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1 year ago

Mophie Juice Pack for the Galaxy S3

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The Mophie Juice Pack for the Galaxy S3 doubles your phone's battery life - but at quite the cost in this case

 

I have no qualms about admitting my lust for the iPhone's Mophie Juice Pack battery case. My wife's used one with her iPhone, and it's a great combination of extra juice and protection in a form factor that doesn't kill the overall feel of the phone. We've looked at a couple of Galaxy S3 battery cases here before -- the Powerskin Battery Case and the Droidax Power Pack. Neither of them were bad cases, but neither of them had the name recognition and legacy of Mophie. 

So now that we've got a Mophie for the GS3 in our hot little hands, how's it shaking out? Read on for the full skinny.

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1 year ago

Nillkin leather flip cover for Nexus 7

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The Nexus 7 is substantially more portable than larger tablets, and that means you may be more inclined to use a case. I've found the Nillkin leather flip cover for mine, and it's quite an impressive little case for the money. When I got my Nexus 7 I planned on carrying it with me more often, tossing it in the bag whenever I left the house. It's light and portable with great one-handed use, but I wanted to protect the screen when I wasn't using it.

The case is a thin, tough, two-tone unit with black rubber edges accenting a colored leather primary case (red, grey or black colors are available). The leather part has a texture to it that I could only describe as a large hard cover book binding, which is very reassuring when holding the Nexus 7 one handed and provides an ample amount of grip. The case snaps on around the tablet like a normal case would, with no extra flaps, straps or fasteners. The flip cover pulls double duty as a screen protector and a tri-fold stand, and is attached with heavy stitching to the back of the case. The cover has a magnet to wake and sleep the device when opened and closed, which is a nice touch.

The inside of the flip portion is a light brown microfiber material, which should protect the screen nicely and help soak up some smudges when it's resting on the screen. When you're ready to use the tablet, it flips back out of the way but has no magnet or fastener to keep it pinned back. Luckily the cover is very thin and folds over nicely to be held in a very natural position, so it doesn't add a whole lot of bulk when it's on the back. If you would prefer to use the cover as a stand, it props up the tablet low for activities like typing, or stands it up near a 45-degree angle for things like watching video.

At somewhere between $20 and $25 (depending on the day) through many ebay sellers, the Nillkin leather flip cover is worth a look to protect and add a good bit of functionality to your Nexus 7. It is well-made and keeps a clean and functional design throughout, something not found in accessories as often as we'd hope. Check out our hands-on video and several pictures after the break.

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1 year ago

Poetic Borderline bumper case for the Nexus 4

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Let's face it, the back of the Nexus 4 is glass and it will get scratched. But it's so darn cool looking you don't want to cover it up! This is why Google announced that it would be selling a bumper case alongside the Nexus 4, but it's pretty hard to come by. Luckily case maker Poetic has stepped in here, and makes a pretty nice bumper case for the Nexus 4 at an affordable price.

The basic idea of a bumper case is to cover up the sides of the device to provide some grip and keep either the front or back panels of the phone lifted off of any surface you put the phone on. This way the edges of the case take most of the bumps and bruises instead of the glass, but you still get to keep the nice aesthetics of that glittery back plate. In this respect the Borderline case does its job. The hard plastic colored sides are accented with grippy grey rubber material, which pulls double duty adding grip for when you're using the case and grip on tables when you set it down. Speaking of colors, as of now the Borderline is available in blue, green, purple, red, yellow and black.

The case definitely adds a bit of bulk to the Nexus 4, which may push it over the edge of being too big for some people's hands. I have pretty large hands and don't really notice the extra width and thickness, but this definitely isn't a paper-thin case. Because the edges are raised up higher than the whole of the back plate, the bumper actually does make the phone a little awkward to hold. With most devices you're used to having a convex back that you can wrap your fingers around, but using a bumper on the Nexus 4 means the back is technically concave and it definitely takes some getting used to.

The Poetic Borderline bumper case is probably your best bet right now if you're looking for a good middle ground between protecting your device and showing off the striking design. And at a hair under $10 on Amazon, it's kind of a no-brainer even if you'll only occasionally use it. Stick around after the break for a quick hands-on video and photos of the case.

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1 year ago

Pebble smart watch app for Android now available

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For those of you who have one on the way, Kickstarter-funded smart watch maker Pebble has released its Android app onto Google Play today. The app allows the Pebble smart watch to connect to your Android phone over Bluetooth, showing information like weather, email alerts, incoming calls and messages. In addition, it acts as a "dashboard" for the watch, notifying you of software updates, allowing you to install new watchfaces and assisting with troubleshooting.

The watch itself is now shipping to Kickstarter backers on a first come, first served basis. If you've got one coming, be sure to shout out in the comments.

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1 year ago

Official Nexus 4 wireless charging orb appears at Norwegian retailer, Feb. release slated

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With the announcement of any official Nexus accessory comes the certainty of months of speculation as to if, when and where it'll eventually be released. So was the case with the Nexus 4's official Qi-based wireless charging station, first shown on launch day back in November, and increasingly elusive since that time.

Today the official orb-shaped charger has shown up for pre-order on Norwegian retailer Dustin Home, priced at 739 kr (around $114 U.S.) That might sound like a lot of cash for a charging orb, but we suspect that won't be indicative of U.S. pricing when it officially arrives in the States. (It's also worth remembering this price will include Norwegian VAT at 25%.)

Dustin Home has an estimated shipping date of Feb. 12, so you'll be waiting a while if you decide to get your order in early. There are cheaper alternatives available, as the Nexus 4 will work quite happily with any Qi-compatible charging mat. But if you're holding out for something a little more stylish, the mid-February shipping date suggests that wider orb availability may be upon us sooner rather than later.

If you're interested in using wireless charging on your Nexus 4, have you already picked up a mat, or are you holding out for the official charging orb? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Dustin Home; via: Reddit

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1 year ago

Nexus 7 docking station seemingly sold out at ASUS UK

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Last night we reported that the official ASUS-made Nexus 7 docking station had started appearing at the manufacturer's own UK-based online store -- well, for some users, at least. This morning there's good news and bad news.

Firstly, it seems the product page is now working for more people -- we're having no problem accessing it here in the UK. However, the accessory now shows as "sold out," as opposed to shipping with a two-week lead time, as was the case yesterday evening. It appears a few eager Nexus 7 owners may have snapped up ASUS' initial batch of tablet docks in just a few short hours.

So, sad pandas for anyone in the UK hoping to pick up this coveted accessory direct from the manufacturer. However at least there's hope that other retailers may step in with their own supplies in the days ahead, now that these things are out in the wild. We'll keep you posted.

Source: ASUS UK Store

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1 year ago

ASUS UK puts Nexus 7 dock up for order at £24.99 ... sort of

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The official ASUS Shop website in the U.K. has just put its dock for the Nexus 7 available for purchase for £24.99. Well, sort of. This fits in nicely with previous rumors and pre-order pages we've seen that pegged the release for mid-January, but there's a catch here. Although the product shows up when searching for it directly or browsing through its listing for all Nexus 7 accessories, any link that you use to go to it or view the product description either results in an error or redirect to the home page.

(Hi, everybody! Phil here. The direct link to the dock works fine for me. That's why there's a bit of confusion. But since it works for me, I assume the problem is with the rest of you. Now, back to our story.)

If you're bold and want to go straight from the search listing to putting in your cart for purchase, the Nexus 7 dock will set you back that £24.99 (plus £6.00 shipping.) When moving to check out with the dock though, it lists a delivery delay of two weeks as well. We're not entirely sure what's going on here, but if we had to make a suggestion we'd say wait this one out a day or two and see if things get ironed out over at ASUS Shop.

Source: ASUS Shop UK; Thanks, @SteveEdson!

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1 year ago

Official Lloyd Gear Screen Protectors

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Available for a number of Android devices, ShopAndroid.com is the only place to get the official Lloyd Gear Screen Protector. Available in packs of three (and currently at reduced prices), the official Lloyd Gear Screen Protector helps protect your Android device from dirt, scratches and glare. It's easy to remove and won't leave a residue behind. (The same can't always be said about Lloyd himself.)

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1 year ago

Zmart Remote lets you control pretty much anything with your phone

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Viatek is launching a new hardware and software combination that can act as a universal remote for a wide variety of devices, using your phone as the controller. The basic premise of Zmart Remote is that you use a combination of an Android (or iOS) app and a hardware dongle that plugs into your phone's headphone jack to program and control most anything around your house. In the same way most high-end universal remotes work, Zmart Remote has a configuration utility that lets you control TVs, Blu-ray players, DVRs and many more by entering the proper codes and settings for each. For other devices that aren't usually controlled remotely -- like light switches, fans and coffee makers -- Viatek makes a Zmart Switch to interface with them directly.

Viatek says that its software can currently interface with some 200,000 products from 95-percent of consumer electronic brands in the category. The app is free, but doesn't do much unless you purchase the accessory dongle, which is $19.99. At the fraction of the price of a good universal remote, it could be worth a look.

More: Zmart Remote

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1 year ago

Fitbit recruiting private beta testers for Android sync, Galaxy S3 and Note 2 owners only need apply

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With the launch of their latest personal fitness product a few days ago, Fitbit also brought news that syncing with Android devices was finally on the horizon. As such, they're now recruiting for willing volunteers for a private beta test. Initially, only Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners need apply, and only users of the Fitbit One and the Fitbit Zip.

They're also looking for people who will put the application seriously through its paces. Participants need to be able to donate 1-3 hours of time per week to update the developers with issues. Additionally, the key word is private, and all participants will be asked to sign an NDA that they won't share any information outside of the programme. If this sounds like your thing, hit the source link below and send in your application. The beta test will run between Jan. 13 and Jan. 25. 

Source: Fitbit

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