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Reviewed: The New Wahoo Elemnt Roam GPS Bike Computer

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It would be fair to assume that I was skeptical about the capabilities of the Elemnt Roam version 2.0, given my experience when testing the Bolt version 2.0.

However, my concerns were put to rest on my first ride with the updated Roam. This Roam, like Wahoo’s other computers, is easily set up through Wahoo’s Elemnt App and provides customizable fields on multiple screens.  The display is adjustable to the user’s preferences, easily adapting to those with eagle eye-vision or to those who prefer larger font. Wahoo continues to use an ambient light sensor screen, 2 rows of LEDs, customizable alerts, and various mounting options.  In other words, they have not sacrificed any of the fan-favorite features that sometimes get killed when companies put out an updated version.

Wahoo Element Roam Review: The Good

Let’s just get this out of the way first. The computer feels like it has been built for those riding for adventure or tackling gravel racing – And that is not a bad thing. Instead of climbing back up on my soapbox and touting the benefits of gravel riding as off-season training and mental balance, and how more pro triathletes are racing in events like Unbound or the Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) series – I will point out the features that make this a great choice for triathletes. But if you have already heeded my advice, or  if you choose to now, this computer would be an excellent choice for off-road riding as well.

Buttons

It’s just a tactile experience, right?  The buttons on the updated Roam have been changed from indentations to raised and textured. This update makes it easier to use when wearing gloves during cold-weather rides. As a bonus, these buttons are much easier to use with wet bare hands – think coming out of T1.

Battery Life

The battery life is an impressive 17 hours. No matter where you’re riding, you’re likely to get enough juice for the day. As a racing triathlete, the battery capacity is more than sufficient for an Ironman distance.

Customization

The Elemnt Roam can be set up with custom alerts, like notifications to keep you on track with your fueling and hydrating strategies.

Like the updated Bolt, there are color displays in the heart rate and power zone fields. Through the Wahoo Elemnt App, your power zones and heart rate zones will be auto-calculated and the display color in those data fields changes based upon the zone you are in.  I love this feature, as it lets me train/race based on zones by simply glancing at the screen to ensure I am hitting my desired targets. Speaking of training within your limits: the updated Roam also displays Supersapiens for those monitoring blood glucose.

64 color display

Alright, so this won’t make you faster, but the enhanced color display sure makes use of the navigation features much easier to see.

Dual Band GPS

Not a flashy upgrade, but an important feature to ensuring consistent route connectivity and accuracy. Unlike my experience when testing the Bolt, I was impressed with the re-routing when intentionally going off my pre-loaded route. Upon set-up, I thought it was a bit of a novelty, watching my Roam update the Maine maps (that’s where I currently am and tested the unit). After all, what could this little unit know that I don’t know? I then followed one particular re-route as I was certain this was reason for critique. After finishing my meal of crow, the Roam route is now one of my favorite (and previously undiscovered) roads.

Storage

Increased to 32 GB of storage allows for plenty of space to store multiple routes and area maps. If you are looking to mix up your training, but afraid of getting lost, set your concerns aside.

Pre-Planned Training

Will this feature make you faster? Yes – if you follow it. Will this feature add more fun? No – if you follow it. You are able to follow pre-planned or already stored structured workouts on your device. It’s a great training feature if you like to follow something structured.

Safety

This should go into a “great” or “must-have” feature on all bike computers. The Wahoo pairs to an ANT+ rearview radar unit and alerts you of oncoming cars through the unit’s LEDs or, my personal choice, with on-dash display. There is a color line running vertically on the left side, green is clear and red is car approaching. The coolest part is that you see a car moving up the screen as the vehicle approaches. Unfortunately, as of now in the United States, the Garmin Varia has the market on rear radar locked up, and is priced accordingly.

Wahoo Elemnt Roam Review: The Ok

Integration

This is not a knock specifically against Wahoo – more on the industry standard attempt to generate revenue. To fully appreciate all the features and maximize use of the unit, it is best to use the entire Wahoo ecosystem: Wahoo X for a training subscription, Wahoo Rival Multisport watch for hand off onto device (which is cool during a race), all the Wahoo Kickr devices, Tickr heart rate monitor, pedals, and Wahoo nutrition. (Ok, the last one doesn’t exist – at least not yet.) They have/make it all. To have everything work seamlessly with the Roam, you must become a Wahoo convert. But in their defense: Ever weighed yourself with the Garmin Smart Scale?

Summit Segments

This feature is best described as “How much pain is left?” The Summit Segment feature requires using preloaded segments through third party apps, such as Strava, for the full experience. When riding, your screen displays the vertical gradients in color coded sections (how bad it will get) and distance to the top remaining – but only if you are on a Strava section and a subscribing member with your account linked to the Elemnt app. It is a great feature that can motivate you to the top or help you pace yourself over a long event. It also keeps Wahoo up to speed with similar features already found in Garmin and Hammerhead.

The downside experienced with using Summit can be found when going off the pre-loaded route. Although your directions will be rerouted, the anticipated climbing does not make the reroute patch. Additionally, at this time Wahoo is only able to display climbing segment information on pre-loaded routes, not when off the route or free route climbing, whcich is something the new Hammerhead does. However, Wahoo is continually updating their software, so I anticipate this feature is a launching pad for more to come.

Wahoo Elemnt Roam Review: Conclusions

The upgrades to the Elemnt Roam bring much-needed features to a device that was being surpassed by competitors such as Garmin and the new Karoo by Hammerhead. When viewed as a standalone bike computer, the Roam is great, but not exceptional. However, as part of the Wahoo ecosystem, the new Elemnt Roam is a great addition to a comprehensive training and racing system. I would argue that if shopping for a new computer, and you are not held up on size/weight restrictions (such as aerobar constraints, when the Bolt would be your best option), the Roam is worth strong consideration.

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New photos reveal more details about Google’s Pixel 9 Pro Fold

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Google’s secret new line of Pixel 9 phones isn’t that big of a secret anymore. Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) released new photos of the phones including the Pixel 9 Pro Fold from almost every conceivable angle.

Android Authority found the photos in the NCC archives and uploaded galleries of each of the four phones including the Pixel 9, 9 Pro, 9 Pro XL and 9 Pro Fold. They reveal some interesting details about the new Pixel phones.

The charging rates will be a little faster than the last generation of Pixel phones: Taiwanese authorities measured 24.12W for the base model, 25.20W for the Pro and 32.67W for the 9 Pro XL. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold, however, was the slowest of all of them at 20.25W. These numbers don’t often match up perfectly with the advertised ratings, so expect Google to be promoting higher numbers at its event.

Speaking of chargers, it looks like Google needed a bigger charger to power its new phones. Photos included in the NCC leak show each phone will come with a wall charger that’s around 45W depending on which model you purchase. The charger’s plug moved from the middle to the top of the brick.

The Google Pixel 9 Pro Fold can fully unfold.
NCC/Android Authority

The latest photo dump also shows the 9 Pro Fold unfolded for the first time. Google has moved the selfie camera to the inside screen for a wider field of view. The 9 Pro Fold also has a slimmer top and bottom, a reduced fold crease on the display and a full 180 degree unfolding angle to make a screen that’s just over 250mm or just under 10 inches.

These photos are the latest in a very long list of leaks of Google Pixel 9 photos. The last Pixel 9 leak came down yesterday showing two prototype models of the base and XL models. Google might look into buying a new combination lock for the high school locker where they apparently keep all their unreleased gear.

 

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Apple Wallet now supports Canada’s Presto card, with Express Transit

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Apple Wallet now supports the Presto transit card used in Ontario, Canada. The card can be used for travel in Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa.

The digital version of the card includes the Express Transit Pass feature, meaning that you can tap in and out without having to authenticate …

 

Ontario’s Presto card

The Presto contactless smart card system was first trialled back in 2007, and started the full rollout in 2009. The card can be used across 11 different transit systems in the areas covered.

Apple Wallet support was first promised many years ago, but things went quiet until a “coming soon” announcement back in May of this year.

Although the contactless terminals allow the use of credit and debit cards for regular fares, a Presto card is needed for monthly passes and discounted travel.

Apple Wallet support now available

The company made the announcement today.

Tap to ride with PRESTO on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Traveling around town just got easy with your PRESTO in Apple Wallet. With Express Mode, you don’t need to wake or unlock your iPhone or Apple Watch or open any apps to use PRESTO in Apple Wallet. Just hold your device near the reader to pay and go.

Ride, even when your iPhone needs a charge

If your iPhone needs a charge, PRESTO Card in Apple Wallet will still work. Power Reserve provides up to five hours of support, so you can still ride.

Reload on the go. 

With your PRESTO card on your iPhone and Apple Watch, you can easily load funds, right from Apple Wallet or PRESTO App. No need to visit a customer service outlet.

Extra security. Built right in 

PRESTO in Apple Wallet can take full advantage of the privacy and security features built into iPhone and Apple Watch. Your PRESTO card is stored on the device, which means Apple does not see when you use it—helping keep your data private and secure.

If you lose your iPhone or Apple Watch, you can use the Find My app to lock and help locate the device and suspend your PRESTO card or remotely erase the device and its cards.

Mobile Syrup reports that you can choose between adding your existing card to your Wallet, or creating a new one.

There are two ways to add a Presto card to Apple Wallet. You can either buy a new card or move your old one over using the Presto app.

That being said, for simplicity’s sake, unless you have a discounted Presto agreement like a student or senior plan, I think most riders will be happy just making a new card in Apple Wallet and loading funds from that app.

As with any digital card or pass, you can use either your iPhone or Apple Watch, but because each generates a unique virtual card number, you need to use the same device at both ends of your journey.

Express Transit feature

To minimize delays, Presto offers Express Transit support. This means that you don’t need to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone, and you don’t need to double-tap the side button on your Apple Watch. Simply hold your device close to the pad and you’re good (a number of clues are used to detect fraudulent use).

Express Transit also has the advantage that it continues to work in Low Power mode, so you’ll still be able to complete your journey even if your phone or Watch is almost dead.

Image: Presto

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The OnePlus Pad 2 Wants to Be the iPad Air of Android Tablets

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The original OnePlus Pad was a decent all-around Android tablet, but it was not amazing in any one area. Now, OnePlus is back with a new tablet device that packs more power, has a better screen, more speakers, and a higher starting price. OnePlus offers an Android tablet alternative that costs less than the latest iPad Airs, though it seems like it’s hewing very close to the rendition from 2023. 

The OnePlus Pad 2 is a one-size-fits-all 12.1-inch 3K tablet. At $550 for 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, it’s $70 more than the first OnePlus Pad, though it starts with more memory and twice as much internal storage as the first go around’s paltry 128 GB. It’s bigger than the 11.6 LCD on last year’s Pad, though now it’s beefed its resolution to 3K (3000 x 2120) with a stated 600 nits typical and 900 nits peak brightness. It has a variable refresh rate between 30 and 144 Hz, though it’s still an LCD screen, the same as the 2023 OnePlus Pad.

Just like last year’s version, the new Pad supports Dolby Atmos, but it boasts a six-stereo speaker configuration on either side of the device. It may not be as specifically sound-tailored as the Lenovo Tab Plus, but what’s promised is a solid middle ground. 

Last year’s tablet used MediaTek Dimensity 9000 CPU, which was good enough for most applications but not exactly top of its class. The Pad 2 is now powered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile chip. Gizmodo has already experienced some of the chip’s capabilities in Samsung’s latest foldables, and already it’s very promising. We haven’t yet had the chance to compare a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 tablet to Apple’s latest iPad Air with M2, though on the whole, M2 usually performs better than Qualcomm’s mobile chips in bare benchmark tests. How much that matters depends on what programs you expect to use on your tablet. 

Image: OnePlus

Every device maker thinks they need AI to compete, and OnePlus isn’t an outlier here. There are promised “AI Toolbox” features like AI text-to-speech and recording summaries. The AI Eraser 2.0 will also work like Google’s Magic Eraser to remove unwanted photo elements. 

There’s a new $99 OnePlus Stylo 2 and a $150 Oneplus Smart Keyboard to accompany the new tablet. Despite the size and price difference, there will be many similarities between last year’s and the 2024 model. The Pad 2 has the same 9,510 mAh battery as last year’s, plus the 67W “SUPERVOOC” fast charging. It promises 43 days of standby time, though in our experience, the first Pad’s lifespan and promised “one-month standby life” was far more modest in practice, lasting most of the day before needing a recharge. 

With a bigger screen, the upcoming Pad 2 is slightly heavier than last year’s rendition. It weighs about 1.3 pounds, so it’s exactly between the 11- and 13-inch iPad Airs or slightly more than the base 11-inch Galaxy Tab S9 (and far less than the humongous Tab S9 Ultra). It will be relatively thin at 6.49 mm, but it’s not beating the iPad Air’s 6.1 mm or the iPad Pro 13-inch’s holy grail 5.1 mm.

The first OnePlus Pad didn’t exactly break new ground in any one category, though it did show Android tablets had legs. We’ve seen attempts from Goole and its Pixel Tablet, though that, too, wasn’t the pioneer of Android tablets. A better chip and more speakers do seem promising, though, in its effort to be everything to everyone, we’ll need to see if it manages to stand out in any area.

The OnePlus Pad 2 is now available for preorder. It should be available on the OnePlus website starting July 30 and on Amazon starting August.

 

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