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Tag Archives: cell phone accessories

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  • the best gadgets for traveling


    Everything has become easier since smartphones, and that goes for traveling too. With easy access to maps, GPS, flight and train schedules, our cell phones, tablets and laptops are now an essential part of globetrotting. But almost as essential are certain mobile accessories that help make sure our wireless devices are always working in top order. The following are Pure Mobile's picks for the 5 best gadgets for travel – don't leave home without them!


    1. Backup power


    Your phone and tablet are pretty useless if they run out of juice. And not every country has the same type of electrical outlet, so even if you bring your phone charger, you may find yourself out of luck. Be on the safe side and travel with a backup battery pack. Backup power is also great if you're out and about sightseeing and away from an outlet for any period of time.


    We recommend Scosche's goBAT II, a high capacity battery backup for iPhone and iPad, or Dexim's BluePack Battery, which works for nearly all devices, from iPhone to Android and BlackBerry.


    2. A sturdy laptop bag


    If you do decide to bring your laptop or notebook, it simply won't do to just cram it into your travel pack. Instead, invest in a good case or travel bag designed to fit your laptop securely, with extra room for passport, souvenirs and whatever else you may need.


    For an over-the-shoulder style, we like Targus' Classic Notebook Case for sturdiness and organization. And for backpacks, Incase's Terra Campus pack offers padded protection for both your MacBook Pro and iPad, with tons of extra storage.


    Incase Terra Campus Pack Macbook Pro iPad storage Incase's Terra Campus pack offers padded protection for you MacBook and iPad, as well as super organized storage for anything else

     


    3. A good multipurpose cable


    Even with a battery pack, you're going to need a good cable for charging and syncing. We like Dexim's Green Cable Universal, which, as the name suggests works for most if not all devices. Featuring EL technology which reduces power consumption, it not only allows your device to charge really quickly, but also glows while it's charging, to let you know when your battery is full. Neat-o!


    4. A wallet phone or tablet case


    Especially when traveling, it's nice to have all your essentials – phone, money, and cards – all in one spot. That's easy with a wallet or folio-style phone case. Griffin's Midtown Wallet is the perfect pick for the iPhone 5, with slots for cards and cash, and their Elan Passport does the same for your iPad 2.


    Griffin GB03439 Elan Passport iPad 2 Black Keep your tablet, cards and cash all in one place with Griffin's Elan Passport Case for iPad 2

     


    5. Compact earbuds


    If you've ever been on an 8-hour flight with an unhappy baby, you'll understand the need for a good set of headphones while traveling. Earbuds are more compact, and easier to cary around, so make sure you've got a good pair that can drown out unwanted noise, like Beats by Dre's urBeats, which are small and lightweight but also have a super-tough metal housing.


    Bon voyage!


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  • iphone 5 cases Sunita Swarovski crystals CES Sunita's Swarovski crytal-encrusted iPhone cases made Mashable's list of most blinged-out accessories at CES

     


    If Liberace were around today, we know exactly what iPhone case he'd be rocking.


    Wrapping up their coverage of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Mashable rounded up some of the most blinged-out tech, like cell phone cases and headphones, from this year's CES.


    And we couldn't help but marvel at (and maybe even admire) this line of iPhone cases  from Sunita, positively dripping with luxury in no subtle way at all. Sure, we've all seen sparkly, rhinestone-studded cell phone cases before.


    But it's a much different story when the entire back of your phone is swathed in actual Swaorski crystals; those babies aren't cheap. Though Mashable never mentioned what Sunita's charging for these iced-out cases, other iPhone cases that merely use Swarovski crystals as an accent (think a crystal bumper) can start at $70 or $80.


    We're not exactly sure what use anyone would have for such an elaborate iPhone case, except to be able to say they have one. We're not scientists but we're pretty sure crystal isn't the most shock-absorbing or durable material. In fact, we'd recommend getting a case for your case, in the event you drop it and a pricey crsytal or two pops out.


    But if showing off in grand style is your thing, it may be worth it.




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  • Incipio xGo iPhone 5 case waterproof Incipio's Xgo iPhone 5 case, unveiled at CES, is waterproof up to 25 feet. Image courtesy of 9to5Mac.

     


    Move over Liferpoof, there's a new waterproof iPhone 5 case in town. 9to5Mac reported on a new, seriously rugged case from Incipio, unveiled yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.


    The award-winning cell phone accessories maker's latest is the xGO, a rough-and-tumble iPhone 5 case that's waterproof up to 25 feet, and which the company has branded as an "action sports equipped case solution," ideal for the adventurous type.


    The xGO blends a plextonium frame with a silicone core and sports a tempered glass screen, so that your iPhone isn't just protected underwater, but maintains full functionality as well.


    Meanwhile, the case's mounting system allows you to "effortlessly mount the case to backpacks, bicycles, surfboards," and comes with a bunch of cool screw-in lenses for your phone's camera, like wide angle, fish eye, macro and zoom.


    This latest Incipio iPhone case "provides our active enthusiast with the ability to protect their mobile device and take it with them on all their adventures,” said Incipio Chief Executive Andy Fathollahi in a statement. It's a solution that "changes the way you use your iPhone 5," the company says.


    If you're a rugged, sporty or outdoorsy type and can't wait to get your hands on one, the xGO will start rolling out next month in a number of colors, and will be available along with add-ons like attachments, hardware, nylon hand straps and more.





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  • The terms "Scratchgate" and "Scuffgate" have surfaced as early adopters of the iPhone 5 complain of unsightly marks on the aluminum back

     


    Okay, so it's not exactly a national scandal on the scale of Watergate, but there's a kerfuffle all across the web over the reputed inadequacy of the new iPhone 5's aluminum back.


    The fact that the aluminum is prone to scratching has users and tech sites shouting Scratchgate and Scuffgate, and even led to cries of "oh, the humanity!" Proud new owners of the iPhone 5 have already been complaining of unsightly scratches and scuffs on the black-coated aluminum of their new prized possession.


    And, as 9to5 Mac reported, one such user actually garnered a response from Apple's Senior VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, who told him: “Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal.”


    Fair enough. The aluminum backing of the iPhone 5 may be prone to wear, but it is actually less fragile than the glass backing of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. And even in a Gizmodo video where one user is determined to “scratch the hell” out of the new device within store, the iPhone 5 holds up pretty well, though it's never rubbed against sharp metal objects like keys or rings.



    Still, all of this brings us to an important, if awkward, discussion:


    It's fun to have the latest smartphone. You love Apple ever so much, and you and your new iPhone are planning to make a life together – at least until the next model comes out, that is.


    But the fact is, just because you trust your smartphone, there's no reason not to use protection. It's for your iPhone's good as much as your own. So glove the love.


    Yes, we're talking about cases and covers. In the case of the iPhone 4 and 4S, a rugged case is best (we've all seen those tragic shots of shattered glass.) But for the iPhone 5, a simple skin just to protect the black finish may be enough to do the trick.


    The result of unprotected smartphone love: the cracked glass panel of an iPhone 4

     


    Meanwhile, the moral of this story extends beyond Apple's products, to any smartphone you want to keep in good shape. To paraphrase Beyoncé, if you liked it then you should have put a skin on it.




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  • Samsung is bringing a new addition to its Galaxy smartphone line called the Galaxy S Duos, and it’s got one really unique feature – the ability to operate on two wireless carriers at the same time.


    The Galaxy S Duos hardware is designed to support two SIM cards. You can have two different phones numbers running on two different networks from the same phone. In other words, even if you have AT&T for work and Verizon for personal use, you can use the same phone for both.


    As Samsung said in a blog post announcing the phone: “Its unique ‘Dual SIM Always On’ feature allows you to receive calls on one SIM number while taking a call from the other, ensuring that you can manage both personal and work commitments without ever missing a call. You also have the flexibility of selecting different billing plans for either SIM, switching between them at your convenience.”


    At first glance, the Galaxy S Duos looks a lot like the Galaxy S III, but its features are very different. The Duos has a 4-inch 480x 800 TFT touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1GHz processor and 4GB of storage.


    In contrast, the Galaxy S III has a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen with 1,280 x 720 resolution, a higher-resolution 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and either 16 or 32GB of built-in storage.


    The Samsung Galaxy S Duos will be available next month in Europe. There's no word on when those of us on this side of the Atlantic will see it.




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  •  



    The first time you picked up that Galaxy S III at the store, you fell in love with it. It had such a sleek, smooth feel, and so thin… Your service provider had it in that gorgeous pebble blue color. Sold!


    Then the clerk recommended hiding its beauty with a case or skin and a screen protector. Really?


    Sorry to say, you have to consider it. Here are a few reasons:


    Drops. Your phone will fall out of your pocket or slip out of your hand at some point. Given that you are probably hanging out on the concrete more than at home on the carpet, you know even the strongest case is going to get damaged. (And if that dent is in a spot where you hold the phone, you’ll get irritated again every time you make a call.) Besides, a cracked screen would really ruin your day.


    Germs. You’ve heard the horror stories. Most devices carry more germs than a toilet seat. That’s not just an ugly rumor. Study after study proves it. If you’re bothered by that, clean your phone regularly. If you’re the kind of person who likes that Spring cleaning feeling, wrap your phone in a skin and change it out if it really gets gooey or stained. A screen protector is even easier to swap out, so you can do those even more frequently.


    Look. A white Case is a beauty, but sometimes you need to show some personality. You want to show a little red once in a while, but not all the time. That red skin will look really good over that marble white case during the holiday season.


    Price. Even on contract, that S III set you back $200. Replacing it would hit you for at least $500. For that kind of money, you could buy a skin for every day of the month.


    Cases are designed to be smooth. That makes them slippery. That makes them more likely to be dropped. Hmmmm. Maybe that’s another reason that manufacturers make them that way…




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  • Battery life can make or break the popularity of a cell phone. Manufacturers make a lot of promises, but in real life testing their claims rarely hold true. CNET recently updated the results of their talk-time testing. Here are their results listed in talk-time hours.


    We hope your device is near the top of (or at least on) this list:


    1. Motorola Droid Razr Maxx – 19.78
    2. LG Optimus Vu (unlocked) – 16.08
    3. Apple iPhone 4 (with 3G off) – 14.55
    4. RIM BlackBerry Curve 9360 (on T-Mobile) – 12
    5. Kyocera DuraPlus (Sprint) - 11.47
    6. Samsung Captivate Glide (AT&T) – 10.3
    7. ZTE Fury (Sprint) – 10.02
    8. Samsung Galaxy S II (U.S. Cellular) - 9.47
    9. LG Optimus 3D Max (unlocked) – 9.35
    10. Huawei Mercury (Cricket Wireless) – 9.32
    11. Apple iPhone 4S (Sprint) – 9.2
    12. Kyocera Milano (Sprint) – 9.2
    13. Samsung Focus S (AT&T) – 9.01
    14. Kyocera DuraCore (Sprint) – 8.95
    15. Samsung Rugby Smart (AT&T) – 8.9
    16. LG Lucid (Verizon) – 8.47
    17. T-Mobile Prism – 8.32
    18. RIM BlackBerry Torch 9810 (AT&T) – 8.1
    19. Pantech Swift (AT&T) – 7.27
    20. Huawei Ascend II (U.S. Cellular) – 7.25


    Here are the bottom 20 and how miserably they performed:


    1. Motorola i412 (Boost Mobile) – 3
    2. ZTE Chorus (Cricket Wireless) – 3.35
    3. LG Encore (AT&T) – 3.6
    4. LG Saber (U.S. Cellular) – 3.9
    5. Huawei M835 Ideos (MetroPCS) – 4
    6. Nokia Lumia 800 (unlocked) – 4.12
    7. RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 (Verizon) – 4.18
    8. HTC 7 Pro (U.S. Cellular) – 4.5
    9. HTC Arrive (Sprint) – 4.5
    10. Huawei Ascend 1 (Cricket Wireless) – 4.72
    11. Huawei Ideos X5 (unlocked) – 4.75
    12. Samsung Zeal (Verizon) – 4.8
    13. HTC Trophy (Verizon) – 5
    14. HTC Thunderbolt (Verizon) – 5
    15. HTC Desire (U.S. Cellular) – 5
    16. Pantech Jest 2 (Verizon) – 5.3
    17. HTC MyTouch 4G Slide (T-Mobile) – 5.4
    18. HTC Inspire 4G (AT&T) – 5.5
    19. Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G (T-Mobile) – 5.63
    20. ZTE Score (Cricket) – 5.67


    It’s interesting that there's such a wide range of results on the talk-time for the 20 best batteries, and less than three hours difference from top to bottom of the 20 worst. Note that Verizon doesn’t appear on the best list but does have five placements on the worst. It looks like the equipment itself isn't the only determining factor for battery performance.




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  • AT&T will launch shared data plans on August 23. The new data plans will let you share data between all the mobile devices you and your family use, eliminating the need for separate plans for each device.


    Plans are priced based upon GB usage and are available from 1GB to 20GB. Each plan requires at least one smartphone and will allow data-sharing with up to nine devices. One smartphone will receive unlimited talk and text data. An extra charge will apply for additional phones. Each plan includes tethering, and access to over 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots.


    Don’t worry. AT&T’s Mobile Share plans won’t be mandatory for new customers.


    Watch those data overages. With the Mobile Share plans, overages will cost you $15 per GB, as opposed to the $10 per GB with a traditional plan.


    The AT&T website has set up a Mobile Share Planner tool to help you determine the right plan for you.




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  • Nokia Windows 8


    Nokia has partnered with Microsoft and plans to get back into the smartphone game with the launch of Windows 8-based devices. According to a source who prefers to remain anonymous, Nokia will be making their plans public at Nokia World next month.


    Nokia officials aren’t commenting on the rumors, but Arnaud Bauduin, a Paris-based fund manager at Ofi Asset Management said on the matter, “To come back, they either need to surf on a Microsoft success in mobile or become cool again -- two complicated challenges.”


    Nokia’s Lumia devices entered the market 9 months ago, but service providers like AT&T chose not to carry them. Since many customers didn't know about the existence of the Lumia devices, this had a huge negative impact on sales.


    To improve the visibility of the phones, Nokia will be using volunteers from its U.S. staff called Nokia’s Army, to work with the salespeople at the major carriers. Nokia’s Army will focus on educating the sales staff and customers about the Lumia alternative.


    Nokia believes that timing of the launch of their new Windows 8-based devices is key. They plan to have their smartphones on the store shelves ahead of Apple’s expected Sept. 12 unveiling of the new iPhone. 


    Nokia has a lot of ground to make up. Their U.S. market share is at approximately 2% as Q2 this year. In 2001, it peaked at 32 percent.




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  • Who needs a professional camera with a telephoto lens when you have an Apple iPhone 4S? Photojournalist Dan Chung is showing the world just what Apple’s soon-to-be upstaged iPhone 4S can do by live blogging the pomp, circumstance and excitement of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London using that amazing little camera phone.


    Chung is keeping a photoblog entirely made up of pictures taken with his iPhone, showing the action on the field, in the pools and in the stands. Using the camera in the iPhone 4S, a clip-on Schneider lens, some Canon binoculars and the Snapseed processing app, Chung is capturing everything that makes the Olympics such a special event.


    It looks like the iPhone 4S has found an unlikely home in the world of sports photography. We wonder what Chung would have been able to do with an iPhone 5. How about the Superbowl next year, Dan?




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