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MobileSyrup Touque Test: How the best wireless earbuds work under warm winter hats – MobileSyrup



Winter is coming, as they say, and that means Canadians are digging out their favourite touques to keep their heads warm.

However, this year saw an influx of new, truly wireless earbuds. Tech companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, OnePlus and more offer all kinds of awesome earbuds and several different price points.

While many judge earbuds by metrics like sound quality, noise cancellation or battery life, one metric — perhaps more than any other — matters to Canadians: touque compatibility. ‘Touque-ability,’ if you will, measures how well earbuds work when you wear them with a touque.

The MobileSyrup team tested several earbuds to bring together this all-important guide to which true wireless earbuds work best with touques. Below you’ll find a short blurb describing the experience of wearing a specific pair of earbuds with a touque along with a ‘touque-ability’ score out of five points.

Surface Earbuds

When MobileSyrup reviewed Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds earlier this year, one of our favourite features was how comfortable the buds were.

Unfortunately, that praise does not extend to the touque-ability of these buds. Due to the Surface Earbuds’ design, they sit rather loose in the ear and stick out a fair bit. When I try wearing a touque, the Surface Earbuds’ edges catch on the material and they shift around in my ears. This isn’t a significant issue with a loose-fitting touque, but your mileage may vary.


Available for $259.99 on Amazon Canada.

Jabra Elite 75t

Thanks to the smooth exterior, the Jabra Elite 75t earbuds didn’t snag on the touque. Despite that upside, they still weren’t comfortable with a winter had on, mostly because it pushed the buds deeper into my ears than was comfortable.

A looser-fitting touque was less problematic, but the extra pressure of the touque on the earbuds wasn’t bearable.


Available for $159.99 on Amazon Canada (save 33%).


AirPods (2019) on ledge

The AirPods are entirely plastic and therefore easily fall out of my ears. On the plus side, since they’re not in-ear earbuds, they still feel comfortable with a touque on.

Still, the fact that they feel like they’re constantly falling out of my ears in sub-zero temperatures doesn’t bode well for Apple’s lowest-end earbuds.


Starting at $219 in Canada.

Galaxy Buds Live

Galaxy Buds Live in ear

Echoing Apple’s AirPods in some sense, we found that the Galaxy Buds Live also constantly fall out of our ears while wearing a touque. This happens because if you have a touque over your ears, it often bends them slightly.

This curves the part of your ear where the Buds Live typically sit, unfortunately. In fact, we’d say that the Galaxy Buds Live are some of the worst earbuds available to wear with a toque on.


Available for $149.99 on Amazon Canada (save 23%).

AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro angled in-ear

The AirPods Pro are one of the only pairs of earbuds we’ve encountered that actually manage to stay lodged in your ear canal while wearing a touque. This is almost entirely due to their surprisingly comfortable in-ear design and flexible rubber tip.

Regardless of how tight your winter hat is, or even if you’re running, Apple’s AirPods Pro are great for braving Canada’s cold winters.


Available for $329 in Canada.

Pixel Buds (2020)

Pixel Buds 2020 and case

While Google’s Pixel Buds (2020) are nearly as good as Apple’s AirPods Pro when it comes to their ability to stay firmly planted in your ears in the cold and while wearing a touque, the black rubber fin that locks them in place can, unfortunately, bend under the pressure of a winter hat.

This means that, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live, depending on how tight your touque is, you could encounter several accidental drops.


Available for $239 in Canada.

OnePlus Buds

Sitting under the biggest touque the OnePlus Buds are locked in. The earbuds’ design, which is like the AirPods, but larger, means the touque can push them in snugly.

While this snug fit was worrying when removing the hat, the Buds stayed put. Even after putting on and taking off the touque like a mad person, the earbuds never fell out.


Available for $109 in Canada.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Galaxy Buds+

Much like the awesome Pixel Buds, the Galaxy Buds+ do a good job of staying firm in your ear, regardless of your touque situation. That said, under MobileSyrup’s tough touque testing™, these decent earbuds from Samsung refused to fall.

Even if your touque gets caught on your ear, you shouldn’t have to worry about the Galaxy Buds+ falling out.


Available in Canada for $199.99.

With files from Jon Lamont, Patrick O’Rourke and Brad Bennett.

MobileSyrup utilizes affiliate partnerships and publishes sponsored posts. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content, though MobileSyrup may earn a commission on purchases made via these links.

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Resident Evil Village releasing on PS5/PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC on May 7 – MobileSyrup



Capcom has announced that its highly anticipated Resident Evil Village game will release on current- and last-gen hardware on May 7th, 2021.

During the Resident Evil Showcase, producer Pete Fabiano noted that the survival horror game will be available day and date on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC.

The game was previously only confirmed for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and PC. Capcom will offer free current-gen upgrades to those who purchase the game on PS4 or Xbox One.

Alongside the release date announcement, Capcom also unveiled the first-ever gameplay footage of Village.

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Village picks up after the events of 2017’s Resident Evil 7 and once again follows Ethan Winters as he fights to survive in a mysterious European village. Longtime Resident Evil protagonist Chris Redfield also has a supporting role.

Anyone who purchases Village will also get free access to a standalone multiplayer experience called Re: Verse. In it, players can face off against one another in four- to six-person deathmatches using such fan-favourite characters as Jill Valentine and Leon S. Kennedy across iconic maps like the Raccoon City Police Department.

An exclusive playable demo featuring a different character named “Maiden” will release on PlayStation 5 today. A separate demo will come to other platforms sometime “this spring.”

Image credit: Capcom

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How to calculate your risk of catching COVID-19 indoors – CGTN



COVID-19 can travel 2 meters in a matter of seconds, meaning social distancing measures alone are not enough to stop the spread of the virus. /CFP/

COVID-19 can travel 2 meters in a matter of seconds, meaning social distancing measures alone are not enough to stop the spread of the virus. /CFP/

Have you ever walked into a supermarket and thought “how many people can safely pack into this building?” 

The answer to that question depends on some key factors, such as the number of people in the room and the ventilation, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.

They used mathematical models and the characteristics of COVID-19 to create a calculator to estimate the risk an individual has of contracting the virus after being in a room for certain periods of time with another infected person.

By looking at the decay rate of the virus and viral load of a person with COVID-19, they also found that talking is more likely to spread COVID-19 than a short cough in an enclosed space.  

This is because people exhale small droplets, or aerosols, when they speak, which are larger than droplets formed when people cough.

The larger droplets will likely fall on a surface and the aerosols will remain in the air. The ventilation of the room will then determine how long the aerosols will remain circulating – potentially infecting other people.

However, wearing a mask filters out some of the droplets and slows down the speed of a person’s breath, mitigating some of this risk.

The app shows risk against exposure time, depending on factors such as the size of room, ventilation and type of mask being worn. The designers say estimated risk percentage should be treated with great caution. /

The app shows risk against exposure time, depending on factors such as the size of room, ventilation and type of mask being worn. The designers say estimated risk percentage should be treated with great caution. /

The researcher’s calculator is now available online and is used by the University of Cambridge for risk assessments. 

According to the online tool, a person in a room that’s 100 square meters with 50 other people not wearing masks has a 10 percent chance of being exposed to COVID-19 after an hour and 40 minutes.

That number increases to 50 percent after around seven hours, or slightly less than one working day.

If the people in the room are wearing surgical masks, a person’s risk only reaches 10 percent after around three hours. And they only have a 25 percent chance of contracting it after seven hours.

Taking breaks and airing the room can decrease the percentage for short periods of time. But there are limitations to this model. 

“The estimated risk percentage should be treated with great caution! Many of the model inputs are very uncertain,” the researchers stated on their website.

“Thus, the user should see how risk of infection decreases or increases by using face masks, by improving ventilation, etc…

“It is assumed that hands are washed and that individuals are far apart from each other – that is, the risk of short-range transmission by droplets/aerosol is not included and might be significant.”

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Snapdragon 870 versus Dimensity 1200, flagship killer chipset battle – gizmochina



Just this week and we already have three new powerful processors that will appear inside some of the smartphones launching this year. They are the Snapdragon 870 5G processor from Qualcomm and the Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100 from MediaTek.

For this edition of Chip Battle, we are pitting the Snapdragon 870 5G against MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 processor. Both chipsets are expected to be the SoC for phones that fall under the flagship killer category, so it makes sense to see how they compare against each other. The table below shows a spec-by-spec comparison:

Processor Snapdragon 870 5G Dimensity 1200
Node size 7nm 6nm
CPU 1 x ARM Cortex-A77 at 3.2GHz
3 x ARM Cortex-A77 at 2.42GHz
4 x ARM Cortex-A55 at 1.8GHz
1 x ARM Cortex-A78 at 3.0 GHz
3 x ARM Cortex-A78 at 2.6GHz
4 x ARM Cortex-A55 at 2.0GHz
GPU Adreno 650 ARM Mali-G77 MC9 (9 cores, Boosted)
ISP Spectra 480

Supports up to 200MP
Supports 4K video capture
Supports 8K video capture

MediaTek Imagiq Camera
(five-core) HDR-ISP

Supports up to 200MP
Supports 4K HDR video capture

AI Engine Hexagon 698

(15 TOPS)

MediaTek APU 3.0 (six cores)
Max On-Device Display and Refresh Rate QHD+ at 144Hz
4K at 60Hz
QHD+ at 90Hz
FHD+ (2520 x 1080) at 168Hz
Modem Snapdragon X55

Supports mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrums

Multi-SIM features: Global 5G multi-SIM

5G Uplink Speed: Up to 3 Gbps
5G Downlink Speed: Up to 7.5 Gbps

Supports all spectrums

Multi-SIM features: True Dual 5G SIM (5G SA + 5G SA)

5G Uplink Speed: Up to 2.5 Gbps
5G Downlink Speed: Up to 4.7 Gbps

Connectivity Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
GPS, GLONASS, NavIC, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.2 with LC3 encoding
Dual Frequency GPS, GLONASS, NavIC, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS
Gaming Snapdragon Elite Gaming

Qualcomm Game Color Plus v2.0
Qualcomm Game Smoother 

True HDR game rendering
10-bit color depth
2020 color gamut
Updateable GPU drivers

HyperEngine 3.0

Networking Engine 3.0
Rapid Response Engine 3.0
PQ Engine 3.0 (Ray Tracing in Mobile Games and AR)
Resource Management Engine 3.0

Node Size

The Snapdragon 870 5G is a 7nm chipset just like its siblings – the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 865 Plus. MediaTek, on the other hand, has switched to the smaller 6nm process.

A smaller node is known to bring an increase in performance and power efficiency, and as you can see the Dimensity 1200 is the chipset with the smaller node size, so it wins this round.


The two chipsets have eight cores each and they use the same 1+3+4 arrangement but where they differ is in the cores themselves.

The Snapdragon 870 is practically an overclocked Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, so you get the same cores but at a higher clock speed. It has a prime Cortex-A77 core that has the highest clock speed of a mobile CPU core at 3.2GHz. Its performance cores are also the same Cortex-A77 clocked at 2.42GHz while the efficiency cores are Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz.

The Dimensity 1200 has the more powerful Cortex-A78 cores as its prime core and performance cores. ARM says that the Cortex-A78 boasts a 20% increase in performance over the Cortex-A77. There are four Cortex-A78 cores inside the Dimensity 1200 which gives it a significant advantage over the Snapdragon 870 which has the older Cortex-A77 cores.

On top of that is the fact thatsave for the prime core, all of the cores of the Dimensity 1200 chipset including the A55 efficiency cores are clocked higher than those of the Snapdragon 870 5G.

At the moment, there are no benchmark results to back up the claim but the Dimensity 1200 should have the upper hand as it has the more powerful CPU cores and also has a smaller node size.


The Adreno 650 is the GPU inside the Snapdragon 870 5G, the same one inside the Snapdragon 865 duo. Qualcomm didn’t say that it has increased the clock speed for the Snapdragon 870 5G, so we will assume the GPU performance is unchanged from that of the Snapdragon 865 Plus.

The Dimensity 1200 has a Mali-G77 MC9 (9 cores) GPU. This is not ARM’s most powerful GPU, the Mali-G78, which is found inside the Kirin 9000, Exynos 2100, and Exynos 1080 chipsets. MediaTek says that the GPU has gotten a performance increase of 13% compared to that of the Dimensty 1000+.

Snapdragon 865 vs Dimensity 1000+ GPU
Adreno 650 (Snapdragon 865) vs Mali-G77 MC9 (Dimensity 1000+) | Image source:

The Adreno 650 is a powerful GPU and benchmark results have shown that the Snapdragon 865 has a better GPU score than the Dimensity 1000+ which has a Mali-G77 MC9 GPU too. However, since MediaTek claims that the GPU in the Dimensity 1200 boasts a 13% increase in performance over that of the Dimensity 1000+, then the GPU performance gap between the Snapdragon 870 5G and Dimensity 1200 should be smaller or even erased. We will have to wait for benchmark results and real device reviews to know which processor is better.

To know how the standard Mali-G77 MC9 performs, you should check out our review of the iQOO Z1 which has a Dimensity 1000+ processor.

One area where the Adreno 650 has the upper hand is in having support for updateable GPU drivers. MediaTek is yet to offer that feature for its own chipsets.

The Snapdragon 875 also supports QHD+ displays at a refresh rate of 144Hz and 4K displays at a 60Hz refresh rate. The Dimensity 1200 supports QHD+ displays at a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz which goes all the way up to 168Hz for 1080p screens.

EDITOR’S PICK: Qualcomm’s CPUs are about to get even more powerful as it plans to acquire NUVIA


The Spectra 480 ISP inside the Snapdragon 870 5G is known to be pretty impressive based on reviews and comparisons of phones powered by the Snapdragon 865/865 Plus. It has support for 200MP cameras, 8K video recording, and HEIF video capture.

MediaTek’s Imaqiq Camera HDR-ISP also has few tricks up its sleeve. The five-core ISP brings support for 200MP photos, staggered 4K HDR video recording that boasts a 40% greater dynamic range and real-time 3-exposure fusion. MediaTek also says that it has support for bokeh video, multi-person AI-segmentation, and AI-Panorama Night Shot. Night Shots are also now 20% faster. Unfortunately, there is still no support for 8K video recording


The Hexagon 698 boasts 15 TOPS but MediaTek doesn’t say the value of its own APU 3.0 AI engine. However, AI Benchmark ranks the APU 3.0 AI engine inside the Dimensity 1000+ over the Hexagon 698 inside the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. Since these are the same AI Engines inside the Dimensity 1200 and Snapdragon 870 respectively, we will give this round to MediaTek.


The Snapdragon X55 has support for mmWave and sub 6GHz spectrums as well as SA and NSA networks. The modem also brings 5G multi-SIM support but according to Qualcomm’s explanation, it doesn’t seem to mean you can use 5G on both SIM slots at the same time.

Qualcomm’s modem also boasts faster downlink and uplink speeds. There is also Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and support for various positioning systems including GPS, NavIC, Beidou, and GLONASS.

MediaTek says that the modem inside the Dimensity 1200 supports all spectrums with 5G-CA (carrier aggregation) across TDD/FDD. It also supports true dual 5G SIM (5G SA + 5G SA), has a special Elevator Mode and 5G HSR mode that ensures a reliable 5G experience across networks. As shown in the table, the downlink and uplink speeds are slower than that of the Snapdragon 870.

The Dimensity 1200 also has support for Dual-band for GNSS, GPS, Beidou, Galileo, and QZSS. It also has support for NavIC. There is Wi-Fi 6 but no Wi-Fi 6E and its Bluetooth 5.2 has support for LC3 encoding.


Gaming is another important area where these two chipsets show their strengths.

Qualcomm’s chipset has Snapdragon Elite Gaming which brings features such as Game Color Plus v2.0 and Game Smoother. It also has True HDR game rendering, 10-bit color depth, and desktop forward rendering.

MediaTek’s HyperEngine 3.0 Gaming Technology enhances connectivity, responsiveness, image quality, and power efficiency with features like 5G call and data concurrency, multi-touch boost, ultra-low latency true wireless stereo audio, high FPS power saving, and super hotspot power saving. However, the game-changing feature it has is support for Ray Tracing in mobile games and AR.


The Snapdragon 870 5G builds upon the success of the Snapdragon 865 Plus with an even more powerful CPU. Its GPU, though unchanged, will handle any game you throw at it. The Snapdragon X55 modem also offers blazing uplink and downlink speeds and its ISP is one of the best in its class.

The Dimensity 1200 is also a beast with its four Cortex-A78 cores, one of which has the highest clock speed in a processor. MediaTek says it has upped the GPU performance, and it has also added some very useful features to the ISP such as a faster night shot mode. Its modem brings true dual 5G SIM support and its game engine brings ray tracing to mobile games.

We expect any phone powered by either of these two chipsets to offer incredible performance at a much affordable price tag than more premium smartphones. If you want a flagship killer phone that doesn’t put a hole in your pocket, you should look for phones powered by these chipsets.


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