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2 months ago

What is wireless charging and how does it work?

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Qi transmitter coil

Wireless charging isn't magic, but it can be convenient.

Wireless charging, like the Qi charging many Android phones use, isn't new technology. My Panasonic electric razor used it many years ago, and most of us have seen toothbrushes that charge wirelessly in a cradle. And of course, we can't forget Palm and the way they brought wireless charging (though a different standard) to the masses with the Touchstone. Now that size, cost, and efficiency constraints have all eased up a little, putting wireless charging in something like your Android phone or watch makes more sense.

We get more than a few questions about wireless charging and how it works, so let's take a few minutes and talk about the basics — what it is, how it works and why you would want it in your next Android purchase.

This post was updated in February 2017 with the latest information.

What is wireless charging?

Wireless charging comes full circle

Wireless charging isn't magic — you still need a wire. the difference is that the wire is connected to a charging base instead of your phone, so you can just drop your Android onto the charger and things get to work without hooking anything up to your phone. The charging base can be almost any shape or size, and can even be in something like your car dash or the base of a lamp from IKEA. As long as you're able to get the right spot on the rear of your Android on the right spot on the base of the charger, it will work.

A good example would be having a wireless charging base on your desk at work. When you're not using your phone, you set it on the charger. When you need to use your phone, pick it up and it has a charge. Wireless charging isn't as fast as Quick Charging, but it's easy and something you're more likely to use to keep your phone topped off throughout the day (in our example). That's where wireless charging shines — ease of use.

How does wireless charging work?

Let's try to explain the magic so everyone in the room can understand. While there are plenty of cool technical things to discuss, and we totally should discuss them in the forums or the comments, we'll try to keep things basic here.

Wireless charging uses two resonant inductive couplings to transmit low-power signals between two devices. These are specially designed to transmit electricity without touching each other like a normal wired connection does. The base station has a transmitter coil and your phone has a receiver coil. The base station regularly sends a signal out, and when a receiver coil gets close enough a resonance or capacity change happens in the signal. The waveform of the signal is then modulated and inductive charging begins.

Inductive charging uses those two specially designed electromagnetic coils to create a magnetic field between two devices. There is an intricate process involved that allows a magnetic field to produce electricity through the difference of potential and oscillation (we'll simplify this and call it vibration so it makes more sense to everyone).

The coil in your Android is also connected to the battery charging circuit, and your battery is charged using the energy induced by the magnetic field. Excess heat is created as well, and that's part of why wireless charging isn't the most efficient way to transfer power from the wall to your battery. This is also why it takes longer to charge your phone on a Qi pad than it does to plug it into the wall. While new methods and materials use higher frequencies and thinner coils than past iterations, wireless charging is still less efficient and more costly than standard charging over a wire. It will stay this way for the foreseeable future.

To simplify:

  • Your Android and the charger have special electrical coils in them.
  • When the two coils get close enough, they use magnetism and "vibration" to send a small amount of power across the gap between them.
  • This power goes through the charging circuit in your phone and charges the battery.
  • It costs more and takes longer to charge than it would if you plugged your phone in, and creates more heat because this is less efficient than connecting wires the traditional way.

A word about Powermat

Powermat

Qi is not the only wireless charging standard. Other standards like Powermat are used to build wireless charging solutions. These use a different standard than Qi but the science behind them all is the same. Powermat has partnered with companies like AT&T and Starbucks to provide base stations in public places, and using a special case or charging block attached to your phone lets you wirelessly charge. They are also partnered with General Motors and are working to bring built-in wireless charging bases in vehicles.

While the same basic electrical theory applies to both Powermat and Qi, the different standards mean they are not compatible. Your Qi-enabled phone won't charge on a Powermat base because the signals sent and received are different. If you have Powermat equipment, you'll need to be sure you're buying more Powermat equipment to get everything working.

There are exceptions, like Samsung Galaxy phones, which include both Qi and Powermat standards.

Why do I want wireless charging in my next phone?

Now that we have a good standard — we're talking the Qi standard here — we have to remember than any Qi charger will work with any device that is Qi-certified. That means the charger you buy, whether it's a $6 Chinese unbranded unit from Amazon or a name-brand like Samsung or Zens, will work with the device you have now and any devices you buy in the future.

Couple this with the convenience factor — and until you've bought a couple Qi chargers and put them in the places you're likely to set your phone you don't really understand how convenient it is. I have a Qi charger at my desk, on the table beside my recliner in the living room, one in my car and one on my nightstand. My Nexus 6 almost never had less than 50-percent charge. Not because the battery life on the Nexus 6 was great, or because Qi chargers work "better", but because whenever it was not in my hand it was charging.

Of course, there's the initial cost of buying the charging bases, but they are pretty cheap — about the same cost as a good wall wart and USB cable. As more and more handheld devices and smartphones move towards the Qi standard, more and more devices will be able to take advantage of the chargers.

Finally, wireless charging doesn't have to replace removable batteries for those that want or need them. Think of it as a supplement to stretch out the time between battery swaps.

Wireless charging doesn't make your phone work any differently, but it can change the way you use it.

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2 months ago

Save up to 40% on select networking and storage accessories today only!

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Amazon's Deal of the Day can save you up to 40% off when purchasing select networking and storage accessories. Whether you are in need of a new wireless router, a network extender, or want to get set up with a NAS, you won't want to miss this deal. With items from popular brands like Netgear, ASUS, Linksys, Drobo and more available here, this is a perfect time to make those upgrades that you've been thinking of.

Some of the items available in this sale include:

This is just a small sample of what is available in this daily deal. Be sure to check the rest out at the link below, and remember these prices are only good for today, February 15, so don't wait too long to make your purchase.

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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2 months ago

Essential Accessories for Huawei Mate 9

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Got a fancy new Huawei Mate 9 sticking out of your pocket? Accessorize it with these useful add-ons.

The best part about bringing a new smartphone into your home is all the accessories that you get to buy in celebration. Here are a few ideas of how to initially equip yourself for life with the Huawei Mate 9. And if you need some cases to accompany those new accessories, we've got you covered there, too.

Ranyi Premium Hybrid case

A great case doesn't need to be expensive or bulky. Ranyi's Premium Hybrid case for the Mate 9 is neither, but at $8.99 it's well worth the price.

Featuring a hardened carbon fiber back and plastic sides, the Ranyi case protects against drops and scratches without adding weight or thickness.

See at Amazon

AUKEY Magnetic Car Mount

car mount

It's illegal in many states to hold your smartphone while you're driving, even if you're not actively using it. Keep it out of your hands and easy to see with a magnetic car mount that slides inside your air conditioning vent. The ultra-strong magnet comes with sticky magnetic strips you can adhere to the back of your phone or inside a case.

See at Amazon

Huawei Mate 9 Desktop Charging Dock

charging dock

Keep the Mate 9 handsomly docked by your bedside or on your desk with this desktop charging dock from Encased. The stand is Type-C compatible and features a height adjustable design, in case your smartphone case is keeping the Mate 9 from properly docking. The built-in cable also enables data transfers.

See at Amazon

Arctek Type-C Car Charger

car charger

If you spend quite a bit of time in your car — commuting sure is rough — be sure to grab the Arctek USB car charger, which supports QuickCharge 3.0. It also has built in protection for overheating and overcharging, in case you need to keep your Mate 9 plugged in for the ride. This car charger is also compatible with some laptops, including the ChromeBook Pixel and Apple MacBook.

See at Amazon

Foneso Extendable Monopod

extendable tripod

Planning to shoot photos with the Mate 9's dual rear-facing cameras? Get the Foneso tripod and selfie stick combination! It's the ultimate travel accessory because it holds up your phone for selfies and stands up for group shots! The camera mount stows down to 7 inches and features a Bluetooth remote. It also offers a 1/4-inch standard screw for GoPros and other smaller cameras.

See at Amazon

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2 months ago

These Android phones support wireless charging

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Wireless Charging

It's the feature you either have to have or don't care about at all.

Updated February, 2017: Removed older phones that are EOL and added current phones that support wireless charging.

Wireless charging has been around for a few years now, but sadly it hasn't become as widely adopted as we'd like. Our Micro-USB ports start to loosen and bend over time and being able to limit that wear and tear by using wireless charging would be a godsend, but due to the fight over wireless charging standards, most phones simply go without it. And while Qi and Powermat and the various companies backing them fight it out, smartphone users are left in the cold.

However, many popular phones are beginning to embrace wireless charging, and if that's something you're looking for in your next phone, here's a list of those lucky devices.

Note: All devices below support Qi charging. We will indicate support for AirFuel compatibility where applicable.

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2 months ago

Best GPS trackers for kids

Best GPS trackers for kids

What are the best GPS trackers for kids?

Updated February, 2017: We removed the LG GizmoPal because it has been discontinued and added its successor the LG GizmoGadget.

It can be difficult to keep track of your children, and it can also be hard to gauge when it's appropriate to get them a cell phone or something a bit more mature in order to keep in contact with them.

GPS trackers are fantastic, potentially life-saving tools that help keep track of your little ones, so you won't have to worry about where they are. Just have them wear their GPS tracker like a watch, and the rest is up to your watchful eyes.

Here are a few great options to check out if you're looking for the best GPS trackers for your kids!

KOREX Waterproof Babysitter Smartwatch

KOREX Waterproof Babysitter Smartwatch

Waterproof, reliable, and programmed with real-time GPS tracking, the KOREX Waterproof Babysitter Smartwatch is a cost-efficient tracker to consider if you're looking for a wearable GPS device for your kids.

The KOREX comes with a plethora of features, including smooth two way talking, waterproofing, immediate SOS emergency alert, and a Smart Alarm for homework reminders, waking up in the morning, and more. The smart watch even comes with an Electric Fence feature in which parents will be notified if their children leave a specifically indicated secure area.

By using two tracking methods – GPS+LBS – parents are able to get a more accurate reading on precisely where their child may be. Parents can even use a remote listening option to simply hear where their child is to check up on them without being too intrusive.

The KOREX can be set up with up to 16 contacts, so your child will be able to get in touch with numerous people if something goes wrong, and if you're worried about a stranger reaching out to your child via the watch, the KOREX can only dial and receive calls from numbers already programmed into the device.

The GPS tracker comes in two different colors: baby pink and powder blue, and will only work with a SIM card that supports 2G Gaud-band.

See at Amazon

Tinitell

Tinitell

Stylish looking with a simple, modern design, the Tinitell GPS tracker is an innovative new smartband that worked effortlessly with an app from your smartphone.

Tinitell isn't only an interesting-looking, modern device, it's also an incredibly durable and resilient GPS tracker. Tinitell is designed to take some abuse, including splashing water and dirt (although the device itself isn't 100% waterproof by any means).

With your smartphone, you can connect and monitor your child with a precise GPS tracker, and you can even call your child using the Tinitell app. The smartband can have up to 12 contacts listed, so they never have to worry about being stranded without anyone to reach out to if they're in trouble. To make a call, all they have to do is press the front of the band, say the name of the person they'd like to contact, and that's it!

The Tinitell comes in four different, vibrant colors, including aqua, coral, charcoal, and indigo. You can use a Ting SIM card with your Tinitell for around $12 a month.

See at Tinitell

GBD-GPS Tracker Kids Smartwatch

GBD-GPS Tracker Kids Smartwatch

With all-day tracking, three-way positioning, and even an additional fitness tracker element, the GBD-GPS Tracker Kids Smartwatch aims to make monitoring your children as effortless (and as accurate!) as possible.

Using a micro-SIM card, the GBD-GPS tracker is not only able to make two-way calls, but also immediate SOS emergency calls if your child comes in contact with unexpected danger. While some GPS tracking devices use one or two ways of triangulating your child's location, the GBD-GPS uses GPS, AGPS, and LBS positioning to paint a more accurate picture of where your child may be.

The GBD tracker allows parents to erect an Electric Fence, giving your child boundaries that will set off an alarm on your smartphone if crossed. If need be, parents can also call their child on their smartwatch for easy two-way talking, and can even use the app to set remote alarms and reminders for their children.

The GBD-GPS comes in three neon colors, including blue, green, and bright pink, so there's a color option to match almost every child's favorites.

See at Amazon

LG GizmoGadget

If you're a Verizon Wireless customer and are looking for a tracker that will allow your child to use text and voice to check in with you, then the LG GizmoGadget is an excellent option.

The GizmoGadget sports a 1.3-inch touch screen display, but in order for your child to make a call, they will have to press the physical button, and then use the touch screen to choose a contact. The GizmoGadget also allows you to pre-program up to 9 different texts messages that your child can send to 10 whitelisted numbers.

PC Mag rated the LG GizmoGadget 4.5 out of 5 stars.

"The LG GizmoGadget is an excellent smartwatch for primary schoolers who need to stay in touch with their caregivers via voice and text."

The wearable also has a handful of other useful functions, including an activity tracker, a stopwatch, and a timer.

See at Verizon

dokiWatch

dokiWatch

Though the dokiWatch is designed for children 6 to 12, its sleek and modern looking design, high-quality, reliability, and wide range of color options make it a stylish (and incredibly practical) GPS tracker for people of all ages.

The dokiWatch claims that it's the world's most advanced 3G smartwatch for kids, and there's a lot to support that statement. The dokiWatch combines precise GPS, GSM, and Wi-Fi tracking technology with video call capabilities, voice calling, one-way text messages, fitness tracking, and so much more.

The smartwatch automatically uploads location data directly to your smartphone, meaning you'll never have to guess where your child is. Video and voice calling is almost instantaneous, while parents can remotely schedule their child's appointments and reminders from the dokiWatch's compatible app.

With the dokiWatch, children can send out SOS alerts if they're in immediate danger to their preset contacts, including their location and a recording of their surroundings. Parents can even enable Class Mode which will remove the distraction of the device while their child is in class by deactivating it at specific times.

See at Doki

What's your favorite?

Is there a GPS tracker you've been using that you're extremely happy with? Please let us know which model is your favorite in the comments and we'll be sure to check it out!

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2 months ago

Best microSD Cards to Expand Storage on Honor 6X

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Get more space in your Honor 6X with a quality microSD.

The Huawei Honor 6X is a great budget phone that doesn't feel like a budget phone. It features a solid aluminum build, two quality cameras, and an impressive 3,340mAh battery that should carry you through most days.

The only spec that's lacking is the 32GB of internal storage. Huawei has mitigated that by including a microSD slot with compatibility for cards up to 128GB. That's more than enough room to load all your favorite media onto your phone or snap and store an endless stream of photos.

We've curated the best microSD card options, so you can get the most out of your Honor 6X.

Samsung EVO+ 128GB

Samsung makes some of the best microSD cards you can buy. The 128GB EVO+ is water, temperature, X-ray, and magnet-proof — A.K.A. virtually indestructible — and also features speedy read/write speeds of 90MB/s.

See at Amazon


PNY Elite 128GB

If you're looking to maximize your phone's storage at a budget price, the PNY Elite is your best bet. It'll max out your Honor 6X's storage without maxing out your credit card. It features a read speed of up to 85MB/s, so you'll have no problem accessing your media files on the card.

Since this product is fulfilled by Amazon, if you have any issue with it or think you might have been sold a counterfeit product (as some Amazon reviewers have alleged) you should be able to return or exchange it with little hassle.

See at Amazon

Lexar Professional 1000X 64GB

If 64GB of extra space seems like more than enough for you, consider getting the Lexar Professional 1000X. It comes with Lexar's super fast USB card adapter featuring UHS-II technology for read transfer speeds of up to 150MB/s. It also comes with a free downloadable copy of image recovery software in case you erase the wrong file or the card is corrupted.

The 64GB card is currently just over $30. There's a 128GB option available here, too, if you want to double up.

See at Amazon

SanDisk Extreme PLUS 64GB

SanDisk also makes a quality microSD card, although they're also the priciest option on this list. The 64GB card is available for just over $50, with the 128GB card checking in at $90 before shipping and handling.

However, if you've used and trusted SanDisk for your storage needs in the past, you can buy with confidence knowing you'll get a durable card with reads speeds of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of up to 90MB/s.

See at Amazon

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2 months ago

Best Heavy Duty Cases For OnePlus 3 + OnePlus 3T

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What are the best heavy duty cases for protecting your OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T?

The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T are stylish and capable smartphones featuring an identical unibody design carved out of aluminum, with its AMOLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 4.

OnePlus offers a collection of stylish protective cases options when you purchase through their site. Alas, if you're feeling like it could use some added protection from drops and other accidental damage, there are rugged case options available to give you better peace of mind.

Update February 13: Added the Poetic Revolution case and updated article to reflect compatibility with OnePlus 3T.

Otterbox OnePlus 3 + 3T case

Otterbox is one of the most trusted names in smartphone cases. Their case for the OnePlus 3 and 3T is featured prominently right on the OnePlus website, which should tell you that the manufacturers themselves trust this case to keep your device protected.

Featuring a hard shell outer layer to defends against drops and scratches and a coupled with a shock-absorbing silicone layer designed to stay snug to your phone. All this comes in a slim package that doesn't add too much bulk to your phone, and available in three color schemes — Dark Matter, Saharan White and Cardinal Red.

See at OnePlus


Spigen Rugged Armor

Looking for a rugged case that doesn't sacrifice your phone's sleek design too much? Look no further than the Spigen Rugged Armor case.

This one-piece case is made of flexible TPU, and features a spider-web pattern on the inside that helps distribute the shock from drops along the entirety of the case. There's raised lips to protect the screen and back camera, Spigen's air cushion technology in the corners, and a glossy finish with carbon fiber features on the back to complete this stylish, protective case.

See at Amazon


TUDIA Ultra Tough Hybrid

Looking for a case that provides full protection from all angles? The TUDIA Ultra Tough Hybrid case will keep your OnePlus 3 protected from front to back.

It features a polycarbonate outer shell — available in four colors — with an inner sleeve made of TPU to protect against the shock from drops. along with a polycarbonate front plate with a built-in protector to keep your screen free from scratches. This also means that your tempered glass protector won't fit with this case, but unlike other cases that have this issue, at least TUDIA provides its own layer. Rounding out the protection are covers for the charging port and headphone jack to keep out dust and pocket lint.

See at Amazon


OEAGO Tough Rugged Protective Case

The OEAGO Tough Rugged Protective Case is the most rugged-looking case on this list by far. The soft TUP inner sleeve helps with shock absorption, and is covered by a polycarbonate shell, featuring a tactile gridwork to help you maintain a good grip on your phone at all times. The outer shell also features a built-in kickstand, which is convenient for hands-free movie watching, and the inner shell is available in eight different colors so you can find the one to fit your style.

Best part? It's currently available for under $10. You can't beat that value!

See at Amazon

Poetic Revolution OnePlus 3 Rugged Case

Roses are red, violets are blue. If you're looking for a rugged case, this one will do.

Crappy poetry aside, this two-piece rugged case from Poetic features a polycarbonate front cover with built in screen protector (made of plastic), with the rest of your phone protected by a TPU sleeve that will keep it protected from shock and impacts. The accents on the back and sides will help with grip, and you'll have full access to all your ports and buttons.

If you've already got your own tempered glass screen protector — perhaps the Orzly option for the OnePlus 3 or 3T — this case won't work because the front protector will get in the way so you'll want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, this is a great option to keep your OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T well protected, which is available in black, blue/gray or pink/gray.

See at Amazon


Tell us your favorite!

How do you keep your OnePlus 3 protected? Got a case recommendation that didn't make our list? Let us know in the comments below!

OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3

OnePlus Amazon

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2 months ago

Top 5 ways to manage messy charging and power cables

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Drowning in cords, cables, and wires? We're here to help!

Getting a new desk, computer monitor, TV, or other device is exciting, but dealing with the power cords, charging cables, and all the other wires that come with those devices is a different story.

While it's impossible to do away with every cable or cord needed to run all your tech, there are a lot of ways to manage your cables more efficiently, which can help you eliminate the stress of a disorganized space.

1. Move closer to outlets

I live in an old house, and I know power outlets can sometimes be in some inconvenient spots, but if you can, moving closer to wall outlets will prevent power cables from needing to stretch across the room. This small change can help minimize the look of clutter, and prevent tripping over cables.

2. Go wireless where you can

Almost anytime you can go wireless; you will feel a bit of relief from your cable madness,

Wireless Bluetooth headphones and speakers are prime examples of gadgets that can reduce cable fatigue. Yes, I know, they both have charging cables, and I'll get to that in a second, but the freedom and mobility devices such as these offer is outstanding and truly make spaces cleaner.

While those are common examples of going wireless, less common but super helpful is using wireless HDMI.

It's not the cheapest solution or even the most practical for everybody, but if you have multiple TVs and dislike having to get an HDMI cord (or several) for each TV, you can always pick up a product like the IOGear Wireless HD Digital Kit.

Rated as The Wirecutter's best wireless HDMI transmitter, it's easy to see how this just how useful the IOGear can be.

"The IOGear transmitter base unit has two HDMI inputs and an HDMI output. This means you can have a TV, transmitter, and sources (Blu-ray, cable/satellite box, etc.) wired up in one room while wirelessly sending the same signal to another TV elsewhere in the house."

See at Amazon

3.Store small cables and adapters

Charging cables, dongles, and small power adapters add up over time, and I often find they are about 90% of my clutter — especially at my desk. It's good to having a place to store said small items is crucial to getting your cable chaos under control; invest in a cable organizer.

The BAGSMART travel organizer is the perfect way to store cables and adapter you're not using. I know, it's meant for travel, but there is no reason you could store this in a drawer or on a shelf by your desk.

With one zipper pouch — big enough to hold a large mobile phone — BAGSMART also includes some stretchy straps, which are ideal for keeping in oddly shaped or bulkier items.

Plus, if you ever do want to travel with it, the outside of the case is padded and has a slight rigidness to prevent your items on the inside from being damaged by scrapes and minor falls.

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4. Keep essential cords neatly arranged

You probably charge items like your phone and your tablet every day, which means you're going to want access to those cords often and with ease.

An item like the YOCOU 5-Channel Cable Management System can tidy up your workspace and keep your most important cables readily available.

The small grooves will hold in pace almost any wire or cord that's ¼-inch or less in diameter, and It has an adhesive back that sticks to any flat surface so you can mount it wherever works best for you.

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5. Tie together excess cords

Some cords and cables are comically long, leaving you to deal with several feet of cord that inevitably ends up in a tangled mess behind your TV, computer, desk, etc. If you're going to have an excess amount of cord hanging around, why not make it look neat?

Wrapping your excess cord together with a velcro strap is an excellent way to eliminate some clutter. It's especially useful for cords and cables that you don't need to move often.

For example, The HDMI cable from your gaming console to your TV or the power cord for your computer speakers. If you don't regularly need to move the position of the item you're plugging in, strap that sucker down!

How to you keep your cables organized?

Have any other tips for keeping your cords and cable tidy? Share them in the comments below.

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2 months ago

First look at Omron Evolv: Smart blood pressure tracking on Android

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Second in a series of how Phil is trying to not die of high blood pressure after years and years of running Android Central. (And doing other unhealthy things.)

OK, OK. Health tech isn't maybe quite as sexy as the news SmartWatchWear 5000. But I'd argue that maybe it's just a little more important in the long run, right? Thus my first look at the Withings wireless blood pressure cuff. Syncs to your phone. Syncs to the cloud. Keeps Phil alive. Good times.

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But that's not the only thing like that out there. Just a month ago at CES Omron announced a new kind of cuff that's smart — it syncs with an app on your phone, yeah — but also standalone. You can use it along with your phone, but you don't have to. (And as I'm getting older the real definition of a "smart" product is one that recognizes that there are times I don't want to have to deal with any more tech than is absolutely necessary. But get off my lawn.)

The best thing about the Evolv? Well, it's a couple things, really. It's fast. And then there's the display, which shows the measurements right there on your arm, no smartphone required. And that's maybe a good thing, as the Omron app isn't all that impressive.

But all in all, this is a good little product and a competitive price. Nicely done.

See at Amazon

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2 months ago

Essential Accessories for LG G5

Essential Accessories for the LG G5

Turn your LG G5 into a workhorse with the right accessories.

Do you have your phone on you at all times ready to respond to every call, text, and email that comes your way? Do you use your phone as your primary TV, game console, and music player? If that sounds like you, then you my friend, are a power user.

Great accessories are the icing on the phone cake. You already have the the phone you want that works amazingly well, now you want those little extra pieces of hardware that just make your life that much easier. We've rounded up some accessories for the LG G5 you won't want to miss out on.

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2 months ago

Best Third-Party Bands for LG Watch Style

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A stylish watch deserves a stylish band.

The LG Watch Style may be aimed at those who care a little more about fashion than function, but there are plenty of functional reasons to swap out bands on your new watch. Maybe your perfect fit is between sizes, or maybe you need something a little more sweat-proof — or maybe you simply want something that matches your wardrobe better. Swapping bands on the Style is a breeze, but first you need a band to switch to, and that's where we come in!

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2 months ago

Great Valentine's Day 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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2 months ago

Best Wireless Mice for Chromebooks

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Which wireless mice are best for Chromebooks?

While your Chromebook's trackpad works well enough for most situations, there are some tasks for which a wireless mouse is better.

Whether you need a wireless mouse to scroll through long documents faster, or to perform fine manipulations, there's a great wireless mouse out there with your name on it. Here are a few of our favorites.

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2 months ago

How the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor helped save Modern Dad

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Fun fact: Seven years of running Android Central might well leave you with high blood pressure. Or maybe it was just a coincidence. ...

That's the bad news. ... The good news is that 2016 was the year I decided to take my health a little more seriously. Step 1: Get a doctor. That led to Step 2: Find out that I indeed had high blood pressure, and start dealing with that. And that led to Step 3: Keep track of how the ol' blood beater is beating on a daily basis.

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So it was time to snag a blood pressure monitor. I started with your basic Amazon best-seller. And that was fine. It did the job, and it even had a little bit of smarts to it. But I wanted something even smarter, even more connected.

So I turned to Withings, whose connected scaled I'd already been using for some time. And their wireless blood pressure monitor has served me very well since I started keeping track of things. Probably as impressive as anything is that in the six months or so that I've been using it, I still haven't had to change out the batteries. (Which, strangely, was my biggest concern.)

This one works excellently with Android and Google Fit, as well as iOS and HealthKit.

See at Amazon

Modern Dad

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2 months ago

Best Armband Cases for Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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Best armband cases for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Take your phone with you wherever and however you work out.

If you're a fitness freak who loves to have their music with them as they work out, or simply looking to take up jogging as the summer warms up, an armband case is a smart way to keep your phone comfortably secure as you move.

There's a number of options out there that purport to support a number of different phone styles. We'll touch on some of the best of that bunch, but first we'll focus on the ones specifically designed for use with the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge.

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