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1 week ago

Google Pixel Buds shipping now to early buyers

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Estimated delivery is set for sometime next week.

Although the Pixel 2 was the star of Google's October 4 hardware event, there were plenty of other gadgets and gizmos that the company had to show off – one of which was the Pixel Buds. The Pixel Buds are Google's first shot at wireless headphones, and they're finally shipping out to those with early preorders.

Android Police first caught wind of this, and it looks like orders that were made on October 4 should arrive between November 16 and 17 (if not sooner depending on your location and the type of shipping that you chose).

The Just Black and Clearly White Pixel Buds are currently back in stock on the Google Store as well, each with a price of $159 and estimated to ship out in five or six weeks. As for the great-looking Kinda Blue option, this is unfortunately still sold out.

Between the unique design and real-time translation through Google Translate, the Pixel Buds are shaping up to be one of the more interesting wireless headphone options of the year. It remains to be seen if the Buds will truly be worth their high price, but with orders finally shipping out, that question will be answered soon.

See at Google Store

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1 week ago

Deal: Jaybird Freedom wireless headphones are just $49

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The headphones usually cost $149

Black Friday will be here before you know it, and while some sales will be reserved specifically for that day, there are a lot of deals that have already begun so you can start doing some early Christmas shopping right now.

Best Buy is one retailer that's running early Black Friday sales, and one of the best ones we've seen so far is a $100 discount on the Jaybird Freedom wireless headphones.

The Freedoms usually cost $149, and while they aren't the newest wireless headphones around, it's hard to find anything to complain about with them for as little as $49. Jaybird promises 8-hours of battery life between the headphones themselves and the included battery pack, a sweat-resistant design is perfect for jamming out to your tunes while at the gym, and you have full control of your listening experience through Jaybird's MySound app.

Add all of this together with a sleek design, numerous wing and ear-tips to help you get the perfect fit, and a free carrying pouch, and the Jaybird Freedoms are a steal at this price.

It's unclear just how long this deal will last, so we recommend jumping on it as soon as you can to make sure you don't miss out.

See at Best Buy

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1 week ago

Sphero Mini is the best $50 you can spend on your kids this year

1

I'm loving this little ball of fun, and at $50, it's one of the best toys you can add to your (or your kid's) collection.

This past week, my life has been consumed by a particular game that has nothing to do with an erstwhile plumber with a magical hat.

No, the game is a ball, a literal ball, that moves with the help of some innovative tech and a very cool Android app. It's Sphero Mini, a pint-sized version of the popular Sphero robot that has been delighting people for years. At $50, it's less than half the price of the regular version, and while it doesn't have the same overall capabilities and battery life, I've found it to be just as enjoyable.

See at Amazon

What is it?

Sphero Mini is a small motorized sphere and uses magnets, sensors and a bunch of programmatic magic to respond to movement from a smartphone app. The Mini is considerably smaller than the mainline version, and as a result can zip through corners and under couches (and more easily annoy pets) than its larger counterpart ever could.

Who's it for?

Sphero Mini is aimed at kids, and that's reinforced by its cutesy packaging, neon color options (blue, orange, green, pink, and one) and straightforward charging options. That guidance also extends to the app, which in addition to controlling the little sphere with a virtual joystick also encourages kids (and kids at heart) to use facial expressions to move the ball up, down, left, and right.

What can you do with it?

Drive it! When I was young, I loved remote-control cars, and Sphero Mini is the next step in that gaming evolution. Instead of winding up a Matchbox Car and letting 'er rip, this little thing lets you ride around for around an hour on a full charge, doing tricks and smashing into things (or knocking down the small bowling pins that come in the box), which on their own is a lot of fun.

But there's also three games included in the app, allowing you to use the Sphero as a controller to accomplish tasks. It's fun and rewarding, and teaches kids that there can be a physical element to virtual play. The company promises more games in the near future, too, which is exciting.

I heard you can program with it, too

Yep! Sphero is interesting because it uses its robots to teach kids how to code using a simple-to-understand language and a familiar app-based interface.

Available through the Sphero Edu app, the idea is to help kids understand the basics of coding using macros and templates that make the Sphero perform tricks or recall an obstacle course.

It's the best $50 you can spend on your kids this year

I'm not going to lie — I've used the Sphero Mini a lot in recent weeks, but one of my favorite moments was giving it to my five-year-old niece and watching her go wild with it. From the ridiculous Face Drive feature (which isn't accurate but it's terribly fun) to the built-in games (with more to come) the Sphero Mini is great value.

See at Amazon

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

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1 week ago

These are the 8 thinnest cases we could find for the Galaxy Note 8

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What's the thinnest case for Galaxy Note 8?

It's a good idea to protect your big ol' Note 8 with a case, but you don't have to give up the slim form factor in the process. These are the absolute thinnest cases we could find for Galaxy Note 8!

It's almost like your phone is… Naked?

Bare cases are super thin, and make your phone feel like it's wearing nothing at all… nothing at all… nothing at all. $30!

In the vacuum of space, no one can see how thin your case is

But you can, down here with the Jupiter Lights case for $10.

Spigen Thin Fit — that pretty much says it right there

Blue, gold, black, or gray, and yours for $10.

A case like skin for your phone — that's Peel

Black, gray, or silver. Match it and grab it for $25.

Sexy and sophisticated slenderness

At least that's what I'm guessing based on the hot dude in the promo image. Either way it's $10 on Amazon.

Love thin

By Love Ying. Clear and oh so skinny minnie. $8 on Amazon.

Go the the source

Not the store, but like the source of the phone. Like Samsung. Samsung makes this case. $19 on Amazon.

Finding a thin case is a mSnap

Black, turquoise, and rose gold because why not. This slim-hipped little minx is $10 on Amazon.

Got a great thin case of your own?

Sound off in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Best Buy

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2 weeks ago

Essential 360 Camera can now livestream to Facebook

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Essential 360 Camera + Facebook Live 360 = ❤

One of the biggest draws for Andy Rubin's Essential Phone is the two-pin connection system on the back that allows for modular accessories. Unfortunately, for the time being, the only one that's available is the company's 360 Camera. Essential's snap-on 360 camera is actually pretty good, but one area where it's been lacking since its release is proper app support.

Thankfully, with the latest update to the Essential 360 Camera, you can now livestream videos in 360-degrees to Facebook Live 360. This is a feature we've been eagerly anticipating, and accessing it is quite simple.

You can livestream to Facebook Live 360 right through the camera app.

Once the Essential 360 Camera is connected to your Essential Phone, go to the 360 Live page once its companion app opens up and then tap on the red "Live" icon. Add your Facebook account details, allow the Camera to have the necessary permissions, and then choose who you want to be able to see your livestream.

You can type in a description if you'd like, and from here, tapping the red "Live" icon again will then start the Facebook Live 360 stream. When you're ready to stop, tap the square "Stop" button.

We're still waiting for 360-degree livestream support for YouTube and Twitter, but until then, this is undoubtedly a welcome addition.

Essential Phone

Amazon Best Buy Sprint Telus

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2 weeks ago

Beoplay M3 is the cheapest in-home B&O Play speaker yet at $299

2

A well-rounded offering of premium design and high-quality sound.

If you're a fan of really high-quality speakers, chances are you're familiar with the B&O Play brand. B&O Play was created as a way for Bang & Olufsen to sell speakers to consumers that were still premium but didn't cost $40,000, and the new Beoplay M3 is the cheapest in-home speaker from the company that we've seen yet.

The M3 features a price tag of $299, and while that might still sound like a lot to some people, it's a lot more affordable than the M5 and its $599 cost.

At first glance, the M3 looks really nice. The cylindrical design with a flat top/bottom and fabric or metal speaker grill on the front all come together to create for a speaker that should fit in nicely with any decor, and this point is further reinforced with the subdued Natural and Black color options.

As for the audio tech packed inside the M3, you'll get a 3.75-inch subwoofer, 0.75-inch tweeter, and front-facing directional speakers. That's not nearly as powerful or impressive as the M5's 5-inch woofer, three 0.75-inch tweeters, and 360-degree sound output, but for $300 less, you've got to expect some downgrades.

Despite the M3's lower price, it still supports Chromecast built-in, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and B&O Play's Beoplay Multiroom system. You can also control the M3 using the Beoplay app, but you unfortunately won't find Spotify Connect here.

The M3 starts out at $299, but you can go up to $358 and $368 depending on which cover you choose.

See at B&O Play

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2 weeks ago

Best Bluetooth Trackers

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Best Bluetooth trackers to make sure you don't lose your keys — or anything else!

Which Bluetooth trackers are the best at keeping track of keys and other household items? Here are our top picks!

Time was you'd lose track of your keys and waste precious minutes or even hours scouring the house or office for them. Now, though, you have phones and you have Bluetooth. Put them together and you have Bluetooth trackers that go on your keys — or any other household or office item — and connect to your phone. That way, if what you're tracking ever gets lost, you're only an app and tap away from quickly, cooly finding them again. Here are our favorites!

Tile Mate

Tile Mate

The easy-to-use Tile app allows you to find your keys (or anything else you've put a Tile on) on a map or have them make a sound so you can hunt them down.

The 100-foot Bluetooth range means you won't be too far away to find what you need, and since you can connect up to 10 Tiles to one phone, you can everything you need as well. If your keyring Tile is out of the 100-foot range, you can activate a wider search which anonymously uses the growing community of Tile users to scan for your missing Tile.

Tile is waterproof with a battery that last for up to one year, after which you will be sent replacement Tiles at a reduced cost. Check it out at Amazon for about $25.

See at Amazon

Chipolo Plus

Chipolo Plus

The Chipolo Plus is (for all intents and purposes) a Tile Mate clone. It's about the same height and width as the Tile Mate — it's just a circle instead of a square. That being said, it has an excellent, loud alarm (around 100dB), so you'll likely be able to find it anywhere in your house, and it has a battery life of about a year. The battery isn't replaceable, but Chipolo has a discounted renewal service to help you out.

Chipolo Plus is water-resistant at an IP5 rating, so it can withstand some splashing and even jets of water. Just don't submerge it. The handy Chipolo app can give you a fairly accurate location of your lost item, and if you're out of range, it'll show you where you had it last.

Chipolo Plus comes in seven vibrant colors, which makes it a lovely little keychain accessory. You can buy a 1-, 4-, or 7-pack, with the 4-pack saving you 30%. Pricing starts at $25 for a 1-pack and if you buy a multi-pack, you can choose your colors!

See at Chipolo

MYNT Smart Tracker & Remote

The sleek MYNT Smart Tracker and Remote adds more to the mix than just finding your misplaced keys. Of course, the Bluetooth connection and MYNT app warn you when your keys and your phone are getting too far apart, and the alarms are easy to hear if you do lose your keys. It's water-resistant and for a few extra dollars, you can buy a colorful waterproofing cover for it.

The replaceable battery lasts up to one year and each tracker has a range of up to 150 feet. The Smart Tracker can also be used as a Remote, whether for taking selfies or syncing to your MacBook for a PowerPoint presentation. Talk about versatility. $20 on Amazon (to start — other color options are available).

See a Amazon


iTrack Easy

iTrack Easy

The iTrack Easy system will sound an alarm and flash an LED light to help you find your keys. The replaceable battery lasts a little longer than the standard batteries in other trackers, thanks to Sleep Mode which can be set up for times when you don't require alerts and reminders. The iTrack Easy network uses the tracking app on your phone to help locate your lost keys or other items if they are out of the standard 100-foot range.

The trackers can be purchased in vibrant orange or green or regular white if you're looking to be more subtle. They also double as remote controls for the camera in your phone, making selfies and group shots easy. Pricing starts at $15 fir a single tracker or $29 for two (wow, a whole dollar off!).

See at Amazon


Nonda iHere 3.0

Honda iHere Tag

You can pair up to 10 Nonda iHere trackers to the app on your phone and they're rechargeable, with a single charge lasting for several weeks. This discreet, white triangle tag takes up very little room on your keychain, while saving you that worrisome search every other morning.

Nonda iHere has a range of up to 150 feet and a clear alarm. The easy-to-use app includes a car finder feature, and can also be used if you've found your keys but misplaced your phone. The button on the tag also acts as a remote for picture-taking on your phone. This one's perfect if you want to try Bluetooth trackers but are on a budget, since it's only $10.

See at Amazon

Never search again

Is there another Bluetooth tracker out there that's helping you keep your keys and your sanity? We'd like to hear about it in the comments below!

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2 weeks ago

Five home automation accessories under $35 that work with Google Home Mini

17

Now that you've got the cheap controller, it's time to get some things to control.

So you've got yourself a shiny new Google Home Mini. Good for you. It's a great inexpensive way to get into the smart home game for less than $50.

But now that you've got the controller, you need some things to actually control. And it's real easy for things to get expensive real quick. We're talking hundreds and hundreds of dollars of connected ... stuff.

Or, you can dig deep and find the cheap stuff. And so we've dug deep. Really deep. Here's the best connected stuff we've found for Google Home Mini — all for less than $35(ish) each.

Belkin WeMo Mini

This is a great little connected outlet for about $35. (I know because I have one.) And it's great because it doesn't take up much space, leaving plenty of room left over for the second plug of a two-gang box.

What's it do? It turns your dumb plug into a smart plug. You can control it remotely and set timers, or other schemes.

And with the holidays coming up, it's the perfect little gizmo to control lights. Because nobody wants to hit the front porch in the their underwear when it's 30 degrees out.

See at Amazon

SwitchMate Bright

SwitchmateThis is great for those who don't want to do any rewiring. You just pop the $35 SwitchMate on top of an existing switch or plug, and it does all the work for you.

You can set timers for whenever — a fun one is to have the lights kick on in the morning so you're not stumbling through the house any more than necessary. And you an also set it to turn things on so the house is lit up when you arrive home in the evening.

Is it any easier than this? Probably not.

See at Amazon

APower SmartPlug

APower

Here's another smart plug that plugs into your existing dumb outlets (because, yo, dawg, I heard your outlets like outlets) and smartens things up a bit.

I'm cheating a tad because you'll have to hit Amazon's "Other Sellars" to find this one under the $35 limit, but it's definitely doable.

The plug itself is a little clunky. But if you're looking to save a few bucks, sometimes you have to go that route.

See at Amazon

TP Link Smart LED

TPLinkA basic smart bulb isn't nearly as expensive as it used to be. Sure, you can get white bulbs that can change their color temperature — more orange or yellow than white or blueish-white, or vice-versa. But those dollars start to add up pretty fast.

If you just want something basic, look for a dimmable light. This one from TP Link is just $20 and gives you basic functionality. You can turn it off and on from Google Home Mini. (Or, yes, from anything else.) You can dim it so it's not BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN all the time.

Is $20 a lot of money for a light bulb? Yes, it is. But it's not all that much for something connected.

See at Amazon

Philips Hue A19 dimmable

Philips HueSpeaking of relatively inexpensive smart lights, this is another dimmable A19 bulb — this time from Philips Hue. It runs $30 — for two bulbs this time — and works through Philips' excellent connected system. (At some point I'd spring for the hub, too, though that's another $60 and thus outside the scope of this post.)

Philips Hue bulbs really are a bit of a rabbit hole. Once you start down it, you're going to find it hard to stop.

So if you're going to do it, start with this inexpensive option.

See at Amazon

Any others?

Let us know in the comments below!

Google Home

Google Store Best Buy Target

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2 weeks ago

Best Alexa-enabled speakers

0

Not everything Alexa has to be an Echo. There are some great options out there for smart speakers without Amazon's logo on the box.

If you want everything that Amazon Alexa has to offer — but don't actually want an Amazon Echo, well, you're going about things the hard way.

But you're also in luck. Because Amazon Alexa can be baked into just about anything these days, and that also means other speakers.

Here's a quick look at some of the best Amazon Echo alternatives you can find.

Sonos One

Sonos One

This will be one of the more expensive entries on this list at $199, but for good reason. Sonos is the No. 1 name in wireless home audio, with great sound and ridiculously easy setup. And Sonos One is the first of its speakers to have Alexa built in. (And be sure to check out our full Sonos One review.)

The multiple microphones means Sonos One will hear you wherever you are. And it's able to control anything that Alexa can control — and that means additional Sonos speakers as well. Looks great, sounds great. It's still in its infancy, so Sonos is still working out a few software kinks, but this one should be high up on anyone's wish list.

See at Sonos

Vaux cordless home speaker

Vaux Cordless Home Speaker

OK, I'm going to cheat a little here, but for good reason. The VAUX cordless home speaker is, in fact, a cordless home speaker with Alexa inside. Literally. It's a speaker that you put an Amazon Echo Dot inside, connected via the 3.5mm audio port. It's an ingenious little thing.

Why get this over something that takes advantage of Alexa via software? For one, it's only $49. And because it uses an actual Echo Dot, you've always got the option to remove the Dot to use it in the more traditional way.

It's a clever little option, actually, and one that you should definitely check out. Check out our full review.

See at Amazon

Sugr Cube Minimalist

Sugr CubeYou can't troll around on Amazon without running into this speaker. The Sugr Cub Minimalist has mixed reviews, but there's no denying that it's one of the more intriguing-looking speakers of the bunch. And for a lot of folks that's going to be a big selling point.

It's also on the more expensive side, at $169 for the darker cherry, or $159 for the lighter maple model. But with it you can full Wifi and Alexa support, touch motion controls, and the knowledge that visitors are going ask about that cool-looking speaker on the shelf.

And all you have to do is have them ask Alexa. She'll be happy to explain.

See at Amazon



Eufy Genie

Eufy Genie

If you want something that's more like an Amazon Echo Dot but comes in even less expensive, then you need to check out the Eufy Genie. (I have, and you can read that whole experience here.)

It's currently listed at a mere $25 — or about half the cost of an actual Echo Dot. And you get a pretty good experience from it. I still think I looks better than the Dot, and it performs reasonably well despite having fewer microphones with which to listen for you.

It's a really inexpensive way to get into the whole Alexa thing, and it's worth checking out.

See at Amazon

Invoxia smart portable speaker

InvoxiaIf you want something a little different, Invoxia's got an intriguing offering. This speaker has Alexa built in, of course, and it's also got some other tricks up its sleeve. It's got a small display on the front, a few physical buttons for things like internet radio stations and Spotify playlists, and you can make VOIP calls with a paired smartphone.

But maybe the coolest part? This rechargeable speaker has a magnet on the back so you can stick it to the fridge. Very cool. The basic gray model starts at $119.

See at Amazon

Amazon Echo

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Mophie announces new battery cases for the Galaxy Note 8

8

Mophie's new juice pack and charge force case for the Note 8 cost $99.95 and $49.95, respectively.

Samsung knocked most things out of the park with this year's Note 8, but one aspect of the phone that left some users feeling a bit cheated out is with its battery. The 3,300 mAh unit isn't technically small and offers enough juice for most folks, but compared to the Galaxy S8+ and last year's Note 7, it does leave a bit to be desired.

Thankfully, mophie is coming to the rescue as it just announced its juice pack and charge force case for the Galaxy Note 8.

Starting first with the juice pack, this is the more expensive of the two cases with a price tag of $99.95. The juice pack comes equipped with a built-in 2,950 mAh battery, and mophie says that this should provide over 36 hours of additional talk time. Mophie added wireless charging to the case so you can continue to wirelessly charge your Note 8 just like you would if it didn't have a case on, and it features secure magnetic positioning for use with mophie's charge force stations.

Mophie juice pack (left), charge force case (right)

As for the charge force case, this features a much more affordable price of $49.95 with the exception of not having a built-in battery. This makes the case much slimmer than the juice pack, and it still offers passthrough wireless charging and compatibility with all of mophie's charge force accessories – including the powerstation mini, desk mount, and others.

Both cases are available to order from mophie's website starting today, but at the time of publishing the article, the juice pack is already out of stock.

See at mophie

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Best Buy

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2 weeks ago

Every Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Case We Could Find

55

Looking for a case for your brand new Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL? We've got you covered!

There are so many reasons to get a case for your Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. Whether you want the highest level of protection available to prevent damage to your new phone or the most transparent, thinnest case available to show off your new phone with pride, there are plenty of options out there.

Regardless of the reason, if you want a case for your Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, we've compiled a massive list of all the cases we could find that are worth your while!

NOTE: Due to the large size of the list, we made the pictures smaller than usual; however, you can enlarge any image to full size by clicking or tapping on the image.

Thin Cases

Spigen Thin Fit

A thin polycarbonate back plate with a little cushion in the corners to help prevent damage if you drop your Pixel.

You can pick one up for about $12.


Maxboost mSnap series

A hard polycarbonate case that protects the back and sides of the Google Pixel 2 from scratches and scuffs.

Get the Maxboost mSnap series in black, pink, or mint for $20.


Vinve felixble case

Made from TPU, the Vinve flexible case will help prevent damage from drops. The textured back also provides extra grip.

You can pick one up in black or blue for about $8.


Peel case

The thinnest case you'll find, it will almost look like you have no case on your phone at all.

You can pick it up in black, white, and kinda blue for $25.


MNML case

Only 0.35mm thick and made with a matte finish that won't show fingerprints.

You can find the MNML case in gray, black, white, red, and blue for about $15.


Google Live Case

Pick from a wide selection of designs, places, and even stunning scenes from Google Earth.

You can even send Google your pictures to make a personal case for you; perfect for a gift. Starts at $40.


LK Slim Thin

For those who want a cheap clear case to keep your phone protected without obscuring the Pixel 2's cool design.

You can pick up the LK Slim Thin case for just $8.

Incipio NGP Pure

A slim soft polymer case that provides a barrier between your Pixel 2 and the rest of the world.

You can pick one up in smoke, navy, plum, or clear for about $20.


Clear Cases

Spigen Liquid Crystal

This thin flexible TPU case will provide your Google Pixel 2 or 2 XL with more grip and has cushioning on the corner to help prevent damage from drops.

You can pick up the Spigen Liquid Crystal for $12.


Spigen Crystal Shell

Dual-layered protection consisting of both TPU and polycarbonate, the Spigen Crystal Shell offers protection while keeping the design of your Google Pixel 2 in clear sight.

You can pick up the Spigen Crystal Shell for $25.


Ringke Fusion

Ringke has their rugged clear case available for the Pixel 2. Made with a sturdy panel of polycarbonate on the back panel and an easy-grip TPU bumper, this case will keep your new device protected while also letting the Pixel 2's design shine through.

You can pick up the Ringke Fusion for about $10.


Ringke Bevel

Just like the Ringke Fusion, the Bevel provides the same protection with a bevel design on the back to enhance grip and make your phone stand out. The case is still clear enough not to take away from the design of the Pixel 2.

Grab it for around $9.


Speck Presidio Clear

Dual-layered protection drop tested for eight feet. Thick cutouts for camera prevent scratches on the lens when lying on a flat surface.

The Speck Presidio Clear case will cost you $40 for the Pixel 2 and $45 for the larger Pixel 2 XL.


Trianium CLARIUM

Shock-absorbing TPU mixed with a hard polycarbonate back give the Trianium CLARIUM dual-layered protection to keep your phone safe.

You can pick up the Trianium CLARIUM for $8.


Incipio Reprieve Sport 2.0

Clear back to show off the Google Pixel 2's style, textured sides to improve grip, and reinforced corners to prevent damage from dropping. For $40, the Incipio Reprieve Sport 2.0 has a little something for everyone.


Rugged cases

Caseology Vault Series

Made of flexible TPU, it features a sleek finish along the back and textured grip around the edges.

You can pick up the Caseology Vault Series for around $11.

Note: This case is only available for the Pixel 2 XL.


Otterbox Symmetry series

Otterbox's Symmetry series offers the classic protection you expect from the company in a slimmer profile. The one-piece design is thick enough to prevent damage from drop and scratches, and the raised edges help protect your Pixel 2 when lying on a flat surface.


Spigen Rugged Armor

Single layer TPU with rasied edges to protect screen and camera while lying on a flat surface. Plus, the corner of the case are extra protected to help prevent damage from drops.

You can pick up the Spigen Ruged Armor for $13.


Spigen Neo Hybrid

A TPU sleeve and a hard polycarbonate bumper make up Spigen's New Hybrid case offering adequate protection with a sense of style. The way the bumper is designed it sit completely flush with the rest of the case, make the Neo Hybrid feel good when you're holding your phone.

You can pick up the Neo Hybrid for $16.


DGtle shockproof case

Made from a single layer of TPU, the DGtle shockproof case has lots of extra protection around the corners to help prevent damage when the phone is dropped on a corner.

Available in a wide variety of colors, such as blue, pink, and smoke black for $8.


UAG Plasma series

This translucent rugged case features a two-tone single piece design that cover the back and sides of the Google Pixel 2 and meet military drop test standards.

You can pick up the UAG Plasma series in ice or ask color option for about $40.


Suensan protective case

A single TPU layer that covers the back and side of the Google Pixel 2 with raised bezels to protect the camera and screen on flat surfaces.

You can pick on up in mint green, black, blue, gray, and red for $9.


Heavy Duty

ATUS Anti-Slip Slim Fit

Heavy duty protection in a slim profile, the ATUS Anti-Slip Slim Fit has dua-layered protection to keep your Pixel 2 safe and sound, while keeping the profile of your phone slimmer than most heavy-duty cases out there.

The ATUS Anti-Slip Slim Fit is only avaiable for the Pixel 2. You can pick one up in black, pink, or teal for about $9.

Caseology Parallax series

The Caseology Parallax Series offers a slim, two-piece design to keep your Pixel 2 well-protected.

It's available in a wide variety of colors such as black, burgundy, navy blue, and ocean gray. You can pick on up for about $15.

Note: This case is only available for the Google Pixel 2 XL.


Caseology Legion Series

The Caseology Legion Series offers the same dual-layered protection as its Parallax series; however, the Legion series focuses on protecting the back of the phone a lot more.

You can grab it for $18.

Note: This case is only available for the Pixel 2 XL.


Spigen Tough Armor

A personal favorite of mine, Spigen Tough Armor offers robust dual-layered protection with TPU and hard polycarbonate materials. The metal kickstand is perfect for watching videos and other media while your hands are other wise preoccupied.

You can pick up the Spigen Tough Armor in black or gunmetal for $35.


Spigen Slim Armor

Just like Spigen's Tough Armor, the Slim Armor case uses TPU and hard polycarbonate materials for dual-layered protection, but comes in a slimmer package.

You can pick up the Spigen Slim Armor in black or gunmetal for $30.


Otterbox Defender series

The ultimate name in protection, Otterbox's Defender series is the Mack Daddy of all protective cases. With four different layers, your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL will be as safe as it possibly can be.

The Otterbox Defender series will cost you $50 or $60 for the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL respectively.


Leather Cases

Bellroy Leather case

Made using premium leather and featuring a soft microfiber lining this is a lightweight case that will keep your phone well protected and age beautifully over time. It's also backed by a 3-year warranty from Bellroy.

You can pick up the Bellroy Leather case from the Google Store for $45 with free shipping!


Wallet cases

Case Mate Wallet Folio

Made from real leather, the Case Mate Wallet Folio has four card slots and even a pocket to put your cash. Leaving your wallet at home has never been easier.

You can pick one up for $60.

JD wallet case

Made from a faux leather material, the JD wallet case has plenty of room for cards and cash. The case even comes with a built in RFID blocker, meaning your credit card numbers should be safe.

The JD wallet case comes in black, blue, pink, and brown for about $16.


Trianium wallet case

A hard protective shell with a card slot that card hold ID, credit cards, and cash, the Trianium wallet case offers protection and functionality.

You can pick up a Trianium wallet case for $10.

Note This case is only available for the Pixel 2 XL.


Maxboost wallet case

With three cards slots and a place to store your cash, the Maxboost wallet case has a magenetic lock to keep the wallet case firmly closed when not in use.

Grab the Maxboost wallet case for only $13.


LK wallet case

With a TPU inner skin, the LK wallet case offers mild protection against damage when your Pixel 2 takes a fall. With three card slots, and a place to put your cash, you can venture out into the world with your normal bulky wallet with ease.

The LK wallet case comes in black, brown, purple, and rose gold and will cost you about $10.

Other types of cases

Moment Photo case

Another personal favorite of mine, the Moment Photo case is designed to work with the wide-variety of Moment lenes. If you want a beautiful looking case that will up you photography game, check it out.

You can pick one up with a walnut finish for only $30.


Google Fabric case

If you prefer your phone case to have some texture for grip, you're probably going to love the Google Fabric Case. It features the same fabric finish look found on other recent Google products such as the Google Home Mini.

These cases offer a premium microfiber liner to ensure your device stays scuff-free and your choice of four color combinations for $40.

Carved Wooden Cases

With dozens of unique designs and plenty of wood grains and colors to choose from, Carved wooden cases are absolutely gorgeous.

The Carvedwooden cases range from $24 — $40.

What case did you go with for your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL?

Let us know in the comment below!

Updated Novemeber 2017: We've added new cases to our list from Incipio, ATUS, Carved and more!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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2 weeks ago

Best microSD Cards For Samsung Galaxy Note 8

What's the best microSD card to use with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8?

2017 is Samsung's year to make up for the fiasco surrounding last year's Note 7 —and the Galaxy Note 8 sure seems ready to impress!

If the 64GB of base internal storage on the Note 8 isn't going to cut it (and you missed out on the pre-order deals that include a 128GB microSD card), you'll want to invest in a quality microSD card and add up to 256GB of additional storage. That means you'll have more space for all your music, 4K videos, photos, and whatever else you want to store

Samsung MicroSD EVO+ 256GB

Samsung is offering a 128GB microSD card if you pre-order before September 14 — but what if you want more? You can get that 128GB card for $60 or go all out with the 256GB card for $140. Both cards feature read speeds up to 95MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, meaning they will be able to handle whatever you throw at it.

Whichever you go with, you can be sure that it'll work perfectly with your Note 8 and provide you all the storage space you desire so you never have to delete photos and videos.

See at Amazon

SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSDXC Card

If you're serious about maximizing your storage, you definitely want to consider this 200GB microSDXC card from SanDisk. With write speeds up to 90MB/s, you'll be able to record in HD or 4K to your heart's content. And you'll still have room to spare for all your movies, music and other data. Amazon regularly has this one on sale for $77, so this is your best value for sure.

See at Amazon

SanDisk Extreme PLUS 64GB microSDXC

Looking to double your available storage without breaking the bank? This 64GB card from SanDisk is UHS speed class 3, with write speeds up to 50MB/s — more than enough to handle 4K video. With transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s, you're able to add your favorite music and media in a flash with the included SD card adapter. This card is designed to withstand anything life throws your way — including X-rays — and comes with a lifetime limited warranty. Get yours for $33 from Amazon.

See at Amazon

Kingston Digital 64GB microSDXC Card

This Class 10, UHS-I microSDXC card from Kingston features a 64GB capacity and advertises a read speed of 90MB/s and write speed of 45MB/s. Included is an SD adapter which the microSDXC card slides into when using on a computer or other standard SD device. The Kingston Digital 64GB microSDXC card is currently available for $28, with a 128GB card available for just $59.

See at Amazon

Will you be expanding your Note 8 with a microSD card?

If you're considering on upgrading your Note 8's storage, let us know in the comments how much space you think you'll need, and how you plan on using that extra storage.

Update November 2017: Updated pricing info. These are still your best options.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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2 weeks ago

Bowers & Wilkins PX wireless headphones review: Essential sounds

10

A great, forward-thinking set of over-ear headphones.

You're probably familiar with headphones by companies that command the most attention: Bose Sennheiser, Sony and others. They're popular because they're great products, but also because they have great marketing departments.

Other deserving headphones fall under the radar. Enter the Bowers & Wilkins PX.

Most important: they sound amazing.

They are a pair of over-ear, closed back wireless headphones with aptX HD that can charge, update and carry audio through a USB-C port. They feature different levels of noise cancellation, including a mode that can pipe in surrounding noise. Most importantly, they sound fantastic.

See at Amazon

I've been wearing and listening to the Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones for the past two weeks. On most days, I had the headphones on for at least eight hours per day taking helpdesk calls at my day job and listening to music and podcasts. All the music I listen to consists of MP3s originally purchased from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon. I also listened to those same music files from my home computer with audio routed through a Dragonfly Black USB DAC. For mobile use, I listened to music through my OnePlus 3T running Open Beta 15, which features the aptX HD codec.

In terms of sheer song count, my music library primarily consists of Johnny Cash (older country), Rosanne Cash (pop/alternative country) and Lily and Madeleine (folk/pop), with a smattering of other rock, pop and country artists. This is an important note, because the way the headphones have been tuned will represent certain instruments and genres better than others.

I was able to hear details in my songs that I haven't heard from any other pairs of headphones I've tried. For example, I just noticed background instruments in My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade" — a song I've been listening to regularly for the last 11 years — that I never picked up on other speakers or headphones. And this was while writing this review and responding to instant messages, where my attention isn't solely focused on listening to music. My current benchmark for great sounding headphones is my pair of TMA-2 headphones configured with the S02 speaker module, and the PX headphones easily match that. More impressive, they match those headphones while streaming wirelessly.

Noise cancellation

Three noise cancellation modes can be accessed in the companion app, and that app is the only way to actually toggle between them. The three modes are "Office," where surrounding noises will be piped into the headphones, "City" which blocks certain frequencies but amplifies others, and "Flight" which blocks everything.

I didn't get a chance to test these headphones on an actual flight, but the "Flight" noise canceling mode was sufficient to drown out a crowded coffee shop concert. Flight mode does have a negative effect on the quality, but not so much that it takes away from the music's overall fidelity.

The three noise cancellation modes are effective for most situations I found myself in.

The Office mode is fantastic. I use it every day to hear my coworkers over the sound of my music, and it works well enough that I haven't had to remove my headphones while listening to a conversation. Listening to podcasts in that environment can be troubling, but that's because my brain is trying to decipher two separate and unrelated conversations at once. Bowers & Wilkins estimates 22 hours of music listening while using any of the noise cancellation modes, and that lines up with my experience.

Build quality

These wireless headphones sound better than many wired headphones I've tried.

The controls and ports for the headphones all live on the right earcup. From top to bottom, there is the volume up button, play/pause, volume down, noise canceling, the 3.5mm-in port and the USB-C port. Holding down the play/pause button will activate Siri or Google Assistant, while double tapping that button will skip forward and triple tapping the button will skip backward.

I spent the previous six months using gesture controls on the Sony MDR-1000X headphones, and I was more than happy to move back to solid buttons. The buttons all feel solid with no wiggle, activate with just the right amount of force, and seem like they'll hold up to the test of time. Speaking of holding up to the test of time, the earcups are held on with magnets and can be easily swapped out.

The headphones are mostly made of metal, with plastic used for the top of the headband and leather for the bottom of the headband and the ear cups. Vlad Savov of The Verge noted he had problems with the long-term comfort of the headphones, but they're perfectly comfortable to me. I definitely get a case of headphone hair after wearing them for eight hours a day, but that happens with every pair of over-ear headphones I use.

Smart features

The PX headphones can pair with as many as eight devices, and will automatically switch the audio source depending on what's playing music. For example, if I'm listening to music from my phone and decide to fire up my favorite YouTube channel on my Chromebook, my music will automatically pause on my phone and I will start hearing the audio from the YouTube video.

Only needing to bring one USB-C cable with you for charging is a huge plus.

Another great feature is that these headphones detect when they are sitting on your head. If not, music is automatically paused. Even moving an earcup off of your ear is enough to trigger this. Again, this feature is included on other high-end Bluetooth headphones, but the PX are the first set where this feature has consistently worked for me. The companion app lets you make this feature more or less sensitive if it isn't working, but the default setting was sufficient. The feature can also be disabled entirely if you'd like.

Next on the list of things other headphones do but the PX does better: routing audio over the USB port. Because the PX's use the newer USB-C standard, users can use the same cable that came with their phone for wired USB audio rather than needing to use an adapter. For those without a headphone jack, this is great way to avoid the #donglelife.

That may not sound like a huge deal, but as someone who hates any and all clutter it's another huge win for these headphones. I tested the audio routing with my OnePlus 3T, a Samsung Chromebook Plus, a Google Pixelbook and Pixel 2 and my brother's iPhone 7, and it worked every time.

Should you buy them? Definitely

I do have one minor complaint about these headphones, and one larger one. The minor complaint is that I wish the battery was easily removable so that a new one could be popped in a few years down the road.

The major complaint is that Bowers & Wilkins don't include a hard case. The included soft case is nice, with a magnetic clasp and interior pouch for cables, but anyone taking these on vacation or a business trip would want more protection. And at $400, they should come with one.

Those complaints aside, these are fantastic headphones. The USB-C port means you'll only need one charger for both phone and headphones, and being able to route audio through the USB port will better prepare those without a headphone jack on their phone. Automatically having my music pause when I take them off is a great convenience and, above all, they sound amazing.

At $400, they're definitely at the higher end of what you'll spend for headphones, but I feel they are well worth it.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro review: The best fitness tracker for most people

32

Samsung's latest waterproof fitness tracker is smarter — and cheaper — than many smartwatches.

It's taken a few years, but Samsung's wearable strategy has settled — as has much of the industry — on fitness as its primary selling point. This year's crop of wrist-worn products from the Korean giant include the excellent Gear Sport, along with the Gear Fit2 Pro, both with the intention of making it easy to track steps and workouts while receiving notifications.

In other words, the value proposition hasn't changed dramatically from the original Gears of a few years ago, but the 2017 refreshes put an emphasis on durability, longevity, and comfort.

See at Amazon

Gear Fit2 Pro What you'll love

The Fit2 Pro is the direct successor to last year's Fit2, and besides the new strap design, the two could be interchangeable — at least on the surface. With a 1.5-inch vertical OLED display that gets really bright, the Tizen-based interface — black background throughout to lengthen battery life — is easy to understand and extremely touch-friendly. Samsung has this down pat.

  • Display: 1.5 inches 216x432 pixels
  • OS: Tizen
  • Price: $169.99
  • Processor: Dual Core (1GHz Exynos 3250)
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Weight: 34 grams
  • Size: 25 x 51.3 x 12.6 mm
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Sensors: Heart rate, Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer
  • Battery: 200mAh (three to five days)
  • Water resistance: 5ATM
  • Colors: Red+black, black
  • Compatibility: Android + iOS

While 2016's Gear Fit2 had a built-in GPS it was only IP68 water resistant, not waterproof, which has since been corrected in its sequel. Not only can the Fit2 Pro plumb the depths of your average pool, it's certified waterproof to 5 atmospheres — even if you dive to the bottom of a pool, it'll survive. The red plastic casing has two buttons on the right, one to go back to the previous screen and the other to enter the app drawer, and they're both clicky and responsive. No complaints there.

The Fit2 Pro lives up to its name: it effortlessly tracks workouts, automatically after 10 minutes or as directed by you when engaging in something specific like a bike ride or swim, and records a number of worthwhile metrics including heart rate, steps taken, floor climbed, and more.

It actually takes heart rate measurements constantly throughout the day, similar to the latest Fitbits, and does so with accuracy; I wore a Fitbit Ionic on another wrist for a day and found the metrics to be close enough to satisfy me. I'm no athlete; I just want a fairly robust approximation of my steps taken, calories burned, and route taken. That the Fit2 Pro is comfortable enough to wear the whole day without noticing it is helpful, too.

All of those things are table stakes for a so-called fitness tracker, but the Fit2 Pro emulates a smartwatch in a number of impactful ways; it shows notifications in a dedicated area to the left of the watch face, and even allows users to action them — reply to a text message, for instance — in certain situations. Generally, if you can reply to a message on an Android Wear watch, you can do the same here (though only with a selection of canned responses or emoji).

Notifications are easily one of my favorite aspects of the Fit2 Pro; it's ostensibly a fitness tracker, but it conveys what's happening on your phone better than the more-expensive Fitbit Ionic, and about as well as its "real" smartwatch counterpart, the Gear Sport. Yes, the long-and-thin screen wraps sentences oddly at times, but it requires less scrolling as a result, and the touchscreen is capable of keeping up. I missed the Gear Sport's rotating bezel, but not as much as I thought.

Finally, battery life is the cherry on this smart milkshake. It's really, really good — like three days plus from this little 200mAh cell. Mind you, I didn't regularly run with GPS turned on because I always have my phone with me, but Samsung promises nine hours when engaging the GPS. That's pretty good, but not remarkable when compared to the Gear Sport or Fitbit Ionic.

Gear Fit2 Pro What you'll hate

Don't expect to track your sleep properly with this tracker — rather, use it as a bedside clock.

I don't think you'll hate anything about the Gear Fit2 Pro, but here's what you'll leave wanting, especially if coming from an Android Wear or Apple Watch — apps. While the tracker comes with a handful of decent first-party and third-party apps from the likes of Under Armour (MapMyRun and Endomondo) for tracking runs, and Speedo Go for tracking swims, the Galaxy Apps "store" is, as it is on the Gear S series, a wasteland of expensive, poorly-designed watch faces.

The actual app downloading and update procedure is less than convenient, too, showing just how far Samsung still has to go when it comes to designing and curating its software experiences. Even the sparse Spotify app, which for some reason isn't pre-installed on the tracker, is basic to a fault and difficult to use.

On the tracking side, you'll probably find fault with the sleep tracking, should you choose to use it. I wore the Fit2 Pro to bed for a week or so and found the metrics to be almost useless.

Moreover, the screen doesn't automatically turn itself off once it detects you're snug in bed, which makes for constant disruption unless you explicitly enable Do Not Disturb — which requires disabling it in the morning. These things are automated on Android Wear.

I'm also not a huge fan of the rubbery, cheap-feeling strap. While the latch design is an improvement over the more sporty (and uglier) button clasp that shipped on last year's Fit2, the 24mm replaceable straps on the Fit2 Pro are neither robust nor attractive. Thankfully, Amazon has plenty of alternatives that look and feel better.

Finally — and this is no big deal, really — I dislike the plasticky charging dock that, somehow, always seems to fall over when the tracker is magnetically latched to it. Didn't Samsung test it?! At least, when properly supported, the Fit2 Pro dock doubles as a nice bedside clock.

Should you buy it? Yes!

I really like the Samsung Fit2 Pro. Yes, it's not as robust a smart thing as some other trackers out there, but at its current price of $170, it's a steal. The screen is out-of-this-world good, and the tracking is fantastic for those who'd rather be reinforced with kind messages and automatic number crunching than to-the-millimeter perfection.

At the same time, the notification system on the Fit2 Pro is better than some smartwatches (coughFitbitIoniccough), and even most of the negatives are nitpicks.

The Fit2 Pro goes up against the Fitbit Blaze, Garmin Vivosport, TomTom Spark 3 Cardio and a Series 1 Apple Watch, and it largely comes out ahead against all of them. If you're looking for more accurate fitness tracking or better sleep metrics, you're better off with a Garmin or a Fitbit, but nothing touches Samsung for an all-around experience.

And, wow, that screen.

See at Amazon

Samsung Gear Sport review: The company's best smartwatch yet

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2 weeks ago

Best Cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8

53

The Galaxy S8 is one of the most exciting phones of the year, so if you want to keep it pristine, grab a case!

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has been around for a few months now, and there's no question that it's one of the best-looking phones on the market right now. But there are two sides of curved Gorilla Glass, which means that any drop, even from a short distance, could damage it. If you're looking for a case for your new Galaxy S8, we've got you covered!

Samsung S-View

If you're after a case made by Samsung, you'll definitely want to check out the S-View case. A perennial favorite for the latest Galaxy phones, the S-View case will keep your phone with that front cover that also adds some functionality to your sleeping phone.

This case is compatible with wireless charging and offers full protection for your phone, but the best feature (and where it gets its name) is the ability to see the time and notifications with the front flap closed.

Available starting at $29 for black and up to $48 for the gold version, you'll be able to find one that perfectly matches the color of your phone. Since it's made by Samsung, you can be sure of the fit, and it's well worth the money for all the functionality packed in here.

See at Amazon

CM4 Q-Card case

The Q-Card case from CM4 stands out from other wallet-style cases with its back pocket for storing cards. Made of premium fabric, it offers a nice texture for your hand and allows the card pocket to expand and accommodate up to three cards and some cash. This texture is also along the edge of the case which helps to make this a very grippy case in your hand.

This case also features all the protective elements you'd want from a case, including air-cushioned corners to help disperse shocks away from your phone, a bezel around the front to protect the screen, and even includes a slim slot along the edge that can be used with a credit card to create a kickstand for hands-free media viewing.

Get yours for either the Galaxy S8 or larger S8+ for just $23!

See at Amazon

Spigen Liquid Crystal

The best clear cases offer protection for your phone without drawing attention to the fact that you've got a case on your phone. The Spigen Liquid Crystal is an ideal clear case that'll keep your phone safe while letting the design of your Galaxy S8 shine through.

Made of lightweight and flexible TPU material, this single-layer case is easy to pop onto your phone while adding next to no bulk to the phone. Precise cutouts and buttons mean that your phone's functionality is never affected, and it's thin enough to allow for wireless charging, too.

You can get this case for your phone for just $11.

See at Amazon

Otterbox Commuter Series

The OtterBox Commuter Series has garnered a well-deserved reputation as being one of the best cases for keeping your phone well protected while maintaining a slim design.

Like most OtterBox cases, this is a two-piece case that features a soft inner sleeve paired with a hard outer shell that helps to absorb impacts while providing great all-around protection for your phone. The case features port covers over the headphone jack and USB-C charging port, which just adds extra protection against dirt, dust, and pocket lint.

Typically we'd also recommend OtterBox's Defender Series, which typically offers more rugged protection with a built-in screen protector. However, OtterBox made the curious decision to not include a screen protector with their Defender Series case for the Galaxy S8. Both cases are compatible with screen protectors but the Commuter Series is probably your best bet, as it's $10 cheaper and offers most of the same protection — although it lacks the Defender Series' belt clip holster.

You can grab the OtterBox Commuter for around $25.

See at Amazon

Ringke Flex S Series

If you like your case's name aligning with your phone's, the Ringke Flex S is a great option. (It's also a damn good case.)

The main attraction here is the exceptional protection gleaned from the combination of a flexible TPU layer cushioning the phone itself, which is covered by a hard polycarbonate layer. That's a familiar combination, but Ringke's version is very attractive, with a grippy, textured back that looks great as it protects.

You can pick up a Flex S case for around $14 and it comes in four colors.

See at Amazon

VRS Design Cases

VRS Design has a full collection of cases available from its site for the Galaxy S8, but we'll highlight one of the more minimalist options here.

The Single Fit case offers a minimalist option for keeping your phone safe. It's a one-piece case made of TPU that snugly fits around your Galaxy S8 without adding too much bulk to that sleek design. Unlike the phone itself, this case is fingerprint resistant and also provides better grip than the slippery Gorilla Glass on the Galaxy S8. You get nice protection around the camera and fingerprint sensor on the back, and a subtle lip around the screen, along with the ample cutouts and precise buttons to ensure your phone's functionality is unaffected.

Check out the Single Fit case for around $20.

See at VRS Design

Spigen Liquid Air Armor

Spigen consistently delivers cases that combine great design and quality protection for a stylish product that keeps your phone safe. We've gone hands-on with their latest batch of cases for the Galaxy S8 and can report back that they're as good as ever on Samsung's latest device. Whether you like their Tough Armor series or their minimalist Thin Fit cases, you're sure to find a case that you'll love.

We're big fans of the Liquid Air Armor, one of the most low-profile cases that actually protects your phone. It's a great combination — a flexible TPU, not too thin, plus a textured back for extra grip.

Best of all, the case is just $10, which is a steal for one of our favorite cases for the Galaxy S8!

See at Amazon

Nomad Leather Folio Wallet

Nomad's Galaxy S8 folio case is like nothing else on the list. It uses Horween leather from the oldest tannery in the United States that is meant to show its age. On the inside of the light brown case is a holder for up to six cards plus cash, and the phone insert is there to keep your Galaxy S8 steady in the case of a drop.

This is one of the nicest-looking folio cases we've seen to date, and we're looking forward to seeing how it looks in three or six months!

See at Nomad

What case are you rocking?

We want to know how you plan to keep your Galaxy S8 protected. Let us know which case you're getting in the comments!

Update November 2017: This list has been updated with new options and up-to-date links.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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