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5 months ago

Best Accessories for Samsung DeX

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Equip your desktop-wannabe with the right peripherals for taking it on the road with the Galaxy S8.

The Samsung DeX helps unlock the desktop experience that's hidden deep within the code in your Galaxy S8 or S8+. If you've purchased one with the intention of getting work done on the road, however, you'll want to equip it with the right stuff. Here are some suggestions on what to grab if you're grabbing the Samsung DeX.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2

The Logitech MX Anywhere 2 wireless mouse has been my favorite since its first-generation iteration many years ago. This portable mouse works anywhere – on a desk, on glass, on high-gloss finishes, and even on your naked knee. It also offer dual wireless connectivity, so you can connect it to the DeX with the tiny Pico Unifying receiver or simply pair it via Bluetooth.

This mouse also features switches on the bottom, so you can pair up to three devices at a time, making it easy to switch between the DeX and your actual desktop computer. Best of all, it doesn't require batteries, and you can easily charge it from any powered USB port with merely a Micro-USB cable.

See at Amazon

Arteck HB030B wireless bluetooth keyboard

In need of something slim and chic that won't break the bank? This Bluetooth-connected keyboard from Arteck features thin chiclet keys and barely weighs 6 ounces. It's compatible with both Mac and PCs, too, and it features seven different backlight colors that you can sort through depending on your mood. When the keyboard is losing steam, you can quickly charge it via the DeX with the included USB charging cable. Arteck even offers a 24-month warranty with purchase.

See at Amazon

Anker SoundBuds slim wireless headphones

Unfortunately, the Samsung DeX dock doesn't come with its own headphone jack, so you'll be stuck listening to music or conducting conference calls through the Galaxy S8's built-in microphone and speakers. But you don't have to get stuck making everyone listen to your life! Get a pair of affordable Bluetooth-connected headphones like the SoundBuds from Anker. They support Bluetooth 4.1 and they're lightweight and thin enough to cart around in your pocket. They're also water-resistant, if that's your sort of thing, and they feature an in-line microphone and remote.

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Tera Grand retractable HDMI cable

Be ready to connect the Samsung DeX to any TV set or monitor you lay your eyes on. This retractable HDMI cable ensures you've always got 4 feet of cord on you when you need it without requiring too much room in your bag. This HDMI cable also supports resolutions up to 4K, if you're into that sort of thing, as well as dual direction 1080p. Best of all, it's cheap enough if you want to get a couple of them to toss into the emergency cords box somewhere in your house. (I know you've got one. We've all got one.)

See at Amazon

Bagsmart Electronics Travel Organizer

You don't need to bring a bag like this on the road with you to hold your stuff, but it is a good idea if you plan to travel with the Samsung DeX. This organizer case from Bagsmart is made of durable and water-repellant nylon and features well-passed covers. There's also two longer and one shorter velcro divider packed on the inside so that you can customize your own compartments, as well as a zipper section with a small SD card pouch.

See at Amazon

Got a suggestion of your own?

Leave it in the comments and we might include it the next time we update this page!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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5 months ago

Red, white and blue sale: Save 25% on Android accessories!

In honor of the brave men and women who gave their lives for our country, we're offering 25% off all Android accessories at ShopAndroid.

Starting today until Wednesday, May 31, you can pick up a new case, quick charger, screen protector or wireless charger for your Android device and enjoy a 20% savings by using coupon code: MD17 at checkout. There's an extensive selection of Android accessories to choose from, along with a convenient 60-day return policy and free shipping on all orders over $50 in the US and Canada.

Save big on accessories for the latest devices including the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, Google Pixel and OnePlus 3. Haven't upgraded just yet? No problem — we're fully stocked on accessories for favorites like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S7, Droid Turbo 2 and many more!

Take your time, browse, and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

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6 months ago

Best Screen Protectors for Samsung Gear Fit 2

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Best Screen Protectors for Samsung Gear Fit 2

What's the best screen protector for Gear Fit 2?

The Samsung Geart Fit 2 is a smart fitness tracker with a long display that can get scuffed and marked while you work out. If you'd like to keep your wearable's screen blemish-free, pick up one of these screen protectors.

RinoGear

RinoGear's Shield screen protector for the Gear Fit 2 is as clear as they come, highly rated on Amazon, and so inexpensive that you can't afford not to get one — it's about $2 for an eight-pack.

This military-grade film is self-healing and flexible TPU, which will keep your Gear Fit 2's screen scratch-free. If the screen protector starts to look a little worn, grab another from the eight-pack and easily install it using a convenient and simple wet-install method.

See at Amazon

Spectre Shield

Spectre Shield's screen protector allows for full touch sensitivity and won't cloud up your Gear Fit 2's display. Spectre Shield promises that your wearable will feel like it's wearing nothing at all, thanks to a natural-feeling, proprietary material.

Spectre Shield protectors are laser cut and install easily with the liquid application method, which allows you to adjust things during installation, making sure you get it perfectly lined up. An eight-pack is around $2.

See at Amazon

Illumi AquaShield

Illumi's two-pack of Gear Fit 2 screen protectors comes with a lifetime warranty so that you can buy with confidence knowing your protector is backed up for good. This military-grade TPU features a UV-resistant layer to prevent yellowing over time, and once installed and dried, Illumi promises a glass-like finish that's smooth, bubble-free, and frictionless.

See at Amazon


Your favorite?

Have you found another great Gear Fit 2 screen protector? Sound off in the comments below.

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6 months ago

Best Third Party Watch Bands for Moto 360 (2015)

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Best third party watch bands for the Moto 360

Don't like that plain leather band that you got with your Moto 360? Strap on one of these!

Updated May 2017: These are still the best third-party bands for the Moto 360.

The Moto 360 (2015) comes with a pretty nice leather band on its own, but if you're looking to give it an upgrade — or just a new style — we've rounded up some of the best third-party watch straps for your strapping smartwatch!

Important Note: Make sure you know the size of band you will need for your Moto 360! The Moto 360 2nd Gen comes in three different sizes that require three different watch band widths.

  • Men's 42mm case uses a 20 millimeter band.
  • Men's 46mm case uses a 22 millimeter band.
  • Women's 42mm case uses a 16 milimeter band.

With that in mind, we have rounded up some of the best third party wristbands for the Moto 360 that we could find. We divided them up into the material they're made of, so you can focus on the type you really want.

Leather

We know that the Moto 360 already comes with a leather band, but that doesn't mean you don't want a different one. Whether you want a different color, a different thickness, or just one that you think looks nicer, leather bands are definitely worth checking out.

MOTONG genuine leather band

MOTONG genuine leather band

This leather band is a little more defined than the one that ships with the Moto 360. The stitching along the sides and the two-toned wash really makes this band pop when it's on your wrist.

It only comes in the one size (17.5cm) so it may potentially feel too tight or too loose on your wrist. The good thing about leather is it's easy enough to poke an extra hole or two to make sure you get the right fit.

See at Amazon


Hadley-Roma genuine leather strap

If you want a band that stands out a little more than the stock Moto 360 leather band, Hadley-Roma's band has a really nice look to it. The leather is worked to look slightly worn and the stitching along the band is very contrasted to give the band a defined look.

It also comes treated with a water-resistant coating that is useful to help prevent sweat and light amounts of rain from wrecking the leather.

See at Amazon


Sport

Typically made out of silicone, sport bands are ideal for people who are very active. The bands are waterproof and very tear-resistant.

VIMVIP silicone sports watch band

This is a pretty typical sports band that's made out of silicone, so you can rest assured that your sweat won't ruin it, which makes it perfect for working out.

The band itself doesn't look like anything special, but it does have the added bonus of an inside texture. This means the band doesn't wriggle around and can still allow air to move in between your skin and the watch.

See at Amazon


Lwsengme silicone band

If you want a sports band that will stick out from the crowd, look no further than the Lwsengme silicone band.

Its textured silicone gives it the look and feel of a high-end watch strap at a fraction of the price. Its stainless steel clasp and quick release system will make sure you can swap this out anytime you need. Lwsengme silicone bands comes in a few different color combinations, and the holes in the band aren't just for securing the watch to your wrist — they also increase air flow allowing you to wear the band longer without risk of skin irritation.

See at Amazon


Barton Quick Release soft rubber band

As mentioned by the user "tlaswell" in the comments below, Barton's quick release band is perfect for people looking to change bands often.

Barton's soft rubber band has a slightly textured inside, meaning air can flow between your skin and the band providing extra comfort for extend periods of use. The rubber is durable and washable, so you never have to worry about keeping it looking clean.

Barton's quick release comes in a variety of colors, such as Black, White, Slate Gray, Aqua Blue, and more. The bands are also available in all the Moto 360 sizes —16mm, 20mm, and 22mm — so you can find the perfect fit for your Moto 360.

See at Amazon

Metal

Metal bands are super durable and very stylish. An excellent way to make your Moto 360 look high-end and polished.

GOOQ stainless steel metal band

A metal watch band doesn't always have to mean links. GOOQ's watch band is made from a stainless steel mesh, which gives it a neat textured look and feel. The great thing about the mesh is arm hair doesn't get pinched inside it, which makes moving the watch around on your wrist much more comfortable.

The clasp is also made of stainless steel which makes this whole band pretty rust-resistant. The durability of the metal will also help it from showing any wear and tear.

See at Amazon


Fitian stainless steel band

The Fitian's metal band we've featured here is your more classic metal band. It's comprised of stainless steel links and connected by two spring pins that are easy to install. This is your classic metal band that you just can't go wrong with.

See at Amazon


MODE Bands

MODE band

MODE bands were just released from Google and they get rid of the hassle of dealing with those tiny pins all the time. They might just be the easiest bands you have ever installed! This neat video on the MODE site, shows you just how simple clipping one of these to you Moto 360 actually is.

To use them all you have to do is replace the original pin that is on your Moto 360 and then add the MODE pin. From there it's just a matter of sliding your MODE band over the pin, and locking it shut!

Hadley Roma is the only company making the MODE bands right now, and they start around $50. Don't forget, want size band you will need.

See at Google

Moto 360 (2015)

Motorola Best Buy

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6 months ago

Tracking your pet with TrackR creates a false sense of security

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Using a TrackR device to keep tabs on your pet works, although it's not as convenient and easy as you may expect it to be.

It's spring time, which means we're all itching to get outside and enjoy the warm sun — and that goes double for your pets. Whether you try to keep close tabs on your pet or keep them fenced in your backyard, there's always a risk that your furry friend might make a break for it and go for a wander around the neighborhood.

Few moments are more nerve-wracking as when you realize your pet is lost.

Few moments are more nerve-wracking as when you realize your pet is lost. It was the fear of that moment that inspired me to test out using the TrackR Bravo as a means of keep tabs on my feisty feline — and assist me in tracking her down if she manages to get out.

TrackR produces a line of small and simple-to-use tracking devices that use Bluetooth and your smartphone using the TrackR app. It's slim enough to be tossed in a wallet or added to a keychain so that you can track down those vital items if you misplace them in your home.

What I found is that the TrackR technology certainly works for tracking pets, but not quite at the level was hoping it would.

Great in theory, flawed in practice

Setting up the TrackR in the Android app is easy. You're able to add and manage multiple trackers with labels for different items you may want to track — including pets!

So I went in, set up my tracker for my cat Shelley and then attached it to her harness. Given the slim size of the tracker, she barely noticed it was there which is great. It really does just look like any other dog tag, so we were off to a great start.

The TrackR Bravo's size makes it ideal for adding it to your pet's collar.

Once I was all set up, it was time to run my first tests. I threw the cat outside — and by that I mean I opened the back door as she darted between my legs — and went back to my office to work, with the TrackR app open at my side. From my window, I could still see my cat exploring the backyard, and could also see her location on my phone.

I did this same thing for a few days before it finally happened: I looked outside and Shelley was nowhere to be found. "Great," I thought, "now is the perfect time to really test the TrackR app."

So I loaded it up and… the cat and TrackR were out of range of my phone's Bluetooth radio. I was able to see her last tracked location, which was in my backyard about five minutes before I noticed she was missing, so I knew she couldn't have gone far. And lo and behold, when I opened the back gate, there she was waiting to be let back into the back yard. I found it took a bit of time for the app to reconnect with the TrackR again.

In the tracker settings, you're able to turn on features like "Device Separation Alert", which will have the TrackR alarm ring if you leave it behind — or in this case, when it walks out of range from your phone. But due to warnings of false alerts and increased battery consumption I left that feature off as it didn't seem like it would be effective for my needs.

Ideally, I was hoping the pet settings would include a feature that let me set an acceptable location range for the tracker, and if the app detects the TrackR has left that outlined parameters I get a warning alerting me that my cat is trying to make a break for it. Unfortunately, it seems like the pet icon is nothing more than a label, and the app treats a TrackR Bravo attached to your pet's collar the same way it would a set of keys.

It's better if we work together!

TrackR sporting some battle scars after Shelley's great escape.

All told, using the TrackR on my pet didn't work the way I expected it would, though my expectations were probably set a little too high going in. It does give me some added peace of mind, though, that if she does get out and lost I've got some technology to help track her down, and for that reason, I'm going to keep it on her collar going forward.

The crowdsourcing feature has the potential to be really useful — as long as TrackR beats out the competition.

This actually brings me to a key feature built into TrackR that will be really helpful if you plan to use their technology to track your pets — crowdsourcing. Like competitor Tile, TrackR relies on its users to create a sort of network of devices around your city or area to help pinpoint the location of its trackers. So let's say your dog runs away, but your neighbor down the block has the TrackR app on his or her phone. In theory, their phone will recognize your dog's TrackR and update its last known whereabouts in your app.

To this end, if you're planning on using a TrackR device to track your pet, your best bet may be to try and coordinate with other pet owners in your neighborhood to get them in on the plan with their own TrackRs, or at the very least have the app running on their phone. The more devices running the TrackR app, the better the odds of getting updated pings if your pet gets loose.

Beyond that, if you don't want your cat or dog to run away, common sense pet ownership still reigns supreme. Tie your cat up with a harness if you want to give them some unsupervised time outside, or better yet keep an eye on them yourself and enjoy some quality time outside.

See at Amazon

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6 months ago

Mophie's Juice Pack for the Pixel XL adds Qi wireless charging

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Just because you chose Google's Android over every other rendition doesn't mean you should be left out of the wireless fun.

Mophie has concocted a clever solution for those of you who may adore your Pixel XL smartphones, but have been secretly ruing the day you abandoned your wireless charging privileges. The newly released Juice Pack case for the Pixel XL not only tacks on an additional 2950mAh battery, but it also adds Qi wireless charging capabilities.

The Juice Pack offers protective covering and up to 50 hours of additional talk time, claims Mophie. You can charge both the battery pack and the Pixel XL's internal battery via a Qi wireless charging pad, though Mophie also mentions compatibility with "other wireless systems." If you need even faster charging, you can plug in a USB Type-C cable instead and Juice Pack will prioritize re-juicing the Pixel XL first.

Perhaps the only drawback of the Juice Pack is that it tacks on an additional 3.8 ounces to your current load, making the Pixel XL an even bigger device. But if you need the extra energy and like the idea of tapping to charge, the Mophie Juice Pack for the Pixel XL sells for nearly $100.

See at Mophie

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6 months ago

Your sweat won't affect these $10 Bluetooth headphones

5

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with some extremely affordable Bluetooth headphones you should try!

If you've been considering making the move to Bluetooth headphones but don't want to spend a ton to try them out, this may be the perfect set for you. Right now you can pick up Mpow's sweatproof Bluetooth headphones for just $9.99 with coupon code WQMZZ4LE, which is a savings of $23. Keep in mind that at this price you won't be getting Bose quality headphones, but if you are looking to try something out, or need a new set of headphones for the gym, these may be perfect for the job.

The headphones are lightweight and comfortable, and the non-slip rubber ear hooks help keep them in place. Odds are you can find sillier ways to spend $10 today, so why not give these headphones a shot!

See at Amazon

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

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6 months ago

Chromebook Keyboard Buyer's Guide

7

The best keyboard you can buy for your Chromebook or Chromebox.

Like most any other laptop, your Chromebook works great with an external keyboard. It's incredibly easy to use an external display, mouse, and keyboard if you work or play from a desk and Chrome does a great job mirroring to a monitor or having one as an extended display. All you need is the right parts!

Chrome OS supports any USB (wired or wireless) or Bluetooth keyboard. There are differences in the default keyboard layout across the function keys and the addition of a dedicated search key (the Windows key on a standard 104-key keyboard will act as a search key) but you won't have any trouble typing out a web search or a term paper. We've looked at a lot of keyboards for your Chromebook and Chromebox, and here's what we think are the best ones to use.

Best overall

Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

The Logitech K380 is not a dedicated Chrome OS keyboard, but even with that in mind, we think this is the best overall purchase for a Chromebook or Chromebox user because it works with everything and switching between up to three devices is as easy as pressing a button.

This compact keyboard has roomy keys with great feedback for typing and it automatically adapts so that the keys support the operating system of whatever it's paired with. All of your keyboard shortcuts work exactly as you would expect, even if what's printed on the key itself isn't what you would see on your Chromebook.

Pair it with up to three devices at once; Chrome OS, Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV and Steam OS are all supported. You'll never need another keyboard for any of your devices.

See at Amazon

Best for Chrome OS

ASUS Chromebox Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Set

Built specifically for ASUS' Chromeboxes, this set (there's a Bluetooth mouse included) has the right keycaps for your Chromebook.

The keys are roomy and the battery life is great. It's also easy to connect to your Chromebook or Chromebox with a wireless USB receiver that supports both the keyboard and mouse. If you want a dedicated Chrome keyboard with the keycaps labeled so you won't ever have to look up a keyboard shortcut, this is the one to buy.

See at ASUS

Best value

Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

We mentioned that any USB or Bluetooth keyboard works fine with your Chromebook, and that means Logitech's excellently priced (around $20 US) combo will work out of the box.

A single 2.4GHz nano receiver (this is not the Logitech Unifying Receiver found on more expensive products) gives a 10-foot connection range and there are no drivers or additional software to fool with. Plug the receiver in and power on the keyboard, then you're good to go. Besides the great price tag, the MK270 has excellent battery life. A pair of AAA batteries provide about 6,000,000 keystrokes and the mouse battery (one AA) last up to 24 months.

This is a basic keyboard and mouse that will definitely get the job done, and it's our best pick for people in search of value.

See at Amazon

More: Best wireless mice for Chromebooks

Chromebooks

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6 months ago

Repair & upgrade your own gear with this 45-piece tech toolkit

2

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a tech toolkit that could help you save more money repairing the stuff you love!

The 45-piece TEKTON Tech Rescue Toolkit has dropped to $19. That's its lowest price in more than six months and second-lowest in its pricing history. It might not be a radical drop from its normal $25 price, but consider how much money you can save repairing your own computers or watches with the tools available in this kit.

Not quite into the self-repair game but sort of want to be now that you've seen this? Check out iFixit. It's a website all about repairing all that stuff you own. It's a great way to get started.

The kit comes with everything you'll need to access smartphones, laptops, and even video game controllers. Here's everything the set comes with, in case you're looking for something specific:

  • 3-pc. Flat: 1, 1.5, 2.5 mm
  • 6-pc. Phillips: #000, #00, #0, #1, #0 x 3 in., #1 x 3 in.
  • 3-pc. Star: T3, 4, 5
  • 8-pc. Tamper-Resistant Star: TR6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, TR6 x 3 in., TR8 x 3 in.
  • 2-pc. Tri-Wing: TRI 0, 1
  • 3-pc. Pentalobe: PL 0.8, 1.2, 1.5 mm
  • 4-pc. Triangle: TA18, 20, 23, 27
  • 3-pc. Hex: 1.3, 1.5, 2 mm
  • 5-pc. Nut Drivers: 3, 3.5, 4, 5, 6.5 mm (1/4 in.)
  • 1-pc. Aluminum screwdriver
  • 1-pc. ESD-safe tweezers
  • 1-pc. Flexible metal spudger
  • 1-pc. Nylon spudger/probe
  • 1-pc. 3-corner spudger
  • 1-pc. 35 mm suction cup
  • 1-pc. Magnetic parts mat
  • 1-pc. Zipper case

See at Amazon

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

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6 months ago

Best Earbuds With Microphone Under $20

36

Cheap can be good and these earbuds prove it.

Update May 2017: We've added the excellent Monoprice Hi-Fi Reflective Sound Earbuds as our choice for best sound.

A headset — earphones or earbuds (or even a single earbud) with a microphone and controls — is a different beast than a set of earbuds or headphones without a mic. For starters, not every set works with every brand of phone once you add the third wire. You need to make sure what you're buying is made specifically for one brand (Blackberry and Apple come to mind) and will work with Android when you need to answer calls and adjust the volume. And when products are cheap, there are literally thousands of choices to wade through.

We searched around the internet to see who was using what and why they liked or disliked them, then ordered a handful of headsets that seemed to be better than average. Here are your five best, including the overall winner.

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6 months ago

Everything you can do with the PlayStation Aim controller

A full controller pretending to be a move controller.

The PlayStation Aim controller was built to bring a new layer of immersion to PlayStation VR games where you're shooting anything that moves, but it's good for much more than feeling like a gun when you can't see the real world. It's got the functionality of a DualShock controller in an entirely new format, and we have the details on everything it can do here.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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6 months ago

This 3-pack of Anker PowerLine USB-C cables is down to just $14

2

Our friends at Thrifter are back again with a great deal on a 3-pack of durable USB-C cables!

Making the move from a phone that charges via Micro-USB to USB-C can be a bit of a pain since you have to replace all your cables. Anker, one of our favorite accessory makers, is here to help with the transition, though. The company is currently offering a 3-pack of its popular PowerLine USB-C cables for just $13.99 at Amazon, which is a savings of $4 from its regular price. This effectively means you are paying around $4.66 per cable, which is a great price.

Anker's PowerLine cables are ultra-durable and they should last around 5 times longer than others, so you won't need to worry about being rough on these. Each cable is 3 feet long, which should be plenty for most. If you've got cables that you don't want to replace, you could also check out this 2-pack of Micro-USB to USB-C adapters for just $7.99.

Whether you recently made the switch, have made the switch a while ago and still need more cables, or will be doing it in the near future, you won't want to miss out on this deal.

See at Amazon

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6 months ago

Best Ways to Keep Your Galaxy S8 Camera Lens Clean

5

If there's one thing wrong with the Galaxy S8, it's the placement of that fingerprint scanner so close to the camera.

I'm not about to rehash all that's been written about the placement of the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8, but needless to say, if you're using that feature to unlock your phone, your finger is going to frequently tap on the camera lens.

Maybe your fingers will develop the muscle memory to find the fingerprint scanner and avoid the camera, but if not we've got some product recommendations that will help you keep that camera lens crystal clear and, in turn, help you to take better pictures.

Use a case to guide your hand

Not only are cases great for keeping your Galaxy S8 protected, the cutout around the camera and fingerprint scanner provide a very handy guide for your finger to find the scanner and avoid the camera lens.

All of Samsung's proprietary cases have even more precise cutouts around the camera and fingerprint scanner individually, which would further help to cut down on accidentally pressing the camera lens.

Looking for more case recommendations? We've got you covered!

READ: Best Cases for the Galaxy S8

Keep a microfiber cloth handy

If you're finding your camera lens is always getting smudged up, you may want to pick up a few microfiber clothes to keep in your bag or pocket to give your lens a quick wipe before you start snapping photos.

Sure, you could and probably do use your sleeve or the bottom of your shirt to wipe it in a pinch, but you'll want to ensure there's no dust or debris on your shirt because that might cause some microabrasions on the lens instead, and then fingerprint smudges are the least of your problems.

Considering how many devices you probably own that could use a good wipe down every now and again, it's never a bad idea to have a few microfiber clothes kicking around as it is. Amazon's own line of products, Amazon Basics, has some really good deals on microfiber clothes. You can get a three-pack of thick microfiber clothes for around $5. They also sell them in bulk batches if you're planning to stock up for your whole family, and they're also reasonably priced.

See at Amazon

Buy a screen cleaning kit

If you're an absolute clean freak and the idea of smudges anywhere on your phone gives you the heebie-jeebies, then you might as well go ahead and invest in a screen cleaning kit to keep your phone and all your other tech clean.

We tried the Whoosh Screen Shine kit and it worked pretty well. It includes non-toxic cleaning solution that helps keep fingerprints off your screen and by extension your camera lens as well. The kit we've linked below includes two sizes of spray bottles along with two microfiber clothes — everything you need to keep your phone looking shiny, clean and, most important of all, smudge-free.

See at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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6 months ago

Everything Flo is packing in her Gear Bag for Google I/O 2017

6

It's basically just sunscreen and some phones.

If there's one thing that stuck with me after attending last year's Google I/O, it's to always wear sunscreen. If you've ever had to carry a giant bag full of things on top of sunburned shoulders, then you know the pain. And that pain is not fun to have lingering around when you'd rather be soaking up developer sessions and checking out the latest Android-based demonstrations.

This year, I'm packing a ton of sunscreen. Bottles of it. I'm bringing the spray kind, the lotion kind, and some for my face — I'll probably slather a bunch in my scalp, for the days I forget my hat. I'm packing a couple of other neccesary things, too — a laptop, a couple of smartphones— but I'm attempting to keep it my kit as concise and as whittled down to the necessary as possible so that I've enough room to carry all that sunscreen.

The bag: Something I bought off of AliExpress

I couldn't do the Timbuk2 Classic Messenger anymore. The more gear I'd cram into it, the more my back seemed to ache for days after merely an hour with it on. So, I switched to this little backpack I found on AliExpress a few months ago, though it's quickly turned into one of my favorite carry-all. And it was pretty affordable, too!

This off-brand bag is big enough to fit my MacBook Pro and Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Insert (the link takes you to the new version of the product). There's also a front pocket that fits my phone and my wallet perfectly, and there's enough room inside to store rolled-up sweater, too. Google I/O will likely be in the upper digits towards the mid-afternoon but at night fall it can get pretty chilly in the South Bay.

Also inside: So much sunscreen

As a pale-skinned woman who burns considerably after only minutes in the sun, I've gotten into the habit of carrying some very heavy duty sunscreen. My favorite is the Alba Botanica Hawaiian sunscreen. It smells nice and it's water resistant, and it's kept me protected through various hikes through the California Redwoods and beyond. It's also available in spray form, which is convenient for quick touchups throughout the day.

On my face, I wear Tarte Guard Sunscreen, which offers all the protection without the grease. But if you're put off by the bright pink bottle, Dr. Jart's Every Sun Day UV Sunscreen is a great Korean-made alternative that's also dermatologist-tested and cruelty-free.

See at Amazon

The phone: Pixel XL

I remember last year, I was already struggling with the Nexus 6P around this time — I vividly remember pulling over while navigating around Mountain View because the phone had randomly shut down in the middle of my route. You can bet there was plenty of screaming and cursing happening that day.

I don't expect to run into the same issue with the Pixel XL, but that's because it's been so consistent since I adopted it last October. I know that I can trust it to post to Twitter, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat without shutting down on me, as well as provide ample battery life for answering the barrage of Hangouts messages and emails I'll be fielding throughout the entire week. It also takes the best photos, and it's the only phone I have in my arsenal with the absolute latest version of Android.

See at Google

The smartwatch: LG Watch Style

To be very honest with you, faithful Android users, I've long since ditched Android Wear 2.0 for the hybrid Fossil Q (also pictured here) because I don't like having to charge a watch every single night. But during major event weeks, I'll switch to the LG Watch Style, which is one of the most comfortable smartwatches for those with smaller wrists. I like to have the notifications pop up as they appear, not to mention it's much more convenient to respond with a simple "ok" on Android Wear than it is to always have my phone in my hand.

See at Google

The other computer: Samsung DeX

I'm not actually planning to use the Samsung Galaxy S8+ to cover Google I/O. I'm actually bringing it to test out the Samsung DeX, which I'll be using in my Mountain View hotel room to decompress at the end of each day. I'm impressed with what I'm seen from Samsung's "desktop experience" thus far, but the real test will be whether it makes sense for me to travel with a mouse, keyboard, and HDMI cable in tow, too.

See at Best Buy

Other gear and accessories

There are a couple of other necessities I'm packing with me. My battery pack this year will be the AUKEY 20,000 mAh solar-powered battery pack, which is quite dense and will certainly add a bit of weight to my bag. But it's got multiple ports for the crew to charge along, and I never have to worry about it running out of juice as long as the sun is still shining.

I'm also bringing along a Polaroid wide-angle lens, which easily screws on to the existing 40mm lens already affixed to my Canon SL1. This makes it so that I can widen the shot of the crazy sculptures placed throughout the Shoreline and switch back to the pancake lens when I need to snap a photo of a screen, for instance.

Coming to Google I/O?

Are you making the trek to Mountain View for Google's annual developer conference? Leave a comment and tell us what you're packing for the event!

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6 months ago

Google Store now offering free $35 case with Pixel XL purchase

11

Everyone likes free stuff — especially from Google.

Now that Google seems to have some Pixel XLs back in stock on the Google Store, it's running a limited-time promotion to hand out a free case with each purchase. If you go to buy a Pixel XL, you can just add one of Google's silicone cases in a variety of colors to your cart and see a $35 discount applied automatically. There's no specific end date on the deal, as it's simply listed "while supplies last" — but as we know, that may not be long when it comes to the Pixel XL.

The deal is only available for the Pixel XL, and only for the $35 silicone case — which is interesting, because it could easily get away with letting people pick up the cheaper $30 hard plastic case for free instead. But either way, we can't look this gift horse in the mouth. Perhaps the knowledge that the Pixel XL is in stock and you're getting a free case will be enough for people to buy,

See at Google Store

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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