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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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.

See at Amazon

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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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

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3 weeks ago

Android Central Graduate gift guide 2016

3
Android Central graduate gift guide 2016

Perfect gift ideas for every graduate this year.

Anyone celebrating a graduation this year deserves a gift. A heartfelt handshake and a card are nice enough, but wouldn't you like to treat your special graduate to something more? We've done the research and come up with a list of gifts suitable for any graduate at any age.

Dell Chromebook 13

Dell Chromebook 13 non-touch

A well-built laptop is an essential tool for students and professionals alike, and whether your young grad is finishing high school or completing college, the Dell Chromebook 13 is a gift every graduate will appreciate.

The magnesium frame and soft outer coating makes for a sturdy build that's easy to hold onto. The battery lasts up to 12 hours so reports of any kind will be filed long before a recharge is needed. Grads can plug in a USB 3.0, USB 2.0, or HDMI cable and turn their new Chromebook into a multimedia, multitasking machine.

You'll have the option to purchase the Dell Chromebook 13 with or without a touch screen; it will add a few ounces to the overall weight of the unit, but it's a worthwhile investment.

See at Dell

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 non-touch

A more cost-friendly option for a celebratory laptop this graduation season is the Dell XPS 13. It's lightweight and exceptionally portable, so whether it's college-level literature they're headed for, or an entrepreneurial endeavor after college, your graduate will be work ready.

With or without a touch screen, the InfinityEdge Display is impressive and the first of its kind. With two USB 3.0 ports, a three-in-one Card Reader, and a Mini DisplayPort, not to mention the 15 hours of battery life, the Dell XPS 13 is an impressive machine for its price point.

See at Dell

Google Chromecast

Chromecast

If you own a smartphone, streaming video to your television doesn't get much easier than a Chromecast. This WiFi video dongle plugs hides behind your TV and waits patiently for you to tap the Chromecast icon in your app of choice on your phone.

Access to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and dozens more without pesky buffering will let your new grad unwind with some binge-watching of favorite shows. They'll also have access to loads of free and inexpensive games that are fun to played on a big screen. An added bonus? Google's Chromecast app regularly offers free Play Movies rentals and credits for free apps in the Play Store.

See at Best Buy

NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1

NVIDIA SHIELD Table K1

If your grad is a dedicated gamer the right gift for them is the NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1. They'll be able to download popular and yet-to-be-discovered Android games with the SHIELD games app, or access PC games galore with a subscription to GeForce NOW.

The front facing stereo speakers and eight inch HD display make for an impressive game experience. There are also some must-have accessories for the SHIELD, like the wireless controller, stylus, kickstand, and a microSD card that provides up to 128GB of storage. You can purchase the tablet by itself, or choose from a number of bundles if you want to spoil your graduate just a little bit extra.

See at Amazon

UE ROLL wireless mobile Bluetooth speaker

UE Roll wireless mobile Bluetooth speaker

Let your young graduate take their music everywhere and anywhere with the UE ROLL wireless mobile Bluetooth speaker. The bungee cord it comes with attaches to just about anything, from bikes to backpacks, so longs walks or days celebrating graduation on the beach or poolside will have the perfect soundtrack.

The waterproof shell can withstand half an hour of submersion and the battery will keep the music going for nine hours. With a 65-foot range and the ability to pair with multiple devices and additional speakers, a little backyard get together will sound more like a nightclub.

The UE ROLL 2 is also available, but the the first generation speakers are a little less expensive, still provide stellar sound, and are some of the best mini Bluetooth speakers around.

See at Amazon

VIZIO M-Series 4K 43 inch TV

VIZIO M-Series 4K TV

If it's time for the graduate to move out, it's time for a new TV. Treat them to a Smart TV; we're fans of the VIZIO M-Series 4K. It's Ultra HD and the perfect size for any room.

It comes with five HDMI ports and one USB port to accommodate gamers and those in need of a second screen. The two-sided remote is easy as pie: one side gives you one-touch access to selected apps while the other is a full QWERTY keyboard. Apps like YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, and Spotify are already in place with the M-Series so movies and social media will be even more addictive and fun. Come to think of it, maybe this gift would be better for you...just give your grad your old TV and they'll be none the wiser, right?

See at Dell

Huawei Nexus 6P

Huawei Nexus 6P

Whether your graduate is heading off to college or heading out into the workforce, you're going to want to keep connected. How about a shiny new phone for a graduation gift? We recommend the Nexus 6P. It features Nexus Imprint, a built-in fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone.

The solid, smooth aluminum phone features two front-facing speakers, a camera users can't stop raving about, and runs on the Marshmallow operating system that Android fans were wishing for. The battery provides a full day of online searches, texting, calls, and some casual gaming. If your grad needs a phone upgrade, this is the one to grab.

See at Amazon


Samsung Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR

Give your graduate the gift of ridiculous amounts of fun with a Samsung Gear VR. It's compatible with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Galaxy S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+, and Note 5 phones, and the headset is lightweight and comfortable.

Tour amazing cities around the globe without ever leaving home, watch blockbuster movies in a whole new way, and feel surrounded by the 360-degree view in any of the outstanding available games. You might find yourself begging to play with this gift. Better just buy one for you and one for them.

See at Amazon

SteelSeries Stratus XL controller

SteelSeries Stratus XL controller

What to do if your grad already owns the Samsung Gear VR? Accessorize! We think the SteelSeries Stratus XL controller will do nicely.

It pairs to any Android device via Bluetooth and takes the world of VR gaming to an entirely new level. Two AA batteries provide up to 40 hours of play time and the triggers are completely customizable within the SteelSeries Engine 3 interface. Now your graduate can up their speed and accuracy...and maybe let you take a turn every now and then.

See at Amazon

What's your gift of choice?

Have you come up with a fabulous gift idea for your favorite graduate this year? Tell us about it in the comments and be sure to let us know why it's the perfect present for a graduate.

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3 weeks ago

Best accessories for Samsung Gear VR

12
Gear VR accessories

Make the most of your Samsung Gear VR experience with these accessories.

The Samsung Gear VR is currently the most affordable entry point for people interested in exploring virtual reality. As more and more developers start working within this emerging tech space, the hope is that you'll have plenty of reasons to pick up and use your Gear VR more often for more applications.

As your usage increases, you'll want to invest in some essential accessories to get the most out of your Samsung Gear VR. Here are a few recommendations to get your on your way.

Gaming pads

As more and more game developers begin to delve into the world of VR gaming, you'll definitely want a quality controller that works well with your Android phone. There's a plethora of compatible controller options out there, so we've done the grunt work and made a list of the best options for the Gear VR.

8BITDO NES30 Pro Wireless Bluetooth Controller

8BITDO NES30 wireless controller

When we first wrote the guide above, the SteelSeries Free rose to the top in our breakdown of best gamepads for the Samsung Gear VR. Since then, however, the price has absolutely skyrocketed above and beyond what you should be paying for a wireless Bluetooth controller.

So we're recommending the 8BITDO NES 30 Pro for it's compact size, functionality, price, and nostalgic factor. With its two shoulder button design and dual analog sticks, you're sure to make quick friends with this little buddy, and you'll be able to easily take it along wherever you bring your Gear VR.

See at Amazon

SteelSeries Stratus XL

SteelSeries Stratus XL Bluetooth Controller

As mentioned above, SteelSeries makes a quality controller. So while the SteelSeries Free has been priced out of consideration, the Stratus XL is arguably your best bet — as long as it's bigger size isn't an issue.

The Stratus XL similar in size and feel to an Xbox One controller with analog sticks laid out similar to Sony's DualShock controllers. It's a great compromise between the two leading console gaming standards and will instantly feel familiar the moment you pick it up. This Bluetooth controller is compatible with Android devices and Windows 10.

See at Amazon

Headphones

A fully-immersive VR experience is only possible with the right pair of headphones. Whether you prefer the over-the-ear variety or in-ear buds, we've picked out some prime options that pair well with the Gear VR headset so you can block out reality as you delve into your favorite VR games and apps.

Over-the-ear headphones

B&O Beoplay H6 (2nd Generation)

B&O Beoplay H6 (2nd Generation)

If price is no option and you want a good balance of function and style, the Bang & Olufsen H6 (2nd Generation) offer ideal audio quality crafted with stylish genuine leather and aluminum.

Building off of the original H6s, B&O have gone back and tweaked everything that was missing from the first generation — deeper bass that's not overpowering and richer mid-tones. While the price might seem a bit steep considering these lack the Bluetooth and noise cancellation features one might expect from high-end headphones these days, you're bound to be impressed by the marriage of sound quality and style that B&O have created.

See at Amazon


Bose QuietComfort 25

Bose QuietComfort 25

We'd be remiss if we didn't include Bose on a list featuring best headphones. The Bose QuietComfort 25 feature active noise cancellation, which will certainly come in handy when you're trying to block out the noise of the world and get immersed into your VR headspace.

Like the H6s, these are wired headphones, but they just might be the best headphones Bose has put out. Whether you've trusted Bose in the past or are thinking about investing in their hardware for the first time, you should find the value in the higher price point.

See at Amazon

Other over-the-ear options

Not a fan of the B&O and Bose headphones, or maybe they're are simply out of your price range? Check out this staff picks article on the best over-the-ear headphones.

Best over-ear headphones: As chosen by Mobile Nations editors

In-ear headphones

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 20

Another great pair from Bose, these in-ear noise cancelling buds will provide the sound quality you would expect from a Bose product in a small, portable package. Again, with the noise cancelling feature, you'll be able to fully immerse yourself with your Gear VR. For the full Bose noise-cancelling experience, you'll need to keep the lithium-ion battery charged, which lasts 16 hours on a full two-hour charge.

Another key feature that will specifically come in handy for VR purposes is the "Aware mode", which lets you hear what's going on around you at the push of a button without taking out the headphones. They come in two styles — Apple devices and Samsung/Android devices — so make sure you pick the right style so that everything functions properly.

See at Amazon

Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbuds

Samsung ErgoFit TCM125

If you're looking for a cheaper option (Bose just ain't for everyone), these Panasonic earbuds should do the trick. They're pretty basic in-ear headphones, which include a mic and a pause/play button built into the main cord, but they'll deliver great sound comfortably at a great price. With three different pad sizes available, you should be able to find the right fit for your ears, and they should stay in as you move about wearing your Gear VR

As you'll see on the Amazon link, the ErgoFit buds are available in a variety of colors, but they've also been lumped in with a few other Panasonic in-ear options — drops360 and drops360 Luxe. If you're switching around the colors and suddenly see the price jump up, it's because Amazon is showing you one of those higher-end models instead. And you might be inclined to spend a bit more for the better drivers, which provide better bass and build quality, if that's important to you.

Otherwise, the ErgoFit earbuds come with a 90-day warranty and should be more than serviceable — especially at such a low price point.

See at Amazon

Other in-ear options

We've highlighted a high-end and low-end in-ear headphone option, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you're looking for more recommendations, our editors have compiled a list of staff picks over on iMore. Take a look!

Microfiber cloths

AmazonBasics microfiber cloths

Another thing that might distract from your VR experience with your Samsung Gear VR is dust or smudges on your device or the VR headset lenses. To prevent that problem, it's a good idea to have some microfiber cloths around to give things a good (but gentle) cleaning.

AmazonBasics offers a 24-pack of microfiber cleaning cloths for under $10 — that's less than $.50 a cloth. Better yet, they're machine washer safe, so you'll be able to keep your gear clean for months and months with this small, one-time investment. And of course you'll also have microfiber cloths on hand for cleaning all your other devices. Also available in packs of 36, 48, and 144 — which may essentially constitute a lifetime supply.

See on Amazon

microSD cards

Samsung EVO Plus 128GB

This is a must-have accessory, especially if you're using a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge — the only current Gear VR-compatible mobile devices with microSD slots. Loading up your favorite movies, tv shows, apps and other media onto the microSD card allows you to use your Gear VR to its full potential without clogging up your phone's internal storage, or continually cycling through content.

We've broken down a list of the best microSD cards to use with your Galaxy S7, but to save you a bit of time, we'll recommend the Samsung EVO Plus 128GB, which is sure to provide you with more than enough storage for hours upon hours of VR entertainment.

See at Amazon

What do you use?

If you own a Samsung Gear VR, we're curious to know what your must-have accessories are. Anything we've omitted on our list? Let us know in the comments!

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3 weeks ago

Amazon's Alexa devices now have over 1,000 third-party skills

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Amazon has announced that the hardware devices that use its Alexa voice command features, like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot speakers, can now access over 1,000 third-party skills.

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3 weeks ago

Top five mens leather bands for the Moto 360 (2015)

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Top five mens leather bands for the Moto 360 (2015)

The best leather bands you can find for your Moto 360.

Leather bands have the ability to make your Moto 360 look formal and sophisticated, making them perfect for all occasions.

We've compiled a list of some of the best leather bands you can find for your Moto 360.

Important note: These bands are for the mens version of the Moto 360 and they come in two different sizes.

  • 42mm case requires a 20mm band
  • 46mm case requires a 22mm band

All the bands we feature here are available in both sizes, so make sure you know what size you need before you purchase. Where we can we will provide links to both sizes.

Rerii leather watch band

Rerii leather watch band

The Rerii leather band has a quick-release mechanism that makes it easy to snap on and off whenever you want.

The stitching along the sides of the genuine leather band blends in with the rest of the the band giving you a classic, uniform look.

The size can also be adjusted from 13.5cm to 17.5cm, so you should be able to find the most comfortable size to fit your wrist.

See the 20mm band at Amazon See the 22mm band at Amazon

Clockwork Synergy

Clockwork Synergy

The leather bands found at Clockwork Synergy are extremely stylish and come in many different colors and styles, giving you more options than you could possibly want. Plus, you can even customize the finish on the clasp, allowing you to find the perfect combination to fit your style!

All the genuine leather watch bands are pretty thick — around 4mm —making them plenty durable to normal wear and tear.

See 20mm bands at Clockwork Synergy

See 22mm bands at Clockwork Synergy

Mode bands

Mode bands

Mode bands are Google's response to people who want a permanent solution to watch bands that are difficult to install.

The bands attach with a quick-release mechanism that couldn't be easier to use.

You just have to remove your old pins in your Moto 360 and replace them with the Mode pins. After that, you just clip on the Mode band and lock it in place.

There are a whole slew of colors and styles available and the more MODE bands you have, the more useful the Mode system is; it can turn you into a band-swapping machine!

See at Google

KasetaLeather on Etsy

KasetaLeather on Etsy

If you are truly looking for something unique that no one you know will have, take a look at this stunning leather band from KasetaLeather on Etsy.

It's all handmade; the stitching, the tanning, and the dyeing are all done with leather from the UK, from which it ships.

Make sure you order the right size, but don't worry; both 20mm and 22mm widths are available.

See at Etsy


MOTONG genuine leather watch band

MOTONG genuine leather watch band

The MOTONG genuine leather watch band is great if you want something that is simple yet striking.

The high-contrast stitching around the edges really makes this stand out, giving it a well-defined look. The clasp is thick stainless steel, so you don't have worry about water causing it to rust. Plus, it also has a push button lock, so your watch band should never accidentally fall off or come undone.

See 20mm band at Amazon

See 22mm band at Amazon

What's your favorite leather band?

What leather band do you love for you Moto 360? Let us know in the comments below!

Moto 360 (2015)

Motorola Best Buy

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4 weeks ago

Top Amazon Echo tips and tricks

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Top Amazon Echo tips and tricks

Optimize your Echo experience with our handy tips and fun tricks!

The Amazon Echo, Amazon's smart speaker, is taking the home automation game to another level, thanks to Alexa and the fact that "she's" constantly learning to serve you better.

If you have an Echo of your very own or are considering buying one (you really should!), then we've got some tips and tricks that'll help you get the most out of your experience and/or entice you into picking one up (Did I say you should? You really should!).

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