It's been a busy week on all fronts, and there's a ton of new toys to recap. As usual, we're taking a look at connected accessories of all kinds to recently hit store shelves, including wearables, wireless audio, smarthome accessories, and anything else that plays nice with your Android phone or tablet. Samsung's Gear S2 is now available to order, offering a fully round screen and good fashion sense. Don't let the Tizen software turn you off though; the apps it's managed to include are quite impressive. We can't forget the new Chromecast stuff, either. The newest dongle is built for audio, allowing you to cast from your favorite music service on your phone out to your existing speakers with minimal fuss. Let's take a look at what else is new.
Bose SoundTouch 10
The latest addition to the Bose SoundTouch family of wireless speakers is the diminutive SoundTouch 10. It's less than 4 inches deep, making it perfect for sitting on a bookshelf or a nightstand without taking up too much room. Hardware buttons on the top of the speaker and on the included remote let you immediately start listening to streaming music through your saved favorite channels. You can also pair up your phone with the speaker directly to play locally-stored music over Bluetooth, and connected it to other SoundTouch speakers around the house for multi-room streaming. Of course the Android app lets you remotely control everything, line up playlists, and set favorites. The SoundTouch 10 joins updated versions of the SoundTouch 20 and 30 speakers which have also added Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities.
Samsung Gear S2
We've been having our eye on the Samsung Gear S2 since IFA, and now it's starting to hit store shelves. The Gear S2 looks great, like a real watch and not some Dick Tracy contraption. The bezel around the 360 x 360 display twists, which you can use to interact with the software alongside the usual taps and swipes. Most notably, this watch isn't running Android Wear, but rather using Samsung's own Tizen operating system. Don't let that turn you away though; you'd be surprised just how many high-quality apps they've managed to get on there. Previously this meant you'd only be able to use the watch with a Samsung phone, but this will pair up painlessly with other Android devices.
Alongside a pair of new Nexus phones, Google announced two new Chromecast dongles this week too. Brand new to the lineup is a simple audio accessory that's powered over microUSB, plugs into your favorite speaker with a 3.5 mm jack, and allows you to cast audio directly to that speaker from your phone or tablet. This is perfect for streaming music services like Spotify. Google also announced a second-generation Chromecast for TV with a new form factor which gives extra wriggle room around the HDMI port and improved Wi-Fi performance.
Samsung Wireless Charging Monitor
Samsung has begun preorders for their new monitor with integrated wireless charger. The Qi charging pad sits right below the 23-inch full-HD screen, and has an LED indicator so you know its working. The display itself uses AMD FreeSync to cut down on tearing during high-performance PC games, has a 60 Hz refresh rate, and 4 ms response time. Wide viewing angles, reading mode, and added energy efficiency are all nice bonuses to include. Around the back you'll find ports for HDMI, DisplayPort, and D-sub The Samsung SE370 ships November 13.
PayPal Here Chip Card Reader
Business owners will want to check out the PayPal Here Chip Card reader, a new point of sale terminal that handles Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and traditional credit and debit cards. It has both a strip and a chip reader, NFC for other contactless standards, and communicates to your Android device over Bluetooth, where your sale information is store securely within the app. An LED display means your customer can stick with the terminal and have all the information they need. Similar PayPal Here readers have already had a successful run in Australia and the U.K., and no doubt we'll see more geographies gain access soon.
Your favorite Android gadgets of the week?
Drop a link in the comments with the most exciting releases you've seen over the last week! Anything above that you figure you're going to get?
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