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3 months ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 accessories are now available at ShopAndroid

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ShopAndroid is now full of the best Samsung Galaxy Note 7 accessories, so check them out!

If you've recently picked up the Galaxy Note 7, odds are that you have been looking around at some accessories to pick up for it. Luckily, ShopAndroid has you covered with all of your needs, from cases to battery packs, Bluetooth speakers, memory cards and much more. We've got top brands like SanDisk, Belkin, Seidio and more in stock, and some pretty great bundles as well.

Whether it is protection that you seek for the phone or something to keep it mounted in the car, we've got you covered. Be sure to head over to the ShopAndroid Store for all your Galaxy Note 7 accessory needs, and remember, orders over $50 ship for free!

See at ShopAndroid

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3 months ago

Best clear cases for OnePlus 3

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Best clear cases for OnePlus 3

What's the best clear case for OnePlus 3? Here are our favorites!

The OnePlus 3 might be a budget phone option, but that doesn't mean you don't want to protect your investment.

Its aluminum body is beautifully designed and if you love your OnePlus 3 naked but know you should protect it, go with a clear case!

Here are a few to get you started.

TUDIA Ultra Slim

TUDIA Ultra Slim

TUDIA's clear cases are some of the best money can buy, and that's because they fit very well and stand up to short drops, bumps, and scratches quite valiantly.

The Ultra Slim is made of clear TPU, which is soft and flexible, but not so smooth that your OnePlus 3 will fall out of your hand. Quite the opposite, actually – it has a grippy textured that makes it feel solid in your hand.

The raised bezel on the front and back keep your screen and camera safe from scratches and all ports and buttons are precisely cut out, so there's no need to take it on and off to charge.

If you're after a well-fitting, great-feeling clear case for your OnePlus 3, then check out the TUDIA Ultra Slim.

See at Amazon

Love Ying Ultra Slim

Love Ying

Love Ying makes some great minimalist cases that show off your OnePlus 3 in style, since you can opt for the completely clear version or you can go for translucent mint, pink, or purple.

No matter what color you choose, you'll get a great-feeling case made of soft TPU, which is excellent for shock absorption and its flexibility makes it easy to put on and take off.

All the necessary buttons and ports are cut out, so there's no hassle when it comes to usage and its ultra slim design means that there's little to no bulk or weight added to your OnePlus 3. It's like one of those flesh-colored body suits – for your phone! (Also it's clear).

See at Amazon

Ringke Fusion

Ringke Fusion

The Ringke Fusion is the perfect blend of solid bump and scratch protection and flexible shock absorption. It's made of hard polycarbonate, but all around the edges of your OnePlus 3 is soft TPU. Having your corners covered in TPU is paramount, since we all know what happens to a phone when it's dropped on its corner (if you don't, Google it and weep along with the owners).

You can opt for the Crystal View version, which features a totally clear TPU bumper, or you can go with the Smoke Black version, which has a translucent black bumper, for a bit of added flair.

The neat thing about the Ringke Fusion is that you're sent a DIY template for dressing up the back of your case. It's basically a piece of cardboard that's the perfect size so that you can cut out photos, trim them, and stick them in your case. Change the look of your case every day if you want or just keep it clear.

The Ringke Fusion is the perfect blend of minimalism and protection and the option to customize the back is just gravy!

See at Amazon

Cruzerlite Bugdroid Circuit

Cruzerlite Bugdroid Circuit

Cruzerlite's Bugdroid Circuit case is a must-have for any Android superfan. The case is clear with a circuit pattern and the Bugdroid logo featured on the back. So, if you want a case that shows off your OnePlus 3 but still want a bit of a design and something to spruce it up, it's perfect.

You don't have to go with totally clear, if that's not your jam. The Bugdroid Circuit case comes in eight translucent colors, from black to bright teal, so take your pick or buy a few, since they're only about $10.

These cases aren't just pretty faces for your OnePlus 3; they're made of durable TPU that absorbs falls and keeps scratches at bay.

If you're up for a clear case but want something with a little more oomph, then check out Cruzerlite's Bugdroid Circuit.

See at Amazon

Orzly Fusion

Orzly Fusion

Orzly's version of the Fusion features a hard, totally clear polycarbonate back and a reinforced rubber bumper all around the edge of your OnePlus 3 that really takes the cake for shock absorption.

Instead of being cut out, the buttons are covered and raised, which makes pressing them – especially while in your pocket – that much easier. The cutouts for the ports are precise and do not impact function whatsoever.

The rubber bumper around the case gives your OnePlus 3 a solid, grippy feel that's secure in your hand and that reinforced rubber adds a teeny bit of weight, but it's a good, strong-feeling weight.

If you're up for some excellently solid protection, then check out the Orzly Fusion.

See at Amazon

HOTCOOL Ultra Thin

HOTCOOL Ultra Thin

If you really want to go for the absolutely naked look, then the HOTCOOL Ultra Thin is your best choice by far. It's incredibly thin, weighs less than 2 ounces, and honestly looks like it's not even there.

It's made from soft, flexible TPU, which is better for shock absorption than hard cases. It covers the power and volume buttons and raises them slightly so that you can be more accurate when your OnePlus 3 is in your pocket, but they won't feel obtrusive with your phone in your hand.

The best part of this case is just how minimalist it is. A great phone feels great in your hand and this case is about as close as you'll get to that naked feeling without compromising protection. That being said, the thinner the case, the less protection you'll receive, so understand that the HOTCOOL Ultra Thin is best-suited to protecting from scratches, light bumps, and short falls – it is by no means rugged.

If you don't want to go for clear, it also comes in translucent black, gold, mint, and pink.

See at Amazon

What's on your phone?

Are you using an awesome clear case on your OnePlus 3 that I neglected to mention? Let me know what you recommend in the comments below!

OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

OnePlus

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3 months ago

How to capture amazing video on your Galaxy phone

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How do I capture better video on my Galaxy phone? With a little help from these tools!

Almost anyone, regardless of age or skill level, can play around with experimenting and shooting video on their Galaxy device.

With the help from some tools, a couple of simple tips, and some editing apps, you can turn your phone videos into some beautiful, memorable visual masterpieces. Plus, shooting video with your Galaxy is a blast because of its wide selection of toys and gear, room for creativity, and overall ease.

Shooting professional-looking video with your Galaxy phone is better than you think, so here's what you need to get started on your next mobile Hollywood blockbuster!

Gear

Just like someone who shoots professionally, you need some decent gear to capture the best quality video. However, because we aren't shooting anything too terribly intense, there's no need to break the bank or purchase crazy expensive equipment (unless you really really want to).

There are many inexpensive options available out there to bump up your overall Galaxy video quality, and the best part is you can choose to use one piece of gear, or all of them at once!

These are a few pieces of video equipment to consider using while shooting with your Galaxy phone.

External Lenses

External Lenses

Similar to a DSLR camera, switching up your lenses can change what your videos look like, how they feel, and the overall quality of your clips.

With the help of an external lens, it's easy to get creative and shoot your subject at different angles. You'll be more likely to do something unique with a fisheye, wide-angle, macro, or any other external piece rather than just your standard Galaxy camera. All you have to do is attach the lens, aim, and start recording.

Depending on the type of lens you're looking at shooting with, the prices can vary. Some can cost as little as a couple of dollars online (with decidedly low quality), while others can go up to $500+ for more serious phone videographers.

At the end of the day, the way you shoot will also influence the type lenses you buy. If you're looking to shoot more still, calmer videos, then magnetized or clamp-based lenses may be a great idea; if you're looking to shoot video that's a bit more fast-paced and intense, then you'll have to spring for a set of lenses that attach with a case (or even maybe find one that's waterproof).

Check out the XENVO Premium Lens Kit as a high-quality, reliable first lens option that won't leave you bankrupt.

See at Amazon

Tripod

Tripod

If you're looking to keep your shots steady and even, then using a tripod with your Galaxy is a must.

It doesn't matter if you're trying to capture a time lapse video, or attempting to get the perfect angle for your Instagram post, a tripod keeps your footage looking crisp and clean, taking your video from "Obviously shot on a Smartphone" to "Woah!"

Tripod types vary depending on the size of camera it's meant to mount, so it's unnecessary to spend a ton of money on something that specifically holds a larger DSLR or a video camera.

Smaller, less rigid tripods that move, twist, and bend in all directions work extremely well in tight spaces and weird positions, making them the best for shooting with your Galaxy phone as you can get the most creative results. You can pick up something like the JOBY GripTight GorillaPod to get the intended result.

As a bonus, smaller tripods that bend are also easier for storage, so it's great for shooting video on the go.

See at Amazon

External light source

External light source

Whether you're taking video of a friend's party, shooting action-packed skateboarding stunts, getting a timelapse at the lake, or anything in between, there's probably going to be room for an external light source to amp up your video quality.

Even though your Galaxy phone's flash produces quite a bit of light, it may not work while recording video. And although you can use the recording option in tandem with some flashlight apps, this can unfortunately oversaturate the image and wash-out the video if you don't have control over how much light is let in.

An external light is a great piece of equipment for recording video because there are plenty of options to pick from depending on the type of video you want to shoot. For example, the Universal Dimmable cell phone light is a great option if you're looking to brighten up your photos without jumping through any hoops.

There are more durable ones for action-packed videos, or simple LED lights for interviews, and with lights like these you can typically adjust and control the flood of light that you let into frame so nothing looks too washed-out.

See at Amazon

Microphone

Microphone

If you're just looking to film fun little montages or music videos, a microphone isn't a necessary piece of gear to have — your phone's mic will do just fine. But if you're looking to talk to people on camera and have every syllable picked up on audio, or record crystal-clear ambient sound, then looking into a portable microphone for your Galaxy phone might be a great option to consider.

Microphones can give some incredible sound quality to videos, even if the footage isn't 100% top-of-the-line: people watching videos can't stand barely-intelligible audio. Even though most modern Android phones have numerous microphones, having something like a case attached, or even the way you hold the phone, can cover the holes, severely distort the sound quality.

While microphones for video and DSLR cameras can be a few hundred dollars, you can find some compatible microphones for your Galaxy online that won't be too terribly expensive. The Rode Videomicro Compact microphone is under a hundred dollars and makes sound clear as crystal!

Keep in mind that while you're shooting video, the microphone will add some weight to your phone, so shooting with a tripod or a stabilizer might be a great option to keep your footage steady and pro-looking.

See at Amazon

Gear bag

Gear bag

Keeping your items stored can make sure that none of your gear gets damaged as you're moving around and shooting. Whether you're spending a lot or a little on video equipment, you want it to be working properly when you find the perfect shot.

You can either opt for a large, bulkier gear bag, or something a bit smaller depending on what you use to shoot.

If you're just shooting with external lenses, then a smaller roll-like bag, like the Photojojo Photographer's Pouch, could be good at keeping everything separated and neat, but if you're shooting with various tripods and lights, you might want something a bit bigger.

There are tons of options to pick from, but the key is to find something compartmentalized. Keep in mind that all this gear isn't as gigantic as DSLR gear, so even using DSLR bags designed for lenses that have multiple sections may be a good idea for hauling you Galaxy video equipment.

See at Photojojo

Shooting Tips

The ability to capture decent video is something most smartphones are capable of nowadays.

The difference between a cool video and an amazing video usually has way more to do with the person holding the camera, and the cool thing about people is they don't require a software update.

With that in mind, here's a couple of quick tips for shooting video on Android.

Vertical Videos

There's no nice way to say this, so I'll just come out and say it: if you're holding your phone vertically while recording video, you're doing it wrong.

The video you capture in portrait looks terrible to anyone watching the video, because the video doesn't fill the screen and makes enjoying the video you captured much more difficult. Any chance you have to turn your phone landscape to record video, you should absolutely do so. The resulting video will look much better, especially if you upload to services like YouTube for the world to see.

It's also worth pointing out that if you start recording a video vertically and rotate your phone to horizontal in the middle of recording, the video will not rotate with you. Instead you'll get something that is entirely unwatchable, because not only will the video be vertical but it will also be sideways.

Know when to use 4K

Lots of modern Android smartphones let you crank up the video resolution to 4K, and while this is an incredibly cool way to future-proof your videos by making sure the quality stands up to the test of time there's a few things about 4K that can cause problems for you.

Not only is recording 4K video incredibly expensive as far as processing power and local storage goes, but most of the first and second generation 4K-capable Android phones sacrifice things like video smoothing and stability for that higher resolution. This means 4K recording by someone with shaky hands or an attempt to capture something moving especially fast can actually wind up looking worse when recording in this higher resolution mode.

The best way to be sure your videos are going to be the best is to test out things like 4K before you go to capture something important, and be aware of the limitations found in whatever device you are recording with.

Be quiet

Whether you're running after something to catch a video of it, or you're just a loud breather all the time, it's important to be aware of how the sounds you make affect the video you are recording.

Shouting at someone on the other side of a Baseball field while holding a camera three feet from your face, for example, is a sure-fire way to cause everyone watching your video to cringe. It's not just shouting, in fact when you record something in a quiet place your Android camera could easily pick up on the sound of you breathing and focus on that instead of whatever you are recording.

It's not an easy problem to solve unless you are aware it is happening, and the easiest way to do that is to just pay attention to the sounds you are making and your proximity to the camera.

Settings

Every Android manufacturer does things just a little differently, and on top of that there are plenty of apps out there to take things even further with photos and videos. Being aware of what your app is capable of sets you up to record even better videos, as well as new kinds of videos that you never thought would be fun to capture.

The video settings menu for your camera app is your friend, and through it you could find yourself capturing 4K videos with laser focus, slow motion videos of your friend getting thrown in the pool, or even HRD video when you're in a place with questionable lighting.

The end result is better videos for every occasion, which isn't a big deal until you pull your phone out to capture that perfect moment. Use your settings, and have fun with your video!

Editing Apps

After shooting video on your phone, you'll want to be able to edit together your footage without exporting it to a computer.

Some editing programs are quite expensive, but you can edit creatively straight from your Galaxy phone screen without much hassle as long as you have the right apps to work with.

Here are a couple of editing apps that go hand-in-hand with shooting video on your Galaxy!

FilmoraGo

FilmoraGo is one the best option you have for smoothly editing through the footage you've captured with your Galaxy. One, because it's easy to follow along and understand the app's instructions, two, because the app has an incredible amount of creative options, and three, because it's just a great, overall video-editing tool!

After selecting the video clips you would like to string together, Filmora will give you little tips as your go throughout your editing process. If you think this is annoying, you can turn the option off when you first start compiling your video.

The variety of themes within the app give the user a ton of fun creative control, and if you didn't want to waste your time doing step-by-step editing, popping on a theme is a great alternative. You can pick from themes like fashion, 80's, winter, Chaplain, and much more.

With FilmoraGo, you can also get a bit more detailed with your video editing, adding in colored filters, titles, overlays, and more, all while editing the speed, the volume, and the length of specific clips.

Overall, FilmoraGo is a really fantastic, easy to use app that makes editing from your phone not only simple and headache-free, but also super fun! You'll soon be playing around with your settings, finding weird ways to splice clips together, and figuring out all the ways to turn your Galaxy videos into true Hollywood blockbusters.

Download: FilmoraGo (free)

VivaVideo

Slap a filter on it, add some music, and edit to your hearts content with VivaVideo, an unique Instagram-like video editor for your Galaxy phone!

The theme option is particularly great if you want some flashing editing and transition effects along with a couple of colored filters and some funky music. The great thing about VivaVideo is the wide variety of options that come along with the app, including themes that cater to country life, romance, pop art, retro, and more.

You can also add music to your Galaxy videos, or choose to keep the music going underneath your video from the theme you pick. With VivaVideo, you can even add special effects to your video, along with transitions, text, filters, and stickers to make your final product truly unique.

The worst part about VivaVideo? The watermark in the lower right corner. While the app is free to download, it costs $2.99 to be able to export your video without a watermark, and $3.99 to remove the watermark, remove the video duration limit, and get rid of all those pestering ads on the app.

Download: VivaVideo (free)

Triller

Sometimes you want to shoot great interviews or more serious moments with your Galaxy device, but other times you want to have a little fun and make montages and music videos.

Triller is a really nifty video editing app worth checking out that combines social media with video-making creativity!

After picking out a song from your library or the recommended music from Triller, you get to throw a filter on your video and customize the look of your clip. Then just angle and begin shooting to record your mini music video. The music will begin playing out loud so you know exactly what lyrics and music to follow along to.

While Triller seems a bit barren compared to other video editing apps for your Galaxy device, the thing that makes it truly unique is the social media and sharing aspect. Like apps like Vine and Instagram, you can post your video straight to your feed to have it seen by others around the world. You can also view other people's videos and get inspiration for creative storytelling ideas from them.

Download: Triller (free)

What do you recommend?

Is there a tool, tip, or app that we missed that can make shooting pro video with your Galaxy phone easier? Let us know what you use to shoot in the comments below.

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3 months ago

Charge three devices at once with this $9 wall charger

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Aukey is currently offering its 3-port desktop charger for just $9 with coupon code 24UOYEHW, a savings of $7. One of the three ports is Quick Charge 2.0 compatible, allowing you to charge your device up to 75% quicker. The other two ports are just standard chargers, meaning they won't be as quick but they can all be used at the same time. This small unit is perfect carry around with you while traveling or on the go. It is a small piece that plugs into the wall and allows you to charge up to three devices at the same time.

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3 months ago

Best OBD2 car readers for Android

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Best OBD2 car readers for Android

What's the best OBDII reader for Android? Here's a few to get you started!

Car repair can be costly (DUH) and that Check Engine light could mean myriad issues with your car. Or, it could be a simple fix that you could do yourself – so why take it to your dealer or mechanic without knowing the problem first? Some places will charge you $100 or more just for the scan.

Don't get swindled again. Get yourself your very own Bluetooth OBDII reader/scanner and figure out what's wrong with your car, right on your phone or tablet!

BAFX Products 34t5

BAFX Product 34t5

The BAFX Products 34t5 claims to work on all vehicles in the U.S. from 1996 or later, so chances are that if you're driving, this will work with your vehicle. All you need is a third-party app (which range from free to rather expensive paid apps), and you can connect the 34t5 to your Android phone or tablet to read out diagnostic information.

While reading out diagnostic codes, you can even clear them out at will, thus turning off your check engine light – even for manufacturer-specific codes!

Depending on the third-party app your choose, you can get real-time sensor information right on your phone, life speed, balance rates, RPM, O2 readings, and lots more.

If you feel the need for speed, this reader will even send you ⅛, ¼, ½, and 1 mile times.

Don't spend $100 just for someone to scan your car; spend about $22, read it yourself, and maybe you'll even be able to fix it on your own!

See at Amazon

Panlong Car Diagnostic scanner

Panlong

Panlong's small OBDII scanner is perfect for the do-it-yourselfer on a budget – you can find these on Amazon for around $13.

This reader will work on any car sold in the U.S. from 1996 or later – it just might not work with some hybrids. All you need is a third-party app, like Torque or DashCommand and you'll be able to read and clear trouble codes, while receiving real-time data readings – and you'll be able to turn off that damn Check Engine light!

If inexpensively is the way you like to maintain your vehicle (who doesn't?), then opt for the Veepeak Mini scanner.

See at Amazon

ScanTool OBDLink LX

OBDLink LX

The ScanTool OBDLink LX is a professional-grade OBDII reader that features its own app, which allows you to scan, read, and clear trouble codes in all cars sold in the U.S. since 1996 (except hybrid or electric vehicles).

All you have to do is plug it in, pair it with your phone, open the app, and you'll see real-time diagnostic data, as well as information about performance.

You can even use your Windows PC to access and compile your information without ever having to see a mechanic. Fix the stuff you can fix yourself and only take it in when absolutely necessary.

Being a professional tool, the OBDLink LX claims to service a wider range of vehicles, given more complex algorithms, and the Amazon reviews seem to agree.

It may be about $50, but if you love your car and worry that the cheaper readers might not actually do the trick, then check out the OBDLink LX. $50 is better than the $100 the dealers will charge you!

See at Amazon

iSaddle Super Mini

iSaddle

The iSaddle Super Mini supports all OBDII protocols and works on just about every car sold in the U.S. since 1996 (except hybrid and electric), allowing you to diagnose what ails your vehicle to help determine whether or not it really needs a trip to the shop.

For Android users, iSaddle works exclusively with the Torque app feeding you diagnostics and performance data via Bluetooth.

If you're unsure about the DYI approach to car repair, the iSaddle's only about $12, so you really have nothing to lose if you want to try it out yourself. If you can fix the problem yourself, go for it, but you still have the option of taking it to your dealer or mechanic if you're out of your element.

See at Amazon

What do you use?

Do you read your car or truck's trouble codes with another scanner that we didn't mention? Do you read your own codes or just take your car to the shop whenever the Check Engine light comes on?

Let us know in the comments below!

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3 months ago

Don't miss out on this Quick Charge 2.0 charger for just $5

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Aukey is once again offering its Quick Charge 2.0 wall charger for just $5 at Amazon with coupon code URYA2AKG. Normally priced at $12, you'll save $7 on this charger that will help get your phone charged up at a quick pace. The charger comes with both the charging brick and a 3.3-foot microUSB cable in the box, so whether you need one for the office, your travel bag or to have around at home, you won't want to miss this deal.

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3 months ago

Best clear cases for the Galaxy Note 7

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Best clear cases for the Galaxy Note 7

What are the best clear cases to show off your Galaxy Note 7

You just got your brand new Galaxy Note 7 and while you want to show it off, you also want to make sure it's protected from scratches and scuffs. Some bulky opaque case that'll turn your phone into a brick? Out of the question!

If you want to preserve the look and sleek feel of your new phone, you're best bet is to get a clear case. That way you can keep your phone protected while still being able to show it off to all your friends. It's the best of both worlds!

Spigen Neo Hybrid Crystal

Spigen Neo Hybrid Crystal

If you refuse to sacrifice style for protection — and vice versa — the Spigen Neo Hybrid Crystal lets you have it all.

This two-piece case consists of a clear TPU shell that shows off your phone's design, and a polycarbonate bumper that adds an extra layer of protection if you happen to drop your phone on its edge. Spigen claims this case is Military Grade Drop Certified, putting it into a similar category as other more heavy duty options they provide. The TPU shell features air space technology in each corner that help to mitigate the shock from a drop, so along with the bumper your phone should be well protected from drops.

The Neo Hybrid Crystal also provides a 1.2mm lip of clearance around the screen, and a 1.4mm bezel around the camera on the back to keep them safe when you put your Galaxy Note 7 down on surfaces. The bumper is available in four stylish color options, each with precise cutouts at the bottom for easy access to the S-Pen, ports and speaker. And the case itself offers a bit more grip to help prevent the phone from slipping from your hands.

See at Amazon

Caseology Skyfall Series

Caseology Skyfall Series

Another clear option comes from Caseology, known for their stylish phone case. Their Skyfall Series features a 1.3mm TPU shell and a 1.5mm polycarbonate bumper, which is available in four stylish colours.

The bumper on this case wraps around the back edge of the phone a bit for enhanced sturdiness. There are precise cutouts for the volume and power buttons, which are made of hard TPU for good responsiveness and tactile feedback, which will come in handy when you need to quickly silence an alarm without everyone knowing it was you.

With big cutouts around the charging port and headphone jack, this case will easily accommodate all your accessories while ensuring your S-Pen is always accessible. And with air-space technology in the corners, the case's dual-layer protection will keep your phone safe when it drops to the ground.

See at Amazon

Trianium Clarium Series

Trianium Clarium Series

If pure minimalism is what you're after, the Trianium Clarium Series case will offer you a clear view of your phone from every angle, while also offering protection guaranteed with a lifetime warrantee.

This case features a two-piece design, with a hard TPU shell and a rubberized bumper to help absorb the shock of any drop. Molded to hug your Galaxy Note 7 tight and protect it from scratches and scuffs, you'll be able to show off your stylish new phone without worrying about it getting damaged. It's also a very slim option, so you won't be adding too much bulk.

See at Amazon

Spigen Ultra Hybrid S with kickstand

Spigen Ultra Hybrid S w/ kickstand

What? Another Spigen case on this list? Absolutely. Spigen offers a whole variety of clear cases, but what sets the Ultra Hybrid S apart from the others is the built-in kickstand. This added functionality is exceedingly rare in the clear case category, typically reserved for more heavy duty options.

The kickstand appears to be essentially the Spigen U100 universal kickstand Spigen we recently reviewed, which is made of metal and extremely easy to use.

Spigen went with a one-piece TPU shell design for this case, so it won't offer as much protection as the two-piece options on this list. But with the kickstand allowing for easy media viewing and the TPU shell still providing full protection from any drops, scratches or scuffs, it's a damn fine compromise to make in this case.

See at Amazon

Ringke FUSION Crystal Clear

Ringke FUSION Crystal Clear

Another trusted name in phone cases, Ringke offers the FUSION Crystal Clear case for your Galaxy Note 7. This case comes in two style options — Crystal Clear or Smoky Black — but regardless you go with, your phone's beautiful design will always be on full display.

That's due in part to Ringke's claimed twice the clarity coating which they say enhances the original look of your Galaxy Note 7 without adding minimal bulk. With added TPU cushioning in the corners and certified military grade drop protection, this case will keep your phone protected and looking stylish. And if you ever get bored with looking at the backside of your phone, Ringke also includes a free DIY template for cutting out an image to place between your phone and your case, letting you express your creative side if you so choose.

See at Amazon

What do you think?

Is keeping your phone looking stylish as important as keeping it well-protected? Will you be picking up a clear case for your Galaxy Note 7? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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3 months ago

Best Samsung Galaxy S6 cases

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With all the options available to protect your Samsung Galaxy S6 from damage, how is one to decide which case is best?

We all have different needs to be met, but there are particular covers out there that stand out among the rest, providing both quality protection and exceptional design.

After careful consideration and input from members of the Galaxy S6 forums, we've selected cases that have made the biggest impression. These choices aren't limited by their size, manufacturer or price — only tried and true options that keep your Galaxy S6 safe from the inevitable drop.

OtterBox Defender Series Case

OtterBox Defender Case

First up, we have the OtterBox Defender Case for the Galaxy S6. Easily the most rugged of the bunch, this hybrid case comes loaded with 3 layers of protection along with a tough belt-clip holster to keep on your belt or pocket. Its size isn't meant for everyone, but those who do use it are keeping their Galaxy S6 safe from the worst impacts.

Speaking of its size, the Galaxy S6 OtterBox Defender is actually the slimmest version we've seen to date, and that's really saying something. You've still got all the familiar features of the Defender series, including an interior foam that seats your device safely, port covers to keep out dirt and other debris, an exterior slipcover that helps absorb impacts while enhancing your grip around the case, topped with a high-impact polycarbonate shell that keeps it all together.

Let's not forget the built-in screen protector, either — great for shielding against those pesky scratches. The Defender's holster holds the Galaxy S6 with the case on, allowing quick and easy access when you need answer a call, text or email while you're out and about. Many users opt out of utilizing the holster, but it's definitely handy for certain occasions.

See at Amazon

OtterBox Commuter Series Case

OtterBox Commuter Case

The slimmer option of the OtterBox series is the Commuter Case, providing just about everything you'd need to protect your Galaxy S6 from scratches, drops and dirt intrusion.

Surprisingly lightweight for its design, the Commuter Case features a smooth polycarbonate shell on top of a shock absorbing silicone interior that slides together for a compact fit. It comes with port covers pre-installed to keep out dust and other debris, but are able to be permanently removed if they're more annoying than useful.

With this hybrid case around your Galaxy S6, you can enjoy an enhanced grip thanks to the skinned edges and easy-press side buttons. It comes in black, blue or glacier color combinations and even includes a self-adhesive screen protector.

See at Amazon

Ringke Slim Case

Ringke Slim Case

There's always a total transparent option that makes it to the top of the list, and the Ringke Slim Case is ranked most popular this time around. And, if clear's not your thing — there are 6 other colors to choose from.

Perfect for slim, casual protection, this clear cover keeps bulk out of the equation and the good looks of the Galaxy S6 in. There's complete access to the side buttons, ports, camera and display while the case is worn, too. Included with the Ringke Slim Case is a complimentary HD film for shielding the back and front of your Galaxy S6 from unwanted scratches — so that's a plus.

Keep in mind, however, that you're not getting a huge amount of protection with this case. It's slim, yeah, but when it comes to more serious impacts — don't expect a whole lot. For everyday use and minor drops it'll do the job, though.

See at Amazon

Urban Armor Gear Composite Hybrid Case

UAG Composite Hybrid Case

If you're into rugged looks, the Composite Hybrid Case from UAG Read our hands-on review is definitely worth considering. Don't be put off by its damage-resistant design, though, because it's actually slim for the level of protection it provides. Both the TPU and polycarbonate shell are fused together with extra impact protection around all 4 corners.

There's obviously a lot to grip with the Composite Hybrid Case, between the TPU side grips and busy pattern on the back shell — dropping your Galaxy S6 becomes a rare occasion. There aren't any port covers to get in the way, but the case meets military drop-test standards — including a screen protector to ward off any scratches.

This case comes in some pretty cool color options, too. Solid colors include: black, white, rust and slate — for more transparency, there's ice and ash.

See at Amazon

Spigen Slim Armor Case

Spigen Slim Armor

An all-around favorite is Spigen's Slim Armor Case, sporting dual layers in an incredibly low profile. It's no secret that Spigen has been at the forefront of the popularity list for quite some time now, and for good reason. They're consistent with their quality and design, offering options for both heavy duty and average users.

What's great about the Slim Armor Case is its ability to shield against impacts without bulking up the Galaxy S6 to the point that it's no longer attractive. It leaves precision cutouts for everything you'd need, including the camera, flash and ports. The side buttons are raised for a more uniformed look, and are easy to press.

On the back shell is a fold-out kickstand for convenient viewing when you need it, and it doesn't protrude from the rest of the case like we've seen with the Trident Kraken AMS. It's designed to allow you to face your Galaxy S6 down on any flat surface while elevating the display, keeping away any possible scuffs or scratches. The Slim Armor Case comes in gunmetal (as shown), metal slate, shimmery white, and blue topaz.

See at Amazon

Speck CandyShell Grip Case

Speck CandyShell Grip Case

Speck's CandyShell Grip is back by popular demand with the Samsung Galaxy S6. It's got serious grip, and we can't blame users for enjoying that level of security.

Featuring an easy, snap-on installation the CandyShell Grip Case provides a soft, rubbery interior that keeps your Galaxy S6 safe from wear. Each corner has been reinforced to help handle impacts if and when they occur, while the raised bezel keeps the display from touching flat surfaces.

The polycarbonate shell is glossy, so fingerprints and smudges can be an issue over time, but are easily manageable. The most notable feature of the CandyShell Grip is its rubber stripes that wrap from side to side, enhancing grip in the most important areas. The symmetrical pattern has a unique look, too. If the black and grey (pictured) isn't your style, choose from 5 other color combinations.

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Spigen Neo Hybrid Case

Sporting excellent grip with its textured TPU skin is Spigen's Neo Hybrid Case for the Galaxy S6. This slim cover combines a thin polycarbonate bumper with a shock absorbent skin that's design to keep things slim yet protective. Metal coated buttons along the sides add to the case's good looks, too. Bumper colors include slate, gold, blue, and silver.

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Obliq Thin Bumper Case

This slim bumper case for the Galaxy S6 is designed to offer easy installation and removal while keeping you safe against minor impacts. The back cover rocks a brushed aluminum finish that looks amazing around the Galaxy S6 in any color. Ports and buttons are left open for easy access as well. Take your pick from 7 different color combinations.

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Verus Card Case

Who says a wallet case has to be a flip cover? The Verus Card Case for Galaxy S6 features a dual-layer design that provides optimal protection against impacts while adding storage under the shell for your personal items. Keep your ID, credit card, even some cash in your new case by sliding it open when you need. Available colors include silver, red, yellow, gold, and dark silver.

See at Amazon

Supcase Unicorn Beetle PRO

The next best thing to an OtterBox is the Unicorn Beetle for Galaxy S6. This rugged case turns your device into a beast that's ready for anything. Between the textured exterior shell, built-in screen protector, and shock absorbent skin inside, impacts don't stand a chance in damaging your Galaxy S6. Also included is a rugged belt holster for keeping your protected device at your side. The Unicorn Beetle comes in black, blue, green, pink, and white.

See at Amazon

Caseology Wavelength Series Case

If you're after grip, then Caseology's Wavelength Case for Galaxy S6 is right up your alley. This incredibly slim cover utilizes both polycarbonate and TPU materials to handle impacts. The grippy "wave" patterned skin on the back is what makes this case stand out. Choose from a handful of different color combinations to find the Wavelength that suits you and your Galaxy S6 best.

See at Amazon

Which is your favorite case?

How do you keep your Galaxy S6 protected? Let us know in the comments!

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3 months ago

Back to school gift guide: The best tech for your student

Back to School Guide

What can I get for my back-to-school student?

It's that time of year when students are gearing up for their return to school. These days, gearing up doesn't just mean textbooks and pencils. Your budding academic is going to want some of the best tech available to enhance their student life — both in the lecture hall and in the dorms.

Laptops

Best option: Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

The ideal laptop for a college student is compact enough to fit comfortably on one of those side table dealies found in older lecture halls, but still reliably powerful for everything that college life throws their way.

Enter the Dell XPS 13, a 13-inch laptop with a decent amount of power under the hood and a brilliant display. We're talking a Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB solid-state drive, and a battery Dell says will last up to 18 hours on a full charge. This won't be enough for heavy video editing or top-end gaming, but it will be more than serviceable for most students to get through a full day. And then there's that sweet InfinityEdge display that goes edge-to-edge, maximizing every possible inch of the display.

It's so good, we gave it a Windows Central Choice Award.

See at Dell

Budget option: Acer Chromebook 14

Acer Chromebook 14

If you're student is looking for a reliable budget laptop for the upcoming school year, you should seriously consider getting an Acer Chromebook.

The Acer Chromebook 14 is a well-built machine, especially for a budget laptop. Featuring an all-aluminum body and a simple yet well-executed design that includes the 1080p LCD screen with a semi-reflective covering for better shared viewing, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port, your student won't be embarrassed when they take it out in a study group or lecture hall filled with MacBooks. Hardware-wise, this Chromebook is powered by an Intel Celeron 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory — no SD card support is an issue, but one easily mitigated with efficient use of cloud storage or an external hard drive.

Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, which is still something of a work in progress but still fully capable to handle the workload of a typical college student, along with some basic entertainment in the downtime — gamers ought to look elsewhere.

See at Amazon

Noble Security Wedge Profile XPS 13 Lock Kit

Noble Security Wedge Profile XPS 13 Lock Kit

It's every student's nightmare: you step away from your computer for only a minute in a busy study hall and when you turn back around, your laptop is gone. All those important lecture notes and ongoing assignments gone — but at least you backed up the most important stuff somewhere safe… right?

Either way, you just can't trust people not to jack your shit. That's why if you get your student a Dell XPS 13, you should definitely also get something to keep it safe and secure. The Dell XPS 13 wedge lock kit from Noble Locks gives you added peace of mind that your laptop will never walk away on you. It's quick to click into the locking port built into the laptop's top-right corner, and lets you use the loop-ended galvanized steel cable to tether the XPS 13 to something secure as you work.

It's also perfect for shared dorms. Your student might trust their roommate, but their friends... maybe not so much.

See at Dell

WD My Passport Ultra

WD My Passport Ultra

These days, an external hard drive is as essential for students as a backpack or textbooks; every student needs to know that all their most important digital files and projects are backed up and secure in case something horrible happens.

Western Digital is one of the most trusted names in external drives, and their My Passport line is a reliable and convenient option. We recommend getting 1TB model, since that will give your student more than enough space to backup everything on their laptop, their notes and project — with some space remaining for their favorite movies and TV shows to bring along with them wherever they go.

It connects via USB 3.0 for quick file transferring and is preloaded to work out of the box with any PC running Windows 10 or earlier, but can also be easily reformatted to work with a Mac with the included software. With a three-year limited warranty, My Passport is durable and portable, so your student can confidently keep it in a bag pocket without worry.

See at Amazon

Tablets

Best option: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

If your student says they definitely need a tablet this year, you can't go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. It's a capable tablet they will love to use for school or play, and will last them a long time. While it comes with Lollipop 5.0 out of the box, it's upgradeable to Marshmallow 6.0.

Watching videos or playing games on the Super AMOLED 8-inch display is pretty glorious, and powered by a Quad 1.9GHz + Quad 1.3GHz octacore processor and 3GB of RAM, your student will be able to run multiple apps at the same time.

Your student can easily take it with them to their classes without having to worry that it will run out of charge with a battery life of up to 8 hours on a single charge. It also has a microSD card slot so that your student can expand the built-in 32GB to over 200GB of storage space, perfect for taking all their music, movies and TV shows wherever they go.

See at Amazon

Budget option: Fire HD 6

Amazon Fire HD 6

If size actually doesn't matter to your student, you really can't beat the value of a Fire HD 6. Amazon's 6-inch tablet is pretty capable considering it's well under $100.

Featuring an HD display with 252 pixels per inch, the screen may be small but it sure looks sharp. That means it will work as a fantastic e-book reader, as one would expect. It also comes with 16GB of storage (an 8GB model is also available) as well as free cloud storage for all your Amazon content and photos taken with your Fire device.

And let's talk about that Amazon content for a minute. Beyond e-books, with which Amazon built their e-reader authority on, there are tons of apps and games available in the Amazon Underground app store, and of course there's easy access to all the content on Amazon Prime Video and Music streaming services.

If you're looking to get the absolute best value for your money, the Amazon Fire HD 6 is great value for a budget tablet.

See at Amazon

Phones

Best Option: Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

If your student needs a new phone for the school year, your best option is the Samsung Galaxy S7. Heading into the second half of 2016, the Galaxy S7 has cemented itself atop AC's best phones of 2016. And it's pretty clear to see why.

Samsung decided to build on the stylish unibody design they introduced with the Galaxy S6 by adding a microSD slot, a bigger battery and making the whole package water and dust resistant. It's a powerful phone with an industry-leading camera.

If you're still not convinced, just check out our full review. It's also compatible with the Samsung Gear VR, which is currently your best modest-budget option for checking out VR today.

See at Amazon

Budget Pick: Moto G4 Plus

Moto G4 Plus

If you're looking for a good balance between quality and cost, you can't go wrong with the Moto G4 Plus. It's the best budget phone you can buy for around $249.

This 5.5-inch phone is all-round great, sporting a camera far better than its price tag would suggest, with and a battery that should provide more than enough juice to get your student through their busiest days. It comes with Android 6.0.1 out of the box, and has all the cool Moto gestures, like a twist of the wrist to launch the camera, or a karate chop to fire up the flashlight.

With the ideal balance of function and style at a very reasonable price, it's definitely worthy of your consideration.

See at Amazon

Battery Pack

Anker Powercore 10000

Anker PowerCore 10000

With how busy college life can be, your student might not have the time to stand around tethered to the wall waiting for their phone to charge. That's where a quality battery pack comes in real handy.

The Anker Powercore 10000 holds 10000 mAh of power, which Anker claims will charge most phones at least three times or a tablet at least once. Thanks to Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology, it should charge a compatible phone up to 80% in around 35 minutes, so your student can get on with their day without worrying about their phone's battery life. And best of all, the Powercore 10000 is smaller than a deck of cards making it incredibly portable — it fits perfectly into a pants pocket or bag. Also small? The price, starting at $30.

If your student is worried about the charger overcharging their phone or causing damage they can rest easy; the Power Core 10000 has surge protection and temperature control to keep both your device and your student safe when the phone is charging.

See at Amazon

Dorm Room TV

Vizio E-Series E32-D1

VIZIO E-series E32-D1

No dorm room would be complete without a TV. But gone are the days of crowding around a small tube TV playing Mario Kart 64 with your floor friends (although I'm sure that person would be the hipster king or queen of their college with such a setup).

Smart TVs are becoming a must-own device these days, when you consider the trend of younger generations cutting cable and streaming their news and entertainment from the Internet.

We're recommending the Vizio E-Series 32-inch Smart for a number of reasons. For starters, it comes loaded with apps such as Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, and more, so your student can kick back and relax in style after class. The size is about right for a dorm at 32-inches, so it should fit nicely on a modest desk or shelving unit. And the cost will makes it an affordable yet cherished back-to-school gift for any student heading off to college.

See at Amazon

Music

Best option: UE Boom 2

UE Boom 2

There's a reason why this little speaker is called BOOM — it's going to knock the ears off whoever's listening.

Its 360-degree design allows it to deliver sound to an entire room even when it's sitting right in the middle. Users can't stop raving about the quality of sound that comes from a speaker about the size of an energy drink can.

The speaker is Bluetooth-enabled and your student can stay connected up to 100 feet away. Not to mention up to eight people can connect their devices to the speaker, meaning their friends can all share DJ duties. A 15-hour rechargeable battery will keep the party going late into the night and will still have some juice the next morning when your student catches up on recorded lectures.

A companion app regularly delivers updates and even entirely new features to the speaker, and because it's waterproof and shockproof, it won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Check out this awesome speaker that starts at about $180.

See at Amazon

Budget option: UE Roll

UE Roll

What looks like a pincushion and delivers amazing 360-degree sound? The UE ROLL Bluetooth speaker! Your student will be able to carry this speaker around campus in their pocket or attached to their bike or backpack using the marine-grade bungee cord. How cool is that?

Current users love this speaker because of its waterproofing, durability, and sound. Even though it's so small, it delivers deep bass and clean treble that can be heard inside and outside. The battery lasts for up to nine hours, and your student can wander up to 65 feet away and still remain in Bluetooth range.

The speaker doubles as an alarm clock thanks to the companion app, so your student won't be late for class ever again. Want to give a portable speaker with amazing sound that won't break the bank? Check out the UE ROLL — it starts at about $70.

See at Amazon

Chromecast

Chromecast

If your student is complaining their dorm TV lacks the functionality of their neighbor's smart TV, there's no need to drop serious coin on a new TV. Just get them a Chromecast.

Don't let the small package fool you: Google's Chromecast is an incredibly handy accessory that turns any TV with an HDMI port and access to a WiFi network into a smart TV. With a Chromecast, your student will be able to stream their favourite movies, TV shows, YouTube, play music — even casual party games! Seriously, there are a lot of really cool apps that are compatible with Chromecast (even if someone has an iPhone).

Set up is dead simple, and it's portable enough that your student can bring it along with them wherever they go. Anyone with a phone and Wi-Fi access is able to connect up to the Chromecast, allowing for collaborative playlists of party jams, or a convenient way of sharing hilarious YouTube videos without everyone crowding around a laptop screen.

Ready for more good news? It's also dirt cheap at under $40. Thanks, Google!

See at Google

Headphones

Best Option: Bose QC25

Bose QuietComfort 25

Give your student the gift of amazing Bluetooth audio with the Bose QuietComfort 25 over-ear headphones.

Bose is the premiere name for quality audio, and its QuietComfort 25 headphones are top of the class. Designed to be lightweight and comfortable enough to wear all day, your student is sure to get hours of enjoyment from the crystal clear sound we've all come expect from Bose.

And with superb noise cancellation, your student deal with a noisy roommate, or just to turn off the sounds of the outside world for awhile — extremely helpful when they're hitting the books in a noisy study hall, or deep into binge watching their favorite show on Netflix for the umpteenth time. If your student would prefer a Bluetooth option for headphones, there's the wireless Bose QC35s, which will set you back an additional $100 while offer the same outstanding sound quality without the hassle of dealing with wires.

See at Amazon

Budget Option: AmazonBasics OnEar Headphones

AmazonBasics On-Ear Headphones

Don't be fooled by AmazonBasics headphones' $15 price tag — these are quality headphones. They fit on your student's ear, but the soft padding and lightweight construction ensure they stay comfortable over extended periods. Although they aren't equipped with active noise-canceling tech, the on-ear design does a lot block out sound.

Users have reported that the bass is deep and clear, and the treble is crisp and full. Your student is going to love listening to their favorite music on the go or in the dorm, and when they're finished listening the headphones can be folded flat for easy storage.

The 47-inch cable fits any 3.5mm jack and is more than long enough to not have the headphones ripped off your head when moving around. Want to surprise your student with rich sound for a cheap price? Check out AmazonBasics lightweight headphones.

See at Amazon

Smartwatch

Best Option: Huawei Watch

Huawei Watch

If your student is as fashion-conscious as they are tech-obsessed, get them the supremely stylish Huawei Watch. Launched in 2015, it was the Chinese tech giant's first entry into the smartwatch space and a conscious effort of choosing form over function.

The circular watch face is designed to look exactly like a traditional watch, and from a glance with the right watch face, the Huawei Watch will look like a stylish, chronograph watch on its 42mm diameter screen. Combined with the included black leather strap, what you get is a very fashionable piece of wearable technology.

Speaking of technology, the Huawei Watch is no slouch there. Running on a basic Android Wear platform, it has 512MB of memory and 4GB of internal storage so your student can store and keep their favourite music with them at all times and enjoy via a decent pair of Bluetooth headphones. Once paired to your student's phone, they'll be able to recieve all the important texts and notifications at a glance, so they can stay focused on their work.

Check our our full review from back in 2015 for more on why this is the best smartwatch for heading back to school.

See at Amazon

Budget Option: Samsung Gear S2

Samsung Gear S2

Samsung did a lot of things right when they updated their smartwatch offering in 2015 with the Samsung Gear S2. Featuring a novel rotating bezel for navigating through menus, a nice bright screen, and a battery big enough to get your student through a busy day the Gear S2 is a capable piece of wearable technology.

On the software side of things, as we mentioned in our full review, Samsung has thrown a lot of features into the Gear S2 that might make things feel a bit bloated or clunky at times, but key features such as S Voice are just so damn cool and useful that your student will surely find their rhythm using it on a daily basis. They'll be able to easily manage notifications from their favourite apps while on the go, so they can stay organized and in the loop while jetting between classes.

A sleek, minimalist design paired with a flexible elastomer band out of the box gives the Gear S2 a sporty look and feel, which can ideal if your student is more active. If they're not too thrilled with the default strap, it's quick and easy to swap one out for a different band to add a splash of personality or classic style to this essential accessory.

See at Amazon

Desk

Ikea Micke desk

Ikea Micke Desk

Dorm rooms are small, but your student is still going to need to cut out a quiet space for them to study and store all their things. For those reasons, Ikea's Micke desk is an ideal candidate to send out with your student as they head off to college.

As with most Ikea furniture it's intelligently designed to keep cords organized and out of sight, while also providing a built-in drawer for some added dorm storage. Plus, it's reasonably cheap and available in a classy black-brown or modern-chic white.

Some assembly definitely required.

See at Ikea

Backpack

Booq Daybag

Booq Daybag

Every student needs a reliable bag for carrying all their textbooks and supplies, along with a laptop, tablet, and any other tech or accessories they carry on a daily basis around campus. What's more, you want it to be comfortable to wear and look really cool.

The Booq Daybag checks off all those boxes. This deceivingly compact bag opens right up and provides enough space to hold a 16-inch laptop, along with your student's texbooks, binders of notes, and whatever else they might need during the day. With a bevy of pockets inside and out, comfortable shoulder straps, soft back padding, and a high-quality handle it's both comfortable and convenient to carry around throughout the day.

Side pockets remain flush, or can expand out to accommodate a water bottle or umbrella. Speaking of rain, the zippers are also waterproof, meaning your bag might get a little wet, but your valuables inside will remain protected and dry.

Starting at $90 and available in four colors, the Booq Daybag is a perfectly stylish and functional option for your student.

See at Booq

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3 months ago

Best screen protectors for Galaxy Note 7

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Best screen protectors for Galaxy Note 7

What's the best screen protector for Note 7?

The Galaxy Note 7's screen is covered with Gorilla Glass 5, one of the most scratch-resistant subtrates out there. But even the strongest glass can scratch, which is why it may be a good idea to invest in a screen protector.

Screen protectors and curved screens still aren't really friends, and the "halo effect" runs rampant. But, if you don't want to see your screen marked up any time soon, you should cover it up and put up with the halo.

Here are the best screen protectors for your Note 7.

IQ Shield LiQuidSkin

IQ Shield LiQuidSkin

IQ Shield's LiQuidSkin screen protector is one that employs the wet-install method, wherein you spray the heck out of the screen protector with the provided solution and it becomes as floppy as cooked ramen. This is perfect for a phone with a curved screen like the Note 7.

The wet screen protector will conform to the contours of the screen and even has a little stretch, so you can slap it on, make sure there are no bubbles, and ensure it's covering absolutely everywhere it needs to. That being said, it won't go all the way to the very edge of the screen, since it'll just end up peeling up, thus creating the halo effect. It's not the end of the world, just something to get used to.

The way IQ Shield protectors are manufactured is what makes them some of the best money can buy. Instead of being a bunch of layers of film slapped together, these protectors are a single layer of flexible, tough film that's as good as other products with several layers.

This means you never lose touch sensitivity and it'll stave of discoloration, since there aren't as many layers absorbing light.

The application of the IQ Shield LiQuidSkin might be a bit involved, but it's the best way to make sure that your Note 7's screen remain pristine for years to come.

See at Amazon

Skinomi TechSkin

Skinomi Tech Skin

Skinomi's TechSkin is another film screen protector that uses the wet-install method so that you apply a flexible layer of protection to your Note 7's screen. It'll resist scratches and won't yellow over time like most TPU does.

The wet-install method helps to ensure that you won't any air bubbles under the protector, which can harbor dirt that may, in time, scratch up your screen.

If you're worried about the fact that TechSkin is a TPU film and not glass, fear not. Skinomi offers a lifetime replacement warranty, meaning that if it starts to peel, or you notice pits or scratches, just let Skinomi know and it'll send you a replacement for free.

If you're looking for a well-made, reliable screen protector with an unbeatable warranty, then check out Skinomi TechSkin.

See at Amazon

IQ Shield Matte

IQ Shield Matte

Some screen protectors can be far too shiny and produce an obtrusive glare that prevents you from seeing your phone outside.

IQ Shield Matte helps with your glaring problem with its anti-glare coating that lets your big beautiful screen shine through in broad daylight.

IQ Shield's protectors comprise only one layer of tough, flexible film so that you never lose touch sensitivity or even really notice that there's a screen protector on your phone at all.

If you want to protect your Note 7's screen but can't stand the glare that some protectors tend to produce, then IQ Shield Matte is definitely the way to go. You get a lifetime replacement warranty, and that wet-install method can't be beat for phones with curved screen.

See at Amazon

Samsung Note 7 Screen Protector

Samsung Screen Protector

Samsung might not have made screen protectors for previous Note phones, but on its website there is indeed an official screen protector.

The description doesn't say much more than marketing speak, so we still don't know if it's going to be glass or film, but put money on it being a film protector, since (as mentioned) tempered glass and curved screens don't get along.

Likely, if it's made by Samsung, for a Samsung device, it probably fits nicely and precisely. I'll give this an update once the screen protector is available for purchase, so check back!

See at Samsung


What's on your Note 7?

Are you using a screen protector on your Note 7? Are you going to bother? Oh, and heed this advice:

You're gonna have a bad time

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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3 months ago

Best car mounts for the Moto G4

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What are the best car mounts that work with the Moto G4?

There's no good reason to be driving with your Moto G4 in hand. Distracted driving is a hazard to the public and whether or not it's illegal to text and drive in your state or local jurisdiction, you just shouldn't do it.

Having said that, using your phone in your car is also incredibly convenient; we our phones for turn-by-turn directions or to play music and podcasts while driving. The common compromise is to use a car mount, so your phone is accessible for a quick tap or swipe when you're stopped at a red light.

And there are no shortage of car-mounting options that will work with the Moto G4, all with their own unique features and methods of keeping your phone accessible and secure. Here are some of our favourites!

iOttie Easy One Touch XL Car Mount Holder

iOttie Easy One Touch XL Car Mount Holder

If you're looking for a standard dash car mount to hold your phone, you can't go wrong with the iOttie Easy One Touch XL. Designed with a quick, one-touch lock and release system, you won't be left struggling to secure your phone every time you jump in your car.

With 360-degree rotation available for either portrait or landscape orientation, this car mount ensures your Moto G4's charging port and headphone jack are both accessible. It mounts easily with a strong suction cup coupled with a sticky gel for a secure, confident hold. If it's time to switch cars, simply give the suction pad a quick rinse in warm water, then allow it to air dry — the suction will return to near-mint condition. Priced under $20, this is a great, if not slightly pedestrian, option for mounting your Moto G4 in your car.

See at Amazon


Affordable Universal 360-degree Rotating Car Mount

Affordable Universal 360-degree Rotating Car Mount

With the ability to hold phones up to 6-inches, the Affordable Universal 360-degree Rotating Car Mount will easily handle your Moto G4.

Securing your Moto G4 is as easy as pinching the clip in the back and placing your phone between the two rubber grips that will hold your phone in place. This mount attaches to your dash or windshield using a suction cup, with a quick push locking mechanism to ensure a secure hold. A 360-degree swivelling ball mount gives you the flexibility to adjust and rotate your phone as you see fit no matter where you decide to mount it in your car.

If you were wondering why this product is called Affordable, it's available to buy for $10. Sweet deal.

See at Amazon


Koomus CD-Eco Universal CD Slot Smartphone Car Mount

Koomus CD-Eco Universal CD Slot Smartphone Car Mount

If you're car CD changer has been collecting dust, get new life out of it with the Koomus CD-Eco Universa CD Slot Smartphone Car Mount. This mount ingeniously uses your car CD changer to secure the mount, letting you mount your phone just above all your radio and center console controls.

With a stretch clamp that can hold a phone up to 3.5-inches, and a full 360-degree rotatable ball mount, your Moto G4 will be held securely, with a full range of customization for positioning it just the way you want it. There's no tools or suction cups needed for installation. All you do is insert the flat end into your CD drive and you're good to go. Because, let's be real, once you've got your mp3-loaded or music streaming phone mounted in your car, who needs CDs anyways?

See at Amazon


WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount

WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount

If your top priority in a car mount is the ability to quickly mount and release your phone with no muss, no fuss, the WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Mount is right for you.

Your first step will be to mount the metal plate onto the back of your phone. It comes with both a magnetic metal plate for placing between your phone and a case, or a coin-sized adhesive magnetic metal pad that adds no bulk to your phone. The mounting bracket simply clips onto one of your car's air vents, and allows for a full range adjustments. Once you've added the plate to your phone, all you have to do is bring the phone near the mount and let the magnet do all the work. You get a secure hold that won't obstruct your dash or windshield, and your air conditioning will keep your phone cool when driving under the hot summer sun as an added bonus.

See at Amazon


DigitlMobile High Grade Seat Bold Car Mount

DigitlMobile High Grade Seat Bold Car Mount

Saving perhaps the most interesting car mount for last, the High Grade Seat Bolt Car Mount from DigitlMobile features a fully-adjustable gooseneck arm you attach down by the floor of your car.

This one won't be for everyone, and you'll definitely want to confirm that you've got the mounting bracket required in your car before purchasing — but man does this thing look cool. It comes with an expandable clamp that should easily hold your Moto G4, whether or not you have it in a case. Installation is a bit more involved, as you'll either attach it to the passenger seat track bolt, or drill it directly into the interior floor of your car for a more permanent fix. Once installed, you'll be able to adjust the arm to exactly how you want near your car's center console. An ideal option to avoid cluttering up your dash and field-of-vision, while also providing flexibility (literally) to let your passenger be your navigator or in-car DJ.

See at Amazon


How do you mount your Moto G4?

Which mount do you like best? Have any experience with the one's we've suggested? We'd love to know what you think, so let us know in the comments!

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3 months ago

Buying the best smartphone power pack — MrMobile explains

23

Proclaiming one external battery charger to be the "best power pack" for all people is a daunting challenge – and it misses the point.

The reality is that, as with smartphones, different power banks work well for different users. But I've collected between twenty and thirty external battery pack accessories in my time reviewing technology, and I've found that the secret to making the search a little less daunting is to focus on three key areas: safety, capacity, and speed.

This video includes products that excel in each field, and some even marry the benefits of all three with that all-important bonus: novelty. Join me for the MrMobile Portable Power Pack roundup!

And don't forget to be social!

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3 months ago

Essential accessories for Galaxy Note 7

21

What are the best accessories to pick up for the Galaxy Note 7? Well, there are a bunch, so let's take a look.

Whether you want to make sure that your new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is protected, able to be charged everywhere you are, or has enough storage for your local media, there are a number of accessories you can add to enhance the experience. Samsung will be offering a wide variety of its own official accessories for the new phone, but there are also going to be a ton from other brands. With the move to USB-C from Micro-USB, you may need some new cables, and the addition of the microSD slot may prompt you to buy a new card.

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3 months ago

Best heavy duty cases for Galaxy Note 7

18

What are the best cases for keeping my Galaxy Note 7 fully protected?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a marvel of smartphone design. Resistant to dust and water, the Galaxy Note 7 is also the first phone to feature Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back of the phone, making it the most durable smartphone you can buy and use right out of the box.

But despite all its ruggedness, as with any other piece of technology, it's not impervious to scratches or drop damage. However, you can greatly increase it's chance of surviving the nastiest of falls with a heavy duty case.

OtterBox Defender Series

OtterBox Defender Series

One of the most trusted names in phone cases, OtterBox's Defender Series line has been protecting phones for years. Their Defender Series case for the Galaxy Note 7 includes 3-layer protection — high-impact internal polycarbonate shell, silicone slipcover and a built-in screen protector — so your phone will be fully protected.

With precise cutouts around the USB-C port, headphone jack, and cutouts in the screen protector around the earpiece and fingerprint scanner, your Galaxy Note 7 is protected yet accessible. Along with the speaker and microphone, the S-Pen is the only port not protected by a silicone cover, which ensures it's always available at a finger's press. The Defender Series also includes an optional belt-clip holster that doubles as a kickstand for easy hands-free media viewing and is available in three color options.

See at Amazon

MoKo Premium Full Body Rugged Cover

MoKo Premium Full Body Rugged Cover

If you want heavy-duty protection for a low price, the Moko Premium Full Body Rugged Cover delivers in spades.

This two-piece case features a shock absorbing silicone inner sleeve and an impact-resistant polycarbonate shell that also provides added protection around the camera. The S-Pen, buttons, and ports are always accessible thanks to precise cutouts with no protective flaps to deal with. The case also comes with a 180-degree rotatable belt clip holster. It's quick to mount and dismount from the holster, which is lined with microfiber material to ensure your screen is always protected.

And in terms of keeping your screen protected, this case is compatible with screen protectors — even the thicker tempered glass options — so you can fully protect your Galaxy Note 7 and always keep it in like-new condition. Whether you go with the classic black, or opt for the blue or red accent options, the MoKo case is available for under $10.

See at Amazon

Spigen Tough Armor

Spigen Tough Armor

Looking for a heavy duty case that tries to preserve the sleek look and feel of your Galaxy Note 7? Spigen's Tough Armor case offers a good compromise between rugged protection and stylish presentation. Tested to meet U.S. Military-grade drop protection standards, this two-piece case consists of a flexible TPU sleeve that features shock-absorbing webbing along its interior, and a hard polycarbonate shell — available in your choice of Gunmetal Grey, Champagne Gold, or Blue Coral — adds a second level of toughness.

The buttons are designed to be flush along the edge of the case via the TPU sleeve, providing the tactile responsiveness you require, and precise cutouts along the bottom of the phone keep all the ports, speakers, and the S-Pen fully accessible. Both the screen and rear camera are well protected with a 1.4mm bezel around the screen and a 4mm lip around the camera on the back so you can confidently place your phone down however you prefer. And then there's the included kickstand, which lets you set your phone up for hands-free media viewing at an ideal 60-degree viewing angle. For solid, all-round protection and presentation, Spigen is a fantastic option for protecting your Galaxy Note 7.

See at Amazon

CoverON Atomic Series Hybrid Armor

CoverON Atomic Series Hybrid Armor

If your biggest fear is your slick Galaxy Note 7 slipping out from your grip and smashing on the ground, perhaps you're best off getting a case with tactile features along its exterior. In that regard, CoverOn's Atomic Series Hybrid Armor is your best bet.

Featuring a shockproof soft TPU rubber inner layer along with a rigid polycarbonate backplate, perhaps the most striking detail of this phone at a glance is its gridwork of raised plastic along the back, which will give your fingertips plenty of spots to anchor in — because the best way to protect your phone from drops is to avoid dropping it in the first place.

Beyond the protection this case provides, there's a built-in kickstand on the back for gaming or watching videos. Available in four color options, this case is also extremely affordable priced under $10.

See at Amazon

VRS Design High Pro Shield

VRS Design High Pro Shield

A sleek option for protecting your Galaxy Note 7 while keeping with the phone's slim, minimalist design is VRS Design's High Pro Shield.

Featuring the industry-standard two-part design, this case features a tough polycarbonate bumper around the edges, with precise cutouts along the bottom for easy access to the ports and S-Pen. The majority of the protection comes from the impact-resistant TPU sleeve that forms tight to the phone and features a brushed metal design on the back for a stylish appearance. This case has received military-grade certification for protection so your phone will be well protected while still looking stylish with four color options available.

Built into the bottom end of the bumper is a metal kickstand, perfect for hands-free media viewing. If you'd rather not compromise style for protection, the VRS Design High Pro Shield is a great option for your Galaxy Note 7.

See at Amazon

How will you keep your Galaxy Note 7 protected?

Got any thoughts on the cases we've recommended above? Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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3 months ago

Best cheap cases for OnePlus 3

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Best cheap cases for OnePlus 3

What's the best cheap case for OnePlus 3?

The OnePlus 3 is an inexpensive phone, but you of course still want to protect it. That being said, you might want to match what you spent on the phone to what you'll spend on a case, relatively speaking.

So, if you're not in for the expensive, bulletproof cases, then opt for one (or all) of our favorite cheap cases for the OnePlus 3. Cheap doesn't have to mean bad!

TUDIA slim-fit Heavy Duty Extreme

TUDIA Slim-fit Heavy Duty Extreme

Even though you're opting for an inexpensive case, that's no reason to skimp on protection. The TUDIA slim-fit Heavy Duty Extreme comprises two layers: an inner layer of shock-absorbing TPU and an outer layer of hard polycarbonate.

You have raised edges around the front of your phone to protect the screen when you place it face-down, and you've got a raised edge around the camera lens so that you won't be taking photos of just cracks any time soon.

This case's cutouts are quite precise, so you won't have to worry about taking it off to charge or take photos, and it fits snugly, making that TPU inner layer more effective.

The Heavy Duty Extreme comes in matte black, metallic slate, mint, and rose, so choose one to match your style.

If you want an expensive case feel with great protection for around $13, then the TUDIA Heavy Duty Extreme is the case you want.

See at Amazon

Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen just makes great cases. I've had an used quite a few of them and they always fit just right. The Rugged Armor case is the perfect blend of solid protection and a slim fit that doesn't add much bulk or weight to the OnePlus 3.

Some cases, especially those with polycarbonate backs, can be slippery to hold, but the Spigen Rugged Armor case is made entirely of soft TPU, with a textured feel that's easy to hang on to.

The inside of the case has a spiderweb design, which disperses impact around the entire case, and each corner employs Spigen's "Air Cushion technology," which leaves a pocket of air between the phone and the case, again in order to disperse impact. If you've ever dropped a naked phone on its corner, you'll understand why this is very important.

If you're looking for solid protection and a non-slip, textured phone case, then the Spigen Rugged Armor is a great way to go.

See at Amazon

Love Ying Crystal Clear Ultra

Love Ying

If you'd like to add a little pizzazz to your OnePlus 3 — but not too much — the Love Ying Crystal Clear Ultra series of cases is a great minimalist option for something inexpensive yet effective.

These Love Ying cases are made of soft TPU and protect your OnePlus 3 from dirt, dust, scratches, and bumps. These are the most rugged cases but will protect your phone from everyday wear and tear.

Coming in mint, purple, clear, and pink, they add a lovely translucent color to your phone, so you can appreciate its design while adding a splash of personality.

Be aware that TPU can turn yellow over time, due to the way it absorbs sunlight, but that shouldn't be for quite a while, so grab a few of these cases (they're only around $7) and enjoy!

See at Amazon

OnePlus Protective Cases

One Plus Protective Case

Manufacturers may not make the coolest cases for their phones, but they at least usually fit pretty well. That being said, the OnePlus Protective cases from OnePlus are cool as hell!

You have five different case materials to choose from: Sandstone, Karbon, Black Apricot, Rosewood, and Bamboo, and they're all made from the materials after which they're named, mixed with kevlar (except sandstone – it's polycarbonate)! First off, who's ever even heard of Black Apricot, let alone had a phone case made out of it? Second, these cases are very lightweight and snap on easily, protecting the back and sides of your phone from bumps and scratches.

The top and bottom of the your OnePlus 3 are left open, so you don't have to worry about the cutouts being precise or not and removing the case is that much easier.

The cases range in price from $19.95 (Sandstone) to $24.95 (the rest), which is quite inexpensive when you consider what other phone manufacturer's charge for proprietary cases.

If you want a case that's unique, made of something other than TPU, silicone, or polycarbonate, and rather stylish, then grab one from OnePlus. It'll fit your phone well and you know people are going to ask you about it!

See at OnePlus

Cruzerlite Bugdroid Circuit case

Cruzerlite Bugdroid Circuit

Cruzerlite's Bugdroid Circuit case is a quirky and fun TPU case that features the Android Bugdroid (of course, he's Lloyd here at AC) on the back, with a sort of circuit board pattern. It's a great case for diehard Android fans and folks who are looking for a lightweight case that won't fatten up their OnePlus 3 too much.

This case comes in black, blue, clear, green, orange, red, smoke, and teal, so you'll be able to find one that matches your personal style.

As far as phone cases go, this one is a pretty run-of-the-mill TPU shell, but the design is really cool and the softer cases are better for shock absorption. Plus, they're only around $10, which is why they're one of the best cheap cases you can find for the OnePlus 3!

See at Amazon


Ringke Fusion

Ringke Fusion

The Ringke Fusion offers versatility in its design, with soft TPU around the edges and a hard polycarbonate back, expertly protecting your OnePlus 3 from all manner of scratches, scuffs, and bumps.

The clear back of the case means you get to admire the metal composition of your phone, but if you so choose, Ringke sends along a DIY template (basically a piece of cardboard) that helps you shape photos or images that you print out so that they fit perfectly in your case. Boom, you have a custom phone case design that you can switch out as often as you like!

You have your choice of two edge accents: Crystal View or Smoke Black.

The Ringke Fusion starts around $12 and is perfect for anyone looking to bridge the gap between a rugged case and a minimalist case.

See at Amazon

What's on your phone?

What inexpensive case did you pick up for your OnePlus 3? Was it worth it to go the cheap route? Sound off in the comments below!

OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

OnePlus

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