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1 hour ago

Samsung S-View Clear Flip Cover for Galaxy Note 5

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The S-View Clear Flip Cover grants an easy peek at the basics, but doesn't make anything else much easier.

Arguably one of the more popular cases from Samsung is this clear flip cover that's designed to present simple features such as time, incoming/missed calls, and preview notifications without having to flip it open. The Samsung ID chip embedded in the front cover is what makes the magic possible, however, its features are rather limited when compared to the likes of the HTC Dot View Case. Basically, you have to really like the style of this case to make it your day-to-day guardian for the Galaxy Note 5.

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22 hours ago

BB-8 by Sphero won't support voice commands on Android at launch

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$149 Buy now

We've been messing with BB-8 by Sphero for a few hours now, and having a ton of fun patrolling the office and racing with the other Sphero robots we have in the office. If you're a fan of Star Wars, particularly the upcoming Force Awakens movie, this is undoubtedly going to be the toy to buy this year. Unfortunately, those of us running Android are going to have to wait a little while for one of the coolest things this rolling orange robot can do.

In the promo video for BB-8 by Sphero, you see a demonstration of voice commands for the little robot. They work great, you can have BB-8 look around and patrol an area, move forwards and backwards, and even shout "it's a trap!" and have the little droid scurry off at max speed in whatever direction it is currently facing. Unfortunately, none of these voice commands work on Android just yet. In fact, the button to enable the feature isn't in the app settings at all, which is weird when you can see mention of voice actions in the BB-8 app description on the Play Store before the app was pulled (currently the APK is available on the Sphero website ).

While this is a bummer to anyone who plans on rushing out to pick one of these robots up tomorrow, there's no need to worry. Orbotix will be releasing an update to the BB-8 app for Android once the feature is ready. In the mean time, start picking out where you want the charging dock to live. It needs to be somewhere you can see when the little docked robot has something to say.

Buy Sphero BB-8 now from Best Buy

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1 day ago

Labor Day Sale: 20% off accessories at ShopAndroid!

We're slashing prices this entire week on Android accessories, so getcha some while they're on the cheap.

Some of us will be enjoying our long Labor Day weekend by grilling up some BBQ with friends and family or getting our splash on at the beach. No matter how you spend your day off, starting today you can save 20% on everything from ShopAndroid through midnight, September 9. There's plenty to choose from for the latest devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6, and more.

Use coupon code: LD2015 at checkout to apply the 20% discount to your entire order, and remember that we offer free shipping on orders over $50 within the continental US.

Let's shop!

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1 day ago

BB-8 by Sphero is every Star Wars fan's dream robot

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When the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was revealed to the world, a whole lot of people had the same thought about one of the little robots in the trailer. It looked suspiciously like a giant Sphero robot with a little floating head on top, so naturally a ton of people asked Orbotix if they would be able to make a version of their popular Sphero robot to look like this thing from the trailer. Not long after, the world learned that not only was Orbotix capable of making a small version of that BB-8 droid, but was the company responsible for making the big one being used in the movie.

Today, BB-8 be Sphero is finally a real product you'll soon be able to buy for yourself, and it's shaping up to be the toy every Star Wars fan is going to want to own.

On the surface, this little droid closely resembles a Sphero orb with a little head on top, but the overall feature set blows away anything we've come to expect from the folks at Orbotix. BB-8 by Sphero pairs to your phone or tablet and lets you control movement, and as you'd expect it's the same kinds of movement we've seen from the larger BB-8 appearing in The Force Awakens.

$149 Buy now

The BB-8 app includes several control methods, including voice controls tuned to the owner, sentry mode between pre-determined areas, and even autonomous behavior if you just want the droid to roam around and play.

Sphero describes BB-8 as having an adaptive personality, and claims its behavior will change based on interaction with you. A line you'll see repeated in marketing material is how this droid is more than a toy, it's your companion.

The BB-8 app also includes a communication mode, allowing you to record messages from your phone and have them play back in an Augmented Reality field that looks as though your message is being played through a holo-projector baked into BB-8. If you've got friends who also have BB-8 droids, you'll be able to send holographic messages back and forth to one another through the app.

As you'd expect from a Sphero-like toy, the wireless docking cradle lets you drop BB-8 in when you're done playing and pick it back up when you're ready to go. Like the robot itself, the cradle is sporting heavy Star Wars theming, and when BB-8 is placed in its cradle the head adjust automatically to face forward, acknowledging that charging has started and just plain looking cool.

BB-8 by Sphero is launching on Force Friday, September 4th for those who haven't been paying attention to every little thing in the Star Wars Universe, for $149. Everything you need to know about grabbing one of these for yourself can be found over at the Sphero site.

Buy Sphero BB-8 now from Best Buy

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2 days ago

Pelican Voyager Case for Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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When regular cases just don't cut it, the Pelican Voyager stays true to protecting the Galaxy Note 5.

Similar in build quality to that of OtterBox and Lifeproof, the Voyager Case focuses on the needs of the rugged Note 5 user. That means serious impact protection that's going to hold up when your device hits the turf. It includes a 2-piece snap on cover, separate screen protector, and a belt holster for quick draw access at your side.

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4 days ago

This smart LED bulb packs a 3W speaker for easy listening with custom lighting

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The PLAYBULB Color can be controlled straight from your smartphone for unique lighting that goes great with your favorite playlists.

Taking smart lighting to the next level is the PLAYBULB Color, similar to its sibling the PLAYBULB Rainbow, only with a 3W speaker added around the bulb that provides easy listening anywhere you decide to twist it in. Compatible with standard E26 and E27 screw base light sockets, this light connects to your Android or iOS device over Bluetooth, but requires the free PLAYBULB X app to control colors, effects, and set up special groups for managing multiple bulbs simultaneously.

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4 days ago

Gadgets of the week: Philips hue dimmer, SmartThings Hub V2 and more!

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You guys like technology, right?

We're putting together another week's worth of the best in connected accessories, including wearables, smart home gadgets, Bluetooth speakers, and whatever else talks to your Android phone or tablet. Philips has a simple but handy dimmer switch for their connected lightbulbs, and SmartThings is updating their connected home hub with additional offline measures. Find more of the week's coolest new Android-friendly doohickeys inside!

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1 week ago

Top 5 heavy duty cases for Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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Putting your size concerns aside, a rugged case for your Galaxy Note 5 can extend the lifespan of your device quite a bit. Extra layers, built-in screen protectors and textured grip all play a role in keeping your Note 5 in your hand and off the concrete. Big names like OtterBox, Trident, and Urban Armor Gear are all making their return with the newly announced Galaxy Note 5 — and we're highlighting our top 5 that are up for grabs right now.

Read now: Top 5 heavy duty cases for Samsung Galaxy Note 5

OtterBox Defender Series Case

The OtterBox Defender Case for Galaxy Note 5 doesn't skimp on its multi-layer design, providing maximum protection against both scratches and impacts from front to back. This hybrid cover features a durable polycarbonate inner shell with foam padding, finished with a synthetic rubber slipcover. The built-in screen protector helps to keep the display clean, and the Defender's port plugs block liquids, dirt, and other debris from getting into the Note 5's openings. The OtterBox Defender Case is $69.90, but if you want the classic holster to match it, it's an extra $14.95.

Buy from OtterBox

Urban Armor Gear Case

Sporting a rugged design that's excellent for enhancing grip, the Urban Armor Gear Case for Galaxy Note 5 is actually quite slim for the level of protection it provides. All four corners feature an extra thick TPU for handling impacts, with easy-grip edges that feel great in your hand. Since both its armored shell and TPU core have been fused together, installation is quick and simple, keeping things exceptionally lightweight. This case comes in solid colors including black, white, and orange. For a transparent look, take your pick from clear, gray, or red for $39.95.

Buy from Amazon

i-Blason Prime Dual Layer Case & Holster

For superior protection without with ridiculous price tag, the i-Blason Prime Dual Layer Case and Holster for Galaxy Note 5 is an option that looks as tough as it protects. This hybrid cover rocks a dual-layer design that packs a fold-out kickstand on its textured polycarbonate shell — great for convenient viewing on the go. Bundled with the rugged case is a matching swivel clip holster that works great on most belts or even your pocket. Snag this heavy duty combo in black, blue, or red for only $11.95.

Buy from Amazon

Trident Aegis Pro Case

Built for the rugged user in mind, the Trident Aegis Pro Case for Galaxy Note 5 features a hardened, bio-enhanced polycarbonate shell and shock absorbing TPE interior. Meeting military standards, this durable case has been drop tested 26 times at 4ft. There are port plugs to keep out dirt and debris, as well as a self-applicable screen protector to shield your Note 5's display from scuffs and scratches. Trident also uses degradable, compostable, and recyclable materials for this cover — making it an eco-friendly solution to protecting your Galaxy Note 5. The Aegis Pro Case is available in black, blue, or pink for $34.99.

Buy from Trident

Supcase Unicorn Beetle PRO Series

Last up is Supcase's Unicorn Beetle PRO Series Combo for Galaxy Note 5, providing a more subtle rugged appearance that leaves easy access to ports, buttons, and the S-Pen. Next to its flexible TPU core and polycarbonate exterior is a built-in screen protector to keep scratches at bay without compromising touchscreen sensitivity. A strong, swivel clip holster is bundled with the cover for good measure, too. The Supcase Combo starts at $15.99 and is available in black, blue, green, pink, and white.

Buy from Amazon

What's your favorite Galaxy Note 5 rugged case?

That's our top 5 heavy duty cases for the Galaxy Note 5 available right now. In the coming weeks we're keeping our eyes open for other popular brands like LifeProof and Pelican — both great manufacturers for rugged covers. Have a different case in mind you plan on picking up for your new Note? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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1 week ago

HTC RE wins design award at the 35th International Design Excellence awards ceremony

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HTC's handheld camera, the RE Camera, has won a design award at the 35th International Design Excellence awards ceremony. The camera beat out more than 1,700 other entrants to come out on top, and will be featured in the fall edition of Innovation, the annual yearbook of International Design Excellence Award winners.

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1 week ago

Wren V5US Wireless Home Speaker System Review

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The Wren V5US isn't your average portable wireless speaker. It's designed for multi-room audio with a handful of options for easy connectivity.

Sure, this speaker is portable, but it still takes two hands to safely tote it from place to place. It measures 16.75 x 4.25 x 6-inches, making it more ideal for entertainment centers, or elevated shelves for an optimal audio experience. It's mostly made of a ½-inch thick medium density fibreboard (MDF) that's been laminated and reinforced to eliminate resonance and discoloration.

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1 week ago

LG Rolly is a solid, rollable full-size keyboard for your smartphone and tablet

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LG has announced the Rolly, a full-size rollable wireless keyboard designed to work with smartphones and tablets. The keyboard folds up along the four rows into a stick that's easy to carry around. Constructed out of "impact-resistant" polycarbonate and ABS plastic, LG's accessory gives you more tactile feedback when compared to silicone-based keyboards.

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1 week ago

Samsung's upcoming wireless speakers can be controlled by the Gear S2 smartwatch

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Samsung will launch three new models in its lineup of Wireless Audio 360 speakers. The R5, R3 and R1 models, which will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2015, can be controlled by a smartphone app or via the upcoming Gear S2 smartwatch.

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1 week ago

TYLT's Y-Charge QUIK car charger adds Quick Charge to both ports

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Finally. A car charger that provides Quick Charge 2.0 on not just one, but both USB outputs.

We've had our hands on a bunch of car chargers in the past, many of them supporting Quick Charge 2.0. The real drawback being that you're limited to a single port that provides the technology. TYLT's new Y-Charge QUIK Car Charger is making the change, cramming 4.8A (48W) inside its goofy build for a quick boost in battery life while you hit the road.

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1 week ago

Hands-on the Incipio OCTANE Case for HTC One M9

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Incipio's OCTANE Case shows off the HTC One M9's original design while managing impacts like a champ.

This bumper case provides more than just simple protection around the edges; its co-molded construction adds a transparent polycarbonate shell to match its easy-grip border. Although the back shell is see-through, it's actually a bit cloudy compared to something similar like the HTC Clear Hard Shell Case. That said, the OCTANE Case adds more grip from edge to edge, reducing those accidental drops.

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1 week ago

Gadgets of the week: OnHub router, iBackPack and more!

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So many toys, so little time.

Every week, we round up the hottest in wearables, Bluetooth audio, and other Android-friendly accessories. There are a few goodies in particular on the plate this go-around: the OnHub router promises to whisk your Wi-Fi woes away, while the iBackPack crams more technology into a bag than should be reasonably allowed. There are plenty more Android gadgets than that to check out. Dive in!

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