 10GB high-speed data (with unlimited music streaming)$50 – Unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data (with 5GB hotspot and 100GB Google One)$60 – Unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data (with 15GB hotspot, 100GB Google One, and Amazon Prime)What about multiple lines?Metro’s multiple line plans are rather straightforward, too. It’s as easy as picking the starting plan and adding the number of lines. There are discounts applied for each additional phone number, with them priced around $30 a piece, on average.Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?Are there any special deals at Metro?Certainly. There are a number of options available from Metro, including discounts, free phones, and bundled rate plans. Things are always subject to change, especially around holidays, so be sure to check the dedicated deals page.How is Metro’s phone selection?Metro offers a decent array of phones, from very basic from brands you might not be familiar with, up to current flagships. Interestingly enough, there’s a decent selection at the upper end, particularly the Samsung Galaxy S20 and newer iPhones.Keeping pace with its growing 5G coverage, Metro has added a number of phones with support for the faster nework.Tips for buying a used phoneWhere can I buy an unlocked phone?Cheap cell phone plans that use the T-Mobile networkCan I use my own phone with Metro?Do you already have a phone or possibly looking to buy an unlocked device for use on Metro? If the equipment is GSM unlocked, or previously used on T-Mobile you can order a SIM card if you wish to bring your own device. Check to see if your phone is compatible.

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