Author: Stefan Etienne

Stef’s Select — September/October 2016


Autumn has arrived in New York City, I turned 20-years-old, and I’m still reviewing gadgets and reporting on technology. So, what’s new? Well, all the select gadgets and products that I’ve used during the past month-and-a-half. Thankfully, I stopped my habit of buying Adidas NMD shoes (lol), while also making good use of a 17-inch gaming laptop with an Intel Kaby Lake processor and GTX 1070 graphics — having that sort of performance on-hand is neat.

Oh, and of course there are the elections, unaware NYC drivers and school — all of which are difficult, but necessary challenges. So, without further ado…

Stef’s Select — July/August 2016

DSC_1215I am late with the monthly recap, as a result of being busy (and lazy). But, by compiling July and August picks of the gear litter into one post is better than not doing it at all. However, I still need to get these posts done on-time. Anyways, here is the July-August Stef Select: it’s rather diverse.

On a personal affairs note, I’ll be headed to my sophomore year of college starting the first week of September. Exciting times! Balancing school and being a journalist at TechCrunch will prove to be a challenge. But as anyone who has known me for long enough can tell, I have a habit of getting over those. NYC is an interesting place; I look forward to what I might go about doing this year.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some emails to write and a matcha latte to find.

Stef’s Select — May/June 2016


This one is very late — bear with me, I’m still tweaking this monthly gear roundup — but here’s my picks for the months of May and June. This gear guide is also getting closet to becoming a sort of lifestyle roundup for things I’m doing in SoHo and generally, around New York City. That however, will probably start happening next month. Also, I apologize to the readers of this small corner of the internet, that I’ve been so tardy, even with monthly updates. Such slack cannot be tolerated.

For now, read on for impressions of gear I messed with for the past two months.

Stef’s Select — April 2016

L1130783Welcome, reader.

As some of you may know, I started writing at TechCrunch. In short, it’s pretty awesome, especially since I’ve been writing about technology for nearly seven years (as of this post), starting when I was just 12-years-old. Now I’m 19, in my first year of college. Smart work does equate positive results.

It’s been a long, incredible journey that really is just getting started.

But of course, I couldn’t leave this site for ruin. It’s easy to get attached, but I think I might have a solution to keeping my old creation updated: longer-form updates. That will include my commentary on gadgets and gear, interesting lifestyle things I come across, and maybe a shoot or two with model friends.

Starting with a new section I’ll call Stef’s Select, where I go over the gear I’ve been testing, say a few kind (or critical) words about it, and of course pair it with my photography. So, here goes…

Samsung Galaxy S7 review: when just a little better can be a lot

L1130292The Samsung Galaxy S7, already? Oh, it’s very real and it’s very fast. But most importantly, it takes the formula seen with the last generation, and instead of completely revamping, makes the necessary tweaks to give a better overall experience.

Samsung hasn’t really done that before: every incarnation of the Galaxy S has been a major physical or internal improvement; the S7 has some of the most subtle changes in recent memory. However, these new subtleties make for a fantastic phone.

The new iPad Pro: a 9.7-inch effort at nabbing Windows users


Apple is essentially tasking the iPad Pro with stealing away Windows users, while also attempting to stamp its own vision of what a “post-PC” world can or will look like.

Enter, the new iPad Pro, a smaller 9.7-inch Retina display at 2048 x 1536 resolution (down from the 12.9″), which is an affair that utilizes a 64-bit A9X chip, a new 12MP iSight camera, 5MP FaceTime camera, iOS 9.3 and a whole suite of typical iPad features like a Lightning connector and four speaker audio. The new iPad Pro still supports the existing Apple Pencil, but requires a new (smaller) Smart Keyboard, straight from Cupertino, of course.

Orders start this Thursday, March 24th for the new iPad Pro, starting at $599 along with its accessory suite.

Via: Apple

The iPhone SE is a $399 6S in a four-inch screen and body

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 2.11.50 PMTake the same formula that makes the iPhone 6S and shrink that down — rather that size it up like the Plus — and you get the iPhone SE. A smaller version for those who just haven’t been sold on the five-inch-and-up screen race, it will have voice over LTE (wth more bands), while being 50% faster than a 5S.

The hardware aspects of the SE aren’t all that exciting — after all, it’s the internals of a 6S paired with the 12MP iSight camera tech that makes it a venerable smartphone shooter.

The iPhone SE will retail for $399 for a 16GB model (too small, indeed), along with a $499 64GB version. Four colors will be offered: rose gold, gold, silver and black. Orders start March 24th for the “new iPhone”.

Via: Apple

Master & Dynamic ME05 Earbuds Review: I Might Have Caved

DSCF2004I don’t normally review earphones, but when I do, they have to be close to the experience of their more powerful, larger counterparts: headphones. Otherwise, I despise them.

My main gripe with the category of earbuds — despite their portability and ease-of-use — is that they’re usually wired and don’t come remotely close to the audio experience of using great headphones, especially noise-cancelling models.

But, Master & Dynamic is definitely in the upper echelon of producing headphones, and when given the chance to check out a review unit ME05 — well, I was much obliged to see if I could learn, or experience something better.