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6 months ago

Samsung Galaxy Gear review

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Is the Galaxy Gear leading a wearable device revolution, or does it need more time to develop?

The concept of wearable technology is nothing new. High-tech GPS watches, clip-on health monitors and connected glasses have been around for niche uses for years, but a recently-renewed discussion of these devices as general consumer products has manufacturers rethinking their mobile strategies. It can be argued whether or not the connected smartwatch is something that consumers truly want, but Samsung is getting into the game anyway with its first entry, the Galaxy Gear.

Launched alongside the Galaxy Note 3, the much-rumored Galaxy Gear made its first public appearance at IFA 2013 as a headline product for the Korean electronics behemoth. With a surprisingly nice design and build quality, initial impressions of the Gear were positive across the board. Anyone who put their hands on the Gear had good things to say about it, but the reality of what the device was going to cost and be capable of quickly tempered those feelings.

A $299 accessory that only does a few things, handles just a subset of those functions well, and requires a constant connection to your phone for any of it to work seems like a tough sell. Is Samsung just jumping the gun in order to be part of the recently-renewed conversation about wearable devices, or is the Galaxy Gear something that a general consumer will actually want? Read along and find out in our all-encompassing review of the Samsung Galaxy Gear.

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6 months ago

The ZOMM Wireless leash is the best Moto X or new Droid accessory ever

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This tiny Bluetooth puck works as a trusted device and works with Touchless Control

I "rediscovered" a little gadget the other day that works great with my Moto X. Like a lot of tech enthusiasts — as in a whole freaking lot — I hit sites like Woot.com every night to see what little toys and gizmos are on the cheap. Yes, I end up buying a bunch of crap that I never use, and have a drawer (or two) filled with things my wife says I need to throw away, but sometimes you find a little golden nugget.

Like the ZOMM Wireless leash.

I admit, I forgot that Phil had already looked at these, but the lure of $17 off the normal price was too much to resist and I bought a couple. As a Moto X user lover aficionado, I'm really glad I did.

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6 months ago

Hale Dreamer dock with SmartSilence for Android review

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Sleep in peace knowing that the Hale Dreamer with SmartSilence will intelligently screen your calls to make your snooze as uninterrupted as possible.

If you've kept an eye on the blog the last few weeks, then we're sure you saw our entry on the Hale Dreamer dock for Android with the SmartSilence application and how the developers were looking for backers on kickstarter. Well, for those of you who showed interest, you'll be glad to know that we are back this week with a review on the pre-release hardware and software.

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6 months ago

Fitbit Force fitness wearable announced, arriving soon for $130

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Latest Fitbit device inches closer to smartwatch territory

Fitbit has today taken the wraps off its latest fitness accessory, a watch-like device known as the Fitbit Force. Consisting mostly of rubber strap, with only a tiny display, the Force is unlike most other smartwatch-type devices — and though you can use it to tell the time and get caller ID information, the main focus is still detailed exercise and sleep tracking. That info can be displayed in more detail once the device itself thanks to the inclusion of an OLED display.

The Fitbit Force will launch in 3 to 4 weeks for $129.95, according to Fitbit's official promo email. Right now you can only sync Fitbit products with a small number of Android devices, however. The official compatibility list shows support for only the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2 and OG Galaxy Note 10.1.

Source: Fitbit

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6 months ago

Dropcam introduces its next-generation home monitoring system, Dropcam Pro

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Connected home gadgets are gaining popularity, and Dropcam is right there with its latest offering

When it comes to home monitoring solutions, one name you might be familiar with by now is Dropcam. Over the past few years they've been reworking their home video monitoring and do-it-yourself security solutions for the masses. Today, they've announced their next-generation solution known as Dropcam Pro that the company says offers great video performance, premium audio quality, better wireless connectivity, fast mobile setup and more.

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6 months ago

HTC BoomBass: Bringing some low-end to your HTC One

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... and only to your HTC One

For as impressive as BoomSound is on the HTC One — nothing comes close to those front-facing speakers yet — the phone is still a bit lacking on the low end. Physics are funny like that, of course. And, so, we have the HTC BoomBass.

We've previously taken an early look at a pre-production BoomBass. Now, we've got a working product.

As the name implies, this little square speaker adds bass to your BoomSound experience in a simple and stylish package. But it's not a full-blown Bluetooth speaker. Rather, BoomBass adds some low-end — and only low end — to your HTC One experience, working in (ahem) concert with those front-facing speakers.

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6 months ago

Nexus 7 (2013) Case shows up in Google Play for $49

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A new hard case specifically made for the Nexus 7 and available in four colors

Google's second official case in the Play Store for the Nexus 7 (2013) has just arrived, and it's a hardcover microsuede version that comes in multiple colors. Simply named the "Nexus 7 (2013) Case," it is a molded hard plastic case that wraps around the sides and back of your tablet, with a stitched fabric flap to cover the screen and turn into a stand. 

The case comes in four different color combinations as well, to help fit your style — black/black, white/red, gray/blue and gray/red. Unlike the Nexus 7 sleeve this case is specifically made for the latest version of the Nexus 7, as you would expect with a hard plastic frame.

If the Nexus 7 Sleeve was any indication, the Nexus 7 (2013) Case is priced rather highly at $49.99 before shipping. Shipping options look to break down at $3.99 for 5-10 day, $7.99 for 3-5 day and $11.99 for 2 day. Add in any state sales taxes and you're easily going to break $60 on this case. If you do choose to order, the case is expected to ship by October 9th.

Via: +Nexus

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6 months ago

DODOcases for the Nexus 7 (2013)

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A different kind of case with sophisticated styling and high-quality materials

DODOcase may be best known in the past for making beautiful book bound cases for the iPad since 2010, but in more recent years this San Francisco company has been branching out to phones and tablets from all manufacturers. The case maker prides itself on making its products with that old hand-crafted quality and timeless look, and its selection of cases for the Nexus 7 (2013) are no exception.

While these DODOcases may be more expensive than you're used to paying, you won't feel like you're not getting something for that money. Each of the following four cases seem painstakingly well made, built with quality materials and designed to take the edge off our technology and make it feel a little more friendly. Hang tight after the break and see the entire collection of DODOcases for the Nexus 7 (2013).

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6 months ago

The MiniSuit Keyboard stand case for Nexus 7 (2013)

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Maybe full keyboards just aren't supposed to be made this small

There's no denying that the Nexus 7 is an extremely popular device for gaming, video watching and reading. But even with its small size some people want to do a little more with their tablet in terms of content input. That's where keyboard cases come into play, and on these smaller devices they're walking a fine line between compactness and functionality.

We recently took a look at another keyboard case for the Nexus 7 (2013) by MiniSuit and came away impressed by how capable of a keyboard it was given its size. Can this slimmer, lighter and less bulky version live up to the same standard? Read on after the break and see how it stacks up.

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6 months ago

Hale Dreamer - smart alarm dock for Android - looking for backers on Kickstarter

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Smart alarm dock crafted for Android compatibility

Hale Dreamer is a smart alarm dock specifically made with Android devices in mind. Tailored to cater to your device and your preferences, Hale Dreamer pairs with SmartSilence, an unique application that allows you to choose which contacts can get through to you, and which ones are silenced while you enjoy your snooze. Calls or texts sent from your "VIP" contacts will automatically come through. Alternatively, notifications from contacts who aren't VIP, but are still privileged enough to be included in your custom groups, will be responded to with an automated text message asking if there is an emergency. In the event that there is an emergency, they can choose to respond with "E," prompting a notification on your end. Contacts who are not grouped, or numbers that are unknown will respectively be silenced.

Refined not only in software, the hardware is also crafted to give the ultimate user experience. With dedicated and defined volume knobs, screen brightness controls, snooze button, and music controls, this is one dock that will be a breeze to navigate in the optimum sleeping environment. 

Currently in its first phase at Kickstarter, the developer is looking to get a minimum pledge of $35,000 by the end of October. If the minimum goal is not met, the product will be scrapped, and any and all pledges will not be filled. Catch the video after the break for more information on the Hale Dreamer, or click the source below.

Source: Kickstarter

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