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3 months ago

Why I'll only drink coffee from this $150, Android-connected mug

41

Only peasants drink coffee from a mug that doesn't have its own battery and heating element — to say nothing of not having Bluetooth and an app an upgradable firmware, right? RIGHT?

How much would you pay to keep your coffee hot for up to two hours? If you said $150 — well you're a little crazy. But that's what I spent on the Ember Mug. (OK, I spent more than that. I'll explain in a minute.)

Here's the gist: Ember Mug is, first and foremost, a mug. And it's a really good mug. (Damn well better be for $150.) The feel of the thing is great, from the soft-touch coating to the position of the "shoulder." And the 360-degree, spring-loaded lid is brilliant.

That's not what makes this thing $150, though.

No, what makes the Ember Mug ridiculously expensive for a coffee mug is what's tucked into the bottom of it. Mainly, a battery, heating element and Bluetooth radio.

This is a smart mug.

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OK, here's the real gist. ... Ember Mug has this "phase change cooling system" thing that helps bring it down from scalding to something more survivable, and then keep the temperature wherever you choose. Well, between 120 degrees and 145 degrees, anyway. You tap the logo on the mug to turn it on, then twist the bottom of the mug to set the temperature, with a little hidden dot-matrix-style display showing you what's what.

Me? I'm liking things at about 135 degrees. Some quick (unscientific) testing at home points to the mug being accurate within a couple degrees or so, which is good enough for me.

By the way — yes, the mug will heat room-temperature water just fine, but it's not terribly quick about it, and that definitely eats at the battery. This really is meant to keep hot things hot, not to reheat cool things.

Yes, this is more than a little bourgeois. But it's also very good.

And of course there's an app. (Because how did you ever drink coffee without an app, right?) The app has presets for various drinks — coffee, tea, latte, etc. And you can use it to set a custom name on the mug, and to update the mug's firmware. (Because how did you ever drink coffee without updated firmware, right?) It's the same experience on Android as it is on iOS. Or you can forget the previous sentences and just drink hot coffee from your $150 electric mug like a semi-normal person.

One sort-of major headache with this thing, though. If you want to use your Ember Mug at more than one location — say, at home and at the office — you're going to need a second charger, right? The good news there is that Ember sells spare chargers for exactly this purpose, for another $40. That brings you up to $190 for the mug and a spare charger. (Plus the $18 in shipping I paid for said extra charger. WTF.)

On the other hand, if you're the sort of person who has to have a $150 smart heating coffee mug in the first place, maybe that's not so bad.

You can pick one up inside of a Starbucks store, at Ember's site, or at the link below.

See at Amazon

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3 months ago

Best SD Cards For Chromebooks

21
Dell Chromebook 13

Expanding your Chromebook's storage.

If you want to expand your Chromebook's storage, you can use an SD or microSD card and boom, you've got more space.

Whether you use a full-size SD card, a microSD card or a half-height SD card depends on your particular model of Chromebook.

Updated, April 2017: This post has been updated with the latest recommendations.

Full-size SD cards

Full-size SD cards are the largest SD cards in terms of physical size. Whether or not your Chromebook will fit a full-size SD card depends on the model and manufacturer.

Even then, a full-sized SD card may stick out of the SD card slot on your Chromebook and if this is the case, we don't recommend that you use a full-sized SD card in your Chromebook all the time, since it could catch on something. Instead, insert it when you need to transfer files over or access files you've stored on it previously, then remove it again.

SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB SDXC

SanDisk Extreme Pro 512 SDXC

The highly-rated SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card is fast and has a large capacity, so it makes a good choice to expand the storage of your Chromebook.

It has data transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s, so you can transfer those Blu-ray movies you've got sitting on your Chromebook's hard drive without a problem. Even games with gigabytes of data can be moved over with ease.

Additionally, this SD card features write protection, which prevents you from accidentally erasing or overwriting your important files. No more worrying about accidentally erasing those old family pictures.

If you're looking for a fast, reliable SD card, this may be the one for you.

See at Amazon

MicroSD cards

MicroSD cards are much smaller in physical size than their larger SD card cousins — about as large as a fingernail whereas SD cards are about the size of a postage stamp.

Their smaller size doesn't mean that they have smaller capacities than their larger brethren, however; they simply have a smaller form factor, and that means they're typically used in smaller devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

For the most part, if your Chromebook can fit an SD card, it'll take a microSD card. You'd just need an adapter, such as the Raspberry PI Shortening MicroSD Adapter.

SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSDXC

SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSDXC

The SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD card is about as fast as they come, and with a 200GB capacity, it provides a lot of space for your files.

Transferring large files won't be a problem with its rated 90MB/s transfer rate and with all of that space available, it can hold up to 20 hours of HD video. That's right, 20 hours.

If you're looking for an expandable storage option for your Chromebook that's fast and has a large capacity, check out the SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD card.

See at Amazon

Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXC

Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXC

Slightly slower than the SanDisk Ultra microSD card, Samsung's EVO Plus 128GB is still fast enough for most uses and is correspondingly cheaper too.

While it doesn't have as large a capacity as the SanDisk Ultra 200GB, the Samsung EVO Plus may have enough to suit your needs if you are looking for a bargain. Though it's a little slower, you won't notice much of a difference when transferring files or media.

If you want a fast microSD card, but you want to save a buck, choose this one.

See at Amazon

Half-height SD cards

Half-height SD cards, as the name implies, are SD cards that have a shorter form factor. They're a great alternative if regular-height SD cards protrude from your Chromebook's SD card slot and microSD cards aren't compatible.

Transcend JetDrive Lite 330

Transcend JetDrive Lite 330

The Transcend JetDrive Lite 330 comes in three capacities: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.

With a maximum rated read speed of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of up to 60MB/s, this half-height card is fast enough for downloading large files, and with its three capacity options, you can choose just the amount you need (and the price, too).

If you don't want to or can't use a microSD card, the Transcend JetDrive may be the card for you.

See at Amazon

Shortening microSD adapter

microSD adapter half height

If you have a fast microSD-card or want to buy a new one in your Chromebook, you can get a half-height adapter to keep things from hanging out of the side too far. Originally designed for use in a Raspberry Pi, these adapters from Adafruit work exactly the same as any high-quality full-sized adapter. There's just less hanging out to snap on things.

See at Amazon

An alternative

SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Maybe you don't want to use an SD card at all but still want to expand your storage. The SanDisk Ultra Fit USB Flash Drive offers up to 128GB capacity and its low profile fits snugly against your Chromebook when it's inserted.

Read speeds up to 150MB/s mean it's ultra-fast and the design means you can leave it inserted so it's always ready every time you boot up.

These are USB A (bigger, older style socket) drives, so make sure you have the right USB ports!

See at Amazon

We've told you which SD cards we prefer, but what about you? Let us know in the comments below!

Chromebooks

Android Marshmallow

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3 months ago

Best Accessories for Moto G5 Plus

4

What are some of the best accessories available for the Moto G5 Plus?

Motorola's latest budget phone, the Moto G5 Plus, is shaping up to be quite the successor to the Moto G4. It's faster, shinier, and equipped with an improved rear-facing camera.

You'll want to take advantage of everything the Moto G5 Plus can do, including procuring accessories that can make life with your new mid-range mobile device more dynamic. Here are a few accessories to consider equipping yourself with for future adventures with the Moto G5 Plus.

Incipio NGP case

If you're looking for a lightweight rugged case, Incipio's NGP case is the right voice for you.

Featuring a textured back and bumper to ensure you maintain a solid grip, this one-piece polymer case is designed with enhanced drop protection — you'll notice the honeycombed interior which helps to disperse the shock when your phone inevitably hits a table or floor.

Precise cutouts means you'll have full access to the charging port and headphone jack as well as the volume and power button on the side.

Choose between black and berry pink and keep your Moto G5 Plus protected!

See at Incipio

LK Screen Protector (3-pack)

Planning to go bare with your Moto G5 Plus? At least consider a screen protector to shield its 5.2-inch LCD display. This three-pack of oleophobic screen protectors are precisely cut to fit the Moto G5 Plus. They're made from 9H tempered glass and are both scratch-resistant and shatterproof. Each protector is easy to apply and LK offers a lifetime replacement warranty should things go awry.

See at Amazon

iXCC USB Car charger

Get this Qualcomm Quick Charge-certified car charger for your next adventure on the road with the Moto G5 Plus in tow. This affordable package comes with a 3-foot Micro-USB cable, though you can grab another if you need something longer. The charger also comes with a two-year manufacturer's warranty.

The charger itself can charge any Quick Charge 2.0-compatible device. It also features built-in safeguards to help protect any device from overheating and overcharging.

See at Amazon

Raki 3-in-1 clip-on camera lens

The Moto G5 Plus's 12-megapixel rear-facing camera is actually quite capable, but you can take even more dynamic photography with a clip-on camera lens, like the affordable Raki 3-in-1 camera lens.

This multi-use concoction features an 180-degree Fisheye lens, a wide-angle lens, and a macro lens. It comes in four different colors, too, so you can get one that matches the color of your Moto G5 Plus. Best of all, the clip-on is compatible with any smartphone, so if you switch devices in the future you won't have switch clip-on camera lenses.

See at Amazon

Anker Waterproof Case

You'll inevitably come across a body of water in your adventures with your smartphone, even if that water is just in your bathtub. Keep the Moto G5 Plus's water-repellent nanocoating safe from deep water with this pouch from Anker. It's rated IPX8 for water resistance, which means it works in up to 100 feet of water. You can still use the touchscreen and the camera while it's inside the pouch, too, and it comes with a handy neck strap so your phone won't float away.

See at Amazon

Maono Selfie Stick

Yep. We're suggesting you purchase a selfie stick, but not just any selfie stick. This one is both a stick for extending the Moto G5 Plus in front of you for selfies and a tripod for keeping still for landscape shots and self-timed panoramas. It's also made of metal and features a programmable Bluetooth remote. And since there are no circuits inside the selfie stick, it's verifiably rainproof.

See at Amazon

Moto G5

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3 months ago

Best Battery Cases for Samsung Galaxy S6

Choosing a battery case for your Galaxy S6

What's the best battery case for Galaxy S6?

Updated April, 2017: Added Alpatronix's BX410. The other battery cases are still the best around for your Galaxy S6.

The Galaxy S8 is upon us, but if you're not ready to let go of your Galaxy S6, you may want to look for ways to extend battery life. Hell, you may have been looking for that from the start. If you're not ready to upgrade, check out one of these stellar external battery cases to help keep you charged up on the go.

Mophie Juice Pack (3,300 mAh)

Mophie Juice Pack

Mophie is sort of the gold standard when it comes to battery cases, and while that started with iPhone battery cases, it has smoothly transitioned to models for popular Android phones as well. There are two distinct Juice Pack models to fit the Galaxy S6 or S6 edge (and different color choices), but in either configuration they offer full device protection with a single case that also integrates a battery.

The Juice Pack is dramatically better made than any of the offerings here, as you'd expect for the increased price. It has a hard plastic shell that's rigid and tough, and on the inside has a soft touch coating to hold the phone tightly.

The Galaxy S6 fits in it with amazing precision, with just a very small lip over the front of the phone. It's just as large as any other battery case, and while the hard plastic coating is slicker it does have some grip to it. There's a standard "chin" at the bottom where the USB port joins up with the phone, and because of its thickness there's a headphone extension jack to use if you don't have headphones with a small jack on them.

The 3,300 mAh capacity lands between the other cases in this roundup, and Mophie gives it the claim of "up to 100 percent" additional battery for your GS6. Just like your phone's internal battery, it's rated for 500 full recharges, and you choose when to have it powering your phone with a convenient hardware switch on the back.

We tested the Juice Pack's capacity just the same as the others and found it added 90% battery to the phone in just under three hours, even while the phone was in use on mobile data. That's not bad — it charged more and faster than the other cases, despite having a smaller overall capacity. That just shows what you can get from the higher quality components in the Juice Pack.

It's pretty clear that if money is no object, the Mophie is the best choice, simply due to its fantastic build quality, slick design and highly-rated battery. Of course price is a factor for most picking up a battery case, and $99.95 is a steep asking price for something you may not want to use all of the time.

See at Amazon

PowerBear Extended rechargeable battery juice pack (3,500 mAh)

PowerBear

PowerBear's 3,500 mAh juice pack is a one-piece case that allows you to charge it and your Galaxy S6 simultaneously, all in a sleek and slim package that won't add a ton of weight to your pocket, which is really what you want out of a battery case, since they're supposed to be "power on the go".

PowerBear claims that you get an extra 130% charge out of this case, but it's more like the ZeroLemon case in this roundup – you're more likely to get about 50%, taking anywhere from three to four hours to charge.

This case has a handy on/off switch, so that you're not wasting power when you don't need to, which makes it a great everyday case or an excellent emergency case.

The PowerBear's design is pretty typical, but it's still fairly thin for a battery case and it fits quite seamlessly, so if you like your Galaxy S6 to be in a case but not feel that way, then the PowerBear is likely the best choice for you.

If you regularly kill your phone before day's end and want a battery case that will last you a while, then check this one out, since PowerBear offers a 2-year warranty, which should get you through the lifespan of your Galaxy S6 until you upgrade.

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ZeroLemon Slim Power battery case (3,500 mAh)

ZeroLemon

The ZeroLemon Slim Power Battery isn't quite the same setup as the others, as its battery and case are actually separate. The 3,500 mAh battery is a self-contained slab that has two USB ports on it — one for input, the other output — and a removable U-shaped USB connector so that it nestles up against the back of a Galaxy S6. The case is just a basic rubber affair, but it's designed so that the battery and phone can be held together inside comfortably while charging.

The battery is fully operational with other cables and can be used without the case, though the implication is that you'll be using the whole thing together most of the time. The case itself wraps the whole phone for a bit more protection than others, but the design means that the ZeroLemon setup is larger than others and offers a lower capacity. It also ships with a headphone jack extension cable due to its size, which is burdensome to say the least.

It has similar charge rates to the others, and when combined with the simple 3,500 mAh cell it was only able to charge up the Galaxy S6 by 50% — and that took about 3 hours and 45 minutes to do it. That's not very fast, and for a battery case that's bigger (and more expensive) than some of the others we expected to get a little more out of it.

The one benefit ZeroLemon has going for it is an explicit 180-day warranty — how much value you actually put in that is up to you.

See at Amazon

Alpatronix BX410 (3,500 mAh)

Alpatronix BX410

Alpatronix's case is relatively similar to the other options here, but it's still one of the best battery cases you can get for your Galaxy S6. Alpatronix doesn't make any bold claims of charging your phone "130%", but instead says that you'll be able to charge your phone up to 100%, which is fairly accurate, considering its 3,500 mAh battery. Your results may vary, depending on your usage.

As far as battery cases go, this one is pretty slim, adding minimal bulk and weight to your Galaxy S6. The camera cutout on the back is ample so as not to obstruct the lens, and you'll also find LED indicators on the back to let you know when the case itself if charged or losing power.

Alpatronix provides a lifetime warranty, so if there are any defects during the life of this case, you can let Alpatronix know and it'll be replaced.

See at Amazon

How do you stay juiced?

Got a favorite battery case that's still keeping your Galaxy S6 going? Let us know in the comments below.

Samsung Galaxy S6

Amazon

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3 months ago

Android and SD cards: The Ultimate Guide

28
SD card

Everything you ever wanted to know about SD cards and your phone.

Android has supported SD cards since the G1 started it all. The overall idea is simple enough — slap an SD card in your phone and expand the storage so you have room for more stuff. While this is mostly the case, there are a few things to know about, especially before you go out and buy one.

We've rounded up everything you need to know about buying and using an SD card with your Android to try and make everything as simple as it can be.

SD card form factors

SD card sizes

Before you do anything, make sure your phone can use an SD card! Since so many different companies make Android phones in so many different models, you will run across some that don't have a slot for a card. Phones from Google are this way, and every name you recognize when it comes to making phones has made at least one model that doesn't have support for an SD card. If you're not sure, poke around the outside of your phone to see if any doors or flaps open up, or grab the manual out of the box and see what it says.

Phones use the smallest microSD card form factor.

Once you've got that sorted, you need to make sure you get the right type of SD card. For your Android phone, you're looking for the microSD form factor. SD cards come in three different sizes. An SD card is the biggest — a little larger than a postage stamp — and is used for things like standalone cameras. The Mini SD form factor is about half the size of a full SD card and they aren't very popular. Chances are you won't ever buy anything that needs a Mini SD card. The microSD card is about the size of your fingernail and the one we're looking for.

When you buy a microSD card, you often get an adapter in the package. The smaller card slides into the adapter so it can fit into something that needs a full-size card — like your computer — as well as something like your phone that needs a microSD card. Keep track of this, because it's pretty handy when transferring pictures or video from your phone to your computer.

SD card storage versions

SD cards

There is a method to the madness of all those letters you see.

The next thing you need to know is the storage version. You can buy microSD cards, microSDHC cards, and microSDXC cards. A microSD card was designed to hold up to 2GB of information, though a few 4GB versions are available that work outside of the specifications. microSDHC cards (Secure Digital High Capacity) are designed to hold up to 32GB of data. microSDXC (Secure Digital eXtra Capacity) cards are designed to hold between 32GB and 2TB of data. It's important to know what version your phone can use. Most modern phones — Android or otherwise — will be able to use a microSDHC card. Many newer phones are capable of using a microSDXC card.

There are no easy-to-see differences between a phone that can use a microSDXC card and one that can't. You'll need to consult the documentation that came with your phone or hop into the forums and ask other folks who have already found the answer. The versions are backward compatible (a microSDXC card slot can use a microSD or microSDHC card) but there is no forwards compatibility, and if your phone can't use a microSDXC card, it won't ever work.

SD card speed classes

MicroSD card

No card is going to be as fast as the listed maximum.

You need to understand the speed class ratings. Those are the numbers and letters you see printed on the card and the packaging. The short version is to never buy one with a number lower than 10 when it comes to speed class, and if you use a phone with a 4K camera, go even faster and look for a UHS class card.

We've broken down the specifics of what all this really means and which you need, and you can read that right here:

Everything you need to know about SD card speeds and your phone

Adoptable storage and you

You'll probably see people talking about adoptable storage when SD cards and Android are in the conversation. It's a really neat thing that your phone probably doesn't have and chances are you're better off for it.

The idea is to use a fast SD card and make it a permanent part of the system. Once it goes in, it never can come out or all your stuff stops working. It's also a part of the phone it came out of and nothing else will be able to use it unless you reformat it and start over.

This, and concerns about performance, is why most companies making Android phones don't let you use Adoptable storage without hacking it in yourself. On Android things that aren't phones — like the NVIDIA Shield TV for example — you can plug in USB stick drives or hard drives and "adopt" them into the system. This makes a little more sense and a 500GB USB drive is a great match for your Android TV box. We go into details at the link below.

Everything you need to know about your SD card and Adoptable storage

Should I encrypt my SD card?

This is one of those things that if you have to ask, the answer is usually no.

SD card encryption is a great way to make sure nobody can see anything you have stored on your card without being able to sign into your phone, but there are a few drawbacks:

  • It takes a little longer to read something from or write something to the SD card. Not a lot but it's a definite thing.
  • You can't take the card out and do something like transfer pictures and music from a computer.
  • If your phone dies, you've lost everything on the card because your phone is the only thing that can decrypt it.

Keep all this in mind if you decide to try it, and make sure to have a good plan to keep your data backed up somewhere else.

Quick Q&A

MicroSD card

  • How should I format my SD card? Insert it into your phone and follow the instructions in the notification you get. Since there are several different file formats an SD card can use, you should let the phone pick the one it wants. Don't worry, your card will still work in a computer to copy files.
  • Do SD cards go bad? Yes, but that's becoming less of a thing with recent cards. Your SD card has a limited amount of times it can be read from and written to before it starts to have errors. If you start to get errors when you are using it, consider buying a new one before it goes bad. As mentioned, newer cards last longer than cards from just a few years ago.
  • Is my SD card waterproof? Maybe. It will say on the packaging if it is designed to get wet. Always try to not let it get wet, but if it does, don't stick it into anything until it dries, then take a Q-tip and some 99% rubbing alcohol and clean the copper contacts on the end you plug in. Let that dry and give it a try.
  • Why does Google hate SD cards? I don't think it hates them because every Chromebook can use one. Officially, Google says SD cards are not as secure and having more than one storage drive is messy for the end user. Feel free to add your own theory here.
  • Which SD card should I buy? Only you know the answer based on how you will use it. We've done our research, and you can check out our favorites here:

Best microSD Card for Android

When it comes to using SD cards in your phone, things don't need to be confusing. After you see all the hype from companies making them, take a minute or two and read through this again, then think about what you need a card to do. It really is that simple.

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3 months ago

Fitbit Alta HR review: Everything I need

12

The Fitbit Alta HR isn't much of an upgrade over the original, but at $150, it's a pretty great fitness tracker.

At this point, Fitbit isn't new — even if you've never owned one, you kind of know what it does: It tracks steps, helps you log workouts, and lets you know how little sleep you're getting, because life.

The Alta HR is the natural evolution of the company's more fashion-forward product, the Alta, which was unveiled in early 2016 as "the stylish one". Interchangeable bands and a sleek, vertical OLED display made it one of the most popular fitness trackers of the year, and it was the basis for the larger Charge 2, which came out towards the end of 2016.

The Alta HR takes what made the Alta great and adds a bigger battery and a heart rate monitor, which tracks all day for up to seven days. It's not a massive change, but it's one that has turned me from an Alta skeptic into a believer.

What's good

The Alta HR isn't any bigger than its predecessor; aside from the Flex 2, which is still the company's smallest (and only truly waterproof) tracker, the Alta HR is among Fitbit's most hideable trackers, blending into practically any situation and outfit.

The main thing I learned from the new Sleep Stages feature is that I don't sleep enough. Thanks, Fitbit.

My review unit shipped with the black band, but there are four regular models to choose from, including black, blue/gray, coral, and fuchsia, along with two special editions that cost slightly more and fancy up the tracker itself. Because of the heart rate monitor, the unit needs to be snug-yet-comfy against the wrist, which is why Fitbit replaced the loose-fitting snap strap of the original with a traditional clasp that wears much more like a watch.

I've been wearing the Fitbit Alta HR for the past two weeks and have barely remembered it's on my wrist. It doesn't get in the way when I'm typing, nor does it irritate the skin under the heart rate sensor (though I never had that issue with old Fitbits either). Battery life has been amazing, too: I've only needed to charge it twice since taking it out of the box, and as of this writing, this is my 14th day wearing it, and I'm still only at 30% battery, according to the app. That seven-day uptime is actually conservative.

Fitbit's also done a good job implementing its automatic heart rate sensing into the Alta HR; I just go about my day, attend my workouts, and let the software take care of the rest. It's not a particularly complicated proposition, since I don't really vary my workouts all that much, but I can see the product working out well for someone who varies his or her cardio routine on a weekly basis, since the app has become quite good at detecting various forms of activity. Manual logging is still possible, too, as is food journaling, though that isn't a feature I've ever used.

Sleep Stages, an updated form of the company's well-regarded sleep tracking system, has also been interesting, though, like the fitness data, it's unclear how much I will learn and change from wearing the Alta HR over the long term. Sleep Stages uses a combination of movement and heart rate monitoring to determine whether you're awake, in REM sleep, light sleep, or deep sleep.

While it's interesting that I'm learning I only get 90 minutes of REM sleep a night, I' more concerned with the fact that I'm only sleeping an average of five hours 30 minutes a night — and I don't need a Fitbit to tell me that. As good a gadget as this is, it has yet to— over the course of five years or so — change my poor habits for the better. That's something I need to undertake myself.

Fitbit's Android app has improved a lot over the past couple of years, and it's now not only really easy to sync — and keep synced — but I can pick up where I left off on a new phone. Bluetooth connectivity is no longer finicky (Google thankfully fixed this a few Android versions ago) and I don't have to remember to explicitly open the app to sync it — it just works.

The new dashboard, which shows steps taken, miles or kilometers walked, calories burned, and total active minutes, is both intuitive and data-heavy, which I like, and Fitbit's social features are still second to none. I've spoken to many Fitbit fans who, despite the lackluster hardware, have bought new trackers instead of leaving for Android Wear or an Apple Watch strictly because of the expansive community of friends and fellow cardioheads pushing one another to hit that 10,000 daily step goal and beyond.

What needs work

The Alta HR is still very much a fitness tracker; you can add heart rate monitoring to it and call it smarter, but at the end of the day this thing doesn't come close to being "smart". That's OK — Fitbit isn't exactly advertising smartwatch-like features, but it's still something to keep in mind when you're shelling out $150 for something. To that end, the Alta HR supports phone and text notifications — but only for one app — as well as basic calendar appointments, so this isn't going to be close to what you get with a smartwatch.

I don't really use the Alta HR to check anything but the time. I prefer to use the app.

Another thing that isn't like a smartwatch is the OLED screen, which is hidden behind a scratch-prone piece of plastic. You physically tap — hard — against the panel to change what you see, and though there is raise-to-wake, it's barely readable in sunlight. The screen, too, isn't touch-responsive, so it sometimes takes a few good pecks at it to get it moving.

The order and specificity of the screens can be adjusted in the app, but, beyond checking the time, I find myself barely using the Alta HR itself to dig into my stats; I tend to open the app, which is far more useful in 99% of situations.

While the bands are replaceable, they're not cheap — a standard rubber replacement is $30, while the leather options go for $60 and the metal for $100. After a couple of weeks with the black rubberized band, it's grown quite dirty, and even with soap and water I've found it difficult to get it back to pristine. The leather bands are a bit more hardy, but they're also not appropriate for every situation.

Should you buy one? Probably, but the Charge 2 is better

I love the Charge 2. I think it's Fitbit's best product ever. The Alta HR has most of that product's DNA but lacks the larger display and side button that makes navigating the UI a bit easier. Both the Charge 2 and Alta HR are the same upfront price, $149.95, but the latter has a metal clasp option, which may appeal to some who want to dress it up a bit more.

The Alta HR isn't leaving my wrist any time soon, but I'm not convinced it's enough of a change to justify an upgrade from the original Alta — not unless you absolutely need heart rate monitoring — and despite the excellent battery life, it's just not as good a product as the Charge 2, even for those looking to combine sport and fashion.

See at Fitbit

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3 months ago

Rachio's second-gen smart sprinkler controller is still a must-have for homeowners

7

If you have a lawn, you'll need to water it. And the Rachio connected controller will do it smarter — and save you money at the same time.

There are many shameful things that can happen to a homeowner. Your car rolling out of the garage and into your neighbor's azalea is one. The sewer pipe getting crushed on Mother's Day (and on a Sunday no less, and quite possibly as you're headed out for a few days of meetings in a Miami mansion is another.

(Yes, these things might or might not have happened to me at some point. Use your best judgment.)

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One thing I've managed to avoid for a few years, though, is watering the grass while it's raining out. That's not just a Florida thing, either. Dumb timers are dumb. Smart sprinklers are better.

So a few years ago Rachio sent me one of their first-generation smart sprinkler controllers. And the original Iro has served me well. Now it's time to update, and Rachio sent over the current generation of its controller. The second gen starts at $199 for an 8-zone model, or you can get a 16-zoner for $50 more. There's also a $29 waterproof enclosure if you need to mount things outside.

Even in its initial form, Rachio wasn't just a timer that you can control from your phone. It goes a good bit further. It pulls in local weather information to tell if it's going to rain, and whether a watering cycle should be skipped. You can input soil type for more precise watering.

Rachio water savingsAnd ultimately it should save you from wasting water — and that means you'll be wasting less money.

Installation will vary depending on your setup, of course. Mine's pretty simple, though. The controller is on a wall in my garage, just within range of my wireless router. (That part's important, of course. If you don't have a Wifi connection in the garage, you'll need to adjust.) From there it's just a matter of popping off the old controller, screwing the new one into the wall, and reattaching the wires. Rachio's quick-start guide does a good job walking you through things if needed. But really this is basic homeowner stuff.

From there you'll setup through the app. (It's available on Android and on iOS, of course.) That part's been greatly improved since the first generation controller. The other major upgrade is the addition of manual controls, which was definitely needed.

After that you set zones and times and what not, and that's that. If you need to adjust, you can do so in the app, or from the Rachio website.

Or if you're feeling a little extra cheeky, yes, it'll work with Amazon Alexa, as well as with the Google Assistant. (The latter is buried under More Settings -> Services and not under the higher-level Home Control.)

You can be as hands-off as you like here. I generally just let the system take care of things, at least at the start of the season. If I think the lawn needs more water, I'll adjust. But the best part is that I don't have to worry about watering my lawn with my own money while it's getting a good drink for free.

And especially here in Florida, that pays for itself pretty fast.

See at Amazon

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3 months ago

A decent Pixel XL leather case — with a fatal flaw

18

It looks good. It feels good. It's got a handy little pocket. But this leather case from Mugen also has a fatal flaw.

A quality leather case for a Pixel phone can be a little hard to come by. I spent a good long while with this one on mine, but it's starting to show signs of age. (Hey, you get what you pay for, right?) So it's time for something new.

I snagged this leather deal from Mugen ($30 at Amazon) and at first glance it's not too bad. Looks good ... Feels good ... Has that little pocket with just enough room for a credit card or some cash, if you're still into paper money. (You can stick a business card in there, but it's going to get torn up pretty quickly.)

There's just one problem, though.

Those cutouts. The areas for the power button and volume rocker. What happened there? That's certainly not the "perfect fit" the product's Amazon description promises.

I'd hoped that it was just a manufacturing error. That happens. And so I brought it up when Mugen did that thing Amazon retailers do, where the follow up after a sale to make sure everything's OK.

I replied back, asking if the buttons were supposed to be that far out of alignment with the holes. Mugen's reply:

Thanks for your feedback! From your picture we seen that the phone buttons are covered by the case. Being the leather case is handmade as there maybe some [tolerance]. We sold a lot of pieces of leather case and this is the rare case for us.

So they sent me a new one. And nothing has changed. That's a shame, really. Half-decent leather cases aren't as prevalent as you'd think for Android phones. And I'm digging the little pocket on the back. The whole thing makes an already big phone feel a little bit bigger, but it also makes it feel better. Until you need to adjust the volume, anyway.

That said, if you don't mind the buttons being shoved up against the side of the cutout to the point that they're very difficult to press — have at it.

See at Amazon

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3 months ago

Save on Bluetooth headphones, charging accessories and more with Anker's Easter Sale

2

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with some great deals on Anker accessories!

Anker, one of our favorite accessory makers, is currently discounting a bunch of its accessories ahead of Easter. Whether you are looking for some new headphones or a wireless charger, there is a solid variety of discounts here. These discounts are 15% or more off the regular price of the items, so you'll want to look through them and see what you need for yourself or as a gift for someone else.

The best deals include:

These deals are set to run from now through April 17, while supply lasts. To be sure you don't miss out on the lower prices, be sure to grab what you are interested in now!

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

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3 months ago

Best Clear Cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8

13

What are the best clear cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8?

It's the same debate with the release of every new phone: Do you show it off or protect it with a durable case?

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a brilliant new design that you'll definitely want to flaunt, but you'll also want to keep all that glass unscathed, right? Split the difference with a clear case and show off your new phone while keeping it protected from harm.

More: The best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Clear Cover case

Of Samsung's own cases, the Clear Cover case is the most compelling. This case features a translucent cover that protects your phone's screen, while still allowing you to interact with your phone by answering calls, changing the music, and more.

Planning to watch a lot of video on that shiny new screen? This case also folds over into a stand for hands-free viewing. Samsung has designed a very minimalist case that keeps the slim profile of your Galaxy S8 intact. If you're planning to pre-order your new phone directly from Samsung, you can add this case to your order during checkout.

See at Samsung

Spigen Ultra Hybrid Galaxy S8 case

Spigen consistently designs outstanding cases, and their clear cases are some of the best you can buy.

The Ultra Hybrid is a one-piece case that blends two of the most popular case materials. The bumper is made of flexible TPU to help absorb the shock of a drop and also features a raised lip around the front to protect the screen. The back plate is made of durable, hard PC plastic, which protects against scratches and other damage.

This case is virtually crystal clear, so you'll barely notice that it's there, but you'll be happy it is when it saves your phone from unsightly blemishes or a cracked screen.

See at Amazon

Spigen Liquid Crystal Galaxy S8 case

If you're looking for a clear case that's a little more svelte, Spigen has you covered with its Liquid Crystal case.

The one-piece design fits snugly around your phone and offers basic protection while letting the beautiful look of your phone shine through. Made of lightweight and flexible TPU, this case is easy to pop on and keeps your phone protected with a 0.04-inch lip at the top and bottom of the screen.

This is another great option if you're looking for subtle protection that won't distract from the Galaxy S8's brilliant design.

See at Amazon

Ringke FUSION Crystal Clear case

This dual-layer case features a hard PC backplate held flush against your phone by the flexible TPU bumper to provide a slim case that offers the drop protection you need while giving you the nearly invisible look you want from a clear case.

With extra protection in the corners and a tapered rim around the top and bottom of the screen, this case has been precisely designed to keep your phone safe. Ample cutouts around the speaker, charging port, and headphone jack ensure you have no issues with other accessories while maintaining a very stylish design that's available in three color options for the bumper.

Ringke has included, as always, a free DIY template for slipping a photo in the back, allowing you to change things up with a custom design whenever you want.

See at Amazon

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Frosted Clear case

If you're looking to balance rugged protection while still letting your phone's design shine through a bit, the SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Frosted Clear case is the choice for you.

This case keeps your phone protected with a formidable bumper made of shock-absorbing TPU. Its been designed to feel comfortable in your hand with grippy texture along the sides and firm and responsive buttons. The back plate is transparent, so you can show off your Galaxy S8's true colors while ensuring it stays scratch-free.

Featuring sizable cutouts and a raised bezel around the screen and the camera on the back, this case is designed to keep your phone protected without impeding any of its functions or ports. If you aren't looking to sacrifice rugged protection for a sleek clear case, this is your best option.

See at Amazon

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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3 months ago

Best Minimalist Cases for Galaxy S7

28
Best minimalist cases for the Galaxy S7

Protect my phone, fine, but don't bulk it up!

Aside from the edge, the Galaxy S7 is Samsung's thinnest offer right now. Sure, you want to protect it, but you definitely don't want any of the bulk that comes along with some of the heavy duty cases.

We've rounded up some of the best minimalist cases for your S7; just remember that toning down the thickness of the case may make your phone a little more vulnerable when dropped from on high.

Spigen Thin Fit

Spigen Thin Fit

Spigen's Thin Fit cases are slim and somewhat plain, so if you're looking for a minimalist case for your Galaxy S7, this is a great place to start. Buttons and ports are all cut out instead of covered up, so tactile feedback remains true and oh-so-satisfying.

Thin Fit is made from hard polycarbonate, adding minimal bulk to your phone, so it seems like it's wearing nothin' at all. There are also raised bezels around the camera cut out and the screen to protect the glass from scratches You have your choice of black, mint, or white.

See at Amazon


Cimo Premium Slim Fit

Cimo Premium Slim Fit

This is the little black dress of phone cases, offering sleek protection in the form of soft TPU. The benefit of having a case made out of black TPU as opposed to clear TPU is that the black stuff won't yellow over time due to sunlight.

Though this one is quite form-fitting, there is still a touch of a lip (0.8 mm) on the front, so when you place your phone face-down, it's not sitting on the screen. The non-slip TPU feels grippy in your hand and it's dust-resistance helps with an all-black case. If you couldn't care less about goofy designs or bling, then pick up a slim, black case and be done with it.

See at Amazon


Maxboost Vibrance Series Protective Slider

Maxboost Vibrance Series Protective Slider

If you're looking something with a little more pizzazz, but don't want any bulk, then the Maxboost Protective Slider is a solid choice, combining just enough protection with some cool colors to give you just what you want: slim sexiness.

This line isn't called the "Vibrance Series" for nothing; these cases come in two color combinations: turquoise and "Champagne Gold" or "Italian Rose" and "Champagne gold." It comes in black, too, but I don't see how that's very "vibrant."

It's got a soft interior to protect from scratches and a grippy exterior, so you're styling and protected with minimal bulk.

See at Amazon


Caseology Skyfall Series

Caseology Skyfall Series

You just know that a case with a James Bond-related name is going to be sleek, sexy, and slim. The Caseology Skyfall Series case is a two-piece with a rubberized cover and harder wraparound edge piece. This case is best for those of you who chose the gold S7, since that outer edging is gold. So, you'll have a seemingly 100 percent clear case.

There are air pockets in each corner of the Caseology Skyfall, so if you drop your S7 from a reasonable height, you probably won't shatter the entire outer layer of your phone.

That harder polycarbonate edging won't impede buttons, since it wraps around your phone behind the buttons.

See at Amazon


Bear Motion

Bear Motion

Looking for customizable minimalism? Then get going with Bear Motion. These cases come in nine colors, with a matte finish, which give them an excellently grippy feel, so you know your phone is protected and won't be slip-sliding out of your hands.

At only 0.3 ounces, these Bear Motion cases add no real bulk to your phone but protect it from drops while leaving the necessary ports, buttons, and sensors open for easy use.

Starting around $6, there's no reason not to give Bear Motion a try, especially if you're after a very thin case that feels great in your hand, looks great on your phone, and adds a splash of color to your S7.

See at Amazon

Sick of cases altogether?

If you just plain hate cases but still feel like your phone is naked and vulnerable, you may want to consider a skin, like the ones Dbrand makes.

Updated April, 2017: Added Spigen Thin Fit at the behest of our readers and removed discontinued cases and those that don't cut the mustard anymore. What remains are still our favorites!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Unlocked AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon

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3 months ago

Protect your LG V20 display for just $15 today

1

The LG V20 has not only one screen to worry about, but two of them, so you should protect them with Gadget Guard's tempered glass screen protector. This tempered glass layer adds safety and protection to your phone, and right now you can pick one up for just $15.

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3 months ago

Best Cases for LG G6

13

What are the best cases for the LG G6?

Update April 7: Added the Caseology Geometric, UAG Plasma and Incipio DualPro to our list.

The LG G6 is finally here! If you're picking one up, you'll definitely want to keep it protected with a good case. With a wide selection of cases available, you can find the perfect case for your new phone to fit your personal style.

Here's our breakdown of some of the best cases you can find for the LG G6.

Caseology Geometric

Caseology's Geometric case is the perfect blend of protective and comfortable, offering two layers of protection — an inner silicone and outer TPU shell — that is covered, on the back, with a grippy geometric pattern.

While all the ports are easily accessible, including the G6's rear fingerprint sensor, the case lips over the front of the phone, protecting it from the front and back. Available in three colors — black, red, and blue — the Geometric case by Caseology is a great addition to your LG G6.

See at Amazon

Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen's Rugged Armor cases are always a great option, offering good protection without adding too much bulk to your phone. It features a premium look with carbon fiber textures on the back, clear cutouts for your ports, camera and fingerprint scanner, as well as all the protective features that Spigen is known for — spiderweb shock absorption on the interior of the case along with Air Cushion Technology in all the corners.

For a case that offers great protection along with a sleek and stylish appearance, you can't go wrong with the Spigen Rugged Armor case for your LG G6.

See at Amazon

Ringke Air Prism

Ringke is known for making some some stylish cases, and this Air Prism is no exception. This one-piece case is made from soft TPU and will provide a perfect fit for your LG G6.

The first thing that you'll notice with this case, however, is the modern geometric texture pattern on the back. Besides looking really cool and offering drop protection, it adds a bunch of great textures to help you maintain a solid grip on your brand new phone. It's available in three color options — black, rose gold, and clear — so pick the perfect style for you.

See at Amazon

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro

If you're the klutzy type who's constantly dropping your phone, you want this rugged case from SUPCASE. This is a two-piece case that features a front plate with a built-in screen protector that, along with the LG G6's waterproofing, will pretty much keep your phone in pristine condition. It features multi-layered protection that combines TPU and polycarbonate materials to create a shock absorbing core and impact resistant bumper.

It also comes with a belt clip holster that swivels 360-degrees, making it a great accessory for anyone who's constantly on the go throughout the day and needs quick access to their phone at all times.

See at Amazon

Trianium Clarium Series Case

The thing about having a new phone is that you want to show it off, right? But not at the expense of leaving it open to damage. That's where a great clear case come in.

Trianium's Clarium Series cases are sleek and minimalist, so if those are important features in a case for you, you'll definitely want to check it out. Your phone will get all around protection from this slim case that also perfectly preserves the look of your LG G6.

See at Amazon


Spigen Thin Fit

If you absolutely hate the idea of using a case because of the added bulk, perhaps you should consider Thin Fit case from Spigen. While it won't offer as much drop protection as the other cases on this list, it will prevent your phones from being scuffed or scratched while in your pocket.

All your ports and side buttons are left wide open, and the case is thin enough to let NFC and wireless charging pass through without issue. Again, if you're looking for a case that offers sound protection, your best to look at other options. But if you're looking for a slim and lightweight case to offer the most basic protection from nicks and scratches, this is your best bet.

See at Amazon


LK Wallet case

Wallet cases are a great option for protecting your phone — as long as you're able to justify the added bulk for the extra convenience of having your phone, cash, cards and ID all in one place.

This wallet case from LK has been perfectly designed for the LG G6, and offers full protection in all four corners via the TPU inner shell along with the protection from the leather exterior You're able to fit three cards along the inside of the front cover, along with a pocket for folded bills. There are ample cutouts for the headphone jack, charging port and fingerprint scanner, and the case also folds up to create a kickstand for your phone for hands-free viewing.

For a classy and versatile case, look no further than this leather wallet case.

See at Amazon

UAG Plasma

UAG is known for making some really great rugged cases for your smartphones. The UAG Plasma case offers a great balance between style and protection.

This composite case is feather-light and combines a translucent hard outer shell with a shock-absorbing soft inner core. With a raised rubber screen lip and rear skid pads, your phone will stay put when you put it down without ever coming into direct contact with anything that might scratch the LG G6's big screen. If you're concerned about the phone slipping out of your hand, this case features so many ridges and texture around the back to help with grip.

On top of all that, UAG has included oversized cutouts around the camera, fingerprint scanner, and ports, so that all your phone's features are unencumbered by the case.

See at Amazon

Incipio DualPro

Rugged protection doesn't have to look so utilitarian. Incipio's DualPro case is a really stylish option that combines a shock absorbing TPE inner core with a sleek and lightweight polycarbonate outer shell that works in tandem to provide great shock protection and protect against scratches and scuffs. The power and volume buttons are covered with raised rubber that's easy to press, and precise cutouts for the camera, charging port, fingerprint scanner, speaker, and headphone jack ensure you're always able to get the most out of your new phone.

The DualPro offers everything you want from a case while keeping a slim and stylish profile, and is available in five different color options. Get yours for your LG G6 today!

See at Amazon

Which case will you get?

How are you planning to keep your LG G6 protected? Let us know in the comments!

LG G6

Verizon Sprint T-Mobile AT&T B&H

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3 months ago

Best Tempered Glass Screen Protectors for the Moto G5 Plus

1

What are the best tempered glass screen protectors for the Moto G5 Plus?

The new Moto G5 Plus is an awesome budget phone with a 5.2-inch LCD screen that's sure to impress — but only if you keep it safe from scratches and cracks.

Your best bet? Buy a tempered glass screen protector.

Sparin tempered glass screen protector (two-pack)

Sparin has consistently produced great tempered glass screen protectors, so you should be good to go with this two-pack of tempered glass screen protectors.

Designed to cover the flat portion of the screen while leaving no unsightly halo around the edges, these leave room around the edges for a case which is good for those looking to completely protect their new phone. You'll also enjoy the 2.5D round edges on these, which are kind on your fingers and looked cleaner when you look up close. This screen protector features cutouts around the ear speaker, front-facing camera and fingerprint sensor, so you'll feel the difference of those softer edges.

This is a dry-install screen protector should go on easy with a bubble-free installation, and thin enough to maintain the full touch sensitivity of the screen.

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Yootech tempered glass screen protector (two-pack)

If you're looking for a tempered glass screen protector that's backed by a lifetime warranty, Yootech has you covered. This two-pack of tempered glass screen protectors are ultra thin at only 0.33mm, with a scratch resistant surface featuring an oleophobic coating.

Featuring precise laser-cut cutouts around the ear speaker, camera, and fingerprint sensor, this kit comes with everything you need for a clean, bubble-free installation including alcohol wipes and dust removing strips.

Spend some time to make sure your get the perfect fit on installation and you're good to go!

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Supershieldz tempered glass screen protector (three-pack)

Two is good, but three is better! This bundle from Supershieldz comes with three tempered glass screen protectors for your Moto G5 Plus. If value is your main goal, you simply can't beat this bundle.

You'll get near edge-to-edge coverage here with enough room to accommodate a case, along with 2.5D edges for a nice smooth feel for your fingers.

Supershieldz are known for making really quality screen protectors that are anti-scratch, hydrophobic, obeophobic and backed by Supershieldz no-hassle lifetime replacement warranty. If you're a serial phone abuser and feel like you might run through more than a couple screen protectors during your phone's life, this is a great, affordable option.

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LK tempered glass screen protector (three-pack)

While the other three options on this list offer a very similar design, this three pack from LK takes a different approach, doing away with the thin ridges around the cutouts and just swooping right down around the ear speaker and camera at the top, and cutting up from the bottom edge around the fingerprint scanner.

On one hand, this leaves more of your screen exposed, but it also should help improve the overall integrity of the screen protector by removing those weak points around the cutouts.

Scratch resistant, shatterproof, and oleophobic, these screen protectors will keep your Moto G5 Plus screen protected, and are backed by a lifetime, no-hassle replacement warranty.

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Moto G5

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3 months ago

Listen to your favorite tunes in the shower or by the pool with this $10 Bluetooth speaker

3

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on a waterproof Bluetooth speaker.

I don't know about you, but I like to listen to music everywhere. In my office, the car, by the pool and even the shower. Right now you can pick up this waterproof Bluetooth speaker from VicTsing for just $9.99 with coupon code LV5Z4QLT, which is a savings of $9 from its regular price. The speaker has a small footprint so it doesn't take up much space, but is designed to still be loud enough to hear over the running water or when using it outside. Battery life won't be much of a concern with this one as it's rated for around 7 hours of playback with the volume at 70%.

The hexagonal shape allows the speaker to be a bit more durable and robust, and it can balance on each side so you can set it down anywhere without worrying. Odds are this deal won't stick around too long, so be sure to grab one now!

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

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