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11 months ago

Pelican Voyager Case for Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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When regular cases just don't cut it, the Pelican Voyager stays true to protecting the Galaxy Note 5.

Similar in build quality to that of OtterBox and Lifeproof, the Voyager Case focuses on the needs of the rugged Note 5 user. That means serious impact protection that's going to hold up when your device hits the turf. It includes a 2-piece snap on cover, separate screen protector, and a belt holster for quick draw access at your side.

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11 months ago

This smart LED bulb packs a 3W speaker for easy listening with custom lighting

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The PLAYBULB Color can be controlled straight from your smartphone for unique lighting that goes great with your favorite playlists.

Taking smart lighting to the next level is the PLAYBULB Color, similar to its sibling the PLAYBULB Rainbow, only with a 3W speaker added around the bulb that provides easy listening anywhere you decide to twist it in. Compatible with standard E26 and E27 screw base light sockets, this light connects to your Android or iOS device over Bluetooth, but requires the free PLAYBULB X app to control colors, effects, and set up special groups for managing multiple bulbs simultaneously.

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11 months ago

Gadgets of the week: Philips hue dimmer, SmartThings Hub V2 and more!

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You guys like technology, right?

We're putting together another week's worth of the best in connected accessories, including wearables, smart home gadgets, Bluetooth speakers, and whatever else talks to your Android phone or tablet. Philips has a simple but handy dimmer switch for their connected lightbulbs, and SmartThings is updating their connected home hub with additional offline measures. Find more of the week's coolest new Android-friendly doohickeys inside!

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11 months ago

Top 5 heavy duty cases for Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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Putting your size concerns aside, a rugged case for your Galaxy Note 5 can extend the lifespan of your device quite a bit. Extra layers, built-in screen protectors and textured grip all play a role in keeping your Note 5 in your hand and off the concrete. Big names like OtterBox, Trident, and Urban Armor Gear are all making their return with the newly announced Galaxy Note 5 — and we're highlighting our top 5 that are up for grabs right now.

Read now: Top 5 heavy duty cases for Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Check out the top 10 best cases for Galaxy Note 5

OtterBox Defender Series Case

The OtterBox Defender Case for Galaxy Note 5 doesn't skimp on its multi-layer design, providing maximum protection against both scratches and impacts from front to back. This hybrid cover features a durable polycarbonate inner shell with foam padding, finished with a synthetic rubber slipcover. The built-in screen protector helps to keep the display clean, and the Defender's port plugs block liquids, dirt, and other debris from getting into the Note 5's openings. The OtterBox Defender Case is $69.90, but if you want the classic holster to match it, it's an extra $14.95.

Buy from OtterBox

Urban Armor Gear Case

Sporting a rugged design that's excellent for enhancing grip, the Urban Armor Gear Case for Galaxy Note 5 is actually quite slim for the level of protection it provides. All four corners feature an extra thick TPU for handling impacts, with easy-grip edges that feel great in your hand. Since both its armored shell and TPU core have been fused together, installation is quick and simple, keeping things exceptionally lightweight. This case comes in solid colors including black, white, and orange. For a transparent look, take your pick from clear, gray, or red for $39.95.

Buy from Amazon

i-Blason Prime Dual Layer Case & Holster

For superior protection without with ridiculous price tag, the i-Blason Prime Dual Layer Case and Holster for Galaxy Note 5 is an option that looks as tough as it protects. This hybrid cover rocks a dual-layer design that packs a fold-out kickstand on its textured polycarbonate shell — great for convenient viewing on the go. Bundled with the rugged case is a matching swivel clip holster that works great on most belts or even your pocket. Snag this heavy duty combo in black, blue, or red for only $11.95.

Buy from Amazon

Trident Aegis Pro Case

Built for the rugged user in mind, the Trident Aegis Pro Case for Galaxy Note 5 features a hardened, bio-enhanced polycarbonate shell and shock absorbing TPE interior. Meeting military standards, this durable case has been drop tested 26 times at 4ft. There are port plugs to keep out dirt and debris, as well as a self-applicable screen protector to shield your Note 5's display from scuffs and scratches. Trident also uses degradable, compostable, and recyclable materials for this cover — making it an eco-friendly solution to protecting your Galaxy Note 5. The Aegis Pro Case is available in black, blue, or pink for $34.99.

Buy from Trident

Supcase Unicorn Beetle PRO Series

Last up is Supcase's Unicorn Beetle PRO Series Combo for Galaxy Note 5, providing a more subtle rugged appearance that leaves easy access to ports, buttons, and the S-Pen. Next to its flexible TPU core and polycarbonate exterior is a built-in screen protector to keep scratches at bay without compromising touchscreen sensitivity. A strong, swivel clip holster is bundled with the cover for good measure, too. The Supcase Combo starts at $15.99 and is available in black, blue, green, pink, and white.

Buy from Amazon

What's your favorite Galaxy Note 5 rugged case?

That's our top 5 heavy duty cases for the Galaxy Note 5 available right now. In the coming weeks we're keeping our eyes open for other popular brands like LifeProof and Pelican — both great manufacturers for rugged covers. Have a different case in mind you plan on picking up for your new Note? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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11 months ago

HTC RE wins design award at the 35th International Design Excellence awards ceremony

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HTC's handheld camera, the RE Camera, has won a design award at the 35th International Design Excellence awards ceremony. The camera beat out more than 1,700 other entrants to come out on top, and will be featured in the fall edition of Innovation, the annual yearbook of International Design Excellence Award winners.

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11 months ago

Wren V5US Wireless Home Speaker System Review

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The Wren V5US isn't your average portable wireless speaker. It's designed for multi-room audio with a handful of options for easy connectivity.

Sure, this speaker is portable, but it still takes two hands to safely tote it from place to place. It measures 16.75 x 4.25 x 6-inches, making it more ideal for entertainment centers, or elevated shelves for an optimal audio experience. It's mostly made of a ½-inch thick medium density fibreboard (MDF) that's been laminated and reinforced to eliminate resonance and discoloration.

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11 months ago

LG Rolly is a solid, rollable full-size keyboard for your smartphone and tablet

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LG has announced the Rolly, a full-size rollable wireless keyboard designed to work with smartphones and tablets. The keyboard folds up along the four rows into a stick that's easy to carry around. Constructed out of "impact-resistant" polycarbonate and ABS plastic, LG's accessory gives you more tactile feedback when compared to silicone-based keyboards.

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11 months ago

Samsung's upcoming wireless speakers can be controlled by the Gear S2 smartwatch

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Samsung will launch three new models in its lineup of Wireless Audio 360 speakers. The R5, R3 and R1 models, which will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2015, can be controlled by a smartphone app or via the upcoming Gear S2 smartwatch.

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11 months ago

TYLT's Y-Charge QUIK car charger adds Quick Charge to both ports

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Finally. A car charger that provides Quick Charge 2.0 on not just one, but both USB outputs.

We've had our hands on a bunch of car chargers in the past, many of them supporting Quick Charge 2.0. The real drawback being that you're limited to a single port that provides the technology. TYLT's new Y-Charge QUIK Car Charger is making the change, cramming 4.8A (48W) inside its goofy build for a quick boost in battery life while you hit the road.

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11 months ago

Hands-on the Incipio OCTANE Case for HTC One M9

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Incipio's OCTANE Case shows off the HTC One M9's original design while managing impacts like a champ.

This bumper case provides more than just simple protection around the edges; its co-molded construction adds a transparent polycarbonate shell to match its easy-grip border. Although the back shell is see-through, it's actually a bit cloudy compared to something similar like the HTC Clear Hard Shell Case. That said, the OCTANE Case adds more grip from edge to edge, reducing those accidental drops.

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11 months ago

Gadgets of the week: OnHub router, iBackPack and more!

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So many toys, so little time.

Every week, we round up the hottest in wearables, Bluetooth audio, and other Android-friendly accessories. There are a few goodies in particular on the plate this go-around: the OnHub router promises to whisk your Wi-Fi woes away, while the iBackPack crams more technology into a bag than should be reasonably allowed. There are plenty more Android gadgets than that to check out. Dive in!

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11 months ago

TYLT ENERGI Battery Case for Galaxy S6: Is battery life worth the bulk?

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TYLT's ENERGI Battery Case keeps the Galaxy S6 going for the long haul, but man is it mammoth.

Battery cases aren't for everyone. While they can more than double the amount of use you get from your Galaxy S6, these cases are built to pack power that generally doesn't come in a small package — and the TYLT ENERGI Battery Case is a prime example. Those seeking the extra protection and battery life, however, may find just what they're looking for with this battery case.

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11 months ago

Quick look: Wasserstein solid wood wireless charging pad

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Wasserstein's wireless charging pad keeps your Qi-compatible devices powered while looking good anywhere it ends up.

Measuring nearly 3-inches in diameter and a half-inch in thickness, this wood wireless charger makes sure to fit in most cluttered work areas, providing a cable-free way to charge your device. The top of the pad features a white rubber ring that helps to keep even glass-backed devices from sliding of its surface. On the bottom are 3 rubber feet that do an excellent job at keeping the pad in place. There's nothing too special about the wood used here — at least nothing the company is bragging about — but it looks good. You can see the seam just slightly between the two pieces where they put the guts in.

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11 months ago

These are the official Galaxy Note 5 accessories from Samsung

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Take a gander at Samsung's latest and greatest accessories for the Galaxy Note 5 that are soon to hit stores.

Whether you're holding out for that new fast charge wireless charger or a new OEM case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, you can't go wrong with accessorizing your new device. With the Note 5's launch just around the corner, now's the time to gear-up and get ready. Let's take a closer look at the accessories for the Galaxy Note 5 straight from Samsung.

Read on: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 accessories

Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad

As long as wireless charging has been around, we've mostly accepted its convenience over the subpar charging speeds. Finally we're starting to see some improvement, and this new fast charge wireless charging pad from Samsung is leading the way. While this model will most definitely work with all other Qi-compatible devices, its fast charge feature is strictly for the new Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+.

Available in white and black sapphire, it comes bundled with a microUSB cable and charging block — strongly suggested for optimal performance. The multi-colored LED halo indicates your charging status, similar to the previous version.

Buy from Samsung ($69.99)

Samsung S-View Clear Flip Cover

It's no surprise we're seeing a new S-View Clear Cover for the Galaxy Note 5 — its quick access to key features without ever opening the case makes it a great option for flip-case enthusiasts. The new cradle design provides simple installation along with extra protection around each corner of the Note 5.

As soon as the front flap is closed, the built-in Samsung ID chip provides instant access to your most important information through the case. Accept or reject calls, manage alarms, check the weather — it's all done easily while your Galaxy Note 5 stays completely protected. Available colors include black sapphire, clear gold, and clear silver.

Buy from Samsung ($59.99)

Samsung Level U Wireless Headphones

Samsung's Level U wireless headphones are an over-the-neck design that manages to stay fairly lightweight when worn. When used with Samsung's Level App, you can adjust different audio levels to suit your needs. Off a complete charge you can expect around 10 hours of music playback or 21 days of standby time.

The 12mm speaker units provide excellent sound quality, while dual-mic noise reduction and echo cancellation block outside banter during those important calls. When the earbuds aren't in use, they are magnetically attached together for a clean look.

Read our Level U Headphones review

Buy from Samsung ($69.99)

Samsung Clear Protective Cover

Those after simple protection for their Galaxy Note 5 that allows the original look to shine through, this clear OEM hard case is one to consider. Its simple snap-on design is great, providing complete access to everything including the camera, stylus, and charging/auxiliary ports. Each edge of the case is slightly thicker to add extra protection around the major impact points. This clear cover is available in gold, silver and black sapphire.

Buy from Samsung ($34.99)

Samsung Fast Charge Battery Pack

Packing a 5,200mAh capacity, this OEM power bank is designed to offer compatible devices an efficient way to juice-up on the go. Devices such as the Galaxy S6, S6 edge, Galaxy Note 5, and Galaxy S6 edge+ can all utilize this backup battery's snappy speeds, while others will charge at a normal 2A rate.

Unfortunately, Samsung's unusually high $70 price tag for this power bank is a bit absurd. The Aukey 10,000mAh Power Bank with Quick Charge easily doubles the capacity at half the cost, adding an extra USB port for simultaneous charging. Maybe with a larger battery and more USB outputs with fast charging capability this power bank would be worth the investment.

Buy from Samsung ($69.99)

Samsung S-View Flip Cover

Proving a clear window to manage the basics, the Galaxy Note 5 S-View Flip Cover sports a pebble grain texture with access to all the device's features. Similar to its clear sibling, this S-View Case allows quick access to key features without ever opening the case. Take pictures, record video, accept or reject calls — all through its front window. There's plenty of protection against minor drops from front to back, adding a thick plastic around the corners. You can grab this cover in black sapphire, white, gold, and silver.

Buy from Samsung ($49.99)

Samsung Glitter Cover

Samsung's Glitter Cover for the Galaxy Note 5 adds shimmer and shine to really make your new device stand out. The edges sport the solid color of your choice with access to all ports and buttons, leaving the back as the real star of this case. It's smooth to the touch, slim in design, and is available in gold, silver, teal, and red.

Samsung Keyboard Cover

This Galaxy Note 5 case has unique written all over it. The slim hard cover snaps around the device, providing just enough protection against minor drops, while the keyboard cover snaps on top. The QWERTY keyboard is designed for those that prefer the textured press, adding a dedicated UI when snapped into place. When you're finished using the keyboard, pop it off and snap it to the back of the case. Although the response of this particular cover hasn't been too positive thus far, there may be room for improvement.

Samsung Level On Wireless Pro Headphones

As Samsung's Level lineup continues to grow, so do the design and features of each product. These new wireless on-ear headphones feature Ultra High Quality Audio (UHQA), boasting a sound quality that's better than that of a CD. "Talk-in Mode" allows you to enjoy your tunes as well as ambient sound simultaneously. Packing Bluetooth 4.1, aptX technology, and NFC pairing, these new headphones provide up to 10 hours of consistent music playback while noise cancelling is active, and 20 hours turned off. Samsung's original Level On Wireless Headphones were some of the best we've ever used, so these certainly seem promising if the price is right.

Samsung Flip Wallet

Wrapped in Samsung's signature polyurethane leather, this wallet case for the Galaxy Note 5 sports a single storage slot inside for a card, cash, or ID. With complete coverage on the front and back, the Note 5 stays secured inside with your essentials. When opened, the auto-wake feature activates your display for quick and easy access. This flip case is available in white, gold, silver, and black sapphire.

Buy from Samsung ($34.99)

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11 months ago

Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick can now access HBO Now

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In July, the HBO Internet cable TV service officially launched for Android along with Amazon's Fire tablets. Now the same service is available on Amazon's Fire TV set-top box and the Fire TV stick HDMI dongle.

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