Headlines

5 months ago

LG has a homeBoy for you at Mobile World Congress

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Yes, that really is its name

We have to confess the name is why we stopped to look at the LG homeBoy. Perhaps offering more hilarity in the west than LG's native Korea, the device itself is basically a large Bluetooth entertainment system for the LG G Pad 8.3. You dock and connect the tablet, then all sound from apps or music comes out through the actually pretty good sounding speakers on your homeBoy.

You can also connect your homeBoy to your TV and use it to mirror content to the screen while still retaining the sound through the devices speakers. It looks pretty good, has NFC and is personally tuned by a chap called Mark Levinson. But you'll still have to go into a store and ask if you can buy yourself a homeBoy. Thanks, LG!

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5 months ago

LG G2 Mini and G Pro 2 QuickWindow cases hands-on

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Standard LG cases kick off the accessory market for these new phones

We've seen the recently announced LG G Pro 2, as well as the G2 MIni, here at Barcelona, but we haven't yet seen the range of accessories LG has on tap for its latest devices. A big feature since the launch of the original G2 is the so-called "QuickWindow" case that gives your device full protection — including the screen — while also giving you glanceable information through a cutout window on the front.

The cases come in a wide variety of colors — we have a salmon-like one on the G Pro 2 and silver on the G2 Mini — and are a nice woven cloth-like material all around for extra grip. The functionality seems to be the same as we've experienced on the G2 and G Flex as well. While cases that cover the entire front of the phone aren't always well-liked by the majority of people, the folks who want (or need) the extra protection will have this now-standard LG accessory for these new devices.

Be sure to hit the break for a closer look at the QuickWIndow cases for both the LG G Pro 2 and LG G2 Mini.

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5 months ago

SanDisk intros first 128 GB microSD memory card

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Class 10 and ready for HD video

At Mobile World Congress, SanDisk announced the world's first 128 GB microSD memory card. It's Class 10 UHS-I with read speeds around 30 MB/s and should be compatible with any device that can support SDXC, which includes most Android devices launched over the last few years. SanDisk also took the opportunity to announce a 64 GB embedded NAND module tailored specifically to Android devices, though right now they're just sampling it to partners.

If we're going to be going around shooing 4K video on our devices, it's a good thing that memory is increasing so we can actually save that footage. Plus, the Samsung Galaxy S5 ROM size may also make you wish for a little bit more room. Beyond that, it's hard to imagine loading up that much music manually. Still, at times like this I really feel for those that don't have access to their SD card slot.

Amazon and Best Buy are going to be the exclusive outlets for the new cards, which are available right now for $119.99. How much room do you have free on your device storage? Are you going to pick up one of these 128 GB cards? Does having this much room enable any new use cases?

Source: SanDisk

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5 months ago

In pictures: Official Samsung Galaxy S5 and Gear 2 accessories

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Flip covers, S View covers, batteries, wireless chargers, watch straps and more!

Samsung has unveiled its new Galaxy S5 smartphone and Gear wearable devices, and along with it the company is launching a slew of new accessories, which were on show at its Unpacked 5 event in Barcelona today. There's the standard array of cases, including wireless charging backs, S View covers and regular flip covers, together with replacement batteries and straps for the Gear devices. Some cases and straps even come in designer variants, with offerings from Samsung partner Nicholas Kirkwood.

We've got pictures of all the accessories on show at Unpacked after the break, so go check 'em out. And hit up the ShopAndroid newsletter to learn when these accessories go on sale.

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5 months ago

Samsung Gear Fit brings a fitness tracker with a curved screen to your workout

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The Samsung Gear Fit will track your exercise routines and look snazzy while doing it

In addition to taking the wraps off the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress, Samsung also announced their next wearable device dubbed the Gear Fit. As you can see, the big sell here is a curved 1.8-inch 432 x 128 Super AMOLED display. It's dust and water resistent to keep up with whatever brutal fitness regimen you're undertaking. As usual, you'll be able to get smartphone notifications from just about everything on the Gear Fit thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Keep in mind that the Gear Fit will only work with Samsung devices, but given all of the tracking software built in, that limitation may be worthwhile. The 210 mAh battery should last you 3 - 4 days of typical usage.

Samsung's been agressively expanding its lineup of wearables, and it's a smart move to provide something sporty to compete in the burgeoning market for fitness trackers. It will be interesting to see how well Samsung manages to expand into the space when competing with smaller, more focused companies like Pebble.

The Samsung Gear Fit will be launching somtime in April, though we're still not sure about the pricetag. Get up close and personal with the Gear Fit in our hands-on video, and if you're looking for more wearable news, swing by the newest addition to the Mobile Nations family, Smartwatch Fans. Press release ahoy!

Samsung Expands Industry-Leading Wearable Line with Samsung Gear Fit

New device blends style, fitness and convenience to provide ultimate connectivity for the active mobile consumer

Barcelona, Spain - February 24, 2014 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today introduced the Samsung Gear Fit, the industry’s first curved, Super AMOLED wearable device for the active consumer. The Gear Fit offers the unmatched convenience of Samsung Gear technology with the most comprehensive fitness tools available, empowering consumers stay physically active without sacrificing personal style or mobile connectivity.

“Samsung understands that the next generation of wearable mobile solutions must directly reflect of the diverse interests and needs of consumers,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics. “In response, our Gear product portfolio continues to expand with unique devices for a wide range of lifestyles, including the new Gear Fit designed to help those consumers striving to live more fit and active lives without sacrificing their own personal style or their ability to stay connected on the go.”

Whether used as a standalone or companion device, the Samsung Gear Fit puts people in charge of their personal and active lives while staying connected so they never miss a moment.

The ultimate modern fitness solution

The Samsung Gear Fit was designed to comfortably contour to consumers’ wrists while offering a vivid Super AMOLED display. It provides much more than an everyday fitness band, keeping consumers up to date instant notifications from Galaxy smartphones such as incoming calls, emails, SMS, alarm, S-planner, 3rd party apps while consumers are on the move so they can stay connected. Changeable straps in Black, Orange and Mocha Grey will let users express their individual style, changing the look of the Gear Fit to match their outfit or mood for any type of activity.

The sleek new Samsung Gear Fit provides the superior connectivity benefits of Samsung wearable technology with a custom, real time fitness coaching to provide unique, personalized advice and workout recommendations.

The Gear Fit will be available globally starting from April. Full details and product images are available at www.samsungmobilepress.com or m. samsungmobilepress.com.

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6 months ago

Fitbit stops sales and recalls Force amid rash of skin irritation complaints

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Responding to complaints of skin irritation from Fitbit Force users, Fitbit has stopped sales of the fitness band and is conducting a recall of the product. They're offing a refund direct to consumers for the full retail price of the Force ($130) and have set up a dedicated webpage and call center to handle the recall.

Fitbit CEO James Park said that "only 1.7% of Force users have reported any type of skin irritation," that test results have shown "are likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis." The growing chorus of reports about skin irritation was likely a factor in pushing the company towards the recall.

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6 months ago

Healthy Android accessories roundup; enter to win $50 in store credit

Your Android device shouldn't restrain you from your active lifestyle, which is why we're highlighting our favorite fitness items to make your workouts more enjoyable and manageable.

Jump over to the ShopAndroid Blog and see how you can stay in shape with healthy Android accessories and get a chance to win $50 in store credit!

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6 months ago

ADATA's UD320 USB OTG Flash Drive is an easy way to store and move files across all your devices

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And it's a must-have if you use Linux or a Chromebook

The ADATA UD320 USB OTG flash drive may have a mouthfull for a name, but this small gadget turned out to be awfully handy. It's basically a micro-sized USB flash drive, with a compact USB to microUSB USB OTG adapter, and it all fits together into a tiny package that slips easily into your pocket or attaches to your keyring. The idea isn't exactly new, but the ADATA unit is affordable, well-executed, and essential if you use Linux or a ChromeOS device.

Read on, and see why I think this is something you should think about picking up.

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6 months ago

Grab the custom HTC One Double Dip case of your dreams

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Come up with your own wildly colorful concoction to keep your One safe

Who said a phone case had to be boring? HTC has now started to offer HTC One owners the chance to build their own custom Double Dip case with a variety of color options for you to choose from. Some bright, some not so bright. 

Six colors, three parts of the case to customize, and you can be as wild or conservative as you like. One you've created the case of your dreams, it'll cost you $29.99 to have it sent out. It's no Moto Maker, sure, but it's a nice touch if you're not so fond of HTC's own creation

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6 months ago

SanDisk Dual USB Drive is a quick and easy way to transfer files

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Desktop computer business up front, mobile party microUSB in the back.

SanDisk today announced its new "Dual USB Drive" — basically a flash drive with a USB 2.0 connector on one side for plugging into a computer, and microUSB on the other side for plugging into a phone. Price starts at $19.99 for a 16GB model and hits $49.99 for 64GB.

Sandisk slipped us a 32GB unit. And, true to form, it's pretty simple to copy files just like you would with any other drive. At least on the computer side, that is. Phones get a little more complicated, but SanDisk helps out with that as well. Many Android devices don't have USB on-the-go (OTG) support. So it's possible you'll plug in this drive, fire up your favorite file browser — and nothing will happen. (Samsung is a notable exception, though — and rooted devices can get around this easily with any number of apps.) 

To that end, SanDisk today updated its Memory Zone app to support the Dual USB Drive. Plug in the drive, open the app, and you've got a file browser capable of reading whatever's on the drive. Images, video, music — whatever.

Pretty simple, and it's a handy little accessory.

More at SanDisk's site.

SANDISK ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST DUAL USB DRIVE DESIGNED TO TRANSFER AND BACKUP CONTENT BETWEEN MOBILE DEVICES AND COMPUTERS

MILPITAS, Calif., Feb. 11, 2014 – SanDisk Corporation , a global leader in flash storage solutions, today announced the SanDisk Ultra® Dual USB Drive, a USB flash drive featuring both a micro-USB and a USB 2.0 connector in a sleek and sturdy form factor. The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive is designed for Android™ smartphone and tablet users who need an easy way to move content such as photos and videos from their mobile devices. The drive allows users to safely store and backup files, free-up space, or simply transfer multimedia between their smartphones, tablets and computers.

“The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive provides a simple, convenient way to offload and backup files from smartphones and tablets – with the peace of mind that comes with the trusted SanDisk brand,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product marketing, SanDisk. “This new drive integrates with SanDisk’s Memory Zone app to make freeing up space on mobile devices simpler than ever, improving the user experience.”

The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive provides a convenient way to transfer content via an Android-powered smartphone or tablet’s micro-USB port and a computer’s USB connection. While other methods of transferring files from a mobile device to a computer require wires, applications or a wireless set-up, the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive simply needs to be connected to a mobile device supporting USB on-the-go (OTG)1 to access up to 64GB2 of ‘plug and play’ storage capacity. Additionally, the drive’s dual USB ports feature a retractable cover, meaning no caps to lose while still keeping the connectors safe. 

SanDisk is making content management even easier with the SanDisk Memory Zone app, available for download on Google Play™. With the SanDisk Memory Zone app, users are able to better organize files stored on internal and external phone memory for management, viewing, copying and backup – further easing the hassle of freeing up the memory on their mobile device.

Pricing and Availability

The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive is available worldwide and on www.sandisk.com in 16GB to 64GB capacities carrying MSRPs of $19.99 to $49.99.

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