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3 weeks ago

Great Holiday Gadget Gifts at $50, $100, and $200

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Get your tech-centric pal or loved one something new to play with.

Life is full of little gadgets that make life more interesting, so why not help out a friend or family member? We put together a list of neat tech that quickly automates your home or adds a bit of flair to your smartphone. There are great choices at $50, $100, and $200 price points!

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3 weeks ago

Top off your phone's battery on the go with these discounted Kmashi power banks

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It's time to stock up on Kmashi's power banks.

Right now you can score some sweet savings on Kmashi's portable battery packs at Amazon with a coupon code. For as little as $6 you can grab a 5000mAh power bank to charge your favorite gadgets while on the go without tethering yourself to a wall. The 5000mAh model has one port and a perfectly pocketable design for charging on the go while the two-port 15000mAh model has two ports and a slim design for stashing in your gear bag or purse.

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4 weeks ago

Logitech's ZeroTouch is now the best, most expensive Android Auto car mount you can buy

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A super sleek (and expensive) accessory for Android Auto.

Logitech's in-car phone mount originally launched as the ZeroTouch now has a second version dubbed the "SmartCar" mount and is being stocked by the Google Store. The new version aligns with its change to being designed for Android Auto's standalone phone mode, as the mount will auto-launch the Android Auto app instead of Logitech's own ZeroTouch app.

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4 weeks ago

Jeremy Scott Live Cases now available at the Google Store

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Live Cases with a fashion twist.

Live Cases from noted fashion designer Jeremy Scott are now available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL from the Google Store in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Germany. The available cases include nine different canvases featuring Scott's emoji characters, and during the buying process you can crop and zoom to make sure your Live Case is one of a kind.

Your case will also come with a unique Jeremy Scott GIF keyboard so your messages can match your case, as well as a live wallpaper and a programmable shortcut button. The Live Case Editions app is required to use these features. You can build your own at the Google Store for $40.

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4 weeks ago

Best Tempered Glass Screen Protectors for LG V20

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Protecting your LG V20's screen doesn't need to be difficult.

The LG V20 is a huge phone, featuring a 5.7-inch main display below a smaller secondary ticker. If you're like us, you'll want to find a quality tempered glass screen protector to ensure both displays stay scratch free and protected from damage.

But LG threw a curve for those looking for tempered glass protection by literally adding curves to the top and bottom of the display. As has been discussed in the AC Forums, it's been a challenge to find a quality tempered glass screen protector that offers good coverage without peeling up around the top and bottom.

There's also a number of really bad options floating around early in this product cycle, so you'll want to be careful with which one you buy. If it's not sized or installed properly, you're going to have a bad time.

Having said all that, here are some recommendations taken from firsthand experiences from the Android Central community.

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1 month ago

I'm gifting this adorable USB-C tripod to all my friends this year

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Stand your phone up straight with Kenu's Stance USB-C tripod.

I'm not a fan of gimmicks, which led me to a high degree of skepticism over Kenu's Stance USB-C tripod. This is not the company's first go around the bases with a product like this, and after reading negative reviews of the Micro-USB model, I moved beyond skepticism to concern over potential damage to my Pixel XL's USB-C port.

Thankfully, I was wrong in both cases.

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1 month ago

Save up to 50% on these awesome PNY storage products today!

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Right now PNY is offering up to 50% off a variety of its storage products at Amazon. The deal will save you big on microSD cards, SD cards, flash drives, and even external computer drives as well. Each category has a variety of storage capacities available to meet your needs, from 32GB all the way up to 408GB depending what you need.

If you are in the market for a new card for your phone, tablet, camera, or other device, be sure to check these deals out.

These are just some of the deals. To check out the full list of available products at up to 50% off, hit the link below.

See at Amazon

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1 month ago

Best lighting accessories for Android photography

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What are the best lighting accessories for Android photography?

Have you ever tried to shoot some video or photos with your Android phone in lower light, only to have them come out dark and blurry? Then when you turn on the flash, suddenly they're all over-exposed and washed out?

An external light source is a great tool to keep in your pocket if you want to have more control over the amount of light that floods into your shots – and depending on whether you're shooting portraiture, nature shots, or selfies, there's a light accessory to match everyone's needs!

Here are a number of lighting accessories to keep your Android photos and videos looking sharp and professional.

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1 month ago

Top Amazon Echo tips and tricks

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Top Amazon Echo tips and tricks

Optimize your Echo experience with our handy tips and fun tricks!

The Amazon Echo, Amazon's smart speaker, is taking the home automation game to another level, thanks to Alexa and the fact that "she's" constantly learning to serve you better. Sure, Google Home is out is out, but Alexa's large library of skills still gives the Echo a bit of an upper hand (especially until Google Assistant is Siri-level awesome).

Today only (November 7, 2016), you can get $40 off an Amazon Echo in celebration of its second birthday!

See at Amazon

If you have an Echo of your very own or are considering buying one (you really should!), then we've got some tips and tricks that'll help you get the most out of your experience and/or entice you into picking one up (Did I say you should? You really should!).

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1 month ago

Save $40 on the Amazon Echo right now!

Amazon is currently offering a $40 savings on the Echo, dropping the price down to just $140. The Bluetooth speaker plays music from a variety of sources including Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and more, and the always-on microphones let you issue voice commands from anywhere in the room.

An ever-growing list of integrations means that you can do more with the Echo, such as control your connected lights, order pizza, and even book an Uber. This deal won't last long so if you are interested you'll want to act quickly. You can select between white and black at the $140 price!

MORE: Amazon Echo review

See at Amazon

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1 month ago

Xiaomi's $22 Bluetooth in-ear headphones are ideal for workouts

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The latest product in Xiaomi's vast ecosystem is a Bluetooth headset designed for workouts. Dubbed the Mi Sports Bluetooth Headset, the in-ear headphones are IPX4 certified, making them splash (and sweat) resistant.

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1 month ago

Understanding memory card speeds and what works best for your phone

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Buying an SD card shouldn't be difficult. Learn what those numbers all mean and how to pick what's best for you.

SD cards are a cheap way to provide extra storage for just about anything that can create or read a digital file. Most cameras use SD cards, as do audio players and recorders, digital photo frames, many laptops and a lot of phones. While we're going to focus on the how what and why of using them with an Android phone, the overall ideas are the same and you'll be just fine using this reference when buying an SD card for anything that can use one.

Buying an SD card can be a little frustrating. You need to find a reputable place to buy them if shopping online, you need to know which type you need and what the class rating means. It's OK not to know this stuff, and we're here to help you sort through it.

SD card form factors

Once you're sure your phone can use an SD card, you need to know just what type of card to buy. SD cards come in different physical sizes, have different read and write speeds and different storage sizes.

Phones use the smallest microSD card form factor.

For your Android phone, you're looking for the microSD form factor. SD cards come in three different sizes. An SD card is the biggest — a little larger than a postage stamp — and is used for things like stand-alone cameras. The Mini SD form factor is about half the size of a full SD card and they aren't very popular. Chances are you won't ever buy anything that needs a Mini SD card. The microSD card is about the size of your fingernail and the one we're looking for.

When you buy a Mini or microSD card you often get an adapter in the package. The smaller card slides into the adapter so it can fit into something that needs a full-sized card — like your computer — as well as something like your phone that needs a microSD card. This makes it pretty handy when transferring pictures or video from your phone to your computer.

SD card storage versions

There is a method to the madness of all those letters you see.

The next thing you need to know is the storage version. You can buy microSD cards, microSDHC cards, and microSDXC cards. A microSD card was designed to hold up to 2GB of information, though a few 4GB versions are available that work outside of the specifications. microSDHC cards (Secure Digital High Capacity) are designed to hold up to 32GB of data. microSDXC (Secure Digital eXtra Capacity) cards are designed to hold between 32GB and 2TB of data. It's important to know what version your phone can use. Most all modern phones — Android or otherwise — will be able to use a microSDHC card. Many newer phones are capable of using a microSDXC card.

There is no easy to see difference between a phone that can use a microSDXC card and one that can't. You'll need to consult the documentation that came with your phone or hop into the forums and ask other folks who have already found the answer. The versions are backward compatible (a microSDXC card slot can use a microSD or microSDHC card) but there is no forwards compatibility, and if your phone can't use a microSDXC card it won't ever work.

SD card speed classes

No card is going to be as fast as the listed maximum.

Finally, you need to understand the speed class ratings. There are currently five different speed classes (listed slowest to fastest) — DS (up to 12.5 MB/s), HS (up to 25 MB/s), UHS-I (up to 104 MB/s), UHS-II (up to 312 MB/s) and UHS-3 (over 312 MB/s). There are also speed "subclasses" and those are listed with a number. You'll usually see a 2,4 or 6 listed on a DS speed card. HS speed cards will have a 10 listed. UHS cards can also have a U1 to U3 rating.

These numbers are the highest speeds the card is capable of when reading data. No card is going to be as fast as the listed maximum. You'll often see an actual rated speed listed on the packaging along with the speed class rating.

Deciding what you need

Are you thoroughly confused yet? Don't be.

  • You need to know what size SD card you need. If you're buying for use in a phone, you need a microSD card.
  • You need to know what storage version your phone is compatible with. If in doubt, ask the folks who sold you the phone or others using the same phone in our forums.
  • The speed of the card you need depends on what you're going to do with it.

The first two items on the list above are pretty self-explanatory. The wrong size card isn't going to fit and anything you attach or insert into a phone needs to be compatible. The speed you're looking for isn't too difficult to suss out, either.

  • The faster, the better. You'll never run into a situation where an SD card is too fast. A UHS card isn't needed to listen to stored music or stream video you have saved, but it won't hurt anything to use it. Faster SD cards will more future-proof if you decide to shoot a lot of videos, especially in 4K.
  • Never buy a card slower than Class 10. Class 10 cards are a great compromise between price and performance. They are plenty fast enough to transfer music or pictures to a computer (or the other direction), are fast enough if your phone camera has a burst mode, and are even fast enough to store Android application data. Your phone is probably capable of copying bits and bytes faster than the 25 MB/s when doing these things, but it's not going to be able to process that data fast enough to see a noticeable difference.
  • If you shoot 4K videos, the card is never fast enough. See item one in this list.

4K video has a need for speed.

Your phone needs to be able to copy video data to the storage as fast as it can. It copies this information from the camera a lot faster than it would if it were a regular data file. There is a noticeable difference between a few minutes of 4K video shot using a Class 10 card and the same video shot when using a UHS speed class card. Video can look blurry or fuzzy, audio can be out of sync or you can even see some skipped frames. Once you see it side by side you can't unsee it, and I'll save you the trouble and tell you up front that to shoot any HD video you need a UHS speed class card. Of course, shooting video directly to the phone's internal storage is always better than straight to an SD card.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 makes for a great example here, so we're going to use it. Remember, your phone may support different speed classes.

The Galaxy S7 supports microSDXC cards using the UHS-I speed bus. UHS-II cards will work in the Galaxy S7, but the extra speed is not supported — there are two extra points of contact that are not present on the S7's card reader. To take pictures, store music or video on the card or to add some application data, any UHS-I card would work and may even be overkill. The thing to consider with the Galaxy S7 is that it has a really good camera that can take 4K videos. If you're going to shoot 4K videos, you need a UHS-I class U1 card or better. If you use anything slower, you'll see a difference in quality.

The bottom line: A faster SD card is always better

This is especially important if you're going to be shooting HD or UHD video because you need to be able to write the raw data stream to the storage as fast as you can.

Using a fast card to do "normal" things like store files or copy pictures to a computer doesn't hurt anything. It makes no sense to ever buy anything slower than an HS speed Class 10 card.

If you'd rather not know all this industry talk and just want to buy an SD card and move on, here's the skinny. Find out what version microSD card your phone supports, and buy a good brand name card from someone you can trust (there are a lot of slow cards with the wrong label being sold at places like eBay) that's as fast as you can find and you'll be fine.

More: The best microSD cards for Android

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1 month ago

Essential Accessories for Moto Z

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Essential accessories for the Moto Z

What are the best accessories for the Moto Z?

The Moto Z is a great phone, but it's even better with perfectly-paired accessories. Here are the add-ons you need to know about.

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1 month ago

Best Ultra Thin Cases for Google Pixel

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What are the best ultra-thin cases for the Google Pixel?

The Google Pixel is a brand new, sleek and stylish phone, so having a big bulky case on it might not be the most ideal thing for those who want to keep the minimalist beauty of the device while still showing it off (and keeping it protected!)

There are plenty of cases to pick from when it come to customizing your Pixel, but with so many options available, which one should you go with? Here are our choices we think you should consider while picking out the best ultra-thin case for your Google Pixel!

Pixel Case by Google

Keep your Pixel protected and secure without the weight and inconvenience with the Pixel Case by Google.

Designed and built with a silicone exterior to provide extra shock absorption from high falls, the Pixel Case by Google comes finished with a high-quality microfibre interior for additional protection. Simply slide on the flexible, yet perfectly-fitting case, and your Pixel is ready to go!

Unlike some minimalist cases that only come clear or in basic colors, Google's case comes in a number of bright, fun shades to match your sense of style, including grey, blue, green, coral, and peach.

See at the Google Store

DGtle Anti-Scratch case

With an anti-scratch guarantee and a sleek, ultra-thin design, the DGtle case is another ideal partner for your Pixel if you're looking for a case that isn't bulky or cumbersome!

Made from a durable TPU material to protect your Pixel against any outside trauma or force, and designed to be firm, yet flexible, this non-slip DGtle case is a smart minimalist option to consider as you hunt for the perfect case.

The case fits snugly to your Pixel to protect it, and comes in a clear style, or you can also pick and choose from frosted purple, pink, mint, blue, gray, and so many others!

See at Amazon

Spigen Liquid Crystal case

Protect your Pixel in true minimalist style with the Liquid Crystal case from Spigen.

If you're looking for a truly ultra-thin case, Spigen has you covered with the Liquid Crystal. The case is made from a clear TPU material and is extremely flexible and lightweight. With some clear cases, smudges and dirt can easily gather on the back of your phone, but Spigen's inner-dot pattern prevents any grime from muddying up the look of your Pixel.

While the Liquid Crystal only comes in one color (clear), and might look like a bit of a flimsy case, it's actually voted one of the best Pixel ultra-thin cases out there, so check it out if you're looking for a reliable option!

See at Amazon

Bear Motion Ultra Slim case

Snap, secure, and go with the Bear Motion Ultra Slim case for your Pixel!

With full-access to all ports and buttons, the Bear Motion case is a great accessory to partner with your Pixel. While it's not as protective as other cases on this list, it's super-slim design is perfect for minimalists who are looking for a simple, stylish look and feel.

This lightweight case will protect your Pixel from small scratches and bumps and comes in five different color choices, including bright red, black, navy blue, gray, and forest green.

See at Amazon

Maxboost Liquid Skin case

Designed with a durable, flexible material to protect your Pixel from drops and scratches, the Maxboost Liquid Skin case is an ultra-thin option that only adds a mere 1.2mm to the bulk of your phone!

Paired with an anti-scratch coating, full-access to all buttons and ports, and a snug fit, the MaxBoost Liquid Skin case is a great choice to consider for your Pixel. The case is designed from a strengthened material to add additional protection to your phone, too.

The Liquid Skin case also comes with a lifetime warranty, just in case.

See at Amazon

What's your pick?

Is there a minimalist, ultra-thin Pixel case that you simply cannot get enough of? Have you found the perfect combination of simplicity and protection? Style and functionality?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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1 month ago

Zeraph Flo review: A smart thermometer worth keeping in your bag

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Is the convenience of a smart thermometer worth the price?

Smart thermometers may seem like something you don't need to spend the extra money on, but they can be pretty handy when done right. Unlike traditional thermometers, the Flo is quite versatile which makes it even more useful. From the ability to quickly measure someone's temperature without shoving something in their mouth to being able to tell the temperature of water or other objects all with the same device, you'll likely find multiple uses for it.

Sure, you can pick up a regular thermometer for like $10 at the drug store, so spending $50 on a "smart" one may seem a bit ridiculous to some, but it can be worth it for a variety of reasons.

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