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9 months ago

Last chance: Save 15% on all Android cases and accessories!

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Independence Day for the good ol' U.S.A. is July 4, but we're kicking off the celebration savings a little early and going a little long this year, just to make sure all Android Central readers have a chance to take advantage of this special offer.

Starting now and going until midnight PST on Sunday, July 7, you can save 15 percent on your entire order using coupon code 7413 at checkout (and yes Canadians, the coupon will work in our Canada store too!).

The 15 percent coupon code covers all of our accessories, including Galaxy S4 cases, Galaxy S3 cases, everything for the HTC One — and all the spare batteries we got.  

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9 months ago

Pebble Smart Watch appears on Best Buy website

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While many Kickstarter backers are still be waiting to receive the Pebble Smart Watch they bought and paid for, the device itself is headed to Best Buy

We heard rumors last night that the Pebble Smart Watch would be headed to Best Buy, and today we know the whole story. The Bluetooth powered smart watch will indeed be sold at Best Buy, and be available in stores July 7. The black version (already on the Best Buy website) will be for sale at first, with cherry red coming later in August.

The wearable, which will cost $150, connects with your Android or iOS device through Bluetooth and offers an interface to things like text messages and incoming calls. There are also available programming interfaces so things can be extended, and we expect more than a few applications for the smart watch will become available once it reaches more hands. Being available over the counter at a big box store will help make that happen.

We've reached out to the folks behind the Pebble, asking how this news will affect the people still waiting for the product they bought through Kickstarter. While not being able to fill demand is a problem many companies would like to have, you never want to leave a bad impression on your early adopters. 

I'll head over to my local Best Buy this Sunday and pick one of these up and see what the fuss is all about. What about you? Is the Pebble an accessory you're interested in using? Be sure to tell us the answer, and why you feel that way in the comments.

Source: Engadget

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9 months ago

Qi wireless charger showdown

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We take a look at three popular Qi wireless charging solutions and put them head to head in Jerry's bedroom

Qi (pronounced Chee, and is totally a word no matter what Words with Friends says) is a wireless standard developed in 2009 by the Wireless Power Consortium. The standard itself covers inductive power transfer over short distances -- up to four centimeters -- and uses a electromagnet embedded in a transmission pad to induce current in a coil on the back of the thing you're charging. In our case, that means a Nexus 4 smartphone.

With big-name device makers like Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola and Nokia (as well as others) using the standard, it is slowly emerging as the winner in the obscure wireless charging war that goes on in cubicles all over the world. Long live Qi! On a serious note, it's an open standard with over 100 companies in Asia, Europe and North America cooperating to set a good standard that everyone can implement. That's good for business, and good for consumers in the long run. Of course, there will always be companies that buck the trend and take another path, but for now if you're going to spend your hard-earned money on a wireless charger that you should be able to use for the life of multiple devices, Qi charging is the way to go.

Because it's a standard, there are quite a few different companies making the base stations (a fancy term for the charging pad). I took a look at the three most popular and put them head to head to see which one I'd recommend. While I used a Nexus 4 for my tests, these chargers should work for any Qi-compatible phone with a flat back. Jump past the break and see who wins the Qi charger showdown.

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10 months ago

Rokform RokDock Galaxy Dock review

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One of the ways to gauge the popularity of a smartphone, and one that I’ve found quite interesting throughout the history of Android is the availability of quality compatible accessories. I started getting jealous of iPhone owners back in 2011 – I was hunting for a measly screen protector for my HTC Thunderbolt while they were rolling in thousands of cases, docks, speakers and lenses flooding the market. Times have changed and with Samsung’s meteoric rise over the past year, accessory makers have caught on to the fact that Galaxy owners love their add-ons just as much as iPhone owners do.

But that popularity and the booming market it creates brings with it the inherent rise of ridiculously unnecessary products -- enter the Rokdock by Rokform, a $100 paperweight that is the very definition of the frivolous, overpriced accessories a popular smartphone can spawn.

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10 months ago

Element Case announces two new cases for the Galaxy S4 - Enter to win one now!

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Element Case makes some mighty fine cases for smartphones, and they have just recently released two new designs for the Galaxy S4 that are sure to delight you. The ATOM and the ECLIPSE are super impact-resistant and feature a unique sound boosting technology, or SBS (Sound Boost System) that channels resonant amplified audio from the phone’s back speaker toward the front, perfect for music, movies and speakerphone. They are constructed from impact-resistant TPU that’s both lightweight and soft to the touch as well as an aerospace-grade carbon fiber back plate.

To celebrate the release of the ATOM and the ECLIPSE for the Galaxy S4, Element Case is giving Android Central readers a chance to win a free case! Head over to the links below and check out the cases, then come back here and leave a comment letting us know which one you prefer and why. Four lucky readers will win one of these awesome cases for their Galaxy S4. Good luck!

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10 months ago

Find out who won a Moga Pro controller from Android Central!

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted below, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up to get your info. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the winners!

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10 months ago

Sony's next-gen SmartWatch adds NFC

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Sony was one of the first to enter the Android wearable game, and today at Asia Mobile Expo in Shanghai it announced the SmartWatch 2.

Sporting a 1.6-inch face at a 220-by-176 resolution (that's about 176 pixels per inch), the SmartWatch 2 can serve as a standalone watch when not connected to a phone. But pair it to a phone and you've got a quick and easy way to glance at notifications, control your music player, take pictures, control presentations, interact with fitness apps — oh, and it can tell time, too. In addition to NFC capability for easier pairing, this latest version boasts a water-resistant design (splash-proof, really — you won't want to wear this thing in the water) and runs for three or four days with normal use, Sony says.

The SmartWatch 2 is compatible with any standard 24mm band, and Sony says it'll have its own custom bands available down the road. It'll be available worldwide in September.

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10 months ago

Eyes on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini cases

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Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini shares a similar range of cases to its bigger brother

Not particularly glamorous, but essential to some. Alongside our first hands on with the new Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini at the Premiere 2013 event in London, the range of official cases was also on display. Like the Galaxy S4, the Mini has plenty of choice in color and style, and even has its own version of the 'S View' flip case. Click on past the break for a few more snaps. 

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10 months ago

Eyes on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom flip case and lens cover

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We're live in London at the Samsung Premiere 2013 event where we've had a first look at the new Galaxy S4 Zoom. Part smartphone, part point-and-shoot camera, the S4 Zoom is unlike any smartphone we've come across to date. As is usually the norm with new Samsung devices, a range of accessories come to market with them, and the Zoom is no exception. There's actually a pretty decent looking flip case for the device, that covers the screen on one side, and acts as a sort of bumper around the exterior edges. It also comes with a matching lens cap so you can pocket your new Galaxy S4 Zoom without worrying (too much) about that honkin' great zoom lens on the back. More pictures can be found after the break. 

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10 months ago

Logitech to provide Harmony Ultimate Hub as a stand alone product, turns your Android into a universal remote

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Logitech released availability and pricing information for the Harmony Ultimate Hub as a stand alone product this evening, and the device is expected in August 2013 and will retail for $100. The Ultimate Hub is used in conjunction with an Android app to turn your Android or iOS device into a universal remote.

The Hub, which is designed to sit in and among your home entertainment equipment acts as a bridge, allowing commands sent over Wifi from your device to be output ar IR/RF commands to operate video and audio components, like the ones commonly found in living rooms all over the world. Those familiar with the current Harmony line of universal remotes know that programming can be entered to control just about any device.

In addition, Logitech has announced that they will not be selling off the Harmony line of products, saying a surge in momentum since unveiling the Harmony Ultimate makes retaining ownership in the best interest of their shareholders.

Previously, the Hub was only available as part of a more expensive package with a bundled smart remote. Now, users who would just rather use their phone can save a little money. The full press release is after the break.

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