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1 year ago

A quick review of Samsung's Clear Protective Cover for Galaxy Note 5

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Things sure are slim with this OEM clear cover for the Galaxy Note 5, which doesn't mean much for protection, but it's something.

After a lackluster experience with the S-View Clear Cover, we figured there was still hope for a decent OEM option with the Clear Protective Cover for Galaxy Note 5. We weren't wrong, but there's still a lot to be desired at its particularly high price point.

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1 year ago

Dash and Dot robots review

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Teach kids to program with the Dash and Dot connected learning system Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

One of the coolest benefits of our modern smartphone and tablet-using culture has to be the advent of gear that connects to smart devices. Users can connect to their smartwatches, exercise bands, thermostats, car engines, and much more. Naturally, connected apps also have educational uses as well. Kids love touch screen devices and tech, so why not use that tech to help them learn?

Dash & Dot from Wonder Workshop is a connected learning system that works with a pair of real-world robots named Dash and Dot. Using the two robots and a handful of Android and iOS apps such as Blockly, kids will learn the fundamentals of programming, problem solving skills, and much more. We've put Dash & Dot and the Wonder Workshop apps through their paces to bring you our detailed review.

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1 year ago

Gadgets of the week: Jabra Eclipse, V-Moda Crossfade Wireless and more!

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We've got a fresh batch of new Android-friend gadgets this week, particularly on the audio front. Jabra's newest Bluetooth headset is slick and full of noise-cancelling goodness, as well as its own pocketable battery dock. V-Moda has upgraded their premium headphones with wireless audio, but what will really interest you are the wealth of accessories available for it, including precious metal shields. There are plenty of other new accessory launches to check out, so dig in!

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1 year ago

Android Central's Ultimate Tech Tailgater's Guide

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You can keep your tailgating setup simple, or you can go all-in like a true techie.

Picture pulling up to the stadium with gadgets designed for a good time like a WiFi grill, LED HDTV, gaming console, and smart cooler complete with all the essentials for a good time. Sounds dreamy, right? That's what we're after — the perfect pregame wishlist if you will. Let's dive in and tackle the selection.

Read on: The Ultimate Tech Tailgater's Guide

Davy Crockett WiFi Grill

For grilling up some grub, this easily portable WiFi grill from Green Mountain Grills weighs only 57lbs and folds open to run on 12V or 120AC. It comes packed with all the basics like a meat probe, peaked lid for ribs or large game, grease tray, thermal sensor that keeps track of the grill's ambient temperature, and of course a digital WiFi controller that allows you monitor grilling temps on meat, or even set timers on your food via the free Android app. This smart little grill retails for about $399 if you can stick a fork in that.

More info at Green Mountain Grills

BESTEK 300W Dual 100V AC Power Inverter

If your vehicle doesn't already come loaded with a power inverter, then this is an affordable option that'll get the job done for a few of your gadgets. Featuring 2 AC outlets and 2 USB charging ports (2.1A and 1A) you can run a TV, speakers, or your electric grill while connected to the cigarette lighter port. It's lightweight and easy to carry, packing a 40amp fuse and cooling fan with overload and short circuit protection. You can even get it with a pair of 3.8ft battery clips for a different setup.

Buy for $35 on Amazon

AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin HDTV Antenna

Pick up free HD channels from broadcast towers up to 50 miles away with this super-thin antenna that supports 1080p HD. As with most antennas, the quality of reception will depend on your surroundings and how far you are from the nearest towers. Included is an 18-foot coaxial cable for optimal flexibility to your TV. Channels including ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and FOX can be obtained — all without any subscription fees and straight to your parking lot pad. You can snag this antenna in a shorter or wider mile radius as well.

Buy for $48 on Amazon

VIZIO 32-inch 1080p Smart LED HDTV

Yes, our dream tailgating setup includes a proper 32-inch LED HDTV — what of it? Maybe not everyone has the room for a TV, but with proper planning anything's possible, right? It's capable of 1080p full HD and over 2 million pixels, providing a perfect picture no matter what you're watching. As a smart TV, it comes preloaded with a bunch of apps including Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and more. Hook it up to a WiFi hotspot and enjoy some Madden NFL 16 with your mates.

Buy for $248 on Amazon

Gaming Consoles: Playstation 4 and XBOX One

These next 2 choices are no-brainers. If you're going to do any kind of gaming while you party, you'll want the latest and greatest gaming consoles to push the the best graphics. The PS4 is great choice, rocking an octa-core Jaguar CPU, 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, and AMD Radeon GPU. If you're going the XBOX One route, good on you. It'll keep up with whatever games you throw at it with its octa-core AMD CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a GPU that's clocked slightly faster than that of the PS4, but a bit behind on shaders. Aside from just gaming, they're both excellent media centers, too. Just don't forget to load up on controllers if your plan on letting anyone else in on the action.

Playstation 4:

Buy for $379 from Walmart

XBOX One:

Buy for $399 on Amazon (Madden NFL 16 1TB Bundle)

Buy for $349 on Newegg (Console only)

Madden NFL 16

We're tossing Madden NFL 16 into our lineup as well for good measure. Get your friends or neighboring tailgaters together and dive into some head-to-head action. You can create the ultimate team of your favorite NFL players and even dictate the outcome of each play as the ball is in air. You can grab Madden NFL 16 for PS4, XBOX One, PS3, or XBOX 360.

Buy for $54 on Amazon

Razer Leviathan Elite Gaming & Music Sound Bar

Having a compact and easily portable sound bar doesn't mean you have to sacrifice on the sound quality of your games and mobile playlists. The Razer Leviathan provides an impressive 5.1 channel surround sound experience that's paired with a bass-thumping subwoofer. It features a total power output of 30W, two 2.5-inch full range drivers, two .74-inch tweeters, and a 5.25-inch driver on the sub. You can pair your mobile devices to the sound bar using NFC, Bluetooth v4.0, or connect directly to your audio source using a 3.5mm cable or optical connection. Its design is unique and at only 19.7-inches in length, you won't have to fight to fit it in your car.

Buy for $197 on Amazon

The Coolest Cooler

Sure, you could bring any old regular cooler with you to the game, but this is one that's designed to kick things up a notch. The Coolest Cooler's plethora of features include a high performance blender, Bluetooth speaker, LED lid light, cutting board, bottle opener, accessory deck, USB charger, and its rubberized wheels are built for easy portability. The company has come a long way since its initial Kickstarter campaign, succeeding far past their $50,000 goal. It may not be a YETI, but it's got a lot more to offer for its price.

Buy for $485 from Coolest

Honda UE1000i Super Quiet Inverter Generator

Depending on how long you're claiming your party space, you can't go wrong with an easily portable generator. Keeping control of ridiculous dB's is Honda's EU1000i, a super-quiet, fuel efficient, 2K watt inverter generator that provides stable power for all your gadgets on site. It'll run anywhere from 3.8 to 8.3 hours on a single 0.6 gallon tank, depending on how much of your tech it's powering. The loudest this generator gets is an acceptable 59dBA, which will sit well with your fellow sports fans nearby.

Buy for $799 from Northern Tool

iDevices iGrill Mini

Whether you're slow cooking or just want to keep a close eye on meat temps, the iGrill Mini snaps magnetically to your grill and allows you monitor temperatures straight from your Android or iOS device up to 150-feet away. After downloading the free iGrill App, you can use preset temperature alarms, create your own, find recipes, share on your social networks, and more. The smart LED on the front of the iGrill Mini lights up when you're in range, indicating the cooking progress by color instead of having to check your phone while so close. For keeping track of more than one item on your grill, the newer iGrill2 sports two temperature probes with a very similar design.

Buy iGrill Mini for $32 on Amazon

Buy iGrill2 for $88 on Amazon

What's your ultimate tailgating setup?

That's a wrap on our ultimate tech tailgater's guide! We'd love to hear what your ideal tailgating setup would be for this NFL season and many others to come in the comments below.

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1 year ago

Groupon is selling the HTC RE for just $99

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Groupon currently has an offer for the HTC RE, the small sports-style camera, which saves you 50 percent on the purchase. For a limited time, you can purchase the RE for just $99 from Groupon. The discount appears to only be on the blue version of the camera, but it is still a big savings.

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1 year ago

Review: Moto Hint 2015

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Moto Hint 2015

Motorola's new Hint isn't a significant improvment over its predecessor, and in this instance that is a good thing.

People who buy Bluetooth headsets tend to care about one thing, and that's everything. A good Bluetooth headset has to be small, but it also has to have a big battery. It has to be discrete, but it also has to have amazing audio and a quality microphone. It has to have a great feature set, but it also has to be convenient and uncomplicated. While you're at it, Bluetooth headset manufacturers, it needs to be cheap.

You can walk the mobile electronics aisle of any store and see a reasonable combination of these features with an understandable series of compromises to match, but the Bluetooth headsets that stand out actively work towards having it all. Last year Motorola made their first serious attempt at a Bluetooth headset that could be all things to all people, but especially Moto X owners. It was called the Moto Hint, and this year Motorola has refreshed this mighty little earbud in a continued effort to do everything.

Here's our review.

The Moto Hint is designed to be the Bluetooth headset you reach for when you need it, instead of something you wear all day out of convenience or laziness. It's a small ear plug that sits in a battery case you hang on your keys, and when you climb into your car or you've got an incoming call you need to take privately, you shove this little piece of plastic and rubber into your ear and everything just works. There's a sensor on the inside of the Hint that detects your ear when it is inserted, which sends the command to power up the rest of the headset and pair to your phone.

There's no two ways about it, having a Moto Hint connected to a Moto X is damn cool.

Shoving this earbud into your ear is the nicest possible way to describe what happens when you prepare to use the Moto Hint. You're effectively forcing this piece of rubber and plastic into your ear canal until the curved back finds a groove it can comfortably rest in, and the combination of that resting position and the friction caused by the design of the rubber ear gel holds Hint in place. If your ears are particularly waxy, or you've been particularly active and are sweaty, there's a good chance you'll need to perform some personal maintenance before Hint comfortably sits and stays. Once you get that seal, however, it stays surprisingly well.

When you remove Hint from your ear, the headset disconnects automatically and prepares to be places back in its case. There are no physical buttons on the Moto Hint, it's all automatic and it really does "just work" when you go to use it. In place of a physical button, the flat area that sticks out of your ear a little is a touch sensor. You can place your finger on this area and hear a beep in your ear, confirming the touch was received and launching your voice command service of choice. On the Samsung Galaxy S6, this means you can choose between S Voice and Google Now, and whichever you choose becomes the default for voice commands for as long as it is connected. You tap once, speak your command, and as long as your voice assistant of choice translated you correctly you get the response you wanted.

Moto Hint 2015

Of course, this is just what happens when you're connected to something that isn't a Moto X. When you're connected to a Motorola phone with Moto Voice set up, something a great deal more impressive happens. Moto Voice uses the microphone in the Hint as the microphone for your phone's voice recognition system, which means your Moto Hint is now ready at all times for you to give your personal command and wake the phone from upwards of 150 feet away as though you were standing right next to it. There's no two ways about it, having a Moto Hint connected to a Moto X is damn cool, especially if you regularly use Moto Voice for things.

Moto Hint

When you insert a fully charged Moto Hint into your ear, the first thing you'll hear is a voice telling you there's three hours of talk time remaining. In our tests, this was a little closer to four hours of talk time. Depending on what phone your Hint connected to, standby times vary wildly. When connected to a Moto Voice phone, standby time is only five hours due to the constant connection to your phone. Any other phone will get you more than a day of standby time, since it's working like a regular Bluetooth headset in this situation.

According to Motorola, the battery case provides an additional 14 hours of talk time and either 27 or 200 hours of standby time. It doesn't provide this battery power all at once, rather through a constant swapping in and out as you charge it. Ideally the headset is always fully charged when you need it, so you've always got at least three hours of talk time to use. Placing the earbud back into its case and closing it immediately starts the charging process, and in our testing it took just under an hour to fully charge a dead Moto Hint. This works well for anyone who is casually using a Bluetooth headset, but those who require something constantly connected and are on the phone for more than three hours in a day may find it's important to keep a power supply nearby.

Moto Hint Galaxy S6

For most users, audio clarity is what separates a decent Bluetooth headset from a great one. The speaker on the Moto Hint isn't particularly loud, but it's nice and clear. For a Mono earbud, there should be little problem hearing the other side of the conversation and the occasional YouTube video or song almost passes for enjoyable. The microphone faces some natural challenges being so far from your mouth, and since it's not in contact with your jawbone it can't use audio conduction like some of the other small designs. As a result, the overall quality is a little on the muddy side.

As you can hear for yourself, while the audio in a quiet room is passable, there's not a lot going on in the way of ambient noise reduction. Using this headset in a car will result in some obvious background noise, and using this headset in a crowd will be less than ideal for the person on the other end of the call. It's far from unusable, but the limitations here are indeed noticeable.

Moto Hint 2015

Motorola's Bluetooth efforts have caught our eye for the send year now, but the bottom line remains the same. Hint is designed for people who need a Bluetooth headset for short bursts and aren't looking for the absolute best in audio quality. It's small enough that anyone could enjoy using Hint, but only if you can actually get the earbud to fit and stay and by comfortable. This is a solid update on an attempt to make a one size fits most Bluetooth earbud, and it goes a long way towards making the once awkward and bulky ear accessory disappear, but you're still going to need to touch one for yourself to see if its for you.

Buy: Moto Hint (2015)

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1 year ago

Amzer SlimGrip Hybrid Case for Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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For light protection against minor accidents, the Amzer SlimGrip Hybrid hugs the Note 5 perfectly with complete access to its features.

This bumper case is straight up simple — making it a great option for those that don't care for cases and only need the bare minimum to keep it scratch free. The TPU bumper is the only portion that's actually colored, and is available in black or white. It's glossy, which means fingerprints will make their appearance, but aren't very noticeable since it's only the edging we're talking about.

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1 year ago

Pelican Protector Case for Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

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Not one to bulk up your Galaxy S6 edge+? The Pelican Protector Case is sure to satisfy with its slim design that scores high in protecting against impacts.

The thermoplastic rubber (TPR) construction of the Pelican Protector Case keeps it just flexible enough to easily install and remove from the Galaxy S6 edge+. The easiest method is to set the phone in topside first and lay the rest into the case, pulling back the bottom a tad to snap it into place. The edging seems to be slightly more flexible than the rest of the case, especially around the side buttons and port openings at the bottom.

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1 year ago

Spigen Slim Armor Case for Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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You can't go wrong with 2 layers of protection around your Galaxy Note 5, and the Spigen Slim Armor ensures things stay slim.

The Galaxy Note 5 is a handful, so selecting a case that doesn't make handling the device any more difficult is what we're after. Spigen's Slim Armor Case manages both layers without going overboard on bulk with a couple extra features to boot.

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1 year ago

ZTE partners with AT&T to offer its first Wi-Fi hotspot for the car, the Mobley

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ZTE has announced its first Wi-Fi hotspot for the car, the Mobley, which will offer AT&T customers high speed data on-the-go. Unlike other hotspots, the Mobley will plug directly into your vehicle, as long as it's from 1996 or later, through the ODB II port. This prevents you from having to turn it on and off, as it is on when the car is, and off when the car isn't running.

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1 year ago

Top 6 accessories for Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

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It's time to accessorize your Galaxy S6 edge+ with the essentials that make everything sweet and simple.

If you're on the hunt for new accessories for your Galaxy S6 edge+ then you've come to the right place. We've selected 6 of our favorite gadgets to go with the new device that include fast charging solutions, amazing audio options, and even a solid case to keep it protected from impacts and scratches.

Read on: Top 6 accessories for Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

Samsung Fast Wireless Charging Pad

If you're going cable-free, then this is the wireless charger to snag. Both the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 are capable of fully utilizing this charging pad's increased charging speeds — a step up from the traditional 1A pads that have saturated the market. The multicolored LED halo indicates the charging status, and a soft pad on top keeps your device from sliding off. In under an hour, this fast wireless charger will juice up your drained Galaxy S6 edge+ to 100%.

Buy for $69.99 from Samsung

Buy for $69.99 on Amazon

Spigen Slim Armor Case

If you're not going naked, then you'll need a solid case to protect your new Galaxy S6 edge+. One of our favorites is the Spigen Slim Armor Case, featuring a slim dual-layer design that's great for everyday protection against impacts. The back even features a fold-out kickstand for watching Netflix, YouTube, or your own videos. This hybrid cover manages to enhance grip without being excessively bulky, which is important for such a sleek device. Color options include gold, gunmetal (as pictured), slate, and violet.

Buy for $14.99 on Amazon

Aukey 10,000mAh Dual-USB Power Bank with Quick Charge

Although the 3,000mAh battery inside Galaxy S6 edge+ is suitable for most, you can't go wrong with having an external backup for emergencies. Whether you forgot your charger, or are miles away from civilization, this slim power bank provides an extra 10,000mAh of juice for up to 2 devices. One USB output is dedicated to Quick Charge 2.0 speeds — ideal for your Galaxy S6 edge+ — while the other will charge at the normal 2A rate. Between both ports is an LED flashlight that lights the way when you need it to.

Read our review

Buy for $34.99 on Amazon

Samsung Level Box

When it comes to rocking your favorite playlists, you'll need a speaker that can deliver quality audio while looking good. Samsung's Level Box sports a compact, brushed metal design that uses a 55mm stereo speaker inside with a passive radiator. It also features easy NFC pairing with your Galaxy S6 edge+ and up to 15 hours of playback. Go hands-free and manage your calls over the Level Box at any time while paired, and enjoy instant sound equalization with its SoundAlive feature. Samsung has also featured the newer Level Box Pro on their website, but hasn't announced when we can expect to see it available in stores.

Buy for $95 on Amazon

Tronsmart Dual-USB Quick Car Charger

When getting from point A to B, you'll want the quickest charge available for your Galaxy S6 edge+. This dual-USB car charger features Quick Charge 2.0 technology in not just one, but both ports. You'll never need to fumble for the fastest charging port again! It's even packed with safety measures against overheating and overcharging.

Buy for $19.99 on Amazon

Moto Surround Wireless Earbuds

Enjoy your favorite jams cable-free with the comfortable Moto Surround Wireless Headset, featuring a completely waterproof and sweatproof design that provides up to 12 hours of steady playback. With built-in aptX technology and full HD sound, you'll get an incredible audio experience that's truly impressive for its price range. Its 150-foot range makes it a great companion to your Galaxy S6 edge+ when it comes taking calls and listening to music, no matter where you are.

Buy for $69.99 from Motorola

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1 year ago

Gadgets of the week: Moto 360, Sphero BB-8, and more!

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It's been a hectic IFA with tons of new gear to look forward to. We're going to peek behind the big-name phones and tablets at the Android accessories that are ready to order now, including toys, wireless video, and especially wearables. Both Motorola and Huawei had some respectable new smartwatches on the show floor this week that are worth a gander. There were even a few new releases outside of Berlin; come and see what's up.

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1 year ago

Where to buy all of Motorola's latest and greatest

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With all of the new products coming from Motorola in the last couple of weeks, like the Moto 360 (2015), Moto X Pure Edition, and Moto X Play, it's getting tricky to figure out what's coming out when and where. Some of these have release dates, others only have windows, some are already out. Some may not even be coming to your country, and many aren't sold by service providers. We'll be reaching as far back as the spring so you can see how all the latest generations compare. With any luck, we'll straighten everything out for U.S., U.K., and Canadian shoppers.

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1 year ago

Seidio DILEX Pro with Metal Kickstand Combo for Galaxy Note 5

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The smart design of the DILEX Pro Combo for Galaxy Note 5 manages to keep things slim, enhance grip, and handle the inevitable drop.

Instead of just looking at the DILEX Pro Case on its own, we figured why not throw in the DILEX Pro Holster for good measure. Seidio has really refined the design of their popular hybrid cover, including a sturdy metal kickstand on the back that has shown to hold up over cheap alternatives. Despite the fact that both layers aren't one solid piece, it looks and feels great around the Galaxy Note 5 — not bulky like the Pelican Voyager, for instance.

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1 year ago

Moto Surround vs LG Tone Infinim vs Samsung Gear Circle

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Neckbuds

Bluetooth headphones can be a life saver, as long as you know which one fits your needs.

It may hard be to take $100 Bluetooth headphones seriously when you know what $100 in wired headphones can get you these days, but there are plenty of folks out there today who need that portability in order to get their audio fix throughout the day.

Fortunately for these users, there are several options in this price range that both look nice and pack some interesting features. The somewhat unflattering name "neckbuds" stands out as the popular name for this category, due to the ability to hang the hardware around your neck all day and have Bluetooth headphones whenever you need them.

We're talking today about the Samsung Gear Circle, the LG Tone Infinim, and the recently released Moto Surround neckbuds, and while you can't go wrong with any of the three we're going to take a look feature for feature and see which one stands out in the crowd.

Moto Surround vs LG Tone Infinim vs Samsung Gear Circle

Comparing Neckbud Designs

The core of these neckbuds is the ability to stay on your neck all day, so you can just reach for the buds and put them in your ears when you want some music. To do that, the headphones need to be easily accessible when you want them and out of the way when you don't. As a secondary feature, being able to vibrate when you have an incoming call or an important notification is cool.

HBS-900 retractable earbudLG's design is by far the most practical. The Tone Infinim buds hide inside the casing when you need them, and the design allows you to retract them with a button press when you don't. This means the cables are never in your way, and you only have the pull the cable out as far as you need to reach your ear instead of having a bunch of cable to get caught on something when moving around a lot. Unfortunately, this also means the casing that hangs around your neck is a little on the chunky side when compared to Samsung and Motorola's offering. Still, retractable cables are a pretty big deal.

Samsung's Gear Circle looks like it would be the most lightweight, but there's something the promo pictures you see don't tell you about this design.

Motorola opted for a design that lays flat against your neck, with flat cables that magnetically connect to the ends of the plastic "U" shape around your neck. The magnets are more than enough to keep the buds in place in normal movement, but if the cables get caught on something the ends disconnect quickly. If the cables didn't stick straight up from their side mounting positions, this design would be subtle enough to keep under a button up shirt without anyone knowing you had neckbuds at the ready for a music fix, but they do so you can't. It's a great look, but the cables need some better management.

Samsung's Gear Circle looks like it would be the most lightweight with a design that is the easiest to hide under a shirt or something, but there's something the promo pictures you see don't tell you about this design. The block of plastic in the back of this circular design, which holds the battery, moves all over the place unless you use the clear plastic holster, which completes the rigid neckbud look Samsung was trying to avoid. The earbuds themselves magnetically connect to one another, with control buttons on the sides for playback and call answering. At first glance it looks like a clever design, but that tacky clear plastic piece is a requirement for long-term comfort and ruins the whole look.

Comparing Audio

Neckbuds Audio

One of the big things that helps these neckbuds stand out is the use of the APT-X audio codec, which compresses the audio in a way that can lead to better sound than your average Bluetooth audio connection. It means there's less quality loss in transmission, but the headphones themselves still have to have quality parts in them to take those bits and turn them into decent sounds. For our tests, each of the three neckbuds were connected to a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge and an HTC Nexus 9 and subjected to identical samples of music, movies, and games.

Were it not for that background noise, Moto Surround would produce the most complete sound.

The Tone Infinim buds deliver a nice clean sound, with reasonable mids and highs and very little of the background noise so commonly associated with bluetooth audio. Lows aren't quite as good, and as you might expect with earbuds like these there's almost no bass at all. It's fantastic for spoken word or instrumental, but you'll notice something missing with most popular music.

Motorola nailed the bass with its Surround offering, but it comes at a price. There's background fuzz, that almost static-like sound so commonly associated with Bluetooth audio, in everything you listen to. It's not something most folks would notice when listening to music, but stands out clearly in spoken word and instrumental as something that doesn't belong. Were it not for that background noise, these headphones would produce the most complete sound of all the neckbuds used today.

Samsung's offering with the Gear Circle is alright, but doesn't really do anything particularly well. These buds aren't particularly loud, but that also means there's practically no distortion at the highest volume, which is nice. It's a decent sound for Bluetooth earbuds, which means lows exist but are kind of muddy, and mids and highs are a little on the flat side. They get the job done, but compared to LG and Motorola it's hard to say the Gear Circle does anything special.

Companion Apps

Each of these neckbuds offer more than just audio. Communication with your phone or tablet is enhanced by an app, and each of these manufacturers opt for different features in their companion app.

LG Tone and Talk

LG's Tone and Talk app makes it easier to pair to the Tone Infinim, and gives you control over notification and call settings from within the app. You can choose what notifications are spoken aloud and which apps are allowed to use the service, but this mostly applies to messaging and social networking apps. It's nice to be able to have your messaged read to you when you're working out, or if you're in a position that limits how frequently you can check your phone. The degree of control you have over speech type and speed is impressive, but ultimately it's the kind of thing you'll either use all the time or never bother with.

Moto Coonect

Moto Connect gives you a faster way to pair with Moto Surround, and once you're connected you have access to battery percentage and basic connection information. The app also gives you the location of the last place the phone was connected to the neckbuds on Google Maps in case you misplace your hardware. You got some basic control over spoken notifications from the neckbuds, but only for connection information and battery information. It's a simple app with basic information, but it looks nice and could really come in handy if you've already got the app installed when you lose your Moto Surround.

Gear Manager

Samsung's Gear Manager app is used for all of the Gear accessories, but with a Gear Circle attached you gain access to battery level and some basic settings for audio quality and notification controls. You can adjust audio through an equalizer to change the audio coming from the Gear Circle, and the app will speak out notifications you have received, but often only the name of the app sending the notification. As nice as it is to know you've got an Amazon order ready for delivery, hearing "Gmail" and nothing else every few minutes is irritating. Fortunately the controls here are fairly granular. This setup is easily the best of the three, but being limited to Samsung phones and tablets only ruins that somewhat.

Measuring Battery Life

Neckbuds

If your daily routine is such that having any music is more important than having the highest quality music, you may only be interested in the battery life of your neckbuds. That's a perfectly reasonable position to have, whether you're out hiking for a weekend or the daily grind includes a loud environment that you'd like to tune out by any means necessary.

The LG Tone Infinim promises 17 hours of talk time, 23 days of standby, or 14 hours of continuous music playback. In our tests, 10 hours of media playback got us to a low battery warning. That low battery warning continued for just over an hour before powering down.

The Moto Surround promises 15 hours of talk time, 30 days of standby, or 12 hours of continuous music playback. In our tests, 11 hours of media playback got us to a low battery warning. That low battery warning continued for two hours, but increased in frequency during the last 30 minutes and made listening to anything essentially pointless.

The Samsung Gear Circle promises 11 hours of talk time, or 9 hours of play time. In our tests, the Gear Circle loses 11 percent of battery every hour, with low battery warnings happening at 15 percent remaining.

And the winner is...

LG Tone Infinim

It's clear that you couldn't go wrong with any of these headphones, but if you're looking for the best overall experience the LG Tone Infinim are the way to go. Retractable cables more than make up for the added bulk, and the design is comfortable enough to be worn all day without issue. The audio quality is good enough, especially for Bluetooth, and you're going to enjoy the battery life these neckbuds provide.

Buy: LG Tone Infinim

If you're not sold on the Tone Infinim design or you care about slightly better audio, the Moto Surround should be your next stop. Not only are they cheaper than the LG Tone Infinim, but as long as you like the one color they come in these neckbuds have some style to them.

Buy: Moto Surround

As for the Gear Circle, not only are these neckbuds the worst in battery and overall design, the sound just isn't that great. Considering these are also the most expensive of the three we're looking at today, it's hard to justify choosing these over the other two.

Buy: Samsung Gear Circle

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