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20
May

Quick Replies make the Fitbit Versa a much better smartwatch


Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

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Two months after the Versa was first announced, Fitbit’s since rolled out a new feature for Android users called Quick Replies. Fitbit told us to expect Quick Replies, but what we weren’t told is that this update was also going to overhaul the way Fitbit smartwatches (including the Versa and Ionic) handle notifications.

Notification support has been one of the Versa’s weakest points since its release, so with the release of Quick Replies, is that changed for the better?

You betcha.

Starting first with Quick Replies themselves, these work just as advertised. After receiving a text, message on Facebook Messenger, Twitter, or another similar app, you’ll see a new Reply button that allows you to send off one of five pre-made messages (as well as a collection of emojis).

Being able to shoot off a text without touching my phone is a convenience that never gets old.

These messages have generic responses by default, such as “Yes”, “Sounds good!”, and “What’s up?”, but you can customize these to say whatever you’d like up to a max of 60 characters.

One of the unexpected features with Quick Replies lies with how detailed you can get with these customizations. You can have your set of five messages appear across all notifications you receive, but if you want to take things a step further, you can have different Quick Replies for each app. In other words, the Quick Replies you get when you receive a Twitter notification can be different from the ones you have for responding to a text.

I’d still love to see an on-screen keyboard or microphone for speech-to-text on a future smartwatch from Fitbit, but this current implementation is an excellent first step.

How to use Quick Replies on Fitbit Versa and Ionic

The presence of Quick Replies would have been a fine enough treat on its own, but Fitbit added something else that I’ve been loving even more — proper syncing of notifications on your phone and watch.

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Prior to this update, clearing notifications on your phone wouldn’t clear them from your Versa — meaning you’d have to clear the same notifications twice to get them off both your phone and wrist. This could prove to be incredibly irritating at times, and as a welcome surprise, Fitbit decided to fix this.

After the Quick Replies update, clearing a notification on your Versa now also removes it from your phone (and vice versa).

This might sound like a small feature on paper, but in reality, it’s become invaluable in my day-to-day use. My Versa’s no longer a cluttered mess of notifications, and when you combine this with the ability to respond to texts without having to pick up your phone, you end up with a much smarter smartwatch.

Is the Versa a perfect gadget? Not quite. I still wish NFC was available on on models, I’d like to see even more developer support, and as mentioned above, a microphone for voice dictation would be fantastic. However, Fitbit’s quickly showing that it’s got what it takes to create a very competitive smartwatch platform. The progress we’ve seen from the company in less than a year since the Ionic was released is beyond impressive, and with Quick Replies, the Versa (and Ionic) are far better smartwatches than before.

If you still haven’t checked out the Versa for yourself, now’s the time.

See at Fitbit

Fitbit

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  • Fitbit Versa vs. Fitbit Ionic: Which should you buy?
  • Fitbit Versa hands-on: Fitbit’s finally getting serious about smartwatches
  • Fitbit Versa and fitness: Everything you need to know
  • Best Fitbit fitness tracker

Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit Versa
Fitbit Charge 2 HR

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20
May

3 Google Assistant Routines you should set up right now


google-home-google-assistant-gs9plus-kit

Make your mornings brighter, your commutes stress-free, and your evenings more relaxing with a bit of help from Google Assistant

In just a few short years, Google Assistant has gone from a cool glimpse of the future to come to a legitimate digital helper that you can use every day with your smartphone, Google Home speakers, and soon via Google Assistant-powered smart displays.

One of the coolest new ways to use Google Assistant is the Routines feature which allows you to use one command to get Assistant to complete multiple actions. This feature is not available in all language and is best supported for English (U.S.), where custom created routines are still rolling out to users in America.

But custom routines aside, these are the most convenient Assistant routines you should set up right now!

Google Assistant Routines: Everything you need to know

Enhance your morning routine

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Mornings are hard, but Google Assistant can help you be more productive as you’re waking up. It’s pretty common for people to reach for their smartphone as soon as you wake up in the morning — whether it’s to check for any emails or messages received or simply to turn your phone off silent. But that ultimately distracts you from the other routine stuff you need to do to prepare for your day.

With the “Good Morning Routine”, your Assistant can handle those mundane tasks like taking your phone off silent while also give you the day’s weather forecast so you can plan your outfit and an estimation on your commute to work so you know how much time you have before you need to be out the door.

Depending on the Assistant-controlled smart devices in your home, you can also control the smart lights around the house or start brewing your day’s first cup of coffee.

Then you can have Google play your favorite playlist, give you a rundown of the latest news, start playing your favorite morning radio station or load up a podcast to start your day. I’d personally recommend The Daily by the New York Times, which has become the informative highlight of my mornings.

All this can be triggered by simply saying “Good Morning”, “Tell me about your day”, or “I’m up”.

These Products and Services Work with Google Home

Create a worry-free commute experience

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Once you’re ready to leave the house, use your Assistant to improve your daily commute.

Using Assistant on your phone, you can use the “Commute to Work” routine to get a briefing of any upcoming events for the day from your Google Calendar, get an up-to-the-minute update about traffic conditions for your commute, and adjust your Nest smart themostat to a lower temperature to cut down on your energy bills.

Finally, you can get Assistant to launch into your favorite playlist or podcasts and more and adjust the volume just the way you like it.

There’s also a “Commute to Home” routine which offers a few different features, including sending texts to your significant other letting them know you’re on your way home, or even broadcast that you’re on your way home to Google Home devices around your house.

As you’d expect, there’s a bit of setup required to set up some of these cool features, including which playlists or podcasts you want to listen to, and the cell phone number and message you want to send to your loved one. But once you’ve got everything configured, all you need to say is “Let’s go to work” or “Let’s go home” and Google handles all the rest.

Best Universal Car Mounts for 2018

Let your Assistant shut down the house at night

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Technology can be a real thorn at nighttime when your body is trying to wind down for the night but you can’t rip your eyeballs away from your phone screen. Google Assistant won’t fix your bad habits, but it can help you get ready for bed in other ways.

With the “Bedtime Routine”, your assistant can put your phone on silent, give you a quick rundown of what’s going on tomorrow, and toggle off any smart lights or plugs you have set up in your home. Then you can set your alarm for the following morning and then choose your favorite relaxing music or “Sleep sounds” (think a relaxing babbling brook or white noise) to help you fall asleep peacefully.

Once it’s set up simply tell your Assistant “Bedtime” or “Good night” and then tuck yourself in. Sweet dreams!

How to get Google to softly lull you to sleep

What’s your favorite Assistant routine to use?

These are our recommendations, but we want to know how you use Google Routines! Let us know in the comments.

Google Home

  • Google Home review
  • Google Home Mini: Everything you need to know!
  • Google Home Max review
  • These services work with Google Home
  • Google Home vs. Amazon Echo
  • Join our Google Home forums!

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20
May

You can now project Waze from your iPhone to your Ford’s infotainment screen


If you have both an iPhone and a Ford vehicle and are a fan of Google’s Waze navigation app, you’ve been out of luck when it comes to integrating it into your car. While Ford’s SYNC connectivity system supports Apple CarPlay, Apple itself does not allow users to use Waze through CarPlay. There is a way around this now, as Ford announced that SYNC 3 equipped vehicles can project the Waze app from an iPhone directly onto the touch screen via SYNC AppLink. This follows Ford’s announcement of the integration at CES, which was followed by beta demonstrations.

You need to have Waze downloaded onto your iPhone, and the phone must be plugged into a USB port in your Ford. You can then open Waze through SYNC. Once Waze is on the big screen, you can control the app thorough voice command and hear the voice guidance through the vehicle speakers.

This brings Waze’s real-time traffic and navigation directly into your vehicle, along with the most efficient traffic routes, cheapest fuel prices, and traffic accident alerts. You can be routed to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and get accurate arrival times. You can even keep an eye out for the police.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to access the smartphone features, apps and services they care about most in the car, without having to pick up their device,” Don Butler, executive director, connected vehicle platform and product at Ford, said. “With Waze, our customers get the benefits they’re accustomed to with the added luxury of experiencing them on a bigger screen.”

Waze uses crowdsourcing to deliver real-time information about everything from road hazards and conditions to route changes and fuel prices. You can connect with friends to share data such as arrival time.

“We’re excited drivers of Ford SYNC 3-enabled vehicles will now be able to use Waze for iOS right from their dashboard, getting access to features like planned drives, alternative routes, talk to Waze voice commands and more,” Jens Baron, product lead, in-car applications at Waze, said. “They’ll also benefit from the best routes and most accurate ETAs, thanks to our global community of drivers on the go who update the map in real-time — helping our mission to one day eliminate traffic.”

To use Waze on Ford’s AppLink, you’ll need SYNC 3 version 3.0 or greater, and your iOS running 11.3 or later. It’s worth the effort, as we found Waze to be among the most useful apps you can have on your iPhone.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Tesla just made it easier to access Autopilot in your Model 3 sedan


20
May

Today’s best deals you won’t want to miss


Whether you’re looking for new tech gear or household items, we’ve got you covered.

Today you can get big discounts on Twelve South’s Fermata headphone stand, Anker’s powerful wall charger, and much more! Don’t pass these up.

View the rest of the deals

If you want to know about the deals as soon as they are happening, you’ll want to follow Thrifter on Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter, because missing out on a great deal stinks!

20
May

NASA’s planet hunter satellite sends back its first image — and it’s amazing


NASA’s new planet-hunting mission, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), was launched on April 18. After getting accustomed to its new surroundings and doing a quick buzz past the moon, it’s already produced a stunning image that was just released by NASA. As part of the calibration sequence for one of its four on-board cameras, TESS captured a swatch of the sky that includes more than 200,000 stars.

NASA

The two-second exposure is centered on the southern constellation Centaurus. The Coalsack Nebula is featured in the upper right quadrant, and the star Beta Centauri can be seen at the lower left edge.

The stunning display has captivated scientists and space enthusiasts around the globe. “We are truly excited about how well the TESS cameras are working,” MIT planetary scientist George Ricker told Forbes. “This beautiful image just popped up on the MIT payload operations display screens right after initial turn-on of the TESS instrument.”

Keep in mind, this image was produced using only one of TESS’s four cameras. Once the mission becomes fully operational, NASA expects future images to cover more than 400 times as much sky. A “first light” image suitable for detailed scientific analysis will be released in June.

The four cameras will scan 26 entire sectors of the sky, covering both hemispheres during its two-year mission. The observations will focus on possible “transits” of exoplanets. where a far-away planet passes in front of its star causing a measurable drop in brightness.

“We learned from Kepler that there are more planets than stars in our sky, and now TESS will open our eyes to the variety of planets around some of the closest stars,” said Paul Hertz of NASA. “TESS will cast a wider net than ever before for enigmatic worlds whose properties can be probed by NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope and other missions.”

TESS is on its way to an unusual but highly stable elliptical orbit that takes it around the Earth every 13.7 days. After getting a gravity assist by passing within 5,000 miles of the moon, a final thruster burn on May 30 will finalize its orbit. The satellite will begin its detailed observation mission utilizing all four cameras in mid-June.

The search for exoplanets and, ultimately, extraterrestrial life will kick into high gear in the coming years. The aging Kepler satellite may be on its last legs, but the launch of the James Webb telescope will help scientists build on the discoveries made by TESS and expand our knowledge of the universe even more.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • How to watch the launch of NASA’s planet-hunting satellite live
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  • NASA delays James Webb Space Telescope, pushes launch to 2020


20
May

Razer Blade Stealth vs. Apple MacBook Pro


Long gone are the days when Apple was the only company producing good looking, powerful mid-range laptops. Today it has many competitors, including the likes of Razer. But what if we pit the Razer Blade Stealth vs. Apple’s MacBook Pro? Which is the better laptop for the money?

Design

One of the biggest differences between mid-range and entry-level laptops is that over $1,000, they tend to look a lot nicer and have much better features. That’s certainly the case with both the Razer Blade Stealth and MacBook Pro. Razer’s new laptop sports a sleek, aluminum exterior in an attractive, compact package, that actually comes in slightly slimmer and trimmer than the Apple alternative.

That’s not the case with the display bezels though, which are much sleeker on the MacBook Pro. That gives it a distinctly more modern look than the Blade Stealth, despite similarities in overall styling. The somewhat lacking-in-purpose, MacBook Pro Touch Bar is also something that differentiates the two, though that does come at a $300 premium on the Apple laptop.

In terms of connectivity, there’s quite a stark difference between the two notebooks. Where the Razer Blade Stealth has a single Thunderbolt 3 port, alongside a pair of USB-A 3.0 ports, and an HDMI output, the MacBook Pro goes all-in on the future with four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. All of them can be used for charging, but that does mean that you’ll need to get an adapter if you want to use older, USB-A devices.

While we can debate the need for different USB ports, one area where the MacBook Pro clearly under-performs compared to the Blade Stealth is its keyboard. We found the low-travel distance uncomfortable for typing over long periods, while the Blade Stealth’s RGB backlit keyboard was fantastic in comparison. Both laptops feature excellent touchpads, however.

Performance

Despite the more mainstream marketing of the Razer Blade Stealth, it’s internal hardware is impressive. It sports an eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and up to a terabyte of M.2 solid state storage (SSD), all for $1,400. While it lacks a dedicated graphics chip, Razer does promote the Blade Stealth as having an optional external graphics card through the use of its officially-supported Razer Core v2 graphics enclosure.

The MacBook Pro’s hardware is a little older, though more varied. At the entry-level $1,300 price point, you get yourself a seventh-generation Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of SSD space. If you’re willing to spend up to $2,600, you can configure the system to have a dual-core Core i7 CPU instead, with 16GB of RAM and a terabyte of SSD space.

Those configurations put the MacBook Pro far behind the Blade Stealth in terms of raw power. Where the MacBook Pro’s older CPU sports just two cores, the Blade Stealth’s has four, and with hyperthreading, support for eight threads. With double the amount of RAM in most configurations and a more modern onboard graphics chip, the Blade Stealth easily outstrips the Apple competition, and does so with a lower price tag.

That said, the 2,560 x 1,600 IPS display the MacBook Pro ships with is beautiful. Its color accuracy is fantastic, and it has a broad support for the various color gamuts. In comparison, we found the Blade Stealth lacking in the AdobeRGB space, though at a higher resolution of 3,200 x 1,800, it does have a crisper picture.

Portability

In our review of the MacBook Pro, we found one of its biggest disappointments to be the reduction in battery size over its predecessor. Cutting it back by almost 35 percent resulted in a drop in overall life, though it still managed more than 10 hours in our video loop test. In comparison, the Razer Blade Stealth only managed eight hours. While it does have higher-powered hardware that no doubt contributes to the shorter battery life, the noticeable drop does make the Blade Stealth less useful when away from a charge point.

Physical portability of both laptops is comparable. Where the MacBook Pro measures in at 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59-inches, the Blade Stealth is 12.6 x 8.1 x 0.54-inches. There are a few hundredths of a pound in weight difference in the Blade Stealth’s favor, but neither that nor the dimensions are disparate enough to make much of a difference.

What’s more important, power or software?

The question of whether to buy one of these laptops over the other is both easy and hard to answer. If you want the better laptop by the numbers, the Razer Blade Stealth is the better piece of kit. It’s much cheaper, has a higher-resolution display, and more powerful. It will still feel snappy in a few years time, and if you want to add an external graphics card to make it into a decent gaming laptop, you can do that too.

But none of that really matters if you want an Apple laptop running MacOS. That’s still the biggest selling point of the MacBook Pro in this head to head, even if its battery life does outstrip the Blade Stealth’s by a noticeable margin. You will certainly pay a premium for it, though, as the top MacBook Pro costs double that of the Blade Stealth.

While we’d certainly recommend the Blade Stealth over the MacBook Pro, if you do find yourself intrigued more by the Apple notebook, make sure to buy it without the Touch Bar, as that gimmicky gadget has no particular use and only increases the price tag unnecessarily.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Razer Blade Stealth vs. Dell XPS 13
  • Huawei MateBook X Pro vs. Dell XPS 13
  • The best laptops for programming
  • The best MacBook
  • Dell XPS 13 vs. MacBook Pro 13


20
May

Charge your phone wirelessly for only $10 with RAVPower’s Fast Charging Pad


This wireless charger is ideal for nightstands and desks.

RAVPower’s Fast Qi Wireless Charging Pad drops to just $9.99 at Amazon when you enter promo code RAVPCC14 during checkout. This deal saves you $5 off its current price.

You can also grab an updated, sleeker version of this charger for $10.99 with code RAVPC083.

ravpower-fast-wireless-charger-757g.png?With a wireless charging pad, you can eliminate those nights you go to bed forgetting to plug in your phone. Every night will be like that after all, as you’ll be able to just drop your phone on this charger to ensure it has a full battery in the morning. It features protection against overcurrents, overheating, and over-voltage.

There’s also an LED light which changes from blue to green to indicate whether your device is on standby or charging. No wall adapter is included with the charger however, so you may want to pick up an extra if you don’t have one lying around already.

This device can fast charge Quick Charge devices up to 10W while non-Quick Charge devices power up at a standard 5W. RavPower also includes an 18-month warranty with this product. Over 1,150 customers at Amazon reviewed it resulting in an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.

See at Amazon

20
May

Razer Blade Stealth vs. Dell XPS 13


When it comes to light, affordable, but powerful mid-range laptops, the Dell XPS 13 and the Razer Blade Stealth are two of the best out there. What happens when we pit them head to head though? In the battle of the Razer Blade Stealth vs. Dell XPS 13, which comes out on top?

Design

As one of the best looking laptops we’ve ever come across, it’s hard to beat the XPS 13 on style. However, the Razer Blade Stealth makes a good try. It has a sleek look to it, with an aluminum surface that gives it the look of premium Apple hardware like the MacBook Pro. That does mean it’s not the most striking, but it will look right at home in the mid-range that Razer’s targeting with its new release.

Until you open it. While the Blade Stealth’s screen looks great, its bezels are far chunkier than most contemporary hardware, and make the XPS 13 look like a generation ahead of its Razer counterpart on that point alone. However, that does mean that the Blade Stealth has enough room to fit its 720P webcam in the top of the display’s frame, rather than the base as in the XPS 13, making video calls far more flattering for the user.

In terms of connectivity, Razer opted to include a pair of USB-A ports alongside a Thunderbolt 3 port and an HDMI output. That gives it greater functionality out of the box than the XPS 13, which dropped all support for the older USB standard in favor of a pair of Thunderbolt three ports and a USB-C 3.1 port.

The Thunderbolt 3 port that the Blade Stealth does have though, has a dual purpose. While it can provide charging and high-speed data like any USB-C port, Razer is also marketing it as a potential avenue for external graphics. Razer’s own Core v2 external graphics enclosure was debuted alongside the new Blade Stealth last year and is marketed by Razer as a way of expanding the capabilities of this laptop when in a home setting.

Performance

Although neither of these laptops are designed as gaming machines by themselves, they are both very capable laptops when it comes to just about everything else. The Blade Stealth sports a Core i7-8550U throughout the range, so is technically more powerful than the XPS 13 at the lower end, but in our testing the XPS 13 performed better when equipped with comparable hardware.

The Blade Stealth does offer 16GB of RAM without much of a premium, which is a nice touch, however like the XPS 13 it only offers on board graphics out of the box. Both systems come with as much as a terabyte of on-board solid state storage, making them both snappy to use, and able to store plenty of media.

The default displays on the two laptops are different. While the XPS 13 has a 1080p panel as standard, with a 4K option at the top-end of the price bracket, all of the Blade Stealth models have a 16:9, 3,200 x 1,800 display. It looks great, but at 13.3-inches the resolution isn’t necessary and has a big impact on the system’s battery life.

In a straight comparison with the XPS 13, we noticed a dip in color support in the AdobeRGB space, though its color accuracy was top-notch. It does support touch inputs, which is only something that the XPS 13’s 4K panel supports.

Portability

The XPS 13 might not sport the same kind of ridiculous battery life as a Surface Book 2, but its portability is undeniable. With as much as 13-hours of video playback on the 1080p version of the laptop, it will last a full work day and then some during mixed usage. In comparison, the Blade Stealth falls way behind, managing just eight hours in our testing. While that may give you a full day’s work, it’s not enough that we’d feel comfortable straying too far from a charge point for extended periods of time.

The difference in physical portability is much less pronounced. The Blade Stealth measures up at 12.6 x 8.1 x 0.54-inches, while the XPS 13 is a slightly-more-svelte 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.46-inches. It’s also slightly lighter at 2.67 pounds, while the Blade Stealth tips the scales at 2.98 pounds.

XPS 13 is still king

Razer’s revamped Blade Stealth laptop is an admirable attempt to offer something that isn’t a gaming laptop, but has the potential to be, with its support of the Core V2 enclosure. As solid an effort as it is though, it’s just not as versatile, nor as good looking as the Dell XPS 13. With substantially weaker battery life and not much in the way of hardware options beyond storage, the Blade Stealth limits its potential audience to a very particular owner.

The XPS 13 is better looking, has more competitive pricing at the low-end, and will last longer on a day to day basis. It doesn’t have the same officially sanctioned GPU enclosure, but if you want a Dell laptop that’s better at gaming, you’d opt for the XPS 15 or Inspiron 15 7577 instead.

You can buy the Dell XPS 13 now from $1,000 to $1,950, while the Razer Blade Stealth has a flat rate of $1,400. The last-generation, dual-core version is available with a discounted price of $1,050.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Huawei MateBook X Pro vs. Dell XPS 13
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  • Dell XPS 13 9370 review
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20
May

Epic Games makes announcement for ‘Fortnite’ on Android


Epic Games

Epic is getting ready to add another platform to the biggest game in the world. Fortnite: Battle Royale has been available for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 for some time, and it was released on mobile for iOS back in March. Android gamers won’t be left out in the storm for much longer, however, as the studio announced that they can soon join their iPhone-wielding friends and jump into the multiplayer carnage.

“We are targeting this summer for the release,” the developers wrote in a recent blog post. “We know many of you are excited for this release, and we promise that when we have more information to share, you’ll hear it from us first.” No more details about the Android version were provided.

Along with availability for Android devices, the team also announced a host of updates and improvements that are in the works. Voice chat will let you communicate with your friends or with everyone on the map. You’ll also be able to toggle various mute options with a simple touchscreen tap.

Epic has also added a custom HUD feature, so you can use a template “blueprint” to place all the various icons on your screen to suit your liking.

The upcoming “battery saver” mode lowers the graphic quality but also uses less power for those times when your phone might not last until the end of the match. The studio also mentioned a host of improved gameplay controls, especially for the Autorun feature, but there were no details given.

Fortnite quickly became number one with a bullet when it was released for iOS back in March with $15 million in sales in just 20 days, easily surpassing such venerable stalwarts as Candy Crush and Pokémon Go. Since then, a comet impact has devastated the landscape in the game, leaving low-gravity shards in its wake to begin Season Four.

Only the free multiplayer Battle Royale mode is available for mobile and that’s unlikely to change with the Android update. While you’re waiting, we’ve got some tips and strategies for playing the game on mobile that will give you a big edge on your friends when the game arrives later this year.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • You can sign up for the ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ mobile beta right now
  • Epic Games hauls in $15 million from ‘Fortnite’ on iOS in just three weeks
  • ‘Fortnite’ is now available for free to all iOS users, coming to Android soon
  • The History of Battle Royale: From Mod to Worldwide Phenomenon
  • ‘Fortnite’ will give you the chance to be killed by Thanos, too


20
May

Best Galaxy S9 Cases


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Find a sleek and stylish case to keep your S9 protected.

Whether you bought your Samsung Galaxy S9 at launch or have decided to upgrade to the S9 after reading the reviews, you’re going to want to buy a case to keep it safe. here, which means it’s time to ruminate over which accessories to buy!

Here are the best cases we’ve found for the Galaxy S9. We’ll be updating this article as more awesome options become available.

  • Samsung S-View Cover
  • Samsung Hyperknit Cover
  • Samsung Alcantara Cover
  • Otterbox Commuter Series
  • RhinoShield CrashGuard bumper
  • Lifeproof SLAM case
  • Speck Presidio case
  • BodyGuardz Ace Fly clear case
  • Spigen Rugged Armor case
  • VRS Design Clear Slim case
  • Ringke Fusion Clear Case
  • SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Series case
  • dbrand skins

Samsung S-View Cover

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We’ll start out with some of Samsung’s own cases, although they’re not yet available for purchase.

The first one is the perennially awesome S-View case. This folio-style flip case features a clear cover for the screen that keeps it protected from scratches while also letting you see notifications and accept calls with a swipe. It can also be folded up as a hands-free stand.

Samsung hasn’t listed a price, but the Note 8 S-View cover launched at $60 so we can probably expect similar pricing here.

See at Samsung

Samsung Hyperknit Cover

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Google seemed to start the fabric case trend, but we’re happy to see Samsung also embracing it.

Made of woven nylon, this case looks brilliant in red with a nice, soft finish. Everyone’s going to want to see your brand new phone, so why not add a bit of extra flash while keeping it safe? With extra protection in the corner and clean cutouts around the camera and fingerprint sensor on the back you’ll love the functional and stylish design on display here. You can get yours for just $35.

The Galaxy S9 and its Hyperknit case are a match made in heaven

See at Samsung

Samsung Alcantara Cover

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First-party accessories are always on the more expensive side, so they really need to offer customers something unique. Samsung’s Alcantara covers have been recent standouts, offering a combination of sound protection and a cozy finish for your Galaxy devices.

The Alcantara case won us over with the Note 8, so we’re pretty happy to see it offered by Samsung for the S9. Made of Alcantara, a lightweight material that’s rugged and durable while keeping a slim form factor, you’ll get a stylish and grippy case that won’t add much bulk to the phone. It’s not yet available to buy but would be worth keeping an eye out for.

You can get this stylish case for $50 direct from Samsung or for $42 on Amazon.

Samsung’s Alcantara case is the most luxurious way to protect your Galaxy S9 or S9+

See at Amazon

RhinoShield CrashGuard bumper

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If you would really prefer not to put a bulky case on your phone but still want some added peace of mind for those rare times where your phone slips out of your hand, consider the CrashGuard bumper from RhinoShield.

This is a really well-designed bumper that’s rugged and shock absorbing in the corners and along phone’s edges — exactly where you need it most. It’s quick and easy to install and lets you still fully show off the design of your phone.

You can get this minimalist case solution for just $25.

See at Amazon

OtterBox Commuter Series

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Few names are as symonymous with phone cases as OtterBox. They’re built a reputation as a trusted brand by designing really rugged cases and backing their products with superior customer service.

We’d recommend the Commuter series case which is a pocket-friendly case that still delivers the rugged protection you’ve come to expect from an OtterBox case. It’s got one big cutout on the back for the camera and fingerprint sensor and includes port covers to keep dirt out. You can get yours for just $30 from Amazon.

We’ve highlighted the Commuter Series here, but OtterBox has over 10 different case styles available for the Galaxy S9 which you can check out on their site.

See at Amazon

Lifeproof SLAM case

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When you’re dropping over $700 on a brand new phone, you want to protect it from everything life might throw at it, especially if you plan on spending a ton of time outside this summer.

Lifeproof cases typically offer protection from dirt and snow, but the SLAM case focuses exclusively on drop protection. Lifeproof says this case can survive drops from up to two meters (6.5 ft) thanks to the reinforced bumpers. It’s also got a rugged backplate that’s clear to show off the phone’s design and also compatible with wireless charging. While it’s not quite as Lifeproof as you’d expect, it’s also not as expensive as other Lifeproof cases at only $50. Plus, it looks pretty cool with the black and neon green, don’t you think?

Looking for the classic FRE Lifeproof case? You can get the supreme Lifeproof case for a whopping $89. It’s real pricy, and probably more than we could justifiably recommend to the average user, but if you want one you can buy it straight from the source.

See at Lifeproof

Speck Presidio

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Speck has a full line of cases available for the Galaxy S9, but we’ll focus on the Presidio case here because it’s a great place to start. It’s got a simple design with smart features where it counts like double protection in the corners and a slim profile that’s compatible with wireless charging. It’s been drop tested up to 10 feet and the matte finish is scratch resistant so it shouldn’t show wear. Get this classic looking case for just $40.

This is just one of the many case styles Speck offers, so check them all out if you want something with a bit more flair.

See at Amazon

BodyGuardz Ace Fly clear case

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Looking to show off your Galaxy S9 without leaving it prone to drop damage? BodyGuardz offers a clear case they say is built using the same impact gel used in padding and helmet technology for athletes.

Whether or not that marketing talk sways you, the Ace Fly clear case looks like a reliable clear case. BodyGuardz backs their products with a lifetime warranty and you have a 30-day money back guarantee so if you don’t love it you can simply return it.

Available for $35, these cases are also compatible with the Pure Arc Tempered Glass screen protector, so if you’ve used BodyGuardz screen protectors before and trust the brand this would be a good combo to keep your Galaxy S9 fully protected right out of the box.

See at Amazon

Spigen Rugged Armor case

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The Spigen Rugged Armor case is my go-to phone case. It’s a sleek, one-piece case that adds good protection to your phone without much bulk. Thin enough to not impede wireless charging, this is a great minimalist case that still offers rugged protection.

More importantly, it always comes in at a great price. At just $12, it’s one of the cheapest options currently available from a brand we trust.

See at Amazon

Spigen Liquid Crystal clear case

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Looking for a clear case option under $20? Spigen’s got you covered there, too. Just like the Rugged Armor case, the Liquid Crystal is slim and pocket-friendly. Made of flexible TPU, it’s easy to slip on and will provide quality protection while still letting you show off your phone’s design.

You can get the Liquid Crystal for $11.99 or add a funky print or some sparkles for just $12.99.

See at Amazon

VRS Design Clear Slim case

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These clear cases from VRS Design basically offer it all. It’s a clear case that shows off the body of the Galaxy S9 with a shockproof bumper available in the exact color to match your device.

Better still, these cases are thin enough to be fully compatible with wireless charging. Make sure you get the right color for your phone to complete the look.

You can get this case for just $14 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Ringke Fusion Clear Case

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The best way to protect your phone from drop damage is to not drop your phone. The latest Fusion clear case from Ringke includes a handy wrist strap built into the case.

Whether or not you want to use the wrist strap is up to you, but it’s a thoughtful addition to a consistently stellar case style. Available as a clear case or with a Orchid Purple or Smoky Black bumper accent, you can get this case for just $11 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Series case

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The Unicorn Beetle case is one of those phone cases that people buy with every new device. It’s got that classic rugged design with ridges to help with grip and it includes a built-in screen protector to keep your S9 in pristine condition.

Port plugs keep dust and pocket lint out of your charging port and headphone jack, and it also comes with an optional belt-clip holster. Rugged enough to keep your phone protected and yet thin enough to work with wireless charging, get your Unicorn Beetle Series case starting at just $15.

See at Amazon

dbrand Skins

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Dbrand Skins are a consistently popular option for phone enthusiasts who want to customize the look of their phone without adding any bulk. They of course offer an awesome level of customization for creating a skin for your Galaxy S9.

You can pick between nine different texture styles for the back, the minimal bezels on the top and bottom of the display, and even around the camera sensor! You can mix and match and create your dream skin. Didn’t get the phone color you wanted? Make it your own with dbrand!

See at dbrand

Update May 19, 2018: Updated pricing for these great Galaxy S9 cases. Now’s a great time to buy a new case.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

  • Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know!
  • Galaxy S9 review: A great phone for the masses
  • Complete Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?
  • Join our Galaxy S9 forums

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