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11 hours ago

The best tech deals that you don't want to miss out on

The best tech deals that you don't want to miss out on

Our friends at Thrifter post some great deals every day, and here are the best ones available right now!

From mobile phones to general tech, home goods and much more, the team at Thrifter is scouring the web every single day to find the best deals. Whether something hits a new all-time low, gets discounted for just a limited time, or has a new coupon code available for it, you won't want to miss out any of them. If you want to know about the deals as soon as they are happening, you'll want to follow Thrifter on Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter, because missing out on a great deal stinks!

So, what are the best deals that you should be looking at right now? Well, let's take a look at them so you can see which ones are best for you!

Apple TV 4K + DirecTV Now - Free w/ 3-month prepay

When you prepay for three months of DirecTV Now service you can score an Apple TV 4K for free. That's right, if you dish out $105 for three months of the basic service tier, you get the hardware at no cost. Apple charges $179 for the Apple TV, so even if you do it just to get the Apple TV for less, it makes sense.

The Apple TV 4K is delivered via FedEx within two weeks of signing up, and you can cancel the auto-renewal so you don't pay any extra. You may be thinking that you don't have a use for DirecTV Now so this deal doesn't make sense for you, but it's worth it for the hardware, and it gives you a chance to trial a new streaming service to see how it works out for you.

See on DirecTV Now

Fossil Q Hybrid smartwatch - $95 (Was $175)

You can opt for the timeless look with the stainless steel option, or make things a little darker with a black stainless steel watch, or be bold and opt for the navy blue stainless steel all for the same price. They are all water resistant and have a 22mm strap, which you can easily swap out for new options.

These are hybrid smartwatches, meaning they have the look of a conventional watch but some smart features inside. You'll be able to track your fitness, be notified for new SMS, email, phone calls, control your music, and much more. It runs on a regular watch battery, which you can just swap out when it dies. Fossil says that the battery should last for around a year before it needs to be replaced.

See at Fossil

Google Wifi (3-pack) - $258.98 (Was $300)

Mesh Wi-Fi systems are all the rage these days, and Google Wifi is one of the leaders in the pack. You can buy single units or a 3-pack, and if you are looking to cover a large space the 3-pack is the way to go. Setting them up is super simple regardless of whether you are on an iPhone or Android device, and once you get them working there's very little to worry about.

The app will provide details about what's connected to the network, allow you to prioritize internet on certain devices and pause it on others, and much more. This 3-pack should blanket up to 4,500 sq. ft with a solid Wi-Fi connection.

See on Amazon

More great deals!

For even more great deals, and to see these discounts as they become available, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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15 hours ago

Best Wireless Chargers for Samsung Galaxy Note 8 as of February 2018

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Best Wireless Chargers for Samsung Galaxy Note 8 as of February 2018

What are the best wireless chargers for Galaxy Note 8?

If you ask Apple, wireless charging is the latest and greatest feature for smartphones — and one that Samsung has been perfecting on its line of Galaxy phones since 2014.

Samsung's big and beautiful Galaxy Note 8 carries on that tradition with the same Wireless Fast Charge abilities as the Galaxy S8, and many of the best wireless chargers available are compatible with old and new Samsung phones alike.

So let's dive in and take a look at your best options!

Samsung Fast Charge Convertible Wireless Charging Pad

It's always best to lead with the accessories made by the phone manufacturer, and Samsung redesigned wireless charging pad/stand sure stands out from the crowd. Launched alongside the Galaxy S8, it features a premium leather-like appearance and ingenious design which allows you to easily convert this pad into an angled charging stand.

The charger also comes with a spare Samsung Fast Charge wall charger which is another accessory that ensures your phone charges safely, and allows you to fast charge your Galaxy Note 8 wirelessly at your home or office. you can snag one of your own from Amazon now for just $55. It's a great price, considering it's regularly sold on Samsung's site for close to $80.

See at Amazon

Samsung Wireless Charging Pad w/ 2A wall adapter

If functionality and cost are your two biggest buying factors, you'll want to consider Samsung's old style of wireless charging pad, which has been deeply discounted on Amazon to around $15.

These charging pads look like mini-UFOs and are Fast Charge-compatible for devices that support it such as the Galaxy Note 8. It also comes with a Samsung 2A wall charger — always great — and comes with a standard one-year warranty.

This is a great option if you're looking to set up wireless charging at your home and at work because they're so damn cheap right now. You can also get the older style as a charging stand if you prefer that look instead. You may also want to consider this bundle which includes Samsung's car charger along with two cables (Micro-USB and USB-C) for just $39.99.

See at Amazon

Tronsmart Chocolate Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Tronsmart is a trusted brand for charging accessories, and produces a unique looking charging pad that's designed to look like a bar of chocolate — and who doesn't love chocolate?

The top of this charging pad is made of a silica gel that's designed to ensure your phone stays in place while also preventing the charger itself from slipping around on your desk. It's compatible with all of Samsung's other fast-charge capable phones, so the Note 8 should be no exception.

You'll need to supply your own Adaptive Fast Charger wall adapter to get the most out of this charging pad, Other than that, this is a fairly minimalist charging pad that can be yours for just $13.

See at Amazon

Spigen Qi Wireless Charging Stand

Spigen is one of the best accessory makers, and its Qi Charging Stand is a fine example to back that claim.

This charging stand is angled so you are still able to see your display easily while your phone is charging. If you need a way to quickly top off your phone on your desk or a new place to keep it safe on your nightstand, this may be the choice for you. Pick yours up for under $30 at Amazon.

See at Amazon

Aukey Wireless Charging Pad

Aukey's wireless charging pad for Qi-enabled devices is sleek and minimalist, which might jive well with your personal tastes. It's an updated version of Aukey's coaster-sized charger, and has a pretty stylish and minimalist look to it and won't take up much space on your desk or nightstand. And unlike other options on this list, it actually uses a USB-C cable to supply power which should make for more an efficient energy transfer.

You can get one for your home or office for just $25.

See at Amazon

iOttie iON Wireless Qi Charging Pad

This wireless charger from iOttie might seem like the bulkier option based on pictures, but it's actually very intelligently designed. It's Qi-compatible with a triple-coil charging zone that's capable of 5V/1A output with a non-slip ring to hold your phone in place on top while it charges. And that hollow opening in the middle isn't just for the stylish look — it's also a docking bay for the iOttie PowerPack 3400mAh External Portable Charger which is super convenient and cool.

You can even get a bundle pack that includes the iOttie PowerPack 3400mAh External Battery for just $50, so you can have a fully charged battery pack to take along with you if you think you'll need it. Otherwise, you can get the wireless charging pad for just $19.95.

See at Amazon

Update February 2018: The Samsung Convertible Charger is back in stock on Amazon — and at the lowest price yet! Also confirmed availability and pricing for the other options on our list.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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1 day ago

USB-C audio: Everything you need to know

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USB-C audio: Everything you need to know

The port on the phone isn't the only difference, but some things are the same as they have always been.

There's a good chance the next phone you buy will support USB-C audio, even if it still has a "regular" 3.5mm headphone jack. That means we'll soon be seeing more headphones that have a USB-C connector because that's how this circle works — support a thing and companies will make the things. But there's a lot of confusion about using a USB port for audio and what's different than how we've been doing it for years. If you're into electronics and love getting down and dirty you can take a look at the USB-C audio specification (direct download link) but for the rest of us here's what you need to know.

New port, same parts

Audio of any type that can be played back on our phones needs to have a handful of specific parts to work. Moving from a 3.5 mm jack to a USB-C port doesn't change that. Where those parts are, though, can change a lot.

You need a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter), an amplifier, and a speaker(s) to turn files into sounds on your phone. Speakers work by moving and creating a pressure wave that our eardrums pick up, and the moving parts use electromagnetism to do their thing. That pressure wave corresponds with whats called an analog signal and the variation of that signal is what creates different tones and sounds. In a nutshell, the signal waveform is what a speaker uses to vibrate, that vibration sends pressure waves to our eardrums, and they vibrate in time inside our head to make the sound. Biological magic aside, it really is that simple. If you look at an analog audio waveform and hear the sound, you can see how things line up.

Making a copy of a copy of the original audio is complicated and needs the right parts.

Files on our phone or files streamed through the internet are digital. That means they are a bunch of binary (a counting system that only uses zero and one) bits that are packed together so a computer can read them and know what to do with them. Yes, your phone is a computer! Digital files do not have any type of waveform that a speaker can use to create sound. We need something to convert them.

Complex algorithms are able to take recorded audio, which is in an analog format, convert it to a digital format like a .mp3 file for storing on a computer, and convert it back to analog when played. This data needs to be sent through the DAC for conversion to a proper waveform and then sent through an amplifier so that the waveform is made strong enough for headphones to use. There are some pretty cool things that scientists and engineers can do to "make" sound, but every phone and every portable audio player and every set of speakers need this process.

More: Does my phone have a DAC? Explaining DACs and Amps in smartphones today

A phone like the LG V30 has a very good DAC and a very good amp and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. An app plays the file, the DAC converts it to analog, the amp boosts the signal, and the 3.5mm headphone jack sends it out to whatever you have plugged in. Every phone with a 3.5 mm headphone port works exactly the same way, even those without the promise of a premium sound experience. A phone that uses the USB port for audio might not work this way, though.

A little more legroom

For an explanation, let's turn to Bluetooth. You don't need to physically connect Bluetooth headphones to anything, so things are built differently even if they are using the same parts. Your Bluetooth headphones have their own onboard DAC and amplifier. The digital file is sent from your phone and all the conversion is done on your head. At first, this can feel a little complicated but it's not really. The same process is used and the only difference is where the components are. Now let's get to USB.

There are two ways to send audio data through the USB port, and I'll bet you can guess them: Analog and digital. Analog audio can be converted with an onboard DAC and amplifier inside your phone then sent out through the port to a passive set of headphones or an adapter. For this to work, the device needs to support whats called "audio accessory mode" and the headphones or adapter are just "dumb" connections that pass along the signal.

If you are using an active set of headphones or adapter, the audio signal being sent through the USB port is still in its digital form. That means the DAC and amplifier are inside of the headphones or the dongle, and the conversion is done there instead of the phone.

Buying USB-C headphones can be torturous; get advice from someone who has been there.

This can get messy. You need to make sure that you're using the right "thing". If you are using a passive adapter or headphones, your phone needs to support audio accessory mode and many don't. The mess is because most dongles, adapters, and headphones aren't labeled with how they are built and we don't know if they are active or passive.

The Pixel 2 has an onboard DAC embedded in its Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, but audio accessory mode isn't supported. That means you need a pair of active headphones or an active adapter, like the dongle that came with the phone. The HTC U11 and Essential Phone are the same, and the only phone I've heard (but am unable to test) that does support USB audio accessory mode was the LeEco Le Pro3. All phones should support an active adapter or headphones, though.

One more thing: Not all active USB audio products will work with all phones because manufacturers are able to use several new wires in the USB-C connection for extra features, like HTC did with the U11's earbuds to provide active noise cancellation.

Before you buy any USB-C headphones or an adapter, find out where it works with your phone.

Is USB-C audio better?

Yes, but also no. The actual sound isn't better just because the port has changed. As mentioned above, you still need to use the same components and manufacturers are free to choose from high-end gear or budget gear. USB-C doesn't make anything better here, it just changes the connection.

But there are some benefits. The USB Type-C Specification 1.0 was released by the USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum) in 2014 along with the USB 3.1 specification. While not required, USB-C has plenty of tricks up its sleeve for the way it can communicate and connect. A USB-C port can support these things simultaneously:

  • Audio accessory mode For passive audio or passthrough audio.
  • Alternate mode This uses some of the wires in the USB connection for direct device-to-host transmission of alternate data protocols; as of 2016 this includes Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, Mobile High-Definition Link, and HDMI.
  • Billboard Device Class This communicates to supply details of Alternate mode connections or to simply provide information about the connection or the device connected at either end.
  • Audio Device Class 3 specification This sends analog or digital (or both) audio data through the port.
  • USB Power Delivery This not only provides "fast charging" over USB, but it also supports DRP (Dual Role Power) to fast charge your phone and supply power to a connected device at the same time.

The USB Type-C specification doesn't require these things, but they are supported. That means you can do a lot more with the USB-C port on your phone that listen to music or charge it if the company making it wants to include any of these extra modes. Some are great — HDMI or DisplayPort through the Alternate mode specifications means you can connect your phone to an AV Receiver for premium sound and mirror the screen. And charge it, and send data or charge another USB-C accessory with the right cable all at the same time.

Android, along with Chrome, Windows, macOS, and Linux all fully support the USB Type-C specification. While the audio won't necessarily sound better because it's using the USB-C port, there are a lot of cool things that can be done while we are listening.

It's coming

Some phones line LG's V series will likely support the 3.5 mm headphone jack for the immediate future. That's great for people who have other audio gear that uses the old standards and want their phone to be a great sounding music player. But the move to USB-C for audio has happened, and eventually all portable (and possibly standalone) audio will use USB-C. That's because it benefits the companies who make the products we love.

Omitting the headphone jack does two things for a company designing a phone. It gives them a little more space and saves them some money — two things designers love.

When you aren't using a 3.5mm jack, you don't have to make the phone as thick and have a few square centimeters of space on a circuit board to put other components. With AI and Machine Learning also being a thing, there are multitudes of tiny parts that need a home somewhere on a circuit board and now they have one. The headphone jack itself isn't very expensive (though every penny counts), but if a company is not supporting any type of passive or passthrough audio connection over USB-C it doesn't have to design, build, and solder in an amplifier for the signal. That can be a significant saving for the cost of making a phone from beginning to end.

Some of us will miss the 3.5mm jack. I know I will because I love my favorite headphones more than the phone or player they connect to. But benefits are there for users if companies choose to implement them, and smarter connections that are faster sound pretty awesome.

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2 days ago

Google's official Pixelbook sleeve can be yours for a whopping $100

5

Google's official Pixelbook sleeve can be yours for a whopping $100

An expensive sleeve for an expensive laptop.

The Google Pixelbook is an expensive laptop, but for fans of Chrome OS, it's worth every single penny. I'm been loving my time with the Pixelbook so far, and I've eagerly been waiting for Google to let me buy its official sleeve for the thing. However, now that I can and pricing details are out, I think I'll go with something else.

First, let me say that Google's sleeve for the Pixelbook looks darn good. The gray finish compliments the Pixelbook's white and silver paint-job, and the flap on the top with the Google logo in the upper-left corner nicely mimic the front design of the laptop itself.

Inside the sleeve is where you'll find a layered microfiber finish to help protect the Pixelbook, and there's even room on the right side to store your Pixelbook Pen, too.

As great as all of this looks, however, I'm not so sure it's worth the $100 asking price. I have no doubt the sleeve is probably the best one you can buy for the Pixelbook, and for as nice of a machine as it is, I fully understand wanting to protect it at all costs.

You can check it out with a click or tap of the button below, but personally, I'll be sticking with something a bit more affordable.

See at Google Store

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3 days ago

Echobox Explorer Review: Intoxicating sound (with a heckuva hangover)

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Echobox Explorer Review: Intoxicating sound (with a heckuva hangover)

You've got to love the weird world of Android. I mean, where else can you shell out half a grand for a portable Hi-Fi player that looks like the product of a drunken evening between an expensive hip flask and a budget mid-2011 smartphone?

Fortunately, the distinctively shaped Echobox Explorer isn't just an excuse to make halfhearted booze jokes; it's a portable audio player that kicks out genuinely great sound thanks to a potent combination of powerful DAC and a capable headphone amp. Unfortunately, where Echobox splurged on the sound it skimped on the basics: a poor Wi-Fi radio makes it slow to stream; bad shielding on that radio makes for prominent earphone interference; and an ancient Android version with no Play Store makes for a subpar user experience.

If you're enough of an audiophile to consider a Digital Audio Player in 2018, the Echobox Explorer is probably already on your radar — so should you take a hit off this faux flask? The answer's right up above, in the MrMobile Echobox Explorer review!

Stay social, my friends

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3 days ago

Best Camera Drones of 2018

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Best Camera Drones of 2018

What are the best camera drones I can buy right now?

Whether you're an independent filmmaker looking to step up your game with drone videography, or simply a hobbyist looking to record stunning video to share with friends and family, you'll want to invest in a top-of-the-line camera drone.

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3 days ago

Xiaomi Mi TV 4 preview: The next big thing is here

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Xiaomi Mi TV 4 preview: The next big thing is here

With the Mi TV 4, Xiaomi is looking to do to the TV segment what it did to phones: turn the entire category on its head.

Back in 2015, I walked into a Xiaomi service center to get a busted Mi 4 fixed. That was my first run-in with the Mi TV. It was a brand-new Mi TV 2 that the service center imported from China to showcase Xiaomi's portfolio. When asked if it would launch in India, all I got in return was a noncommittal, "Soon."

I wasn't alone in my enthusiasm for the Mi TV. Xiaomi fans in the country have been clamoring for the TV range to make its debut for a few years now, going as far as to create a petition addressed to Xiaomi co-founder and head of its TV business Chuan Wang to bring the products to India.

Two and a half years later, Xiaomi has formally launched the Mi TV in India. It is a momentous occasion for the brand as India is the first market outside of China to receive its TV range.

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3 days ago

Xiaomi Mi TV 4 with 55-inch 4K HDR panel makes its way to India for ₹39,999

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Xiaomi Mi TV 4 with 55-inch 4K HDR panel makes its way to India for ₹39,999

Xiaomi fans have been clamoring to see the Mi TV in India for a few years now. That moment is finally here.

Xiaomi introduced the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro in India today, but the brand isn't done just yet: it is also launching the Mi TV 4 in the country. There's been considerable interest in Xiaomi's Mi TV range from its Indian fans for some time now, and the introduction of the Mi TV 4 marks the first time the brand rolled out its TVs outside its home market.

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4 days ago

Best Universal Lenses for Android Phones in 2018

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Best Universal Lenses for Android Phones in 2018

What are the best universal lenses for Android phones?

Your Android phone already captures beautiful photos, but artificially distorting the photo to add a fisheye, wide-angle, or macro look to your photos afterwards — something a smartphone can't shoot normally — ruins the quality and feel.

Instead, using external, universal lenses are a great way to shoot creatively with your Android phone. All you need to do is attach the lens, aim, and start shooting your photography masterpieces!

Here are a few options to consider when looking for a Universal lens kit for your Android phone.

VicTsing 3-in-1 lens

This small lens may not seem like it packs a punch, but the VicTsing 3-in-1 clip-on lens brings a new creative element to your photos with three different phone photography perspectives!

To attach on the lens, simply secure the piece over your Android phone's camera with its sturdy clip, adjust, and start shooting! You have the option to shoot with either a fisheye, wide-angle, or macro lens, so be sure to play around and experiment with different shots to see what you like best.

The lenses are made from high-quality, optical glass, while the clip's design makes it easy to slide and adjust to fit different smartphone's cameras for the perfect shot. You can pick up the VicTsing 3-in-1 lens for around $13.

See at Amazon

Moment Lens

While not technically a universal lens, Moment Lens will turn your Galaxy S8, Pixel and Pixel 2 into a professional camera with the twist of a lens.

We believe that the future of photography is in your pocket and we can't wait to experience the journey with you. (Moment)

These high-end lenses might set you back a couple of buck — between $90 to $100, specifically — but if you're serious about taking some impecible photos with your smartphone, then Moment is well worth the money.

You can pick up a wide angle lens, macro lens, superfish lens, and tele lens for your Galaxy S8, Pixel and Pixel 2. All you have to do is attach the mounting system over your phone, pick the lens you want to shoot it, screw it on, and start shooting!

See at Amazon

Photojojo Magnetic lens series

While some people aren't terribly fond of magnetic smartphone photography lenses because they don't tend to stay on as well as clip-on or band lenses, there are plenty of upsides to them. They're less bulky, typically quicker to attach to your smartphone, and with the Photojojo Magnetic lens series specifically, you have a lot of room to really get creative with your photography!

Unlike some other lenses on this list, the full Photojojo Magnetic lens series — which in total with a pouch cost around $99 — has more than your three standard lens options. The set comes with a wide and macro lens, a super fisheye and fisheye, a polarizer lens, and a telephoto piece.

The lenses are made from a durable aluminum material, so if they slip off accidentally, you won't always have to worry about them cracking in an instant. The lens glass itself is also thick, and is made from a high quality, high-clarity glass.

See at Photojojo

Aukey Ora lens

Turn your Android phone into a powerful photography tool with the Aukey Ora lens, equipped with a 120-degree wide angle lens and a 15x, high definition macro lens!

The Ora lens is designed with a durable aluminum material and a multi-coated glass to reduce glare and reflections from ruining your photo. The clip that the Aukey comes with is made from a soft rubber, so it won't scratch your Android as you adjust it to fit perfectly over your phone's camera.

Not only is the Ora extremely well designed and built from high-quality materials, but the best part of this $30 lens is its powerful 15x macro piece that allows you to capture even the finest of your subject's details with crystal-clear clarity.

See at Amazon

Camkix Universal 3-in-1 cell phone camera kit

Clip on your Camkix Universal 3-in-1 cell phone camera kit to your Android phone, pick your lens, take aim, and start shooting phone photography masterpieces with this powerful, affordable, pocket-sized piece!

You can pick between shooting with a wide-angle lens, a fisheye piece, or a powerful macro lens; just unscrew the wide-angle on top to expose the macro below. With the Camkix, you also get a velvet carrying bag so your lenses don't accidentally get damaged and scratched.

Unlike more phone lenses, the Camkix comes in a ton of fun colors to match and customize your Android phone. You can pick from black, blue, gold, purple, red, or silver.

You can pick up your own Camkix Universal 3-in-1 cell phone camera kit for around $12.

See at Amazon

What do you think?

Are you a fan of using external lenses, or do you prefer to tweak your photos while editing? What are your favorite lenses to use?

Do you think external lenses bring a clean, professional quality to your Android phone photography, or would you prefer to shoot on your own?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Updated February 2018: The options on this list are still the best of the best out there!

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4 days ago

Best Cases for Moto X4 in 2018

1

Best Cases for Moto X4 in 2018

Own a Moto X4? These are the cases that deserve your dollars.

The Moto X4 is a big departure from past Moto X devices, but that doesn't mean it's a bad phone. In fact, it's one of the best mid-range Android handsets on the market right now.

It's the first entry in the Moto X series to feature a glass back, and while it looks downright gorgeous, this also makes the X4 rather fragile and easy to break. To ensure that doesn't happen and your phone continue to look as good as can be, these are the cases we recommend checking out.

Lenovo Touch Flip Cover

There aren't a ton of first-party cases for the Moto X4, but one of our favorites is the Lenovo Touch Flip Cover. The case snaps onto your phone with a durable material that promises to keep you protected from any unwanted bumps or scratches, and when the case is folded up, you've got rock-solid protection on the front and back.

The front easily opens so you can use your Moto X4 like normal, but even when the case is closed, you can still interact with the display to see and accept/reject incoming calls thanks to the transparent design. It's the most expensive case on this list at nearly $15, but it's well worth it.

See at Amazon

Dretal Full-Body Protective

If you prefer something more traditional, cheaper, and with increased protection, Dretal's Full-Body Protective case is certainly worth a look. The carbon fiber and anti-stretch TPU rubber design encase the Moto X4 is a durable shell, and the multi-texture design on the back adds a nice bit of flair.

There are a multitude of colors to choose from, including Navy, Black, Gray, Red, and Mint, and all of Dretal's products come with a generous 30-day warranty. For under $8, it's hard to complain about this one.

See at Amazon

Spigen Liquid Crystal

While the colors of Dretal's case look great, you might be inclined to show off the reflective glass back of the Moto X4. We certainly don't blame you, and if that's the case (get it 😂), Spigen's got your back.

The Spigen Liquid Crystal is a clear case for the Moto X4, and it does an excellent job of showing the sleek look of the X4's back. The case is made out of a durable and anti-slip TPU material, and in addition to keeping your phone nice and safe, it still manages to remain light as a feather.

Spigen uses a dot pattern for its case, and unlike a lot of cheaper clear options, this helps to drastically cut down on the smudges it picks up. For just under $13, this isn't a bad choice at all.

See at Amazon

Mustaner Dual Layer

For users that are rough on their phones and treat them like they would any other tool in their toolbox, Mustaner's case is the one we'd recommend getting. This isn't as slim or fashion-forward as some of the other options on this list, but what it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for with awesome protection.

Mustaner's case features a two-layer design – including a soft TPU base layer and hard shell frame that goes on top of it. This combo allows for maximum safety no matter what happens to your Moto X4, and the built-in kickstand on the back is a really nice touch.

You've got six different colors to choose from, and all of this comes in at under $8 before using a free 5% off coupon.

See at Amazon

Encased Slim Fit Holster Shell Combo

There's a lot of functionality packed into the Mustaner case, but if you want your case to do even more for just a couple extra dollars, look no further than what Encased has to offer.

This case is made out of a reinforced polycarbonate frame, and as expected, offers ample protection against any accidental spills. You'll find a subtle texture on the back for increased grip, and along with a kickstand that can prop up your phone vertically or horizontally, Encased also includes a holster that your Moto X4 can slide into so you can easily attach it to your belt. For less than $12, that's a steal.

See at Amazon

Anccer Colorful Series

The above two cases are great for buyers that prefer function over form, but if like things the other way around, one of your best bets lies with the Anccer Colorful Series. This is the thinnest case on the list measuring in at just 0.3mm, but even with the thing design, Anccer's case still manages to protect against, drops, bumps, and shocks.

Available colors include Black, Blue, Red, Rose Gold, Gold, and Silver, and these are available in either gravel or smooth finishes. This is a great case for adding some color to the Moto X4 while protecting it at the same time, and you can do so for about $11.

See at Amazon

KuGi Flexible Soft TPU

What's a person to do if you want a case that looks awesome while still offering as much protection as can be? What you do is pick up the KuGi Flexible Soft TPU case. The TPU material that's present here does a fantastic job at housing your X4 in a secure home from just about any element imagineable.

Non-slip sides allow you to always have a confident hold on your device, bumper guards protect against unwanted shock during a drop, and the faux-leather material on the back looks and feels like a million bucks.

KuGi sells its case in Navy, Black, and Gray, and you'll pay just under $8 before applying an extra 8% off.

See at Amazon

KwMobile Wallet

There's no denying the usefulness of a wallet case, and one of the best ones you can get for the Moto X4 is KwMobile's option.

Available in Black, Black/Brown, and Grey/Black, the fabric design of the case is great for both looking and touch, and the plastic shell the X4 sits in offers ample protection against any mishaps. The front of the case is held together by magnets, and you have access to a three-card compartment for carrying around your most important plastic.

See at Amazon

Cimo Heavy Duty

Last but not least, the Cimo Heavy Duty case is another great choice for customers that want great protection and looks at the same time.

Cimo uses a lightweight design here, and this allows your Moto X4 to stay safe and secure without adding much bulk. The two-layer design offers more than enough protection against most all drops, raised bezels help to protect the X4's screen, and the grippy back is something we always love to see.

You'll pay just under $8 for this case, and it comes in Armour Black, Gray, Purple, and Red color options.

See at Amazon

What one do you choose?

Which of the above cases meets your fancy? Let us know down in the comments below and if there's another awesome pick we may have missed.

Moto X4 review: A mid-range phone done right

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5 days ago

Deal: Get a free Live Case when buying a Pixel 2

7

Deal: Get a free Live Case when buying a Pixel 2

Available until February 14 at 11:59 PM PT.

We're big fans of the Google Pixel 2 here at Android Central, and if you're looking to get an awesome last-minute Valentine's gift, it's sure to knock the socks off of your sweetheart. If you buy one now from the Google Store, you can get a custom Live Case for no added cost!

If you want to take advantage of this deal, doing so is dead simple. Just add the Pixel 2 and Live Case to your cart, and when you go to checkout, you'll get an automatic discount that makes the Live Case free.

This deal applies to all three Live Cases on the Google Store, including the Google Earth Live Case, Artworks Live Case, and the original Live Case. My fiancé ended up ordering one of the original ones to go with her Pixel 2 shortly after we got engaged, and it really is something special to have a protective case that can be customized with a memorable photo.

In order to get this deal, you'll need to act fast. It's available now until February 14 at 11:59 PM PT, so be sure to tap/click the button below ASAP.

See at Google Store

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Best Buy Verizon Google Store Project Fi

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5 days ago

Motiv Ring Review: A Fitbit for your finger

10

Motiv Ring Review: A Fitbit for your finger

When someone first dropped a Motiv Ring into my hand back at CES 2018, it was so small and light that I thought it was a show-floor dummy. It's hard to believe there's any technology inside, let alone an optical heart-rate sensor, a step-counting accelerometer, a Bluetooth radio and the lithium-ion battery that powers it all.

But the tech is real and so is the Ring, a titanium-clad annulus rated to 5ATM water resistance and available in two colors. Slip it on your finger and the Motiv Ring does much of what you've come to expect of a larger fitness wristband: it keeps tabs on your health (awake or asleep) and distills the data into digestible form on a rather beautiful iOS app. The only real downsides: you pay a lot for the privilege, and — for now, anyway — only iPhone users can get in on the fun.

If you've always wanted the convenience of a fitness tracker without the bulk of a wristwatch, the Motiv Ring might just be the wearable for you. Click the video above for the full MrMobile review!

Stay social, my friends

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5 days ago

Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers

24

Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers

Take your music with you with a portable Bluetooth speaker.

Portable Bluetooth speakers are one of the best ways to take those excellent audio waves with you everywhere. Compatible with practically every device out there, Bluetooth speakers will make sure that, as long as your phone, tablet, or laptop is around, your music is loud!

We've rounded up some of the best portable Bluetooth speakers that you can take with you just about anywhere!

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6 days ago

Best Cases for Moto Z

57

Best Cases for Moto Z

What's the best case for the Moto Z?

The Moto Z, on its own, is very thin at just under 6 mm. If you're not planning on opting for any Mods, then you'll want a case with great protection against drops, since a spider-webbed screen is abstract art that's pretty hard to appreciate.

Note: These cases are only for the first-generation Moto Z and Moto Z Droid released in 2016.

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1 week ago

Best Galaxy S7 Cases

122

Best Galaxy S7 Cases

What's the best case for Galaxy S7? These should do the trick!

If you have a Galaxy S7, then you probably didn't upgrade to the Galaxy S8, because the S7 still holds up quite well a couple years later.

That being said, if you want you phone to feel brand new, why not dress it up in a new case? Here are the best available.

Here are our favorites!

Spigen Liquid Crystal

You don't have to hide the beauty of your phone to keep it protected, and the Liquid Crystal case from Spigen proves that. This case offers protection without sacrificing the ability to see the color choice that you made on your initial purchase.

You'll get a nice form fit from this case, and the embossed buttons are easy to press while the case is on the phone. You can grab one on Amazon for just over $10.

See at Amazon


LifeProof FRE

For the ultimate protection, LifeProof is a brand that sits at the top. While the Galaxy S7 may already be waterproof, some additional waterproofing along with drop protection is a no-brainer for many.

The case is designed this time around to be thinner than previous generations, while still providing the same amount of worry-free protection for your phone. You'll pay for the added protection, but it beats the constant worry about breaking your new investment. Check it out for around $40.

See at Amazon

Speck Candyshell

If you want to keep your phone protected, but also want it to be as stylish as possible, you may want the Speck Candyshell case. Available in a variety of different patterns, Speck does a great job of combining style and protection in their cases.

The single piece construction makes it easy to slide your phone in, and keep it protected. From a clear case to show off the beauty of the phone itself, to a fully decorated floral pattern, there is a case here for just about everyone. Pricing starts around $10.

See at Amazon

Urban Armor Gear

Urban Armor Gear is known for its rugged designs and great protection with a unique style. The company has announced a variety of cases for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, including one that will also double as a wallet with a place to store some of your credit cards. You can order your case now, with shipments starting around the release date of the phone. These cases are a little pricier at around $40, but they're worth it.

See at Amazon

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

Searching for something a little more on the rugged side? The Unicorn Beetle Pro provides front and back protection for the Galaxy S7, including a durable swivel holster for quick-draw access at your side. On the front is a built-in plastic screen protector that's surrounded by a thick rim to keep the display raised from flat surfaces. The case itself utilizes a shock-absorbent TPU and durable polycarbonate to handle harsh impacts. The Unicorn Beetle Pro's rugged design is great for enhancing grip, too, with plenty of texture on each side of the case. This protective bundle is around $14 and available for pre-order right now.

See at Amazon

Ringke Fusion Crystal Case

For those who prefer to protect their Galaxy S7 with a case while still showing off the phone's sleek appearance, Ringke's Fusion crystal case is definitely one the best options out there. Its simple design is protective enough to handle common drops without bulking things up. Port plugs on the bottom help to keep out dirt and debris, but can always be permanently removed if they're more of a nuisance. Side buttons are easily accessible through the clear flexible plastic along the edges, and the smooth polycarbonate shell sports a large cutout for the S7's camera features. Check it out for around $10.

See at Amazon


Vena vCommute

This is probably the most innovative wallet case I've come across. It's basically a fusion-style case, featuring a TPU bumper and a PC shell, with a wallet slot on the back. The slot is covered by a strong magnetic flap that's three-tiered, so you can open it just a smidge to grab something quickly or open it all the way to fill it up.

I comfortably fit three cards in this one, but you can snugly fit four, though it's a little difficult to get a card out when they're that tight. If you have three, however, it's incredibly easy to remove cards, right down to the last one.

This case is the perfect blend of wallet and protective cover.

Comes in gold/black and silver/black for around $17.

See at Amazon


Spigen Tough Armor Case

Spigen's Tough Armor case rocks military-grade protection with its dual-layer design and Air Cushion Technology. The inner skin features a webbed design that the Galaxy S7 rests on, including air pockets in all 4 corners that help handle shock. The raised lip around the front ensures the Galaxy S7's display is always clear from rubbing on flat surfaces, and the glossy bezel around the camera grants clear photos at all times. Unlike the Spigen Slim Armor, the Tough Armor case comes without a flimsy kickstand, leaving a smooth look and feel to its exterior plastic shell. This case comes in gunmetal, champagne gold, and black, starting at $17.

See at Amazon

Samsung S View Cover

Samsung's S View Cover series for the Galaxy S7 is just about as cool as it gets for phone cases. So long as you have NFC enabled on your phone, you essentially get a small window to your Galaxy S7 that lets you answer and decline calls, view message previews, activate the camera, and a bunch more.

Your Galaxy S7 clips into the bumper inside and then you just fold the cover over and, though the display is turned off, the preview screen still shows up through the window. Many folks want a flip cover to protect their phone, but it can be cumbersome to pull it out and open it up, and it's definitely conspicuous in class or at a meeting.

The S View Cover is available in black, gold, and silver to match your Galaxy S7. If you want a super cool, interactive case that does a lot more than just protect your Galaxy S7, then the S View Cover is definitely worth a look. Grab it for around $22.

See at Amazon

Caseology Wavelength

Caseology's phone cases are excellent. I have yet to come across one that doesn't fit perfectly and doesn't feel great in the hand.

The Wavelength series has a wavy pattern on the back (duh!), which offers a wonderfully textured grip. The buttons are covered, but the tactile response is very present, so you're not pressing multiple times wondering if you're even hitting a button.

If you want a great-fitting case with precise cutouts, at phenomenal price (about $15), then check out the Caseology Wavelength. In fact, check out its whole collection — you can't go wrong!

Comes in five color combinations.

See at Amazon

OtterBox Symmetry

Everyone's perennial favorite case, OtterBox comes through yet again with the Symmetry Series, which offers guaranteed protection and comes in a wide range of colors and patterns so that you can add a bit of your own flair.

Keep in mind that this case will add some bulk to your S7, but it'll also make it feel substantial in your hand, protected all around by the blend of silicone and polycarbonate plastic for excellent shock absorption and drop protection.

If OtterBox has always been your go-to, then why mess up a good thing? Check out the Symmetry Series for around $17 to start.

See at Amazon

MagicSky

If you really wanna dress up your Galaxy S7 and bling is the name of the game, then check out MagicSky's studded rhinestone dual-layer cases, which feature and array of patterns and colors. The edges are a soft silicone bumper, while the rest is harder plastic, which makes for great shock absorption and drop protection.

These cases go on and come off easily, thanks to a snap design, and the prints are actually gorgeous, not tacky (unless you opt for the tackier few that are available — to each their own!). About $6 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Raydem shockproof case

Raydem's cases have a cool, sort of brushed steel look about them and they feature a card slot and a rather subtle kickstand that's perfect for watching video hands-free. You have your choice of black, gray, a rather stunning navy blue, and rose gold, and pricing starts around $12.

See at Amazon


Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen's Rugged Armor is perfect for folks who want slim but bold protection. This one-piece case is made from flexible TPU, which is lightweight and shock-absorbent. Rugged Armor is military drop-tested, and this case features Spigen's "Air Cushion Technology, which just a fancy way of saying air pockets in the corners, which cradle a blow where your phone is most vulnerable. You can grab this in black for about $11 on Amazon.

See at Amazon


Trianium Protak

Trianium's one-piece Protak case is made of firm yet flexible TPU that's both slim and light but quite protective. All your buttons are covered but the Protak offer solid tactile feedback, and it's geometric shape both looks cool and is optimized for protection in case you drop your S7. Trianium offers a lifetime warranty, so if you notice any defects, send it back and you'll get a new one. This case comes in black for around $11.

See at Amazon


What's your favorite Galaxy S7 case?

Those are just a handful of the best cases to consider protecting your Galaxy S7 with. If you're holding out for a different case, we'd love to hear about it!

Updated February 2018: Updated pricing and added the Raydem, Spigen Rugged Armor, and Trianium Protak cases.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.cta .shop { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.cta .shop, .devicebox a.cta .shop:link, .devicebox a.cta .shop:active, .devicebox a.cta .shop:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.cta .shop { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.cta .shop { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.cta .shop, .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.cta .shop { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.cta .shop, .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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