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2 months ago

Best External Battery Packs for Google Pixel

13

Finding a battery pack that's optimized to charge the Google Pixel isn't as simple as you'd think.

Looking for a battery pack for your Google Pixel? Great! But before you do, you need to keep a lookout for a few things.

For starters, forget about Quick Charge 3.0. Qualcomm's fast-charging technology doesn't work over USB-C — instead, the Pixel uses USB-PD, a new standard for charging devices via USB-C. That's not to say that you can't use a battery pack with Quick Charge technology; you just won't get any use of the rapid charging features.

Ideally, you're going to want to find battery packs that let you use USB-C to USB-C cables and make mention of USB-PD compatibility. Fortunately, there's been a ton of great discussion on the topic which pointed us towards this great Google spreadsheet that's color-coded with charging accessories you should buy and those which you should avoid.

We've broken down some of your best options below and have ordered them base on battery size!

Nomad Powerpack 9,000mAh backup battery

At only 9,000mAh, the Nomad Powerpack is the smallest battery pack on this list, but it makes up for that shortcoming with its rugged casing and integrated Bluetooth tracking by Tile.

This battery pack features USB-C ports for input (charging the power pack) and output (charging your Pixel), along with a USB-A port for charging any other devices you may have kicking around. It's definitely on the pricier side, but if you like the idea of keeping a battery pack in your bag, the fact that this one doubles as a Bluetooth tracker may be especially appealing to some.

This battery ships with a USB-A to USB-C cable, but if you want to get the fastest charge you'll want to use a USB-C to USB-C cable like the one that came with the Pixel.

See at Nomad

ORICO 10,000mAh portable battery

ORICO's battery pack features a USB-C port that appears to be USB-PD compatible, but you'll once again need to supply your own USB-C-to-USB-C cable to get the most out of it.

This battery pack is made with a stylish aluminum alloy casing for an upscale and durable look. There's LED indicators that show you the remaining battery life and includes all the protection features you require, including voltage and current surges, over-charging, and more. Orico also offers an 18-month warranty on its battery packs, along with lifetime technical support. It's also one of the cheaper options on this list.

See at Amazon

Kanex GoPower 15,000mAh portable battery

The Kanex GoPower battery was designed to charge the new MacBook Pro on the go but will also work just as well for Android phones that use USB-C — including the Pixel.

Featuring a sleek, aluminum build with 15,000mAh of battery capacity, this should theoretically charge your Pixel five times. Two cables are included with this battery pack, including a USB-C to USB-C cable, and the battery allows for pass-through charging, so you can charge your phone and the battery at the same time.

See at Kanex

Jackery Titan S 20,100mAh battery pack

The Jackery Titan S is a beefy option for keeping your Pixel topped up. With a generous 20,100mAh battery capacity, this battery features a USB-C port that supports 5V/3A.

It also has a USB-A port that supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 for those devices, but it most importantly comes with a USB-C cable for charging your pixel.

This battery pack is Wirecutter's top pick for USB-C-compatible portable batteries, so you can buy with confidence knowing this is a highly recommended battery pack.

See at Amazon

RAVPower 26,800mAh external battery

Last but certainly not least is the massive RAVPower 26,800mAh external battery, which is optimized for USB-PD devices such as the Pixel.

RAVPower claims you'll be able to recharge this battery pack in a fraction of the usual time, just four to five hours compared to the standard 14 hours. For charging your Pixel, you'll want to use the USB-C port along with the included USB-C cable, but you also have two standard USB-A ports for charging other devices, which include iSmart 2.0 technology which intelligently detects and adjusts the charging current to obtain the fastest charging for your device.

See at Amazon

Got any battery packs you've tried and tested?

Have you tried any of the battery packs on our list? Got one that's been working great for you? Let us know in the comments!

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link: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.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link: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.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link: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.buy-link: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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2 months ago

These Bluetooth headphones aren't the best looking but they are certainly worth $8

2

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with an $8 pair of Bluetooth headphones that you'll want to try out!

If you've thought about ditching the wires on your headphones and giving Bluetooth a try, this may be the pair for you. Right now, you can pick up these (somewhat ugly) Vtin sweatproof headphones for just $7.99 with coupon code PAV3E7VR, a savings of $8. Sure, you won't get the same quality out of these as you may the Jaybird options, but for less than 10% of the price, you can't expect that.

The headphones have an ear hook to help keep them in place as you lift weights, ride your bike, or go for a run. They offer around 6 hours of music playback per charge and even help cancel out a bit of the background noise. Stop wondering if Bluetooth headphones will work for you, and give these a shot today!

See at Amazon

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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2 months ago

Best Cases for Arctic Silver Galaxy S8 or S8+

5
Samsung S-View Flip Cover

What's the best case for the Arctic Silver Galaxy S8?

Oooh, shiny. The Arctic Silver Galaxy S8 and S8+ are phones of restrained beauty. The silver isn't as in-your-face as the silver Galaxy S7 edge, but it's still a lot more vibrant than Orchid Gray. If you went for the Arctic Silver Galaxy S8 or S8+, then you'll want a case that shows off or enhances what's already there.

Check these out.

Ringke Fusion

Ringke Fusion

Ringke's Fusion case is a clear polycarbonate case with a flexible TPU bumper, which absorbs bumps and drops on the sides of your Galaxy S8 or S8+ — the most vulnerable spots on the phone. The TPU bumper comes in clear, pink, or black, so you can leave your silver phone completely nude-looking or add a li'l splash of color.

All of the ports on the Ringke Fusion are precisely cut, and though the buttons are covered by the TPU bumper, they are responsive and satisfying to the touch.

Available for both Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.


Spigen Neo Hybrid

Spigen Neo Hybrid

If you're looking for something a little more protective for your GS8 or GS8+, then check out Spigen's Neo Hybrid, which is by no means a heavy duty case. The Neo Hybrid adds no real bulk or weight to your phone, but it does add a protective layer of TPU with a polycarbonate frame to hold the whole thing in place.

You have multiple options for colors, but the best combo is the Arctic silver/midnight blue, which beautifully and mysteriously compliments the Arctic Silver GS8 or GS8+. The nice part about having the camera cutout on the back is that your finger is automatically guided to the fingerprint sensor.

Available for both Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.


Spigen Ultra Hybrid S

Spigen Ultra Hybrid S

The Ultra Hybrid S from Spigen is a TPU bumper fused with a hard polycarbonate back for slim protection that protects your Galaxy S8 or S8+'s corners. It's totally clear and features a super convenient kickstand on the back, which simply folds out and locks back into place when you don't need it anymore.

Each corner of this case features Spigen's military-grade "Air Cushion Technology", which uses a pocket of air to save the corners if you drop your phone.

Available for both Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.


Samsung Alcantara Cover

Samsung Alcantara

The Alcantara Cover is for folks who like the feeling of luxury and want that to carry over to their Galaxy S8 or S8+. The smooth, suede-like material is durable and looks fantastic, with only cutouts for the charging port, speaker, and headphone jack. The buttons are covered, though still responsive.

Alcantara is really just a blend of polyester and polyurethane, so it's highly stain-resistant and will cushion your phone if you drop it.

You have your choice of black, blue, pink, or mint, but the mint looks best with the Arctic Silver GS8.

Available for both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.


Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

If you need rugged protection, you can have it in spades, while still matching your Arctic Silver Galaxy S8 or S8+ beautifully. Supcase is known for excellent heavy duty cases that protect your phone without adding a ton of bulk or weight. Don't get me wrong; they're thicker than regular cases, but not as thick as an Otterbox Defender or something similar.

The white/gray Unicorn Beetle Pro is your best option if you went with Arctic Silver. It's a three-piece that features a front cover, back cover, and holster, so you can keep it out of your pocket if you choose.

Available for both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, though not in silver for the S8+.


Samsung S-View Flip Cover

Samsung S-View

Samsung's S-View Flip Cover lets you interact with your Galaxy S8 or S8+ with the cover closed. You get full-screen access to vital information, like who's calling, texts, and more. You can even accept or reject calls with a swipe. The cover folds back into a kickstand, so you can enjoy videos hands-free. Pressing the power button with the cover closed lets you check the time, weather, and other status info.

There's an S-View for each color of GS8, so the silver with obviously suit the Arctic Silver phone best.

Available for both Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.


Plead your case

Which case did you choose for your Arctic Silver Galaxy S8 or S8+? Don't have one yet? Which will you choose? Sound off in the comments below.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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2 months ago

Best Wallet Cases for the Google Pixel

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What are the best wallet cases for my Google Pixel?

Update May 7: Added the BornTech case and removed the Abacus24-7 folio case which is no longer available.

Wallet cases offer and an elegant and functional way to keep your phone, cards, and cash around in one place while cutting down on the amount of stuff one needs to carry around.

The cases we've assembled here are for the 5-inch Pixel, so you won't want to get one of these if you've got the larger Pixel XL.

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2 months ago

Zagg's sapphire-infused screen protector is nothing more than plastic snake oil

33

You don't have to spend wads of cash on this overpriced product to protect your new Galaxy S8.

The term "sapphire crystal" may sound like something that's incredibly protective, especially when you consider the fact that sapphire is one of the hardest nature-made materials on Earth. But things are not always what they seem, as proven by the latest JerryRigEverything torture test with Zagg's pricey Galaxy S8 curved glass screen protector.

The $50 Zagg Sapphire Defense advertises that it's effective because it's infused with sapphire. And though it does offer traces of factory-made sapphire in the plastic, according to the report, it's not nearly as protective as the real thing. For comparison, JerryRigEverything shows off a Tissot watch and an HTC U Ultra with actual sapphire displays. They hardly scratch, compared to the Zagg Sapphire Defense, which seems just as effective as any other screen protector — or worse, when you consider that it claims to be made of glass.

Take it from us: If you want ample screen protection, any of of these case-friendly screen protectors will do for the Samsung Galaxy S8. Many of the entries even come in packs of multiples, so you can have a backup on the ready the minute you receive your first scratch.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link: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.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link: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.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link: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.buy-link: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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2 months ago

Everything you need to know about Qualcomm Quick Charge

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Quick Charge

Being able to charge your phone or tablet faster at home — and more importantly when you're on the go — may be one of the biggest improvement we've seen in mobile tech in some time.

Updated May 2, 2017 with the latest information about Qualcomm QukckCharge 4.0.

And while one of the many cool things about living in 2017 is not necessarily needing to understand how a lot of the tech around you works, if you take the time to better understand what you are using there's a good chance you'll get more out of it. A perfect simple example is the power supply you use for your smartphone.

If you've purchased a new phone recently, there's a good chance the power supply in the box is capable of charging your phone significantly faster than any of the other chargers you have in the house. This little slice of magic is called Quick Charge from Qualcomm, and it's a two-step process that promises to safely charge your phone faster than any other tech out there right now.

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2 months ago

This Bluetooth Breathalyzer will keep you out of trouble on Cinco de Mayo

15

Don't let this be a repeat of St. Patrick's Day. Nobody wants to see that again.

Cinco de Mayo, a cherished drinking holiday among people whose only real experience with Spanish outside of High School is saying "Cinco de Mayo" in what they swear is a flawless accent, is on a Friday this year. That means a ton of people are going to leave work on Friday with every intention of not being totally sure where they are when waking up the next afternoon.

There's a good chance you'll find no shortage of places around you serving up all manner of festive specials, but before you go out there's an accessory you may find useful. Even better, it's on sale and can be shipped overnight via Amazon Prime.

This is the BACtrac, a Bluetooth-enabled Breathalyzer that fits nicely in a pocket or on a keyring, and tracks your Blood-Alcohol Concentration as you enjoy the evening. Breathe into this every once in a while to see where you are and how much more you can handle, and when you're done for the night the app will tell you when you'll return to safe levels for things like driving.

It's simple, it's cheap, and you could even make a game out of it with your other friends. Just, you know, be safe. We like having you here.

See on Amazon

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2 months ago

Should you use a tempered glass screen protector for your Galaxy S8?

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Choosing the right screen protector for you can be a difficult call.

At this point, just about everyone has done some kind of damage to their phone screen inadvertently, whether by dropping your phone and cracking the screen or dropping something onto your phone that caused issues from the impact. This problem becomes larger with the Samsung Galaxy S8 because you have a much larger screen. That's why we're taking a hands-on look at a tempered glass screen protector to see whether it's worth it!

Getting started with a tempered glass screen protector

For plenty of folks, a screen protector is one of those accessories you buy right after picking up a new smartphone. However, the days of flimsy plastic screen protectors are going the way of the Dodo, with tempered glass emerging as the new standard for top-end screen protection.

We tested out an LK Tempered Glass screen protector for the Samsung Galaxy S8+. Before you get started with the installation, you'll need to thoroughly wipe and clean your screen so that no dust or oils affect its ability to adhere to your Galaxy S8's screen. Next, you'll need to line up the protector onto your screen. This is a pretty easy process if you use the cutouts around the top as a guide for placement, although it might take a few tries to get it lined up correctly if your hands tend towards shaking.

Once you've got that screen protector on, you'll get a sense of how it feels on your phone and in your hand. The first thing you'll realize is that unlike plastic screen protectors, tempered glass does add a bit of heft — it is tempered glass after all. Once it's adhered, you'll notice that the protector actually creates a small lip on the top of your screen.

For the most part, the tempered glass feels pretty decent on top of your screen. There are no issues using capacitative buttons on your screen through the tempered glass. It does take a few minutes to get used to but it doesn't feel terrible against your hand. For some folks, the feel of the screen can be a bit off-putting though.

There is one other big thing to remember with a tempered glass screen protector — it's likely to add some serious glare once you've got it on there. While this may not be a huge problem in most scenario, if you spend a lot of time outdoors the glare from the sun may cause some issues. You can definitely help this by upping the brightness of the screen, but in some cases you'll probably still end up with some reflective glare.

See the best accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S8!

How well does it fit the screen?

One of the biggest questions for anyone using a tempered glass screen protector is how well it's going to work for a Samsung Galaxy S8. That's because this phone has a curved screen, making it more difficult for a screen protector to stay adhered over time.

The screen of the Galaxy S8 curves slightly over the sides of the phone, which is where issues tend to crop up with oh so many screen protectors. However, manufacturers have begun to address this issue by making tempered glass screen protectors with curved sides, which greatly enhances your ability for their products to adhering solidly, and staying there.

This is provided that when you put it on the first time you've lined up the tempered glass screen protector properly. Lining up the screen protector so that it sits perfectly over your phone's display may take more than one try but it's integral to keeping the protector in place as you use your phone.

Over time the adhesive that attaches your screen may start to wear, especially along the curved edges of the screen. The best thing that you can do is keep an eye on the edges of your screen protector for any signs of loosening. Likewise, you'll want to avoid cracking the lip of the tempered glass against corners, which may end up causing the screen protector to shift.

Does the tempered glass screen protector work with Gear VR?

For many users of the Samsung Galaxy S8 one of the big questions about whether this screen protector is the right fit for them. Specifically, whether this screen protector with cause issues if you want to spend some time in VR.

Well, we have some bad news to report. Due to the thickness the tempered glass screen protector adds to the device these screen protectors arent usable with Gear VR. While it's very close, it just isn't quite thin enough to be seated within your Gear VR headset. This, of course, means that if you do decide to run with the tempered glass screen protector, you won't be able to use the phone for VR adventures.

Are you thinking of a tempered glass screen protector?

Tempered glass screen protectors offers a great deal of protection, but there is a trade-off in terms of feel, glare, as well as an inability to use your Galaxy S8 with Gear VR when it is on. On the other hand, if you're notorious for dropping your phone and damaging screens, then this screen protector may well be the best option for you.

See LK Tempered Glass Screen Protector at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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2 months ago

Grab Aukey's folding travel charger for just $5 right now!

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Update: This popular deal is back again with a new coupon code. Use code AUCHARGE for the savings this time!

Right now you can pick up Aukey's compact folding charger for just $4.94 with coupon code AUCHARGE, a savings of $3=4. Once folded this charger isn't much taller or wider than an SD card, and has two USB ports to allow easy charging of your favorite gadgets. It has a 2.4A output for making sure you are getting the best charging speed that you can, and thanks to its AiPower Adaptive Charging Technology it can ensure that the charge going to each device is safe and won't cause overheating, overcharging or anything else.

This time around the savings is only on the white version of the charger, and don't forget to use coupon code AUCHARGE for the full savings. This deal is good for a few days, so be sure to grab one (or even two) if you are interested before they run out!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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2 months ago

Best Cases for Midnight Black Galaxy S8 and S8+

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That might be a bit dramatic, and you might have even gone with the black Galaxy S8 or S8+ because you didn't care about the color. Either way, check out these awesome cases that pair perfectly with your ebony phone.

Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen Rugged Armor

Right off the bat, the main reason you buy a case is protection for your Galaxy S8 or S8+, right? If you're looking for solid protection without a lot of bulk or extra weight, then check out Spigen's Rugged Armor in black. The black is deep enough to almost match the midnight black of your Galaxy S8 or S8+, and the exact fit means all ports are readily accessible, and the camera can snap away unfettered.

Made of a strong, fingerprint-resistant TPU, this case absorbs impact, and the TPU's texture ensures a steady grip. Spigen's "Air Cushion Technology" in each corner helps to alleviate impact on the most vulnerable spots on your phone.

Available for both Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.


Trianium Clarium

Trianium Clarium

If you chose midnight black for its deep space-level beauty, then you might want to go with a clear case, so that you can protect and enjoy the look of the phone itself. The Trianium Clarium is inexpensive (about $8), and its clear TPU bumper and hard polycarbonate protect your Galaxy S8 or S8+ against scratches, bumps, and drops. TPU around the edges allows you to keep a firm hold on your phone, and though the buttons are covered, tactile response is present and satisfying.

The TPU bumper comes in clear, black, and turquoise.

Available for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.


Caseology Parallax

Caseology Parallax

I love Caseology cases. They fit well, they come in cool patterns, and they've saved my phones from certain death on more than one occasion. The Parallax Series has a cool geometric pattern on its TPU back, and the TPU/polycarbonate border makes for optimal shock absorption, an excellent grip (thanks to textured TPU), and a solid in-hand feel.

Each corner is cushioned, because even a slight smack on a corner can create the spiderweb of death for both the front and back of your Galaxy S8 or S8+. The best part is that these cases are a deep matte black that compliments midnight black gorgeously.

Caseology Parallax is available for both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.


Spigen Ultra Hybrid

Spigen Ultra Hybrid

Spigen's Ultra Hybrid is another dynamite clear case that features a hard, clear polycarbonate back and a TPU bumper that comes in clear, blue, pink, matte black, and midnight black to match your midnight black Galaxy S8 or S8+.

Ports are precisely cut out, there's a raised bezel on the front and around the camera to protect your screen and camera, respectively, and each corner feature Spigen's "Air Cushion Technology", so you're protected all the way around.

Available for both Galaxy S8 and S8+.


Anything from Society 6

Society 6

Like I mentioned in the introduction, you might have gone with the midnight black Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus because you really don't care about the color. Or maybe that's all your carrier had in stock. Either way, you get to make your statement with your case, and why not go with something artsy, cartoony, or outlandish to let everyone know that this is your phone?

I recommend checking out Society 6's selection. Each case is the same model, but Society 6 has tons of prints to choose from, covering everything from comic books to fine art to animals to funny sayings — you want it, you can probably get it on Society 6. The cool part is that most of the designs you see are created by independent artists, so you'll find some pretty unique stuff.

If you're looking to add some oomph or pizzazz to your midnight black Galaxy S8, then definitely check out Society 6.

Unfortunately, Society 6 only has cases for the Galaxy S8 right now, but I'd expect to see something for the S8+ pop up sooner or later.


What do you have?

Are you using a case with your Galaxy S8 or are you going to when you get one? Let us know which case you want for your midnight black Galaxy S8 in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link: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.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link: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.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link: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.buy-link: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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2 months ago

Classy covers: Reviewing Caseology's Galaxy S8 and S8+ cases

15

Haven't found the perfect case for your new Galaxy? Take a look at Caseology cases!

Finding the perfect case for your brand new Galaxy S8 or S8+ can be a daunting task especially if you don't want to sacrifice style for protection or vice versa.

Luckily for you, Caseology's lineup for Samsung's latest flagship phone caters to a wide variety of style preferences and protection needs. Plus, Caseology has added three new designs — the Coastline, Vault II, and Fairmont series — which means you have even more great options to choose from. Here's a look at what Caseology has to offer for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Legion Series

If you're looking for heavy-duty protection with a slim profile, look no further than the Legion series.

Caseology's most rugged offering uses a dual-layer design consisting of a shock-absorbent TPU sleeve that protects your Galaxy from drops and the hard polycarbonate shell to avoid scuffs. Its matte finish on the shell will give offer you a better grip and comfort while holding the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ in your hand, and the corners have extra cushioning to help protect the phone in case it does slip out of your hand.

The TPU sleeve covers the buttons along the edge of the Galaxy, preventing dust and dirt from getting through the cracks, while the bottom ports and speaker are readily available due to precise cutouts.

The Legion series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in gunmetal, rose gold, and orchid gray.

Coastline Series

Brand new in Caseology's line up, the Coastline series offers excellent protection without taking away from the natural beauty of the phone.

This clear case is comprised of three different layers: transparent polycarbonate, a colored polycarbonate panel, and a transparent TPU frame. Dropping your Galaxy on the corners would usually end in a lot of tears, but the added cushioning in the Coastline series will help protect that glass and metal chassis.

The buttons along the edges of the Galaxy are all covered to prevent dust and dirt from entering your phone, but you won't have to worry about losing functionality, as all the ports along the bottom freed by precise cutouts.

The Coastline series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in orchid gray and frost gray.

Parallax series

Who says a case that offers excellent protection can't have a bold design? The Parallax series offers a unique geometric design so your Galaxy can stand out from the crowd.

The dual-layered design of the Parallax series offers the same great shock-absorbing TPU sleeve and impact-resistant polycarbonate you expect in a protective case. The etched grooves of the design into the back of the phone offer excellent grip, so your Galaxy won't tumble out of your hand.

The Parallax series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in black, burgundy, and orchid gray.

Vault I series

If you aren't a fan of the extra bulk heavy-duty cases offer, the Vault I series case could be perfect for your Galaxy S8 or S8+.

Made from a single piece of flexible TPU, the Vault I still offers great shock-absorbing capabilities, to help you out when you accidentally drop your phone.

The brushed texture on the back of the phone will not only improve your grip but also offers a distinct design to help your Galaxy stick out from the crowd.

All of the ports and the speaker on the bottom of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are accessible by way of cutouts, and all the buttons along the sides are covered to protect from dust and dirt.

The Vault I series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in black.

Vault II series

If you like the protection and style of the Vault I series, but dislike the design on the back, the Vault II series case could be for you.

The textured design on the back of the Vault II offers more grip than your Galaxy S8 or S8+ would bare, and is a much more subtle to the eye than the Vault I. The Vault II is also made up of a single-piece TPU that features cushioned corners. Just like with the Vault I, your buttons will be covered for dust protection and your ports will all be available to you with ease.

The Vault II series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in black and burgundy.

Fairmont Series

The luxury Fairmont series is new to Caseology lineup and is perfect for people who prefer an elegant sense of style.

This slim case compliments the sleek design of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and is made of hard polycarbonate to prevent scratches and scuffs from marking up your phone.

The faux-leather cover has a slightly textured grip, meaning you should be able to hold onto your Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus much easier. Plus, the design is very bold and will stand out in a sea of ordinary cases.

The Fairmont series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in black and cherry oak.

Which case do you like?

Which of the caseology lineup is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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2 months ago

Best Accessories for Samsung Gear VR

29
Samsung Gear VR

Make the most of your Samsung Gear VR experience with these accessories.

Update, May 1: We've added some great new accessories for your new Gear VR!

The Samsung Gear VR is currently the most interesting option for people interested in exploring virtual reality. This platform has grown considerably over the last year, which means there is plenty for you to do!

As your usage increases, you'll want to invest in some essential accessories to get the most out of your Samsung Gear VR. Here are a few recommendations to get you on your way.

Gamepad

Not every game for the Gear VR requires a gamepad, but most of the best games are made even better by not having to touch the pad on the side of your headset. Enhance your gaming experience on the Gear VR with what we call the best gamepad for this headset.

SteelSeries Stratus XL

SteelSeries Stratus XL Bluetooth Controller

As mentioned above, SteelSeries makes a quality controller. So while the SteelSeries Free has been priced out of consideration, the Stratus XL is arguably your best bet — as long as its bigger size isn't an issue.

The Stratus XL similar in size and feel to an Xbox One controller with analog sticks laid out similar to Sony's DualShock controllers. It's a great compromise between the two leading console gaming standards and will instantly feel familiar the moment you pick it up. This Bluetooth controller is compatible with Android devices and Windows 10.

See at Amazon

Headphones

A fully-immersive VR experience is only possible with the right pair of headphones. Whether you prefer the over-the-ear variety or in-ear buds, we've picked out some prime options that pair well with the Gear VR headset so you can block out reality as you delve into your favorite VR games and apps.

Over-the-ear headphones

Sennheiser HD 598 C

If you are looking for the best audio experience with your Gear VR, this is where you start. This is among the best set of headphones you can get for under $150, and the included cable is short enough you can have them connected to your Gear VR without worrying about getting tangled up.

This isn't designed to keep the rest of the world out, so there's no active noise cancellation to be found here, but you'll get quality audio from headphones comfortable enough to be worn for extended periods of time.

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One more thing: If you're looking to go wireless or you need noise cancellation in your life, check out MrMobile's review of the Bose QC 35 headphones!

In-ear headphones

Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbuds

Samsung ErgoFit TCM125 If you're looking for simple, straightforward in-ear headphones, Panasonic has what you need. They're pretty basic in-ear headphones, which include a mic and a pause/play button built into the main cord, but they'll deliver great sound comfortably at a great price. With three different pad sizes available, you should be able to find the right fit for your ears, and they should stay in as you move about wearing your Gear VR

ErgoFit buds are available in a variety of colors, but they've also been lumped in with a few other Panasonic in-ear options — drops360 and drops360 Luxe. If you're switching around the colors and suddenly see the price jump up, it's because Amazon is showing you one of those higher-end models instead. And you might be inclined to spend a bit more for the better drivers, which provide better bass and build quality, if that's important to you.

Otherwise, the ErgoFit earbuds come with a 90-day warranty and should be more than serviceable — especially at such a low price point.

See at Amazon

Want something nicer? Check out our Samsung Level In headphone review!.

Microfiber cloths

AmazonBasics microfiber cloths

Another thing that might distract from your VR experience with your Samsung Gear VR is dust or smudges on your device or the VR headset lenses. To prevent that problem, it's a good idea to have some microfiber cloths around to give things a good (but gentle) cleaning.

AmazonBasics offers a 24-pack of microfiber cleaning cloths for under $10 — that's less than $.50 a cloth. Better yet, they're machine washer safe, so you'll be able to keep your gear clean for months and months with this small, one-time investment. And of course you'll also have microfiber cloths on hand for cleaning all your other devices. Also available in packs of 36, 48, and 144 — which may essentially constitute a lifetime supply.

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microSD cards

Samsung EVO Plus 128GB

This is a must-have accessory, especially if you're using a Samsung Galaxy S7 or the newer S8 — the only current Gear VR-compatible mobile devices with microSD slots. Loading up your favorite movies, tv shows, apps and other media onto the microSD card allows you to use your Gear VR to its full potential without clogging up your phone's internal storage, or continually cycling through content.

We've broken down a list of the best microSD cards to use with your Galaxy S8, but to save you a bit of time, we'll recommend the Samsung EVO Plus 128GB, which is sure to provide you with more than enough storage for hours upon hours of VR entertainment.

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Want something less permanent? Patriot makes a USB-C flash drive you can connect directly to the Gear VR!

What do you use?

If you own a Samsung Gear VR, we're curious to know what your must-have accessories are. Anything we've omitted on our list? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung Gear VR

Amazon

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2 months ago

Aukey's multiport USB-C hub is a great desktop dock for your Chromebook

10

Connect all your stuff and charge your Chromebook with this handy hub.

I am finding this Aukey USB-C hub is a really great gadget for my Acer Chromebook 14. Not because it adds any specific ports or does a thing I can't do with my Chromebook another way, but because it's an all-in-one solution that turns my Chromebook into a desktop machine.

Once set up you plug in one cable and have it all.

Chromebooks are designed to be a portable way to get to the internet. But as anyone with a Chromebox will tell you, they can make for a fine desktop machine. The biggest drawback, at least for me, is plugging everything in when I'm at my desk because I can just pop it open and use it instead. It's totally worth it when you connect to a nice monitor or your favorite keyboard and mouse. But sometimes, lazy just wins.

Not anymore. Now I just connect one USB-C cable and have access to my monitor, an Ethernet connection, my keyboard and mouse and any backup drives I might want to use. And I can charge my Chromebook at the same time!

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What you get when you connect the multiport USB-C hub to your Chromebook (or MacBook)

  • 4K 30Hz HDMI out or 1080p over VGA
  • An RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Two USB 3.0 ports (USB-A legacy)
  • USB-C port with Power Delivery

There's no mystery or magic at play here. Laptop users have been using small docking solutions when they want to have a more traditional sit-down experience since forever. And your Chromebook is a laptop when all is said and done. It's a convenient and relatively cheap way to use the same computer all the time. Simply connect your peripherals to the hub, supply power to the USB-C port if you want to, and when you connect to your Chromebook everything just works. I've been using it with an HDMI cable, and Ethernet connection and a Logitech unifying receiver for my mouse and keyboard and think it's one of the best little gadgets I've used in a long time.

This is why we love USB-C.

The USB-C Power Delivery feature really puts its usefulness over the edge. The Hub includes one USB-C port that you can use to connect a USB-C peripheral, like a thumb drive. Because of the way USB-C PD works, you can also plug a compatible charger into the port and provide power for the other USB ports as well as the Chromebook it's attached to. This is great if you only have one port, and a reason why the entire industry is moving to USB-C.

Best of all, it's still a small USB-C hub. It will fit into your bag or briefcase and you can carry it with you if you'll need this sort of connectivity outside of your house or office. I can see this being pretty useful for anyone giving a presentation, as power, a projector, and a wireless pointer can all be attached with no worries. You do need a Chromebook (or any laptop) with a proper USB-C port but most any laptop you buy now will have that covered.

Android compatibility

A lot of us will instantly wonder how this works with an Android phone. The answer is "it depends".

A phone with a proper USB-C connector sees the hub and provides power via USB to it. Things like mice, keyboards, thumb drives and other "dumb" devices work with no problems. The good stuff that you might want for your phone are a little different.

You need to have a phone with USB-C and video out through USB support for it to even have a chance to mirror your display. I haven't found one that does the trick yet, but there is still a long list of phones to try. For now, I'll say it doesn;t work and you shouldn't buy it with that in mind.

Ethernet is the same story. You need to have a phone with support for ethernet over USB (most Androids have this) and has driver support for the Realtek 8152 chipset. Some phones will have this while others won't. I've found phones with support for one of the requirements, but not run across one that can handle network over USB-C and has the Realtek chip support. Don't buy this for Ethernet for your phone. Aukey does provide the driver files needed, but installing them requires you build them from source and install them as kernel modules, which means rooted phones and a lot of knowledge is needed.

Should you buy it?

If you have a newer Chromebook like my Acer Chromebook 14 or a MacBook, heck yes. It's not super cheap at $85 but it's solid (made from a chunk of aluminum!) and will last as long as your laptop does. The same goes for any Windows laptop where ports are at a premium or you just want a "docking station" solution. It's one of those products that I would spend my own money on after trying it because I find it so useful.

This is awesome for a Chromebook, not so much for a phone.

If you're just looking for a way to connect a mouse or have Ethernet on your phone, there are cheaper solutions that were designed for just that. Something like this one for $30 that works just fine with the Pixel phones and the Pixel C will do the trick.

Always pick the right tool for the job, and if you want a simple all-in-one connectivity solution for your laptop, the Aukey multiport USB-C hub is a great tool.

Chromebooks

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2 months ago

How to use a HOTAS controller with any PlayStation VR game

How to use a HOTAS controller with any PlayStation VR game

How do I use my HOTAS with PSVR?

In order to experience an even deeper level of immersion while in PlayStation VR, you might want to look into a Hands On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) controller. This controller gives you a ton of control over your aircraft or vehicle, as they have a familiar joystick for movement in one hand and an adjustable throttle in the other hand.

You can grab a HOTAS controller designed specifically for PS4, but the number of compatible games in PlayStation VR is limited. If you'd like to use your PS4 HOTAS controller on all games, or if you'd like to use a PC HOTAS on PS4, you need something called CronusMax Plus which lets you map buttons and use any controller with PS4.

Here's everything you need to know about using a HOTAS controller with all of your favorite PSVR games.

See the full guide at VR Heads!

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3 months ago

PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?

33

Which PlayStation 4 should I buy?

Update 4/27/17: This article has been updated with new information on PlayStation 4 updates and new bundles available for the current models.

Anyone looking to buy a PlayStation for family now have three options that look very similar. You've got the original PlayStation 4, the new slimmer PlayStation 4 with the exact same branding on the box as the original, and the new PlayStation 4 Pro. Do they all offer similar experiences? Is there a downside to buying the original over the slim? There are a lot of unanswered questions here.

It's confusing by anyone's standards, so your best bet is to know what you need before you head into the store.

What's the difference?

Sony has a history of releasing a "slim" version of the PlayStation a couple of years after its initial release. In the past, those consoles have been labeled a little differently at launch to make it easier to tell the new version apart from the old one. These slimmer versions typically offer more a physical difference than a functionality difference, and this year is no different. The significant feature and performance difference comes with the PlayStation 4 Pro, and even then the difference isn't huge unless you own a 4K television with HDR support.

Category PlayStation 4 (2013) PlayStation 4 (2016) PlayStation 4 Pro Price $349 $299 $399 Dimensions 10.83in x 12.01in x 2.08in 10.43in x 11.34in x 1.54in 11.61in x 12.87in x 2.17in CPU AMD Jaguar 8-core (x86-64) AMD Jaguar 8-core (x86-64) AMD Jaguar 8-core (x86-64) GPU AMD Radeon (1.84 TFLOP) AMD Radeon (1.84 TFLOP) AMD Radeon (4.2 TFLOP) Storage 500GB / 1TB 500GB / 1TB 1TB Optical out Yes No Yes AV out AV/HDMI 1.4 HDMI 1.4 HDMI 2.0 Power consumption 250w max 165w max 310w max 4K Streaming No No Yes USB USB 3.0 (x2) USB 3.0 (x2 ) USB 3.0 (x3) PSVR support Yes Yes Yes (Enhanced)

The biggest functional difference between the original PS4 and the new slimmer PS4 is power consumption. Sony claims the new PS4 has a max power draw of 165 watts, which sounds impressive next to the original 250w max of the first PS4 until you see most benchmarks. The original PlayStation 4 had an average power draw of 150w during its heaviest gameplay sessions, and never pushed anywhere near that 250w max. It is slightly smaller though, so there's that.

PlayStation VR performance is something altogether different.

As you can see, Sony is using the same CPU and a GPU that's a little more than twice the performance in the new PlayStation 4 Pro. There's also an updated version of the HDMI standard in the PS4 Pro, but there's no immediate difference in performance out of the box for video output. Games that struggled in the past to maintain 30fps or 60fps on a standard PlayStation 4 will be able to offer a more consistent experience with the PlayStation 4 Pro through its "boost mode" feature. This basically means games that appear a to stutter a little on a normal PS4 will look and play smoother on a PS4 Pro.

PlayStation 4 Pro also offers 4K video streaming and enhanced graphics on supported titles. Game developers will have the option to offer higher quality graphics to PlayStation 4 Pro gamers, which will be clearly labeled with PS4 Pro Enhanced on the box. Not only are most new PlayStation games being made to support this Enhanced ability, many of the more popular games from the past year are releasing updates to look better through the more capable console.

Category PS4 (2013) PS4 (2016) PS4 Pro HDR Output ❌ ❌ ✔️ 4K Streaming ❌ ❌ ✔️ Remote Play 720p 720p 1080p Share Play 720p 720p 1080p

PlayStation VR performance is something altogether different. PlayStation 4 Pro was built to better support PlayStation VR (You know, Project Morpheus and PlayStation Neo kinda go together and all that) but even here the differences is subtle.

Most titles that were available before the Pro was released look slightly better on the Pro, and those titles updated to support the enhanced graphics in the Pro are noticeably better looking than on the standard PS4. Because of the high focus on framerate in PlayStation VR, what you'll see in Pro Enhanced titles is more detail, not smoother transitions like you'd see on the television.

Which should I buy?

Now that you know everything you need to know about the differences between these consoles, lets break it down!

  • PlayStation 4 — This is the PS4 most likely to be available at a considerable discount, or the option you're most likely to find used or certified refurbished. If you're on a tight budget, this will get the job done.

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  • Slim PlayStation 4 — This is the PS4 you will see the most of on shelves this year, and it's the nicer looking of the three. This is also the most likely to be found in a bundle with free games and extra controllers if you're looking to get more than just the console.

See on Amazon

  • PlayStation 4 Pro — If you own a 4K HDR television, or you're interested in the best possible gaming experience from your PlayStation, this is the console for you. Also, if you're looking to go all in on PlayStation VR, you'll want this version of the console.

See on Amazon

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