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Posts tagged ‘Accessories’

24
Oct
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BACtrack Vio mobile breathalyzer review


BACtrack Vio

It’s Friday, time to hit the town with friends.  If you’re going to be drinking you might want to consider adding the BACtrack Vio to your keychain.  The BACtrack Vio is one of the smallest personal breathalyzers I have ever seen, it’s just about the same size as a Bic lighter.  The Vio can be added to a keychain or ride in just about any pocket.  When paired with your smartphone, the Vio is a powerful tool that is easy to carry anywhere.

Setting up and using the Vio is a simple matter of downloading the BACtrack app and pairing the device with your smartphone of choice via Bluetooth.  When you’re ready to test your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content), you fold out a tiny tube that you then blow into.  The app gives you directions that are easy to read, understand, then follow.  Even after a few drinks the Vio is easy to use.

After blowing into the Vio you get a reading that is big, bright and full of information.  A clever feature that the BACtrack app offers is something called ZeroLine.  ZeroLine estimates, then tells you what time you should be sober.  I wouldn’t rely on ZeroLine to tell you if you’re able to drive, but it’s useful information none the less.

The BACtrack system really shines when you use the social features.  You can share your your BAC, location and photos with friends who might not be out with you.  This turns the Vio into something that you WANT to use, rather than something that you HAVE to use.  By keeping track of your alcohol consumption you can be safer when you’re out, so any feature that promote use of the Vio is good in my book.

BAC2

There are a couple negative things to consider before buying your own Vio.  This breathalyzer is not as accurate as others on the market.  I was able to compare the Vio to a portable police issue breathalyzer.  The Vio consistently read several points higher than the professional unit, but the police unit was much bigger.  In the past I had played with personal or mobile breathalyzers and the readings were all over the place.  Not so with the Vio, while it read high, it was at least consistently high.

The only real problem I had when I was testing the Vio was with the app.  Sometimes the app would tell you it was warming up, but then would skip straight to the result page.  Restarting the app fixed the problem, but the same problem would pop up occasionally.  Not a big deal, but it could be something that gets annoying, especially if you’re trying to test yourself while intoxicated.

If you want a personal breathalyzer that is easy to carry the BACtrack Vio would be a great choice, especially for only $49.99.  The social features make this something that is fun to use when out with friends.  The size of the Vio means that it won’t be as accurate as larger units, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful.  The Vio could definitely help make a night out with friends more safe, you just need to be aware of the shortcomings.  The police don’t even rely on their mobile breathalyzers for exact readings, so you shouldn’t either.  Just remember that if you are impaired, in anyway, leave the driving to someone sober.

You can buy your own BACtrack Vio here


 
 

The post BACtrack Vio mobile breathalyzer review appeared first on AndroidGuys.

24
Oct
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Montblanc introduces premium accessories for the Note 4


 MontblancNote4

While the Note 4 is being heralded as a premium device with a new premium design, one of the things that hasn’t been upgraded to a new premium feel is the S-pen. It still feels like the Samsung of old with its plastic base and its fake metal accents. Well, International, watch, jewelry, and writing instruments maker Montblanc has those wishing to take the S-pen to the next level covered.

Montblanc, in conjunction with Samsung, are introducing a new line of writing instruments and leather covers for the new Note. Two of the new instruments, the Pix and e-StarWalker, are a pen/S-pen combination that has an e-refill concept. On top of that, the company is releasing leather covers that are enhanced with digital content and exclusive writing features.

Montblanc has the two S-pen replacements and its leather covers available on its web site. If you’re interested in seeing each accessory in action we have a video for you below. Enjoy!

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

Come comment on this article: Montblanc introduces premium accessories for the Note 4

21
Oct
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Will Digital Wallets or Credit Cards Reign Supreme?



A lot of different payment options besides cash have sprung up in recent years. While credit and debit cards have been around for quite a while, they are far from the new kids on the block now. The most recent developments in payment options are digital wallets and contactless payment.

The term “digital wallet” is actually a rather broad and all-encompassing term that enfolds a number of disparate payment options. The term digital wallet can include ID verification and multiple payment options that can cover purchasing with multiple different credit cards, according to Credit Cards. However, it’s important to note that digital payment options are still in their infancy. Credit cards, on the other hand, are a staple of the world economy and of people making purchases. For digital wallets and other contactless payments to take over from credit cards, some serious changes in economic infrastructure and consumer opinions will need to take place.

Digital Wallet Credit Cards

Digital Wallets
There are a number of different options available when looking for a digital wallet, otherwise known as an e-wallet, or other contactless payment method. For the most part, digital wallets are all smartphone apps available through various companies for both Android phones and iPhones. In fact, Hong Kiat provides a list of ten potential digital wallets anyone can download and use. Some of the companies that offer these services include Google, Apple, PayPal, and Square.

These apps don’t just hold on to your payment information, they can also store data from loyalty programs and member cards so you can continue accruing your earning rewards and the like even without the physical card. To use these digital wallets, all you ever have to do is swipe your phone across a reader. Of course, this means the business you’re shopping at needs to have a device capable of reading the unique wallet signals. If the store has the proper reader, then customers have an even easier and more convenient check out experience.


On the business side of things, there are expectations of digital wallets becoming the next big thing and taking over the world of payments. In an interview about digital wallets with CNet, Mario Shiliashki, the senior vice president of emerging payments for MasterCard said of the rise of e-wallets; “It’s absolutely an opportunity for us; we see it as what will help our business grow for the next 10, 20, 30 years, even faster than we’ve grown in past decades.”

The Odd Case of Contactless Payment Cards
“But I thought digital payment options were supposed to avoid the need for cards?” Some of you might ask, well, that’s why contactless payment cards are an odd mixture of both digital wallets and regular credit and debit cards. They can be considered in the group of digital wallets since you just need to swipe them pass a sensor to pay, but they’re a plastic card that still sits in your actual wallet and holds all your credit and debit card info. However, contactless payment cards don’t necessarily have to be cards; according to Transport for London, contactless payments might be made with key fobs and stickers as well.

In an article discussing the new San Francisco startup, Coin, Slate discusses the new idea of another type of payment card. This card, which Coin states will “simplify, improve, and fit seamlessly into your life,” is another plastic card with a changeable magnetic strip that can mimic the attributes of up to eight different credit cards. The card syncs up to an app on your smartphone via Bluetooth where you can designate which card it is to mimic at that particular moment. But like a regular credit or debit card, you swipe this one

Credit Cards
There’s not too much to say about credit cards. They’ve been around for a number of decades, a ton of people have them, or multiples of them, and just about every business has a card reader. Of course these generalizations aren’t entirely true, but the fact is that credit cards are all over. And with mobile card readers and POS systems like those by Shopify becoming more and more popular, credit cards don’t really look like they’re going away any time soon. Although, during the CNet interview, when discussing global payment usage, Shiliashki stated, “This gives us a lot of runway to truly revolutionize the world and digitize payments, both in the 15 percent that is already using credit card networks, but also in the 85 percent that is still using cash.” Time will tell what Shiliashki and Mastercard will do.

Who Will Win?
As you can see, digital wallets, contactless payments and credit cards aren’t really disparate payment methods. All three are intertwined with credit cards as the primary foundation. The other methods are really just different ways to store your credit card info to make it easier to pay. Perhaps something major and different will be developed in the future at some point. However, until then, credit cards could technically be called the winner since the other payment methods stand on the back of the little plastic cards.


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The post Will Digital Wallets or Credit Cards Reign Supreme? appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

21
Oct
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Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital mixes mobile calling with your desktop gaming



I don’t necessarily classify myself as a gamer. More so a game enthusiast. Maybe that is the right term. I prefer average Joe really. I am “one of those” guys that enjoys it. I don’t care if I get killed 30 times and only take out 10. I don’t get upset that a bullet goes through a wall and kills me a full 10 seconds after I ducked behind cover. It just isn’t my nature. I have fun either way. I have learned that your gaming gear does make a difference in your playing habits and you enjoyment though. While this might not be the perfect place to talk about a PC gaming headset, I find it to be very useful in my daily Android life as well as my gaming life.

Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital

Whether you listen to a lot of music, watch a lot of movies or play a lot of games, there is no doubt that some of you spend a lot of time doing it. In my case, much of it is spent in front of my home computer in my bedroom. I am constantly reading my emails, feeds and articles along with responding and general browsing. While I sit here I tend to have a set of headphones on blasting tunes from Spotify or Google Play Music. The louder the better. It helps me drown out my random thoughts and keeps me focused. There is a pretty major downside though, I tend to miss a lot of calls, especially when gaming. Lets face it, when you are deep in battle the last thing you want to do is reach for your phone.  Roccat has designed a rather unique solution with their Kave XTD 5.1 Digital gaming headset units that I found particularly helpful, Bluetooth pairing integration for your phone.

I wrote my full review of the Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 over on our all tech site, thesavvytechs, today, but the Bluetooth integration seemed worthy of mentioning in a separate post here. We do have a lot more followers here then over there still.

The Kave XTD’s have a heck of a lot going for them in-terms of sound, comfort and control. Especially in the realm of PC gaming. With the Bluetooth integration you can pair your phone to the control unit like you would any other Bluetooth device. Simply long press on the “phone” button until the Bluetooth light flashes. Then pair it to your device. Once paired the first time, it will auto pair when it is is in range.


Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital

Now, when a call comes in your games audio mutes. You can answer from your phone or by pressing the phone button on the controller unit. It is quite handy when you are in the middle of something a bit more important at the time of a call. It does get a little better too. If you have your phone set up for voice commands, via Google Now or Motorola’s Touchless Controls, a simple push on the phone button on the controller unit will initiate your voice actions and you can speak to it.

Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 DigitalI found it to work really well in the middle of games and would allow me to concentrate on what I was doing more so than fumbling with the phone and tucking it under the earcup to talk. Don’t look surprised, I know you have done the same thing and it usually ended in a wreck or a death. There is a group of settings to change your out going voice through the Roccat software. You can change to a rubber duck, monster , man or woman. Unfortunately, as you hopefully read in the full review, I had a cat eat the cable. The mic still works, but the headphone aspect is shot. I never did get to test the voice changing function on mobile prior to the demise of the headset. Right now it doesn’t work, but I can’t confirm if it ever did. It did work out well on games and PC apps though.

While the call functionality and voice controls are nice, that is all you can get out of it. Don’t expect to sit down and connect to the Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital and play some Angry Birds on your phone and have full audio blasting to your brain. I wouldn’t want that in 5.1 digital surround sound either. It is a good cross-platform, solution solving, side to the headset that might keep you from sleeping on the couch if you are an avid PC gamer though.

Head over to my full review about the headset for more details and pricing if you are interested.


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The post Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital mixes mobile calling with your desktop gaming appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

21
Oct
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Play Store has fresh Moto 360 stock for your ordering pleasure



The Moto 360 flew off the digital shelves of the Play Store quite quickly. You still could order it through Motorola or pick one up at BestBuy or other locations, but it isn’t the same as getting it from Google. Luckily it would appear that sometime over the weekend, or today, a new batch of stock has arrived and is available for order.

Moto 360


 

Currently the Black Leather and the Stone Leather are the only two strap color options available. The Gray Leather says it is out of stock. Word has it that the Gray Leather was discontinued and was to be replaced by the Stone Leather. Which is sad, I really liked the gray one. Any-who, she is back in the Play Store if that is and was your preferred ordering method. Price still holds at $249 with either of the color options shipping out in 1 – 2 business days.

Moto 360 in the Play Store 


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The post Play Store has fresh Moto 360 stock for your ordering pleasure appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

18
Oct
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HTC Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio and Cover coming soon



There are two particular accessory items for the HTC Nexus 9 that are of particular interest. The first is the Keyboard Folio. As the name would suggest, this is a folio style case that offers a built-in Bluetooth enabled keyboard for use with your Nexus 9. It will be offered in a Black Leather color and is designed specifically for the tablet. It will offer you two screen angle options, one being more upright like a laptop, and one slightly elevated at an angle for better viewing when you are more elevated above the set up. The Keyboard Folio isn’t available to order just yet, but when it does go up it will set you back $129.

Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio

The second, and probably the more interesting of the bunch, is the origami inspired cover. The cover will connected via magnets to your Nexus 9 and offer you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your screen. It is really interesting because the cover is just one piece. You don’t get two, if you want to protect the front and back with one, you will need to buy a set. However, most people are more worried about the screen when sticking their devices in bags and purses.  Since the cover is magnetic and removable easily, you can quickly move it from the screen to the rear of the tablet. This is where all the magic happens. When it is placed flat on the rear you have a quick flip to access just the camera lens without having to remove the cover entirely.

Nexus 9 Cover


The cover takes its design somewhat from origami art and while you might see a flat cover for your tablet, you might also see some of the bendable aspects that give it more than one use.

Nexus Cover

Again, the Nexus 9 Cover isn’t quite ready for people to throw money at it just yet. When it does go on sale though you will have a few color choices: Mint Indigo, Coral Amethyst, Lime Stone and Black. The more colorful of the options give you one color on each side. They look pretty cool. Feel free to check them out for yourself via the links below.

Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio

Nexus 9 Cover


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The post HTC Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio and Cover coming soon appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

15
Oct
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Nexus 9 keyboard cover gives Surface Pro competition


Nexus9keyboardaccessory

The Nexus 9 is already shaping up to be a top notch tablet, but with the addition of the keyboard accessory it can be so much more.  The keyboard measures 320 x 228 x 5mm, includes a 450 mAh battery and attaches to the tablet magnetically.  The keyboard is your standard 5 row type, which includes a dedicated number row and dedicated emoji keys.  While the Nexus 9 is not as powerful as a Microsoft Surface Pro, the combination of the tablet and keyboard could be a powerful productivity tool at lower price.  Price and availability for the keyboard cover hasn’t been announced yet, but I would imagine that we hear soon, we’ll keep you updated!


 

The post Nexus 9 keyboard cover gives Surface Pro competition appeared first on AndroidGuys.

15
Oct
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H. Tang; A smartwatch designed for Women



Smartwatches and wearable tech have been on the rise over the lat few years. The early years produced some odd creations. There were a number that took off and stood out, like the Pebble and Martian. Now we have Android Wear, and more prolifically known, the Moto 360. Along with the Apple watch. When Google and Apple get in the mix, that is when heads start to turn and the wearable tech concept starts to make its way to the more average consumers of the world. There is still somewhat of a disconnect, I feel, in the wearable space when it comes to the female side of things. Some of the fitness tracking wearable aren’t too terrible looking for active ladies, but they aren’t the kind of thing you would wear out to dinner. At least, not my wife. However, she is interested in having a smartwatch or wearable that offers her quick glance information, so long as it is small and elegant. That is what the H. TIMES  is trying to accomplish with their new wearable, the H. Tang.

HTang1

Like most wearable tech, the H.Tang uses Bluetooth 4.0 BLE to wirelessly connect to your Android or iOS device to deliver information to your wrist. It also monitors UV, temperature and humidity. The design of the H.Tang is certainly what is a bit more interesting. Its surface incorporates hand-polished sapphire glass and, a limited edition version, is encrusted with Swarovski diamonds. The main body will be offered in gold or silver with a variety of wrist bands.


H.Tang color optionsHTang3To top things off, the H.Tang is also waterproof  and charges on its own charging cradle. You kind of need to see the video to really get an idea behind it all.

The company is doing a funding run on Pozible right now. At the time of writing this the H.Tang already has hit $9,551 which cleared their start-up goal of $8,156. . There are still some Earlybird Specials left that put you with H.Tang in silver without the Swarovski stones for $82. If you want the Swarovski stones you can help fund for $98. It goes up from there. They have them listed with an estimated delivery of December 2014. Head over to the H.Tang Pozible page and take a look.

 


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14
Oct
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A new MHL adapter charges your phone while sending 4K video to a TV


Back in March, we took a look at the MHL 3.0 tech that wrangles 4K video from a micro-USB jack while keeping the device charged. Well, now there’s a handy adapter for linking those compatible gadgets with any TV that packs HDMI ports for viewing sessions. If you’re in need of a refresher, the MHL 3.0 standard sorts 4K video output from a micro-USB port while also keeping said smartphone (like Sony’s Xperia Z3, for example) or slate charged with up to 10W of power. The adapter also takes care of 7.1 Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD 7.1 surround sound to match the visuals. If you happen to be wielding a MHL-compatible device, JCE’s handy accessory is set to arrive before the month’s end with a $30 price tag.

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12
Oct
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MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review: The best earphones you can get for $14.99 (or $9.99 right now)



MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones ReviewThose of you who regularly visit AndroidSPIN will likely know we’re big fans of MEElectronics products. They epitomize value for money in the audio products market by combining great audio quality with well-made products with plenty of extras. With their latest headphones, the MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones, MEElectronics has outdone even themselves in the value department by offering a great sounding pair of earphones for just $14.99 USD, and even offering it for the introductory price of $9.99. Let’s see exactly what this will get you.

What’s in the box

MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones ReviewIf you needed any indication of what kind of deal you’re getting with the M9 Classic, you need only look at the packaging – no frills packaging means more quality on the inside, or at least, that’s the idea. Inside, you will find the M9 Classic earphones themselves as well as six additional earbuds in different sizes. The M9 Classic also comes with a double layer earbud as standard and I haven’t changed these since I got the earphones. More on that later.

MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones ReviewYou might have guessed already from the name of the M9 Classic that they are based on another of MEElectronics’ line of audio products, the M9. We’ve had a look at the M9P (2nd gen) before, and we found it to be one of the best value earphones you can get (read the full review here). The M9 Classic adopts the same 9mm drivers as the M9P as well as a similar motivation to provide great value, but does it with much more cost cutting. We’ve already mentioned the cardboard packaging, but unlike almost every other MEElectronic product we’ve looked at, the M9 Classic won’t be coming with a bag to carry your spares in, though you can probably make use of the ziplock bag you get them in if you needed to.

MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones ReviewOverall, the M9 Classic has a predictably simplistic design, with design cues taken from the M9 line. I think it’s quite a sleek design, though the clear, plastic insulation can look a bit dubious in certain light.

How does it perform

MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones ReviewAs we mentioned before, the M9 Classic has the same audio drivers as the M9 so it’s unsurprising that they sound almost exactly the same. Much like the M9, the bass and mids are clear and even the highs are well formed – it was just as comfortable playing Savage’s Freaks as it was playing Bach’s Concerto No. 1 and there was no hint of distortion no matter how loud I turned them (without making my ears bleed).

MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones ReviewOne peeve I had with the M9P was that the earbud material was a smooth plastic that would often have trouble staying in my ear – the M9 Classic uses a softer plastic and doesn’t appear to have the same issues. If anything, I found myself enjoying the fit of the M9 Classic almost as much as the Denon Music Maniac earphones I declared as my favourite fitting earphones so far – and it’s not second by much. The M9 Classic is also smaller and presumably lighter than the M9 as well, making it a lightweight package to wear and transport.


What I like about the M9 Classic earphones

MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones ReviewIt’s hard not to mention the price when it comes to the M9 Classic. With the pedigree of the M9 earphones, even at the full retail price of $14.99, the M9 Classic is a fantastic deal, and the introductory price of $9.99 makes it an absolute steal if you’re looking for something that sounds great, but doesn’t necessarily need to look flashy.

What I don’t like about the M9 Classic earphones

MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones ReviewWhile the M9 Classic doesn’t look flashy, it can look a bit tacky sometimes. The clear plastic over the the inner weaved black insulation can look cool up close but in general the M9 Classic looks a bit cheap, perhaps a bit too literally, for my tastes anyway. I’m not going to comment on the practicality of such a configuration, and at the end of the day, beauty is in the eye of the beholder – or the person paying for it.

Final Thoughts

MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones ReviewWhat else is there to say about the M9 Classic? It’s ridiculously cheap and sounds fantastic, which should tick all the boxes for a solid audio option for yourself or something to stuff stockings with later this year. It might not be the flashiest or best looking earphones around, but its beauty is in the way it gets the job done. And did I mention it’s cheap?

The M9 Classic earphones are normally $14.99 USD, but MEElectronics are currently having an introductory sale that brings the price down to $9.99. To make the most of this deal while it lasts, be sure to visit the MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones product page here.

 

Gallery of Photos

MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics M9 Classic In-Ear Headphones Review


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