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1 week ago

Light up your party with the MiPow PLAYBULB Rainbow Bluetooth LED Light Bulb

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Interested in adding some custom lighting to your home for those special occasions? The PLAYBULB Rainbow is definitely one to consider.

Aside from typical smart lighting that kicks on when I'm hitting the loo in the middle of the night, I haven't experimented with a smart bulb like the MiPow PLAYBULB Rainbow that has the ability to switch to dozens of custom colors and effects from my Android. It seems I've been missing out on a world of intelligent lighting that's perfect for parties, movies, or even bedside use.

The entire light measures about 4.6-inches in length and fits any standard E26/E27 light socket. Inside is an LED bulb that puts out 280 lumens and is capable of a RGB lighting scheme. The PLAYBULB Rainbow utilizes Bluetooth v4.0 and has a wireless range of around 30 feet, given there aren't many walls between your device and the light. At only 5W per bulb, your electric bill certainly won't have much to say about your new lighting setup.

After screwing in the smart bulb, you'll need to jump on the Play Store and download the PLAYBULB X app (also available for iOS if it's a divided household). Once installed, make sure your PLAYBULB is turned on and you should see it listed under "Devices". Tap Connect and you're ready to start experimenting with colors, effects and more.

You'll definitely want to go into the app preferences and switch on "Auto reconnect" to keep things quick and simple each time. The main light control screen features a color wheel that you can select from, also providing a color saturation adjustment if you want to keep things a bit dimmer than normal. If you really want to shake things up, toggle the Shake switch and go nuts with your device, whether it's to match the beat of a tune or to irritate your significant other. Pop into the Effects window to get even more customization options including flashing, pulse, candle effect, and a rainbow fade. Most of these effects have specific colors to choose from as well as speed settings.

Also available is a built-in music player which doesn't seem to serve much of a purpose as far as the lighting goes, but rather a quick way to select songs you've downloaded onto your device. There are options for beats and EQ here, but neither are active nor allow access — at least on my Galaxy S6 edge. Finally, the Scenes window gives you the ability to add a photo from your device and use an eye dropper tool to select a specific color from the image. Don't expect very accurate results here, though.

If you have more than one PLAYBULB you can easily set up a group, and control them simultaneously for a more impressive light show. Additional settings allow you to setup elaborate timers for a switch of colors, and when to put the PLAYBULB to sleep. The security settings feature options for start and end times, too.

Our take

Having just one of these LED smart bulbs around the house is a pretty cool addition and worth using for a variety of occasions. To really make an impression, you could add a handful to your screened porch or lanai and mix it up with some drinks and good friends. Their app leaves a lot to be desired with certain features that simply don't work, but the basics are still there. You can grab a single PLAYBULB Rainbow for around $37, or go all-in with a 3 pack which runs $87.

Buy now

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1 week ago

MetroPCS launches its new Mexico Unlimited plan

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T-Mobile's prepaid subsidiary, MetroPCS, has just launched a new Mexico Unlimited plan, joining T-Mobile with an affordable way to use your mobile phone across the border. With this plan, MetroPCS customers will be able to use their phones in Mexico without any extra fees.

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1 week ago

We're giving away the just-announced Axon phone!

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We've got a new entry into the Android market — Axon Mobile — which has just announced a new smartphone in New York City. It's part of the new crop of smartphones that manages to bring compelling design and decent specs — without spilling all the money from your wallet. It's got a dual-lens camera for all that defocusing fun, high-fidelity sound and a sleek design. You're definitely going to want to take a look at this phone.

And we're going to help you out there, because Android Central is teaming up with Axon to give you all a shot at winning one of these beauties for your very own.

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1 week ago

Nexus 6 drops to $399 for a limited time thanks to Amazon's Prime Day

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The latest deal to hit Amazon's Prime Day is a $100 savings on the 32GB Nexus 6, dropping the price down to only $399. This deal is only good for the 32GB midnight blue Nexus 6, and supplies are likely to be quite limited. If it is anything like any of the other Amazon Prime Day deals, you will want to act very quickly.

Purchase the Nexus 6 from Amazon for $399

Google Nexus 6

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1 week ago

Where to buy Pioneer Android Auto head units

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Android Auto is slowly making its way into new cars. But for many of us aftermarket units are going to be the way to go. Pioneer was first out of the gate with a trio of head units. Suggested retail prices range from around $700 to $1,400 from the low to high end, but we've already seen some pretty significant price drops.

Pioneer's three offered head units do Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Mirrorlink, and a laundry list of other apps and services. And here's a handy guide of where you can buy them.

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1 week ago

WifiMapper hooks you up with nearby free Wi-Fi hotspots

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WifiMapper is a new Android app from the OpenSignal team that will help you quickly and easily find the nearest free Wi-Fi hotspot. The app will show the best free hotspots, from local coffee shops to cafes and libraries. The OpenSignal team is using its own algorithm to recommend locations to users, and corrections can be made if the signal is no good, or you think the coffee is terrible.

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1 week ago

Pushbullet brings full SMS experience to your computer

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Pushbullet, the popular app which allows easy communication between your phone an computer, has brought a full SMS experience to the desktop. Previously, users could access single messages and send replies, but now they can view all the conversations from their phone. With this, you can now easily have full conversations with multiple contacts from your computer, and pick up right where you left off on your phone when you leave.

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1 week ago

Back and order the Remix Mini Android PC on Kickstarter for just $20

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The Remix Mini is a new Android-powered PC by Jide that has hit Kickstarter. Available from just $20, and that's to both back the project and order a unit for yourself, it's a new product that you can connect to supported screens and deploy a keyboard and mouse.

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1 week ago

Sonos PLAY:1 Tone Limited Edition speakers going on sale July 21 for $250

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The Sonos PLAY:1 wireless speaker family will soon get two new additions. The Sonos PLAY:1 Tone Limited Edition will be sold in black and white matte finishes but only 5,000 speakers of each color will be made available for sale on July 21 for $250.

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1 week ago

Amazon Prime Day sees the prices of Fire TV, Kindle and Fire HD 7 slashed

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Amazon Prime Day is well under way and you can grab some sweet deals on Fire TV, Kindle and the Kindle Fire HD 7. The retailer has its Fire TV Stick listed for just £20 in the UK, which is an absolute steal for anyone looking to turn a supported screen into a smart entertainment center. The Fire TV has also had its price reduced, and is now available for £59.

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1 week ago

Oppo's diamond-patterned Mirror 5 smartphone is now official

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Oppo has announced the Mirror 5, a smartphone with a unique back made up of reflective cut-glass segments designed to mimic the pattern of a diamond. Along with the interesting design, the 5-inch phone comes with ColorOS 2.1, Oppo's custom skin which is based on Android 5.1.

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1 week ago

More details on the Moto G (2015) surface, including a July 28 launch

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In addition to brining the Moto Maker customization tool to the Moto G (2015), Motorola will offer water resistance with the handset. The latest rumor states that the Moto G (2015) will come with IPx7 certification, with a possible launch date of July 28.

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1 week ago

Huawei-built Nexus rumored with 5.7-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 820 and fingerprint scanner

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Google has thus far partnered with Samsung, HTC, LG and Motorola to create Nexus phones, and it looks like the search giant may be collaborating with Chinese vendor Huawei over the next Nexus. Adding weight to the reports we've seen in the past couple days, a tweet from serial leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) suggests that a Huawei-manufactured Nexus will be launching in the fourth quarter. What's more, Blass says it'll come with a 5.7-inch QHD display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 SoC with custom Kyro cores, metal body and a fingerprint scanner.

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1 week ago

HTC brings a new range of Desire phones to the U.S.

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HTC Desire 626

HTC today announced that it's bringing four new phones to the U.S. this month, all from its mid-range Desire lineup. That means a seamless polycarbonate construction, vivid colors and a design language that's decidedly HTC. Each is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, has a 2,000 mAh battery and an 8-megapixel rear camera.

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1 week ago

HTC Desire 626 and 626s specs

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The Desire 626 is the top end of the new mid-range that's coming to the U.S. It's actually split into two versions — the Desire 626 is destined for AT&T and Verizon — while the 626s brings the specs down just a tad with less storage and RAM and is headed to Sprint and its prepaid arms, as well as T-Mobile, Tracfone and Cricket.

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