Back in February SanDisk announced their new 128GB Micro SDXC card. When it launched it started out at a hefty $199.99 and has since seen a variety of sale price tags and is now at the lowest sale price I have personally seen, $99.99. We had a chance to review the card and it performed as expected. Since the review it has safely resided in my Xperia Z and has never failed me once. There is something very rewarding knowing that I have more storage in my phone than I really need.
We know for certain that the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and the LG G3 all have supported listed for 128GB cards. I know for a fact that it works just fine in the Sony Xperia Z, Z1s and the Lenovo Yoga tablets. If storage on your mobile device is a concern, especially with these hi-res camera and 4K video recording ability, it is hard to not take a good hard look at picking one of these up if you have the chance. Heck, it even comes with the typical adapter to take it from a micro SD to a full size SD card giving you more options to use it. Hit the link below to get one ordered as soon as you get a chance.
Let’s face it: options for outfitting the Nexus line with covers and cases have been rather limited (and pricey) coming directly from Mountain View. That could be about to change though, as Android Police reports that a new option could offer a major boost in custom accessories. The so-called Google Workshop will allow you to create your own case for the Nexus 5 based on either a location map or an uploaded photo of your choice. A live wallpaper is said to accompany that latter option too, so you can keep a consistent theme for every customizable spot on that handset. Right now, it appears that the fifth Nexus phone is the only device privy to the treatment, so we’ll have to wait and see if that popular 7-inch tablet gets its own new digs.
Source: Android Police
If you followed what was going on at Google I/O 2014 last month, you would have heard about a really nifty contraption that Google announced called Google Cardboard. The easily assembled, cardboard accessory would essentially turn anyone’s phone into a virtual reality device and initially use Google’s own apps to virtually explore the internet and the world. The beauty of such a design is that it’s quite cheap and really doesn’t need any expertise to get going: just assemble the cardboard frame, launch the Google Cardboard app, profit (???).
With that in mind, I very excitedly got my hands on a Google Cardboard kit from www.googlecardboard.com. The kit I purchased cost $24.99 and included an NFC tag for easy linking. As it ships from Hong Kong, I eagerly waited for about two weeks before it arrived, and today I assembled the virtual reality glasses today.
For anyone who’s hoping to purchase a kit, they are extremely easy to assemble, though it took me a few minutes of stressing to realize that some bits of cardboard need to be torn off. It was a bit unusual that instructions weren’t included with this kit, but if you ever get lost, just boot up the Google Cardboard app which has a launch animation which should give you a good idea of how it’s supposed to go together. Once assembled, though, is when it all went downhill for me.
The first big issue I encountered had a lot to do with the size of my device. I had assumed that because there were gaps at the ends of the frame that my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 would fit inside perfectly. Turns out, when lying in landscape position, the Note 2 is actually too tall as well, meaning I couldn’t close the flap that holds the phone in place. No matter, as this was just a trial run, I just held the phone in place and left the flap open. Easy, right?
Wrong. I actually wear glasses, and had again assumed there would be enough space for my glasses to jam into the virtual reality headset. Again, my hypothesis was wildly wrong and I had to take my glasses off to even fit my head in. Naturally, this meant that I could barely see what was going on after I launched the Google Cardboard app, making the experience moot.
While I’m a bit frustrated, I’m not particularly surprised as it would have been difficult to cater for devices of all sizes and heads of all sizes too. That said, I did want to caution anybody out there that if you are looking at getting a Google Cardboard kit to carefully think about it first, particularly if you have a phablet or glasses. There is light at the end of the tunnel, though, as Google did provide us with the design files for Google Cardboard meaning it would be theoretically possible to scale up the design and make the whole thing a little bigger.
Are you planning to get Google Cardboard? Let us know your thoughts on it.
Gallery of Construction Photos
The post Learning the hard way: The downsides of Google Cardboard appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
At Google I/O they announced the upcoming Android L update. Inside L there were some cool new unlock abilities that would let your device bypass any pins or patterns, they called it Personal Unlocking. The device will use locations that you designate, Bluetooth devices that you connect that are authorized and even your unique voice print. There is another way to unlock your device that will by-pass those pesky pins and patterns, at least if you have a Moto X, and it is called a Digital Tattoo.
A partnership between Motorola and VivaLnk has produced a small, round RF module that can be adhered to your skin and is synced to your device. In turn, when your screen is on, you can tap it with the back of your phone and unlock the device. The little stick on is easy to stick to yourself and lasts for 5 days. It is also water-proof so you don’t have to worry about covering it up for showers, working out or swimming. The Digital Tattoos are available for purchase in a 10 pack for $9.99. Makes them just about a buck a piece.
While interesting, unique and innovative, I can’t say that I find it all that practical. Not when each one lasts about 5 days before it needs to be replaced. I certainly won’t be spending $10 every 45 days or so I can unlock my device from a sticker on my skin. I am sure there are some people out there though that might find it useful in the right situations in life, maybe while traveling or attending conferences or something where keeping your device secured is extremely important.
What are your thoughts on this little oddball piece of gadgetry?
VIVALINK website for more details and purchase.
The post Digital Tattoos to unlock your Moto X? Yeah, it is Real appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
[Review] L12S OLED Bluetooth Bracelet Watch from GearBest: What do you get from a $30 wearable device?
The wearable device market is currently booming, and there’s no shortage of options depending on what you want from your wearable. Smartwatches are a particularly hard fought battleground with the essential formula of smartwatches still up for interpretation. If you want a smartwatch right now, your options range from the wildly popular Pebble watch at around $150, to the brand-new Android Wear watches which will set you back around $250; obviously there are watches in and around these price points, but these are the most popular. With that range of prices in mind, what could the $30 (or $31.43 USD, to be exact) L12S OLED Bluetooth Bracelet Watch from GearBest hope to achieve in such a competitive climate? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.
What’s in the box
The bracelet watch comes accompanied by a charging cable and a stand should you want to show off your latest acquisition. The bracelet watch is charged using a micro-USB cable, so for us Android users, it’s nice to know that we can charge it wherever we are.
The bracelet watch itself looks quite sleek. That shiny, plastic exterior definitely gives a futuristic first impression and it’s definitely something that gets noticed more often than it doesn’t; like most wearable devices, it’s a great conversation starter. There’s only one visible button on the bracelet watch and just the one port for charging, making it a very homogeneous exterior. On the underside of the bracelet watch is what is supposed to be a heart rate sensor and inside the device is a fairly robust vibration motor.
How does it perform
This is where the review gets interesting. I’m sure many people who come across this review will dismiss the bracelet watch before even learning about what it can do. To be honest, before reviewing this bracelet watch, I might have done the same; however, I was determined to give it a chance.
First of all, I’d like to talk about the interface. While the curved glass panel takes up about 40% of the outside surface of the device, the actual screen of the device makes up a very small portion of it. In fact, it’s positively tiny, which means you have to scroll through menu items one at a time. It must be said, though, that the same has to be done on the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which made spectacularly bad use of its screen real estate.
Despite the small screen, quite a large area of the glass top case can be used as a touch interface. Yes, a touch interface on a $30 device. It’s not perfect, but it does register up, down and long press commands, and it appears to be of a capacitive nature, making it quite responsive. It takes a bit of getting used to exactly which areas are for which function, but overall it is quite a nice control scheme.
The bracelet watch connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and as easy to connect as any Bluetooth device. Unfortunately though, the Bluetooth radio in the bracelet watch doesn’t appear to automatically reconnect (despite the Bluetooth indicator on the screen sometimes staying on).
The features that are said to be available on the bracelet watch include:
- Mobile sync music player
- Call remind, answer and ID display
- SMS remind and read
Of all the functions that are available to the bracelet watch, being able to answer your phone on the smartwatch is kind of neat, though I don’t think I would do it in public. The microphone is very clear from a reasonable distance away from your face, though the speaker is very quiet and wouldn’t be usable in a moderately crowded place. Not that you would. In the car, depending on how noisy your car is, the road noise may slightly drown out the diminutive speaker. This speaker is also supposed to be used as a music speaker, but I would again say that it lacks the power to truly do this effectively.
Of the other features, none of them really strike me as particularly well implemented; the pedometer feature is a bit rough and the SMS push notifications only work for SMS, and in an age where most people use third party messaging apps, that’s a bit inconvenient. That said, there are digital watches that cost $30 and don’t do half the things this bracelet watch is able to.
What I like about the L12S OLED Bluetooth Bracelet Watch
I like the touch screen on the bracelet watch. Perhaps it’s just my amazement that a $30 has a functioning capacitive touchscreen and my $150 Pebble watch doesn’t, but it really was quite convenient and nice to use throughout the time I reviewed this device. Sure, it could have had swipe and other functionality as well, but for what it is, I was impressed.
I also do like being able to answer calls on the bracelet watch as a Bluetooth headset. Yes, it’s kind of gimmicky and perhaps isn’t that practical, but I haven’t had enough experience with answering calls on my arm to to say otherwise.
What I don’t like about the L12S OLED Bluetooth Bracelet Watch
I don’t like that there isn’t a mute, or volume function at all, for the key tone that happens when you interact with the device. This makes it particularly conspicuous in office situations, especially when the tone that is made sounds like the key pad tones from a Nokia 5110.
I also don’t like how tight the mouth of the bracelet watch is; while it’s not uncomfortable to wear, it is quite difficult to put on and take off. My wrists are quite skinny already, so people with thicker wrists might struggle as the band is not adjustable; sure there’s a little give in the band, but it’s not the most comfortable device to be removing regularly.
The review of this L12S OLED Bluetooth Bracelet Watch has been very interesting for me; I’ve often wondered how there are always dirt-cheap versions of devices that exist and how they can possibly offer even part of what the more expensive devices do. The bracelet watch we reviewed here is not going to blow your mind; it says it can do quite a few things, and while it can, it doesn’t quite do it to the same level we might expect from other, more expensive devices. But then you remember the price.
I’m not saying the device’s shortcomings are made legitimate by the price, as there’s quite a lot that could be improved, but if you’re wondering if the wearable craze is right for you, there are worse ways to spend $30 and get a taste of what that world is like.
If you’re interested in trying the L12S OLED Bluetooth Bracelet Watch out, you can visit the product page on GearBest here and pick up the bracelet watch today for $31.43 USD.
Gallery of Photos
The post [Review] L12S OLED Bluetooth Bracelet Watch from GearBest: What do you get from a $30 wearable device? appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
If you have read any of my audio product reviews, you will know that I am not a huge fan of in-ear headphones. More than just the tight fit most earphones need to stay in your ears, I find that having the speaker so close to your ear is a recipe for trouble, often leaving my ears sore and sometimes giving me a headache. However, the Denon Music Maniac AH-C50MA In-Ear Headphones have changed my perspective on in-ear headphones, from their comfy ear buds to the very balanced sound to the very affordable $59.95 AUD/$49.99 USD, I think I’ve found the first pair of earphones that I actually like. Let’s check them out.
What’s in the box
In the box of the Denon Music Maniacs, you will get the earphones themselves and an assortment of accessories. You’ll get 3 additional sets of earbuds in different sizes, extra-small, small and large (medium is included on the earphones). You’ll also get an additional cable add-on which is required for some devices; if you need this, you’ll likely know by now. I’m a little disappointed that there is no method for transporting the Maniacs with you or to even keep them neat, whether it be a bag or winding tool.
Despite being named “Music Maniac”, the Maniac’s have a very un-maniacal look. Almost all black with small silver highlights on the back of the earbuds, the Maniacs are extremely reserved and simple, which is perfectly fine, because the main event of these earphones is their performance where it really matters; more on that soon.
The Maniacs have one other notable feature, which is the inline microphone and answer button. The design of the inline unit has a very small footprint which is perfect for travelling. While it’s a bit disappointing there aren’t more controls on the inline unit, I do applaud Denon on keeping it extremely small and still functional.
How does it perform
For those who aren’t aware, Denon is a brand who has been involved in premium audio products for many years, though most recently have been making inroads with their consumer audio offerings. So the Music Maniac earphones have the pedigree, but do they have actual audio performance to back it up? Absolutely.
I mentioned in the introduction that the Music Maniacs are very possibly the first earphones I’ve liked, and partly thanks to its balance. The highs and mids are very clear and the bass is not at all overbearing, though some would say nonexistent. I really liked the audio balance that the Maniacs offer; it was right for almost every genre of music I listened to, and while rock and dance listeners may want a little more bass, that’s nothing a little equalizer tweaking can’t fix.
The other part that I really like about the Maniacs are the fact that the earbuds are superbly comfortable. I’m not exactly how these earphones are so different to other offerings, but I have happily used the Maniacs for hours on end without getting sore ears. The fit is just right, and doesn’t put any unnecessary pressure on your ear cavity, which for me is a huge plus
There is one more part of the Denon ecosystem which I haven’t mentioned yet. Denon has released an app that was supposedly designed to enhance the performance of the Music Maniac earphones. From my brief exploring of the app, it doesn’t do anything ground breaking; it’s useful for playlists and adjusting EQ, but that’s nothing you can’t already manage with other apps, and not that useful if you listen to music using a streaming app.
What I like about the Denon Music Maniac AH-C50MA In-Ear Headphone
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot I like about the Music Maniac earphones. The top two things are obviously the comfort and the audio quality, which should really sell it for anybody just looking for a simple set of earphones that get the job done. That’s exactly what Denon would want for their cheapest entry in the Music Maniac category: cheap and effective. And for $59.95 AUD, that’s a small price to pay for that kind of performance.
This point is a little less tangible, but I really appreciate how simplistic and reserved the Maniacs are. While they look at crazy as their name suggests, that all creates a nice contrast with the abilities that it hides beneath.
What I don’t like about the Denon Music Maniac AH-C50MA In-Ear Headphones
Despite liking the Maniacs a lot, I do have some concerns about the package you get. Chief among these concerns is the fact that you don’t get a means of transporting your earphones nicely. Obviously it’s not a dealbreaker, but transporting earphones is an absolute pain without a bag or something to wrap them around to keep them untangled.
The Denon Music Maniac earphones are by far my favourite earphones ever. They’re comfortable, cheap and the audio quality is extremely good given its price. They aren’t going to blow your mind, but if you’re in the market for something simple that does the job and does it well, without breaking the bank, the Music Maniacs are for you.
If you’re interested in picking up the Denon Music Maniac earphones, make sure to check out the product page here.
Gallery of Photos
The post Denon Music Maniac AH-C50MA In-Ear Headphones Review: Cheap, but definitely not Nasty appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Effective Sunday July 20, customers will be able to buy accessories from T-Mobile without having to pay for them up front. Much like the Un-carrier does for smartphones and tablets, T-Mobile is doing the same for accessories.
Qualified buyers can scoop up products that range in price from $69-$250 and spread them out over 24 equal monthly payments. The example given by T-Mobile, the LG Tone Pro hands-free headset would be $2.91 per month over 24 months, for a total of $69.84.
It’s not clear if a customer must also purchase a smartphone or tablet in order to partake in the accessory payments; however, we suspect that is the case. We’ve reached out to T-Mobile for clarification and will update the post with new information.
The post T-Mobile announces equipment installment plans for accessories appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Even though activity trackers are all the rage, few would call them fashion items. Do you really want explain why you’re wearing something so gauche at a wedding or high-brow luncheon? Fitbit isn’t happy to have its devices treated as eyesores, though — it’s teaming up with designer Tory Burch to launch jewelry that makes the Flex tracker a little more suitable for upscale gatherings. The newly available collection starts off with a $38 printed silicone bracelet that, to be frank, is just a small step above (?) what you get out of the box; it’s more for casual situations than formal galas. If you’re up for something more luxurious, you can spring for a brass bracelet or pendant for $195 and $175, respectively. With that said, it’s hard to see a truly style-conscious person picking these up in the first place, no matter how nice they look. Many attempts at shoehorning fashion into technology haven’t fared well, and there’s a good chance that you’ll still look a bit silly with a tracker hanging from your neck. May I suggest using your phone instead?
This morning Sprint has announced a new device that be available for consumer to purchase on July 11. The product is the LivePro and I must say, it seems rather interesting. The LivePro is a portable DLP pocket projector, but not like any we have seen before.
Hardware wise there are quite a few things to know about. Internally you have a 1.2GHz Qualcomm dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB storage, (also a Micro SD card slot) and a 5,000 mAh battery. It can connect to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G/4G. It is also capable of Wi-Fi Miracast. Physical connectors on the back include HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB port and power supply. As for the projector aspect you are looking at DLP (Digital Light Processing) from Texas Instruments with a lamp brightness of 100 lumens and a bulb life of 20,000 hours. Image wise you are looking at a picture that can be 10-inches to 10 feet depending on the distance of the LivePro from the projected surface. The projected image quality is listed with a native resolution of 1280 x 800 and a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080. The whole thing runs on Android 4.2 and can be controlled on a 4-inch touch screen found on the top of the device.
As you can see in the images, it isn’t a huge device either. It measures in at 4.7 x 4.7 x 1.1 inches and weighs just 14.1 ounces.
The LivePro doesn’t stop with it just being a really cool way to broadcast a movie, photos or presentation to a wall though. It also acts a mobile hotspot device to connect up to 8 devices to the internet. As well as act as an emergency battery backup to charge your phone through the USB port.
It is Google certified so you will have access to the Play Store directly on the device. While the 4GB internal storage (less considering the OS install and pre-installed apps) might put a hindrance on installing a ton of apps. I could see Plex, Hulu Plus and Netflix being the first few apps I would install to it. Hopefully AllCast Receiver functions on it as well. Some of that is fairly mute though since the device sports a direct HDMI input port and Miracast abilities.
“Whether it’s a boardroom proposal or backyard movie night, Sprint LivePro is a one-of-a-kind device that combines the enhanced LTE network capabilities of Sprint Spark with an easily portable projector that helps you get work done or keep the family entertained,” said David Owens, senior vice president of Product Development, Sprint. “Sprint LivePro has a high-quality projection display making it easy to share important information on a movie screen, wall or any other flat surface. Its mobile hotspot is powered by Sprint Spark, offering blazing-fast network speeds for downloading important videos or presentations on the Web.”
Sprint will make the LivePro available to anyone who wants it on July 11th. If you opt for a contract with Sprint service you will be tossing down $299. If you opt for the easy pay option you are looking at $18.75 a month for 24 months. Full price will hit your pocket-book at $449. Sprint also has a set of data packages to pair with the LivePro: 3GB for $34.99, 6GB for $49.99 and 12GB for $79.99. All prices are monthly of course.
For its size and its abilities, I could see this being pretty handy. Especially during the summer. I can already see myself pairing up a Braven speaker and hanging a sheet from the trees while camping and watching a movie. Anyone out there considering picking one up on the 11th? I might just have to go down to the Sprint store and at least take a look at it.
The post Sprint announces the LivePro; DLP Portable Projector and Mobile Hotspot Device appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
If you thought the BRAVEN 855s was built for outdoors, you haven’t seen anything yet. The BRAVEN BRV-X is built for the outdoors and all the dirt, wetness and bumps that come along with that. BRAVEN is today announcing availability of the BRAVEN BRV-X in Australia and New Zealand and will be available from selected retailers as of now. A list of participating retailers includes:
The BRV-X is available in both black with a black grill, and grey with a black grill, however the grey will not be available in New Zealand. The BRV-X will run you $299.99 AUD or $349.99 NZD, and for your money you will get a rugged speaker that is rated for IPX7 water resistance and 12 hours of continuous playback as well as a nifty indoor/outdoor switch that will allow you to use the BRV-X to its full potential wherever you are.
Are you interested in picking up a BRAVEN BRV-X? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
BRAVEN BRV-X, World’s First Rugged TrueWireless™ Outdoor Speaker Now Available
Award-Winning HD speaker wirelessly pairs with a second unit to deliver left and right stereo sound both indoors and outdoors
SYDNEY, Australian – July 09, 2014 – BRAVEN announces the immediate availability of the BRV-X, the world’s first rugged Bluetooth speaker featuring TrueWireless™ technology and an exclusive frequency tuning ability to maximise sound quality and volume in indoor and outdoor environments. BRAVEN’s TrueWireless™ technology enables easy wireless pairing with a second BRV-X for an amazing left and right stereo sound using two BRV-X speakers.
Designed for sports and outdoor enthusiasts, the BRAVEN BRV-X takes the next step in outdoor HD wireless speaker design by combining the latest in audio technology with the ruggedness needed to withstand drops, bumps, rain and more. Perfect for beach outings, camping trips or even hiking adventures, the BRV-X comes equipped with custom HD drivers, omnidirectional passive bass radiator and an indoor/outdoor switch that adjusts audio output to fit its surroundings to maximise sound quality and volume.
“The BRV-X is the next step in the evolution of the rugged wireless speaker and the big brother of the highly acclaimed BRAVEN BRV-1,” stated Andy Fathollahi, Chief Executive. “The BRV-X is the tank of mobile speakers with the durability to withstand any adventure, the sound technology to adapt to any environment, and the clarity and volume to blast all your favourite music in HD.”
The BRV-X pumps over 12 hours of continuous HD sound, is IPX7 water-resistant rated, and can charge USB devices such as smartphones, cameras and GoPro with an integrated 5200 mAh power bank; giving users the convenience of having a portable backup battery. The BRV-X is also equipped with a built-in noise-cancelling speakerphone that allows you to take calls even when camping by the river, and comes with a heavy-duty strap to easily secure the speaker on bicycles, all-terrain vehicles, tents and more.
Pricing and availability:
Product Name: Braven BRV-X Rugged Wireless Speaker
|BRVXBBB||Black with Black Grill||AU $299.99;
|AU, NZ (now)|
|BRVXGWB||Grey with Black Grill||AU $299.99||AU only (now)|
Australia Distributor: MacGear
New Zealand Distributor: MacGear
Australia Retailers: Beezer; Gadgets Boutique; Streetwise
New Zealand Retailers: JB Hi-Fi NZ, Yoobee, Vodafone (Queen Street, Auckland)
BRAVEN is dedicated to delivering stunning audio in portable Bluetooth speakers to today’s mobile consumer. As the first company to produce a portable HD speaker/speakerphone that doubles as a mobile phone charger, BRAVEN is an industry leader that combines first-class sound with unparalleled style. With an international reach that continues to grow, BRAVEN delivers the latest innovations to fans across the world. For more information, please visit www.braven.com or connect with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bravenproducts, Twitter attwitter.com/bravenproducts.
MacGear Group is a technology wholesale business with a focus on the Apple channel and mass retailers across Australia and New Zealand. MacGear aligns itself with leading brands to offer the highest quality products. The company has established itself as a trusted member of the IT distribution channel, covering retail, corporate and educational customers across both markets. For more information about MacGear, please visit: http://www.macgeargroup.com
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