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Electronics

Pure unveils Move T4 and Move R3 DAB+ personal radios

Pure has added two new DAB+ radios for personal listening on the move to its line-up. They’re both on sale for less than GBP100. But with so many radios on the market, are Pure’s new arrivals worth a closer look?

We round up the key features of the Move T4 and Move R3 below. Best Buy radios[1] – find out if any Pure models make the cut.

Pure Move T4, GBP99.99

The new Pure Move T4 is a pocket-sized radio designed to be used out and about. This compact DAB+ radio costs GBP100 and features a 2-inch colour screen, and there are 20 presets installed to help you quickly cycle through your favourite stations.

The added bonus of a built-in kickstand means you don’t have to lean the Pure Move T4 against a wall if you want to listen hands-free. Pure says that you’ll get up to 22 hours from the Bluetooth-enabled Move T4 if you’re listening with headphones, or 15 hours when playing music through the speaker. We’ll be putting those claims to the test in our lab when we review the Pure Move T4 for ourselves.

The Pure Move T4 will be available from March at John Lewis in black or white.

Pure Move R3, GBP89.99

The second new entry in the Pure range is the Move R3. This DAB+ radio looks more like an MP3 player than a radio, coming with a 1.6-inch display and a pair of noise-isolating headphones. Pure promises up to 15 hours from it on a single charge which, if true, should be more than enough to last you a couple of days.

Audiophiles can manually tweak the sound on offer as the Pure Move R3 includes separate bass and treble controls. There are three dedicated-station preset buttons sat underneath the screen, and you can store up to 20 of your favourite stations. This portable DAB+ radio weighs in at just 88g.

The Pure Move R3 is available now from Argos, and from John Lewis from March in black or white.

Portable Pure radios in our test lab

For every Pure radio we test, we pay close attention to sound quality, ease of use and reception. Portable radios can also offer sound wherever you are. Buyers on a budget might have their eyes on the Pure Elan E3 (below left).

This GBP60 DAB+ radio is easy to use and lightweight, and arrives with 40 station presets. There’s a mini 2.8-inch colour display, and weekday and weekend alarm settings let you choose which station you wake up to. Did this radio impress our experts? Read our full Pure Elan E3 review to find out.[2]

The stylish Pure Pop Maxi (below right) is the priciest portable radio from Pure that we’ve tested. It costs around GBP115 and is Bluetooth-enabled, which means you can stream music through it using your smartphone. A large volume dial sits on the top of the Pop Maxi.

You can make this radio portable by adding four AA batteries, or buying Pure’s own rechargeable battery pack instead. See our Pure Pop Maxi review[3] for more details.

You can also find out how the previous version of the Pure Move personal radio performed in our tests by visiting our Pure Move 2520 review[4] or read all our personal radio reviews[5].

Buying a radio in 2018

Without checking our expert reviews, you run the risk of buying a radio that is tricky to use with weak signal reception. We test the latest radios on the market to help you choose wisely, and our results prove that you don’t always have to spend big to pick up a Best Buy radio.

Take a look at some Which? expert testing facts below:

For more on picking the perfect radio for you, visit our guide to how to buy the best radio[6].

Alternatively, visit our radio reviews[7] to uncover our expert verdicts on models from big-name brands including Roberts, VQ, Sony and John Lewis.

References

  1. ^ Best Buy radios (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Pure Elan E3 review (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Pure Pop Maxi review (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Pure Move 2520 review (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ personal radio reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ how to buy the best radio (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ radio reviews (www.which.co.uk)

How good is the Google Pixel Buds translation feature?

Google’s new Pixel Buds headphones feature real-time translation, so we decided to put it to the test to see whether learning foreign languages could become a thing of the past. Read on and watch our video to find out what happened. The Pixel Buds are Google’s new premium wireless earbuds, launching just after the Google Pixel 2 smartphone[1].

Their big selling point is real-time translation with Google Translate, exclusive to Pixel phones. We enlisted the help of three foreign-language-speaking colleagues from Italy, China and Norway, to put the Google Pixel Buds translation through its paces. See how well it performed in the video below:

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Best Buy headphones[2] – discover which models are the top scorers.

As you can see, the Pixel Buds’ translation performed surprisingly well. In most cases, you’ll be able to understand what the other person is saying, even if the translation isn’t quite perfect. It performed well in Italian with few errors, and our Italian speaker even said she thought it sounded too Italian.

The two Norwegian dialects prevented it from sounding quite right to our Norwegian speaker, and with Chinese – a more difficult test compared to the European languages – it also performed remarkably well, although it didn’t always have natural-sounding phrasing. So while it’s not going to fool anyone that it’s human, the Pixel Buds translation feature seems to work well enough in day-to-day conversation to get by, for example if you’re on holiday and the taxi driver fails to turn up at the airport.

How the translation process works

When you speak, the Pixel Buds hear your voice, and your Pixel phone’s speaker plays the translation of what you said out loud to the person you’re talking to. When they speak back, your smartphone hears it and the Google Pixel Buds play the translation of what they said directly into your ears.

It all takes place using the Google Translate app on your Pixel phone. The Pixel Buds have a touch-sensitive pad on the right earbud that you hold down to cue the Google Assistant. You then say the language you want to translate, like this: ‘Help me speak French.’

The Google Translate app then pops up, and you’re ready to go. Just hold down the Pixel Buds’ touch-sensitive pad while you’re speaking, and let go when you want it to play back the translation. And to hear the translation of the person you’re speaking to, hold down the microphone icon in the Google Translate app while they’re speaking.

At each stage, you’ll see a transcript of what’s being said on the app screen.

Other Pixel Buds headphone features

The Pixel Buds are Bluetooth wireless earphones, Google’s answer to Apple’s popular Airpods[3] and Samsung’s Gear IconX 2018[4]. All of them work with carrying cases that also charge them, allowing their batteries to last throughout the day, despite the diminutive size. To make them even smaller, Google has opted to have a cord linking them (handy if you fear losing Apple’s Airpods).

The touch-sensitive pad on the right earbud allows you to play and pause music, change volume with a swipe and activate the Google Assistant voice assistant to perform a task with a long press.

To read our first impressions when we tried them, read our full Google Pixel Buds first look review[5].

References

  1. ^ Google Pixel 2 smartphone (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Best Buy headphones (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Apple’s popular Airpods (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Samsung’s Gear IconX 2018 (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Google Pixel Buds first look review (www.which.co.uk)

Best batteries for Christmas

If you’re buying Christmas presents that require batteries, or your Christmas decorations are battery powered, which batteries will last the longest and how can you track down the best offers? From our tests, we found that the best AA disposable batteries power devices such as fairy lights for around seven hours longer than the worst-performing batteries. So the worst batteries could let you down on Christmas Day, while the best will keep your devices or lights powered well into the New Year.

From our latest batch, we’ve tested alkaline and lithium batteries from 15 brands, including Duracell, Energizer, Panasonic, and the supermarket brands – including Aldi, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Discover the best AA disposable batteries[1] and the best AAA batteries[2].

When’s the right time to buy batteries?

Sometimes, it can be hard to know when the price is right, especially if you’re regularly buying various types of batteries. But if you follow our money-saving tips, the savings are worth it.

Big-brand alkaline disposable batteries can set you back around GBP8 for a pack of four. But you don’t necessarily need to spend that much. Our lab tests have uncovered some Best Buy batteries that are a lot cheaper.

It’s also worth hunting around for special offers. Data from MySupermarket.com shows that from 19 October 2016 to the New Year, at any given time, packs of four Duracell Ultra Power AAs[3] were on offer at four of the following supermarkets: Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Waitrose. So you could find them on offer again in the run-up to Christmas 2017.

But make sure they’re the best batteries for your devices before you do buy – check our battery reviews[4]. It’s also worth keeping an eye on daily deal websites and bulk-buy savings — you can save a significant amount of money by signing up to email alerts for price drops or general online discounts.

Best rechargeable batteries

If you have several gadgets or decorations that require more than a few batteries, it’s also worth considering rechargeable batteries. If you’ve balked at the price of a pack of rechargeable batteries and a charger[5], you’re not alone.

However, the more you use rechargeable batteries, the better value they become. Our highest-scoring AAs, for instance, cost 25p for 10 uses, 2.5p for 100 uses, and so on. You’ll quickly rack up 100 recharges in power-hungry devices, such as children’s toys.

This is where rechargeables can offer exceptional value over disposables, even considering the cost of a universal charger (often as little as GBP10) and the recharging costs. We’ve found in our tests that it costs approximately 53p in electricity to recharge four 2,500mAh AA rechargeables 100 times. We also test rechargeable batteries[6] and find big differences between the best and worst.

The best AA rechargeable batteries[7] will keep the most power-hungry devices running for at least seven hours, while the worst only manage four hours. Don’t pay full price for big brands, such as Duracell and Energizer rechargeable batteries. We think that there’s no need to, as we found Duracell Recharge Ultra AA batteries[8] were on offer for 230 days last year in at least one supermarket.

How we test batteries

Which? tests of disposable batteries simulate the types of devices you use your batteries in, so you know which will last the longest when you get them home.

Our medium-drain test is a good indicator for fairy lights and other battery-powered lighting, such as garden lamps or bike lights. High-drain tests show how long batteries last in your most power-hungry devices, such as remote-control toys or model aeroplanes. One of the most common uses of batteries is in clocks and clock-radios, so our low-drain test replicates the kind of conditions found in these devices.

So before you buy any batteries for Christmas, check out our advice on how to buy the best batteries[9] first.

References

  1. ^ best AA disposable batteries (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ best AAA batteries (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Duracell Ultra Power AAs (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ battery reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ charger (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ test rechargeable batteries (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ best AA rechargeable batteries (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ Duracell Recharge Ultra AA batteries (www.which.co.uk)
  9. ^ how to buy the best batteries (www.which.co.uk)