accessories Stories December 12, 2016

orzly_pixel_8

Screen protectors aren’t for everyone, but for those who spend a lot on their device and want to better protect it from scratches and the occasional drop, a good tempered glass screen protector is well worth the investment, along with a solid case. I’ve tested several tempered glass screen protectors since buying the Google Pixel XL, but none have really impressed me, until I tried one from Orzly…

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accessories Stories May 31, 2016

Crystal Shell Spigen

Last week, Spigen sent over a few cases for the recently released HTC 10. That was great news for me, as I’ve been extremely hesitant to use the device as my daily driver without some sort of protection.

If the HTC 10 wasn’t so pretty and well designed it wouldn’t matter, but it’s a beautiful smartphone that I wish to keep in tip-top shape. As such, I was more than happy to take Spigen’s offerings for a test drive. Take a look at our hands-on video to see the cases in action. expand full story

accessories Stories May 23, 2016

P1010678

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of projections and claims that we are now in a ‘Post PC era’. But despite the fact that more people than ever are using mobile devices and tablets for web browsing and gaming, when it comes to getting real work done, you can’t replace a physical keyboard with a virtual one.

While using a Bluetooth keyboard with a smartphone or tablet is never going to make for a compelling laptop replacement, it may just be the accessory that saves you in a pinch, especially if you have little space to store gadgets while on the move. The iClever folding keyboard is a wireless affordable keyboard with sturdy metal construction that you can take anywhere.

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accessories Stories May 18, 2016

lg-360-cam

When LG announced the new G5 at its launch event in Barcelona back in February, it also launched a handful of ‘Friends’ to work alongside the smartphone. One of them was the 360 CAM, which is essentially a 360-degree camera, and we’ve been sent a unit to check out.

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accessories Stories May 14, 2016

scosche-cable-lead

One of the undoubted benefits of USB Type-C is the fact that it’s reversible. It doesn’t matter which way around it is, you can just shove it in your phone and know it’ll work. Of course, it has other benefits too, which is why Samsung’s decision not to use it in the Galaxy S7 series was a little puzzling. Still, you can at the very least get the reversible factor using the right cable. One available option is the SCOSCHE reversible light-up Micro USB which I’ve had for the past month or so.

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accessories Stories May 12, 2016

samsung-official-accessories

When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S7 Edge, they also showed off some official accessories. Some of them we’d seen before, while others have been redesigned to fit the Galaxy S7 Edge. I decided to check out the new S-View Cover, keyboard case and wireless charger built by Samsung specifically for its newer devices.

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accessories Stories March 30, 2016

c3po-speaker-wp

Towards the end of last year, a company called AC Worldwide launched a promising Kickstarter project. Essentially, these were fully licensed, to scale Star Wars Bluetooth speakers in the shape of C-3Po and Stormtrooper heads. Not long after the speaker project launched, an investor came in and offered the company all the money they needed to get the speakers to market. Now they’re here, and I just had to try them out…

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Amazon bans the sale of dodgy USB Type-C connectors and adapters

Following the launch of the Type-C equipped Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Pixel C devices, Google engineer Benson Leung set out to save us from all the dodgy non-compliant cables and adapters available on Amazon. Without the correct technical compliance, a Type-C adapter could charge a device too slowly, or at worst, ruin the product. Following Leung’s extensive testing, Amazon has now prohibited the sale of non-compliant accessories.

accessories Stories March 22, 2016

best-galaxy-s7-cases

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has been on the market for roughly a week, and in that first few days, we’ve been testing a number of third party cases to see which we think are the best. Thanks to the phone’s IP67 rating, we know the phone is already pretty well equipped to handle the elements, but a little extra protection from drops and scuffs is always a good thing.

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accessories Stories March 12, 2016

edifier-speakers

It may not be one of the biggest names in audio equipment, but Edifier has a growing reputation for building great-looking speakers systems that don’t cost the earth. While the M3280BT hardly has the most catchy of names, it is a decent 2.1 audio system that’s at the very least, worth your consideration, if not your cash.

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accessories Stories March 2, 2016

skyroam-hotspot

If you’ve ever travelled abroad with your smartphone, there’s a chance you’ve been stung by a hefty roaming bill because you’ve used data in another country. Depending on which carrier you’re with, that could cost you hundreds of dollars just for doing regular, everyday stuff. And you can forget about using your device as a hotspot.

That’s where Skyroam comes in. It’s an affordable mobile hotspot you can take with you to countries in Europe, Africa, South Pacific, Middle East, Asia or The Americas and pay only one single flat rate per day for (sort of) unlimited usage.

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accessories Stories February 11, 2016

aukey-wide-angle

While mobile photography keeps on improving thanks to the advancement of tiny camera sensors and image processors, it’s still nowhere near as fully-fledged as DSLR or Micro 4/3rd photography. You can’t swap out interchangeable lenses for different types of imagery, and have to rely on third party manufacturers producing clip-on accessories. That’s where the Aukey 18mm HD wide angle clip-on lens comes in.

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accessories Stories February 2, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 6.39.34 PMPopular accessory maker Zagg today announced that it has acquired Mophie, another accessory maker best known for its battery cases and power accessories. The deal will see Zagg purchase Mophie for $100 million. Mophie CEO Daniel Huang and COO Shawn Dougherty will continue their current respective roles and will report to Zagg CEO Randy Hales.

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accessories Stories January 6, 2016

speck-pocket-vr

Speck is one of the best-known smartphone case manufacturers. Its products normally combine practicality and durability with attractive designs in a way not many other companies manage. Its Candyshell Grip case is one of the most recognizable around, thanks to the grippy, (usually) brightly colored stripes on the outer shell. Now, the company has decided to dive in to the world of virtual reality with its latest product: Pocket VR.

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accessories Stories January 5, 2016

htc-urban-armor-healthbox

In an effort to get customers entirely absorbed into their ecoystem in one fell swoop, HTC and Under Armor have today announced HealthBox. Although it may sound like the brand-name for some kind of nutritious lunch, it is in fact a system which ties together a smart scale, fitness band and heart-rate monitor with a smartphone app…

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accessories Stories December 24, 2015

galaxy-s7-plus-case

With only a couple of months (or possibly weeks) left until Samsung reveals its Galaxy S lineup for 2016, a bunch of cases for the unreleased phone have shown up online. Some cheap cases now on sale from DHGate.com allegedly fit the S7 and S7 Plus…

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accessories Stories December 8, 2015

PSA: The Google Store is now selling Bose headphones

Google’s US and Canadian online retail store is now selling several models of Bose headphones. Items sold on the Google Store are usually more directly related accessories like cases, chargers, and cables, but this launch marks one of the more broad expansions of the store.

There are currently four sets of headphones on sale. The cheapest are the SoundSport In-Ear for $129.95. Followed by the SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones II at $179.95. The more premium SoundLink Wireless Headphones II cost $279 and Bose’s top of the line QuietComfort 25 cost $299.

These prices are comparable to the prices you would find at other retailers, like Amazon and others. They come with free shipping and all products bought from the Google Store come with an extended return window for the holidays. All purchases made from November 27 to December 25 can be returned through January 22 of next year.

accessories Stories December 1, 2015

OnePlus’ latest product is an iPhone case – Unboxing and Hands-on [Gallery]

Android smartphone maker OnePlus is no stranger to unusual marketing tactics. Whether it’s because it’ll only sell phones to those with an invitation, asks customers to trade in their iPhone or Samsung phones for one of its devices, or by leaving out features many Android fans love, it seems to promote discussion with whatever it does. Its latest move is equally interesting, to say the least…

accessories Stories November 29, 2015

PSA: All Nexus 5X and 6P cases are 50% off on the Google Store

In addition to knocking $80 off all Nexus 5X models, the US Google Store is also discounting all cases for the latest Nexus devices by 50%. The discount is applied at checkout and covers the Nexus-branded Case and Folio, as well as those made by ADOPTED and Speck…

accessories Stories November 27, 2015

oneplus-icons-lead

Back when OnePlus announced its third smartphone, the OnePlus X, you may remember it also teased a pair of earphones. These earphones, it claimed, would bring quality craftsmanship and great audio for a price way below what you’d expect. The OnePlus Icons are now available to buy for $44.99 (reg. $49.99), and I’ve got my hands on a pair… expand full story

You can now purchase the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X without an invite, plus discounts on accessories

Today is officially Black Friday, which means several companies will be selling various products at better-than-full prices. OnePlus’ version of a Black Friday weekend sale has begun and — instead of getting discounted smartphones — the company has made its phones available for open sale from today through until the 30th. That’s four full days of invite-free purchasing.

Both of the latest phones — the OnePlus X and OnePlus 2 — are available to buy all weekend and you won’t need an invite to purchase.

While the phones haven’t been discounted, the company has taken a percentage off the retail price of most of its accessories. Multiple OnePlus One accessories are available for 90% off, while accessories for the newer devices are 10% off. If you’ve been desperate to get your hands on the company’s new smartphones, now is the best opportunity to do so. To take advantage, head on over to OnePlus.net.

As for devices with actual discounts, we compiled a list of phones that we’d personally recommend buying, all of which have seen healthy price-cuts this week. What’s more, we’ve also rounded up some of the best gift ideas for you to consider, while our friends at 9to5Toys have an extensive list of all notable Black Friday deals running.

accessories Stories November 26, 2015

v-moda crossfade wireless

V-MODA makes some of the best earphones available. While sports stars and celebrities are normally seen wearing Beats, you’re more likely to find a pair of V-MODA cans wrapped around the necks of DJs. And if I’m going to trust someone’s judgement on an audio product, I’ll choose a music professional over a sports-person any day.

In the past, I’ve owned the Crossfade M100 and now, the award-winning earphones are back with an added feature: Wireless connectivity. I’ve been using the Crossfade Wireless for the past week or so, and they’re rather fantastic…

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accessories Stories November 24, 2015

gift-guide-2015The holiday season is well and truly upon us, and whether you’re looking for gift ideas for yourself, your friends or your family, we have you covered here at 9to5Google. This list contains some of my favorite smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks and some awesome accessories that I’ve used and loved. Ranging from $25 to $630, these are some of this year’s great gadgets…

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accessories Stories November 18, 2015

Samsung Keyboard Cover reportedly among accessories planned for Galaxy S7

When Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 5 at the end of this summer, we stared on — not in disbelief but rather ‘they’ve done it again’ – as the company launched a flimsy-looking plastic keyboard cover to clamp to the front of its pristine glass smartphone. And it seems the company may do it at least one more time when the Galaxy S7 and its dual-curved sibling launches next year.

According to information received by SamMobile, Samsung is going to bring out a keyboard cover for the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge, along with a few more bespoke cases and accessories. Joining the keyboard cover is the usual S View Cover, a ‘Glitter Cover’ and a ‘Clear Cover’. This may come as good news to those of you who like Samsung’s market leading hardware, but miss the clickety-clack of real keys under your thumbs as you pound out messages and tweets on your smartphone.

No details have been given on pricing, but each version of each accessory has its own SKU beginning with EF or EJ. I am curious to see how Samsung will design the keys and layout. With the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge likely to be smaller than the Note 5, that gives less room to cram in four rows of keys, meaning they’ll be smaller and harder to use. If Samsung can release a keyboard that’s both small, and sensibly design, I’ll be impressed.

 

amazon-black-friday-lead

Amazon has announced that its popular Black Friday sale event will begin this week, and last eight days. From Friday, new deals will be added “as often as every five minutes” for eight straight days leading right up until Black Friday. What’s more, the company will offer 10 ‘Deals of the Day’ on Thanksgiving with ten more on Black Friday…

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accessories Stories November 14, 2015

aukey-bluetooth-sport

Aukey is a Chinese company more commonly known for producing charging accessories like in-car chargers and multi-port USB stations. But, it also builds headphones. I’ve been testing the wireless Bluetooth earphones while out running for a few months now. For $25, it’s really hard to argue against the Aukey Sport Bluetooth Headphone

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accessories Stories November 10, 2015

Newest Samsung Gear VR now available to pre-order for $100

Back at its event in August, when it launched the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge plus, Samsung also unveiled the first consumer-focussed Gear VR headset. The ‘Innovator Edition’ tag has been dropped, and you can now pre-order the latest version of the Samsung Gear VR from Best Buy for $99. It’s compatible with all the latest flagship Samsung Galaxy products including the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5.

Samsung built the new Gear VR to be lighter and more comfortable to wear than its predecessor. It’s built with flexible padding, has an easy-to-use touchpad on the side, and ships with a 16GB microSD card loaded with 3D movie trailers and 360-degree videos to enjoy right out of the box.

Multiple companies are aiming to transform the way we view multimedia with virtual reality. Samsung partnered with Oculus to create an affordable, smartphone-powered headset, while Google developed the even more budget-friendly Cardboard. HTC went more high end with its Vive (which is yet to be released), and of course, there’s Oculus’ own-brand set among others. Even YouTube recently updated its Android app to enhance it with VR content and site-wide Cardboard compatibility.

In short, companies are seeing VR as the next step in multimedia and are betting big to make it happen. Whether or not the Gear VR becomes a lasting or memorable part of that move is yet to be seen.

accessories Stories November 9, 2015

Xiaomi unveils 2nd gen Mi Band fitness tracker with heart-rate monitor, costs just $15

Xiaomi sure knows how to make affordable products that punch above their price point. Whether it’s an Android-powered TV, flagship smartphone or a fitness tracker. The Chinese manufacturer just updated its range of fitness trackers with the second generation Mi Band, and it offers a lot for the money.

The updated Mi Band has many of the features you’d expect to find in a basic FitBit or Jawbone tracker. It’ll help you set goals via an Android app and calculate distance travelled, calories burned and track various exercises. It can track your sleep, and has a built-in vibrator motor to alert you when receiving calls. What’s more, if you manage to pick up the more expensive 99 yuan ($15 USD) model, you’ll get a heart-rate monitor too.

Design-wise, it’s a toned-down affair. It’s essentially a metal capsule containing all the necessary sensors and components inside a basic, flexible TPU wrist-band. No watch-face or screen of any kind, just a few LED lights. Saying that, it’s designed to be waterproof, drop-resistant and can last 30 days on a single charge. In other words: It’s not fancy, but has all the features necessary to be a great phone-connected fitness band and it lasts forever.

The 2nd gen Mi Band is launching in China on November 11, and the company hasn’t announced its plans to ship internationally. However, you should still be able to pick them up on specialist Chinese tech import sites in Europe and the US cheaply. A quick search on eBay reveals that the first gen Mi Band isn’t hard to get hold of, although you may have to pay a couple of dollars extra to get it.  The 2nd gen will undoubtedly follow soon.

accessories Stories October 29, 2015

stratus-xl-lead

Mobile gaming has come on leaps and bounds as technology advances. And while touch screen games can still be good, you still can’t beat the feel of a full-size gamepad for proper gaming experience. For Android, that means the Stratus XL. It’s the latest mobile controller by SteelSeries and offers everything a gamepad should.

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accessories Stories October 22, 2015

deals-feature

With the holiday season looming, retailers and manufacturers are clamoring to sell as many products as they can. That means two things: There are new products on the market, and the older ones are being heavily discounted. Whether you’re looking to snag a great former-flagship for less than retail price, or pick an entry level phone as cheaply as possible, you’re not short of options. Our roundup of today’s best deals includes a twelve dollar smartphone and the LG G Flex 2 among others…

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accessories Stories October 2, 2015

New-nexus-6p-5x

The next generation of I/O technology is slowly making its way across categories and — as with any evolution — there’s a period of transition. With USB Type-C we a have a fast, reversible and small connector that does virtually anything you can imagine. Whether it’s powering a laptop, external hard drive or a flagship smartphone, USB Type-C can do it all.

Eventually, all tech will ship with USB Type-C ports, but until that’s a reality we’re still left in a position where we need to plug-in our USB Type-C equipped gadget in to something. That ‘something’ normally has a USB Type-A port…

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accessories Stories September 29, 2015

new-nexus-cases

Google just announced its latest Nexus phones, and with new devices always comes the opportunity for accessory-makers to get busy producing cases for the shiny new smartphones. There’s no shortage of options for the Huawei Nexus 6P or the LG Nexus 5X. Whether you’re looking for official cases available on Google’s store, or cheaper alternatives, you should be able to find something to suit needs. expand full story

accessories Stories September 19, 2015

lg-g4-wireless-charging-cheap

While many flagship smartphones have wireless charging built in as standard, LG opted against it with the G4. Unless you buy the company’s expensive and — in my opinion — unattractive Quick Circle case, you don’t get wireless charging. As always with these kind of problems, there is a solution and all it costs is $15 and a little patience…

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accessories Stories August 27, 2015

LG debuts ‘Rolly’ universal, rollable Bluetooth keyboard

In a press release early this morning, Korean tech giant LG announced that it wants to grab a bigger share of the mobile accessories market. It wants to do so with Rolly Keyboard, a wireless, portable, rollable universal keyboard. Opened, it forms a four-row keyboard with close-to full size keys. What makes the keyboard unique is the method by which it’s stowed. Unlike the traditional single fold down the middle, each row of keys has a hinge, enabling the user to roll it up in to a ‘stick’.

Rolly Keyboard is powered by a single AAA battery and uses two Bluetooth 3.0 channels to pair to two separate devices and enable easy-switching between them, similar to the Microsoft Foldable Keyboard we reviewed recently. What’s more, it also features two arms to hold smartphones or tablets upright. It’s made from polycarbonate and black ABS plastic and LG claims it “offers satisfying tactile feedback often not found on flexible silicone keyboards”. Judging from the selection of keys on the device, it seems it’s going to be compatible with multiple platforms. Instead of offering a separate row for extra function keys for tasks like media playback, volume etc. LG has opted to use an individual ‘Fn’ key which — when pressed with a labelled key — will allow users to skip tracks, play/pause, change volume, pair devices and much more. And it won’t be alone on the accessory market his year:

“LG Rolly Keyboard is just one of the many premium input devices we’ll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings,” said Seo Young-jae, vice president in charge of Innovative Personal Devices at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The goal was to create a product that could add more value to LG smartphones and tablets at the same time offering a unique design proposition that hadn’t been explored before.”

LG will show off its Rolly Keyboard at IFA in Berlin at the beginning of next month and launch in the U.S. in September. Pricing and availability details will be shared once it’s available to consumers. Along with the keyboard, LG is expected to announce a range of new Android-powered G Pad tablets in an attempt to compete directly with Samsung.

accessories Stories August 22, 2015

microsoft-foldable-keyboard-android

The Android tablet accessory market may not be as full of keyboards as the iPad market is, but even when you find one, chances are it’s terrible. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard wants to be the one to change that trend. It’s small enough to carry around in your pocket when folded, and works with Android, Windows and iOS devices. What’s more, you can have it paired to two devices at once and switch between them with the press of a button. It’s safe to say that this is one of the most versatile and portable Bluetooth keyboards on the market. This review was written entirely on it.

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accessories Stories August 15, 2015

edifier feature

Edifier is a company normally known for making audio products with an ultra-modern, abstract or minimalist design. I’ve reviewed and tested a few of their speakers in the past, and they’ve all had an unusual aesthetic. It was a refreshing change, then, to get my hands on the R1700BT bookshelf speakers. They’re Bluetooth, versatile, look good and sound great. More impressive, they’re available for a little over £100.

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accessories Stories August 7, 2015

The LG G4 has been around for a couple of months now, and since launch there’s been enough time for a handful of case-makers to get their wares to market. Although there might not be as many options as there are for Galaxy S or HTC One owners, there are still a good few cases on the market which I think you should consider. Unless you have a leather-backed G4, in which case, don’t bother. All the cases in this list came with a warning that they aren’t compatible with the leather back, or will probably ruin it over time…

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accessories Stories July 11, 2015

 

gearpouchfeature

Despite the fact that smartphone and hardware manufacturers are pushing towards a wire-free utopia, we’re still no closer to ridding ourselves of pesky accessories, pens, earphones and other paraphernalia our smartphones seem to crave. Let’s face it, you don’t always want to carry around a huge backpack or messenger bag. And even when you do, you don’t want to have all your loose gear rattling around inside.

Waterfield Designs is a brand well known by bag aficionados, and one which has earned my attention and affection over the years. The Gear Pouch does nothing but make my appreciation for their wares stronger.

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accessories Stories June 2, 2015

y5Jr0ct

Update: A tipster has sent an email confirming the existence of the “Welcome Kit”…

If you’re one of the lucky few who have received their invite to Project Fi, you’re probably also the kind of person that already owns a Nexus 6. If you don’t already have a Nexus 6 and you sign up for Fi though, Google makes you buy one—as it’s the only phone currently compatible with the service. According to a couple reports on Reddit, Google is giving these buyers some goodies… expand full story

accessories Stories May 15, 2015

Mi Store 2015-05-15 12-49-11

Xiaomi is going to very slowly start its entry into Europe and the United States next week, according to a post from the company’s Facebook page. Starting on the 19th of May, the company will offer a small selection of accessories—including power banks and headphones—to buyers in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany… expand full story

accessories Stories January 12, 2015

roundupgoogle

If you’ve somehow missed the overflow of coverage from CES 2015 last week, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. During the show we took a look at the latest devices and accessories that are expected to be released throughout 2015. The show was packed with new smartphones, home automation tools, cases, and some unexpected surprises. If you didn’t catch all of the coverage from the show, check out the roundup below with links to everything that we found interesting…

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accessories Stories November 28, 2014

Nexus-6-case

If you own a Nexus 6 and you’re looking for some Google endorsed accessories, your options have just increased by one. The smartphone’s highly anticipated Stand Folio Case is now available from the Play Store for $40 with a warehouse departure time of one to two business days.

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accessories Stories November 25, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 5.46.37 PM

After going up for pre-order on Amazon in October, the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio case is now available on the Play Store. The case costs a whopping $129, which for those doing the math, is only $71 less than what HTC was selling the tablet itself for a couple of weeks back.

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accessories Stories November 6, 2014

Nexus-Cover

The LG G Watch R wasn’t the only item tp quietly hit Google Play today. The search giant has also added a pair of cases for its Nexus 6. Priced at $35, the Naked Tough Case is a thin, clear hard shell with a minimal design and a kickstand reminiscent of the HTC EVO.

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accessories Stories October 29, 2014

Accessorize your Moto 360 with this 3D printed protective bumper

The Moto 360 is arguably the hottest Android Wear device on the market and if you’ve purchased Motorola’s new timepiece, you might want to protect your $250 investment. Accessories for smartphones and tablets are big business and smartwatches might be getting in on the action.

accessories Stories October 13, 2014

JBL-earphones

Today, Chinese phone maker OnePlus revealed a new set of earphones for its hard to purchase smartphone, but unlike its homegrown offering, this ear gear is a byproduct of a partnership with JBL. Listed as “coming soon” at the company’s online store the aptly named the JBL E1+ Earphones are premium branded buds that will eventually set someone back $40 whenever they go on sale.

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accessories Stories September 23, 2014

Samsung-Charge-Sharing

Samsung announced a new accessory today that should compliment its large selection of mobile devices rather nicely. Priced at $20, the Samsung Power Sharing Cable lets owners of select Galaxy devices transfer power to another compatible smartphone, smartwatch or tablet. To manage use of the Power Sharing Cable, Samsung has put together a specialized app that’s now available in Google Play.

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accessories Stories September 17, 2014

Bamboo-OnePlus-One

Remember those StyleSwap covers that OnePlus announced a couple of months ago? You know, the ones that were supposed to go on sale last month? Unfortunately, the young company ran into some production issues that have resulted in the cancellation of the product as a whole.

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