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3 years ago

Droid Bionic extended battery

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We're knee-deep into our Motorola Droid Bionic review (update: Read our comprehensive Droid Bionic Review!) but wanted to take a quick second to talk about the battery. Specifically, let's talk about the Droid Bionic's extended battery.

We're all in the midst of testing this dual-core LTE phone, hopefully will see better battery life than some of its predecessors. But an extended battery is definitely still an option, and this one bumps you up to 2760 mAh, from the stock 1735 mAh.

And the DB's extended battery doesn't add as much heft or girth to the phone as we'd feared. It does require an bigger batter cover, but it's nicely designed and while it makes the phone thicker, it does so in a pretty stylish manner and still feels pretty good in the hand. The larger battery door is nicely contoured and doesn't have nearly the same sharp lines as the extended battery door on the HTC ThunderBolt.

We've got more pics and hands-on video after the break if you're still on the fence. Check it out.

Motorola Droid Bionic Extended Battery | All Motorola Droid Bionic Batteries

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Sony Ericsson Live Dock

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It wasn't just phones on show at last night's Xperia Party in London. Sony Ericsson was also keen to show off the latest accessory for its 2011 Xperia smartphones -- the Live Dock. This is a brand new smartphone dock which serves not only as a charging station, but allows you to connect USB peripherals like keyboards and mice, and control your phone using good old-fashioned button-based devices.

And if you've got a HDMI-enabled Xperia, like the Arc or Arc S? Well, that's where things start to get really cool -- in that case, you can browse the web and play Angry Birds on your TV, using any standard USB wireless keyboard and mouse. Proof of this, in video form, is after the jump.

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3 years ago

HTC EVO 3D case review: Otterbox Commuter

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New phone needs a new case. It has been this way since the dawn of the smartphone era, and so it shall be until its end. Your HTC EVO 3D is no exception, and for those interested in maximum protection while still maintaining a relatively slim profile, there's nothing like the Otterbox Commuter for HTC EVO 3D.

 

In typical Commuter fashion, you're looking at two pieces: the flexible, rubbery skin and the hard plastic shell. The rubberized skin fits nice and snug, and the hard shell keeps everything from sliding around.

As far as ports go, the top and bottom bezels on the phone have openings for the microphone and 3.5mm headphone jack, but the left and right bezels are covered up with the rubber skin. The micro-USB port has a removable flap (as it should), but the volume rocker and power button are totally dominated by the rubber skin. The camera shutter button is also protected but the 2D/3D slider is left bare.

As is typical with all EVO 3D cases, the camera lenses are now recessed inside the thickness of the case, so you can lay your phone on its back all you want without worrying about damaging your precious gimmick hardware.

More pictures are after the break.

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3 years ago

Time to Tab my way: portable media center

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When the weather permits I'm the kind of fella who likes to sit outside and enjoy a bit of fresh air.  That doesn't mean I like to sit quietly and enjoy nature though -- I need to take my toys out with me.  That means a laptop to do a little work with, and now my Galaxy Tab 10.1 with the multimedia dock and a set of desktop speakers from my local big box store. 

 

For watching video, listening to music, or kicking back in the Android Central Turntable.fm room listening to the jams, this setup rocks.  It lets me keep my laptop free for working, no pausing video and switching tabs and windows every five minutes, and the viewing angle is just perfect while my Tab is in the dock.  Plus you can plug the dock in to AC power to keep things charged, or use the 30 pin passthrough connector with the Samsung dongle for HDMI access.  The built in speakers on the Tab work while it's docked, but there's also a 3.5mm audio jack on the multimedia dock to connect a set of speakers to if you need a bit more volume -- handy to drown out the chorus of mockingbirds that seems to start right around dusk here at the homestead.

The best part?  Everything is portable.  When it's raining or cold, and I'm forced to stay indoors the dock and speakers can sit right on my desk or coffee table and still let me enjoy a little video or audio from my Tab, and the whole set-up makes for a hell of a bedside clock if you set it up on your nightstand.  If you like to use your Galaxy Tab as a media consumption device, you ought to check one of these out.  I've tossed a couple pictures of the dock itself after the break.

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3 years ago

Friday freebie: Win one of five Android Central T-shirts!

It's Friday, and we're feeling generous. So let's give away a few T-shirts, shall we? That's right, T-Shirts. Android Central T-Shirts. With Lloyd on them. For wearing, and such.

Couple things to note:

  1. The shirts run a little small, so consider going up a size.
  2. We ship shirts all over the globe, so this one's open to everyone.
  3. How to win: Just leave a comment in this post. We'll pick winners at 5 p.m. EST today.

Good luck!

Update: Congrats to postbus31, danuff, JackiesGirl, Roni1188 and mason2674. E-mails have been sent!

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3 years ago

Android accessory review: BodyGuardz Armor Carbon Fiber for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

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I'm a firm supporter of the opinion that most electronic devices are better naked than protected by a case. Yes, I've heard all the advice otherwise, and yes, I know that nothing is completely scratch proof. Heck, just last week I shattered my Thunderbolt when I absentmindedly perched it on my sink, turning it into a poster child for the dangers of case-less smartphones. That said, few things can change my mind. I'd rather commit to being more careful than hiding my expensive new device under a cheap looking cover.

Will the BodyGuardz Armor Carbon Fiber for my Galaxy Tab 10.1 convert my way of thinking? Let's find out, after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt desktop docking station: The perfect charging solution

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Let's not be bashful here: This desktop docking station is what the HTC ThunderBolt has needed from the very beginning. The beloved phone and its 4G LTE data suck through a battery like nobody's business, and having a quick and easy way to charge is a must.

 

The desktop docking station is a breeze. You seat the phone in it -- it connects via the microUSB port -- and charge away. You can charge it with the standard battery installed, or with an extended battery and its fat extended battery cover. Works fine with either one.

And it gets better. Chances are if you have a ThunderBolt, you have a spare battery. There's a slot behind the phone charger to simultaneously charge a spare battery. And it works for a standard or extended battery.

Let's break down the options:

  • Charge the phone with a standard battery by itself.
  • Charge the phone with an extended battery by itself.
  • Charge the phone with a standard battery by itself, and with a standard battery in reserve.
  • Charge the phone with a standard battery by itself, and with an extended battery in reserve.
  • Charge the phone with an extended battery by itself, and with a standard battery in reserve.
  • Charge the phone with an extended battery by itself, and with another extended battery in reserve.
  • Or just charge an extra battery on its own, without the phone in the dock.

That's a pretty perfect set of options. There's also a cutout for the 3.5mm headphone jack, and it comes with the standard HTC USB charger and microUSB cable. About our only complaint is that the ThunderBolt's desktop clock is pretty plain, but it's not a deal-breaker by any means.

Check out a slew of pics after the break.

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3 years ago

Friday Freebie: Win a free Energizer inductive charging pad

Since we're talking about keeping your phones charged today, let's give away a pretty cool charging pad. Energizer's wireless inductive charging pad (read our full review here) lets you charge your phone without actually plugging in the phone. OK, you still have to plug in the charging pad, but you gotta get the juice from somewhere, right?

To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. Need to keep this one to the U.S. only (sorry!), and your phone will need to have an inductive charging cover to get it to work. Lots of rules, we know. But leave a comment, and we'll close up shop at 6 p.m. EST. Good luck!

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3 years ago

Bluetooth keyboard review: Logitech keyboard for Android 3.0 tablets

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

With tablets being all the rage these days, Bluetooth keyboards are rising in popularity. It's not that the on-screen keyboards are bad (well, some are), but having physicals key adds a whole level of familiarity, plus you don't have to try and balance a tablet on your lap or something.

The Logitech Bluetooth keyboard for Android 3.0 tablets seems specifically targeted at the Android crowd, and it works really well.

Pairing is a cinch, using the connect button located on the back of the keyboard, and once you're paired up, you're good to go. Typing is a breeze on the keyboard and works without a hitch. Hit some keys, letters pop up on the screen. Everything Most of it works as it should.

The only problem with Logitech's Android-centric keyboard are the Android function keys. Logitech was wise enough to include search, home, menu, and back keys, but their intended functions are murky, at best.

I'm not sure if the unit I got is defective or if the keys just aren't mapped correctly, but while most of the keys did something, it was usually not what you wanted. Back acted like home, search acted like menu, so on and so forth. It was an irritating little niggle that was the only smudge on an otherwise great keyboard experience.

Another cool feature is the keyboard carrying case that protects the keys. For transport, it folds up and becomes a carrying case for the keyboard, but once you're ready to get typing, the case folds into a triangular stand (with a ridge!) to hold your tablet in position on a table or desk. It should also be noted that the Logitech keyboard doesn't come with rechargeable batteries and runs on four AAA's.

More pictures of the keyboard and stand can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Case review: Seidio Surface case for the T-Mobile G2X and LG Optimus 2X

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We all want to keep our phone looking good, even when it's built as tough as the LG G2X (and it's European twin brother the LG Optimus 2X) is.  For many, that means a hard shell case like the Seidio Surface.  It's tough, easy to use, and looks great on your phone.

 

It's a two-piece design that slides together and latches, built from a tough yet flexible material that is about 1mm thick.  Putting it on and removing it is a piece of cake, just press down on the shorter of the two pieces where they meet, and the interlocking latch will open and the sides slide right off.  Once together, it's a solid fit and feels great while holding and using your phone, thanks to Seidio's soft touch coating.  It gives the plastic a premium feel, without the lint collection superpowers that come with rubberized cases.  It's also easy to wipe clean, just be sure to remove it first.

The case is also perfectly cut to allow access to all the controls, ports, and even the dual speaker openings on the bottom of the G2X.  The camera and flash are left open as well, so you won't be seeing any shadows on that excellent camera the G2X has, and it even keeps the lens cover off any surface if you lay the phone down on it's back.  The case also wraps around the front edge and corners, keeping that expensive beveled glass screen safe. 

And the Amethyst looks hot!  Check out some more pics after the break

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3 years ago

HTC EVO 3D case review: Seidio CONVERT Combo

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You are the toughest of Android users. You punch bears in the face, drink motor oil, and grind rocks to dust with a simple clench of your hand. You're the fiercest of the lot, but you need to make sure your phone is equally protected. For you, there is but one option: the Seidio CONVERT Combo for HTC EVO 3D.

 

An all-around, full-phone protection solution, we're looking at three separate parts that, when combined, form the Voltron of the cell phone case universe. On the farthest inner layer, there's a Seidio Innocase II Surface, keeping your phone wrapped up nice and snug. On top of that is a tight-fitting, dust-proof, rubberized skin, ensuring your phone can survive any tumbles and drops (probably from your bear-punching escapades). On top of that is a six-prong hard plastic skeleton, wrapping it's insect-like hooks around the whole thing, like the terrifyingly safe hug from an armored beetle.

You're also looking at total lens coverage, with a folding rubber flap that exposes the lenses for when you just need to have proof to show your friends. As a matter of fact, the only part of the phone not completely dust covered and wrapped up is the 2D/3D switch next to the shutter button. Aside from that, nothing is breaking into this fort.

There's also an included hip holster, because this whole operation adds a fair bit of bulk to the phone's otherwise svelte slimness. But you knew that, and for what you're doing, you're willing to sacrifice a little bit of pocket space to know your newest investment comes home as safe and sound each night as you do.

More pictures are after the break.

More EVO 3D casesEVO 3D batteriesAll EVO 3D accessories

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid 3 Accessories Roundup

The best accessories for your Motorola Droid 3

Now that you've picked up your new Motorola Droid 3 it's time to take a gander at some of the best Motorola Droid 3 accessories chosen by the staff here at Android Central as well as our loyal customers.  If you need help finding out which case, charger, or mount is right for your Motorola Droid 3, then this is where you'll find the answers.

Kicking things off we have the four most popular accessories for the Motorola Droid 3:


Check past the break for our full roundup on Motorola Droid 3 accessories.

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3 years ago

The Bugdroid meets the Dragon

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If you've yet to watch anything form the Authors@Google series, you're very much missing out. And a recent guest was George R.R. Martin, who penned "A Game of Thrones," the first book of the "A Song of Fire and Ice" series. Perhaps you've heard of it.

As if an hour-long sitdown with Martin isn't cool enough, check out the shirt the Googlers presented him with. It's an Android Dragon T-shirt. How awesome is that? You can get your own at the link below. But head on past the break and watch the interview, too. It's well worth it.

Source: Google BooksSearch blog; Buy: Android Dragon T-shirt

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3 years ago

Logitech announces keyboard case for the Galaxy Tab 10.1

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Logitech this morning announced that it's teamed up with ZAGG and worked up a keyboard case for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet. It's in the same vein as the keyboard case for the iPad 2 in that it's a keyboard that doubles as a protective case with a soft interior when the tablet's not in use. The exterior is made of aluminum.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will stand up in either portrait or landscape mode, connecting to the keyboard via Bluetooth. It's got shortcut buttons for common Honeycomb tasks, and the keyboard will charge via USB, so you don't have to worry about batteries.

No word yet on when the keyboard case will ship, but you can preorder one now for $99.

More: Logitech

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3 years ago

ThunderBolt case review: Seidio Active Extended Battery case

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Here's our second review of an HTC ThunderBolt cast that fits the phone with an extended battery. The Seidio Active Extended Case is a dual rubber-plastic design that features a custom-fit exoskeleton with a soft silicone interior for shock absorption.

 

The case itself is an interesting mix. It's sturdy -- almost rugged -- but it doesn't make your phone feel like a tank. The exoskeleton is stiff but has Seidio's signature rubber coating, so it retains a soft feel. It is, however, a bit of a lint magnet.

Fitting the ThunderBolt into the Active Extended case is a pretty simple thing. Slide the phone in, then work the case around it. You might have a bit of try with the final corner, but a little wiggling should get things in place. Removal is just as easy.

The case doesn't cover the phone's display, and there's a cutout for the camera flashes. But it's thick enough that it'll keep the display and camera lens from touching a table or desk when left face-down. The volume rocker works just fine through the case, but the ThunderBolt's kickstand is rendered moot. To that end, the Active Extended case has its own kickstand. It's plastic, instead of the ThunderBolt's metal design, but it gets the job done.

We've got more pics after the break.

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