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2 years ago

Review: Klipsch S4A earbuds and companion Android app

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Klipsch S4As sound great, don't break the bank and have an Android app for tweaking settings

One of the first things you should do -- nay, the first thing you should do -- when buying just about any new smartphone is to ditch the cheap earbuds that come with it. We've been testing the Klipsch S4A earbuds for a couple weeks now -- as well as the Android companion app that serves along side them.

Let's not beat around the bush here: These are some excellent $99 earbuds. For me, that's the sweet spot for pricing. Any more than that, and I'm going to be worried about losing them. Any less, and I won't think I've spent enough for quality. (That can be a red herring, I know. But that's what my brain thinks, and so I'm going with it.)

The earbuds fit my ears easily enough, snug, but not too snug thank to the oval rubber tips, and they're pretty comfortable over long periods. They're also surprisingly good at passive noise isolation. I really didn't expect them do be able to drown out the new Lamb of God blaring from my desk speakers, but the S4As managed it, and with a surprising amount of bass, too.  The tips are replaceable, too (for a mere $13.99 each) and come in four sizes. 

The S4As also serve as a microphone for hands-free(ish) calls. The mic is about six inches down the left-ear cable, and that's also where you'll find the push button, which really is what the S4As are all about. While they work fine out of the box, there's also a companion Android application that adds a great deal of funcationality for that button. You've got the usual single-press options -- play/pause, mute/answer, that sort of thing. Double clicking by default takes you to the next track. Triple click takes you back. A long press controls the volume. And most of these actions are customizable. 

The app itself is a no-brainer to use. Klipsch did a really nice job of designing it so that it's as simple as can be. Just plug in, check your settings, and go. One thing we will recommend you do before purchasing, though, is to check the app listing the Android Market, as there are a few smartphones that have had compatibility issues. But Klipsch says it's working on this.

We've got more pictures and screen shots after the break.

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2 years ago

Galaxy Nexus case review: Qmadix Snap-On Cover with Holster

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You don't always want to have to choose between an easy snap-on cover and all-over protection for your phone. Sometimes it's more convenient to have the option to switch things up as and when you need, and that's one of the main strengths of Qmadix's snap-on cover with holster for the Galaxy Nexus.

 

Firstly, you've got a basic snap-on cover that's finished in soft-touch plastic, with a grooved pattern on the back for easy gripping. This can then slide into the holster component, which is equipped with a rotatable clip for attaching the entire package to clothes, pockets or bags. The inside of the holster faces the screen, and is so it's lined with a soft material to avoid scratches. And the cover, holster and phone all lock together securely, meaning you shouldn't need to worry about working its way free or falling out of the case while you're out and about.

The case's best feature by far is its ability to clip onto clothing, and offer multiple levels of protection based on what you're doing. If your phone is in your pocket, simply use the snap-on cover alone. If you need to clip it onto a belt or throw it in a bag without risking screen damage, just attach the holster and you're good to go.

The Qmadix Snap-on Cover with Holster is designed for both the international GSM Galaxy Nexus, as well as the Verizon LTE version, so whichever model you have, the case will fit snugly.

We've got more pictures for you after the jump.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus extended battery (GSM) - a photo tour

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Taking a look at the GSM Galaxy Nexus extended battery

The international version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus ships with an ample 1750 mAh battery, which provides decent battery life while maintaining the phone's low profile. As we said in our review, most people shouldn't have any trouble getting through a full day of use with the stock battery.

However, sometimes you just need a little more juice, and that's where Samsung's official extended battery for the GSM Galaxy Nexus comes in. It's a larger 2000 mAh battery pack which gives you a few more hours of use in exchange for a little extra bulk. To clarify, this is different to the 2100 mAh extended battery for Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners -- the Verizon and GSM models use different batteries.

Before we begin, a couple of things to note -- firstly, this is an official Samsung extended battery, as you might've guessed by the logos on the back of the battery door. Secondly, the only way to get hold of this battery, for now, is to import it from South Korea. We hope we'll see broader international availability in the future.

The GSM extended battery comes with a larger battery door to accommodate its slightly thicker size, as you'll see in the animation below. This means the phone isn't as ridiculously thin as with the stock battery, but we found that the slightly raised bulge around the back of the phone actually made it easier to hold. That's a matter of personal preference, though, and you certainly won't notice the extra couple of millimeters when it's in your pocket. Also, even with the extra bulk around the back, the phone manage to fit its way into the couple of protective cases we tried, including the Case-Mate Barely There case, and the Qmadix Snap-on Cover with Holster.


View a larger version of this animation

The new battery door is built to the same high standards as the one in the box. Same "hyperskin" texture, same logos. The battery itself contains an NFC antenna, just like the original, and we confirmed that NFC was indeed functional with the extended battery installed.

So how about performance? Well, we've been using the 2000 mAh extended battery for around 36 hours, and in that time we've noticed it gives us around 4 to 5 extra hours with moderate-to-high usage. On a less scientific level, we've noticed that it just seems to hold charge better. We've included a few battery usage screenshots after the jump, and given the performance we've seen out of the extended battery so far, we think we'd be hard pushed to run this thing down in under a day.

As ever, we'll keep you posted with further impressions as we spend more time with the new battery. We've got a couple of screenshots and some more photos after the jump.

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2 years ago

Galaxy Nexus case review: Case-Mate Barely There case

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Case-Mate's "Barely There" series of cases has a reputation for offering a good level of protection against knocks and bumps, without turning your phone into a bulky, unpocketable brick. The latest Barely There case for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus continues this tradition, with a sturdy yet sleek design that covers the most vulnerable areas of the device.

 

The case has a soft touch finish all over, which means it feels great in the hand, and its sleek lines fit in well with the rounded design of the Galaxy Nexus. As you'd expect from a premium case, you also get cut-outs for all your major ports and buttons, including the rear speakers and noise-cancelling microphones. While it doesn't provide all-over protection, the Barely There case for the Galaxy Nexus strikes a good balance between protection and aesthetics. One particularly useful feature is the raised lip around the left and right edges, which raises the device up slightly when it's laid flat, protecting the screen from scratches.

The Case-Mate Barely There case fits both the Verizon LTE Galaxy Nexus and  international GSM version, so whichever model you have, you'll be good to go.

We've got more photos after the break.

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2 years ago

First Look: Verizon Galaxy Nexus Seidio Innocell 3800mAh Super Extended Battery

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For all you heavy Verizon Galaxy Nexus users out there, your days of rapidly depleting battery life thanks to that power-hungry 4G LTE radio are finally over thanks to the new Seidio Innocell 3800mAh Super Extended Battery -- and, yeah -- this thing's a beast.  Check past the break for a brief look at the battery and its features.

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2 years ago

Follow @shopandroid for the latest in Android accessories!

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We're already your No. 1 source for Android news, reviews, rumors -- well, everything! And we're also your No. 1 source for Android accessories thanks to Shop Android. And to that end, be sure to follow @shopandroid on Twitter. It's a quick and easy way to find the latest and greatest accessories pouring into Shop Android each day, all in one easy Twitter feed.

Follow @shopandroid today!

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2 years ago

Official Galaxy Nexus accessories delayed, UK retailer says

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News is coming out of the UK today from retailer Clove Technology, says that we're going to have to carry on waiting for the official Samsung Galaxy Nexus accessories as the release date has slipped back to February. 

As we previously reported, Clove were expecting to start shipping the accessories mid-January, but a statement on their blog today tells a sadly different story. Citing delays from Samsung as the cause, their expected shipping date has now slipped back to around Feb. 13. Disappointing, to be sure. Let's hope somebody's able to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Source: Clove

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2 years ago

UK retailers beginning to offer up dates for official Galaxy Nexus accessories

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In the United Kingdom, we're fortunate enough to have had the brilliant Samsung Galaxy Nexus since mid-November. Almost two months on from release, what we're still yet to see are any of the OEM accessories for the device. Two of the leading British online retailers for mobile equipment, Expansys and Clove Technology, have now started to offer some actual timeframes for getting their stock of the accessories in. Both companies though have quite different expected release dates. 

Clove have got the full range, including the sweet looking vehicle mount shown here, showing "first stock expected mid-January." We're in mid-January now, so this could mean we won't have to wait much longer. 

Expansys however are expecting to release the items on Feb 29. A significant difference from the Clove expectations, but it's important to note that Expansys are not always in first with what they sell. It's a lot more pinpoint though than "mid-January." 

Hopefully we really won't have too much longer to wait. Theres a lot to be said for utilising official OEM accessories, and my wallet is crying out to buy them. 

Source: Expansys, Clove

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2 years ago

First look at the Supertooth Disco 2 Bluetooth speaker

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

The original Supertooth Disco has long been one of our favorite speakers to pair with an Android phone. Whether you're using it via Bluetooth or connected with the 3.5mm headphone jack, it's got great sound, ample volume, and the price was right.

Now we have the Supertooth Disco 2, and it's undergone a pretty thorough redesign. Whereas the orignal Disco was a pretty simple rechargable soundbar-type speaker, with three drivers, a volume knob and Bluetooth controls on the front, the Supertooth Disco 2 has gone vertical, sports two tweeters, a mid and a sub -- and does so in a 360-degree format. It's got the controls on top, and the removable, rechargable battery -- yes, removable, so you can have more than one on hand if desired -- is tucked into the bottom.

It's not quite as powerful as the original Disco -- 16 watts instead of 28 -- bnd you can use two speakers at once for a seamless stereo experience.

It's tough to get great feel for the audio on the show floor at CES, so that'll have to wait until we get the Disco 2 into our Bat Cave before rendering final judgment. But for just $99, we're fairly certain this one's going to be a good buy. Stay tuned.

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