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3 months ago

First look at Omron Evolv: Smart blood pressure tracking on Android

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Second in a series of how Phil is trying to not die of high blood pressure after years and years of running Android Central. (And doing other unhealthy things.)

OK, OK. Health tech isn't maybe quite as sexy as the news SmartWatchWear 5000. But I'd argue that maybe it's just a little more important in the long run, right? Thus my first look at the Withings wireless blood pressure cuff. Syncs to your phone. Syncs to the cloud. Keeps Phil alive. Good times.

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But that's not the only thing like that out there. Just a month ago at CES Omron announced a new kind of cuff that's smart — it syncs with an app on your phone, yeah — but also standalone. You can use it along with your phone, but you don't have to. (And as I'm getting older the real definition of a "smart" product is one that recognizes that there are times I don't want to have to deal with any more tech than is absolutely necessary. But get off my lawn.)

The best thing about the Evolv? Well, it's a couple things, really. It's fast. And then there's the display, which shows the measurements right there on your arm, no smartphone required. And that's maybe a good thing, as the Omron app isn't all that impressive.

But all in all, this is a good little product and a competitive price. Nicely done.

See at Amazon

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3 months ago

Essential Accessories for LG G5

Essential Accessories for the LG G5

Turn your LG G5 into a workhorse with the right accessories.

Do you have your phone on you at all times ready to respond to every call, text, and email that comes your way? Do you use your phone as your primary TV, game console, and music player? If that sounds like you, then you my friend, are a power user.

Great accessories are the icing on the phone cake. You already have the the phone you want that works amazingly well, now you want those little extra pieces of hardware that just make your life that much easier. We've rounded up some accessories for the LG G5 you won't want to miss out on.

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3 months ago

Best Third-Party Bands for LG Watch Style

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A stylish watch deserves a stylish band.

The LG Watch Style may be aimed at those who care a little more about fashion than function, but there are plenty of functional reasons to swap out bands on your new watch. Maybe your perfect fit is between sizes, or maybe you need something a little more sweat-proof — or maybe you simply want something that matches your wardrobe better. Swapping bands on the Style is a breeze, but first you need a band to switch to, and that's where we come in!

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3 months ago

Great Valentine's Day Gadget Gifts at $50, $100, and $200

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Get your tech-centric pal or loved one something new to play with.

Life is full of little gadgets that make life more interesting, so why not help out a friend or family member? We put together a list of neat tech that quickly automates your home or adds a bit of flair to your smartphone. There are great choices at $50, $100, and $200 price points!

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3 months ago

Best Wireless Mice for Chromebooks

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Which wireless mice are best for Chromebooks?

While your Chromebook's trackpad works well enough for most situations, there are some tasks for which a wireless mouse is better.

Whether you need a wireless mouse to scroll through long documents faster, or to perform fine manipulations, there's a great wireless mouse out there with your name on it. Here are a few of our favorites.

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3 months ago

How the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor helped save Modern Dad

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Fun fact: Seven years of running Android Central might well leave you with high blood pressure. Or maybe it was just a coincidence. ...

That's the bad news. ... The good news is that 2016 was the year I decided to take my health a little more seriously. Step 1: Get a doctor. That led to Step 2: Find out that I indeed had high blood pressure, and start dealing with that. And that led to Step 3: Keep track of how the ol' blood beater is beating on a daily basis.

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So it was time to snag a blood pressure monitor. I started with your basic Amazon best-seller. And that was fine. It did the job, and it even had a little bit of smarts to it. But I wanted something even smarter, even more connected.

So I turned to Withings, whose connected scaled I'd already been using for some time. And their wireless blood pressure monitor has served me very well since I started keeping track of things. Probably as impressive as anything is that in the six months or so that I've been using it, I still haven't had to change out the batteries. (Which, strangely, was my biggest concern.)

This one works excellently with Android and Google Fit, as well as iOS and HealthKit.

See at Amazon

Modern Dad

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3 months ago

Best Armband Cases for Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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Best armband cases for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Take your phone with you wherever and however you work out.

If you're a fitness freak who loves to have their music with them as they work out, or simply looking to take up jogging as the summer warms up, an armband case is a smart way to keep your phone comfortably secure as you move.

There's a number of options out there that purport to support a number of different phone styles. We'll touch on some of the best of that bunch, but first we'll focus on the ones specifically designed for use with the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge.

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3 months ago

Logitech's M720 Triathlon is my new favorite mouse

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The Logitech M720 Triathlon Mouse is the best wireless mouse I've ever used.

I don't think it's weird to have a favorite mouse. It's a tool but it's also an extension of your hand and eyes. I think most people who make a living sitting in front of a computer have a favorite mouse, and even people who don't stare at a screen all day appreciate a mouse that works just right for them.

I'm also one of those people who would rather not use the trackpad on their laptop. Even a very good trackpad doesn't work for me the way a mouse works, and whenever I'm using my Chromebook or even my MacBook Pro I'll use a mouse if I can get away with it. I just prefer it. A lot of people do.

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3 months ago

Keep your eyes on the road and phone safe with this car mount for just $15 for a limited time!

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When you are driving your focus should be on the road ahead and not a phone in your hands. Put the phone down somewhere safe with Spigen's great universal car mount for just $15 right now with coupon code GDFXMVUF. Being universal, the mount will work with a huge variety of phones, and getting your phone in it is simple thanks to its one-touch technology. This allows for the phone to easily lock in place without you having to fool around with it and the suction cup is strong and versatile, so you can find the perfect place for it in your car.

Stop holding your phone, or setting it on the seat only to have it fly onto the floor, and instead grab one of these. Safety is important, so stop delaying and use coupon code GDFXMVUF for the full savings.

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods, apparel and more, visit Thrifter now!

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3 months ago

Don't miss this great deal on a SteelSeries Stratus XL right now!

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Right now you can pick up a certified refurbished version of the SteelSeries Stratus XL for just $28 with coupon code 8XHMZBI9. This is one of our favorite Gear VR controllers, and at this price you really can't go wrong with trying one out for yourself. The controller has designated home and back buttons for seamless gaming on Android devices, and the layout allows for easy control in an immersive gaming environment. Beyond working with the Gear VR, it also works with Windows 7 and up, HTC Vive, Oculus and much more!

Even though it is a certified refurbished product, it still comes with a 90-day warranty and will be in like-new condition. Remember, you need to use coupon code 8XHMZBI9 for the full savings here!

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For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods, apparel and more, visit Thrifter now!

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3 months ago

Kmashi's 10000mAh power bank will keep you charged on the go for just $9

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Update: This popular deal is back with a new coupon code. Be sure to use RNR3JP7V for the full savings!

Right now you can pick up Kmashi's 10000mAh power bank for just $9 at Amazon with coupon code RNR3JP7V, a savings of $5. With its larger capacity, you should be able to charge your phone or tablet anywhere from 2 to 4 times per charge of the battery pack, which means you shouldn't have to worry about powering your way through even the longest of days. It has two USB outputs so you can charge multiple devices at the same time, and there are built-in LEDs which show how much power is remaining inside of it.

Don't get caught with a low battery and no way to charge it while out and about. Be sure to pick one up with coupon code RNR3JP7V right now!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, home goods, lifestyle needs and more, be sure to check out Thrifter now!

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3 months ago

Samsung Gear 360 is down to $225 for Amazon Prime subscribers

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Samsung's 360-degree camera is available for $125 off for Prime subscribers.

If you're looking to get into the world of 360-degree photography, Samsung's Gear 360 is a good place to start. The camera made its debut last year for $349, but you'll be able to pick one up on Amazon for $225 as long as you're a Prime subscriber. The Gear 360 features two 15MP wide-angle lenses that stitch images together to create a 360-degree photo. The 1350mAh battery allows you to take images for two hours on a full charge, and as there's no internal storage, you'll need a microSD card to save images.

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3 months ago

Best Battery Cases for Google Pixel

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Keep your Pixel's battery topped up with these battery cases.

The Google Pixel has been out for a while now, and you might be finding its 2,770mAh battery struggling to make it through a full day of usage without needing a charge.

Battery cases are one option to consider, if you're alright with the added bulk. Unfortunately, there isn't much diversity in style or price, as your main decision here is besides the brand name on the packaging. Popular charging case brands such as Mophie, Tylt and Incipio don't yet have an option for the Pixel, so you're left with slim options to choose from.

Regardless, let's take a look.

BEAOK Google Pixel Battery Case

This BEAOK case offers 4,000mAh of juice to provide power your Pixel through a heavy usage day, providing more than a full recharge for your phone for an added 13 hours of web browsing. Installing is rather easy — simply slide your phone into the bottom half of the case then pop on the top and you're good to go. Pressing the button on the back of the case will light up the LEDs on the front and indicate that your phone is being charged.

All the important features such as the fingerprint scanner and camera are accessible and protected while only adding less than half an inch of bulk to your phone. The only issue here is that charging times are not going to be as fast as with the quick charging adapter that comes with your phone. This case regularly sells for $100, but you can get it for $60 from Amazon.

See at Amazon

ALCLAP Portable Charger Case

This case also features a 4,000mAh lithium-ion battery to power your Pixel, with a look and feel that's essentially identical to the BEAOK case. ALCLAP offers dual charging capabilities, meaning you'll be able to plug your case in at night and wake up to a full battery on your phone and the case.

Simply press the button on the back of the case to start the charging and you'll get many hours of extra usage from your phone when you'd otherwise be stuck plugging into a wall. This case also adds about a half-inch of bulk, but will also keep your phone protected from drops, and also accommodates a screen protector for full protection. This case regularly sells for $100 but you can get it for $60 from Amazon.

See at Amazon

ICONic Pixel Battery Case

Another battery case, another nearly identical design and functionality. This case also features a 4,000mAh lithium-ion battery that will boost your pixel or charge up to 80% according to the manufacturer, which is not as much as claimed by the other cases on this list.

In terms of style, it's nearly identical to every other case on this list, with 0.42 inches of thickness, clear access provided to the fingerprint scanner, and decent protection offered to the phone itself.

This case regularly sells for $80, but you can get it for $60 from amazon.

See at Amazon

iAlegant Google Pixel Charger Case

Last but certainly not least — because it's pretty much identical to the other cases on this list — is this charging case from iAlegant. It, too, provides a 4,000mAh lithium-ion battery while also providing good protection for your phone from physical damage along with short circuit and overcharge protection. There's also pass-through syncing so you'll be able to plug the case into your computer and your phone will be connected.

This case is regularly priced at $90, but is available on Amazon for $60.

See at Amazon


Google Pixel + Pixel XL

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3 months ago

Best Credit Card-Sized Battery Chargers

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Best wallet-friendly credit card sized battery chargers

The benefits of a power bank in one small, compact package!

If you find your phone tapped out of battery power often, no doubt you've probably looked into portable power banks. If you like the idea of having extra power with you, but dislike having to carry around the extra weight, you may love these super small and thin power packs!

You'll notice that while super portable, these power banks aren't always the most feature-laden. If size doesn't matter and you're are looking for USB-C and QuickCharge capable battery packs you'll need to look for something a little larger.

Updated February 2017: When it comes to power banks that are as close to credit card-sized as possible, these are still your best options.

GMLYE Ultra-Thin

The GMYLE Ultra-Thin power pack has a capacity of 2,500mAh, which is more than enough to extend your phone's battery life for a marathon session of Pokémon GO.

The GMYLE is only about 5mm in thickness and about the same width and height as a credit card, so you don't have to worry about finding space to carry this thing around.

It starts around $17, and even comes with built-in Micro-USB and Lightning cables, which saves you the trouble of keeping track of your charging cords.

See at Amazon

PowerJet Ultra-Compact pocket power bank

Power Theory's PowerJet Ultra-Compact pocket power bank manages to pack a surprisingly big capacity at 4,600mAh, more than enough power to completely charge a Galaxy S7 and have a little left over.

The PowerJet also comes with a built-in Micro-USB cable, so you don't have to carry around a cord with you at all times. Plus, there is a little LED indicator which will flash red when it's at 10% capacity or less, so you know when it's time to charge it.

Due to its impressive capacity, the PowerJet does retail a bit higher than some of the competition, usually starting around $40.

See at Amazon

TravelCard Charger

Truly designed with portability in mind, the TravelCard Charger is a mere 4.7mm thick, making it actually small enough to fit inside your wallet with ease.

[The Wircutter] loved the how easy the TravelCard is to haul around.

"Only 5 mm thick and can charge an iPhone about halfway. It's pricey for the capacity, but very convenient."

While its capacity is only 1,500mAh, it does have a few key features that are included in every power bank this size. The LED indicator will let you know when it's time to fill it up again, and it even has the ability to be charged while charging your device, so you should have no problem killing two birds with one stone.

You can get the TravelCard with built-in cable for Micro-USB or Lightning, so you shouldn't spend time having to untangle cords while you're on the go.

See at Amazon

Lankoo power bank

The Lankoo power bank is for the serious power consumer. It's got a capacity of 5,000mAh, meaning any phone you've got should be able to get a full charge from the Lankoo.

On top of its impressive capacity, the Lankoo also offers a fast charging speed. Its one USB port is certified 5V 2.1A charging speeds, meaning it shouldn't take you too long to recharge any phone.

The added bonus of the Lankoo, it comes in all sorts of fancy designs and colors making it visibly stand out from the rest of the competition.

See at Amazon

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3 months ago

Top Amazon Echo Tips and Tricks

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Top Amazon Echo tips and tricks

Optimize your Echo experience with our handy tips and fun tricks!

The Amazon Echo, Amazon's smart speaker, is taking the home automation game to another level, thanks to Alexa and the fact that she's constantly learning to serve you better. Sure, Google Home is out, but Alexa's large library of skills still gives the Echo a bit of an upper hand (especially until Google Assistant is Siri-level awesome).

See at Amazon

If you have an Echo of your very own or are considering buying one (you really should!), then we've got some tips and tricks that'll help you get the most out of your experience and/or entice you into picking one up (Did I say you should? You really should!).

Update, February 2nd: This article was originally published on June 1, 2016. It was last updated in February 2017 to add new tips.

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