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2 years ago

ZAGGsparq Contest Winners!

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up during the week. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the winners!

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2 years ago

SGP Kuel H12 stylus review

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The SGP Kuel H12 is a great alternative to using your finger for everything from navigating and activating your icons to playing a game of Draw Something.

 

The beautiful screen on the new Android phones calls out to be touched. But maybe not by your fingers. We have all found, at one time or another, that touching the screen leaves fingerprints and grime on the screen. We have also found that our fingers are fat and clumsy when it comes to painting and writing.

So, we need something with a capacitive end or nib to touch the screen in a far more precise way to really take advantage of some of the newer apps. Enter the SGP Kuel H12 stylus. It's got the look and feel of a pen, minus all the messy ink. For this review, we're going to use apps like Sketchbook Mobile, Note Everything and Handwrite to judge the overall qualities of the stylus.

Read on for our full H12 stylus review!

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2 years ago

Accessory Tip: BlackBerry Premium Charger rapid-charges Android phones, too

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The Mobile Nations World Tour continues, and this time instead of asking Android Central readers for accessory advice I'm offering up a tried-and-true BlackBerry tip that also works for Android phone owners. Specifically, if you own an Android phone with a microUSB connection and are in the market for a spare charger, you may want to give the BlackBerry Premium Charger a try.

 

RIM released this charger last year with the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook, and to keep the juices flowing with the bigger battery they cranked up the charging rate to 1.8 amps (most phone chargers that ship in the box tend to be in the 750 mAh to 1 amp range). We quickly put it to the test on our BlackBerry Smartphones and found we could charge them almost twice as fast!

On Android Central Podcast 98 we found out that both AC's Jerry Hildenbrand and Chris Parsons have been using this same charger with their microUSB Android devices for a long time now with great success. If you're going to spend the money on a spare charger, you might as well invest in one that charges at a higher amperage rate. Not every phone will allow for rapid charging, but for the ones that do you'll be glad you have a charger that takes advantage of it (and no, you won't damage your phone even if it doesn't make use of the higher amperage). In the last two days I've already receiveda hand full of tweets and emails from Android Central podcast listeners who went out and bought the BlackBerry Premium Charger after listening to the show and they are loving it. Good stuff.

Win a Free Charger Courtesy of CrackBerry Kevin: The BlackBerry Premium Charger has a MSRP of $39.99 but you can get it for a lot less at ShopAndroid.com. But just to share some Mobile Nations World Tour love, I'm going to give a lucky Android Central member a chance to win one for free, on me. To enter, just leave a comment to this post and you're in. Contest ends this Sunday at Midnight PT. Good luck.

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2 years ago

Galaxy S III case review: official clear TPU case

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If you've just blown £500 or so on a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S III (or committed to a new 24-month contract to get a subsidized model), you'll want to do everything you can to prevent it from knocks and scrapes. One of the first cases to appear for the S III on the European launch day was the official clear TPU case, manufactured by Anymode. This is a basic flexible plastic shell that matches the curved design of the S III, and features raised areas along the sides to allow easy pressing of the power button and volume rocker. And you've also got cut-outs for the LED flash, camera, rear speaker, mics, headphone jack and microUSB port. The case extends around the edge of the device, covering the corners, which are most susceptible to damage from falls or sudden impacts.

Texture-wise, the case is typical of most TPU offerings -- it's flexible and a little plasticky, without awkward rubber-like feeling that characterizes some silicone cases. Its flexibility means it's easy enough to put on or remove from the phone, while the patterned area inside the case grips the back of the phone securely to avoid slippage.

As it's transparent, you won't be upsetting the aesthetics of the Galaxy S III too much. The extra thickness isn't all that noticeable during regular use, or when the two are pocketed. Our only design concern stems from the slightly rough edges of the case, likely caused by the molding process, though that's true of many cases of this kind.

The clear TPU case for the Samsung Galaxy S III is available for around £15 from retailers in the UK. We've got more photos after the break.

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2 years ago

It's stylus week at Android Central!

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With the popularity of phone-tablet hybrids like the Samsung Galaxy Note -- to say nothing of actual tablets -- it's time to take a look at that long-controversial accessory -- the stylus. Back in the days of resistive touchscreens, these guys were all but necessary for making a smartphone useful. But things change, and the stylus found itself relegated to mostly accessory status. But that doesn't mean it's not still useful.

So this week you'll see a series of reviews on our favorite pen-like accessory, and we might even give away a few, with some help from our pals at ShopAndroid.com. Get your writing hand ready, folks. It's stylus time!

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2 years ago

Cruzerlite Androidified A2 TPU Case for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus [accessory review]

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If you're looking to protect your Samsung Galaxy Nexus with something flexible and strong, but want to travel in style, the Cruzerlite Androidified A2 TPU Case is definitely the case you seek.

Made out of that signature orange goo Phil was good enough to coat his hand with (and subsequently get smashed with a rubber mallet), these Cruzerlite cases offer exceptional shock absorption while still keeping the overall size of the phone and case small.

Holes are cut and placed appropriately, giving you access to all of your buttons and necessary ports (including the inductive charging port). Despite the thinness of the case, I'm not positive any docks will be able to reach the inductive charging area, but do know that it's not covered.

 

The edges of the case add a small buffer zone, keeping your all-important touch screen lifted up, should you decide to place it with the screen facing down. Better yet, this case fits perfectly on phones using the standard battery or the official Samsung 2100 mAh extended battery, too, so you can get your extra charge on all while keeping your phone nice and secure.

If you're looking for a solid case to keep your phone intact and want to show off your love and support of Android, this case should certainly warrant some consideration. To top it off, it comes in 11 colors, too!

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2 years ago

CrackBerry Kevin World Tour: What accessories do I need for my Android phone?

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While sounding off about my HTC One X experiences during Thursday's Android Central Podcast, I brought up the topic of accessories. When it comes to BlackBerry, I have my list of favorites, and usually go on a shopping spree after I upgrade to a new phone. A pair of charging stands (need for both nightstand and office desk), a case or skin or screen protector, car mount, spare batteries, extra chargers (I tend to leave them in hotels)... you get the picture, I'm a bit of an accessory junkie. For some items I prefer going OEM while for other items I prefer going third party.

This is the first time I'm really going all-in on an Android phone, and it's a fresh start for me on the accessory front. I took a stroll through ShopAndroid.com today and loaded some items up into the cart, but figured before checking out I should check in with the Android Central community and get their input. I could tell from the comments to my Mobile Nations World Tour post that there are a lot of smart people on this site with a lot of strong opinions. So help me out here. What are the must-have accessories that will help me get the most out of the Android experience?

Don't be shy. Let me know in the comments. I lucked in by already owning a matching pair of Beats for my One X, but that's all I've got.

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2 years ago

Clambook aims to bring laptop capabilities to your Android smartphone

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This one is a far cry in appearance from Motorola's efforts with the Lapdock. The newly announced Clamcase Clambook quite simply wants to bring a laptop experience to your Android smartphone. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Macbook Air and containing a 16:9 widescreen display, by connecting to your phone via an MHL adaptor it brings full native keyboard and trackpad capabilities with it. As well as this, it will charge your phone while it is docked. 

The Clambook also proudly boasts that it will work with Android 4.0, and the keyboard has dedicated home, app switching and back keys. 

Motorola users can use the Clambook to launch the in-built Webtop functionality too. Exact details and device compatibility are still absent at this time, as is any idea on price. But, if you yearn for an Android powered laptop this could be the answer to your prayers. 

Source: Clamcase

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2 years ago

AT&T selling the HTC Media Link HD for $90

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The HTC Media Link HD (see our first-look video) has been available in some outlets for a little while now. But starting this Friday, AT&T will be selling the Wifi Direct device for $90. (Yes, that's the full retail packaging you see above. And, interestingly enough, it's been listed on AT&T's website before today. No matter.)

The Media Link HD is the second generation of the device that, in a nutshell, lets you easily sent content from your phone to your HDMI-enabled television. We'll have a full review in the coming days. But we've been using a prerelease unit for some weeks, and it really is as simple as swiping your fingers up the screen. Your homescreens, images, videos -- even games -- are automagically beamed to your television, live and in living color.

Oh, and following up on this morning's story that the AT&T HTC One X is once again available online, HTC has also announced that stores should have full stock on Sunday, June 10. Pricing remains at $199 on contract.

More: HTC Media Link HD at AT&T

 

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2 years ago

NVIDIA partners with Nyko to launch game controllers for Android tablets

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Peripheral makers Nyko have announced a partnership with NVIDIA and have unveiled a line of game controllers for use with Android tablets. The controllers, the Playpad and the Playpad Pro, are optimized for use with Tegra devices and should work flawlessly with the Tegra 3 chipset. Devices are also required to be running Android 3.0 and above with Bluetooth capabilities.

The controllers will be useable right from the outset, no rooting, hacking or tweaking is required. Through a free application too known as Playground, support for legacy apps that aren't optimized for Tegra devices will be possible as well providing they meet the necessary criteria.

The Playpad will be the smaller of the two devices, and will come with dual analog sliders, a carry case and a collapsible tablet stand. The Playpad Pro by contrast is a full sized gaming controller, with dual analog sticks, a D-pad, shoulder buttons and face buttons. 

Source: Nyko via Pocket Gamer

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2 years ago

Google Play Store now selling Galaxy Nexus accessories - if you're in the U.S.

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Good news, everyone! The elusive Samsung Galaxy Nexus accessories are now available directly from Google in the Google Play Store. (Where they should be!) Yeah, it's only been about six months or so since the phone was released, but we're not going to look this gift horse in the mouth. 

Available are the Vehicle Dock -- that's the proper one with the pogo pins to keep you charged and not the janky "navigation" dock that only holds the phone -- and a pair of desktop docks. If a traditional landscape dock is your bag, it's there, with the same pogo pins for charging. Or if you need some high-def output, there's an HDMI dock in portrait orientation that uses the USB port for output and charging. 

The vehicle and landscape desktop dock each cost $54, and the HDMI portrait desktop dock is $49. You can snag 'em all at the link below.

More: Galaxy Nexus accessories from the Google Play Store

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2 years ago

ShopAndroid Daily contest winners!

0

If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up during the week. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the winners!

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2 years ago

Blueant Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Speakerphone [accessory review]

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Being safe while driving is pretty darn important. Distracted drivers are such an issue that the NTSB wants all cell phone use to be banned while driving, and even y'all, our faithful readers, admit to texting while driving. While a Bluetooth speakerphone certainly doesn't mitigate all of these issues, it can certainly help to alleviate some of them. Today, we're taking a look at the Blueant Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Speakerphone.

 

Small and discreet, the Blueant Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Speakerphone aims to bring a big sound in a small package, all while offering a stated 15 hours of talk time and 800 hours of standby time. Blueant uses some "Digital Signal Processing" to give incredibly clear call quality and microphone, but in my experience, the quality isn't anything to phone home about. It's not bad, but it's not mind-blowing.

The microphone has a little niggle in that it cuts off the very beginning and end of your phrases. This makes total sense to me (since those are typically the softest parts), but even with the windows rolled up and​ the stereo off, the issue persisted. The promise of eliminating noise, even while the car is traveling, has loud engine noise, or while the windows are down seems unfulfilled.

Touching the green button while you're all paired up gives you the option to choose your favorite voice dialer on your phone, and surprisingly enough, the stock voice dialer worked better than both Vlingo and Vlingo InCar. This is mostly because voice dialer goes straight to listening for your command, whereas Vlingo and its InCar variant both open the full app, then​ want you to touch a button onscreen, before they'll listen for a command. With the stock voice dialer, I had no misdials, so I can say the microphone picked up names quite well.

The Supertooth 3 attaches to your visor using a metal clip and magnets attached to the actual speakerphone. I'll admit, this is pretty brilliant. The metal clip is small and unobtrusive, giving you enough flexibility with placement. The magnets on the back of the speakerphone are strong (it won't come unlatched, even if you're driving over bumps), and when you've parked, you can easily remove it from the clip to hide (if that's your thing).

Overall, the Blueant Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Speakerphone is good. It's not bad, but it isn't great, either. If you're looking for a solid Bluetooth microphone, this one won't steer you wrong, but for the price, there's probably some higher quality devices you could pick up.

We've got a picture gallery after the break.

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2 years ago

Sprint EVO 4G LTE car dock unboxing and hands-on [From the forums]

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If you're on the fence about buying the official car dock for the Sprint EVO 4G LTE, you've got to check out this excellent unboxing and hands-on from Alex800 in our EVO 4G LTE forums. Take note, aspiring Android Central writers. This is how it's done. Hit the link below for the full thread.

More: Sprint EVO 4G LTE car dock

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2 years ago

Incipio NGP semi-rigid case for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus [accessory review]

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The NGP Semi-Rigid Soft Shell Case protects your Samsung Galaxy Nexus inside a semi-rigid polymer shell. Featuring custom-cut holes, you'll have access to your Samsung Galaxy Nexus camera and all the other functions. The case provides full coverage and maintains a low-profile, and can stay in place while charging or connected to your computer.

 

NGP stands for "Next Generation Polymer" - a semi-rigid dense polymer.  The NGP material is malleable enough to slip around and snugly hold your Galaxy Nexus, but firm enough to withstand impacts and scrapes. Because of the flexible nature, the case is easy to put on and remove.

The touch screen of your Samsung Galaxy Nexus is left exposed for easy access or the use of a screen protector.  The NGP wraps the front edges of this device, acting as a bumper and giving it added protection with a little extra lift.  If you're looking for a case that looks good and offers great protection, the Incipio NGP makes a great choice. Enjoy this review from Raul, and look out for more great videos!

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