TP-Link also showed off the quad-band Archer AXE16000. It combines 2.4 GHz, two 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands for a staggering 16-Gigabits-per-second total. Ideal for large homes, this beast can handle 8K streams, VR, and anything else you care to throw at it. Most folks will be satisfied by the smaller Archer AXE5400, which promises to make Wi-Fi 6E more affordable, though TP-Link is still finalizing prices and release dates.
Wi-Fi 6E is coming to TP-Link’s Deco mesh systems later this year, but the Deco X55, a three-unit, tri-band, Wi-Fi 6 system, lands this month at a somewhat tempting $280 (the older X20 is one of our favorite mesh Wi-Fi systems). X50 mesh series add-ons include a waterproof outdoor router for the backyard and a router that doubles as a smart speaker with Alexa inside.—Simon Hill
Samsung Repackages the Galaxy S21
The Galaxy S21 is so last year, but it’s not time for the Galaxy S22 just yet. As Samsung’s top-end flagship smartphone starts to disappear from store shelves (supplies have been scarce for several months), the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition (FE) is taking its place. This glass slab has the same speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, AMOLED 120-Hz screen, and 12-megapixel main camera, and it starts at $699, a price that’s $100 cheaper that its elder sibling.
There are a few differences. It’s 0.2 inches thicker than last year’s 6.2-inch Galaxy S21. I’ve used it for the past few days, and it still feels pretty compact and remarkably thin. This bigger size allows for a beefier 4,500-mAh battery too. But what brings down the price is the plasticky shell. (It still has a metal frame inside.) Samsung also swapped the 64-megapixel telephoto zoom camera for an 8-megapixel one. Details from this camera sensor won’t be as sharp, but the upgraded 32-megapixel selfie cam on the front might make up for it.