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29
Dec

The 10 most stylish iPhone X cases


10 Best iPhone X Cases to Keep Your New Device Safe and Stylish | The Manual
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10 Best iPhone X Cases to Keep Your New Device Safe and Stylish

best iphone x case

If the iPhone X was in your stocking, then you had better get an iPhone X case. Gone are the days when you could rock your iPhone without a case because a) you should protect your investment — this phone isn’t cheap — and b) choosing not to shows a lack of good judgment to your friends and colleagues.

Good news for you: There are already a variety of cases out there to fit your style. Even better news: We at The Manual pulled together a list of the best iPhone X cases.

For the Slim and Strong: OtterBox Symmetry Series – $26

best iphone x case otterbox
This case is a great option that provides higher-than-average protection for your iPhone with minimal bulk, all at a reasonable price. It absorbs shocks and has raised edges to help protect your screen — which is now bigger than ever. With color options from fine port (aka dark red) to clear to regular ol’ black, there is something for everyone.

See It

For Elegant Protection: Grovemade Minimalist Cases – $59-plus

best iphone x case grovemade

Grovemade brings us a case with an aluminum frame, a shock resistant bumper, and an attractive walnut backing. This lightweight frame mixes functionality and looks to cover all of your bases — not to mention the company hails from The Manual’s hometown of Portland, Oregon.

See It

For More Padding: Speck Presidio Ultra – $50

best iphone x case speck ultra

Looking for additional protection and willing to add just a little bit of bulk? Check out the this ultra-sturdy iPhone case. Sporting four layers of protection, this case can cushion your phone for drops up to 15 feet, according to Speck.

See It

For a Cash/Call Combo: Silk Wallet Case – $25

best iphone x case silk wallet

With a fashionable card slot that holds up to three cards or cash, this case provides both protection and efficiency for your daily, on-hand accessories. The phone comes in a sophisticated blue, black or red. The best part? The price tag is light on the wallet.

See It

For a Classic Wallet Case: Lumion Slim Wallet – $17

best iphone x case lumion wallet

This vintage leather case (that isn’t actually leather) has a cover to protect your screen, which also holds three card slots and a pocket to carry extra cards, cash, and any other slim items you want to keep handy. Choose between brown and black to match with your belt and Clarks.

See It

For the Future: Lumion Hybrid Case – $20

best iphone x case lumion futuristic

The futuristic-looking Hybrid case from Lumion provides looks, protection, and a hidden compartment to store cash and cards. All exposed areas — including the screen, camera, and cut outs — are shielded by raised edges and a dual protective layer for shock protection. With a bunch of different color options to choose from, including a neon orange that brings to mind the movie Chappie, this case will definitely catch some attention from your peers.

See It

For Your Bike or Hike: Armor-X Shockproof Rugged Case –$30

best iphone x case armorx

Armor-X offers an iPhone X case with a built-in system — complete with clip and carabiner — that can attach to 40 different mounts. Incorporate your phone’s GPS or a fitness app when you jump on your bike, motorcycle, or snow mobile (or simply go for a run). Additional mounts allow for ease of use in cars, in the office, or just about anywhere you can go.

See It

For the Minimalist: Tozo Clear Gel Skin – $10

best iphone x case tozo

If you don’t want something bulky first place, this is the choice for you. This gel case provides decent protection with covered corners and a raised edge to protect the screen. It’s also thin and see-through, so it’s almost like it’s not even there!

See It

For a Power Up: ZeroLemon SlimJuicer – $4o

best iphone x case zero lemon

This bad boy is a protective case and portable phone charger all in one. The SlimJuicer can provide one full recharge for your iPhone X. Note that it adds 4.4 oz to your phone’s overall weight, which is worth its weight in gold if you rely on your phone for business, life, or gaming.

See It

For the OG: Apple’s Leather Case – $49

best iphone x case apple

If you want to stick with the folks that started it all, you can always go with a case from Apple. The company offers a simple design with multiple color options, and (of course) an apple logo on the back. With European leather, machined aluminum buttons, and a snug fit, this case looks good.

See It

Regardless of which case you decide on, you’ll be happy that you got one — especially after that first drop as you walk out of the Apple store. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry … even if it’s just in case.

Want more options? Our brother site, Digital Trends, has rounded up their top picks for iPhone X cases, and their list of the best iPhone 8 cases might also inspire you.

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29
Dec

Google finally killed the Pixel-C, but the Pixelbook has all the same problems


On December 28, Google announced that it would finally be discontinuing the Pixel-C and no longer selling it online. Android tablets have been on life support for years now, but this puts the final nail in the coffin. So what happened?

The Pixel-C was a gorgeous device in its own right — a 2-in-1 tablet meant to bridge the gap between tablets and laptops. It was beautifully made, with top-of-the-line hardware and materials. Its fancy magnetic hinge was an engineering wonder, too.

But in many ways, it was a failed experiment. It came at a time when Android didn’t have much in the way of multitasking or mouse support, yet it was bizarrely positioned as a (sorta-kinda) successor to the Chromebook Pixel. While it did eventually get some of that, Android apps were still far behind in terms of being optimized for full screen usage. It was too little, too late.

To put it over the edge, the Pixel-C was way too expensive for what it was. At an original price of $499 (plus an extra $150 for the keyboard), it was attempting to compete with the iPad rather than the cheaper Android tablets that inhabited the space at the time. It might look affordable if you bought Google’s argument that the Pixel-C could serve as a laptop replacement, but its capabilities never fulfilled that promise.

In other words, it was a over-priced, beautiful product that tried to do a little bit of everything — and failed. Remind you of anything?

In the post that addressed why the Pixel-C was removed, Google stated “As is common when a device has been out for a few years, we’re now retiring Pixel C, and it is no longer available for sale. […] Our newly launched Google Pixelbook combines the best parts of a laptop and a tablet for those looking for a versatile device.”

Google wants you to think its new Pixelbook builds the bridge between laptop and tablet in a different way. Funny enough, the link to the Pixel-C even redirects you to the Pixelbook product page. Yet the Pixelbook doesn’t solve any of the problems the Pixel-C had. It makes them worse.

Similar to the Pixel-C, the hardware of the Pixelbook is built with style and high- quality materials. It’s thin, sleek, and easily stands out from the crowds of MacBook imitators. In many ways, it’s the Chromebook I’ve always wanted to use.

The user experience, however, is plagued with a lot of the same software inconsistencies the Pixel-C had. Apps still aren’t optimized for full-screen mode, but now they also aren’t made for Google’s Pixel Pen, either. Multitasking doesn’t work well, with Google only now attempting to fix the basic problems of Android apps not being able to run in the background, and adding split-screen support. At times, the Pixelbook feels like a device built by engineers that never used the software it runs.

Windows 2-in-1s and iPad Pros aren’t perfect either but, over the years, these products have done more to bridge the gap between mobile and PC than any other device. They’ve done it by picking a strategy and sticking with it. Everyone made fun of Windows 8 when it came out, but its key premise has been refined into a truly multi-purpose OS in Windows 10. The iPad also caught flak, but no one’s laughing at the plus-size iPhone now.

The only hope for the Pixelbook is that Google learns lessons from what Microsoft and Apple have done, rather than repeat the mistakes of the Pixel-C. Either that, or it’s time to throw everything out and start from scratch.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Google retires Pixel C tablet, wants you to buy the Pixelbook instead
  • The Pixelbook nearly doubles Samsung’s Chromebook Pro in price. Is it justified?
  • The best Chromebooks you can buy right now
  • Chromebook multitasking to improve with ‘split view’ (with one big catch)
  • Google Pixelbook Review




29
Dec

Thanks to renewable energy, German factories got paid to use power last weekend


Over the holiday weekend, customers in Germany were paid to consume power, as a surplus of electricity from wind generators pushed electricity prices below zero. It’s not an unusual occurrence, as the New York Times reports. Germany’s massive investment in renewable energy sources — more than $200 billion over the past 20 years — has resulted in regular excess of electricity due to the unpredictable nature of wind and solar power.

Germany got 35% of its energy from renewable sources in 2017, and some days that figure peaked as high as 85% depending on the sun and wind. Over the holiday weekend, a combination of low demand, strong winds, and warm weather combined for a surge in power generation.

The country’s nuclear and coal plants were unable to scale down their output quickly enough, leading to a bounty of about $60 per megawatt-hour for high-volume consumers such as factories.

These paybacks don’t filter down to everyday households, as utility prices are calculated quite differently in Germany than the U.S. However, the government is considering programs for individuals such as incentives to use more power at certain times to relieve stress on the power grid.

Germany can export some of its surplus energy to neighboring companies, but they’ve already experienced price dips below zero more than 100 times in 2017. With plans to begin phasing out their nuclear program by 2022, reliable weather forecasting is essential for consistent power production.

Many European countries, as well as other countries around the world, also deal with occasional surplus power problems, but Germany’s reliance on variable renewable sources presents some unique challenges. At one point during October, prices were below zero for a 31-hour period. As a result, large-scale consumers were paid as much as $98 per megawatt-hour to consume electricity during that period.

Batteries to absorb the excess power during peak production is an obvious solution, but current technology is not advanced enough to store all the excess energy. Still, they’re adapting to the new reality of renewable energy. “We now have technology that cannot produce according to the demand, but is producing according to the weather,” said German energy consultant Tobias Kurth. “[It’s] one of the key challenges in the whole transition of the energy market to renewable power.”

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Eve Technology Eve V review
  • Black Friday wasn’t the end, check out the best Cyber Week tech deals
  • These are the 8 best games we saw at PlayStation Experience 2017
  • Stay powered up on the go with the best portable power stations
  • From CERN to the ISS, here are 9 big tech projects that changed the world




29
Dec

Here are all the Snapdragon 845-powered devices coming in 2018


Devices include the LG G7, Galaxy S9, Google Pixel 3, and more.

Qualcomm officially took the wraps off the Snapdragon 845 in early December, and as we previously mentioned, there are a lot of reasons why you should be excited about it. Every new processor brings increased speed and better battery life, and while the 845 offers both of these things, it also has serious improvements for cameras, support for ultra-fast gigabit LTE, and plenty more.

snapdragon-845-keynote.jpg?itok=2e7TdwG_

We’re expecting a lot of phones in 2018 to be powered by the Snapdragon 845, but according to a list that was recently shared on Chinese social network Weibo, we now have a fairly detailed roadmap for every single phone that’ll be released with this new silicon.

We advise taking this information with a grain of salt, but in any case, here’s what we could be looking forward to in 2018.

  • February – Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+, LG G7/G7+
  • April – Xiaomi Mi 7
  • May – HTC U12
  • June – OnePlus 6, Sony Xperia XZ Pro, ZTE Nubia Z18
  • August – Nokia 10
  • September – Samsung Galaxy Note 9, LG V40, Xiaomi Mi MIX 3
  • October – Google Pixel 3/3 XL, Sony Xperia XZ2, HTC U12+, ZTE Nubia Z18S
  • November – Moto Z (2019)
  • December – OnePlus 6T, Samsung W2019

We were already expecting most of the phones on this list to use the 845, but there are a couple handsets that stick out. For starters, we aren’t all that certain about the LG G7/G7+. Last year’s G6 shipped with the 821 versus the 835 due to Samsung hogging up the latter of the two for the S8, but then again, reports back in May suggested that LG was working with Qualcomm this time around to make sure the 845 gets in the G7. Right now, we’d consider this one to be a toss-up.

Secondly, it’s unclear what Motorola is planning for the Moto Z in November. The Moto Z2 Force was released in July of 2017, and while we aren’t doubting that next year’s Moto Z will use the 845, it’s odd that Motorola is pushing the release date so much further back than it did this year.

If you had to choose a phone off this list to buy in 2018, which would you pick and why?

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 might make its way to Chromebooks

29
Dec

Control your devices anywhere with a $40 two-pack of TP-Link Smart Plugs


Buy smart accessories smartly.

The TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug two-pack is now on sale at Amazon for just $39.99. Other than when it was $35 at B&H Photo on Black Friday, this looks to be the lowest price ever for these smart plugs. At just $5 above the Black Friday pricing, it’s nothing to scoff at. A single one of these plugs is currently selling for $35 on its own, so this is a really smart way to save some cash.

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These smart plugs come with energy monitoring, allowing you to track real-time and historical energy use.

Features include:

  • Amazon Echo voice control – Amazon Echo (sold separately) lets you control devices connected to the smart plugs just using your voice
  • Easy to use and install – Just plug a device into the Smart Plug and connect to your Wi-Fi network. No hub required
  • Scheduling – Schedule the Smart Plug to automatically power electronics on and off as needed, like setting lights to come on at dusk or turn off at sunrise
  • Remote access – control devices connected to the smart plug wherever you have internet using the free Kasa app on your smartphone
  • Away mode – turns your devices on and off at different times to give the appearance that someone is home

These plugs have a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars with over 1,600 reviews.

See at Amazon

29
Dec

Top 5 tips and tricks for getting the most out of EMUI 8


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Getting started with EMUI 8 is easy, and it’s because it’s based on Android 8.0 Oreo. Here are some tips for getting the most out of the new platform.

EMUI 8 is the software running on the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro and Honor View 10, and it will soon be coming to a bunch of Honor and Huawei devices being upgraded from EMUI 5.x.

While not a huge evolution in design or features, EMUI 8.0 has a number of advantages over its predecessor, including optimizations for AI and machine learning, and an underlying layer of Android 8.0 Oreo that brings a bunch of cool new things. Whether you’re waiting for that all-important software update or are just looking to get apprised of Huawei’s latest and greatest, here’s what you need to know about EMUI 8.0.

Change that launcher

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If you’re using a phone running EMUI 8.0, such as the Huawei Mate 10 or Honor View 10, you’re going to have to contend with the default launcher, an experience that may be jarring coming from another phone. First, the launcher lacks an app drawer, which forces you to throw your app icons and widgets, iPhone-style, into a series of pages. It can get messy.

Make that change by going into Settings —> Display —> Home screen style and changing it from Standard to Drawer. If you’re still not satisfied (as I wasn’t), download an alternative like Action Launcher or Nova Launcher, which seem to do the job quite well.

Accept that notifications aren’t quirky but solid

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The fastest way to loving a device like the Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro or View 10 is to accept that EMUI 8 has some idiosyncracies, particularly in the way it handles notifications. While the behavior is different depending on the product, they all share Huawei’s love for blue accents, curved boxes and oversized text. With the Mate 10 series, lockscreen notifications don’t expand; on the View 10, they do.

But given that EMUI 8 is based on Oreo, the main thing you need to know is that notifications, while quirky in places, are solid. They support snoozing and in-line replies and, for system apps, get really small and all that good stuff.

Dive into the display settings

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Like any Samsung or LG phone today, Huawei phones have a bunch of display settings to tweak not only the color temperature but the resolution, text size, the presence of a blue light filter and more. It’s a lot.

The good news is that EMUI 8 cleans this up considerably from previous versions, making it easy to find exactly what you want. See whether you’re OK with your phone running at its full resolution or, to save a bit of battery, lower it to HD+. Even better, enable “Smart resolution” which does the decision-making for you.

For phones with 2:1 displays running EMUI 8, like the Mate 10 Pro and View 10, there’s also a setting in the Display area to force all apps to stretch to run within the taller aspect ratio. It’s quite handy.

Play with navigation

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All phones running EMUI 8 utilize an optional on-screen navigation dock in lieu of permanent navigation buttons. The gesture area can be moved around, and the tap/hold/swipe dynamic is easy enough to learn that, before long, you won’t need the navigation keys at all. Or, if you want to use both you can do so easily. EMUI 8 is customizable without feeling bogged down by the choices.

Find the right theme

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Phone theming is so hot right now, but Huawei has been there from the beginning with free downloadable themes to make your home screen and navigation areas look great. EMUI 8 comes with a native Themes app that, in one tap, applies new colors and icons to your whole phone. Feeling particularly festive? Grab a limited-time seasonal theme to celebrate Christmas or Easter (or Halloween or…) or just search through the myriad creative submissions from Huawei designers and creative fans alike.

How are you thinking about EMUI 8? Looking forward to the update? Let us know in the comments!

Huawei Mate 10

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
  • Huawei Mate 10 series specs
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro U.S. review: Close to greatness
  • Join the discussion in the forums
  • More on 2016’s Mate 9

29
Dec

It looks like you can unlock the bootloader on the Verizon Pixel 2


You better act fast.

If you’re in the market for a Google Pixel 2, you have only two options of how to buy it – either unlocked from the Google Store or through Verizon Wireless. The Verizon Pixel 2 is the exact same phone as the unlocked model, but there’s one area where it’s different – it’s bootloader can’t be unlocked. Or can it?

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Google Pixel 2s sold through Verizon are supposed to have a bootloader that’s not unlockable, but some users on the XDA Developers Forum are proving just the contrary. A handful of users have reported that they’ve been able to unlock the bootloader of the Verizon Pixel 2 (not the 2 XL) by using the basic adb reboot bootloader and fastboot flashing lock_critical commands without any sort of hack or exploit required.

One of the users that was able to do this says they bought the phone at a corporate Verizon store, whereas another one reports having purchased theirs at a local Best Buy.

Most people interested in this sort of thing likely bought the unlocked Pixel 2, but if you have a Verizon unit and want to give this a shot, we’d recommend doing it sooner rather than later. Once Verizon catches wind of what’s going on, a software update will likely be pushed to prevent this from happening in the future.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

  • Pixel 2 FAQ: Everything you need to know!
  • Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL review: The new standard
  • Google Pixel 2 specs
  • Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel 2 XL: What’s the difference?
  • Join our Pixel 2 forums

Best Buy
Verizon
Google Store
Project Fi

29
Dec

iFixit discounts iPhone battery replacement kits amid Apple backlash


Apple may have apologized for the confusion surrounding its intentional slow down of older iPhones to balance battery life and performance, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s happening. If your iPhone is out of warranty and you don’t want to have Apple replace it, then perhaps iFixit can help. Starting today, the company has reduced its DIY battery install kits to $29 or less to match Apple’s price.

That $29 figure is how much Apple will make you shell out to replace your out-of-warranty iPhone battery through the end of 2018. It’s a solid deal, but iFixit points out that you may not want to wait for an appointment at the Genius Bar (or to wait around for the repair to be completed). Additionally, the iPhone 4S, 5, 5S and 5C are excluded from Apple’s program.

iFixit’s kits are designed such that even beginners can replace their iPhone’s batteries, and all the tools are included in the kit. You can peruse the selection here; the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus battery replacements will run you $29, while all older model kits are priced at $24.99.

Source: iFixit

29
Dec

‘Bloodborne’ is still hiding boss battles almost three years later


Bloodborne might be a couple of years old now, but that doesn’t mean it’s unveiled all of its secrets. Its chalice dungeons give players countless areas to explore and enemies to fight. Now, a group of data miners have found unused bosses, along with the locations players can find them.

The group of miners were able to decrypt the game’s main files earlier this month, and since have been hunting for secrets within its code. According to Kotaku, earlier this month, the group found NPCs that aren’t available in the game. Now the searchers have discovered hidden developer areas that contain new bosses and variations on existing ones. This is similar to what another hacker has one with the game Shadow of the Colossus.

A player called Zullie the Witch has uncovered many of Bloodborne’s secrets, and she details some of them on their YouTube channel. For example, this hacker found an enemy called Pigbear in a chalice dungeon with many unused enemies. You can see a video on it below.

Part of what is so appealing about Bloodborne for its legion of fans is that it’s a strategy game. It rewards those who spend time sharing knowledge and tips on how to fight enemies. Even now, almost three years after its initial release, it’s neat that the game still harbors secrets for devoted players to uncover.

Source: YouTube, Kotaku

29
Dec

The cat pillow you’ve always wanted is now available for pre-order


Three weeks ago, Yukai Engineering wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign in which it raised approximately $110,000 for the Qoobo, which is a pillow with a robotic cat tail that responds to physical interaction with the user. Now, interested buyers in the US and Japan can pre-order the Qoobo for expected delivery in fall 2018. The US price is $89 per pillow.

The Qoobo was originally developed after a staff member was unable to keep a beloved cat. The company aimed to create a pillow that could provide comfort to that similar of what a cat or dog would. The goal was to make it feel like an actual animal was on your lap, in terms of weight, size, texture and tail movement.

The cat pillow runs on rechargeable batteries, and it will go for about 8 hours between charges. It weighs 1,000 grams, which is just over 2 lbs. The pillow comes in two colors, Husky Gray and French Brown. While it was originally crafted to provide comfort to seniors who aren’t able to keep their pets anymore, this would also be a fun toy for a current cat owner to make their existing pets incredibly jealous.

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