Category: Accessories

NueVue – A Case That Cleans Your Screen

NueVue CasesWhile at CES this year I had a chance to pick up a new case coming to market from NueVue. What sets this case apart is that it cleans your screen every time you remove it from the sleeve. Its microfiber lining on the inside of the case is also treated with BioCote, an antimicrobial technology that will eliminate 80% of bacteria in 15 minutes, and if you leave your device in the case longer, it will clean 99% of those pesky bacteria away in under two hours. The case also offers some protective qualities as it has anti static and shock resistant capabilities. NueVue is currently only available for your iPhone, iPad, or iPad Mini but products for additional smart phones and tablets are in the works.
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Pebble announces “Something Special” to unveiled at CES 2014

Pebble SmartwatchSmartwatch maker Pebble has put out a little teaser of “something special” to be announced at CES 2014. There were no hints if it would be some new hardware, or maybe something more elaborate to their new app store. Either way, we will be waiting to hear all about it. For those of you who want to get the news in real time, they will be live streaming the announcement at GetPebble.com. The event is slated for January 6, 2014 at 11am PT.

Pebble Tease

Quick Review: Energi Sliding Power Case for iPhone 5/5s

iPhone’s today are essentially mini computers, and that kind of information and potential at our fingertips everyday has a price. The price on a iPhone is not only data, but more importantly power. Battery power to be more specific. Every device comes with a predetermined amount of power in the battery. That juice has to last to get the user through their day. A day of making phone calls, sending a receiving texts and emails, surfing the web, creating documents, listening to music, watching videos, etc, etc, etc. We use our phones now more than ever, and that use is causing our batteries to drain quick.

The TYLT Energi Sliding Power Case is a great solution to the power problem many of us are facing with our iPhone. Unlike other battery case solutions on the market, the Energi Sliding Power Case comes with two separate pieces that essentially allow the user to have two different case options. One simple lightweight case, and another case that includes a portable battery pack.

TYLY Energi Sliding Power CaseThe Energi Sliding Power Case has a 2500 mAh battery which claims to give you an extra 9 hours talk time on your iPhone. For comparison, the Mophie Juice Pack Plus comes with a 2100 mAh battery, and is the largest battery case Mophie offers. The price for the Energi Sliding Power Case is just $99.99 as opposed to the $119.95 for the Mophie Juice Pack Plus.

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Quick Review: Otterbox iPhone 5/5s Wallet Case

Otterbox Commuter WalletScreen shot 2013-11-17 at 8.45.09 PM

Do you ever get tired of having to carry a wallet and your cell phone? Do you wish there was a case that could hold your phone and your vital items from your wallet? Do you wish I’d stop asking these stupid questions and just get on with it???

Introducing the Otterbox iPhone 5/5s Wallet Case. It is the latest and greatest for the case making people at Otterbox. It combines great protection with the ability to carry around a few of the important cards from your wallet. This is a multilayer case that gives your device some solid protection and offers a slide out tray on the rear that can hold up to three cards of your choice.

I found that this case is very useful when you are wanting to travel light, but yet have the needed items with you. I was able to carry my drivers license, debit card, and a credit card with no problems. The tray compartment adds a little bulk to the case, but it’s not too bad, and definitely not as much as the battery case I usually have on my phone.

The case does not come with a built in screen protector like the Defender Series cases, but you can easily apply a screen protector of your choice on your phone. Overall I think this is a good case and it’s very useful, but I’m not so sure it’s worth the $44.95 asking price. In my opinion, a price tag somewhere in the low $30′s would seem more reasonable.

Speck CandyShell Grip, Get Your Gaming On

Speck 2

Let’s talk candy, not Candy Crush (I will block you) but CandyShell Grip from Speck. Speck a company I’ve come to love has come a long way since first starting in the smartphone industry. Speck has delivered many different styles of cases over the years like the CandyShell series, SmartFlex series, Pixelskin series and Fabshell series.

My favorite case of Speck’s at the moment is their CandyShell Grip series. If you’re a big time gamer and want great protection you’ll find the CandyShell Grip will handle your needs.

Since being introduced to the CandeyShell Grip, it’s been hard for me to use other cases. For starters, the rubber grip structure eliminates the slipperiness helping prevent you from dropping your phone. Not to mention the case has all-around protection from a raised bezel which keeps your screen safe and it also has rubberized cover shield buttons.

Speck 3

The CandyShell Grip comes in several different colors, so it’s quite easy to find one that fits your lifestyle. The CandyShell Grip costs $34.95 and comes with a one-year warranty.

If you don’t have an iPhone 5 don’t worry, the CandyShell Grip is available for other smartphones as well. Look below to see if your device makes the cut.

  • iPhone 4/ 4S / 5
  • Nokia Lumia 920, 1020
  • Motorola Droid ULTRA
  • HTC One, One X, One X+
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
  • Sony Xperia TL
  • Motorola Droid Maxx
  • Samsung Galaxy S IV

You can check out the full line up via this link.

Quick Review: Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi

verizon-delphi copyHave you ever wanted to get some of the cool new features of today’s connected cars, but just can’t afford the price tag for that vehicle? Well, now you just may be able to get those features added to your existing vehicle for a much smaller price tag. What are these cool features I’m referring to? Well they are: Remote Access, Vehicle Health and Diagnostics, GPS Tracking, Geo-fencing, and Vehicle Alerts to name a few.

Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi, or VDD for short, is currently available to Verizon Wireless subscribers only. It is priced at $249.99 with month-to-month service of $5 per device with a shared data plan. When you think about what features VDD has to offer, the price tag is really pretty reasonable. I’m hopefully that other carriers will get in on this action and begin to offer VDD in the near future.

Delphi sent me a VDD unit to test for a few weeks and I must say that I am impressed. The device itself is very simple to install. Once you remove it from the packaging, you simply plug it in to the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port in your vehicle. Done. Device installed. Follow some simple instructions and have the device activated and you’ll be up and running.

Once properly installed and activated, you will now have access to several features of today’s connected cars. Not every car will be able to take advantage of every feature. I discovered that I was not able to use the KeyFob feature of VDD because both of my vehicle have Push-to-Start, and VDD is not compatible with that yet. They say updates are coming, and I’m hopeful that will be one of them. My only other issue with VDD is location. Each vehicles OBD port will probably be located in a different area. For my 2013 Ford Escape, I had to remove a panel from the lower part of the dash to get to the OBD. Once I plugged in the VDD the panel would not go back on, and it just looked odd. It would be nice if Delphi included some kind of extension cable for the OBD port that would allow you to connect with minimal obstruction and move the VDD out of the way.

Now on to the testing… A few of the options you can do with VDD are set up alerts, such as speed alerts and geo-fence alerts. I started with speed alerts and had it set at 80mph. I quickly discovered a problem here, and it had nothing to do with VDD, and everything to do with my daily commute. I routinely drive a toll road that has a speed limit of 80mph. I was setting off speed alerts left and right. It does work as advertised, but I had to change that alert to save my email box from being flooded with messages.

The geo-fence settings allow you to pick a starting location, and then set a radius from that point as the “fence” area. I created my geo-fence to be 15 miles from my house, and just like the speed alerts, every time I crossed that boundary I would get an alert sent to my inbox.

VDD also allows you to monitor your vehicle health and get a history of your recent driving trips. If you happen to have any warning lights come up on the dash, you can refer to VDD for a reading of that code before you go to see your mechanic.

There are so many other things I found useful while using VDD, but I just don’t have time to keep rambling on about them. If you are a Verizon subscriber, I’d suggest going by your local Verizon store and checking this out in person. If you want to see a quick demo of the web control, click on this link.

Overall, I was very impressed. I think VDD is a great device for any parent with teenage drivers, or maybe even business owners needing to keep an eye on their fleet of vehicles. The price point is low, and the number of good uses is high. Sounds like a win-win to me. Go check it out!

UPDATE: Delphi contacted me and pointed out that there is an extension cable available for VDD, and that it just was not included in my demo unit. This is good news and makes me like the product even more! Now if it was just on AT&T…

OBD Extension Cable

Quick Review: LifeProof iPhone Fre and iPad Nuud

Lifeproof freLifeProof has been in the case game for a few years now. They advertise their cases as being water, dirt, snow, and shock proof. I caught up with the folks at LifeProof at CES this year and took a look at what they had to offer now. They graciously sent me some review samples to put through the paces. This review has been a long time coming, but I wanted to be fair and honest with it, so I used both cases for over a month before deciding to jot down my thoughts. Well, here it goes…

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Possible Samsung Smartwatch Surfaces

Samsung Smartwatch 3

Some screenshots of the Samsung Galaxy Altius have surfaced. The Galaxy Altius is said to be Samsung’s version of a smartwatch. The original post is in Korean but we were still able to make out some details. In all the screenshots you will see SKT in left upper corner meaning it will be able to be carried on a wireless carriers data plan.

Samsung Smartwatch 2

Upper right hand corner:

  • AltiusOS beta2
  • 1.7% / 236 MB
  • Samsung-GA7
  • Code Altius

The Galaxy Altius appears to be running it’s own OS (Operating System), this could mean one of two things. It’s running software designed for the smartwatch itself or it could be a highly customized version of Android device.

Samsung Smartwatch

You will also notice in another image that there is a music note with “Ring Soul” and a box with the play symbol indicating a music player. There is also the number 2 with an envelope next to it that could stand for text messages or emails.

It should be interesting to see how the overall project comes out. We are starting to see a large number of smartwatches, hit the market and now is the time if Samsung wants to join the madness.

[Source]

 

Review: AfterShokz Sportz M2

AfterShokz-Sportz-M2

At first glance, one would think these are some very strange looking headphones. AfterShokz Sportz M2 headphones are not your traditional headphones you would find in the store, they are open ear headphones that use bone conduction technology to transfer stereophonic sound via vibrations on your cheekbones to the inner ear.

I was first introduced to AfterShokz at CES 2012. They had a very impressive product, and I could tell they were off to a good start. Well, CES 2o13 rolled around and AfterShokz was back with a bigger and more impressive booth. They had revamped their product line and made some great improvements.

AfterShokz sent me a set of the Sportz M2 headphones to review, and it has been a pure pleasure to be using these headphones. Keep on reading to see what I thought about them.

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CES 2013: Dexim ClickStik Bluetooth Remote & Camera Stand

Last night at CES Unveiled DEXIM was providing samples of their ClickStik Bluetooth remote shutter for iOS devices. At first I wasn’t that excited, until I got back to the hotel and took it for a test run.

Setup was straight forward, just a quick pairing of Bluetooth and then a download of their camera app. I was snapping pictures with the remote in minutes.

The included tripod, isn’t the best but it does get the job done and folds up nicely for travel. The range of the remote is about 30 feet, way more than you would need for most uses. We used the remote for a series of team pictures.

If you are looking for an inexpensive remote trigger setup, definitely give the ClickStik a try. Above is the promo video from DEXIM.

It is available from many retailers, including Amazon for $39.99