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I bought 4 brand-name tech gadgets on Temu for work. Here's how it went

Temu, the wildly popular shopping app, has an array of electronics to try. I put some of them to the test for a week and was genuinely surprised by what I found.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Temu logo on mobile phone
Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Temu is the top shopping app in the Play Store and the App Store, beating out e-commerce powerhouses Amazon, Walmart, and Shein. According to Temu's reviews, some people say the items they received were cheaply made, broken, and unusable. Other shoppers say their products were good quality, reasonably priced, and exactly as described on the website.

Also: Is Temu legit? What to know about this shopping app before placing an order

There's only one way to tell what the deal is with Temu's products: I had to try some of them myself. I put Temu to the test and bought a few electronics that would enhance my at-home work setup.

I tried Lenovo Thinkplus LP40 Wireless Earbuds, a Mofii Wireless Keyboard and Mouse, an HP Wireless Mouse, and Lenovo TH40 Wireless Headphones. Each product was under $40, so you're definitely not breaking the bank when ordering from Temu. 

It took about 10 days for my items to show up on my porch, and they all came together wrapped in a giant, bright orange plastic parcel.

Lenovo Thinkplus LP40 Wireless Earbuds

A photo of purple Lenovo LP40 wireless earbuds against a brown background
Jada Jones/ZDNET

Coming in at the low price of $9.40, the Lenovo LP40 earbuds are true wireless earbuds with Bluetooth connectivity. Temu says they are water-resistant and are sourced directly from Lenovo. The LP40 earbuds come in five colors. In the box, along with the earbuds, are four replacement silicon bud tips, a charging case, and a USB-A to USB-C cord. 

The LP40s connect to your phone when you raise both buds to your ears, and you can swipe the stem up or down to raise or lower the volume. You can tap the bud to play or pause the audio and summon your phone's voice assistant by long-tapping the right bud.

Also: The best cheap wireless earbuds, starting at $36

For a pair of $10 earbuds, they're pretty impressive. They easily connect to devices and have about a 100-foot range. The LP40 buds are made of hard plastic, so I had to give my ears a break after about an hour.

They sound clear and can get loud, but withhold any deep or resonating sound, as heavy bass in these earbuds sounds crunchy. But, hey -- they were barely $10.

When I took a few calls with the LP40s, the person on the other end told me I sounded like I was underwater, and it was too distracting for them to continue a conversation with me. Because the LP40s don't take calls too well, I'd only suggest using them for listening to music, especially if you still want to hear your surroundings.

These earbuds would be an excellent starter tech gift for kids. The LP40s are affordable, come in fun colors, and are highly functional for their price tag.

Mofii Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

A blue Mofii wireless keyboard and mouse set on a wooden desk
Jada Jones/ZDNET

Lately, I've been looking for a wireless keyboard to boost my remote work setup. I'm deep into the Apple rabbit hole and am always saving to buy a new Apple device, but I can't bring myself to spend $100 on a Magic Keyboard. So, I tried a Mofii wireless keyboard.

The Mofii keyboard set comes in eight colors and costs $23.48 and includes a matching wireless mouse. The mouse and keyboard use one USB-A connector, so you can use the mouse and keyboard once it's plugged in.

Also: The best mechanical keyboards, from compact to full-size

Because I use a MacBook, I had to buy a USB-C to USB-A adapter ($20), and even with this added expense, it was still cheaper than a Magic Keyboard.

I liked this product; it's colorful, the mouse is nearly silent, and the keyboard's keys make a satisfying typing click. The Mofii keyboard doesn't have a numeric keypad, but to be fair, neither does the keyboard on my MacBook.

If you use a keyboard strictly for typing, and are looking for a wireless keyboard to match your personal aesthetic, the Mofii keyboard and mouse set could be the one for you.

HP Wireless Silent Mouse

A photo of someone holding a black HP wireless silent mouse
Jada Jones/ZDNET

It's hard to dislike a wireless and silent mouse. Of course, if you're looking for a gaming mouse, you'll need one with many beefed-up features, but that's not what we're going for here. If you need a mouse because using your trackpad is proving difficult, an affordable mouse like this one will work for you.

Or, if you're like me and use an Apple Magic Mouse, but sometimes don't want it to leave the house, you can try out an HP Wireless Silent Mouse. Temu says this product is sourced directly from HP.

Also: How this wireless touchpad and mouse desk setup saved my wrists

I don't have much to complain about -- or rave about -- with this HP mouse. It was under $10 ($9.48), it's essentially silent, and it gets the job done. And it came with a mousepad.

If you need an affordable backup wireless mouse for basic clicking and dragging, this one should do the trick.

Lenovo TH40 Wireless Headphones

a photo of white Lenovo TH40 headphones on gray carpet
Jada Jones/ZDNET

It can feel like hitting the jackpot when you've found a great pair of headphones under $100, and these over-ear Lenovo TH40s are easily the most impressive product I've tried from Temu. 

They come in three colors, have active noise-canceling (ANC), Bluetooth connectivity, and are only $30 ($30.47). And like the LP40s, Temu says these cans come directly from Lenovo.

The TH40s aren't the highest quality regarding headphone material and structure. They're a little flimsy, and the headband doesn't have very thick padding. But the ear cups are soft and comfy, and the sound quality is really good for the price.

Also: The best over and on-ear headphones

They deliver a full-bodied and well-rounded sound, with little distortion at high volumes. The noise-canceling functionality eliminated all the background noise around me, like my A/C unit and my neighbor's lawnmower. Like the LP40s, the call audio could be better. My mom said I sounded far away from the mic.

On a full charge, I got about 20 hours of battery with ANC on, so I could probably squeeze another eight hours out of the TH40s with ANC off. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack if you can't charge them up.

The TH40s would be great for a long flight or while having an intense workday at your desk. They're comfortable and foldable, and provide an enjoyable sound experience without breaking the bank.

Final thoughts and buying tips

I was more impressed with the products I tried from Temu than I thought I'd be. I've used my Mofii keyboard daily for about a week, and it's still going strong. I haven't swapped my AirPods Pro for the Lenovo LP40s, but you're shopping at the wrong place if you're looking for earbuds on Temu that can compete with Apple.

However, the TH40s are a slightly different story. Although I can't say they compare to Bose, Sony, or Sennheiser, they can certainly compete with Anker, Philips, or JBL. 

I was surprised to see reputable brands like HP and Lenovo on Temu, and I'd suggest spending a little more money on their electronics than the much cheaper options you'll come across. 

Also: I bought some off-brand geeky stuff from Temu (and wasn't mad about it)

I asked HP if the company's listed products on Temu are legit. An HP representative told me the company has no way of guaranteeing that the products sold on Temu in the U.S. are "from an authorized reseller or are authentic HP devices" because HP does not operate a direct store on Temu in the U.S.

So, you'll have to take the legitimacy of HP products on Temu with a grain of salt.

Look for products with thousands of reviews, and read them carefully. Temu has a sympathetic returns policy, but who wants to deal with returning items overseas? All the products I tested had at least 1,500 reviews and four stars.

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