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3 days ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: What we know so far

27
Galaxy Note 7

For its next Note, Samsung will be hoping to build on a successful Galaxy S8 launch, and finally banish the specter of the Note 7.

In late 2016, Samsung released a critically praised smartphone that seemed to do everything right. A few weeks later, those phones started randomly catching on fire. Samsung recalled and replaced them, and then the new ones caught on fire as well. RIP Galaxy Note 7.

With the prospect of a Note 8 arriving later this year, Samsung's going to want to build on the good publicity surrounding the GS8 and rebuild the Note brand into something that no longer conjures up images of burning electronics. What's more, with the Galaxy S8+ already having an enormous screen, Samsung will need to push performance and features as a differentiator for this new, revitalized Note line.

So, no pressure then.

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3 days ago

Pay what you want and learn how to develop your own Android apps

Android is the world's most popular operating system with millions of apps available in the Google Play Store. New apps are released by indie developers every day. Do you have a brilliant idea for a new app? Don't wait for someone else to make it — learn how to build and monetize your own Android apps.

Pay what you want for the Ultimate Android Development Bundle! Learn more

Right now, Android Central Digital Offers is letting you pay what you want for The Ultimate Android Development Bundle.

Here's how these deals work. You can pay anything you want and get access to 44 lectures as part of the Android Mobile Apps: Beginner to Published on Google Play online course. Pay more than the average price and get all six courses in the bundle! They include:

  • The Complete Android Developer Course: Go From Beginner To Advanced
  • Android: From Beginner to Paid Professional
  • How to Make a Freaking Android App
  • Android App Development: Create Streaming Spotify Clone
  • The Complete Android & Java Developer Course: Build 21 Apps
  • Android Mobile Apps: Beginner to Published on Google Play

All combined, this is a $861 value, and you can currently get them all for under $20!

Pay what you want for the Ultimate Android Development Bundle! Learn more

Ready to make a change in your career and start creating your own Android apps? This bundle will teach you everything you need to know to get started. Get lifetime access to these valuable courses so you can always consult back to them as needed when you're building your first apps.

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3 days ago

Samsung Galaxy S8: Everything you need to know

181
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Get to know the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ from Samsung.

Samsung is an absolutely massive player in the smartphone space, and that all comes down from up high with the flagship Galaxy S line. The latest in the lineup, the Galaxy S8 and its larger partner the Galaxy S8+, build on the core features and experiences from the Galaxy S7 and bring things into the future with great new design and a few eye-catching features that are all new for 2017.

Here's everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

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3 days ago

Honor 8 Pro with Kirin 960 and dual cameras is now on sale in the UK

2

Honor's 2017 flagship is now on sale in the UK for £475.

The Honor 8 Pro is now available on vMall for £475. The phone features a 5.7-inch QHD display, Huawei's latest HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC with four 2.4GHz Cortex A73 cores and four 1.8GHz Cortex A53 cores along with a Mali-G71 MP8 GPU, 6GB of RAM, 64GB storage, microSD slot, and a 4000mAh battery.

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3 days ago

How to switch the position of the navigation buttons on the Galaxy S8

19

I put my Galaxy S8 down, flip it and reverse it.

The Galaxy S8 is the first Samsung phone with on-screen navigation buttons, which is a big change for the company, and its users! By default, though, the Galaxy S8 puts those virtual buttons in the same position as Samsung's older phones, with the "back" button to the right of the "home" button, and the "multitasking" button to the left.

Thankfully, these can be reversed, making it easier for people coming from other phones to adjust to the new Galaxy S8! Want to switch around the position of those buttons? Easy!

Put the back button where it should be on the Galaxy S8!

  1. From the home screen, swipe down to reveal the notification shade.
  2. Tap on the Settings button (cog icon).
  3. Tap on the Display menu.

  4. Scroll down and tap on Navigation bar menu.
  5. Tap on Button layout.
  6. Switch orientation to Back-Home-Recents (if applicable).

That's it! Now you can let your brain calm down and your mind open up to navigating Android just as Google intended.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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3 days ago

Save 50% on this protective LG V20 case today!

0

Looking for a protective case for your LG V20? If so, check out Amzer's hybrid warrior for two great layers of protection that also come with a built-in kickstand to prop the phone upright when you aren't holding it. Right now you can pick one up for just $5, a savings of 50%.

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3 days ago

HTC U flagship with squeezable frame is launching on May 16

74

The HTC U will be powered by a Snapdragon 835.

We've seen several leaks of the HTC U in recent weeks detailing the Taiwanese manufacturer's upcoming flagship. HTC has now confirmed that it will unveil the HTC U on May 16 in Taiwan. In a short video teasing the device, HTC showed off Edge Sense, a unique feature that's coming to the flagship phone.

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3 days ago

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 review: Close to perfection

19
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 review

Quick take:

The Mi Note 2 is the first Xiaomi phone with global LTE bands, setting the stage for the company's expansion in the future. With a dual curved display, excellent internal hardware, and high amount of customizability, the Mi Note 2 has a lot to offer for its $420 price tag.

The good

  • Gorgeous design
  • Excellent build quality
  • High-end internals

The bad

  • Limited availability
  • Average camera

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3 days ago

Google, an ad company, will soon block 'bad ads' in Chrome

50

Android's native browser could block "bad ads" in a coming update and that's good for everyone.

While ad-blockers may be the most popular extensions for Chrome on the desktop or your Chromebook, the Android app has been left out of the picture. That might be changing according to the Wall Street Journal.

Alphabet Inc.'s Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its popular Chrome web browser, according to people familiar with the company's plans.

The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.

The ads that offer the bad experience will be defined by the Coalition for Better Ads which released a list of best practices and standards in March 2017. They think that pop-ups, auto-playing videos with sound, and ads that use a countdown before they can be dismissed are all bad. We couldn't agree more.

It's also suggested that Google will block every ad on a site with a rule-breaking one so that site owners and advertising companies will better police the advertising. This may prove problematic, but it's still just rumored at this point.

A move like this would be in Google's best interests because when all the bad ads are gone more people will be willing to see the rest. That could also pose some regulatory issues, as the company who makes ads also makes the browser and the software that decides which ones to block.

Supposedly this new feature could be coming within weeks. We're as excited for it as you are, and will let you know more as soon as any word arrives.

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4 days ago

Google's latest update for PhotoScan makes it easier to share the nostalgia

4

This is also a friendly reminder that Google PhotoScan exists and it's worth using — just in case.

Remember PhotoScan? The app that lets you save digital copies of your printed photos to Google Photos? It's a neat way to store those old photographs, loose Polaroids, and school pictures in the cloud — just in case. Google has announced it's pushing out an update to the service. With it comes two new helpful tricks that will make PhotoScan easier to use.

The first new addition is the ability to turn off glare removal, which will enable you to scan in your photos with just the press of a button — rather than having to scan in each corner of the photo, as is typically the case when the glare removal option is turned on. The second new feature lets you immediately share your new scan with other people. You don't have to wait to log on to Google Photos and locate it to share with your bestie.

The PhotoScan update is minor, but it should make the app more user-friendly. It's also a helpful reminder the service exists. I, myself, am going to go through a couple of Polaroids right now. If you'd like to do the same, you can download the app for Android and iOS.

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4 days ago

Microsoft introduces its new task manager app To-Do in beta

7

If you're looking for yet another task manager application and use Microsoft's Office 365 you might want to check out the new To-Do beta app.

Think of it as a Wunderlist replacement that also makes suggestions for you. It actually comes from the developers of Wunderlist and uses a sorting algorithm to determine what's important for you to do today or what you missed yesterday. A video is worth a thousand words here, and luckily Microsoft has it covered.

It's important to remember that this app is in beta. It looks really nice and seems to work well, but there probably will be bugs. Microsoft is quick at fixing those when it comes to its Android apps, though. And while it's from the Wunderlist folks, it's not yet a direct replacement and lacks a weekly view or the ability to star messages.

The features will likely come as Microsoft puts the finishing polish on To-Do, but even today it looks like an app a lot of people will love with the Office 365 integration and suggestion features. Check it out!

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4 days ago

Should you buy the Galaxy S8 or the Galaxy S8+?

142

The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are great phones, but the differences this year as narrower than ever. If you have to choose one, which would it be?

Are the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ two distinct phones, or one phone in two sizes? Last year, there were clear demarcations in Samsung two-phone strategy; in 2017, that delineation is a bit more diffuse.

This is especially true because both phones are basically just massive AMOLED panels covered by curved glass and surrounded by metal. Gone is the distinction between flat and curved screen, between value and premium. The most important, and popular, high-end Android phones in the world are now separated merely by 0.4 inches in diagonal screen real estate and 16.6% of additional battery.

So, who should buy the Galaxy S8 and who should opt for the slightly larger, longer-lasting Galaxy S8+? Let's take a look.

First, the specs

Category Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8+ Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat Display 5.8-inch AMOLED
2960x1440 (570 ppi) 6.2-inch AMOLED
2960x1440 (529 ppi) Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
or Samsung Exynos 8895 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
or Samsung Exynos 8895 Storage 64GB (UFS 2.1) 64GB (UFS 2.1) Expandable microSD up to 256GB microSD up to 256GB RAM 4GB 4GB Rear Camera 12MP Dual Pixel, f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels
OIS 12MP Dual Pixel, f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels
OIS Front Camera 8MP, f/1.7
auto focus 8MP, f/1.7
auto focus Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou
LTE Cat.16 Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, GPS, Glonass, Galileo BeiDou
LTE Cat.16 Charging USB-C
Fast charging
Qi wireless
Powermat wireless USB-C
Fast charging
Qi wireless
Powermat wireless Battery 3000mAh 3500mAh Water resistance IP68 rating IP68 rating Security One-touch fingerprint sensor
Iris scanner
Samsung KNOX One-touch fingerprint sensor
Iris scanner
Samsung KNOX Dimensions 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm Weight 155 g 173 g

As you can see, the only notable differences between the phones are in the screen size, battery size, and overall footprint: the Galaxy S8+ is 10.6 mm taller and 5.3 mm wider than the Galaxy S8, to accommodate the 6.2-inch screen over the other's 5.8 inches, and has a battery 500mAh larger. It also weighs a scant 18 grams more, at 178g.

A few words on size

Unlike previous Galaxy devices, this year's models have a strange-sounding 18.5:9 aspect ratio. In real-world terms, all that means is that they're unusually tall, and at first feel odd to the average smartphone user accustomed to a particular weight distribution. The change also means that the screens can have larger surface areas without necessarily needing to be widened, something that we see in its extreme with the larger Galaxy S8+.

Who should buy the Galaxy S8+?

Because of what we said above, those looking into the Galaxy S8+ should keep in mind that the phone may be, in its tallness and with the placement of the fingerprint sensor (which is already difficult to reach on the regular Galaxy S8), uncomfortable to access.

If battery if your primary concern, the Galaxy S8+ is your safe choice.

But in that compromise you get a phone that is, in relation to other phones with 6.2-inch screens, relatively compact. While 16:9 media will either need to play with bars on the sides, or be cropped slightly to fit the new aspect ratio, there aren't many other phones on the market right now that offer the sheer level of screen-to-body efficiency as the Galaxy S8+. This is practically a small tablet in the frame of a moderately sized phone — and some will gravitate to it just for this.

The Galaxy S8+, with its bigger body, also fits a larger battery: inside is a 3,500mAh cell that matches the Galaxy Note 7 (RIP), and comes in 3% smaller than the Galaxy S7 edge. Still, with a more efficient chip, this is the longest-lasting Galaxy device to date), and therefore the one to get if uptime is paramount.

Of course, with those extra powers come extra dollars, and the Galaxy S8+ is $100 more expensive than its smaller counterpart. Last year, the Galaxy S7 edge justified its additional expense, but with both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ sporting curved glass screens and big, high-resolution displays, it may be more difficult to do so in 2017.

Who should buy the Galaxy S8?

Most people. Everyone. You.

Last year, the Galaxy S7 edge had clear advantages over the S7. This year, not so much.

We don't want to undermine the attractiveness of the Galaxy S8+ — it's a great big phone with lots going for it — but unless you absolutely need the additional battery capacity, the Galaxy S8 is the phone to go for.

Not only is it more much compact and one hand-friendly than the S8+, but it's cheaper. And the Galaxy S8's fingerprint sensor, despite being located in an awkward position around back, is not as difficult to reach.

Last year, the Galaxy S7 had clear disadvantages over the S7 edge: it was considerably smaller, and lacked a curved display. And while the compact phone was easy to use in one hand, it was to many people too small to fulfil the phablet aspirations so many early adopters crave. The Galaxy S8 checks all of those boxes, sharing the same basic platform as its larger counterpart.

A 5.8-inch display is larger than nearly every Android phone on the market right now, but Samsung manages to do so without increasing the overall size of the phone beyond a typical 5.2- or 5.3-inch device. (Of course, a 5.8-inch phone in an 18.5:9 aspect ratio isn't exactly 5.8 inches diagonally, but it's close enough that we shouldn't quibble.)

Wrapping it up

This year, both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are fantastic phones. Really, they are largely without compromise. But it's clear from the get-go that there are fewer reasons than ever to spring for the more-expensive Plus variant, especially since, at 5.8 inches, the regular Galaxy S8 has more than enough screen real estate for most people.

The person who should buy the Galaxy S8+ is someone who needs his or her phone to last as long as possible, who may not have access to a charger — wireless or wired — throughout the day. Or, it's someone who requires as much screen real estate as possible, perhaps to replace a small tablet.

For everyone else, we recommend the Galaxy S8.

Everything you need to know about the Galaxy S8 and S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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4 days ago

Best Gamepad For Samsung Gear VR

Updated April 19, 2017: The SteelseriesStratus XL is still the best Bluetooth gamepad for the Samsung Gear VR.

Best Overall

SteelSeries Stratus XL

See at Amazon

The folks at SteelSeries have a long history of quality controllers for mobile platforms, and the Stratus XL kicks that up a notch. Instead of focusing on portability and pocketability like the other controllers in this product line, SteelSeries focused on comfort and capability which makes it an incredible choice for the Samsung Gear VR. It has all the quality of a major console controller, with battery life to match and no quirky software. It pairs instantly to your Samsung phone and works with dozens of Gear VR games right out of the box. Stratus XL is an all around quality gamepad, with a layout that is easy to remember when you eyes are in VR.

Bottom line: If you want the best overall gamepad for your Gear VR, SteelSeries is where you want to be.

One more thing: This version of the controller only comes in black. If you see a white version of this controller, it's the iOS-only version and won't work with the Gear VR.

Why the SteelSeries Stratus XL is the best

Everything you need in a gamepad you'll be using without your eyes.

Three things matter most when it comes to a VR-friendly gamepad — comfort, battery life, and durability. SteelSeries has checked all three boxes with the Stratus XL. This is an Xbox-esque gamepad that looks and feels familiar with a button layout you will quickly become comfortable with despite not being able to look down at it while in VR. This gamepad will easily survive the occasional drop when you are spooked in VR thanks to its rugged plastic design, and the use of standard thumbsticks means the chances of breaking them on a drop is unlikely. On average this controller will get you through 30 hours of constant use, which means the only way you're charging this controller once a week is if you are really and truly invested in VR Minecraft. If you do run out of power in the middle of a game, the use of a microUSB port means just about everything can charge this controller quickly.

Best for portability

Moga Hero Power

See at Amazon

Having an Xbox-style gamepad is great for familiarity, but the Gear VR is a portable virtual reality platform and it makes sense that you'd want the gamepad to be equally as portable. That means it stows in a bag easily, and doesn't take up a ton of space. Moga's Hero Power gamepad offers this exact experience, with buttons and joysticks nearly flush with the casing and shorter palm grips that flow in line with the rest of the body. This gamepad also doubles as a more traditional phone gamepad with its foldable phone clip, so you can comfortably enjoy other forms of gameplay!

Bottom line: If you value portability above all, Moga Hero Power is what you want.

Best Value

Beboncool controller

See at Amazon

It's portable, it's plasticky, and it's way cheaper than most other Bluetooth gamepads that play nice with the Gear VR. Beboncool makes a bunch of gamepads for tablets and phones alike, but this smaller controller is perfect for portable Gear VR gameplay. The battery is rated for 12 hours of constant gameplay, but the auto-off feature ensures you'll only be using power when you're actually playing.

Bottom line: If you want a better Gear VR gameplay experience without spending a ton, Beboncool has you covered.

Conclusion

If you're looking for console-class gaming on your Gear VR, SteelSeries is where you want to spend your money. There's always a place for portability, though, and Moga has what you need if you're on the go. If all you really want is an affordable gamepad to save you from constantly tapping the side of the Gear VR while playing your games, Beboncool is a great gamepad at a reasonable price.

Best overall

SteelSeries Stratus XL

See at Amazon

The folks at SteelSeries have a long history of quality controllers for mobile platforms, and the Stratus XL kicks that up a notch. Instead of focusing on portability and pocketability like the other controllers in this product line, SteelSeries focused on comfort and capability which makes it an incredible choice for the Samsung Gear VR. It has all the quality of a major console controller, with battery life to match and no quirky software. It pairs instantly to your Samsung phone and works with dozens of Gear VR games right out of the box. Stratus XL is an all around quality gamepad, with a layout that is easy to remember when you eyes are in VR.

Bottom line: If you want the best overall gamepad for your Gear VR, SteelSeries is where you want to be.

One more thing: This version of the controller only comes in black. If you see a white version of this controller, it's the iOS-only version and won't work with the Gear VR.

Samsung Gear VR

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4 days ago

Life is a musical and these wallpapers are your song

4

Music makes us better, brings us together, and it helps me get back that spirit they stole!

It's no secret that I've steeped my life in music. I do not leave the house without my trusty headphones, and I guard my authorizations for Google Play Music viciously because I will not be caught with a full device list. A music widget is always and forever a part of my home screen, but there are times I like to devote my entire screen to music. To that end, here are some positively melodious wallpapers to help fill your home screen and hopefully your life with music.

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4 days ago

ShopAndroid has you covered for all your Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ accessory needs

1

Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are likely to be two of the biggest smartphone reveals of the year, and you may be ordering one for yourself. While it features a beautiful design, it has a whole lot of glass and not a whole lot of bezel, which means you may be looking for a case to keep it in. Whether you are looking for something to show it off that adds a little protection or you want to go all-in on the protection, ShopAndroid has you covered.

We've got a number of great cases in stock already, and much more on the way. Beyond cases, we've got chargers, USB-C cables and much more, so let's take a look at some of the stuff you can get your orders in for now!


Samsung LED View Cover

Samsung's LED View Cover is always an extremely popular case, and there is a good reason for that. When you look at the case, it looks pretty basic, like any other folio case, except it isn't. The case actually lets you see what types of notifications you have pending without opening the case, as well as see what time it is. Inside the folio, you'll have a single card slot to carry your ID or credit card with you, and the case keeps the phone nice and thin.

This time around it comes in black, blue, silver, and violet, so you can pick one that matches your phone or just one that you enjoy the look of. At closer to $60 you're definitely paying more for this case than others, but it is worth it.

Pre-order Samsung LED View Cover for Galaxy S8 | Samsung LED View Cover for Galaxy S8+

Shop all Samsung Galaxy S8 accessories Learn More

Cruzerlite Bugdroid Circuit Case

Cruzerlite cases have been around for quite some time, and the Bugdroid Circuit ones are always super popular. The cases are made of a thin TPU material and make your phone stand out in the crowd. They come in a few different colors, including red, clear, black, and teal, so you can find one that matches your style the best. You can still easily access all the ports and the power button on the phone, but this is a great way to prevent scratches and dings without making your phone too thick.

Priced at just under $10, you can't go wrong with having one of these around the house.

Shop Cruzerlite Bugdroid Galaxy S8 | Cruzerlite Bugdroid Galaxy S8+

Amzer SlimGrip Shockproof Hybrid

Amzer makes some really great cases that are nice and thin but still add protection. One of the best features of these cases is generally their price points, but there is more to this one than just that. The smooth outer back shell provides a bit more grip to the phone, and the TPU bumper will protect your phone from the impact of falls or bumps.

You can go with a clear back with clear sides, or clear back with black sides for just under $15, which is quite a steal for the amount of protection you are getting.

Shop Amzer SlimGrip Shockproof Galaxy S8 | Amzer SlimGrip Shockproof Galaxy S8+

Krusell Leather Case

Cases aren't for everyone, and that is fine, but that doesn't mean that not everyone likes to keep the phone protected while traveling with it. Krusell's leather case is a belt holster that gives you a safe place to keep your phone when you are traveling between meetings or rushing to catch a train. The inside is lined with a soft suede to prevent it from scratching your phone, and the clasp has a strong magnet to keep it closed.

The case is under $30, and is a great option for those who prefer to use the phone without a case but still want protection while moving around.

Shop Krusell Hector Leather Case

Cruzerlite Fender Case

This case is very similar to the Amzer SlimGrip case, but has a few differences as well. One of the key differences here is the color options, which means that you can also grab this one in a nice teal color. The durable TPU material does a great job of protecting the phone and also makes it very easy to put the case on or take it off whenever you want to.

At under $10, you may want to grab one of these in each color just to have around.

Shop Cruzerlite Fender Case for Galaxy S8 | Cruzerlite Fender Case for Galaxy S8+

Samsung 25W USB-C Fast Charger

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ use USB-C instead of Micro-USB for charging, so you may need to replace some of your old chargers around the house with newer ones. Sure, there will be one in the box, but are you going to want to carry that one around with you everywhere you go or is it easier to spend a little money to ensure you have them where you need them? This one will ensure you get the fastest charge possible when you plug it in, which is pretty important.

At right around $30, you'll want to have one of these at home and in the office.

Shop Samsung USB-C Fast Wall Charger

Shop all Samsung Galaxy S8+ accessories Learn More

Samsung 3.3ft USB-C cable

The move from Micro-USB to USB-C means that a lot of the old cables you have laying around may not work with your new phone. The cables you used to charge the phone, sync it with your computer, and charge it in the car all need to be replaced with new ones. It may sound crazy to have to do it, but if you do it will make things much easier. This Samsung USB-C cable supports up to 3A of power for fast charging.

For under $15 each, you may want to pick up a couple of these to have around with your new phone.

Shop Samsung USB-C cable

Gadget Guard Black Ice Liquid Screen Guard

There is a whole lot of screen on the front of the Galaxy S8+ which is great, but it also means there is a lot of potential area that can get scratched. Don't worry about the screen, and instead keep it protected with this liquid screen guard that is designed to protect the surface from abrasions and scratches. The instillation is pretty easy, and once it is all done you won't even be able to see that it is there.

At around $20, this may be one of the most important accessories that you buy.

Pre-order Gadget Guard Screen Guard for Galaxy S8+

Much More!

This is just some of what ShopAndroid has to offer for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. We've also got you covered with an assortment of memory cards, Bluetooth headsets, stylus's, and even keyboards. Be sure to browse all the accessories and see which ones you may be interested in.

Remember, ShopAndroid offers free, fast shipping on most orders over $50, so get your order in today!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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