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1 week ago

Best Cases for Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

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Best cases for keeping your Galaxy Tab S3 protected and functional.

If you've got a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, you're going to want to keep it protected. Determining which case you should get depends on how you plan to use it. We've highlighted some of the different styles available that are worth your attention. Whether you're looking for a folio case that folds over to protect the screen, a case with a built-in keyboard, or a more standard case, mainly for providing protection, just make sure you find the right case for your needs!

Samsung Keyboard Cover

We'll start with Samsung's new keyboard accessory for its newest tablet. Offering protection as well as functionality, this case includes Samsung's latest keyboard, featuring chiclet-style keys, along with intuitive POGO pin connectors, which let you set up your tablet in keyboard mode right quick.

Samsung offers a fairly standard look for this keyboard case, featuring a white folding back panel that provides protection for your tablet, while the keyboard is made of gray, physical keys.

While the Galaxy Tab S3 might not be enough to fully replace the functionality of a laptop, this stylish and functional keyboard will let you do more on the go. If adding a keyboard to your tablet is important to you, this is your best option.

See at Amazon

MoKo Galaxy Tab S3 Slim Folding Cover Case

MoKo's lightweight case for the Galaxy Tab S3 features a premium PU leather exterior that keeps your tablet protected from drops and scuffs, while the interior is lined with soft microfiber material to keep your screen scratch-free. Like most folio cases, you're able to fold the front cover into a viewing stand with multiple angles. The front cover closes with magnets in the corners that allow you to wake your Tab S3 when the front cover is opened, but it won't interfere with the S-Pen. The S-Pen also gets some attention itself, with MoKo including a stylus loop to ensure your S-Pen stays with your tablet.

All buttons and ports are left exposed so that there won't be any fit issues with your accessories, and there's also a convenient hand strap for one-handed use.

You can get this case in classic single color options or choose from more stylish designs — the choice is yours!

See at Amazon

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro Series Case

SUPCASE makes some outstanding rugged cases for phones under its Unicorn Beetle branding, and you should expect the same level of protection for your Galaxy Tab S3 here as well.

SUPCASE offers full-body protection for your tablet, which includes a protective front casing with a built-in screen protector and a raised bezel to keep that beautiful screen protected. On the back, a dual-layer hybrid casing designed with a shock-absorbing TPU bumper will keep your tablet well-protected from any accidental drops and also features a pop-out kickstand for hands-free viewing.

All your ports and buttons are covered to prevent dust and debris from getting in, making this an ideal case for anyone who likes to take their tablet into the great outdoors. It's also available in your chose of color — black, blue, pink, and white — so you can pick the one that fits your style.

See at Amazon

BELK Leather Viewing Stand w/ Wallet

Featuring high-quality PU leather, BELK offers a very stylish option for keeping your Tab S3 protected. Your tablet is held in place by the rugged inner shell made of rigid polycarbonate, which leaves ample cutouts around the headphone jack and USB-C charging port

What also sets this case apart from the others on the list is the slip pockets on the inside cover, which let you store credit cards, business cards or even IDs, along with a pocket for storing cash, passports — whatever you want to have on you at all times. There's also elastic hand strap which lets you confidently hold your tablet with one hand.

This folio case also lets you fold up the front cover as a kickstand for hands-free viewing, and the whole thing is available in a couple stylish colors.

See at Amazon

Got a favorite?

Using a sweet case with your Tab S3? Sound off in the comments below!

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1 week ago

This $7 car charger will look like it is built into your car

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again with another great deal, this time saving you big on a 2-port car charger!

Update: This popular deal is back again with a new coupon code. Be sure to use code AUKECAR7 at checkout for the savings!

Right now you can pick up Aukey's 2-port USB car charger for just $7 with coupon code AUKECAR7. This car charger, unlike many others, sits pretty flush with most of the cigarette adapters, so you won't really even notice that it is there. Being relatively flush, there is less of a chance that you'll knock it out or bang it around by accident while moving in your car, and being able to charge two devices at the same time is a great feature.

Remember, you need coupon code AUKECAR7 to get the discount here. Odds are it won't last long at this price, so be sure to act quickly if you want one!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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1 week ago

Best Heavy Duty Cases for Samsung Galaxy S8

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Best Heavy Duty Cases for Samsung Galaxy S8

Protect your new Galaxy S8 with a sturdy, rugged case, and have some peace of mind while you're at it.

The Galaxy S8 might not be here just yet, so no, we haven't had time to test out all the cases, but we know some dynamite brands that are sure to protect your Galaxy S8 from drop, bumps, scratches, and more.

Check out these awesome cases if you're looking for rugged protection. Consider these the… Guardians of your Galaxy.


Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

The old standby of rugged cases, the Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro is the utmost in heavy duty protection for your Galaxy S8. These three-piece cases feature a front cover, back cover, and a holster so that you don't have to carry a heavier phone around in your pocket. With that in mind, the Unicorn Beetle Pro doesn't actually add a ton of bulk to your phone, but there still is a difference. You want thin, go with a slim case.

The Unicorn Beetle Pro is made of tough polycarbonate plastic and provides extra protection in the corners — the killshot for just about any phone in the event of a drop. You have your choice of black, blue (doesn't match the S8 coral blue color), pink, and white.

See at Amazon


Zizo Static Series

Zizo Static

Zizo's cases are military drop tested, so they're actually guaranteed to protect your phone from drops, according to military standards. The Static Series features a fold-out kickstand and two layers of protection: a hard polycarbonate shell with a silicone layer to disperse impact and cushion your phone. This is especially necessary in the corners, which are incredibly vulnerable in a drop situation.

On top of excellent protection, the Zizo Static Series also looks really cool. You have your choice of seven color combinations, which feature a black layer and then a vibrantly colored layer. If you're looking for heavy duty protection for your Galaxy S8, along with a flash of style and a convenient kickstand, then check these out. Especially since they're only about $11.

See at Amazon

Caseology Legion

Caseology Legion

I love Caseology cases. They always fit well and they're fantastically protective. I generally use a Wavelength, and I had my phone knocked out of my hand onto a gym floor. After cleaning up my drawers, I picked up my phone and it was absolutely fine. That was a slimmer case, too. Check out the rugged Legion series. It features a layer of flexible a shock-absorbing TPU with an outer layer of polycarbonate. You're protected from hard bumps and scratches, as well as shocks and drops.

All the buttons are covered, but the coverings provide great tactile feedback, and your ports are completely accessible. You have your choice of black or orchid gray, which is meant to match the S8 color, though we haven't seen this one in person to verify that.

See at Amazon


Poetic Revolution

Poetic Revolution

The Poetic Revolution is a two-piece case that you sit your Galaxy S8 into, and then you snap on the front. Most Poetic cases have a screen protector, but this one doesn't because of the Galaxy S8's curved screen. That being said, the raised bezel around the front protects your screen when you lay it face-down, and the raised cutout around the camera protects the lens.

The inside of the Revolution is made of flexible TPU, which is designed to disperse impact and protect your S8 from scratches. The outside of the back is a layer of polycarbonate, which takes the brunt of any bump or drop. The outer edges of this case are textured to give it a great in-hand feel that isn't slippery, so you can hold onto your phone. You have your choice of black, a very vibrant blue, and pink.

See at Amazon

Spigen Tough Armor

Spigen Tough Armor

Spigen makes a phone case for every occasion and its Tough Armor series is perfect for heavy duty protection. It has an inner layer of TPU for shock absorption and to protect against scratches, as well an outer shell made from durable polycarbonate. There's also a handy kickstand on the back, so you can watch videos hands-free.

This may look a bit like Caseology's Legion, but the button layout is a bit different, with a space between volume up and volume down, so you can control your music on the go without having to pull your phone out of your pocket. The Tough Armor series comes in gunmetal, black, coral blue (which looks like it matches the coral blue S8, but we can't say for sure yet), and maple gold.

See at Amazon


Looking for something a little slimmer or a bit different?

Best Cases for Galaxy S8

Got one yet?

Have you already picked up a case in anticipation for your Galaxy S8 pre-order? Let us know in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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1 week ago

Xiaomi's latest headphones are designed to be supremely comfortable

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Xiaomi is bringing the Mi Headphones Comfort to India.

Xiaomi is adding to its arsenal of affordable audio products by launching the Mi Headphones Comfort in India. The 3.5mm closed-back on-ear headphones are set to go on sale in the country starting tomorrow, April 18, and will retail for ₹2,999 ($45). The headphones incorporate a lightweight construction and ear cups made out of breathable polyurethane foam that make them comfortable to wear throughout the day. The have a frequency range of 20Hz to 40,000Hz, and are Hi-Res certified.

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1 week ago

Best Camera Drones for 2017

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5 best camera drones you can buy in 2017

What are the best camera drones I can buy right now?

Update, April 2017: Added the DJI Mavic Pro to the list, but the DJI Inspire 1 is still tops!

Whether you're an independent filmmaker looking to step up your game with drone videography, or simply a hobbyist looking to record stunning video to share with friends and family, you'll want to invest in a top-of-the-line camera drone.

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1 week ago

Samsung Gear 360 (2017) preview: Fun all the way around

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When thinking of great tech, often what comes to mind is the best quality, the best specs, the best design … but we sometimes forget what really drew us to it in the first place: the fun factor. 360 cameras came onto the scene in a big way in 2016, and while they may not be quite as hot a commodity this year, Samsung's new Gear 360 stands a good chance of rekindling the public's love for these special gadgets. And not just because it's the most adorable little droid this side of BB-8; the Gear 360 2017 unlocks a whole new dimension in spherical storytelling.

I'm Michael Fisher, aka MrMobile, and believe it or not, I'm considering buying a selfie stick just for this camera. Since picking it up at Samsung's big Galaxy S8 announcement, I've been having a blast using the new Gear 360 to shoot … well, everything in sight. But unless you're like me and you want to see everything past the edge of the lens in every photo or video you shoot, you might want to steer clear. Hit that video up top and see what I mean.

And if you want to know more, check all of Android Central's coverage on the Samsung Gear 360!

Stay social, my friends

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1 week ago

At just $21 you won't be afraid to try some tricks with this mini drone

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on a mini drone!

Update: This popular deal is back again with a new coupon code. Be sure to use code AUKEMINI at checkout for the savings!

Right now you can pick up Aukey's mini-drone for just $21 at Amazon with coupon code AUKEMINI, a savings of $9. You can control this drone with your smartphone, allowing you to fly it just about anywhere, and once you get good at flying it you can even start performing some tricks as well. It takes off and lands easily with just a single tap, and the controls are super responsive so you won't have to worry about delays. It comes with two extra sets of propellers, just in case you happen to crash and break one.

Being so small you can pack in just about any bag so you can keep it with you at all times. Remember to use coupon code AUKEMINI for the full savings. Will you be learning to fly with Aukey's drone? Let us know in the comments!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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1 week ago

Best Cases for the Samsung Galaxy J7

What are the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy J7?

Samsung's annual flagships steal all the attention, but their mid-range phones like the Galaxy J7 are surprisingly solid options for significantly less coin.

If you've got yourself a Galaxy J7, you're probably going to want to keep it protected with a case, no? The compromise here is that the bigger accessory makers don't typically make cases from mid-range phones like the Galaxy J7, however, that doesn't mean there aren't quality cases available. Better yet, all the cases we've featured here are under $10!

TJS Hybrid Carbon Fiber Slim Fit Case

If you're looking for rugged protection for your Galaxy J7, this two-piece case should fit the bill. The first layer of protection is a flexible TPU sleeve that includes shock-absorbing patterns on the inside, offers grip around the sides, and provides ample protection for the camera on the front. Around the front, a raised lip ensures your phone's screen is protected when you lay your phone face down on a surface. It also ships with a tempered glass screen protector which is a nice bonus.

The most arresting feature of this stylish and protective case is the carbon fiber pattern on the backside. Of course, this is just one of the styles available through Amazon if you're looking for a more flashy case.

See at Amazon

LK Ultra Slim Clear Case

If you're looking for a slim, clear case for your phone, LK has you covered. This case barely adds any bulk to your phone while keeping it protected with tough, shock-absorbing TPU. Precise cutouts ensure you always have easy access to all the buttons, controls and ports.

This case also helps with grip, both in your hands and when you've placed your phone on a surface. If you're looking for something with a bit more color to it, you'll find four other options on Amazon — Black, Hot Pink, Mint, and Purple.

See at Amazon

LK Armor Defender Case

LK's Armor Defender case looks to deliver a tough case that feels comfortable in your hands. So what you get here is a rugged two-piece design that combines a shock resistant silicone sleeve coupled with a hard back PC bumper. The back plate features a pattern of raised bumps which will greatly help with grip.

This case includes precision cutouts for the ports, buttons, and camera on the back, so your phone's functionality is never affected. It's also available in a range of color options, from the standard black to two-color combos. You're sure to find one that fits your style.

See at Amazon

Abacus24-7 Slim Bumper Wallet Case

Looking for a premium leather look for your phone without paying a premium price? Abacus24-7 offers a very stylish case option for your Galaxy J7 that doubles as a card holder on the back. it's made with a combination of TPU and synthetic leather materials, this case offers basic protection for the back, sides and corners of your phone while also providing a raised lip around the front of your phone.

On the back, you'll find the card pocket with can accommodate up to two cards — say a credit card and your ID. This is a slim and functional way to reduce the number of items on your personal carry while also providing protection for your phone.

See at Amazon

LK Luxury PU Leather Wallet Case

If you really like the idea of keeping your phone and your wallet in one place, you should get an LK luxury wallet case for your Galaxy J7. It allows you to carries the phone, some cash, and three credit cards in one pocket.

The synthetic leather comes in four colors, from a classic black to more vibrant color options. The magnetic closure is secure and the TPU inner shell offers shock resistance, covering the edges and corners of your phone.

LK's wallet case also folds into a sturdy kickstand for hands-free operating. You'll still have access to all the buttons and ports, including your camera, without removing your phone.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Why I'll only drink coffee from this $150, Android-connected mug

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Only peasants drink coffee from a mug that doesn't have its own battery and heating element — to say nothing of not having Bluetooth and an app an upgradable firmware, right? RIGHT?

How much would you pay to keep your coffee hot for up to two hours? If you said $150 — well you're a little crazy. But that's what I spent on the Ember Mug. (OK, I spent more than that. I'll explain in a minute.)

Here's the gist: Ember Mug is, first and foremost, a mug. And it's a really good mug. (Damn well better be for $150.) The feel of the thing is great, from the soft-touch coating to the position of the "shoulder." And the 360-degree, spring-loaded lid is brilliant.

That's not what makes this thing $150, though.

No, what makes the Ember Mug ridiculously expensive for a coffee mug is what's tucked into the bottom of it. Mainly, a battery, heating element and Bluetooth radio.

This is a smart mug.

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OK, here's the real gist. ... Ember Mug has this "phase change cooling system" thing that helps bring it down from scalding to something more survivable, and then keep the temperature wherever you choose. Well, between 120 degrees and 145 degrees, anyway. You tap the logo on the mug to turn it on, then twist the bottom of the mug to set the temperature, with a little hidden dot-matrix-style display showing you what's what.

Me? I'm liking things at about 135 degrees. Some quick (unscientific) testing at home points to the mug being accurate within a couple degrees or so, which is good enough for me.

By the way — yes, the mug will heat room-temperature water just fine, but it's not terribly quick about it, and that definitely eats at the battery. This really is meant to keep hot things hot, not to reheat cool things.

Yes, this is more than a little bourgeois. But it's also very good.

And of course there's an app. (Because how did you ever drink coffee without an app, right?) The app has presets for various drinks — coffee, tea, latte, etc. And you can use it to set a custom name on the mug, and to update the mug's firmware. (Because how did you ever drink coffee without updated firmware, right?) It's the same experience on Android as it is on iOS. Or you can forget the previous sentences and just drink hot coffee from your $150 electric mug like a semi-normal person.

One sort-of major headache with this thing, though. If you want to use your Ember Mug at more than one location — say, at home and at the office — you're going to need a second charger, right? The good news there is that Ember sells spare chargers for exactly this purpose, for another $40. That brings you up to $190 for the mug and a spare charger. (Plus the $18 in shipping I paid for said extra charger. WTF.)

On the other hand, if you're the sort of person who has to have a $150 smart heating coffee mug in the first place, maybe that's not so bad.

You can pick one up inside of a Starbucks store, at Ember's site, or at the link below.

See at Amazon

Modern Dad

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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2 weeks ago

Best SD Cards For Chromebooks

21
Dell Chromebook 13

Expanding your Chromebook's storage.

If you want to expand your Chromebook's storage, you can use an SD or microSD card and boom, you've got more space.

Whether you use a full-size SD card, a microSD card or a half-height SD card depends on your particular model of Chromebook.

Updated, April 2017: This post has been updated with the latest recommendations.

Full-size SD cards

Full-size SD cards are the largest SD cards in terms of physical size. Whether or not your Chromebook will fit a full-size SD card depends on the model and manufacturer.

Even then, a full-sized SD card may stick out of the SD card slot on your Chromebook and if this is the case, we don't recommend that you use a full-sized SD card in your Chromebook all the time, since it could catch on something. Instead, insert it when you need to transfer files over or access files you've stored on it previously, then remove it again.

SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB SDXC

SanDisk Extreme Pro 512 SDXC

The highly-rated SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card is fast and has a large capacity, so it makes a good choice to expand the storage of your Chromebook.

It has data transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s, so you can transfer those Blu-ray movies you've got sitting on your Chromebook's hard drive without a problem. Even games with gigabytes of data can be moved over with ease.

Additionally, this SD card features write protection, which prevents you from accidentally erasing or overwriting your important files. No more worrying about accidentally erasing those old family pictures.

If you're looking for a fast, reliable SD card, this may be the one for you.

See at Amazon

MicroSD cards

MicroSD cards are much smaller in physical size than their larger SD card cousins — about as large as a fingernail whereas SD cards are about the size of a postage stamp.

Their smaller size doesn't mean that they have smaller capacities than their larger brethren, however; they simply have a smaller form factor, and that means they're typically used in smaller devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

For the most part, if your Chromebook can fit an SD card, it'll take a microSD card. You'd just need an adapter, such as the Raspberry PI Shortening MicroSD Adapter.

SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSDXC

SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSDXC

The SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD card is about as fast as they come, and with a 200GB capacity, it provides a lot of space for your files.

Transferring large files won't be a problem with its rated 90MB/s transfer rate and with all of that space available, it can hold up to 20 hours of HD video. That's right, 20 hours.

If you're looking for an expandable storage option for your Chromebook that's fast and has a large capacity, check out the SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD card.

See at Amazon

Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXC

Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXC

Slightly slower than the SanDisk Ultra microSD card, Samsung's EVO Plus 128GB is still fast enough for most uses and is correspondingly cheaper too.

While it doesn't have as large a capacity as the SanDisk Ultra 200GB, the Samsung EVO Plus may have enough to suit your needs if you are looking for a bargain. Though it's a little slower, you won't notice much of a difference when transferring files or media.

If you want a fast microSD card, but you want to save a buck, choose this one.

See at Amazon

Half-height SD cards

Half-height SD cards, as the name implies, are SD cards that have a shorter form factor. They're a great alternative if regular-height SD cards protrude from your Chromebook's SD card slot and microSD cards aren't compatible.

Transcend JetDrive Lite 330

Transcend JetDrive Lite 330

The Transcend JetDrive Lite 330 comes in three capacities: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.

With a maximum rated read speed of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of up to 60MB/s, this half-height card is fast enough for downloading large files, and with its three capacity options, you can choose just the amount you need (and the price, too).

If you don't want to or can't use a microSD card, the Transcend JetDrive may be the card for you.

See at Amazon

Shortening microSD adapter

microSD adapter half height

If you have a fast microSD-card or want to buy a new one in your Chromebook, you can get a half-height adapter to keep things from hanging out of the side too far. Originally designed for use in a Raspberry Pi, these adapters from Adafruit work exactly the same as any high-quality full-sized adapter. There's just less hanging out to snap on things.

See at Amazon

An alternative

SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Maybe you don't want to use an SD card at all but still want to expand your storage. The SanDisk Ultra Fit USB Flash Drive offers up to 128GB capacity and its low profile fits snugly against your Chromebook when it's inserted.

Read speeds up to 150MB/s mean it's ultra-fast and the design means you can leave it inserted so it's always ready every time you boot up.

These are USB A (bigger, older style socket) drives, so make sure you have the right USB ports!

See at Amazon

We've told you which SD cards we prefer, but what about you? Let us know in the comments below!

Chromebooks

Android Marshmallow

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2 weeks ago

Best Accessories for Moto G5 Plus

4

What are some of the best accessories available for the Moto G5 Plus?

Motorola's latest budget phone, the Moto G5 Plus, is shaping up to be quite the successor to the Moto G4. It's faster, shinier, and equipped with an improved rear-facing camera.

You'll want to take advantage of everything the Moto G5 Plus can do, including procuring accessories that can make life with your new mid-range mobile device more dynamic. Here are a few accessories to consider equipping yourself with for future adventures with the Moto G5 Plus.

Incipio NGP case

If you're looking for a lightweight rugged case, Incipio's NGP case is the right voice for you.

Featuring a textured back and bumper to ensure you maintain a solid grip, this one-piece polymer case is designed with enhanced drop protection — you'll notice the honeycombed interior which helps to disperse the shock when your phone inevitably hits a table or floor.

Precise cutouts means you'll have full access to the charging port and headphone jack as well as the volume and power button on the side.

Choose between black and berry pink and keep your Moto G5 Plus protected!

See at Incipio

LK Screen Protector (3-pack)

Planning to go bare with your Moto G5 Plus? At least consider a screen protector to shield its 5.2-inch LCD display. This three-pack of oleophobic screen protectors are precisely cut to fit the Moto G5 Plus. They're made from 9H tempered glass and are both scratch-resistant and shatterproof. Each protector is easy to apply and LK offers a lifetime replacement warranty should things go awry.

See at Amazon

iXCC USB Car charger

Get this Qualcomm Quick Charge-certified car charger for your next adventure on the road with the Moto G5 Plus in tow. This affordable package comes with a 3-foot Micro-USB cable, though you can grab another if you need something longer. The charger also comes with a two-year manufacturer's warranty.

The charger itself can charge any Quick Charge 2.0-compatible device. It also features built-in safeguards to help protect any device from overheating and overcharging.

See at Amazon

Raki 3-in-1 clip-on camera lens

The Moto G5 Plus's 12-megapixel rear-facing camera is actually quite capable, but you can take even more dynamic photography with a clip-on camera lens, like the affordable Raki 3-in-1 camera lens.

This multi-use concoction features an 180-degree Fisheye lens, a wide-angle lens, and a macro lens. It comes in four different colors, too, so you can get one that matches the color of your Moto G5 Plus. Best of all, the clip-on is compatible with any smartphone, so if you switch devices in the future you won't have switch clip-on camera lenses.

See at Amazon

Anker Waterproof Case

You'll inevitably come across a body of water in your adventures with your smartphone, even if that water is just in your bathtub. Keep the Moto G5 Plus's water-repellent nanocoating safe from deep water with this pouch from Anker. It's rated IPX8 for water resistance, which means it works in up to 100 feet of water. You can still use the touchscreen and the camera while it's inside the pouch, too, and it comes with a handy neck strap so your phone won't float away.

See at Amazon

Maono Selfie Stick

Yep. We're suggesting you purchase a selfie stick, but not just any selfie stick. This one is both a stick for extending the Moto G5 Plus in front of you for selfies and a tripod for keeping still for landscape shots and self-timed panoramas. It's also made of metal and features a programmable Bluetooth remote. And since there are no circuits inside the selfie stick, it's verifiably rainproof.

See at Amazon

Moto G5

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Best Battery Cases for Samsung Galaxy S6

Choosing a battery case for your Galaxy S6

What's the best battery case for Galaxy S6?

Updated April, 2017: Added Alpatronix's BX410. The other battery cases are still the best around for your Galaxy S6.

The Galaxy S8 is upon us, but if you're not ready to let go of your Galaxy S6, you may want to look for ways to extend battery life. Hell, you may have been looking for that from the start. If you're not ready to upgrade, check out one of these stellar external battery cases to help keep you charged up on the go.

Mophie Juice Pack (3,300 mAh)

Mophie Juice Pack

Mophie is sort of the gold standard when it comes to battery cases, and while that started with iPhone battery cases, it has smoothly transitioned to models for popular Android phones as well. There are two distinct Juice Pack models to fit the Galaxy S6 or S6 edge (and different color choices), but in either configuration they offer full device protection with a single case that also integrates a battery.

The Juice Pack is dramatically better made than any of the offerings here, as you'd expect for the increased price. It has a hard plastic shell that's rigid and tough, and on the inside has a soft touch coating to hold the phone tightly.

The Galaxy S6 fits in it with amazing precision, with just a very small lip over the front of the phone. It's just as large as any other battery case, and while the hard plastic coating is slicker it does have some grip to it. There's a standard "chin" at the bottom where the USB port joins up with the phone, and because of its thickness there's a headphone extension jack to use if you don't have headphones with a small jack on them.

The 3,300 mAh capacity lands between the other cases in this roundup, and Mophie gives it the claim of "up to 100 percent" additional battery for your GS6. Just like your phone's internal battery, it's rated for 500 full recharges, and you choose when to have it powering your phone with a convenient hardware switch on the back.

We tested the Juice Pack's capacity just the same as the others and found it added 90% battery to the phone in just under three hours, even while the phone was in use on mobile data. That's not bad — it charged more and faster than the other cases, despite having a smaller overall capacity. That just shows what you can get from the higher quality components in the Juice Pack.

It's pretty clear that if money is no object, the Mophie is the best choice, simply due to its fantastic build quality, slick design and highly-rated battery. Of course price is a factor for most picking up a battery case, and $99.95 is a steep asking price for something you may not want to use all of the time.

See at Amazon

PowerBear Extended rechargeable battery juice pack (3,500 mAh)

PowerBear

PowerBear's 3,500 mAh juice pack is a one-piece case that allows you to charge it and your Galaxy S6 simultaneously, all in a sleek and slim package that won't add a ton of weight to your pocket, which is really what you want out of a battery case, since they're supposed to be "power on the go".

PowerBear claims that you get an extra 130% charge out of this case, but it's more like the ZeroLemon case in this roundup – you're more likely to get about 50%, taking anywhere from three to four hours to charge.

This case has a handy on/off switch, so that you're not wasting power when you don't need to, which makes it a great everyday case or an excellent emergency case.

The PowerBear's design is pretty typical, but it's still fairly thin for a battery case and it fits quite seamlessly, so if you like your Galaxy S6 to be in a case but not feel that way, then the PowerBear is likely the best choice for you.

If you regularly kill your phone before day's end and want a battery case that will last you a while, then check this one out, since PowerBear offers a 2-year warranty, which should get you through the lifespan of your Galaxy S6 until you upgrade.

See at Amazon

ZeroLemon Slim Power battery case (3,500 mAh)

ZeroLemon

The ZeroLemon Slim Power Battery isn't quite the same setup as the others, as its battery and case are actually separate. The 3,500 mAh battery is a self-contained slab that has two USB ports on it — one for input, the other output — and a removable U-shaped USB connector so that it nestles up against the back of a Galaxy S6. The case is just a basic rubber affair, but it's designed so that the battery and phone can be held together inside comfortably while charging.

The battery is fully operational with other cables and can be used without the case, though the implication is that you'll be using the whole thing together most of the time. The case itself wraps the whole phone for a bit more protection than others, but the design means that the ZeroLemon setup is larger than others and offers a lower capacity. It also ships with a headphone jack extension cable due to its size, which is burdensome to say the least.

It has similar charge rates to the others, and when combined with the simple 3,500 mAh cell it was only able to charge up the Galaxy S6 by 50% — and that took about 3 hours and 45 minutes to do it. That's not very fast, and for a battery case that's bigger (and more expensive) than some of the others we expected to get a little more out of it.

The one benefit ZeroLemon has going for it is an explicit 180-day warranty — how much value you actually put in that is up to you.

See at Amazon

Alpatronix BX410 (3,500 mAh)

Alpatronix BX410

Alpatronix's case is relatively similar to the other options here, but it's still one of the best battery cases you can get for your Galaxy S6. Alpatronix doesn't make any bold claims of charging your phone "130%", but instead says that you'll be able to charge your phone up to 100%, which is fairly accurate, considering its 3,500 mAh battery. Your results may vary, depending on your usage.

As far as battery cases go, this one is pretty slim, adding minimal bulk and weight to your Galaxy S6. The camera cutout on the back is ample so as not to obstruct the lens, and you'll also find LED indicators on the back to let you know when the case itself if charged or losing power.

Alpatronix provides a lifetime warranty, so if there are any defects during the life of this case, you can let Alpatronix know and it'll be replaced.

See at Amazon

How do you stay juiced?

Got a favorite battery case that's still keeping your Galaxy S6 going? Let us know in the comments below.

Samsung Galaxy S6

Amazon Verizon AT&T Sprint T-Mobile

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2 weeks ago

Best Tempered Glass Screen Protectors for LG G6

5
Best Tempered Glass Screen Protectors for LG G6

The taller the phone, the longer the screen — protect it! {,intro}

Your LG G6's screen is extra long, so there's more to get scratched and scuffed. A tempered glass screen protector is the perfect way to keep the most important part of your phone safe and blemish-free. Here are the best you can buy.

Yootech

Yootech

Yootech's two-pack of tempered glass screen protectors is a great value for around $8. Yootech guarantees bubble-free installation and promises 99.9% clarity, meaning you shouldn't notice the protector on your screen at all. It also won't mess with touch sensitivity, which is awesome because you don't want to have to reach your thumb all the way up your phone twice.

See at Amazon


Omoton

Omoton

Omoton's tempered glass screen protectors are always highly rated on Amazon, and that's because they're easy to install and reliable. And for $7 for a two-pack, you really can't go wrong. These protectors are scratch-resistant and feature a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating to repel water and fingerprints.

See at Amazon


Spigen

Spigen

Spigen, maker of fine phone cases, makes a great tempered glass screen protector for your LG G6. This is a two-pack of case-friendly tempered glass screen protectors that leave a little room around the edges so that you can, presumably, pop a Spigen case on your phone without worrying about it peeling up at the edges (other cases will still work, of course)q.

Spigen's protectors get a lifetime replacement warrant, so if anything goes wrong, let them know and they'll send you a new one.

See at Amazon


Supershieldz

Supershieldz

If you're looking for the best value, then the Supershieldz three-pack is where it's at — only $8. These protectors also come with a hydrophobic/oleophobic coating, so water will bead and roll off and you shouldn't have to constantly be wiping your screen with your shirt to get the fingerprints off.

See at Amazon


Got a favorite?

Tell us about it in the comments below.

LG G6

Verizon Sprint T-Mobile AT&T B&H

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2 weeks ago

Android and SD cards: The Ultimate Guide

28
SD card

Everything you ever wanted to know about SD cards and your phone.

Android has supported SD cards since the G1 started it all. The overall idea is simple enough — slap an SD card in your phone and expand the storage so you have room for more stuff. While this is mostly the case, there are a few things to know about, especially before you go out and buy one.

We've rounded up everything you need to know about buying and using an SD card with your Android to try and make everything as simple as it can be.

SD card form factors

SD card sizes

Before you do anything, make sure your phone can use an SD card! Since so many different companies make Android phones in so many different models, you will run across some that don't have a slot for a card. Phones from Google are this way, and every name you recognize when it comes to making phones has made at least one model that doesn't have support for an SD card. If you're not sure, poke around the outside of your phone to see if any doors or flaps open up, or grab the manual out of the box and see what it says.

Phones use the smallest microSD card form factor.

Once you've got that sorted, you need to make sure you get the right type of SD card. For your Android phone, you're looking for the microSD form factor. SD cards come in three different sizes. An SD card is the biggest — a little larger than a postage stamp — and is used for things like standalone cameras. The Mini SD form factor is about half the size of a full SD card and they aren't very popular. Chances are you won't ever buy anything that needs a Mini SD card. The microSD card is about the size of your fingernail and the one we're looking for.

When you buy a microSD card, you often get an adapter in the package. The smaller card slides into the adapter so it can fit into something that needs a full-size card — like your computer — as well as something like your phone that needs a microSD card. Keep track of this, because it's pretty handy when transferring pictures or video from your phone to your computer.

SD card storage versions

SD cards

There is a method to the madness of all those letters you see.

The next thing you need to know is the storage version. You can buy microSD cards, microSDHC cards, and microSDXC cards. A microSD card was designed to hold up to 2GB of information, though a few 4GB versions are available that work outside of the specifications. microSDHC cards (Secure Digital High Capacity) are designed to hold up to 32GB of data. microSDXC (Secure Digital eXtra Capacity) cards are designed to hold between 32GB and 2TB of data. It's important to know what version your phone can use. Most modern phones — Android or otherwise — will be able to use a microSDHC card. Many newer phones are capable of using a microSDXC card.

There are no easy-to-see differences between a phone that can use a microSDXC card and one that can't. You'll need to consult the documentation that came with your phone or hop into the forums and ask other folks who have already found the answer. The versions are backward compatible (a microSDXC card slot can use a microSD or microSDHC card) but there is no forwards compatibility, and if your phone can't use a microSDXC card, it won't ever work.

SD card speed classes

MicroSD card

No card is going to be as fast as the listed maximum.

You need to understand the speed class ratings. Those are the numbers and letters you see printed on the card and the packaging. The short version is to never buy one with a number lower than 10 when it comes to speed class, and if you use a phone with a 4K camera, go even faster and look for a UHS class card.

We've broken down the specifics of what all this really means and which you need, and you can read that right here:

Everything you need to know about SD card speeds and your phone

Adoptable storage and you

You'll probably see people talking about adoptable storage when SD cards and Android are in the conversation. It's a really neat thing that your phone probably doesn't have and chances are you're better off for it.

The idea is to use a fast SD card and make it a permanent part of the system. Once it goes in, it never can come out or all your stuff stops working. It's also a part of the phone it came out of and nothing else will be able to use it unless you reformat it and start over.

This, and concerns about performance, is why most companies making Android phones don't let you use Adoptable storage without hacking it in yourself. On Android things that aren't phones — like the NVIDIA Shield TV for example — you can plug in USB stick drives or hard drives and "adopt" them into the system. This makes a little more sense and a 500GB USB drive is a great match for your Android TV box. We go into details at the link below.

Everything you need to know about your SD card and Adoptable storage

Should I encrypt my SD card?

This is one of those things that if you have to ask, the answer is usually no.

SD card encryption is a great way to make sure nobody can see anything you have stored on your card without being able to sign into your phone, but there are a few drawbacks:

  • It takes a little longer to read something from or write something to the SD card. Not a lot but it's a definite thing.
  • You can't take the card out and do something like transfer pictures and music from a computer.
  • If your phone dies, you've lost everything on the card because your phone is the only thing that can decrypt it.

Keep all this in mind if you decide to try it, and make sure to have a good plan to keep your data backed up somewhere else.

Quick Q&A

MicroSD card

  • How should I format my SD card? Insert it into your phone and follow the instructions in the notification you get. Since there are several different file formats an SD card can use, you should let the phone pick the one it wants. Don't worry, your card will still work in a computer to copy files.
  • Do SD cards go bad? Yes, but that's becoming less of a thing with recent cards. Your SD card has a limited amount of times it can be read from and written to before it starts to have errors. If you start to get errors when you are using it, consider buying a new one before it goes bad. As mentioned, newer cards last longer than cards from just a few years ago.
  • Is my SD card waterproof? Maybe. It will say on the packaging if it is designed to get wet. Always try to not let it get wet, but if it does, don't stick it into anything until it dries, then take a Q-tip and some 99% rubbing alcohol and clean the copper contacts on the end you plug in. Let that dry and give it a try.
  • Why does Google hate SD cards? I don't think it hates them because every Chromebook can use one. Officially, Google says SD cards are not as secure and having more than one storage drive is messy for the end user. Feel free to add your own theory here.
  • Which SD card should I buy? Only you know the answer based on how you will use it. We've done our research, and you can check out our favorites here:

Best microSD Card for Android

When it comes to using SD cards in your phone, things don't need to be confusing. After you see all the hype from companies making them, take a minute or two and read through this again, then think about what you need a card to do. It really is that simple.

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2 weeks ago

Fitbit Alta HR review: Everything I need

12

The Fitbit Alta HR isn't much of an upgrade over the original, but at $150, it's a pretty great fitness tracker.

At this point, Fitbit isn't new — even if you've never owned one, you kind of know what it does: It tracks steps, helps you log workouts, and lets you know how little sleep you're getting, because life.

The Alta HR is the natural evolution of the company's more fashion-forward product, the Alta, which was unveiled in early 2016 as "the stylish one". Interchangeable bands and a sleek, vertical OLED display made it one of the most popular fitness trackers of the year, and it was the basis for the larger Charge 2, which came out towards the end of 2016.

The Alta HR takes what made the Alta great and adds a bigger battery and a heart rate monitor, which tracks all day for up to seven days. It's not a massive change, but it's one that has turned me from an Alta skeptic into a believer.

What's good

The Alta HR isn't any bigger than its predecessor; aside from the Flex 2, which is still the company's smallest (and only truly waterproof) tracker, the Alta HR is among Fitbit's most hideable trackers, blending into practically any situation and outfit.

The main thing I learned from the new Sleep Stages feature is that I don't sleep enough. Thanks, Fitbit.

My review unit shipped with the black band, but there are four regular models to choose from, including black, blue/gray, coral, and fuchsia, along with two special editions that cost slightly more and fancy up the tracker itself. Because of the heart rate monitor, the unit needs to be snug-yet-comfy against the wrist, which is why Fitbit replaced the loose-fitting snap strap of the original with a traditional clasp that wears much more like a watch.

I've been wearing the Fitbit Alta HR for the past two weeks and have barely remembered it's on my wrist. It doesn't get in the way when I'm typing, nor does it irritate the skin under the heart rate sensor (though I never had that issue with old Fitbits either). Battery life has been amazing, too: I've only needed to charge it twice since taking it out of the box, and as of this writing, this is my 14th day wearing it, and I'm still only at 30% battery, according to the app. That seven-day uptime is actually conservative.

Fitbit's also done a good job implementing its automatic heart rate sensing into the Alta HR; I just go about my day, attend my workouts, and let the software take care of the rest. It's not a particularly complicated proposition, since I don't really vary my workouts all that much, but I can see the product working out well for someone who varies his or her cardio routine on a weekly basis, since the app has become quite good at detecting various forms of activity. Manual logging is still possible, too, as is food journaling, though that isn't a feature I've ever used.

Sleep Stages, an updated form of the company's well-regarded sleep tracking system, has also been interesting, though, like the fitness data, it's unclear how much I will learn and change from wearing the Alta HR over the long term. Sleep Stages uses a combination of movement and heart rate monitoring to determine whether you're awake, in REM sleep, light sleep, or deep sleep.

While it's interesting that I'm learning I only get 90 minutes of REM sleep a night, I' more concerned with the fact that I'm only sleeping an average of five hours 30 minutes a night — and I don't need a Fitbit to tell me that. As good a gadget as this is, it has yet to— over the course of five years or so — change my poor habits for the better. That's something I need to undertake myself.

Fitbit's Android app has improved a lot over the past couple of years, and it's now not only really easy to sync — and keep synced — but I can pick up where I left off on a new phone. Bluetooth connectivity is no longer finicky (Google thankfully fixed this a few Android versions ago) and I don't have to remember to explicitly open the app to sync it — it just works.

The new dashboard, which shows steps taken, miles or kilometers walked, calories burned, and total active minutes, is both intuitive and data-heavy, which I like, and Fitbit's social features are still second to none. I've spoken to many Fitbit fans who, despite the lackluster hardware, have bought new trackers instead of leaving for Android Wear or an Apple Watch strictly because of the expansive community of friends and fellow cardioheads pushing one another to hit that 10,000 daily step goal and beyond.

What needs work

The Alta HR is still very much a fitness tracker; you can add heart rate monitoring to it and call it smarter, but at the end of the day this thing doesn't come close to being "smart". That's OK — Fitbit isn't exactly advertising smartwatch-like features, but it's still something to keep in mind when you're shelling out $150 for something. To that end, the Alta HR supports phone and text notifications — but only for one app — as well as basic calendar appointments, so this isn't going to be close to what you get with a smartwatch.

I don't really use the Alta HR to check anything but the time. I prefer to use the app.

Another thing that isn't like a smartwatch is the OLED screen, which is hidden behind a scratch-prone piece of plastic. You physically tap — hard — against the panel to change what you see, and though there is raise-to-wake, it's barely readable in sunlight. The screen, too, isn't touch-responsive, so it sometimes takes a few good pecks at it to get it moving.

The order and specificity of the screens can be adjusted in the app, but, beyond checking the time, I find myself barely using the Alta HR itself to dig into my stats; I tend to open the app, which is far more useful in 99% of situations.

While the bands are replaceable, they're not cheap — a standard rubber replacement is $30, while the leather options go for $60 and the metal for $100. After a couple of weeks with the black rubberized band, it's grown quite dirty, and even with soap and water I've found it difficult to get it back to pristine. The leather bands are a bit more hardy, but they're also not appropriate for every situation.

Should you buy one? Probably, but the Charge 2 is better

I love the Charge 2. I think it's Fitbit's best product ever. The Alta HR has most of that product's DNA but lacks the larger display and side button that makes navigating the UI a bit easier. Both the Charge 2 and Alta HR are the same upfront price, $149.95, but the latter has a metal clasp option, which may appeal to some who want to dress it up a bit more.

The Alta HR isn't leaving my wrist any time soon, but I'm not convinced it's enough of a change to justify an upgrade from the original Alta — not unless you absolutely need heart rate monitoring — and despite the excellent battery life, it's just not as good a product as the Charge 2, even for those looking to combine sport and fashion.

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