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1 year ago

New NFC capable Soundbars reportedly coming later this year from Sony

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New NFC capable Soundbars will allow easy pairing and streaming with a range of mobile devices

According to a report from the folks over at Pocket-Lint, Sony has confirmed that they will be releasing a new range of premium Soundbars later this year. Of interest is the news that they will be NFC capable too, which means with a simple tap you should be able to share your music from your mobile device, to the Soundbar. 

There's very little else to go on at the moment. As you may expect with un-announced products, Sony is being somewhat scarce on details beyond this initial teaser. Considering we'll be on the ground in Berlin this September at the annual IFA show, it's quite possible we'll get our first look then. 

Source: Pocket-Lint

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1 year ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 'S View' case review

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The humble flip cover becomes a smart accessory

Flip covers for smartphones are nothing new -- ever since smartphones have had screens, users have sought a convenient way to keep it protected and scratch-free. But the latest flip cover for the Samsung Galaxy S4 takes things a step further, building in new functionality based around a touch-capable window and a magnetic sensor. While we've been reviewing the Galaxy S4, we've also had the chance to take the official 'S View' case for a spin, and we've been pretty impressed with what Samsung's brought to the table.

We've got more photos, words and video after the break.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

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1 year ago

The ASUS CUBE with Google TV review

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A bold design and great software additions make the ASUS CUBE unique, but is that enough to push Google TV to mainstream living rooms?

The ASUS CUBE with Google TV is the latest premium Google TV box to come out, and it’s also one of the most anticipated. It has a unique look and design, a nifty rotating-cube user interface, and plenty of features both in the hardware and software. We’ve been waiting for it since it was first unveiled in January at CES, and now it’s here.

I’m convinced that the Google TV platform is “almost there”, and one key component to get it from a cool toy for enthusiasts to something you would find in a mainstream consumer’s living room is great hardware. The $140 price tag will help -- you can grab one from various e-tailers including Newegg --  provided the unit provides a good experience with the current Google TV software.

The ASUS CUBE is certainly unique, but is it great? Hit the break and we’ll have a look.

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1 year ago

Moga Pro controller review - a must-have for gamers

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Ever wanted to use an Xbox controller for your Android games?

The Moga Pro hits stores today for $49.99, and in addition to playing around a bit with it at PAX East, we got some time to try out with the Bluetooth controller before it arrived at retail. There are a few things you get in the box besides the controller itself: a tiny instruction manual, a micro USB cable, and a foldable tablet stand. I'm a huge fan of this stand since it's highly portable and can support fairly large tablets at a reasonable viewing angle. 

 

Those who are familiar with the Moga Pocket controller will already know that these guys make controller accessories for mobile games, and offer developers hooks so they can optimize for the hardware. Like the first model, the Pro also includes the retractable brace to hold your Android device in landscape while you play. The Moga Pro expands on the original by more than just adding two shoulder buttons, clickable joysticks, a backlight toggle, and filling out to be more comfortable in the hand. Arguably the biggest new feature in the Moga Pro is the ability to support HID Bluetooth profiles thanks to a little switch in the middle of the controller.

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1 year ago

iStabilizer Mount XL - for the less svelte smartphone

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The best tools often are the simplest. And that adage rings true for the iStabilizer Mount XL. There's not a whole lot to say about it -- the Mount XL mounts your larger smartphone to anything that connects to a standard 1/4-20" universal thread. Monopods. Tripods. Those little handheld things the kids use to record themselves on skateboards. (That's still a thing, right?)

The iStabilizer Mount XL works by clamping onto your phone. Pull up on the little puller-upper handle thingy there at the top -- it's rubber and it's removable, so be careful not to lose it -- and position the phone inside. Slowly lower the puller-upper handle thingy, make sure the phone's pressed against the back supposed, and you're done. 

You do have to be a little gentle here -- it's not like you're strapping in your phone with a five-point harness -- but you also don't have to baby it too much. The spring-action has enough weight to it that the phone should stay in place, and you get a good feel for how much you'll be able to throw it around.

All in all, a fun little $20 purchase. The iStabilizer Mount XL handles a phone with as much girth as the Galaxy Note 2, and there's a smaller version (sans XL status) for more normal-sized phones.

We've got a few more pics after the break.

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1 year ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 accessories: Flip Covers, protective case and spare battery 'system' announced

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Samsung knows you like Galaxy S4 accessories, announces a few more

If there is one thing smart phone enthusiasts like more than a new phone, it's accessories to go along with it. Samsung knows this, too, and has announced a few of the official Galaxy S4 accessories this morning. While it's not the complete list of things we saw leaked last month, a couple of the favorites should be available soon -- hopefully along side the device itself.

First up is the Flip Cover we all know and love, but redesigned to fit the S4 perfectly. Available in seven colors (Black Mist, White Frost, Light Blue, Pink, Green, Orange and Yellow), the Flip Cover will retail for $39.99. A new take on the Flip Cover is the new S View design (pictured above) which has a clear cover so users can see information like SMS messages or the current time. It's available in Black Mist or White Frost for $59.99, and it looks like a new software mode will work in conjunction with the cover to put the information you need front and center of the window itself. Samsung will also offer what they're calling the Protective Cover+. It looks like a high quality protective case, and comes in White, Navy, Green, Blue and Pink. It will retail for $29.99.

Beside the cases and covers, Samsung announced a Spare Battery Charging System. Checking in at $49.99, it consists of charging stand, a wall charger, and a spare 2,600 mAh battery. This sounds like a very good price for the dock and the extra battery, and is sure to be a popular seller.

Of course, plenty of the existing Galaxy S accessories will work just fine with the S4. Besides the obvious like headphones and wireless media devices, the Smart Dock and Universal Multimedia Desktop Dock will work for various Galaxy S devices, including the S4. See the full fact sheet after the break.

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1 year ago

Nexus 10 Book Cover review

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$30 is cheap insurance against a scratched screen, so let's have a look at the official Nexus 10 Book Cover

We saw Google finally release the official Nexus 10 Book Cover last week, and we had to get ourselves one to see if it was worth the wait. The tablet itself has been around for quite a while, and Google took their sweet time before releasing any official accessories. The FedEx man just dropped our off, so let's have a look at it.

The Book Cover is very much like the Samsung Flip Covers for the Note series and Galaxy S3. It attaches to the back of the tablet via the removable panel insert, and provides protection over the screen. It's just like a book, hence the name Book Cover. While attaching and removing the cover is a bit jarring -- you get the impressions everything is about to fly into a million pieces -- once it's in place it's solid, and really does protect the screen while leaving things like the cameras (both front and rear) and speakers unobstructed. The cover comes in both dark gray and scarlet. We're reviewing the dark gray one.

It's made of a stiff material, covered on the outside with hard, textured vinyl and inside, against the screen, is a soft felt. It seems built pretty well, and should provide protection for the screen on your Nexus 10 for the life of the product. $30 is cheap compared to the cost of a replacement screen, and the Nexus 10 Book Cover will help keep yours looking good and scratch-free.

There's a short video and a gallery of some images after the break.

Nexus 10 Book Cover on Google Play

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1 year ago

Lloyd FX cases now available at ShopAndroid.com!

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You wanted 'em, and now we've finally got 'em. The fine folks at ShopAndroid.com have given word that the Lloyd FX cases you see here are now available for three of the most popular smartphones in the Android stable.

They're made from shock-absorbent and scratch-resistant TPU material (that's short for thermoplastic polyurethane -- but you knew that, right?), that's durable enough to protect the body of your phone during daily use and from accidental dings and falls. Each case has precise cutouts for the ports, microphones and buttons. Wrapping slightly around the front of the phone, it also helps keep the display off a table or desk when left face-down.

The Lloyd FX cases are available for a limited time for just $14.95. Hit the links below to check 'em out.

Want to see a Lloyd FX case for your favorite phone? Let us know in the comments and we'll make sure the ShopAndroid.com folks see it!

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1 year ago

Nexus 10 flip cover now available in Google Play

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If you go back to our Nexus 10 review, you'll see where there's a removable strip along the rear that would make a perfect place to attach a cover of some sort. Today, Google finally put such a cover up for sale in Google Play. Available in scarlet or dark gray, the covers will fold over and protect the screen on your Nexus 10, and puts the device to sleep when closed.

The Play store says these will ship and be delivered in three to five days, and they are a bit pricey at $30. But really, the screen on the Nexus 10 would likely cost so much to replace that this is cheap insurance to help prevent scratches and other mishaps. For more information, and to order, click the link below.

Source: Google Play

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1 year ago

Otterbox Commuter case for the HTC One

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Does one of the biggest names in smartphone protection turn a sexy piece of silver into a tank? Let's find out

Ever think about buying a Corvette and then wrapping it in the shell of an Abrams tank? That's often what you think about when you take the latest and greatest Android smartphone and put it inside an Otterbox case. But you're not buying an Otterbox for sex appeal alone, right? You're buying it because it protects your phone. Period.

So we've got the HTC One. And we've got the Otterbox Commuter case, with its rubber sleeve and hard, outer plastic shell. Beauty and the beast? We've got a quick look, after the break.

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1 year ago

New Nexus 4 accessories debut on Google Play

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Headphones with line mic, charger and microUSB cable now available separately

Google has launched three new accessories for the Nexus 4 through the Google Play devices store. Well -- of the three, only one is really new -- the wired headset with line mic -- but it doesn't hurt that the official charger and microUSB cable are now available alongside it.  The charger and cable are exactly like what you'll find boxed up with your Nexus 4, while the headset is a new addition, consisting of earphones and a flattened cable containing a mic for calls.

A quick breakdown of pricing in the U.S., U.K and eurozone --

The Nexus 4 bumper is also still available, priced $19.99, £15.99 or €19.99

via Android Central Forums

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1 year ago

Someone won a Moga Pro Android gaming controller! Was it you?

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Ok, actually, it's two someones, but who's counting right?

Simon took a gander at these hot little Moga Pro Android gaming controllers at PAX East 2013 and we got a couple to pass on to our fantastic readers. The winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up during the week to get your shipping info.

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1 year ago

Project SHIELD at GDC 2013

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Still waiting on retail availability info

We already got some playtime with NVIDIA's Project SHIELD at PAX East, but it was great to sneak in a few more rounds at GDC 2013. As a more industry-focused event, obviously NVIDIA was busy at GDC getting devs on board with Tegra optimizations through sessions, but there were also plenty of Project SHIELD demo units kicking around, giving everyone a chance to try out the system first-hand.

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1 year ago

Ouya in action at GDC 2013

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What's a backer launch without a party?

Ouya had their big backer launch bash at GDC 2013, giving everybody a shot to try out the $99 Android-powered gaming console. There has been a lot of excitement leading up to this launch, not only because it stands to be yet another Kickstarter success story, but also because it's paving the way for a whole new product category of Android devices. 

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1 year ago

HTC One official 'double dip' hard shell case review

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The official shell case for the HTC One aims to make it impervious to knocks and scrapes

If you pick up a phone as beautiful and well-designed as the HTC One, chances are you're going to want to keep it that way. Full protective cases -- like the official HTC offering for the HTC One -- aren't for everyone, but tough plastic covering just about everything that's not a touchscreen, it's hard to match the level of protection they offer.

We'll take a closer look at HTC's official "double dip" shell case after the break. That's also where you'll find a quick video walkthough and more photos.

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