Headlines

1 year ago

Anker announces 'highest efficiency' 12000mAh backup battery

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Astro3 offers 80-percent efficiency and charging for three devices at once

Anker, maker of phone accessories and backup batteries, has just announced its most efficient mobile battery to date -- the Astro3. This 12,000mAh battery pack, which Anker calls "flask sized" (4.4 x 3.3 x 1-inches), offers charging for three devices simultaneously over USB. The pack outputs up to 4a in total across the ports, meaning you'll have more than enough juice to power a tablet and two phones if necessary. There is also a circular LED power indicator that shows how much power is left in the pack, which is a nice touch.

Anker says that the Astro3 is the highest efficiency backup battery it has made, with 80-percent efficiency on its capacity offering a quoted 6-7 charges for most modern phones before it has to be recharged itself. For the road warriors among us this would be a great solution. The Astro3 is retailing for $49.99 and can be purchased from Amazon at the source link below.

More: Anker Astro3 on Amazon

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1 year ago

Belkin announces Android compatibility for their WeMo automation products

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In the future, home automation is going to be common place. Our Android phones can already control our TV's and unlock and start our cars, and now they can turn our lights on and off. Using Belkin's WeMo line of Wifi enabled switches and receptacles and the corresponding smartphone app, you can sit in your comfortable chair and control appliances and lights around your house using your local home Wifi or cellular network. The Android app is set to release today at 1PM PT today on Google Play, and be available right here

In addition, the products are compliant with IFTTT to enable a complete web app solution limited only by your imagination. This sounds really cool. So cool in fact, that I just ordered two of the switches and we'll have a closer look at how they work (provided I don't electrocute myself installing them). Stay tuned for that, and find Belkin's press release after the break.

More: Belkin

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1 year ago

The HTC One official car dock

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Here's a quick look at the official HTC One Car Dock. It's a car dock, for the HTC One. And if you're at all familiar with HTC's car docks for its other devices, you should be right at home here. 

There's nothing grossly different about the functionality here. It's got a substantial base that either suctions itself to your windshield, or to your dash via an adhesive disc. (I usually opt for the windshield, but then again I swap devices more than most normal folks.) You twist the textured ring at the base of the dock to trigger the suction mechanism. (It's easier to do when you're actually mounting the dock, so don't worry if you can't just get it to work in your hands.) There's a ball joint to allow for a full range of movement and positioning of your phone, and there's just enough friction to keep things from moving when you don't want them to.

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1 year ago

Exogear ExoLife S4 battery case

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Doubles your Galaxy S4 battery life, protects your phone at the same time

Here's a quick look at the ExoLife S4 battery case from Exogear. As the name implies, it's a battery case for the Samsung Galaxy S4 that packs an external 2,600 mAh battery into a fairly svelte case. 

It's a simple enough design. The case comprises as thin front that snaps onto the beefier rear. The phone slides into that rear search and connects via microUSB, just as you'd expect. It's a pretty good fit, and at no point were we worried about the case coming apart. We had no problems with sharp edges or anything like that. Nice build quality. Just make sure you get it snapped in place all the way around.

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1 year ago

Sony rumored to be prepping 'lens and sensor' accessory for smartphones

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High-quality imaging as an accessory could be Sony's answer to latest 'cameraphones'

Here's a crazy (but plausible) rumor for a Friday afternoon. While other manufacturers are releasing camera-centric smartphones — such as the Galaxy S4 Zoom and Lumia 1020 — Sony might decide to take a different route and offer high-end imaging as a smartphone accessory.

The latest rumors from Belgian camera site SonyAlphaRumors suggest that the manufacturer is preparing a lens with built-in imaging sensor and battery, that will mount to a smartphone and communicate wirelessly, after pairing over NFC. The device would also be usable on its own, though renders of the purported gadget seem to lack a screen of any kind. As such, the main use case involves attaching it to the back of a smartphone and viewing a live, wirelessly-beamed feed.

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1 year ago

Incipio announces Galaxy S4 3100mAh battery case

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An additional 10.5 hours of talk time and some rugged protection all in one

For those who need a little extra juice and don't want to carry around separate batteries to swap in-and-out, Incipio has just released a quite large 3100mAh battery case for the Galaxy S4. The aptly-named "offGrid" battery case is a two-part ordeal that consists of a back plate and a rubber bumper that come together around the phone, which provide both protection and a quoted 10.5 hours extra talk time when fully charged. The case slits into the Galaxy S4's USB port on the bottom, and then has its own USB port for charging, along with an LED battery status indicator on the front.

Just like the other battery cases we've seen from other case manufacturers, you're certainly going to feel the extra bulk of this case. But for those who need the extra battery life and protection, it's a worthy tradeoff. The Incipio offGrid battery case has just gone up for pre-order with an estimated ship date of 3 weeks, and rings up at $89.99. You can see a few more pictures of the case after the break, or head to Incipio's site to pre-order now from the source link below.

Source: Incipio

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1 year ago

Review: Motorizer over-the-ear headphones from Motorheadphones

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'We told them what to do very specifically. And we threatened them with terrible violence if they didn't get it right, so I'm sure they got it right.'  Lemmy Kilmister

Looking for a set of high-quality headphones that were designed for screaming rock music instead of music with over-processed and overdriven bass tracks? Enter the Motörizer Over-the-Ear Headphones from Motörheadphönes. Designed by rock 'n' roll legend Lemmy himself, these can will make your ears bleed with delight.

 

They're your typical set of studio-style headphones on the outside (with a little bit of Motörhead branding, of course), but they're built from quality materials. They sport velvet ear cups instead of that horrible fake leather that gets your ears all sweaty, flat woven-cover cords, and a solid closed-back design. They're auto-adjustable, with a thick two-piece rubber headband to fit anyone's noggin. They're fairly heavy at 8.4 ounces, but they're comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Most of us use earbuds with our phones, but if you're like me and appreciate a good set of DJ-style over-the-ear headphones, you'll love the way these fit. If you like your music hard and heavy, you'll love the way they sound.

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1 year ago

Contest winners: Element Case Galaxy S4 cases!

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know we always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. Winners of our contest sponsored by Element Case are 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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1 year ago

SanDisk releases world's fastest 64GB microSDXC card

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SanDisk's new high-speed, high-capacity microSD cards were designed with the smart phone user in mind

SanDisk has a new product in their popular line of microSD cards, the SanDisk Extreme microSDHC and microSDXC UHS-I cards. Designed for users who need fast storage for their smart phone, tablet or camera, the new microSD cards offer read and write speeds that are perfect for taking multi-shot high resolution pictures, as well as full HD high framerate video.

In SanDisk's testing, the 64GB model reached read speeds of 80MB/second, and write speeds of 50MB/second. Speeds like this allow you to do things like take more shots in a row using your camera's burst mode, or take beautiful high-quality HD video. Of course, file transfer speeds are also greatly increased, letting you copy those images and videos, or music or ROMs from your computer even faster. 

Ultra-fast, high capacity ​microSD cards are a perfect match for Android phones that support removable storage. Stuart Robinson, director of handset component technologies service at Strategy Analytics puts it succinctly:

Most high-end smartphones are now driven by high-speed quad-core processors, which deliver Full HD content and applications to large, high-resolution external displays. Such applications require high memory bandwidth which is ideal for the SanDisk Extreme microSDXC card, the world's fastest microSDXC memory solution.

We know you all like big, fast SD cards, and this one looks like a winner. To be sure, we had SanDisk send us the 64GB SDXC model and I'm going to see if it lives up to the hype. We'll run it through the benchmarks, but also try it in real-world situations like in an Android phone, a computer, and a DSLR. Look for the results soon! In the meantime, the full press release is after the break. Read through it, and discuss.

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1 year ago

Sony Smartwatch 2 not coming to the UK July 15

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Clove has updated information suggesting watch won't be available until September

Announced on June 25 along with the Xperia Z Ultra, the new Sony Smartwatch 2 features NFC pairing support, as well as the ability to remote-control certain apps on supporting Android smartphones. UK retailer Clove had originally stated they would be selling the Smartwatch 2 from July 15, and has been accepting pre-orders based on this information. Now though, an updated release schedule suggests that it will not be available until September 9. 

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1 year ago

Garmin developing a HUD accessory for your smartphone

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Device offers navigation directions, speed data, traffic information and more -- all displayed in your field of vision

Garmin has sent out a press release about an upcoming product that has a cool factor off the charts. This small HUD (Heads-Up Display) unit connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth, and beams pertinent navigation information on to a small screen attached to your car windshield or to an included reflector screen. 

Using the Navigon app for Android (starting at $29.99, price based on included maps), the Garmin HUD can tell you directions, your speed, ETA, traffic and safety tips, and even offer lane assist to help keep traffic flowing at busy highway interchanges. Along with easy to see turn indicators, the Garmin HUD will help keep your eyes on the road instead of on your phone's display. To round out the features, the HUD even offers USB power pass-through to keep your phone charging while using the system for navigation.

Not yet officially available, the device has not yet received FCC certification. Garmin must be pretty confident that the unit will be approved, as they are sending out press releases. The unit will retail for $129.99 and be available online this summer from Garmin. We're curious to give this one a closer look. See the full press release after the break, and follow the link below for more information.

More: Garmin

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1 year ago

Motorola S11-Flex HD Bluetooth Stereo Headset review

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There are a lot of Bluetooth headsets available, in countless configurations. You've got plenty of selection, even if you're more interested in listening to music that you would be taking calls. The holy grail is finding one that's great at both. Enter the Motorola Flex-11 HD Bluetooth Stereo Headset, which fits the bill nicely.

They're stylish, they fit well, and most importantly they deliver high quality sound both for calls and the music you listen to on your Android phone or tablet. I've been testing my pair for a while, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased.

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1 year 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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1 year 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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1 year 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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