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The Best USB Battery Packs and Power Banks

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Over the past two years, we’ve considered nearly 300 USB battery packs (also known as power banks) and spent hundreds of hours testing more than 40 of them to find the ones that offer the best value and reliably keep gear charged. The credit-card-sized TravelCard Charger has consistently been our go-to battery to give a smartphone a partial charge to make it through the day. The Jackery Bolt is just a little bigger and provides one to two full smartphone charges, and it has convenient built-in cables. Our larger pick, the Anker PowerCore 20100, can charge your phone every day for a week or keep a fleet of devices going for shorter stints. And for Android devices that are Quick Charge–capable, we found that the medium-size Tronsmart Presto 10000 PBT10 will provide really fast Quick Charge 3.0 speeds at a good price. (If you already have a device with a USB-C port, you’ll get the fastest charging and future-proof tech from dedicated USB-C battery packs instead.)

The Best Midrange Mirrorless Camera

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After 70 hours of research and testing over three years, including real-world shooting with a handful of the top contenders, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 II is what we recommend for most people looking for a high-performing mirrorless camera system without breaking the bank. The E-M10 II locks focus on subjects quickly, is compatible with more than 70 lenses, and has built-in image stabilization that works with every lens.

Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners suffering yet more issues

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Pixel 2 XL

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users are reporting their phones are running warm, while many are also experiencing significantly diminished battery life.

The issue seems to derive from installing Google’s February security update, which arrived earlier this month.

Users have taken to Reddit and the official Pixel community to report the issue, which is affecting both phones despite Google using different manufacturing partners.

It appears some users are experiencing one or both of the issues, while a 9to5Google reporter claims his Pixel 2 XL is warm to the touch, even in standby mode.

Ben Schoon says his battery life now falls to around 30% by knocking-off time, when it had been above 50% before installing the update.

Related: Google Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2 XL

The Reddit posts on the matter suggest it is affecting users in varying ways. braidenis, who’s experiencing warming and a reduction in battery efficiency wrote: “My battery should not be at 40% from less than an hour of screen on time with no new apps at all.”

Google is yet to comment on the issue, but it’s likely a fix will be forthcoming soon, or within March’s security update.

Mo’ Pixels, mo problems

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL launch cycle hasn’t been too enjoyable for Google, with multiple teething problems reported in the first few months on sale. In November, a random reboot problem emerged, while users also complained the device was making strange clicking and buzzing sounds.

We’ve seen evidence of screen burn, and poor audio recording quality to go with complaints over the Pixel 2 XL’s “lifeless screen“. Some Pixel 2 units even arrived without Android installed!

Sales figures don’t make for pretty reading either. On Monday it was reported Google only shifted 3.9 Pixel-branded phones in 2017.

Perhaps the company is wondering whether entering the smartphone hardware business, as well as buying its own engineering department from HTC, was really worth it?

Are you a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL owner? Have you been happy with the phone since snapping up the Made by Google handset? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

The post Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners suffering yet more issues appeared first on Trusted Reviews.

The Best Bed Pillows

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After spending a combined 459 nights on 45 pillows, talking with nine sleep and industry experts, and long-term testing our top picks for 15 months, we’ve concluded that the best pillow for most people, including back-sleepers, side-sleepers, and stomach-sleepers who prefer a pillow with generous loft, is the Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow in standard size. The best choice for stomach-sleepers who prefer something thinner and less lofty is the Parachute Down Pillow in soft density.

Virgin to officially rollout 350Mbps fibre broadband, beating BT’s top speed

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Virgin Media has announced plans to boost its advertised top fibre broadband speeds to a whopping 350Mbps.

In its latest earnings report, the company said it will begin promoting the new top speeds this spring.

The firm has been providing the speeds to some customers on its top 300Mbps broadband packages for a few months (via ISPreview), but is yet to market that fact.

On paper, BT Openreach currently tops the pile with advertised speeds of up to 330Mbps, but this will officially put Virgin back on top as Britain’s fastest mainstream broadband provider.

Companies like Hyperoptic and Gigaclear are offering up to 1Gbps (Gigabit) speeds in certain parts of the UK, but catchment areas are still very limited.

Both BT and Virgin have committed to providing Gigabit speeds in the future.

Related: Best router 2018

Virgin company is currently in the midst of a £3bn network expansion that will make its services available to an additional four million properties by the end of the decade.

The firm says 2 million of those premises will offer the fastest Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) connections.

Once Project Lightning is completed, Virgin media broadband will be available in 60% of UK homes.

The company has a current customer base of 5,104,300 (up 24,000 on the previous quarter) in the UK, who’re paying for advertised speeds of between 50Mbps and 300Mbps.

Are you one of the Virgin Media customers currently experiencing the 350Mbps speeds? Share your experiences with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

The post Virgin to officially rollout 350Mbps fibre broadband, beating BT’s top speed appeared first on Trusted Reviews.

The Best Powerline Networking Kit

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After a total of 36 hours of testing nearly every kit released since 2014, we’ve determined that the best powerline networking adapter set for most people is the TP-Link AV2000 2-Port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit. A powerline networking adapter transmits an internet signal over your home’s electrical wiring, so it’s a good way to get internet access to a distant part of your house without running additional cables or using a Wi-Fi extender. The broadly compatible TP-Link kit is twice as fast as 2015’s fastest powerline options, so it’s the best way to start or expand your home powerline network.