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This Apple Watch copycat is surprisingly good for just $22.54




The ID205 looks like the Apple Watch, but costs significantly less.

Rick Broida/CNET

Last year I posed a question. How good could a super-cheap smartwatch possibly be? Verdict: Surprisingly good, if you keep your expectations in check.

See, these watches claim to be jacks of all trades — fitness tracking, heart-rate monitoring and so on — but often prove to be masters of none. And that’s OK, provided they’re effective at some things, which many are. For example, maybe you just want a watch that looks decent, tells time (duh), controls music playback on your phone and notifies you of things like calls, appointments and text messages.

With that in mind, I tried another cheapie wearable — one I found to be surprisingly good in many respects. Here’s the deal, followed by what you need to know: For a limited time, and while supplies last, SmartWear Tech via Amazon has the BingoFit Fitness ID205 smartwatch for $22.54. That’s after applying promo code I4Q7KZV5 at checkout. 

A quick note about nomenclature: The ID205 is the manufacturer’s name for this watch, but it’s sold under a number of different brand and model names. Here it’s BingoFit Fitness; last time around it was the Eden, and if you scroll down on the Amazon listing page you’ll see it from several other brands as well. That’s standard practice these days with a lot of Chinese products.

The ID205 looks a lot like the Amazfit Bip, which in turn resembles the Apple Watch. It’s rectangular, with a square embedded 1.3-inch display and a fair amount of plastic bezel surrounding it. It’s not an always-on display like the Bip’s, but it’s also much brighter and sharper. Thankfully, it’s also readable outdoors, unlike some of the cheapies I’ve tried.


From left to right: The Letsfit ID205, Amazfit Bip and Apple Watch Series 3.

Rick Broida/CNET

The ID205 employs a touchscreen, along with a function button on either side. The left one immediately engages your preferred fitness activity; the right one is a Back button. Other options are all just a swipe away from the watch face, of which there are four to choose from.

Here’s what I liked about the ID205:

  • Display: Big and bright, and reasonably visible outdoors.
  • Battery life: Plan on about a week, depending on how you use it.
  • Notifications: For me this is the essential feature in any smartwatch, and the ID205 does a decent job with them. You can toggle notifications for about a dozen individual apps (though Slack isn’t among them).
  • Simplicity: The watch itself is easy to use, as is the VeryFitPro companion app. (That app can share data with Apple Health and Strava.)
  • Miscellaneous: It has handy features including basic music controls, a breathing exercise, a stopwatch, low-power and do-not-disturb modes and even a flashlight function.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

  • Look and feel: Like the Bip, the ID205 looks like a cheap, plastic watch. (Which, let’s be honest, it is.)
  • No built-in GPS: Instead, it pulls data from your phone. 
  • Only four watch faces: These are functional but a little meh; the one pictured up top is the snazziest.
  • Not fully waterproof: Although the watch promises to withstand sweat and rain, it’s not fully waterproof, meaning it doesn’t belong in the shower or pool. That’s in direct contradiction to the main product description, which says “waterproof,” and one of the accompanying photos, which shows it being used by a swimmer.

Another important consideration: How good could a $23 smartwatch possibly be at heart-rate monitoring? I did a quick, highly unscientific test: One after the other, I measured my resting heart rate using the ID205, Amazfit Bip and Apple Watch. To my surprise, all three were within a beat or two of each other (63 beats per minute on average, if you’re curious). But I wasn’t able to conduct any exercise tests, and here results can definitely vary, especially as a watch moves on your wrist and encounters sweat.

Bottom line: If you buy this expecting an Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch or the like, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you want basic smartwatch features, solid battery life and an incredibly low price, there’s a good chance you’ll like this very much.

Your thoughts? If you ordered one of these last time out, hit the comments and let your fellow cheapskates know how it’s going!

Note: Originally published last year. Updated to reflect new sale prices and/or availability. Removed expired bonus deal.

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CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.    


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Vaccine for Wuhan China coronavirus: timeline, development




  • Several biotech companies have rolled out plans to develop vaccines to protect people against the Wuhan, China coronavirus, with support from global health groups and the US government.
  • But vaccine development has historically been an arduous, multi-year process. None of the biotechs provided expected timelines to get their vaccines on the market.
  • Previous infectious disease outbreaks, including for the Ebola and Zika viruses, show the challenges likely to face experimental vaccines for this virus as well.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

US health officials and global organizations are racing to respond to the spread of a deadly virus coming out of Wuhan, China.

One piece of that effort is enlisting biotechs to begin searching for an effective vaccine. 

Several companies, including Moderna, Novavax and Inovio, have announced preliminary development plans. But a look back at recent history of other infectious diseases such as Ebola, Zika and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) show these vaccines have faced a challenging and lengthy path.

Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated the first clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine could begin before this summer, in an interview with the industry publication Biocentury.

“We likely will be able, unless there are unanticipated roadblocks, to start a Phase 1 trial in about three months,” he said.

The Wuhan coronavirus has now infected more than 630 people and spread to 9 countries. At least 18 people have died.


The first Ebola vaccine emerged from roughly 20 years of research

The first Ebola vaccine was approved last month in the US after roughly two decades of research and four years of clinical testing in thousands of people. The National Institutes of Health is testing a range of vaccine candidates against Zika, a virus transmitted by mosquitoes that began spreading widely in 2015.

A 2003 outbreak of SARS led to a similar rush for developing vaccines. More than 15 years later, there is still no approved SARS vaccine. In part, that’s because public health efforts helped halt the spread of the virus, leaving little need for a vaccine, according to Christopher Raymond, an analyst at Piper Sandler.

Part of the challenge is finding sources of funding that won’t dwindle once an outbreak is over, Maria Elena Bottazzi, a co-director of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, told Business Insider.

Bottazzi said the reactionary nature of this funding is one of her biggest concerns for future vaccine development. In the case of her team, they were developing a SARS vaccine when Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, broke out. 

That led to shift in funding to focus on MERS, at the expense of the continued development of their SARS candidate. Now, considering the new coronavirus outbreak, she said that will be the key challenge to watch for as some candidates move into clinical testing.

“The scientific hurdles are the lower of the hurdles,” she said. “Scientifically, we can move quickly. It’s the hurdles of how to then mobilize the resources, create the partnerships, and eventually who is going to bring it to the point where we can deliver it to the population.”

It can take one to 3 years to develop a vaccine

Botazzi estimated that it can take one to three years to develop a vaccine and get it into people’s hands.

Moderna, a $7 billion biotech based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of these biotechs now in the early stages of producing an investigational vaccine. The company’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, acknowledged some of the disease’s unknowns are likely to create challenges in testing potential vaccines.

“We do not know the incubation time of the virus — 2 days or 2 weeks. We don’t know how long people stay sick — a day or three weeks,” Bancel said Thursday in an interview with Business Insider. “That has very big implications for the modeling you do.”

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Fauci and two other scientists noted that we’re getting better at developing vaccines, thanks in part to innovations from companies like Moderna. They said it took about 20 months to get to early human trials of a vaccine for SARS, but the timeline has since been compressed to the span of a few months.


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First phase of Huawei CFO Meng’s U.S. extradition hearing set to wrap up in Canada




VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou arrived in a Vancouver courtroom on Thursday to wrap up the first phase of a U.S. extradition hearing where her lawyers will respond to the Canadian prosecutor’s arguments calling for Meng to be extradited to the United States on bank fraud charges.

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend her extradition hearing at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada January 23, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

Legal experts have said it could be years before a final decision is reached in the case, since Canada’s justice system allows many decisions to be appealed.

On Wednesday, prosecutors argued that Meng should be extradited on fraud charges, and that contrary to her defense argument, the case is not solely about violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

“Fraud, not sanctions violations is at the heart of this case,” prosecutor Robert Frater told the judge on Wednesday.

Meng, 47, has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition. She entered court wearing a white polka dot dress with a long-sleeved black top and stiletto heels that she has often favored during the trial.

Although the courts had set aside two full days for the prosecution to present its case, the prosecution took only half of a day, and closed its arguments before lunch on Wednesday.

The United States has charged Meng with bank fraud, and accused her of misleading HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business in Iran.

But Meng’s legal team argued that “double criminality,” is the central issue in this case. Under Canadian extradition laws, a person can only be extradited if the offence they are alleged to have committed in another country is also considered illegal in Canada. This is commonly called “double criminality.”

Unlike the United States, Canada did not have sanctions against Iran at the time Canadian officials authorized the start of the extradition process, her lawyers have said.

“In reality, sanctions violation is the essence of the alleged misconduct … the United States has a global interest in enforcing its Iran sanctions. Sanctions drive this case,” Richard Peck, one of Meng’s lawyers added.

Frater argued Wednesday that the judge’s job was to “ensure that Canada doesn’t become a safe haven for fraudsters.”

He also said it is not the judge’s role to determine whether Meng is guilty of fraud, but whether the alleged behavior could also be prosecuted as fraud in Canada.

Court proceedings show the United States issued the arrest warrant, which Canada acted on in December 2018, because it believes Meng covered up attempts by Huawei-linked companies to sell equipment to Iran, breaking U.S. sanctions against the country.

Meng’s court proceedings have attracted global media interest and the case has strained relationship between China and Canada.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, remains free on bail in Canada, and has been living in a mansion in Vancouver’s exclusive Shaughnessy neighborhood.

Meng’s legal team is currently only scheduled to call evidence in the last week of April, and a second phase of the trial, focusing on abuse of process and whether Canadian officials followed the law while arresting Meng, is set to begin in June. Closing arguments are expected in the last week of September and first week of October.

Writing by Denny Thomas; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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Here’s how to set up your Amazon Echo Dot 3




Controlling your smart home is easy to do with the best Echo speaker, since Amazon’s Alexa works with so many different smart home gadgets.

If you’ve recently acquired an Echo Dot (third-generation) and aren’t sure how to set it up, you’ve come to the right place. Setting up your new Echo Dot (third-generation) speaker doesn’t take long at all, but there are a few steps you need to follow. Here’s how to set up your Echo Dot 3.

How to set up your Echo Dot (third-generation)

Amazon Alexa app

Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The Amazon Alexa app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.

1. Download the app

Install the Amazon Alexa app to your iOS or Android device. If you already have the app installed, check to make sure you’re running the latest version of it.

2. Plug it in

Place the Echo Dot 3 in an area of your home where it will get the most use. Amazon recommends placing the smart speaker at least 8 inches away from any walls, like on your kitchen counter or living room end table. Plug the power adapter (included with your purchase) into the backside of the Echo Dot and then plug the speaker into a nearby electrical outlet. The ring surrounding the top of the Echo Dot will begin flashing blue for about 60 seconds.

3. Add your Echo to the app

Then, open the Amazon Alexa app. Navigate to the Settings Menu in the upper left-hand corner of the app and select Add Device. Under All Devices, click on Amazon Echo > Echo Dot. Then, click the option to set up the third-generation Echo.

By now, the spinning light should have changed from blue to orange, indicating that the Echo Dot is in setup mode. The Amazon Alexa app will scan for the Echo Dot speaker. Once it appears, click on the device name within the app to finish the setup process.

4. Connect the Echo to WiFi

Before you start asking your newest Alexa-enabled device questions, you need to connect it to your home’s WiFi. This can be done by following the on-screen instructions in the Amazon Alexa app that appear during setup. (You can update the WiFi settings in the Amazon Alexa app by navigating to Settings > Device Settings and choosing the device you’d like to update.)

Once you’ve successfully connected your Echo speaker to the internet, we recommend performing a quick test to make sure your Echo speaker is working as it should. You can say something as simple as “Alexa, hello,” and she will respond back with a greeting.

5. Getting to know your Echo Dot (third-generation)

There are more than 100,000 Alexa skills that can help you control your smart home. But, you can also have fun with Alexa using the Echo Dot 3 to create a playlist and listen to music, entertain your kids, and even help you celebrate holidays like Halloween and track Santa on Christmas Eve. She can also help make your life easier by ordering you an Uber, finding your phone, and more.

However, before you can begin using any of these skills, you will need to enable them using the Amazon Alexa app or Amazon Alexa Skills website in order to take advantage of all of the awesome things Alexa can do for you.


Echo Dot 3

Credit: Amazon

Amazon customer support should be able to assist if you encounter any problems while setting up the Echo Dot (third-generation).

Having trouble setting up the Echo Dot? First, make sure that the speaker is plugged into the wall. Second, check your WiFi connection to make sure it’s operating as normal. You may need to unplug your router for 30 seconds and then plug it back in.

Thirdly, if your Dot is still not working, you may try restoring the device to its factory settings and repeating the setup process. To do so, press and hold the Action button (the one with a white dot) on the top of the Echo Dot for about 25 seconds or until the light ring turns orange. From here, you can restart the setup process.

Still no dice? Reach out to Amazon’s customer service department to further troubleshoot the issue.

The Echo Dot (third-generation) and privacy

Amazon Echo Dot (third generation)

Credit: Amazon

An Amazon account is required to set up your Echo Dot (third-generation) speaker.

Privacy might seem like a thing of the past, as everywhere you go, there’s some computer watching or listening. But in your own home, you can do a few things to protect yourself, even from naturally invasive smart home devices.

You can stop your Dot from listening for (and possibly mishearing) your wake word by turning off your mic via the mute button on the top of the device. Or, turn on audible alerts within Settings in the Alexa app to know when your Echo is listening beyond just the indicator light.

Bloomberg recently reported that Amazon employs workers to manually review voice recordings. You can opt-out of having your voice recordings included in the review process by going to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data, then toggling off the setting that says Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services. In these privacy settings, you can also delete voice recordings, which are accessible to anyone you share the app with. You can even set up auto-deletion every three or 18 months.

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