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6 months ago

Father's Day gift guide

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Father's Day gift guide

Wondering what on Earth to buy Dad this year? Wonder no more.

Don't stand in the middle of a department store wondering which windbreaker is going to look good on the old man this year. We've checked in with Dad and we know what he's really hoping to get this Father's Day.

Ring Doorbell

Ring Video Doorbell

Whether Dad's at home or not, he'll be able to see exactly who's at the door with the Ring Doorbell. If Dad's living by himself or he's constantly on the go and concerned about security, a video doorbell is a good idea.

Real time sound and video will play on his phone when a visitor rings, and he'll be able to respond as if he's right there in the house (even if he's at work). Everything is synced with the free Ring app so that Dad has a handle on who is coming around the house. Motion sensors will even detect unexpected movement anywhere on his property.

There are two versions of Ring: one that works on homes without a pre-existing doorbell and one that can be hardwired to a pre-existing doorbell. Either way, installation is simple and straightforward.

See at Amazon


Nest

Nest products are designed to work alone or together. Help Dad build a smart home system with one or more of Nest's offerings.

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat

After one week of use, the Nest Thermostat programs itself. It learns when you typically go to bed, wake up, and leave for work. It also adapts to the seasons, recognizing when summer heat or cooler winds settle in.

If Dad's looking to save money on his heating costs or you know he fidgets with the thermostat he's currently got, the Nest Thermostat will be an easy-to-install replacement.

See at Amazon


Nest Protect Smoke and CO Alarm

Nest Protect Smoke and CO Alarm

How about a smoke detector that tests itself? The Nest Protect recognizes when testing is due and lights up to indicate that everything's in working order. Now Dad doesn't have to mark alarm testing on the calendar or kick himself when he forgets.

Rather than piercing alarms, a human-sounding voice provides an early warning that there's something overheating. If the alarm does go off and Dad's got the smoke under control, he can silence the alarm from Nest's phone app. No more visions of Dad waving a dish towel at a blaring smoke alarm.

See at Amazon


Nest Cam

NestCam

The Nest Cam is a smart camera that mounts anywhere with ease. Dad can point it at the main entrance of the house, a particular door or window, or up in the corner of the family room.

The camera uses Dad's phone's location to automatically turn on when he leaves the house. Multiple phones can trigger these sensors as well. It's not only a wise tool for home security, but it works as a baby monitor or pet cam as well, sending sound and images directly to Dad's phone or any other phone that has permission to view.

How often can you say that you gave your dad peace of mind in a nicely wrapped box? Keep in mind that you're responsible for the gift wrap.

See at Amazon


Accessories for Dad's phone

A simple way to celebrate Father's Day this year could be accessorizing the phone Dad's already using and loving. No shortage of great ideas here and many of them are decently priced, so you can treat Dad to something without breaking the bank.

Samsung Galaxy S7 cases

Dad has a Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge:

Dad has a Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Dad has a Nexus 6P

Dad has a Nexus 5X

Dad has the HTC 10

Dad has the LG G5


Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

For the Dad on the go, we're recommending the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. The Super AMOLED display makes photos and movies look better than the real thing and the battery life will hold up to travel and daily use as well.

It's easy for Dad to share between Android devices such as his phone, and the memory is expandable with the purchase of a microSD card. The built-in dual cameras will let you video chat with Dad from anywhere in the world while he unleashes his inner shutterbug. Get ready for a ton of pics of his latest projects around the house.

You'll have two sizes to choose from: the 8-inch and the 9.7-inch, so make sure that you select the one that's best for Dad before you check out.

See at Amazon


Samsung SmartThings

Samsung SmartThings Monitoring Kit

A complete security and home monitoring system could be just the thing for Dad this year. Samsung SmartThings are that and so much more. You can purchase individual items if you want to give Dad a singular introduction to the product line or if you want to help him build on what he's already bought.

A good deal for your dollar is the SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit. It comes with a variety of items such as a hub, outlet motion sensors, a power supply, ethernet cable, and batteries. They all work together and they're all controlled by Dad. Later, he can create a wish list of add ons, like the SmartCam, dimmer switches, and arrival sensors.

See at Amazon


Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo hands-free speaker

A voice-controlled, hands-free speaker that is way more than just a speaker would sound great at Dad's place. The Amazon Echo works in any room and is so user-friendly that Dad will wonder why he didn't invest in one before.

All Dad has to do is ask and the Echo will play his favorite music from Amazon Prime, Spotify, and much more. Echo will even read him audiobooks and update him on the weather. More good news? The Amazon Echo is compatible with Nest and Samsung SmartThings. Think of the endless gift giving possibilities.

See at Amazon


Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Echo Dot

If you or Dad are already Prime members, the Amazon Echo Dot is an exclusive offer only available through Alexa Voice Shopping. It's a smaller Echo that is also voice-controlled and compatible with Nest and Samsung SmartThings.

The Echo Dot connects to devices via Bluetooth or to an existing home stereo with an audio cable. It automatically updates itself, and Dad can manage every aspect of the Echo Dot with the free Alexa app. If either of you is a Prime member, it's time to get one for Dad and one for you.

See at Amazon


HTC Vive

HTC Vive

Has Dad been buzzing (like everyone else) about the HTC Vive? Get his name on an order pronto and maybe he'll reward you by letting you take a turn with it every now and then...maybe.

The Chaperone guidance system and two base stations establish a safe play area so that Dad's not bumping into walls or couches. The 2 wireless controllers have 24 sensors that make every gesture natural and intuitive, and the front-facing camera blends the real world and the simulation seamlessly. Whether Dad wants to roam around a shipwreck at the bottom of the sea or explore stunning natural terrain, the HTC Vive will take him there.

The HTC Vive is preloaded with three fantastic apps: Tilt Brush, Fantastic Contraptions, and Job Simulator, so Dad can paint, build, and give everyone at the office a piece of his mind in the privacy and comfort of his home.

See at HTC Vive


Samsung Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR headset

If your budget can't involve breaking the bank, but you still want to treat Dad to an awesome and immersive experience, the Samsung Gear VR is the gift to get. Movies, games, and simulated worlds have never been so accessible.

The comfortable headset is compatible with Samsung phones such as the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the Note 5, the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. Just slide the phone into place and whatever is on the screen suddenly appears everywhere. The headset provides a 96 degree field of vision and comes equipped with three sensors that keep the virtual reality extra-real. Samsung's library of games and apps is ever-expanding, so there will always be something new for Dad to try.

If Dad's a movie buff, he can purchase and watch movies in the Oculus Cinema and watch his favorite blockbusters in home theater or multiplex cinema style. He'll wonder how he ever enjoyed movies before.

See at Amazon


More to give

Found a great gift that you know every Dad would love to get this Father's Day? Shout it out in the comments below and tell us why it's the perfect present for Pop!

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6 months ago

Belkin's new USB-C car charger will intelligently charge your phones and tablets

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Accessory maker Belkin has announced a brand new USB-C car charger that delivers all of the power your phone, tablet, or computer needs while on the go. The charger offers up to 27W of power, and intelligently manages how your device is charged.

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6 months ago

SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick allows you to access data on the flash drive wirelessly

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It looks like any other thumb drive, but offers way more.

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is a flash drive with wireless connectivity and inbuilt battery that allows you to access, stream and transfer your files over 802.11n Wi-Fi. Available with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 200GB storage options, the Connect Wireless Stick is a pretty neat wireless flash drive to extend storage on your post-PC devices without any wires or internet connectivity.

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6 months ago

Best watch bands for Samsung Gear S2 Classic

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Best watch bands for Samsung Gear S2 classic

Class up your Samsung Gear S2 Classic with some great watch bands.

If you've bought or are looking into buying the Samsung Gear S2 classic, then you're probably someone who enjoys the traditional watch look with some sweet tech under the hood.

We've rounded up the best watch bands for your Gear S2 Classic so that you can match your smartwatch to your personal taste and lifestyle.

SLG D7 Buttero Italian leather band

SLG Buttero

SLG (Small Leather Goods) make some beautiful leather straps and the Buttero Italian leather band is our favorite. It blends the classic, sophisticated look of leather with a modern and fresh design.

SLG, based in South Korea, makes its bands from high-quality Italian leather from the Walpier tannery. While most leather bands can feel somewhat oppressive, becoming soggy from sweat, SLG's Buttero bands are designed with patterned holes to make sure your wrist can breathe.

That and they just look great. SLG Buttero Italian Leather bands come in beige, black, and blue. We particularly dig the blue, but they'll all look great with any color Gear S2 Classic.

See at SLG

Infantry

Infantry

Infantry makes another awesome leather band that eschews sophistication for the more rugged, distressed leather look. The inside of the band is soft and comfortable, while the outside is a deep and warm brown.

There is one downside to Infantry's band in that it does cover your Gear S2 Classic's heart rate monitor. Oh well. Fashion first!

Infantry leather bands come in different shades of brown and black, with different color combinations for buckles and straps. You might as well get a few, since they start around $12 each.

See at Amazon

Geckota

Geckota

Geckota shark mesh bands are a unique blend of cool and functional. They resemble Milanese loop watch bands, but feature a more spread-out design that looks like a series of woven chains, which looks really neat and offers excellent durability and strength. Your Gear S2 Classic is never coming off your wrist accidentally and you should have a pretty hard time breaking the band.

The clasp is an easy to use stainless steel fold-over with a brushed finish. Even if you rest your wrist on hard surfaces, scratches shouldn't mare the clasp or scuff it up too badly like they would with a glossier finish.

It's worth mentioning that the black features ion-plated coating which could chip off over time, though these Geckota bands are of high quality.

See at Amazon

Casetify

Casetify

Casetify has partnered with Samsung to make bands specifically for the Gear S2 Classic. Each band is made of comfortable and flexible TPU, which is often used to make phone cases. That means that Casetify bands are durable and strong, so you shouldn't have to worry about everyday wear and tear.

These bands come in five quirky designs, which will certainly add a definitive accent your Gear S2 Classic. You can get Casetify bands in Gold and Coral, White Marble, Dark Marble, Diamond (which features a multi-colored geometric pattern), and Woodland Camouflage.

If you're looking for a band that makes a statement while also fitting comfortably, then check out Casetify's line. If the band you want isn't available now, you can ask Casetify to notify you by email when it does become available.

See at Casetify


Barton Ballistic Nylon

Barton nylon

Barton makes great watch bands, and its Ballistic Nylon line is there for you to mix and match. At around $12 apiece, you might as well grab all 21 colors and color combinations (well, maybe not all of them).

Ballistic nylon was originally developed by DuPont as a material for flak jackets for airmen during WWII.That's why these types of bands are sometimes referred to as "NATO-style." It's a tough and durable material that'll secure your Gear S2 Classic, but it'll also breathe and move with you.

Like the Infantry bands above, Barton bands unfortunately block your Gear S2 Classic's heart rate monitor. However, if that's not a huge deal and you put comfort and fashion above that function, then you really can't go wrong with a Barton band.

Make sure you select the right size – 20mm – before checking out.

See at Amazon

Baban

Baban

Baban stainless steel watch bands are for those who want the quintessential watch look. Paired with the Samsung Gear S2 Classic, Baban bands exude sophistication (plus, it's fun to say – Baban bands, Baban bands, Baban bands).

Stainless steel bands like this one are a little on the bulky side and can be a little heavy. You'll want to go with this band only if that particular look and feel is what you're after. That being said, Baban's stainless steel band is a somewhat modern take on the traditional link-style band, having trapezoidal links rather than the old-school rounded shape.

Baban stainless steel bands come in black or silver with a brushed finish.

See at Amazon

Barton Quick-release

Barton silicone

Barton makes silicone bands that definitely deserve a mention in our best list. They're thin and lightweight, while also breathable and very comfortable.

These quick-release bands come in vibrant colors and are the epitome of convenience. A little slider on each side of the band allows you to quickly change bands on the fly. And for around $13 each, you might as well grab a few and change them daily!

The best part of silicone is that it's waterproof and washable. If you're wearing a Barton band because you'll be pretty active, easily remove it and wash it with some gentle dish soap. No stinky wrists (like leather bands can cause).

If you like the comfort, durability, and versatility of silicone, then check out Barton's line up.

Make sure you have 20mm selected before you check out.

See at Amazon

What's your favorite?

What's your favorite watch band for your Samsung Gear S2 Classic? Sound off in the comments below!

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6 months ago

Feet on: Withings Body Cardio Scale adds tons of sensors for better health

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This scale might be the only connected health gadget you need.

Connected health tech usually is all about strapping gadgets to your body in order to feed data to an app on your phone. Wear this thing when you run, this thing when you sleep, this thing when you go swimming, and so on until you're never not wearing some kind of connected health bauble. Using data to help keep yourself healthy is great, but sometimes the way we go about it is clumsy. The folks at Withings have released a new model in their line of highly successful connected scales that takes aim at some of these other connected health gadgets, making it so your bathroom scale is all you really need for a detailed look at how healthy you are.

We've been using one for a couple of days now, and here's how it works!

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6 months ago

Great keyboard options for the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7

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Great keyboard options for the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7

Working and messaging are made even easier with a compatible keyboard.

If you like to work on the go and don't want the bulk of a laptop, then adding a keyboard to your 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S2 is a great solution.

Check out our roundup of the best keyboards for your Tab S2!

Samsung Keyboard Cover

Samsung Keyboard Cover

Samsung's own Bluetooth keyboard cover fits your Tab S2 perfectly. It's not magnetic but instead snaps onto the built-in mounts on the back for your Tab S2.

Don't be afraid to put a little pressure on there because it does take some doing to get it on. After that, it's smooth sailing and seamless typing.

The cover folds back to become a handy stand so you can type comfortably on your lap or on a table. When you're not typing away, the cover provides protection for your screen.

Samsung's keyboard cover is lightweight, adding very little bulk to your Tab S2, so your tablet remains as portable as ever and even more convenient.

Of course, this keyboard features Android hot keys so that you can seamlessly interact with your tablet.

See at Amazon

Logitech Type-S

Logitech Type-S

A titan in the accessories market, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Logitech's Type-S keyboard for your Galaxy Tab S2.

The Type-S is incredibly portable, thanks to its thin design. You can also go roughly 6 months without recharging its battery, so you just have to worry about keeping your Tab S2 topped up daily. The handy auto on/off feature ensures that you're never wasting power.

Your tablet easily snaps into the Type-S, which has magnets to keep the cover closed and to create the stand. Like most keyboards, this one connects via Bluetooth.

If you're looking for lightweight protection for your Tab S2 with a wide-set keyboard that makes typing easy, then give the Logitech Type-S a whirl.

See at Amazon

Fintie Blade X1

Fintie Blade X1

Fintie's keyboard cover features a removable keyboard that integrates via magnets, so if you're wanting to protect your Tab S2 but feel like a little less bulk, you can take it out. That being said, the Blade X1 adds minimal girth to your tablet even with the keyboard in place.

If, for some strange reason, you happen to be far away from your tablet, the keyboard will work up to 10 meters away.

This particular keyboard cover also adds a touch of style to your Tab S2, thanks to its textured PU leather cover that comes in eight different colors from vibrant robin's egg blue to a toned-down purple.

The stand is adjustable, so you can change the angle of your tablet on the fly to suit your comfort. If you're looking for a customizable case option that can change with your daily needs, then Fintie has you covered (pun intended).

See at Amazon

KuGi Ultra-thin Portfolio Case

KuGi Ultra-thin Portfolio Case

KuGi's well-reviewed case features a detachable keyboard and gives you up to 90 hours of uninterrupted work time, so you can enjoy having to charge this one maybe once a week, if not less.

This is another PU leather case, but with a softer finish giving your Tab S2 a refined and sleek look, while keeping it well-protected.

This is also an excellent option if you're on a budget, since you can find it for around $30. This is a sophisticated-looking case the functions well and protects your Tab S2 from bumps and dings, while leaving the necessary ports, buttons, and the camera available for quick and easy use.

See at Amazon{.cta .shop}

What do you use?

Are you using a great keyboard cover with your 9.7-inch Tab S2? If it's not on our list and you think it's tops, sound off in the comments below!

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6 months ago

ZTE Spro 2 now projecting at T-Mobile for $499

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T-Mobile has announced that customers will now be able to purchase the ZTE Spro 2 smart projector on its network for $499. The Spro 2 is an Android-based smart projector that has access to Google Play on its built-in 5-inch touchscreen. With it, you'll be able to project up to 120 inches at a 720p resolution, and while that isn't the best it is still good for a portable solution.

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6 months ago

Five great leather bands for your Huawei Watch

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Five great leather bands for your Huawei Watch

Leather bands that will make your Huawei Watch pop!

We found some great leather bands to use with your Huawei Watch, so you can always look your best!

Clockwork Synergy leather bands

The leather bands found at Clockwork Synergy are extremely stylish and affordable, usually starting around $17.

This genuine leather watch band is 4mm thick, making it plenty-durable for normal wear and tear. The stitching along the edge of the band contrasts well with the leather, giving the whole band a much more defined look.

All Clockwork Synergy bands come in plenty of different colors and with the ability to customize the finish on the clasp, allowing you to find the perfect combination to fit your style!

See at Clockwork Synergy

MOTONG Italy genuine leather watch band

MOTONG Italy genuine leather watch band

If you really like a highly-contrasted look, the MOTONG Italy genuine leather watch band could be for you.

The stitching around the edges of this band really stands out to give the whole band a more bold style. It's genuine leather, so you know it's going to last, and the clasp is thick stainless steel, so you don't have worry about water or sweat causing it to rust.

It comes in a couple different colors, such as black, brown, red, and tan, so you should be able to find the perfect hue for you!

See at Amazon

Hadley-Roma brown oil-tan leather watch band

Hadley-Roma brown oil-tan leather watch band

Hadley-Roma is a big name in the watch band world, and its oil-tan leather watch band shows you exactly why.

The leather for this band has been treated with a water-resistant chemical, meaning you don't have to worry about it getting wet.

The off-color stitching around the edges gives the rounded leather band a subtle touch of style, making this band look like an instant classic. If you're looking for a band that looks great and won't stain when you break a sweat, the Hadley-Roma is a great option for you.

See at Amazon

MODE leather bands

MODE leather bands

Google's MODE bands are the easiest watch bands to swap in and out.

Released earlier this year, the MODE bands are currently only manufactured by Hadley-Roma and start at about $50.

All you have to do is swap out the original pin that is on your Huawei Watch with the the MODE pin, then it's just a matter of sliding your MODE band over the pin and locking it shut!

There are plenty of different styles of leather MODE bands, so you should be able to find one that tickles your fancy. Just remember that you will need to get the 18mm size to make sure it fits your Huawei Watch properly.

Learn more about Google's MODE bands and see if they are right for you?

See at Google

Huawei leather band

Huawei leather band

If you're looking for a leather band that you know will 100% fit your Huawei Watch perfectly, you can always stick with the manufacturer itself.

Huawei's leather bands all come with new hardware to install them properly (in case you are missing anything) and they have a few different styles and finishes, so you should have no problem finding one that you like.

See at Huawei


Want more options?

If you don't like any of the watch bands we have listed here, don't worry, you can always look at our list of best third party watch bands for the Huawei Watch.

Huawei Watch

Best Buy Amazon Google Store Huawei

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6 months ago

Best outdoor speakers

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Best outdoor speakers

Make your garden sing with some outdoor speakers.

Portable speakers are great additions to your Android stable. But maybe you want something you can leave outside, and not have to lug back and forth every time you want to remind the neighbors just how much you love Journey. Or maybe you want both. So wouldn't it be nice to have more options for audio fixtures in your yard?

We've rounded up the best outdoor speakers for your backyard listening pleasure.

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6 months ago

If you care about 3D 360 video, VUZE camera is probably what you want!

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You could compare it to other 360-degree cameras, but you'd be wrong!

There's a lot of excitement surrounding Virtual reality right now, and one of the side effects of that explosive consumer force is a blending of technical terms. Nobody wants to need a new dictionary of terms to define products, so when companies start selling a 360-degree camera and then calling the recording VR video, there's no great urge to correct anyone. After all, with the YouTube app in Cardboard mode, isn't every 360-degree video basically a VR video?

The folks at VUZE say no. And while it may not matter in the eyes of the user their argument is compelling all the same. You see, rather than just capture a 360-degree video, VUZE uses a multi-camera array to create 3D 360-degree videos, and when you see the difference it really is significant.

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6 months ago

Bose's excellent QuietComfort headphones go wireless

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Bose set the benchmark for active noise-cancelling headphones with its QuietComfort series, but there hasn't been much in the way of a product with Bluetooth connectivity. Until now. Bose is finally offering a wireless version of its flagship headphones with the QuietComfort 35, which is available right now for $349. The QuietComfort 35 shares a similar design as its predecessor, and is offered in black and silver color variants.

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6 months ago

Top five silicone bands for Huawei Watch

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Top five silicone bands for Huawei Watch

The best silicone bands for your Huawei Watch.

Sweat and water-resistant, silicone bands are perfect for handling any activity you can think of!

We found some of the best silicone bands you can use with your Huawei Watch, so you can sweat it out anytime you want.

Reri i silicone band

Rerri silicone band

The Rerii silicone band is everything you could want from a watch band.

It has quick release pins for easy and frustration-free installation, and it can be adjusted from 120 mm to 170 mm in length, so finding the size that fits you should be easy.

Available in multiple colors such as red, green, sky blue, and black, the Rerii silicone band will fit anybody's style.

See at Amazon

Barton silicone band

Barton silicone band

Barton's silicone band has a brilliant quick release system that anyone can do with one finger. You won't need to fiddle around with tools, so changing bands won't take time out of your day.

This band has a slightly textured back that is designed to allow airflow between the skin and the band, providing you with comfort throughout the whole day.

Available in a variety of colors such as cool grey, roarange, and soft blue, the Barton silicone band is great at being truly eye-catching.

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JP Leatherworks Rubbertech band

JP Leatherworks silicone band

We know leather is in its name, but the JP Leatherworks Rubbertech band is the real deal.

It's a little thicker than your average silicone band, which means it feels very solid on your wrist and more resistant to your average wear and tear.

The tire tread design may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it certainly stands out in the crowd of plain silicone bands out there.

If you want something a little different looking this could be the one for you.

See at Amazon

MOTONG silicone band

MOTONG silicone band

MOTONG makes a plethora of quality watch bands for all sorts of smartwatches and the Huawei Watch is no exception.

This comes with all the new hardware you need to install the MOTONG silicone band, so it's perfect if you want new pins to replace your old ones.

The clasp also comes with a push button close, meaning you never have to worry about your watch band accidentally coming undone.

See at Amazon

Mode bands

MODE bands

Google's Mode bands are perfect for people who want a permanent solution to dealing with those pesky pins.

The bands attach with a quick release mechanism that is super simple to use.

All you have to do is remove your old pins and put in the Mode pins. After that, you just clip on the Mode band and lock it in place.

There are tons of colors and styles available.

See at Google

Huawei Watch

Best Buy Amazon Google Store Huawei

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6 months ago

How to clean and take care of your drone

13
How to clean and take care of your drone

Treat your drone with the respect and care it deserves!

If you've just bought your first drone or are considering picking up the hobby, you'll want to get into a good habit of properly caring for your drone and its parts. It's important to keep your drone clean of dust and grime to ensure it's ready to fly the next time you grab it and head out the door.

Every drone is slightly different and will have its own specific upkeep requirements to make sure everything is good to go, but we'll break down some general tips, as well as some tools and products you should have on-hand to ensure you're keeping your drone in tip-top shape.

What you should use to clean your drone

Building yourself a small toolkit filled with everything you'll need to care for, clean, and repair your drone while in the field is a great practice to start from the get-go. Again, the specifics of some of these things are going to be dependent on the make and style of drone you're flying, so use the following list as a jumping-off point for creating your own drone kit. We've also included links to Amazon for everything mentioned below:

  • A small, soft cleaning brush: Good for wiping away dust or debris that might get into tight corners or crevices on your drone. Alternatively, you can use pipe-cleaners.
  • Canned air: Another great tool for clearing out dust and dirt from tough-to-reach spots on your drone such as around the motors or near the circuit boards. It also won't damage the electronics at all.
  • Isopropyl alcohol: Great for cleaning your drones shell. Should work well for cleaning off dirt, grass stains, blood, bug guts — pretty much everything. Make sure you get the 99% stuff so you don't damage your circuits.
  • Microfiber cloth: Another tool for wiping down and cleaning out dust and dirt. Helpful if you're able (and willing) to disassemble the quadcopter motor for a full-on clean. Works well with the isopropyl alcohol.
  • 3-in-1 lubricant: Check with your drone's manufacturer, but if your drone's motors require lubrication, you'll definitely want a bottle on you at all times when flying.

What you should have to repair your drone

When you're out in an open field flying your drone, the last thing you want is to ground your drone because you weren't prepared. Crashes happen, parts come loose, and props fall off. Here are the essentials you should have in your kit when you're out flying:

  • Extra props: A no-brainer. Props are typically the first thing to fly off or get damaged if you crash; they're also one of the most essential parts keeping your drone in the air. Keeping an extra set of props (or two) on you at all times means that, if you damage or lose a prop in the field, you can just pop new ones on and get back to it. If you're forced to replace a prop or two, you're best off replacing the whole set, and always make sure you're buying the right size props to fit your drone. Your best bet is to check with the drone's manufacturer to confirm which props fit.
  • Small toolkit that's right for your drone: What we mean to say is, make sure you've got the tools needed for quick field repairs. Your drone might be designed so that you don't need any tools at all or it may have come with all the tools you need. Depending on your situation, you might only need a small screwdriver to ensure everything is tight and secure.
  • Soldering iron: You probably won't be taking the soldering iron out in the field with you, but if you end up causing some significant damage to your drone's wiring or electronics, a soldering iron will definitely come in handy. This is also the point that separates the hobbyists from the casuals. If you've never used a soldering iron in your life, ask a friend who has for help or venture onto YouTube for some DIY help.
  • Extra batteries: Again, this one is very specific to the drone you own. If your drone has replaceable batteries, you'll definitely want to have fully-charged spares for when your battery eventually dies or for worst-case scenarios where your battery gets damaged.

General tips

General tips for taking care of your drone

Do a proper pre-flight check

Before you start flying your drone, you should go through a basic pre-flight checklist. There might be some specific steps to check for, depending on the make and model of your drone or if you're flying FPV, but here are some general things you should be certain of before taking off.

  • Are you in a clear and open space where it's safe to fly? Eliminate your chances of getting into trouble by flying away from trees, buildings, cars, people, and animals.
  • Is your drone in good working condition? Check the props for damage and make sure they're able to spin freely.
  • Check the toggle switches on your controller. Make sure you've got things set up the way you want, so there's no surprises once you get into the air.
  • If you're in the U.S. you'll need to register any drone weighing over .55 pounds with the FAA.

Always fly with a fully-charged battery

Pretty much all quality drones come with a rechargeable lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery, and you'll want to make sure you're taking extra good care of your batteries as you are the rest of your drone. That means flying with fully-charged batteries and removing them (if possible) when you're done flying.

Remove and clean props after every flight

As a novice drone pilot learning the ropes, you're likely going to be crashing early and often. A quality drone is built to withstand some wear and tear, but dirt and grime build up in your motors will force them to work harder and might result in locking up midair.

Therefore, best practice is to remove your props and give the motors a good spray of canned air to clean out any dust or debris that might have gotten into the motor housing. If you let that dirt and grime build up it will only require a more thorough cleaning later, so take the time after every flight to clean things out.

Give those motors a break

We know, once you start flying your drone, you just don't want to stop. You'll head out into the field with a couple fully-charged batteries to keep your drone in the air for marathon sessions.

Your motors need a break every now and again or else you risk them overheating and wearing out. This will largely depend on the size and quality of your drone, but if you've spent a whole afternoon flying, make sure to give those motors a rest before heading out for a twilight flight.

Got any tips?

Are you an experienced drone pilot? Share you tips for drone care in the comments below.

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6 months ago

Best accessories for the Moto G (2015)

3
 Best accessories for the Moto G (2015)

Get the most out of your Moto G with these great accessories.

Having great accessories for your Moto G is a sure-fire way to enhance your mobile experience.

We have rounded-up a list of fantastic accessories for the Moto G that will help you get more from the device.

Motorola Moto G Shells

Straight from Motorola itself, the Moto G Shells are what the plates that cover the back of your phone are called.

The shells come in plenty of colors such as raspberry, turquoise, and lemon lime (pictured to the right), so they can add a bit of personal flair to your Moto G. However, the primary purpose of these shells is to provide some water-resistance to your Moto G so if you notice yours is cracked or broken at all, it's probably best to replace it.

They cost around $15 and are easily interchangeable, so get a bunch if you like to switch it up often.

See at Motorola


SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSD

SanDisk has always been one of the front-runners when it comes to expandable memory, and its microSD cards pack a serious punch.

The SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSD is a class 10 card, meaning it can handle all the HD video recording and playback you can throw at it. It has transfer speeds of up to 80MB/s, so it won't slow you down when you're downloading apps or backing up your files.

Motorola will tell you that the Moto G can only handle microSD cards up to 32GB in storage capacity; however, members of Android Central have used 64GB and 128GB cards with no issues as we mention in our review of the Moto G.

See at Amazon

Pleson tempered glass screen protector

Nothing makes a phone more useless than having a shattered screen.

Pleson's tempered glass screen protector is 0.3mm thick, which means it's thin enough to give you optimal sensitivity and high definition clarity at all times.

It covers the entire screen of the phone and has accurate cutouts, meaning it fits like a glove, and you shouldn't have to worry about catching your thumbs on the edges.

See at Amazon

Tudia Slim-Fit Merge

A case is a great way to protect your Moto G from damage.

The Tudia Slim-Fit Merge is a two-piece design, composed of a hard polycarbonate shell that protects the phone from scratches and scrapes, while the TPU skin envelops the phone with shock-absorbing protection.

It has a raised lip around the front of the phone to protect the screen when it's laying on a flat surface or when it falls face-down, and it also has a raised lip to protect the camera from getting scratched.

The Slim-Fit Merge will add a little weight and bulk to your phone but should be more than sufficient protection for the average user.

See at Amazon

UE Roll

If you want a cool gadget that will pair well with your phone, why not get a mini Bluetooth speaker?

The UE Roll has a high waterproof rating, meaning you can take it with you in the shower! Plus, it also comes with an air-filled life preserver that keeps it afloat. You can throw this into a pool and have your favorite tunes with you at your friend's next pool party.

This tiny speaker also manages impressive sound for its size. Granted, it may not have the highest quality bass tones, but it's great for what it's worth.

Which brings us to the next point: since the UE Roll 2 was just announced, this older model has dropped in price. You can find them as low as $85 now and chances are, the price will drop again as time goes on.

See at Amazon

What are your favorite accessories?

Which gadgets, cases, or tools do you like to use with your Moto G? Let us know in the comments below!

Moto G 2015

Motorola Amazon Best Buy

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6 months ago

Top 5 silicone bands for Moto 360 (2015)

10
Moto 360 Silicone

Stay comfortable and flexible with silicone bands for your Moto 360 (2015).

If you like to keep active and prefer your Moto 360 bands to be extra comfortable, then silicone might just be your best bet. That's because metal bands can get dinged up and leather bands can become scuffed and ruined if you're not careful.

We've rounded up the top 5 silicone bands for your Moto 360 (2015).

TYLT athletic silicone band

TYLT

Straight from Motorola's site comes the athletic silicone band by TYLT, available for the men's 46mm version and the men's and women's 42mm versions. You'll just have to check whether your version has a 16mm, 20mm, or 22mm band.

It's lightweight, washable, and breathes so that it doesn't cling to your skin or arm hair when you sweat. It's quick-release design makes it easy to swap out so that you can claim a variety of styles.

It comes in black or blue, but certainly won't leave your wrist black and blue thanks to the magic of silicone.

See at Motorola

TRUMiRR

TRUMiRR

TRUMiRR makes bands for the 46mm and 42mm versions of the Moto 360 and they come in six fun and funky colors. If flash and guile isn't your fancy, you can opt for dark blue, black, or gray. If you're feeling wild, you can go for red, light blue, or green.

These bands are durable, comfortable, and easy to adjust, so you're good to go, no matter the activity. Unlike leather bands that can become soggy with sweat, silicone is water-resistant and won't become weighed down or stained.

Just make sure you're getting the right-sized band at checkout.

See 20mm band at Amazon

See 22mm band at Amazon

Barton

Barton

Barton watch bands come in five rich colors and are available in 22mm and 20mm (sorry, ladies). You have your choice of black, white, Aqua Blue, orange, and Olive Green.

Unlike many other silicone bands, Barton's feature a groovy design on the outside, similar to tire tread, that offer a touch of flair.

Barton bands are water-resistant and washable so you can keep fit and have fun without having to worry about stink or stains.

Make sure you select the right size before you check out.

See at Amazon

Rerii

Rerii

Rerii has a great line of fairly basic-looking silicone bands that come in seven colors to suit your taste. Colors differ based on whether you choose the 22mm or 20mm version (there is no 16mm Rerii band).

Rerii bands start around $10, so there's no reason not to grab a few and change 'em up as you please. They're lightweight and have a stainless steel buckle, so go ahead and sweat all you want; you ain't staining a thing.

Quick-release pins make Rerii bands a great choice for folks who like to swap bands daily.

Make sure you choose the right size at checkout.

See 20mm version at Amazon

See 22mm version at Amazon

Isofrane

Isofrane

I'll start off this one by saying it's not silicone — instead, it's made of a rubber compound — but should still be included in this list (even though it's actually silicone-free).

Isofrane bands are Austrian-made divers bands, designed to follow you to the ocean floor and withstand the toughest conditions. These are easily the most expensive bands on our list, starting around $129 and sold through Aquadive.

These solidly made bands are comfortable and pliable, and backed by a 1-year warranty. You have your choice of black, orange, yellow, NATO Green, Coffee, Turquoise, or navy blue.

Isofrane's been making straps since the 60s, and they've only gotten better as time has passed.

These bands come in 20mm and 22mm, so make sure you order the right size for your Moto 360.

See at Aquadive

Moto 360 (2015)

Motorola Best Buy

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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