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1 year ago

This week's best Android gadgets: GoPro HERO4 Session, Spro 2, and more


It's another week of new Android gadgets and we're bringing you some hot picks that are available now, up for pre-order, and on Kickstarter including the GoPro HERO4 Session, Spro 2 Smart Projector, Grandstream GVC3200 Video Conferencing System, Micro-Flip reversible Micro USB, and the WearWise camera. Dive in as we visit each gadget in more detail.

READ NOW: Best Android gadgets of the week

GoPro HERO4 Session

If the full line of GoPro cameras weren't quite small enough to fit your needs, fear not because the answer is here. GoPro's Hero4 Session is their smallest device to date, but still packs quite a punch. The $399 camera captures 1080p video, along with 8MP still photos (complete with time lapse) through various short and long button press combinations. There's no display on the camera itself, but you can use the GoPro App or Smart Remote to take control as well. Plus it's waterproof and can connect to nearly anything you want, letting you grab some awesome action shots.

Buy the GoPro HERO4 Session

ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector

The Verizon-connected Spro 2 Smart Projector from ZTE is multi-purpose Android-powered accessory that is not only a mobile projector, but a high-speed hotspot as well. Priced at $599, the Spro 2 is running Android 4.4 and features a 5-inch HD touch display, with 16GB of storage that can be expanded with the use of a microSD card. It projects up to 120" in size at 200 lumens of brightness with auto focus and auto keystone up to 720p. For all of your mobile hotspot needs, the Spro 2 lets you connect up to 10 devices on Verizon's 4G LTE network.

Buy the Spro 2 Smart Projector

Micro-Flip Reversible Micro USB

It's the plug we all wished was implemented years ago. The Micro-Flip is a reversible Micro USB cable that works with all our current devices, eliminating the first-time-fail aggravation we've all come to accept. Of course, with USB Type-C being added to future devices this cable may be a little late to the game. Still, it will be some time before we see Micro USB become as obsolete as Mini USB is now. The cable is made of a braided nylon that's tangle-free and will be available in 1 and 2-meter lengths. Unfortunately, it's not Quick Charge 2.0 compliant, since the Micro-Flip utilizes a 5-pin design. With a minimum $12 pledge you can score a 1M Micro-Flip cable if you're ready to make the switch.

Pledge Micro-Flip

WearWise Camera

If GoPro's newest camera isn't quite small enough to fit your needs, there's a new wearable camera on the way that may be better suited for you. Recently launched on Kickstarter is WearWise, a small 1.6 inch x1.6 inch x0.8 inch camera that you can wear nearly anywhere to capture video and photos. WearWise features an 8MP camera with 120-degree wide-angle lens, and takes 1080p videos at 30fps. The "multi-purpose" back lets you stick it do damn near anything, and it's all controlled over Bluetooth from your phone.

Buy the WearWise Camera

Grandstream GVC3200 Full HD Video Conferencing System

Ready to take your video conferences to the next level? Grandstream's GVC3200 is an Android-based video conferencing system that provides 1080p Full-HD video that works with popular Android apps including Skype and Google Hangouts. With the unit's powerful hardware you can have up to 9-way video conferences with support for 3 monitors through 3 HDMI outputs on the back. The PTZ camera features a 12X zoom that can be controlled along with the GVC3200's other features using the included Bluetooth remote. There's also a remote app for Android devices that can be used via Bluetooth, great for sharing control with more than one person. It's easy to install using Grandstream's IPVideo Talk Pro video conferencing service for a quick plug and play setup. You can pre-order the GVC3200 right now for a hefty $3,995.

Pre-order the GVC3200 Video Conferencing System

Your favorite gadgets this week

Do any of the gadgets we've selected this week interest you? Or, maybe there are others you have in mind for your Android device. Either way, drop a line in the comments below and let us know!

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1 year ago

A quick look at Amzer's Qi Wireless Charging Pad


Small in size and easily portable, this new charging pad from Amzer keeps your Qi-compatible devices juiced up at the typical 1A rate.

Measuring 3.5-inches in diameter, it provides enough surface area to enable wireless charging for most smartphones and tablets without constantly adjusting for the perfect placement. Its 1/4-inch thickness makes it a slim sidekick to any desk or nightstand, too. The entire charging pad is made of a glossy plastic, featuring a silver Amzer logo slapped dead center on the surface. Along the edge, you'll find a small charging LED that stays green while plugged in, flashing blue/green while charging.

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1 year ago

Ethernet adapter for Chromecast makes its way to the Google Store for $15


If you are looking to use a Chromecast in an area that doesn't get a great wireless signal, or you want to avoid using wireless all together, Google's latest accessory for the device is a must have. Now available in the Google Store is an Ethernet adapter for the Chromecast, that lets users plug their Ethernet cable right into the wall wart.

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1 year ago

Logitech wants to transform itself with its new Logi brand and revamped logo


Logitech is on a mission to reinvent itself to consumers with a new version of its company logo and an all-new brand called Logi. The PC and mobile accessory maker says the changes are part of its "transformation" into a company that has a bigger emphasis on design.

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1 year ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Level Link wireless adapter


We're no stranger to Bluetooth adapters, but the new Level Link adds a certain style and easy functionality that's refreshing to use with our non-Bluetooth devices.

Most folks have at least one gadget that doesn't come packed with Bluetooth, relying on a direct connection to get their audio from one end to the other. Where the Level Link shines is its ability to plug into any 3.5mm audio port and send or receive audio straight through to your favorite pair of wireless headphones or car stereo. Its intuitive design helps get the ball rolling from unboxing, too.

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1 year ago

Kirk to smartphone: The Star Trek Bluetooth Communicator is coming for $149 in January


Remember how all those "flip" mobile phones were reportedly inspired by the communicator used by Kirk, Spock and the other members of the original Star Trek TV cast? Well, there will soon be a way to make and receive smartphone calls using a exact replica of that fictional device. The Wand Company has just announced plans to release its Star Trek Bluetooth Communicator in January.

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1 year ago

This week's best Android gadgets: Olympus A01, iStabilizer Gimbal, and more!


Deck out your Android device with these awesome new accessories!

Once more we're putting together the latest releases of Android-friendly connected devices. We'll dive into audio, video, protection, photography, and any other niche where there might be a cool accessory lurking. This week we're showing off a few things that will fit nicely into your summer regimen. Take a look!

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1 year ago

Amzer Pudding TPU Case for Nexus 6


As much as we all love the way our phone feels "naked," sometimes we just need to protect our investment with a case. While the metal edges on the Nexus 6 make it easier to hold onto, it is obvious that the plastic on the back of the phone paired with the large physical footprint makes the handset incredibly easy to drop.

This means that you will want something to protect your device from accidental bumps and bruises. Thankfully there is the Amzer Pudding TPU Case for the Nexus 6 that provides an element of protection to your phone without increasing the size of the handset.

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1 year ago

4th of July Sale: 20% off all accessories at ShopAndroid

4th of July Sale

Before you fire up the grill and fireworks this 4th of July, swing by ShopAndroid to save 20% on your favorite accessories.

Starting today, everything in store including the most popular wireless chargers, cases and covers, screen protectors, and quick chargers are all up for grabs at a boomin' 20% discount! There's plenty to check out for popular devices like the LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 4, and many more. After you've filled your cart, use coupon code: 7415 to enjoy instant savings on everything. If that's not enough to spark your interest, we even offer free shipping on all orders over $50 within the continental US, along with reasonable rates on expedited options. Don't miss out this holiday week, because the gettin's only good until midnight, July 7.

Light'em up and let's shop!

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1 year ago

Nest Aware, and why the Nest Cam subscription makes sense

Nest Aware Subscription

You'd be hard-pressed to find a conversation about the new Nest Cam this week that doesn't include some form of unrest about the subscription portion of the product. Aside from the additional monthly cost, there's a significant chunk of users out there that don't understand why it is Nest doesn't offer the ability to manage Nest Cam locally, including storage the user might already own.

The answer to this question can be found in the features baked into Nest Aware, the not-quite-obligatory subscription service so many are unhappy with. A quick look at the features offers a lot of insight into why Nest Cam, and the Dropcams that came before it, is a cloud-only platform.

It's easy to get lost in "why can't they just" when talking about a product.

As users, we frequently mistake "cloud services" as code words for online storage and easy access. It's not entirely our fault, cloud storage is the service most commonly talked about in the consumer space. Cloud computing, where multiple servers in a data center somewhere process local data so your single local machine doesn't have to, is an entirely different set of technologies. Nest works hard to make it look like their services happen effortlessly, with a user interface that lets the user feel in control. At their core, however, Nest services need some help from the Internet in order to be useful, and relying on third-party services isn't always an option. In the case of Nest Cam, more specifically the Nest Aware service powering the camera, relying on a third party would be disastrous.

Nest Zone

Any web connected camera can grab video and store it to a NAS. Nest Cam offers a ton more than that. You can set up motion detection for specific areas the camera can see, zoom in and enhance a portion of the video for better facial recognition, and quickly assemble timelapse videos. All of this happens through Nest Aware, and it happens because Nest servers are processing your video in real time to offer these features. The physical Nest camera and your local software aren't doing any of this, and they can't. Your mobile device can't handle the kind of video processing necessary to do this sort of thing immediately, and making a local client for Nest to run on Windows/Mac/Linux would be a tremendous undertaking that would never result in a service that ran as smoothly as the current implementation of the Nest experience. The cost of Nest products would go up significantly, the Nest software would iterate at a significantly slower rate, and as a user you didn't actually gain anything.

Like the Nest Thermostat, this camera is designed to be something everyone can set up in seconds and use easily. There's no concern for existing hardware or software, it quite literally just works once you connect it to a wireless network. Where more technical folks seem to get hung up is the storage. As a part of Nest Aware, you can have either a 10-day backup for $100/year or a 30-day backup for $300/year, but there's no way to pull a local copy of that backup. Even the Nest Aware clip creator only lets you pull an hour of video at a time, any longer and the service switches to a timelapse mode. The lack of a functional long-term local backup means you have to trust the folks at Nest with your data, and when it comes to the security of your home that can be a big ask for some. When you factor in the additional image enhancement and total lack of user-side effort offered through Nest Aware, it's a system that makes a lot of sense if you let it.

Nest History

It's easy to get lost in "why can't they just" when talking about a product, but after a few days of using Nest Cam it's clear the folks at Nest are on the right path here. There's also nothing wrong with knowing Nest Cam isn't for you, and with an ever-growing list of Works with Nest products out there it's unlikely we'll go too long before seeing a competing product that plays well with other connected home tech. For its intended purpose, Nest gets the job done better than most. That happens because of services like Nest Aware, and it's important to keep that in mind when planning your next purchase.

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1 year ago

Best heavy duty cases for LG G4

Best heavy duty cases for LG G4

The best rugged cases for the LG G4 must withstand the rigors of your daily environment — inside or out.

Not every case out there can hold up to the extremes of a busy lifestyle, where drops are commonplace and expected throughout your daily routine. Like it or not, heavy duty cases are important for those of us who require extra layers, screen covers, and sturdy belt clip holsters to get our LG G4 through to the next day.

If you're going the rugged route, you'll want to consider popping off your classy leather battery door and sticking with the standard, because you're going to get a better fit that you won't have to fight to install or remove. Preposterous, we know, but going the extra mile in protection demands a little compromise. And it's not as if you can't pop your leather door back on when the occasion calls for it.

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1 year ago

Pelican Protector and Voyager cases for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge

Pelican Protector and Voyager cases for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge

Most people need basic phone protection, then there are people who need Pelican cases.

The Pelican name is associated with protecting valuables — particularly electronics and camera gear — against basically anything you can think of, and its Protector and Voyager phone cases bring that idea down to your Galaxy S6. The two cases each offer something different, but are both a step above any "average" cheap case you can throw on your phone.

Extra protection, a specialized look and a name that you can trust is what you get with Pelican cases — here's what they look like for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.

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1 year ago

Samsung introduces the Level U Bluetooth headset for $69


Samsung has introduced a new headset into their lineup of Level audio products, the Level U, a set of Bluetooth earbuds. The Level U headset wraps around the back of the wearer's neck, similar to the LG Tone Infinim headset. The Level U comes in to colors in the US: black sapphire and white.

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1 year ago

It's Canada Day! Save 20% on Android accessories through July 3

You heard right. Starting today, the folks at the ShopAndroid Canada store are offering 20% off absolutely everything.

There are many ways to celebrate Canada Day, whether it's rocking your favorite maple leaf tee, enjoying the local parade, or scooping up some sweet accessories for your Android device. Until midnight July 3, you can save 20% on a brand new case, charger, storage card and much more by using coupon code: 7115 during checkout.

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1 year ago

Olympus Air A01 to be available in the US in July with prices starting at $299


Olympus has already announced the Air A01, a micro four-thirds style camera that is shaped to look just like a regular lens. Instead of using a regular camera body, users would compose images using their smartphone or tablet, which communicates with the unit through Wi-Fi and OA Central for Olympus Air app.

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