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27
Aug

What you missed this week on CordCutters.com


When new schedules come out, Netflix is what folks care about.

ccac825.png?itok=-iGLd5T5It’s interesting to see what folks care about on a daily basis. For instance: When the new monthly listings land, we’ve found that about twice as many folks care about what’s new on Netflix, compared to Amazon Prime Video. And folks care about the listings for Hulu by far less than that.

Anecdotally, it’s probably because Netflix has better content. Better (and more) original series, and original movies. That’s not to say that Amazon Prime Video doesn’t have its own, it’s just that Netflix very much seems to churn through more. (And let’s be honest, some are stinkers.)

Or maybe it’s because the Amazon Prime Video app is pretty atrocious on anything that’s not a Fire TV. Something has to be done about that.

What’s new on Netflix in September 2018What’s new on Amazon Prime Video in September 2018What’s new on Hulu in September 2018

Plus … Black Panther!

CordCutters Podcast Ep. 2 is up!

The second episode of the CordCutters Podcast is up. And this time, we get personal. It’s been two years since my family got rid of cable TV. My wife, Shannon, and I discuss how we went about it, and what it’s been like in those two years.

Here’s what else you missed this week at CordCutters.com:

  • Which is better for your home — A sound bar? Or surround sound?
  • Speaking of sound bars, it looks like we have a price and rough date on JBL’s model with Android TV build int
  • The Big Band Theory is calling it quits in 2019.
  • Fubo TV has added Turner Network channels to its lineup.
  • NFL Sunday Ticket can now tie into DirecTV Now — but only in a few markets.
  • More Veronica Mars, eh?

And that, as they say, is that.

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27
Aug

I dropped my Galaxy Note 9 without a case …


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It isn’t ‘rugged’ by any stretch, but it’s tougher than I expected it to be.

I typically recommend that people who have a glass-backed phone consider picking up a case to keep their phone looking fresh over months and even years. I often do the same for my own phones, though I don’t typically use them long enough to warrant the “long-term protection” argument. Unfortunately, with the Note 9, I didn’t get anywhere near the “long-term” testing phase before I really wish I had a case on it.

While pulling bags out of the trunk of my car, I dropped my completely unprotected Note 9 from about four feet onto a jagged concrete floor, hitting the concrete wall next to it on the way down. Expletives were uttered as I reached down to pick up what was sure to be the phone equivalent of a crime scene. Though I haven’t shattered one of my own phones before, I’ve seen many people do so and countless others tell me about their experiences.

To my extreme surprise, the Note 9 survived. Yes, there’s damage — that much is to be expected from any phone, especially one made out of curved panes of glass. But the damage wasn’t critical; it was barely beyond cosmetic.

The extent of the damage is this: a couple small scuffs on the metal edges near the corners, and two portions of cracked glass about an inch in length on the top-left and bottom-right corners. Really, that’s it — from a four-foot drop onto concrete without any protection.

The cracks look bad, but you actually can’t even feel them.

The cracks themselves aren’t even as bad as they look at first glance. For whatever reason, the glass cracked in a way that it didn’t make it all the way through the pane. Of course the cracks spidered out from the metal edge where the impact occurred, but the cracks are underneath the surface of the glass, not all the way through — so you can’t actually feel them from the top, meaning there’s no chance of cutting my hand or snagging the glass on fabrics as I use the phone. With how many glass-backed phones I’ve seen that look like they were run over by a truck, this gives me confidence that Samsung (and Corning, maker of the glass) have done some work on this durability testing.

The glass probably wouldn’t have cracked without the pressure from the metal frame flexing.

The small scuffs in the metal were to be expected. Most of my metal phones have such damage without any major drops. Aluminum is a pretty soft material as far as metals go (stainless steel is much harder, for example), and it’s no match for hitting concrete from this height. Knowing this also gives us insight into what likely caused the glass cracks here. You can see that a vast majority of the glass is undamaged, despite the massive drop. The only actual damage points on the glass come from the glass impacting the metal frame, not the concrete. As the phone hits the concrete, the metal and glass flex; and because the metal is softer, it bends more and hits the less-flexible glass, which causes it to give way and crack at that point.

If the phone were all aluminum, the flexibility of the metal would actually be useful because it has more room to dissipate that movement. But holding onto a glass pane, it was likely a major factor in the damage that did occur. This shows you just how seriously strong this glass is — if you were to drop an object the same size and weight of this phone, but with just glass on the back supported by perhaps plastic or rubber instead of metal framing, I don’t think it would’ve cracked at all. And even though it did, the damage was primarily cosmetic and not critical.

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The Note 9 isn’t a rugged phone, but it can take more of a beating than I ever expected.

The purpose of this story isn’t to solicit a mixture of grimaces and empathy from Android Central readers. No, the moral of the story here is that the Galaxy Note 9 is surprisingly robust. I would never have done a purposeful drop test on this phone, or any other phone, because that really isn’t my sort of thing. But I found it so surprising how well the Note 9 took this type of typical drop onto concrete that I had to share. Not only was there no internal damage nor issues with the display or cameras, the only rear panel damage was effectively just cosmetic. All this from a glass-laden Samsung phone, which is typically mired online for being too fragile and too easy to irreparably damage.

Best Galaxy Note 9 cases

The Note 9, at least in my experience, was able to take a serious amount of punishment from a drop that nobody should expect a phone to take unless it is purposefully built to be rugged. But that doesn’t mean you should subject your shiny new Note 9 to such an amount of damage on purpose. To keep the damage you see here from even happening, pick from one of the dozens of awesome Note 9 cases out there. (The one shown above is the Samsung Rugged Protective Cover.) The results of my drop only show you that there’s more of safety net here than you think — if it were to be dropped or roughed up without a case, there’s a good chance it’ll survive at least once.

Whether you go with something thick or thin, covering the screen or not, your $1000 phone deserves a little extra protection. Just look at the photos above, and you’ll feel the same way.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
  • Galaxy Note 9 vs. Note 8
  • Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy Note 9 specifications
  • Is the Note 8 still a good buy?
  • Join our Galaxy Note 9 forums

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27
Aug

Halve your pocket carry with a wallet case for Galaxy Note 9


Double up on function and halve your pocket carry.

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The Galaxy Note 9 is already an enormous phone, and if you plan on carrying it around in your pocket, then the addition of your wallet is gonna weigh your pants down. If you’re already planning on slapping a case on that beauty, then why not get a case that’s not just a case and take the two-in-one approach?

These are the best wallet cases for Galaxy Note 9.

  • ProCase genuine leather wallet case
  • Spigen Slim Armor
  • Spigen Wallet S
  • Maxboost folio-style wallet case
  • AKHVRS zipper leather wallet case
  • Amovo 2-in-1 wallet case

ProCase genuine leather wallet case

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ProCase’s leather wallet cases have that classic look about them that oozes sophistication and class. The $32 price tag might belie that, but the real leather, magnetic closure, and inner bumper show that this case is all quality.

See at Amazon

You can snag it in the original brown color or go with black if you’re looking for something sleeker or a lovely, deep red if you want something a little more flamboyant.

Spigen Slim Armor

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Spigen makes some of the finest phone cases around. They’re of excellent quality and they’re incredibly affordable. The Slim Armor case continues that tradition at only $17. It’s a dual-layer case with a sliding slot on the back for up to three cards. Streamlined and compact, just how it should be.

See at Amazon

The main shell is made of flexible, durable TPU rubber, while the outer polycarbonate bumper holds everything in place. Snag it in black, blue, or lavender.

Spigen Wallet S

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The $16 Wallet S from Spigen is a more traditional folio-style wallet case that has slots for two cards, as well as a cash pocket. There’s a magnetic closure, and the cover folds back into a handy kickstand for watching videos hands-free.

See at Amazon

The Wallet S leaves all of the necessary ports wide open, including the S Pen slot, so you can stay productive on the go.

Maxboost folio-style wallet case

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The stitching on this $10 Maxboost wallet case is eye-catching and stylish, and the space for three cards, as well as some cash, just adds to the value. Like any good folio-style wallet case, the cover folds into a kickstand, and the triangular magnetic closure adds a bit of unique flair.

See at Amazon

AKHVRS zipper leather wallet case

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If you’re looking for a more substantial wallet replacement, then the $25 AKHVRS zipper wallet case is what you’re after. The distressed leather looks great, and there’re 11 card slots, two cash slots, and a zipper change pocket. The best part is the detachable magnetic phone case, so you can carry just your Note 9 or the whole wallet.

See at Amazon

This case comes in black, blue, brown, and red, and the inner detachable case is made of flexible TPU with a leather back, so it’s just as elegant on its own as the whole case together.

Amovo 2-in-1 wallet case

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Amovo’s 2-in-1 case is another wallet with a detachable option, which is perfect for when you’re at home and don’t constantly need your cards on you. At $25, you can grab this one in blue, black, brown, red, and rose gold.

See at Amazon

The inner detachable case is sturdy, with a flexible bumper and a gorgeous leather back. It’s the perfect blend of strong protection and elegant style.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
  • Galaxy Note 9 vs. Note 8
  • Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy Note 9 specifications
  • Is the Note 8 still a good buy?
  • Join our Galaxy Note 9 forums

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27
Aug

Managing multiple PS4 accounts on one console made easy


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Managing multiple PS4 accounts isn’t as overwhelming as it may seem for newcomers.

Video game consoles are expensive for most families, so it’s understandable that many will have to share between just one. Managing multiple accounts on a single PlayStation 4 is relatively stress free, though it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re unfamiliar with the process. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Creating multiple accounts

Before you even begin to set up multiple accounts, you’ll need to set up your first one.

ps4-switch-user.jpg?itok=Lnpyr_8OWhen you turn on your console, you’ll be greeted with a welcome screen that allows you to choose whichever account you’d like. If one isn’t already set up, you’ll be prompted to do so. Fill in the applicable information it asks for such as your email, region, language, date of birth, address, chosen PlayStation Network ID (this cannot be changed currently, so make sure it’s a name you are comfortable with for the foreseeable future), password, and credit card information if needed.

Once you have your first account set up, you can either create another User ID for your console or an entirely new PlayStation Network account by selecting the box ‘New User.’ You must use a different email for each PSN account as you are unable to create multiple PlayStation Network IDs under one email using the same console.

ps4-guest-newuser.jpg?itok=e5Y6U078Either way, at this point you’ll be asked if you want to play as a guest or create a new user. You should choose the Create a User option. The only time you might ever want to use the guest option is when you have a friend over for a quick video game session and don’t care about saving any data.

Under Create a User, you’re given the choice of skipping the process of creating a new PSN account or hitting ‘next’ to create one. If you skip, you’ll be able to quickly set up an account offline attached to your console, though if you’re looking to create multiple PSN accounts for different people, I wouldn’t recommend this option. Simple User IDs like this do not have access to many features such as multiplayer, PlayStation Plus, or the ability to purchase games. You’ll almost always want to hit ‘next’ and set up a new PSN account if you have multiple members of your family sharing one system.

Switching users

The easiest tip here is how to switch users. You won’t need to manually sign out of your console every time someone else wants to log in.

From the home screen, scroll all the way to the right and select Power.
Choose Switch User.

It’s as simple as that.

Sharing PlayStation Plus

Sony’s lagging behind with PlayStation Plus options for families, but there are still benefits that multiple users can get under one membership.

As long as the PS4 is set as the primary console for whichever account subscribes to PlayStation Plus, other PSN accounts on the same console can play online multiplayer, play downloaded games purchased with a PSN discount, and play the free monthly games available to PS Plus members.

What other accounts cannot do is use the PS Plus discount for themselves to take advantage of savings when purchasing games, access online game save storage, enable auto patch downloads, or access exclusive early game trials for PS Plus members.

Activate as primary PS4

Activating your console as your primary PS4 is also an easy process.

From the home screen, navigate to Settings.
Select Account Management.
Select Activate as Your Primary PS4.

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PlayStation 4

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  • PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
  • PlayStation VR Review
  • Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome

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27
Aug

The best wireless charging pads for the Galaxy S8


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The Samsung Galaxy S8 supports wireless charging, so take full advantage of the convenience!

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a beautifully designed phone packed with convenient features. That includes wireless charging, which allows you to forgo dealing with cables and elegantly have your phone charging on your desk at work or nightstand at home and simply grab it when it’s time to get up and go.

There are a variety of wireless charging stands and pad options compatible with the Galaxy S8, from chargers designed by Samsung to third-party products. Here are your best available options for the Samsung Galaxy S8.

  • Samsung Fast Charge Convertible Wireless Charging Pad
  • Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charger pad
  • Tylt Qi Wireless Charging Stand
  • Aukey Wireless Charging Pad
  • iOttie iON Wireless Mini Qi Wireless Charging Pad
  • Anker 10W Wireless Charger

Samsung Fast Charge Convertible Wireless Charging Pad

Best Overall

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Made by Samsung, this convertible charging pad/stand hides all the charging tech in a stylishly designed casing that has a leather-like look and feel. Get yours for $50 in tan or $60 in black.

See at Amazon

The charger comes with its own Samsung Fast Charge wall charger and let’s be honest, you can never have too many Samsung wall chargers. It’s pricey compared to other options on our list, but you’ll rest safe knowing your Galaxy S8 is being charged by other Samsung accessories.

Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charger pad

Budget Samsung accessory

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Samsung’s original wireless charging pad design is timeless and reliable. For the same fast charging speeds in a less-expensive (and smaller) package, look for Samsung’s last-generation flat wireless charging pad. Get yours for as low as $25.

See at Amazon

This UFO-like charging pad can charge all Qi-compatible devices and is Fast Charge-compatible with your Galaxy S8. It also comes with a Samsung Fast Charge wall charger, which is a requirement to get the fastest speeds. At just $25, you could easily get two — one for home, one for your work office — for the price of many other options on this list!

TYLT Qi Wireless Charging Stand

Most Stylish

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TYLT has been in the wireless charging game for years, proving itself to be one on of the most trusted third-party manufacturers. This angled wireless charging stand lets you keep your phone accessible while it charges at your desk. Pricing starts as low as $28.

See at Amazon

Keep your phone functional and positioned so you never miss a notification with this angled charging stand. What really separates TYLT’s product from the rest is its bold color options — you can get this charging stand in black, red, blue and yellow starting at just $28.

iON Wireless Plus Fast Charger Qi Charging Pad

Most Refined

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This is a wireless charging pad that doesn’t look like a cheap disc of plastic, so you’ll be happy to have this prominently placed in your office or living room. The kit comes with a wall charger brick and charging cable and can be yours for $50.

See at Amazon

This wireless charger from iOttie is the latest refinement from a company that has been making quality charging pad for years. The latest is Qi-compatible with Wireless Fast Charging up to 10W for the fastest wireless charging speeds for your Samsung Galaxy S8. Each charger is completed with a nice fabric finish that’s available in Ruby Red, Ash Grey, and Ivory White.

Anker 10W Wireless Charger

Budget Pick

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Anker is a trusted brand for charging accessories, and it’s charging pad is slim, fast, and priced to move. With cool LED indicators around the edge and safeguards to protect your phone from overheating, this is your best budget pick at just $21.

See at Amazon

Anker’s reputation makes this an easy pick for anyone looking for a third-party wireless charging pad. It’s not as expensive as some of the other options on this list, but doesn’t skimp on design or features.

Do you charge wirelessly?

Have you owned any of the wireless chargers we’ve featured here? What has been your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

Update August 2018: Added the new iON Wireless Mini and the Anker 10W Wireless Charger to our list and updated pricing information.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

  • Galaxy S8 and S8+ review!
  • Galaxy S8 and S8+ specs
  • Everything you need to know about the Galaxy S8’s cameras
  • Get to know Samsung Bixby
  • Join our Galaxy S8 forums

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27
Aug

Save 96% with this great deal on Ivacy VPN lifetime subscriptions!


We all value our privacy, and when have so much of our lives online, that privacy and security is paramount. It’s far too often that people are the victims of identity theft, doxing, and worse, so having a quality VPN to protect the anonymity of your online browsing habits is a great idea.

Ivacy VPN is a highly reviewed service that offers person-to-person file sharing at blazing fast speeds, while completely protecting your identity, and right now you can get a lifetime subscription for only $39.99. With a regular retail price of $1,194, you save 96% through Android Central Digital Offers. The other wonderful benefit of a VPN is the ability to stream tens of thousands of movies, TV shows, sports events, and more from around the world. Having a quality VPN can help you completely bypass geo-restrictions, so you can get to the content you want now. You’ll even get a dedicated VPN add-on for Kodi.

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Ivacy VPN lets you connect to more than 450 servers in over 100 locations around the world, and its an official partner of the National Cyber Security Alliance, helping to promote privacy education and awareness. If you’re worried about the state of net neutrality and your internet speeds going forward, Ivacy VPN can help you overcome throttling and port blocking.

No more region-blocking the content you want to see; no more hacking, spyware, or government surveillance; no more worry that your privacy is at stake. Check out Ivacy VPN at Android Central Digital Offers and get a lifetime subscription for only $39.99.

See at Android Central Digital Offers

27
Aug

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick has dropped to $30 today


Watch your favorite Prime shows!

Amazon has its Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote on sale for $29.99 today. It normally sells for $40. This price isn’t quite as good as Prime Day, but it’s a match for a deal we’ve seen a couple times and a nice chunk off its regular price.

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Amazon recently discounted a ton of hardware, but the regular Fire TV Stick didn’t make the list. Now you can include it.

Having a Fire TV stick gives you access to over 500,000 movies and TV shows to binge-watch, letting you cancel your cable subscription without missing out on much. It can download apps like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now, while also having the ability to browse the web. The included remote features Amazon Alexa which can act as a personal assistant and help control smart home devices too.

Plus, The Man in the High Castle Season 3 is coming out soon. Love that show. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2 is on the way out, as well.

See on Amazon

27
Aug

Amazon’s Fire TV stick, mechanical keyboards, and more are discounted today


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

We found plenty of great deals today that include big discounts on the Amazon Fire TV Stick, a DLP video projector, Das Keyboard’s newest mechanical keyboard, and more!

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!

27
Aug

Takes of all temperatures [#acpodcast]


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Daniel Bader, Andrew Martonik, and Jerry Hildenbrand are here for a detailed review of Galaxy Note 9. Here’s the thing — it may be the best phone you can buy, but it’s not a leader in any particular category. Not to mention the horribly annoying Bixby button!

The crew also talk about the massive leaks and pseudo-reviews of the Google Pixel 3 XL. It won’t even be officially announced until October 4th, but Russian bloggers already have their hands on the device.

Last, but certainly not least, IFA is coming up in Berlin this week! They take a look at what to expect from the trade show floor. Check it out!

Listen now

  • Subscribe in iTunes: Audio
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  • Download directly: Audio

Show Notes and Links:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: Welcome to the one comma club
  • Russian bloggers get their hands on the Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3 XL leaks show Google’s done nothing to change the mind of Pixel 2 XL haters
  • IFA 2018 preview

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27
Aug

UK Deal: Try out a year of Amazon Prime for just £59 for a limited time


Amazon Prime offers much more than just one-day delivery…

As part of its Bank Holiday celebration, Amazon has cut the cost of its Prime service to just £59 for new members — that’s £20 off the usual price for 12-months of Prime and it’s only available for a limited time.

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Most will already be familiar with Amazon Prime and its unlimited one-day delivery benefit that is available on hundreds of thousands of products. It makes buying from Amazon super easy and convenient.

But Prime membership also gives you access to thousands of TV shows and movies with Prime Video — including original and exclusive content like The Grand Tour, Man in the High Castle and Mr. Robot — available to stream instantly on your tablet, phone or smart TV.

As well as Video, you’ll also be able to stream music to heart’s content as Prime Music is included in your Prime membership with over two million songs available at no additional cost. And voracious readers will love Prime Reading which offers a rotating selection of books, magazines, comics on your Kindle or through the Kindle app, included in your membership.

That’s not to mention game content via Twitch Prime, unlimited photo storage in Amazon Drive and exclusive early access to many Lightning Deals.

This deal on Amazon Prime membership expires on Augusts 30, so be sure to act fast and save while you can.

For more UK deals coverage, be sure to keep an eye on Thrifter UK, sign up for the UK newsletter and follow the team on Twitter.

See at Amazon UK

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