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1 month ago

AT&T announces the $100 LG Phoenix 2

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AT&T is supposed to begin selling the LG Phoenix 2 on its website today for $99.99 without a contract under its GoPhone pre-paid brand. The phone will be sold at other retailers on Saturday, May 14 and at AT&T stores on June 10.

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1 month ago

Best rugged cases for the Galaxy S7 edge

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Best Rugged Cases for Galaxy S7 Edge

Keep your S7 edge looking beautiful by protecting it with a tough case!

There are few worse feelings than the moment after you drop your phone, screen down. You gasp. Maybe you curse. You reach for it and hope you don't see spiderwebs when you flip that screen upward. And with an all-glass phone like the Galaxy S7 edge, there are two sides you could be breaking.

There's one really easy way to avoid this awful screen-shatter lottery — by protecting your new Galaxy S7 edge with a suitably rugged case. Here are a few of our top picks.

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1 month ago

T-Mobile vs. Sprint: Best family plan

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 Best Family Plan

Comparing data, to minutes, to cost, to perks, which carrier is right for your family?

When you're shopping between T-Mobile and Sprint it's important to know how much data you need, how many devices will be on your account, and how much data you expect to use when choosing a sharing plan.

What sharing plans are available from T-Mobile and Sprint?

Sharing plans allow you to purchase one big chunk of data and divvy it up between all the phones and devices on your account.

T-Mobile doesn't really offer a true sharing plan. Instead of sharing one big chunk of data, each person on your account is given a monthly allotment of data. Once they surpass their data limit, they can still use data on their phone or tablet, but their download speeds will be slower.

Sprint used to offer something called the Family Share Pack, but have now eliminated that program in favor of a more simplified plan for individuals and families called the Better Choice plans, which allow you to share data between multiple devices, just like a familiy plan.

How many devices are allowed on a shared plan?

With both T-Mobile and Sprint you are charged for each device on your plan. Adding smartphones to your plan costs more than adding tablets or wearables, so knowing how many devices you want to share data with will impact your total bill each month.

T-Mobile cost per device

With T-Mobile you can have up to 12 devices on one account. The more devices you add, the cheaper it is per device (until you eventually bottom out at $10 each). Adding a tablet to your T-Mobile plan is only $10/device if you also have a cell phone on your plan, otherwise it's $20.

  • Phone 1, $50
  • Phone 2, $30
  • Phone 3, $10
  • Each additional phone $10
  • Each additional tablet $10 (or $20 if you don't have a phone)

Sprint cost per device

With Sprint, the price per device depends on whether you lease your phone or pay in monthly installments, or if you're on a two-year service agreement.

  • $20/month/smartphone for non-discounted phones
  • $40/month/smartphone on a two-year service agreement
  • $10/month/tablet (at least one activated phone required)
  • $10/month/mobile broadband device (at least one activated phone required)

Remember, if you're not bringing your own phone, your carrier will also charge you a monthly fee to purchase one of their phones. Costs vary, but if you want the most up-to-date phone, you'll be looking at about $25-$30 per month until the device is paid off.

How does data work on a shared plan with T-Mobile and Sprint?

This is where things get tricky. T-Mobile gives you a specific data allotment for each device, whereas Sprint gives you a big pool of data to share.

If you go over on T-Mobile your data speed slows down, but you won't have to pay more. If you go over on Sprint, you have to pay overage fees.

T-Mobile monthly data rates

  • 2 GB (included with your monthly charge for each device on your account)
  • 6 GB, $15/device
  • 10 GB, $30/device
  • Unlimited, $45/device

Overage Charges: If you go over your monthly data limit with T-Mobile your connection speed can be reduced (If you have a normal, 4G, LTE connection your speed can be reduce from between 6 and 20 Mbps to between 64 and 128 kbps which is less than a 2G network connection). Even on an unlimited plan, if you exceed 25 GB on a device in one bill cycle your speeds may be reduced. This may only happen during peak use times, or if you're lucky, not at all, but T-Mobile reserves the right to limit your speeds if you go over.

Rollover Data: T-Mobile offers a service called Data Stash which allows you to rollover any unused data in future months and will save this unused, high speed data for an entire year.

Sprint monthly data rates

  • 1 GB $20
  • 3 GB $30
  • 6 GB $45
  • 12 GB $60
  • 24 GB $80
  • 40 GB $100

Sprint also offers an unlimited plan but the pricing structure is a little different than other plans. You pay $75/month for unlimited data and a decreasing amount for each line you want to add bottoming out after your fifth linphone at $30 for each additional line added. Your data speed will be reduced after 23 GB are used in one month.

Overage Charges: All Sprint plans come with unlimited 2G data after you have used up your high speed allotment for the month. This means you will not be charged overage fees, but your data speed will slow way down if you go over your allotment.

Rollover Data: Sprint does not let you rollover your high speed data into the next billing cycle.

How do talk and text work on a shared plan on T-Mobile and Sprint?

Both T-Mobile and Sprint include unlimited talk and text with their shared plans.

T-Mobile includes unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada with any plan, no matter how much data you buy.

Sprint offers free calling to Mexico and Canada when you're in the U.S. Additionally, you can add the Open World plan to your account for free. This gives you unlimited calling and text while travelling in Mexico and Canada (as well as a few other countries) plus you get 1 GB of high-speed data while roaming.

What perks come with share plans from T-Mobile and Sprint?

Sometimes it's tough to decide between one carrier or another, so each provider will offer something to sweeten the pot and hopefully make you choose them over someone else.

T-Mobile's incentive package helps protect your high speed data, by making certain data-draining activities are exempt from your overall high speed data allotment. T-Mobile's Music Freedom allows you to stream music from popular services you already have an account with like Apple Music, Google Music, Pandora, without counting against your data. Binge On works the same way as Music Freedom, but for popular video services you have an account for like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu.

Sprint doesn't have any perks comparable to T-Mobile, but if you have family living outside of the U.S. their above-mentioned Open World plan has some advantages.

Which carrier's shared plan is right for my family?

Both T-Mobile and Sprint have a lot of room to customize their services based on the needs and budget of your household. For comparison purposes, we will look at share plans that have two phones and two tablets on them.

If you want the absolute cheapest plan, that can be built with Sprint, but you would have a very small amount of data (1GB) to share between devices.

If you want the most high speed data you can get that with T-Mobile, but even though you're buying "unlimited" high speed data, it may start to slow down after you use 25 GB on one device. Sprint offers an unlimited plan as well, but they reserve the right to reduce speeds at 23 GB. Speed reductions could happen only during peak times or, if you're lucky, not at all!

If you want the best value for your data T-Mobile lets you buy the amount of data you think you'll need for each device and won't charge you overage fees.

If you have many devices (5 or more) consider the T-Mobile plan as it's per-device account fee bottoms out at $10 for three or more devices, which is less expensive than Verizon's rates. However, if you only have one smartphone on your account and the rest are tablets or wearables, then Verizon may be a better choice.

If you want to avoid overage fees then T-Mobile is a clear winner since they only slow down your data if you go over your limit instead of charging you per GB of data.

If you're primarily concerned with talk and text from your provider, T-Mobile and Sprint are pretty equal. The only difference is if you frequently travel to Mexico or Canada, Sprint includes unlimited calls and messages plus 1 GB of data while roaming if you upgrade to their free Open World plan

If you already pay for TV service in your home neither T-Mobile or Sprint offer any kind of TV bundling services, so this won't be a deciding factor.

Keep calm and carrier on!

Ultimately choosing a shared plan for your family comes down to how many people are in your home, what devices they use, and what they use them for. T-Mobile and Sprint have slight advantages between each other depending on what category you look at.

Overall T-Mobile's plan offers the most customization and flexibility and their low data prices and lack of overage charges make them a really appealing option for data-hungry households.

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1 month ago

HTC 10 audio testing — BoomSound evolved

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The BoomSound you might remember from HTC phones of old is gone. It's been replaced by something much better.

When HTC first announced the HTC 10, we learned that the traditional audio setup we saw with the last few high-end models was gone. With a new external speaker configuration and a promise of better audio tweaks for listening through both the speakers and with headphones, we weren't quite sure what to expect. I've got some really good news — the new BoomSound is the best BoomSound. And I don't mean just the outside speaker configuration.

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1 month ago

Moto G4 and G4 Plus exclusive to Amazon in India, launch slated for May 17

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Motorola's handsets have traditionally been offered on Flipkart in India, but this year's Moto G4 and G4 Plus will be exclusive to Amazon. Motorola confirmed the same via a press release, which was followed by banter between the two companies on Twitter:

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1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 6 may be due for a mid-August release in the U.S.

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If you opted to skip the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in favor of the next entry in the Note line, it sounds like you may get your chance in mid-August.

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1 month ago

The HTC 10 monthly security patch isn't missing — it's just hidden

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Here's how to find out whether your HTC 10 has the most up-to-date security patch.

One of the more welcome features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow was the transparency of the new monthly security patches. Starting with the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P and rolling out with updates to other phones, the "About" section in the settings menu tells the date of the most recently received security patch. It's sort of a badge of honor, really — and an important piece of transparency in the fight to keep our smartphones safe and secure.

HTC has been one of the better manufacturers when it comes to keeping its phones updated — especially when it comes to its carrier-free models. Computerworld's JR Raphael ranked HTC No. 2 (behind Google) in his latest "Android update report card," and while it focuses on major platform updates and not monthly security updates, the point stands — HTC has done pretty when when it comes to keeping current software on its phones.

That's why it's troubling, then, that HTC is hiding the monthly security patch level on the HTC 10. Especially when it's so easy to glean. Here's how you can do it.

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1 month ago

AT&T HTC One M8 and One M9 Marshmallow updates will begin rolling out on May 12

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AT&T is finally going to begin pushing Marshmallow to both the HTC One M8 and HTC One M9 on May 12. This comes after some long delays in getting the update finalized, but either way it is great to see it will be hitting phones shortly. Mo Versi, the VP of Product Management at HTC, made the announcement on Twitter.

If you own either of these phones on AT&T, be sure to keep an eye out tomorrow for the update. Odds are it won't hit every single phone tomorrow, so you may need to wait an extra day or two before you see the update on your phone. Be sure to let us know once you start receiving the notifications to update!

HTC One M9 Central

HTC One M9 Essentials

AT&T HTC Sprint Verizon

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1 month ago

Canadians deserve better than the Huawei GR5

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Why would anyone buy this phone, exactly?

Canadians attuned to the idiosyncrasies of the mobile space are well accustomed to Android devices that, while close, don't quite align with their international, or even U.S., counterparts.

One such product is the newly-released Huawei GR5, a mid-range Android device available starting this week from Rogers for $0 on a 2-year contract and $375 outright.

As far as free phones go, on paper the GR5 sounds like a satisfying prospect: big, bright 5.5-inch Full HD display; 3,000mAh battery; rear fingerprint scanner; metal body. But it's when you dig into the core of the product that you begin to see where things went rotten. And rotten is certainly an apt adjective for this product.

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1 month ago

How to cancel Verizon service

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How to cancel Verizon

Can you hear me now? No? Leave Verizon behind.

If you're not happy with Verizon's service, it's your right to cancel whenever you please. Just remember that you signed an agreement with the carrier, so you're probably not getting off scot-free.

The penalties and processes associated with canceling your Verizon service will depend on whether you're on a traditional two-year contract or in a month-to-month agreement. We'll tell you how to do both.

We'll also give you some advice when it comes to dropping lines from family plans, since canceling multiple lines at once can end in some incredibly hefty early termination fees.

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1 month ago

Verizon vs. Sprint: Best family plan

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 Best Family Plan

Comparing data, to minutes, to cost, to perks, which carrier is right for your family?

When you're shopping between Verizon and Sprint, it's important to know how much data you need, how many devices will be on your account, and how much data you expect to use.

What sharing plans are available from Verizon and Sprint?

Sharing plans allow you to purchase one big chunk of data and divvy it up between all the phones and devices on your account.

The Verizon Plan lets you choose between plans sized from S-XXL depending on how much data you need. From there you add the number of devices you want to share the data with.

Sprint used to offer something called the Family Share Pack, but have now eliminated that program in favor of a more simplified plan for individuals and families called the Better Choice plans, which allow you to share data between multiple devices, just like a familiy plan.

How many devices are allowed on a shared plan?

With both Verizon and Sprint you are charged for each device on your plan. Adding smartphones to your plan costs more than adding tablets or wearables, so knowing how many devices you want to share data with will impact your total bill each month.

Verizon cost per device

On Verizon, you pay a flat rate per device, regardless of the size of your plan; however, the rate varies depending on what kind of device you're using. At least one of the devices on your plan must be a smartphone in order to share data.

  • $20/month/smartphone
  • $10/tablet/month
  • $10/mobile hotspot/month
  • $5/device/month

Sprint cost per device

With Sprint, the price per device depends on whether you lease your phone or pay in monthly installments, or if you're on a two-year service agreement.

  • $20/month/smartphone for non-discounted phones
  • $40/month/smartphone on a two-year service agreement
  • $10/month/tablet (at least one activated phone required)
  • $10/month/mobile broadband device (at least one activated phone required)

Remember, if you're not bringing your own phone, your carrier will also charge you a monthly fee to purchase one of their phones. Costs vary, but if you want the most up-to-date phone, you'll be looking at about $25-$30 per month until the device is paid off.

How does data work on a shared plan with Verizon and Sprint?

Both Verizon and Sprint give you a pool of data to share with everyone in your family. The size and cost of this data is where the differences come in.

Verizon monthly data rates

Verizon groups their data plans in sizes of Small to XXL.

  • 1 GB $30
  • 3 GB $45
  • 6 GB $60
  • 12 GB $80
  • 18 GB $100

Overage Charges: If you go over your data limit, Verizon charges $15 per GB (rounded up). This means if you have a 6 GB plan and use 6.1 GB, Verizon rounds up and charges you an additional $15 overage fee that month.

Rollover Data: Verizon does not let you carry unused data into the next month. If you don't binge through all your data in one billing cycle, it's gone.

Sprint monthly data rates

  • 1 GB $20
  • 3 GB $30
  • 6 GB $45
  • 12 GB $60
  • 24 GB $80
  • 40 GB $100

Sprint also offers an unlimited plan but the pricing structure is a little different than other plans. You pay $75/month for unlimited data and a decreasing amount for each line you want to add bottoming out after your fifth phone at $30 for each additional line added. Your data speed will be reduced after 23 GB are used in one month.

Overage Charges: All Sprint plans come with unlimited 2G data after you have used up your high speed allotment for the month. This means you will not be charged overage fees, but your data speed will slow way down if you go over your allotment.

Rollover Data: Sprint does not let you rollover your high speed data into the next billing cycle.

How do talk and text work on a shared plan on Verizon and Sprint?

Both Verizon and Sprint include unlimited talk and text with their shared plans.

Verizon doesn't include talk with countries outside the U.S. but it can be added to your plan. However, you will be able to send an unlimited number of text and multimedia messages internationally from any device on the shared plan as long as you're in the US when you send them.

Sprint offers free calling to Mexico and Canada when you're in the U.S. Additionally, you can add the Open World plan to your account for free. This gives you unlimited calling and text while travelling in Mexico and Canada (as well as a few other countries) plus you get 1 GB of high-speed data while roaming.

What perks come with share plans from Verizon and Sprint?

Sometimes it's tough to decide between one carrier or another, so each provider will offer something to sweeten the pot and hopefully make you choose them over someone else.

Verizon will let you bundle services together which could be helpful if you're also interested in having a home phone, and/or TV hookup. They also offer a loyalty program called Verizon My Rewards + which allows you to earn points when you pay your cell bill or order products from their shop or third-party services. You can use these points to put toward gift cards at restaurants, receive discounts on products, or use them for travel rewards program.

Sprint doesn't have any perks comparable to Verizon, but if you have family living outside of the U.S. their above-mentioned Open World plan has some advantages.

Which carrier's shared plan is right for my family?

Both Verizon and Sprint have a lot of room to customize their services based on the needs and budget of your household. For comparison purposes, we will look at share plans that have two phones and two tablets on them.

If you want the absolute cheapest plan, that can be built with Sprint, but you would have a very small amount of data (1GB) to share between devices.

If you want the most high speed data you can get that with Sprint, gives you way more high speed data at a better price.

If you want the best value for your data Sprint data rates are a better value and won't charge you overage fees if you exceed your monthly allotment.

If you have many devices Verizon and Sprint have the same monthly device fees; however, if your'e on a two-year agreement with Sprint, their access fee is double Verizon's, so in this case Verizon is a better deal.

If you want to avoid overage fees then Sprint is a clear winner since they only slow down your data if you go over your limit instead of charging you per GB of data.

If you're primarily concerned with talk and text from your provider, Verizon and Sprint are equal. The only difference is if you frequently talk or text with people in Mexico or Canada, Sprint will let you add their free Open World](https://www.sprint.com/landings/openworld/index.html) plan which allows you to talk or roam in these countries for free, including 1 GB of roaming data.

If you already pay for TV service in your home you might find more value with Verizon if you choose to use their Fios TV service.

Keep calm and carrier on!

Ultimately choosing a shared plan for your family comes down to how many people are in your home, what devices they use, and what they use them for. Verizon and Sprint have slight advantages between each other depending on which category you look at.

Overall Sprint's plans offer a lot of value for the price of their data and their lack of overage fees make their shared plans a really appealing option for data-hungry households.

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1 month ago

T-Mobile is offering a free rapid charger and Ice View case with purchase of HTC 10 before May 24

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For a limited time, T-Mobile will be offering those who purchase the HTC 10 a free HTC Rapid Charger and the HTC Ice View case for free, a $85 value. This offer is quite enticing, as the rapid charger will let you top up your battery in a short amount of time, so you never have to worry if you will have enough power or now. The Ice View case adds style and protection to the phone, which is great for any new investment.

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1 month ago

Meizu m3 note with 5.5-inch FHD display, 3GB RAM and 32GB storage hits India for ₹9,999

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Chinese manufacturer Meizu has launched the m3 note in India for ₹9,999. The phone will be up for sale exclusively on Amazon India from May 31, with registrations kicking off later today.

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1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 6 may feature a BlackBerry Hub-like experience called Samsung Focus

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According to a new report, Samsung's Galaxy Note 6 may have a new feature which is being called Samsung Focus. This would be a central hub for all of your notifications, very similar to how BlackBerry does on BlackBerry 10 and the Priv. The feature is said to integrate your calendar, email, contacts, memos and much more in one central location.

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1 month ago

Best external battery packs for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge

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Galaxy S7 battery

Give your GS7 and GS7 edge a second life with a battery pack.

I know, camping is supposed to be a way to get away from society for a while. But some of us just can't fall asleep without crushing some candy before beddy-byes. If you're going to be on the go for a day or two and simply don't have any time to waste near a wall socket, then you should consider an external battery pack or power bank.

They're entirely portable, relatively inexpensive, and could keep your phone going when you need it most.

We've rounded up the best battery packs for your Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge — and for your lifestyle.

Aukey Portable Power Bank (10,400 mAh)

Aukey

The Aukey Portable Power Bank will charge your Galaxy S7 twice over with a little bit of gas left in the tank, just in case. It offers over-current and short circuit protection, and it won't overheat or become overcharged itself.

As a portable bank, it's a little on the thick side, at nearly two inches, but it is relatively inexpensive, often starting around $20.

This one's for those of you who just want a basic fast-charing battery pack and only need it for a day at a time. If you're having to go days without seeing a wall socket, then you'll want to consider one of the bigger battery packs below.

See at Amazon

EasyAcc Monster (20,000 mAh)

EasyAcc

Charge your Galaxy S7 and up to three other devices at the same time with the EasyAcc Monster. They're not kidding about the name. This baby has enough juice to charge your GS7 around six times over, which makes it great if you're headed out of town for a few days and aren't sure if you'll see a wall socket any time soon.

It's got a built-in flashlight and can auto-detect components and adjust the maximum output accordingly, which makes it great if you've got multiple devices on the go. Does the whole family have Galaxy S7s? Charge them all at the same time.

No need to worry about overcharging and shorting, since the EasyAcc has a built-in surge protector, which is ideal since you'll have to wait 6 hours for this one to charge fully.

See at Amazon

KMASHI (20,000 mAh)

KMASHI

KMASHI's external battery bank can charge two devices simultaneously, making this ideal for anyone who's carrying around the Galaxy S7 and tablet (because if both die on you, that's one long bus ride home from work or school). It's got one regular USB charging port, and another Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 port.

At 20,000 mAh, this bank has enough juice to charge your Galaxy S7 around 6 times, so you could go for days without seeing a wall socket and be just fine.

This battery pack comes with a flashlight for emergency situations and offers a sleek, somewhat rugged design, which means you can take it more or less anywhere with you. Size-wise, it's about average for an external battery pack of the capacity, at around 6 inches by 4 inches.

See at Amazon

Samsung Fast Charge Battery Pack (5,200 mAh)

Samsung Fast Charge Battery Pack (5,200 mAh)

If you're brand-conscious when it comes to accessories and also want a reliable battery pack, then consider the Samsung Fast Charge Battery Pack. At 5,200 mAh, it'll give you at least one full charge nice and quickly.

Samsung claims that their battery pack will take you from 0 percent to 50 in about half an hour, thanks to its Quick Charge 2.0 support. Best of all, it's sleek enough to fit in a pocket, being around the same size as a Galaxy S7 edge.

You can also match your GS7 or GS7 edge with your battery pack, since it comes in gold and silver.

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Unifun 10,400 mAh Waterproof Power Bank

Unifun 10,400 mAh Waterproof Power Bank

Calling all campers! Unifun's power bank is rugged and waterproof, so you can charge your Galaxy S7 or S7 edge when you're really on the go. It's rated IP66 for water and dust resistance, while also having anti-shock and anti-skid protection.

This pack even has a strap hole, so you can attach to a belt loop or clip, which is great if you're working outside all day or constantly on the go; just run a cord to your pocket and away you go.

It's a little bulky, at 6 inches, by almost 3 inches, but you'd expect something so rugged to be a little on the bulky side.

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What's your favorite?

Which battery packs are you using to charge your Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge? Sound off in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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