Trending December 2023 # Airpods Pro Discounted Once Again, Plus $250 Off 16 # Suggested January 2024 # Top 16 Popular

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AirPods Pro returns to Amazon all-time low while Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro is $250 off. iPad mini 5 also sees a notable discount. Head below for all that and more in the latest 9to5Toys Lunch Break.

AirPods Pro drop to $235

Amazon is currently offering Apple AirPods Pro for $235. Down from $249, today’s offer is right at the lowest we’ve seen to date and matches our previous mention. If you missed out on picking up a pair of Apple’s latest earbuds over the holidays, now is another chance to score a discount on the coveted accessory.

Bringing active noise cancellation into the mix, AirPods Pro improve upon the standard version of Apple’s earbuds with a new design rocking a customizable fit, IPX4 water-resistance, and up to 4.5 hours of listening per charge, or 24 hours when using the redesigned charging case. Learn more in our recent hands-on review.

Take $250 off Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro

Amazon offers Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro 2.3GHz/16GB/1TB in space gray for $2,549. That’s a $250 savings from the regular rate at Best Buy and other retailers, along with a match of the best we’ve tracked at Amazon.

Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro sports a completely redesigned ‘Magic’ keyboard alongside a larger 3072×1920 display. There’s 1TB worth of SSD storage on this model. You’ll also find the usual four Thunderbolt 3 ports, up to 16GB worth of RAM, and a redesigned Touch Bar with physical escape and power buttons. Check out our hands-on review for additional details.

iPad mini 5 catches $40 discount

Amazon is currently taking $40 off Apple’s iPad mini 5, bringing the Wi-Fi + Cellular 256GB model down to $639. Today’s deal is a match of the best price we’ve tracked at Amazon. Nearly every other retailer is charging full price at this time.

Apple’s latest iPad mini delivers an ultra-portable design, 7.9-inch Retina display, and an A12 chip + M12 coprocessor. Touch ID rounds out the list of notable features along with support for Apple Pencil. We heralded its smart form-factor as a defining feature “when portability matters most” in our hands-on review.

Save $70 on Kenwood’s 7-inch CarPlay Receiver

Best Buy’s official eBay storefront currently offers the Kenwood 7-inch In-Dash CarPlay and Android Auto Receiver DMX7706S for $329.99 shipped. Normally fetching $400, today’s offer saves you $70 and matches our previous mention for the best price we’ve seen in the past. Featuring a seven-inch touchscreen display, Kenwood’s CarPlay and Android Auto receiver is a must-have upgrade to your ride. It notably makes keeping an eye on directions, music playback and more a breeze while commuting.

This HomeKit Outdoor Smart Plug is $30

Meross Direct via Amazon is currently offering its new Outdoor Dual Outlet HomeKit Smart Plug for $30. Having just launched yesterday, today’s offer is good for a $5 discount and marks a new low. Headlined by HomeKit support, this smart plug sports a weather-resistant design that allows you to integrate outdoor lights and more into your setup. It has two individually-controllable outlets and on top of Siri support, you’ll also be able to leverage Alexa, Assistant, and your smartphone for control.

Best trade-in deals

9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device. Or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way! Use code 9to5mac for an extra $15 on all trades.

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Today’s Best Deals Include Up To $300 Off Apple Watch, Plus 16

Today’s best deals include up to $300 off Apple Watch, plus 16-inch MacBook Pro goes on sale, and VIZIO TVs are discounted too. Hit the jump for all that and more in the latest 9to5Toys Lunch Break.

Take up to $300 off Apple Watch Series 5

Amazon offers Apple Watch Series 5 GPS + Cellular 44mm for $449. That’s a $300 savings from the regular going rate and the best we’ve tracked at Amazon. Additional colors are also on sale, albeit for a smaller discount.

Apple Watch Series 5 delivers an always-on Retina display, 30% larger screen than Series 3, and a swimproof design. Improved features like heart rate tracking, ECG, and a new compass are a few of the other notable upgrades here. Of course, you’ll still get fitness tracking and the usual suite of notifications.

Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro sees $300 drop

Amazon offers Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro 512GB for $2,099. That’s a $300 discount, match of our previous mention, and in line with most deal prices we’ve seen in 2023. Best Buy is currently charging full price. There’s 512GB worth of SSD storage on this model that’s paired with an Intel Core i7 processor. You’ll also find the usual four Thunderbolt 3 ports, 16GB worth of RAM, and a redesigned Touch Bar with physical escape and power buttons. 

AirPlay 2 and HomeKit highlight VIZIO’s 65-inch 4K HDR UHDTV

Walmart offers the VIZIO 65-inch 4K HDR Smart UHDTV with AirPlay 2 for $648. As a comparison, it originally sold for closer to $800 and today’s deal is down at least $100 from the regular going rate. This is also the best price we’ve tracked all-time.

With a 65-inch 4K panel and HDR support, this VIZIO delivers a future-proof design that should be good for years to come. Features include four HDMI inputs, smart functionality, a 120Hz effective refresh rate, and built-in AirPlay 2 plus Chromecast features. This is a great all-in-one option if you’d like to eliminate the add-on streaming media player while enjoying compatibility with multiple platforms. 

Apple’s latest 27-inch 5K iMac falls to all-time low at $200 off

Amazon is currently offering the latest Apple 27-inch Retina 5K iMac 3.3GHz/8GB/512GB for $1,799. Down from $1,999, today’s offer is good for a $200 price cut, beats our previous mention by $100, and matches the Amazon all-time low set back over Black Friday.

Whether you’ll be working from home still for the foreseeable future or want to be ready for whatever the winter semester has in store, Apple’s Retina 5K iMac is up to the task with a 27-inch 5K display. The entire package is powered by a 10th Gen. Intel CPU, and you can count on 512GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics card. While two Thunderbolt 3 ports headline the included I/O, there’s also Gigabit Ethernet, an SD card reader, and four USB 3.0 ports.

Take up to 33% off OtterBox iPhone cases from $23

Amazon is currently discounting a selection of OtterBox iPhone cases headlined by the OtterBox Defender iPhone 12 mini Case for $40. Down from the usual $60 going rate, you’re saving 33% here with today’s offer marking the first price cut we’ve seen since launching last fall. OtterBox’s Defender case protects your 12 mini with a two-part design that adds extra water-resistance on top of drop protection. Its slim design still enables you to leverage a wireless charger, and there’s added antimicrobial features here, too. OtterBox bundles an included belt clip that doubles as a kickstand to complete the package.

Best trade-in deals

9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device. Or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way!

Subscribe to the 9to5Toys YouTube Channel for all of the latest videos, reviews, and more!

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Meizu Pro 6 Plus Review

Our Verdict

Running Flyme OS 5 out of the box, the well-built Meizu Pro 6 Plus is a fantastic Android phone with some seriously good performance, a vibrant and high-resolution screen and a decent camera. Unfortunately, though cheaper than UK flagships, at £399 (before import duty) it’s still too pricey to properly compete with the Galaxy S7 and OnePlus 3T. Neither are we in love with Flyme OS.

You’ll have noticed a number of Chinese phones pass through the doors of our Test Centre these days. Quite simply, that’s because they rival UK-sold smartphones on design and features, but come at a much lower price. The Meizu Pro 6 Plus is one of the more expensive examples to come to our attention, available from Geekbuying at £399.05 ($512.99/471.75€), but it’s also one of the most powerful. Also see: Best Chinese phones 2023

Consider that this price puts it on par with the OnePlus 3T, a highly soughtafter, incredibly powerful flagship Android phone (for now – the OnePlus 5 is due any day) that also costs £399. Now consider that in place of the OnePlus 3T’s 5.5in full-HD screen you get a 5.7in Quad-HD panel, and a design reminiscent of the iPhone 6s Plus. Performance is very good from the Exynos 8890 chip and 4GB of DDR4 RAM (that’s the same setup as in the Galaxy S7), if not as exemplary as that of the OnePlus 3T.

However, before you rush off and buy the Meizu Pro 6 Plus over the OnePlus 3T, there are a couple of other considerations you need to be aware of. First, the OnePlus 3T is sold direct from the company or via major mobile operators such as O2, which means help is easily at hand should anything go wrong. By comparison the Meizu Pro 6 Plus is sold by Geekbuying, a Chinese importer through which support will be less readily available (it’s also available direct from Meizu, but only if you live in China). Though we’ve never personally had an issue dealing with Geekbuying, you should know that your rights are different when purchasing from China than they are the UK and Europe.

Second, because you’ll be importing this phone from China you’ll legally be responsible for paying VAT duty. Of course some parcels get through Customs without a whisper of a fine, and others get around exorbitant costs by lowering the value on the shipping paperwork (your fee is calculated at 20 percent of this value plus an admin fee of around £11), but if you are asked to pay import duty you do have to do so. Naturally this will raise the overall cost of the phone, so it’s worth factoring into your budget. You can read more about the risks associated with buying Chinese tech in our article on the pros and cons of purchasing grey-market tech.

It’s also worth pointing out that the other UK-sold phone we mentioned there – last year’s category-leading Galaxy S7 – can now be bought SIM-free from Amazon for just a little over £400. And while you might choose the Meizu over the OnePlus 3T, you certainly wouldn’t the Samsung Galaxy S7.

You’ll also like: Best big-screen phones 2023

Meizu Pro 6 Plus design and build

Meizu has built the Pro 6 Plus to a high standard, with a metal unibody design (available in gold, as seen here, grey or silver) and a clean white fascia that will ring familiar with iPhone 6s Plus users. It’s not a carbon copy of the iPhone, with a rectangular rather than circular front-facing home button and some other little tweaks, but you can easily see the similarities, right down to the top- and bottom antenna lines and Designed by Meizu logo on the rear.

One of those tweaks can be found at the back, right about where you might expect to see an Apple logo, and it’s something that marks a first for us in phone reviews: a 10-LED flash ring that sits below a centrally located 12Mp camera. It looks and, on paper, sounds cool, but in practise isn’t any more adept at low-light photography than some dual-LED flashes we’ve tried.

The camera itself juts out of the chassis only a small amount, which pleasingly stops the handset rocking on a flat surface and also detracting from the overall design. Also see: Best Android phones 2023

A single speaker grille is found on the bottom edge of the handset, alongside a fast USB-C 3.1 port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right edge you’ll find a volume rocker and power button, and on the left a pin-operated dual-SIM tray. So, everything is pretty much where you’d expect to find it.

That is until you go to actually use the phone, and that’s when you realise Meizu has implemented a horrible button setup akin to that of the iPhone. (And that’s not the only iPhone-esque change when it comes to usability, because there’s also no app tray to be found.)

Rather than finding physical or, more often these days, capacitive buttons for home, back and multitasking, the Meizu Pro 6 Plus has just one central button. It’s well done and looks good, with a gold trim and a flush design, but it’s a nightmare to get your head around.

You tap it to go back, or press to go home. To access multitasking you swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen either side of the home button – something we found out entirely by accident.

Also integrated to this home button is a fast and responsive mTouch fingerprint scanner, which admittedly works very well.

For a device with a large 5.7in screen the Meizu is very comfortable to hold in a single hand, and it’s not overly heavy at just 158g. This ergonomic design is achieved through a slim 7.3mm chassis that is slightly rounded at the edges, as well as slim screen bezels to the left and right, together reducing the distance your finger might ever need to stretch across the display.

The display itself is a good one, and one of few Quad-HD panels we’ve seen in Chinese phones. This is a Super AMOLED panel, which is our favourite kind of screen tech, with punchy, vibrant colours and rich and proper blacks. Brightness and overall quality isn’t as high as you’d find on Samsung’s Quad-HD phones, but it’s certainly difficult to fault.

That said, Meizu doesn’t specify whether any protective glass is in use here, and being a Chinese phone you will likely find it more difficult to source a protective case. Also see: Best mid-range phones 2023

Another similarity with Samsung phones is the implementation of an Always-on display. When activated (it’s off by default), you’ll be able to see at a glance what is the time, date and remaining battery capacity simply by looking at the screen. The feature uses a tiny amount of battery power, and should actually reduce the amount of power you use overall as you aren’t constantly waking the screen to check the time.

Of course, battery life isn’t really something you need to worry about with the Pro 6 Plus, since its 3,400mAh battery should easily last you two days of use. It doesn’t support wireless charging like Samsung’s rival, but it does seemingly just keep on going. (And you can always use a power bank if you need more.)

One thing we’d like to see in the Meizu Pro 6 Plus’ follow-up is waterproofing protection, which is beginning to make its way on to the UK smartphone market but less so in China.

Meizu Pro 6 Plus core hardware and performance

We mentioned earlier that the Meizu Pro 6 Plus has the same core hardware setup as the Galaxy S7, and that really is impressive for a phone at this price point – so far it’s something only OnePlus has managed to achieve in the UK mainstream mobile phone market. Also see: What’s the fastest phone?

Its performance in our benchmarks was lower than both those phones, yet still evident of an extremely capable device. We found operation smooth and fluid. It’s worth pointing out that benchmark scores can fluctuate from one minute to the next, and that they can be easily gamed (pointing no fingers here). Plus the OnePlus 3T benefits from an extra couple of gigs of RAM.

Leading the show here is one of Samsung’s own Exynos 8890 processors, an octa-core chip with four Cortex-A53 cores running at 2GHz and four at 1.6GHz. You should note that if you buy the 128GB storage model (our review model came with 64GB of fast UFS 2.0 storage, but no possibility of expansion through microSD) these cores are clocked higher at 2.3- and 1.6GHz respectively.

Integrated to this processor is the ARM Mali-T880 MP10 GPU (MP12 in the 128GB model), which is paired with 4GB of LPDDR4 memory.

You can see the results of our benchmarks in comparison to the Galaxy S7 and OnePlus 3T in the graph below.

Meizu Pro 6 Plus connectivity and extra features

dual-SIM operation. This works in dual-standby mode, which in essence means both SIMs can send and receive calls and text messages at once but only one can be specified for data usage. If you have separate contracts for work and play, or home and abroad, this could be very useful.

But while we’re on the subject of connectivity, you should note that the Meizu does not support the 800MHz 4G connectivity band. There are three 4G bands in use in the UK – 800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz – of which it supports only the latter two.

All the UK’s major mobile networks have bandwidth in the 800MHz space, but only O2 (and providers that piggyback its network, such as Sky Mobile and Giffgaff) rely on it for 4G coverage. Should you subscribe to one of these networks you will not be able to access 4G; if you’re on a different network then depending where you are you may find your coverage is a bit more patchy. Also see: How to tell whether a phone is supported by your network.

Most other connectivity bases are covered, with support for dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, GPS and GLONASS, and NFC.

The other thing missing here is microSD support for storage expansion, though even the lower 64GB model offers a generous amount of space for your apps, media and other files. Also see: How to add storage to Android

The mTouch fingerprint scanner works well, though is said to also build in a heart-rate scanner. This is not currently available on the international model, though a software update may change this. Either way, we’ve found the inclusion of heart-rate scanners on rival phones such as the Galaxy S7 somewhat gimmicky.

Meizu Pro 6 Plus cameras

For photography the Meizu Pro 6 Plus is pretty hot, though perhaps not as much as you might be expecting given that fancy 10-LED flash ring, six-piece lens, 12Mp, f/2.0 sensor and four-axis OIS. In most situations we found very pleasing, natural results with a good amount of detail and colour, and we liked the toned-down but accurate effect of HDR mode.

Detail is very good on the whole but noise isn’t completely out of the picture, especially in low-light. In such situations the Meizu can also have difficulty focusing, despite its laser autofocus and PDAF.

To accompany the main Sony IMX386 camera is an app that offers both Auto and Manual modes, plus real-time filters. You can also switch to 4K or Slow-mo video recording and a six-second GIF-creation mode. Also see: Best phone cameras 2023

Turn around the camera to access the 5Mp, f/2.0 selfie shooter and many of the same modes, including a beauty mode.

Check out a couple of our test images below, taken in Auto and HDR modes respectively.

Meizu Pro 6 Plus software

Software is, unfortunately, one of the drawbacks for the Meizu Pro 6 Plus – at least for UK users. Google Play is not preinstalled and neither are any Google apps. That’s quite a big deal in the UK.

There’s an easy workaround, though, and if you’re not prompted via a notification to install Google services as we were you can find the Google Installer in the Hot Apps store on the home screen. But we’d imagine this whole process could be unnerving for a less-techie Android user.

As we mentioned in the build and design section, we’re really not keen on the single button mode of operation for accessing both home and back functions, and the way you access the multitasking menu is not especially user-friendly. Or obvious. Also see: Best phones 2023

The app shortcuts sprawled all over the home screen rather than tucked out of sight in an app tray is something we’re starting to feel more comfortable having spent some time with Xiaomi phones, which also favour this approach. You can tidy things up by dragging things into folders, but it’s just not Android as it was intended.

Flyme OS 5.2.7 is preinstalled on the phone, but an upgrade to Flyme OS 6 is promised. It builds in a feature called 3D Press, which should enable you to preview contents, display shortcuts or perform an operation by applying a different amount of pressure to the screen, though even enabled we had difficulty trying to get it to do anything.

You can place anywhere onscreen a SmartTouch button, which can be used as a back button or to switch between tasks, return to the home screen on open the notification bar. The screen isn’t really large enough to require it, but it’s a part of the OS.

The Meizu also supports gestures in standby mode, allowing you to draw onscreen various letters or patterns to wake and load an app of your choice.

The notification bar is also a little different. Pull this down to access customisable quick-access toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and so on, plus a screen brightness slider.

We also downloaded the open beta of Flyme OS 6.7.3 on the Meizu Pro 6 Plus, and found several new features. Some of our favourites include Time Machine, which lets you retrieve data that has accidentally been deleted, as well as the new lock, secret and split-view controls for multitasking and new ability for taking extended screenshots. Also see: How to back up Android

If you’re the secretive type you’ll also like the new Privacy mode, which allows you to secretly store contacts, apps, photos, videos and files. These can be accessed by entering a different PIN code from the lock screen.

Other tweaks include some UI changes, with the Meizu Pro 6 Plus offering smart notifications – those considered to be of less importance are tucked away in a storage box icon at the top right corner of the drop-down notification bar.

And Meizu has tweaked some multimedia controls with a new intelligent facial beautification algorithm for the zero-delay camera, as well as new editing tools in the Gallery app for video.

Read next: Best new phones

Specs Meizu Pro 6 Plus: Specs

5.7in WQHD (2560×1440, 518ppi) Super AMOLED display, 3-600cd/m2 brightness, 10,000:1 contrast, 103% NTSC colour gamut, always-on display

Flyme OS 5.2.7 out of the box but upgradable to Flyme OS 6 (based on Android Marshmallow)

2GHz Exynos 8890 octa-core processor

Mali-T880 MP10 GPU (MP12 in 128GB model)


64GB/128GB UFS 2.0 storage

FDD-LTE 1800/2100/2600MHz

dual-SIM dual-standby

dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi

Bluetooth 4.1



12Mp Sony IMX386 camera, 6P lens

1.25um pixels, 10-LED ring flash, f/2.0 aperture, four-axis optical image stabilisation, laser focus, PDAF

5Mp f/2.0 selfie camera, 5P lens

MTouch fingerprint scanner

ESS ES9018K2M + AD45275 hi-fi audio chips

USB-C 3.1

3,400mAh battery



Here’s How Beats Studio Buds Compare Against Airpods And Airpods Pro

The newest Beats in-ear headphones have officially arrived and they come with a compelling set of features priced $100 below AirPods Pro. But even though they come with active noise cancellation, transparency mode, Hey Siri support, and more, there are some tradeoffs. Let’s look at the Beats Studio Buds vs. AirPods and AirPods Pro to see how they all stack up.

Update 6/25: Beats Studio Buds are arriving to early customers and are in stock at many Apple Stores. Shipping times for new orders are 3-4 days at the time of writing.

Below we’ve got a side-by-side comparison of Apple’s most popular fully wireless earbuds – AirPods/Pro – and the new Beats Studio Buds when it comes to design, battery life, features, and sound quality. And for more details, be sure to check out our full review:

Beats Studio Buds vs. AirPods and AirPods Pro Design

The first thing many will notice is the stemless, compact design of the Beats Studio Buds. You’re also getting an in-ear fit with three ear tip sizes included like AirPods Pro.

One benefit over AirPods/AirPods Pro is the option to go for black or red with the new Beats instead of being limited to white. However, you’re not getting a wireless charging case and will have to power that up with the included USB-C cable.

Beats Studio BudsAirPods ProAirPodsFully wireless✅✅✅In-ear fit with 3 tip sizes✅✅❌“Universal fit”❌❌✅ColorsWhite, black, redWhiteWhiteWireless charging case❌✅Optional

Battery life

Another leg up on AirPods is Beats Studio Buds featuring eight hours of battery life without active noise cancellation or transparency mode. If using either of those features, you still get a solid five hours. With the Beats Studio Buds charging case you get up to 24 hours of total playback, and you get the same fast charging as AirPods.

Beats Studio BudsAirPods ProAirPodsBudsUp to 8 hoursUp to 5 hoursUp to 5 hoursCharging case16 hours19+ hours19+ hoursTotal with case24 hours24+ hours24+ hours15 min. charge =3 hours of playback3 hours of playback3 hours of playback


Instead of using Apple’s W1 or H1 chip, the Beats Studio Buds use a custom chip that brings many of AirPods’ features but does skip a couple.

Specifically, you’re not getting auto device switching (between iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc.) and the new Beats also skip the ear-detection and auto-pause/play functionality. You do get Spatial Audio support, but not with head tracking like AirPods Pro.

Beats Studio BudsAirPods ProAirPodsEar-detection, auto-pause/play❌✅✅Sweat and water-resistant✅✅✅Track with Find My✅✅✅Active noise cancellation (ANC)✅✅❌Transparency mode✅✅❌Spatial Audio✅ without head tracking✅ with head tracking✅ without head trackingInstant one-touch pairing✅✅✅Auto device switching❌✅✅“Hey Siri” support✅✅✅Bluetooth 5.0✅✅✅


While Beats Studio Buds share many of the AirPods Pro features, they undercut them in price. While they’re $100 less when looking at the MSRP, it’s good to keep in mind that AirPods and AirPods Pro often sell for less than the suggested price.

Beats Studio BudsAirPods ProAirPodsMSRP$149$249$159 and $199

Sound quality and performance

After reviewing the Beats Studio Buds, my colleague Chance found the sound quality “quite nice” but a bit less rich compared to AirPods Pro or Powerbeats Pro.

Beats Studio Buds vs. AirPods wrap-up

If you like the stemless design, the option for black and red, and an in-ear fit with ANC, the Beats Studio Buds are a great way to get most of the AirPods/AirPods Pro features at a reasonable price. But that’s as long as you don’t mind missing out on a wireless charging case, auto device switching, and ear-detection/auto-pause and play.

Beats Studio Buds are available direct from Apple (in stock at various Apple Stores) as well as Amazon (currently out of stock).

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Can Beats Fit Pro Replace Airpods Pro As Your Go

Launched in November, Beats Fit Pro are the latest wireless earbuds by Apple brand Beats. While people are still waiting for the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro, do Beats Fit Pro have what it takes to replace Apple’s AirPods Pro? Here’s how my experience has been so far.

Happily, this week, I was able to grab a pair, and I’ve been exhaustively wearing them to see how they compare with AirPods Pro, which I recently said are the best choice for many buyers.

First and foremost, Beats take on AirPods Pro is great, because the Beats Fit Pro has almost everything you expect from an Apple wireless earbuds: great battery life, ANC, Transparency mode, Dolby Atmos, easy-to-pair, and easy to switch between Apple devices features. In addition, the Beats Fit Pro also have an innovative wingtip design where the buds not only go in-ear, but there’s an added hook to further secure the fit.

Although I never had problems with the fit of any AirPods, I’m always eager to try new shapes. Personally, I can say that the Beats Fit Pro fit well in my ears, but after a few hours, the wingtips starts to really bother me – especially if I’m wearing them while working. Working out, on the other hand, they are really great and comfortable. For example, a 50 minute run is a delight with these earbuds.

What impresses me the most is the sound quality of the Beats Fit Pro. Overall, Apple always has a great approach regarding sound quality on its earbuds, but I really appreciate Beats rich bass. Whenever I’m working out I really want to feel the beat of the music while running, and these earbuds are perfect for that.

I’m not saying AirPods Pro sound bad – far from that – but the right playlist with the Beats Fit Pro are a perfect combination.

Beats Fit Pro aren’t always heaven on Earth

The size difference between AirPods Pro, Beats Fit Pro, and PowerBeats Pro cases

That said, there are some things that bother me about Beats’ new wireless earbuds. The case is still a bit of a whack to put in my jeans. Don’t take it personally, Beats improved 1000% if you compare them with the Powerbeats Pro case, but, come on, all AirPods just fit right in whatever pocket you put them – except for the AirPods Max – and I also still take forever to put the buds in the case. I always misplaced them, and I don’t even know why.

Secondly, the Beats Fit Pro don’t feature wireless charging technology nor MagSafe. It would be great to easily charge these earbuds on my MagSafe Duo?

But there are still features to praise

Apart from all the Apple experience, I really think it’s interesting that Beats Fit Pro charge with a USB-C cable. It’s nice that I can use the same cable for my MacBook Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, and the Nintendo Switch.

Another good thing is the battery life. You have up to six hours of listening time when you use either Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency mode. With only Adaptive EQ enabled, the number increases to seven hours. The charging case adds 21 additional hours of battery life.

Although the AirPods Pro can give you more listening time when you keep charging the earbuds, the Beats Fit Pro offer a long experience in a single charge.

Finally, there are some color options for the Beats Fit Pro, which AirPods Pro don’t offer. Beats is also known for special editions of its headphones, which means it won’t take long until the company releases a newly designed pair of Beats Fit Pro so you can feel exclusive.

Who wins the battle? AirPods Pro or Beats Fit Pro?

For $199, the Beats Fit Pro are a really solid choice, but keep in mind that AirPods Pro can be found usually around $180 (the official price is $249). If you care about a powerful bass and AirPods don’t fit your ears, don’t overthink: Beats Fit Pro are the go-to product. It’s also a good choice for those who like to focus while working out. Also, here’s what 9to5Mac’s Chance Miller has to say about Beats Fit Pro on his review of the product:

“Ultimately, Beats Fit Pro are an incredibly compelling option, thanks to their excellent sound quality and design, versatile compatibility with Apple and Android devices, and a sub-$200 price point. Between this release of Beats Fit Pro, the affordable Beats Studio Buds, and more, it seems clear that Beats is firing on all cylinders right now and thriving within Apple.”

With Beats Fit Pro, you’ll pretty much get all AirPods features, but with a better shape in your ears. That said, if the wingtip doesn’t seem comfortable, just go with AirPods Pro, since these earbuds bring such a great experience.

Last but not least, I’d also love to talk a bit about AirPods 3. I really love how they fit in my ears. If you need wireless earbuds for calls, an easy listening experience, and like to be aware of your surroundings while exercising, then AirPods 3 are a perfect choice.

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Xiaomi Mi Note Pro Vs Iphone 6 Plus Comparison

Our Verdict

With a low price, dual-SIM capability and truly fast hardware, Xiaomi’s Mi Note Pro is a seriously impressive proposition. But the iPhone 6 Plus is a seriously good phablet too. We can’t wait to get the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro into our lab and take a proper look. If you are in no rush to buy, it could turn out to be an amazing bargain.

We’re very excited about the incoming Xiaomi Mi Note Pro. It looks like a staggering deal, pending an asssesment of the true price and a test of the device’s true capabilities. Here we compare the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro with the iPhone 6 Plus, a similarly sized phablet. We have, of course, tested the  Apple iPhone 6 Plus in a way that we haven’t yet been able to with the rival Xiaomi. So by definition we can make no definitive statements: this is a comparison based on the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro’s specs. Enjoy!

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison: UK price and availability

The iPhone 6 Plus is easily available direct from Apple from £619 inc VAT with 16GB of storage, while the 64- and 128GB models will cost you £699 and £789 respectively. If you can’t afford to buy the iPhone 6 Plus straight out then you will likely be tempted to pay a smaller amount upfront and get it on a contract. You will pay more in the long run this way, though.

Xiaomi’s Mi Note Pro is not yet on sale in the UK, but it’s expected at the end of March with a retail value of 3,299 yuan. A straight conversion is £353, making it a lot cheaper than the iPhone 6 Plus, although it’ll probably cost a little more over here – remember we have to factor in 20 percent VAT, and the cost of localising for a small population and a strong currency. Oppomart is already listing the Mi Note Pro for $599, which equates to £399. Don’t be surprised if the final price is closer to £450 inc VAT. Still, much cheaper than the iPhone. If cost is your primary consideration, the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is the better bet. See also: iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison review.

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison: Display

The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is a phablet with a 5.7in screen. That display has a Quad HD (2560×1440) resolution, resulting in a staggering pixel density of 515ppi. Xiaomi opts for Sharp/JDI’s IPS LCD tech in its display. It should be a brilliant screen. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5in, 1920×1080 IPS multitouch panel that has a pixel density of 401ppi and it definitely is a brilliant screen.

But on specs alone the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro has a bigger, and sharper display. (See also: Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comparison.)

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison: Design and build

The Note Pro is built around a sturdy metal frame, with a 2.5D glass front and 3D glass rear that should give it a premium feel. The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is thin and light. Surprisingly so. It measures 77.6×6.95×155.1mm and weighs 161g.

By contrast the 77.8×7.1×158.1mm, 172g iPhone 6 Plus is famously big for a smartphone. Put it next to the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, however, and we suspect you wouldn’t notice too great a difference. With a big screen comes a big handset. The iPhone is the bigger, so if you want small go for the Xiaomi. What Apple always offers, however, is excellent build quality. The iPhone 6 Plus is a beautifully put together phone. The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro will have to work hard to beat it on that factor alone.

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison: Processor, memory and performance

Although we’ve yet to run our benchmarks on the Mi Note Pro we can be pretty sure its Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip will be a speed demon. Clocked at 2GHz, this 64-bit octa-core processor is paired with Adreno 430 graphics and 4GB of RAM.

The iPhone 6 Plus uses the Apple A8 processor and M8 motion coprocessor, paired with 1GB RAM. It turns in storming benchmark results to match its excellent performance: In Geekbench 3’s multicore test the iPhone 6 Plus scored an excellent 2917 points. It was fast in SunSpider, too, with a blink and you’ll miss it 369ms. And in GFXBench the iPhone 6 Plus scored a fantastic 18.7- in the onscreen Manhattan and 41.1fps in the onscreen T-Rex tests.

This one is impossible to score. We expect the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro to be a top performer, but without testing we can’t tell whether it will best the superfast iPhone 6 Plus. Suffice to say that both of these will be fast handsets. (See also: What’s the fastest smartphone 2023 UK?)

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison: Storage

In terms of storage the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro has 64GB as standard, and no expandable storage. The iPhone 6 Plus comes with either 16-, 64- or 128GB built in, and also has no microSD slot to add more. For versatility we would hand that one to the iPhone.

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison: Connectivity and extras

Xiaomi has an ace up its sleeve with dual-SIM support, which is becoming increasingly popular – in particular with people who travel regularly for work. The Mi Note Pro accepts a nano- and a Micro-SIM, and supports 4G connectivity.

According to GSMArena you’ll find Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band ac Wi-Fi in the Mi Note Pro, but other connectivity specs are to be confirmed.

The iPhone also features the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi and NFC (for use with Apple Pay), while 4G connectivity is a given. Bluetooth 4.0 is present.

We reckon the dual-SIM slot is a big win for the Xiaomi. Otherwise, it’s a score draw.

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison: Cameras

It’s impossible to say which is the better camera without testing them. Around the back Xiaomi specifies a 13Mp camera, with optical image stabilisation. The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro’s video camera maxes out at 1080p full-HD. Around the front the Mi Note Pro has a 4Mp camera with large 2-micron pixels.

The iPhone 6 Plus’ 8Mp iSight (rear) camera specifies large 1.5-micron pixels and an f/2.2 aperture. The improved image signal processor in the new A8 chip means ‘Focus Pixels’ can provide the sensor with more information about a scene, allowing for a faster and improved autofocus. There’s also improved face detection, exposure control, auto- and optical image stabilisation and a panorama mode. The 6 Plus’ video recording is pretty good, too, with support for full-HD (1080p) at 60fps, slo-mo at 240fps, time-lapse video, continuous autofocus and cinematic video stabilisation.

We know that the iPhone 6 Plus has a good camera. And we hope that the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro does too.

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison: Software

The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro runs Xiaomi’s MIU 6 software, which is based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The iPhone 6 Plus comes with iOS 8. We like the latest version of Android a great deal, and presuming that Xiaomi doesn’t mess up the interface too much, and allows full access to Google Play, there isn’t much difference between the two. Android vs iOS is really a matter of personal choice.

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison: Verdict

With a low price, dual-SIM capability and truly fast hardware, Xiaomi’s Mi Note Pro is a seriously impressive proposition. But the iPhone 6 Plus is a seriously good phablet too. We can’t wait to get the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro into our lab and take a proper look. If you are in no rush to buy, it could turn out to be an amazing bargain.

Specs Apple iPhone 6 Plus: Specs

A8 processor chip with 64bit architecture and M8 co-processor

5.5-inch ‘Retina HD’ screen with resolution of 1920 x 1080, pixel density of 401ppi and 1300:1 contrast ratio (typical)

Rear-facing camera (‘New iSight camera’) with 8Mp photos, ƒ/2.2, optical image stabilisation and 1080p video recording

Front-facing (‘FaceTime’ camera) with 1.2Mp photos, ƒ/2.2, 720p video recording and burst mode

16GB/64GB/128GB storage

Lightning connector

Touch ID fingerprint scanner

158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm


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