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3 days ago

Pokémon Go Plus accessory won't arrive until September

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Nintendo UK has announced that the Pokémon Go Plus accessory won't be arriving until September. The company confirmed the delay in a Twitter response, thanking trainers for their patience. The small device can be deployed by players for $34.99 to help them detect and catch Pokémon.

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3 days ago

How to recover deleted text messages on Android

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How to recover deleted text messages on Android

How do I recover deleted text messages on Android?

Sure, there are many sites that claim to offer recovery services, but you'd need to be running a rooted device. As noted by AC's Jerry Hildebrand, Android has used TRIM on the internal storage since 2012, so deleted data is constantly being overwritten. Chances are, unless you acted immediately after deleting the messages, they will be gone forever, in short order.

But if you want to make sure you never lose texts again — whether by mistake or when switching over to a different device — here's how to do it, using an app appropriately called SMS Backup & Restore by Carbonite.

How to backup your SMS messages

The first thing you'll need to do is download the free SMS Backup & Restore app from the Google Play Store.

  1. Launch the Google Play Store from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap the search bar and search for SMS Backup and Restore.
  3. Tap SMS Backup & Restore by Carbonite, which should be the top result.

    Launch the Google Play Store from your home screen or app drawer, Tap the search bar and search for SMS Backup and Restore, then tap the free SMS Backup and Restore app, which should be the top result

  4. Tap Install.
  5. Tap Accept.
  6. Tap Open once the app has been installed.

    Tap Install, Tap Accept, and then tap Open once the app has been installed.

  7. Tap Backup once the app has opened.
  8. Tap OK if you're fine with using a default folder on your device, or tap Custom Folder if you want to store your backups on a MicroSD card or in a specific folder on your phone.
  9. Tap the checkbox next to the things you want backed up, especially the text messages (it's why you're here, right?).

    Tap Backup once the app has opened, tap OK if you're fine with using a default folder on your device, or tap custom folder if you want to store your backups on a MicroSD card or a specific folder on your phone. Next, tap the checkbox next ot the things you want backed up, in particular text messages, because that's why you're here, right?

  10. Tap the checkbox next to Call Logs if you want them backed up.
  11. Tap the file name next to Text Messages if you want to re-title it yourself.
  12. Tap the checkboxes next to Include MMS Messages and/or Include Emojis/Special characters if you want those included in the backups.

    Tap the checkbox next to Call Logs if you want them backed up, tap filename next to Text Messages if you want to retitle it yourself, then tap the checkboxes next to Include MMS Messages and/or Include Emojis/Special characters if you want those included in the backups.

  13. Optionally, tap Selected Conversations Only if you only want specific text conversations backed up. A window will pop up that lets you select the specific convos you want backed up.
  14. Tap your choice between Local Backup only or Local Backup and Upload, which reveals options to upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, or to Email. To upload your backup, you'll need to install an Add-on for SMS Backup & Restore.
  15. Tap OK.

    Optionally, tap Selected Conversations Only if you only want specific text conversations backed up. A window will pop up that lets you select the specific convos you want backed up. Tap your choice between **Local Backup only** or **Local Backup and Upload**, which reveals options to upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, or to Email.  To upload your backup, you'll need to install an [Add-on for SMS Backup & Restore, tap OK.

If you decide to only back up your messages locally, you'll get a message warning that you risk losing your backups if you lose or damage your device. You'll also be warned that if you set backups to be stored in the default internal storage, you'll want to transfer them to an external storage device whenever you decide to switch phones.

Your text message conversations will now automatically be backed up to wherever you chose to back them up!

How to restore your SMS messages

Once you've got your SMS messages backed up (again, if you just found this article and didn't have your messages backed up somehow, you're essentially out of luck), you can restore them on a new device or on the same one.

  1. Launch SMS Backup & Restore from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap Restore.
  3. Tap the checkboxes next to the backups you want to restore. Depending on what you chose to back up, you may have both call logs and SMS messages.

    Launch SMS Backup and Restore from your home screen or app drawer, Tap Restore, then check the boxes next to the backups you want to restore. Depending on what you chose to back up, you may have both call logs and SMS messages.

  4. Tap the arrow next to the SMS messages backups if you have multiple backups stored and want to restore a specific one.
  5. Tap Restore.
  6. Tap OK. This info box informs you that to restore your messages you'll need to temporarily set SMS Backup and Restore as your default messaging app.

    Tap the arrow next to the SMS messages backups if you have multiple backups stored and want to restore a specific one, tap restore, tap OK. This info box informs you that you need to restore your messages you'll need to temporarily set SMS Backup and Restore as your default messaging app.

  7. Tap Yes. Your messages and/or call logs will start restoring.
  8. Tap Close once the restore is completed.

    Tap **Yes**. Your messages and/or call logs will start restoring, then tap close once the restore is complete.

And there you have it! Your messages (and maybe even your call logs) have been restored! If you've decided to back up your data to a cloud service, you should also be able to restore your old messages onto a new phone by following the same steps. Since the data is stored in an XML file, it's compatible with any Android device, no matter the make or model.

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3 days ago

Xiaomi unveils Redmi Pro with dual cameras, deca-core Helio X25 SoC

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At a media event in China, Xiaomi unveiled the Redmi Pro, its latest offering in the budget segment. Featuring a 5.5-inch Full HD OLED display, the highlight of the phone is the dual camera setup at the back, with a main 13MP camera (Sony IMX 258) augmented by a 5MP secondary camera that adds depth information. The additional camera is joined by a depth of field image processor.

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4 days ago

Best clear cases for Moto G4

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Best clear cases for Moto G4

What are the best clear cases for the Moto G4?

If you're not a fan of bright colors or wild patterns, you don't have to buy a case for your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus that's out of your style comfort zone. Clear cases show of your hardware while offering some protection without feeling like you have to put neon brights all over your perfectly designed phone.

Orzly FlexiCase

Orzly FlexiCase

A nice, slim fit and a non-slip gloss finish make the Orzly FlexiCase a perfect choice for a clear case. It isn't going to add any significant weight to your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus and it's easy to install.

The flexible silicone case has covers and cutouts for all the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus buttons and ports. If you customized your phone, the clear backing on the Orzly FlexiCase is a great way to show off your style.

For style, grip, and an ultra-slim fit that Motorola fans are fans of, get the Orzly FlexiCase.

See at Amazon

Cimo Wave Slim protective case

Cimo Wave Slim protective case

For a clear case with a little extra flair, get your hands on the Cimo Wave Slim protective case. The subtle wave pattern on the back of the case looks great without distracting from the original look of your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus.

The slightly raised bezels around the screen help to protect your screen in case you regularly place your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus face-down on desks or tables. The TPU case is anti-slip and provides good protection against your daily grind.

If you want your Cimo case to be super clear, a plain option is the same price as the Wave, or you can opt to take the X-pattern in clear TPU.

See at Amazon

KuGi Moto G 4th generation case

KuGi Moto G 4th generation case Rose Gold

How about a clear case with just a little bit of color? Look no further than the KuGi Moto G 4th generation cases. The pale tint on the bumper personalizes your case just enough, like the Rose Gold version pictured here. Nothing flashy, nothing extreme; the KuGi case is all about the subtle.

The hard plastic backing and soft bumper frame your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus nicely and offer extra grip both in your hands and on slippery surfaces. The scratch-resistant coating helps prevent the case from starting to discolor or look like you've put it through the mill. (It will totally protect your phone if you do, though.)

KuGi's Moto G cases are simple, unique, and a great way to dress up your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus that little extra bit.

See at Amazon

SPARIN 2-pack soft transparent case

Sparin soft transparent case

Two things have to be said about the clear case from SPARIN: one, you're getting two cases for the price of one, and two, both cases come with a lifetime warranty. Get one for you and one for the other Moto G4 fan in your life.

The back of the case is highly scratch-resistant and overall it does a solid job of protecting your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus from daily dings. It's super slim while offering a little bit of extra grip around the bumper, handy because your phone is a bit on the slippery side.

If you want warranty and a great deal to boot, the transparent cases from SPARIN are right up your alley.

See at Amazon

PLESON crystal clear case

Pleson crystal clear case

With precise cutouts for all the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus buttons and ports, it's like the PLESON crystal clear case isn't even there, but you'll be glad it is. It shows off the original hardware of your phone without adding a bunch of unnecessary bulk.

The soft TPU bumper protects the edges of the screen and fit nice and snug over a screen protector. The case is designed to be shock resistant so a little drop or bump here and there won't do damage to the phone. The TPU is also fingerprint resistant, so you won't be constantly cleaning your case after a long day of talking, texting, and gaming.

For a soft, well-made, clear and grippy case for your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus, check out the case from PLESON.

See at Amazon

A clear choice

Which clear case is your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus rocking right now? Tell us why you chose your clear case in the comments below!

Moto G4 and G4 Plus

Moto G4:

Amazon Motorola

Moto G4 Plus:

Amazon Motorola

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4 days ago

BlackBerry DTEK50 hands-on: Stuck in neutral

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BlackBerry's second Android phone, the DTEK50, has a vexing name and a lack of star appeal. But it's also cheap.

I have been fielding radio interviews since mid-2013 about the inevitable demise of BlackBerry's smartphone business, and each time since then I say, "Sure, this may be it," and each time I am left wondering whether the company's stubborn tenacity is its blessing or its curse.

In the DTEK50, BlackBerry may have finally solved the solution to its hardware profitability problem: a low-stakes handset based on the reference design of an existing product, the Alcatel Idol 4, with a software experience that brings the Priv's impressive amalgam of near-stock Android and a homegrown app suite to a price more palatable to the average IT manager.

Hardware impressions

At first glance, this is an Alcatel Idol 4 — yes, the still-unreleased cheaper version of the Idol 4S — with slight changes, particularly to the phone's back. A 5.2-inch 1080p LCD display covers the phone's otherwise-uninteresting front, and it is, like the rest of the hardware, adequate but largely unimpressive. Colors are vibrant, and white balance, which can be adjusted through the settings, is slightly too warm out of the box. Thankfully, BlackBerry decided to set the phone's DPI — the amount of content shown on the screen — fairly high, which is a nice change fro the average device in this price range.

More: BlackBerry DTEK50 specs

The phone costs $299, and it feels like it: Aluminum chamfers and a rubberized textured back are highlights, but its near-weightlessness is not an asset. Still, the back does not creak like its Priv predecessor (which cost nearly three times as much), and despite the gimmicky nature of the front and back being offset from the bezels to mimic layers, there is a solidity to the chassis that I appreciate.

Unfortunately, the DTEK50 inherited a now-standard negative trait of Alcatel's recent product lineup: a power button located on the top left, which is sure to vex the vast majority of the right-handed user base.

Even worse, where the power button exists on most phones — right side middle — is a convenience key that, after unboxing the phone, I depressed like an idiot for 10 seconds before realizing it didn't power on the phone. This isn't the first time we've seen such a button on an Android phone — Samsung's Galaxy S Active line famously added one a few years ago — but BlackBerry hopes that you'll use this one to quickly open its Hub, or its Calendar, or — mercifully — BBM.

Around back, you're looking at a 13MP rear camera, which doesn't have the same pedigree as the Priv's 18MP shooter, but upon first impression the DTEK50 exhibits a fair approximation of what a $300 phone in 2016 offers. A full review will reveal specifics, but at least BlackBerry's camera app has received considerable performance improvements since the Priv's debut last year.

The phone costs $299, and it feels like it.

The DTEK50's spec sheet is largely identical to that of the Alcatel Idol 4, which means its middle-of-the-road inclusions are somewhat mired by a quickly-aging Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor and 16GB of internal storage (which is, thankfully, expandable via microSD). In its announcement, BlackBerry hedged against the naysayers by claiming that the phone's 3GB of RAM will keep things running smoothly over the long haul, but after a few minutes tapping away on the company's first-party keyboard, it's clear the phone is severely underpowered.

Finally, the DTEK50 lacks a fingerprint sensor, which was, according to BlackBerry's head of design, Scott Wenger, was more a price consideration than a security one. Surely, a fingerprint sensor cannot replace the need for a strong password (and two-factor authentication), but Android today is a far better experience with biometrics than without. But having to enter a password or pin when opening 1Password feels like a regression, and one that we've seen avoided on other devices in this price range.

Software impressions

First, the good news: the DTEK50 runs Android 6.0.1 with the very latest security patch from Google (July 5th, as of writing), which is considerably more encouraging than some upcoming phones asking twice as much.

I have gone on the record as being a fan of BlackBerry's Android apps.

If you've used the Priv, the software experience is the same: a powerful home screen that in many ways resembles a hybrid of Google Now and Action Launcher (in a good way), and a bevy of first-party apps that I can only describe as excellent. I have gone on the record as being a fan of BlackBerry's Android apps, from the Hub, which has improved considerably since last year, to its minimalist calendar and notes apps. And all of these apps are updated directly from Google Play, a means of distribution that BlackBerry has utilized often.

Then there's DTEK, the phone's branding namesake, the foundation for BlackBerry's claim of "the world's most secure Android smartphone." While the average consumer may balk at BlackBerry's intention to sell this directly through distribution channels like Amazon, the real sales volume is going to come by bundling the phone alongside BlackBerry's suite of enterprise management tools like BES 12. DTEK (the app) puts a friendly face on a narrative that BlackBerry is desperate to convey to potential customers: Android may be secure, but with this phone you'll never have to worry about being compromised again.

The Accessories

Of course, with every BlackBerry phone, there are the accessories. I got to try three cases that will be available alongside the phone when it launches on August 8: the Smart Pocket; the Smart Flip Case; and the Hard Shell. There will also be a Swivel Holster, because of course there will be.

All three cases are well-made and, between $24.99 and $34.99, in line with what you'd pay from Otterbox or Incipio.

The Bottom Line

At this point, I'm cautiously optimistic about the state of BlackBerry's device business. John Chen has said again and again that he has no qualms shutting down the whole project if it fails to turn a profit, though he stubbornly keeps pushing back that due date. And while this is certainly a BlackBerry phone in name, we're expecting a more traditional keyboard-sporting Android device by the end of the company's fiscal year, which could take us into early 2017.

As for the DTEK50 itself, it appears to be a decent phone that will likely be severely hampered by an underpowered processor. I hope to be proven wrong by the time I write the review, but I doubt it.

More: BlackBerry DTEK50 pre-orders have begun, ships August 8 for $299

See at BlackBerry

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4 days ago

5 things to know about Honor 8 in the U.S.

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Honor 8

Huawei-owned Honor set to bring its A-game to the U.S. market.

Alongside a European launch in Paris later next month, it looks like the Honor 8 is headed to the United States, with an event scheduled for Aug. 16 in San Francisco. It'll be the second Honor phone to hit the U.S., following the Honor 5X earlier in the year. That phone was a mixed bag, with sluggish performance, Android 5.1 out of the box and a smudge-prone, fingerprinty screen.

But the Honor 8 looks like a serious improvement, with flagship-class internals and build quality, backed up by a seriously improved software setup. So as launch day approaches, let's come to grips with what you need to know about the Honor 8 in the U.S.

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4 days ago

Verizon rolls out small updates to the LG G5 and V10

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Verizon has started rolling out a fresh set of updates to both the LG G5 and LG V10, bringing along some slight tweaks to both.

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4 days ago

Do you listen to podcasts?

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Podcasts are awesome, but not everyone listens to them.

It used to be that the only thing you really listened to on your phone or in the car was music. We've moved past that, though, and now you can listen to podcasts wherever you are. The good news is that there is a podcast, or multiple podcasts, for everyone, with topics ranging from comedy to history to, of course, technology! We host two fantastic ones right here: Android Central Podcast to Go Time —a Pokemon Go Podcast.

That's why in this week's poll we want to know whether you listen to podcasts. There are ones out there for everyone, no matter what you want to listen to people talk about.

Do you listen to podcasts?

Your turn!

Now it's your turn! Do you have a favorite podcast? Do you think listening to podcasts is just a waste of time? Hop into the comments below and let us know about it!

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4 days ago

Pokémon Go: The ultimate guide

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Once you've learned the basics, it's time to dive deeper into Pokémon Go.

If you're here it's because you want to become the best Pokémon trainer that you can be. If you're just getting started with Pokémon Go, then you should check out our guide to getting started before diving in here. This guide is for those of you who are grinding levels, capturing Pokémon and taking over Gyms.

As you know by now, there is a lot going on with Pokémon Go, and we're going to detail most of it out for you here.

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4 days ago

BlackBerry DTEK50 priced at $429, launching in Canada with five carriers

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While BlackBerry's latest Android phone, the DTEK50, has something of an impenetrable and vexing name, it will be widely available in Canada when it arrives in early August.

There are two main ways to purchase the phone, and while we don't have carrier pricing right now, ultimately the best place to buy it will be ShopBlackBerry, the company's e-commerce store.

Direct from BlackBerry

Shipping August 8th for $429, which includes a 12,600mAh battery pack, the DTEK50 will come unlocked through the BlackBerry Store, compatible with all then major Canadian carriers.

See at ShopBlackBerry

From the carriers

While we don't have carrier pricing just yet, we know which carriers the DTEK50 will be sold at in Canada:

  • Rogers
  • Bell
  • Telus
  • Wind Mobile
  • SaskTel

If history is anything to go by, the phone will be roughly the same price as its unlocked counterpart — $430 or so — when purchased outright, and $0 on a 2-year contract.

It's possible more carriers will be added to the list in the coming weeks, and we'll update this page when links to the existing ones go live.

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4 days ago

Don't Blink — PlayStation VR is available for pre-order again in the UK!

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This is not a drill!

If you're interested in grabbing a PlayStation VR this year, pre-order is the way to do it. Sony has sold out of their pre-orders on multiple occasions now, but it looks like you can grab a spot in line right now if you're in the UK. Take a look over at VR Heads for the details!

PlayStation VR is available to pre-order again in the UK!

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4 days ago

Best cases for OnePlus 3

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Best cases for OnePlus 3

What are the best cases for the OnePlus 3?

Your brand new OnePlus 3 has an all-aluminum body that looks great but could use a little protection (and maybe some jazzing up). The ideal case will fit perfectly, keep your phone safe from your daily grind, and look fantastic. We know exactly what you're looking for.

OnePlus 3 Protective Case

OnePlus 3 Rosewood case

The protective cases by OnePlus are more than just interchangeable backings for your OnePlus 3; they really do offer excellent protection that wraps around the corners of the phone and keeps your hardware safe. You can only buy them directly from OnePlus.

The cases are light, thin, and don't add any unnecessary bulk or weight to your OnePlus 3. They're available in Sandstone (the iconic look from previous generations of the OnePlus), Karbon, Black Apricot, Bamboo, and Rosewood (pictured here). All the cases are made from the actual material they're named for, as well as PC or kevlar for additional strength and durability.

For a case that's got a unique look and feel and is crafted exclusively for the OnePlus 3, the Protective Case in all its variations is the one for you.

See at OnePlus


OtterBox case

OtterBox in Cardinal Red OnePlus 3

OtterBox, the go-to name in phone protection and style, is available for the OnePlus 3 exclusively via the OnePlus website. The hard outer layer and shock-absorbing inner layer of silicone keep your phone just like new, no matter what your day throws your way.

The newer versions of OtterBox cases are slimmer and lighter, so you won't have significant size and weight added to your OnePlus 3. The textured back surface and sides make for secure handling, and the cases come in Saharan White, Dark Matter, and Cardinal Red (pictured here).

For trusted protection of your OnePlus 3 from a brand that's made its name synonymous with durability and damage protection, check out the OtterBox case.

See at OnePlus


OnePlus 3 Flip Covers

Sand flip cover OnePlus 3

Offering style and protection in one great-looking case, the OnePlus 3 flip covers are made of soft, supple PU leather that's made to last. There's even room for a credit card or even a few folded bills on the inside of the front cover.

The flip cover will automatically put your display to sleep when you close it, which is great for battery conservation. The slim design won't take up loads of space, and the front cover protects your screen. The color selection is simple, elegant, and a perfect complement to your OnePlus 3; choose from black, gray, or the sand tone pictured here.

If you want the look of a wallet case without unnecessary bulk or compartments, pick up one of the Flip Covers made just for your OnePlus 3.

See at OnePlus


Tudia Ultra Slim LITE case

Tudia clear case

Cases from Tudia are building a strong following, and there's good reason for that; its cases for the OnePlus 3 have a snug, secure fit and the soft, flexible shell offers just that little extra bit of grip you need to have on your phone.

The TPU case fits well over a screen protector, like the one included with your OnePlus 3, and it also features raised edges to keep the screen away from hard surfaces like desks or tables. You'll have access to every button and port, thanks to the precise covers and cutouts, so charge away or plug in your headphones without fidgeting with an ill-fitting cover.

Take your pick from cases in black, vibrant teal, or the clear case (pictured here) to show off the original aluminum hardware of the OnePlus 3.

See at Amazon

Orzly Grip-Pro case

Orzly Grip-Pro case

An alternative to the OtterBox style and price comes from Orzly in the form of the Grip-Pro case for the OnePlus 3, which offers a two-year warranty and is becoming a popular choice for many people.

The shock-proof internal skin and hard, rubberized exterior protect against bumps and drops, and it maintains a slim profile with cutouts for speakers, buttons, as well as a raised edge around the camera to keep the lens safe.

Grab one (or two, 'cause you can never have too many colors to choose from) in black, blue, pink, silver, or the red version pictured here.

See at Amazon

Love Ying Soft Skin case

Love Ying Soft Skin clear case

For one of the slimmest case profiles you can get, check out the Soft Skin from Love Ying. Minimal bulk, minimal extra weight, and a great fit for your OnePlus 3.

The flexible TPU offers excellent shock and bump protection in spite of its minimalist design. A little bit of extra material around the screen edges keeps it up and away from surfaces, which is helpful if you're someone who's in the habit of placing your OnePlus 3 face-down.

Get your Love Ying Soft Skin case in mint, pink, purple, or the clear version pictured here.

See at Amazon

My Best Cover antique genuine leather sleeve

My Best Cover antique genuine leather sleeve

Treat yourself to a totally customizable leather sleeve for your shiny new OnePlus 3. The good people at My Best Cover make hand-stained, handmade genuine leather sleeves that cradle your OnePlus 3 in style.

The interior of the case is fleecy to keep the phone's screen or aluminum hardware from being scratched or dinged up. A handy front pocket holds a card or two and a little cash for when you're on the go. The sleeve is a snug, secure fit that looks fantastic; get ready for some compliments.

See at Etsy

A case for everyone

Are you using one of our favorite cases for your OnePlus 3? Tell us how you like it in the comments below!

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