Category: Reviews

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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Quick Review: Sprint BlackBerry Q10

Sprint BlackBerry Q10We are a little behind in this review, but that’s because I have been using the device for months and months instead of just a few days or a week as in typical reviews. I have been a BlackBerry loyalist since 2006, however in the past few years they had started to drop off my radar since they were not keeping up with the trends and technology that other smartphones were offering. I admit, I left BlackBerry and went to an iPhone for personal use. However, when BlackBerry 10 was announced, I again because intrigued by where BlackBerry was going and what they were going to have to offer.

I started off using the BlackBerry Z10 and found it to be a good device, but it just didn’t feel like the BlackBerry I had become so accustomed to. When the BlackBerry Q10 was launched, I saw exactly what I had been looking for. A sleek new device offering the BlackBerry 10 experience AND a keyboard! For those of you that have used a BlackBerry in the past, you have to admit, there is just something about that keyboard experience.

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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.

Review: LifeProof FRĒ case for iPhone5

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After spending a week testing this case for the iPhone 5 the question that I was left with was not whether or not it was a good case, but do I need this case. At an entry price of $79.99 it is an expensive investment, but then again so is your iPhone. So here are my impressions of the LifeProof FRĒ.

The LifeProof has expand their lineup with more color choices. As you can see in the photos below, the case I tested was accented with blue, and I feel it is a good looking case. LifeProof provides easy, simple to follow instructions on how to fit the case to your iPhone. They of course suggest you test your case before putting it on the phone. This is a simple process of snapping it together and submerging it in water for a hour. If it leaks, contact them for a replacement. Mine did not, so I went on to the next step. A simple snap together process and a screw in piece for the ear phone jack is all that is required.

The package does include a cloth to clean the screen of the case and phone. I found this part the hardest, simply because I am a perfectionist. However, you simply wipe the screen and case to make sure they are both free of smudges and lint before you put the case on. There is an included adapter for the earpiece socket for those of you that use the earphone jack often. I did not use this piece. Read more

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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Review: AfterShokz Sportz M2

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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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AirDroid Provides Fast, Free Wireless Phone Management

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The days of cable-less phone management are now one step closer. AirDroid allows any phone running Android 2.1 or higher to be managed over a wireless network. Everything from photos, music, apps, even your SMS messages, can all be controlled through a simple web interface.

The operation really couldn’t be any simpler. You start up AirDroid on your phone, it will give you a local IP address to enter into your browser, enter the 4 digit randomly-generated password, and you are in. AirDroid lays out everything in a desktop setting, so everything is very straightforward. Have some photos you want off your phone? Simply click the photos icon, and you are greeted with a folder view of all the photos on your phone. You can then easily export them to your desktop. Same goes for music, files, and apps. You can also completely manage your SMS messages from within AirDroid, so if you are on your computer, you no longer have to switch back and forth to and from your phone when you get a message. Another very cool thing you can do is import/export text to and from your phone’s clipboard. So if you have a website you found on your phone, but it would be a pain to find on your computer, simply copy the URL, go to the Clipboard within AirDroid on your computer, and copy it from your phone.

The best thing about AirDroid is that it is completely free. It also currently sports an amazing 4.8 of 5 star rating on the Android Market with over 7500 reviews. You can check out a video of AirDroid in action below.

Android Market-AirDroid

“Ring Dimmer” Silences Your Phone So You Don’t Have To

It’s happened to all of us. We are in a meeting, or a movie, or class, or some other place where an inopportune phone call or text message would immediately draw everyone’s attention to you, and not in a good way. Ring Dimmer is an app for Android that uses the ambient noise to intelligently adjust your phone’s ringer volume. This works both ways. If it is loud, it will crank up the volume. If it’s quiet, it will turn it down. This is also good for times where you are just by yourself at home, for instance, and full blast ringtones are way too loud.

I had the opportunity to beta test this app for the past few days, and it does what it says. The app is very bare bones, with only 2 options available. You can either enable or disable it, and enable or disable the “Smart Vibrate” feature, which goes a step beyond adjusting the volume and will use factors such as ambient noise, time of day, and the light and proximity sensors to determine if vibrating would be a better option than ringing. In use, I tended to leave Smart Vibrate off, because it would tend to decide that it was always the best time to vibrate (when it is plugged in, for example). The ring dimming though did work very well. I had imagined that this app would be a HUGE drain on the battery, seeing that it has to listen to the ambient noise to make a decision on the ringer volume. This ended up being completely the opposite. Using my best guess, I’d imagine that the app intercepts all notification sound requests, samples the ambient noise, adjusts the volume accordingly, and sends the notification request on its way. I have no idea how long a sample it uses, though.

This had some unintentional consequences of choosing to sample during a random quiet moment, or a random loud one, and would then either play the sound way too loud or way too quiet. One horrifying scenario that I imagine is my phone getting misplaced with Ring Dimming and Smart Vibrate on, and then trying to call it to locate it via the ringing. My one gripe with this app is that there is no customization. There is no way to set thresholds for volume levels, adjust the sensitivity of the mic, or anything. You are basically stuck with “On” or “Off”. Granted, out of the box it does a pretty good job, it could be much better if you could customize it.

Ring Dimmer is available in the Android Market for $0.99. You can also check out a video of it in use below.

Review: Yurbuds IronMan Inspire Pro Earbuds

I dislike earbuds. Before the advent of the “in-ear” variety, when the world was stuck with only iPod earbuds, I literally could not wear them. They didn’t stay in my ear for more than about 10 seconds, and those 10 seconds hurt. Then came along the in-ear headphones with the changeable silicon tips. Instead of trying to sit on your ear, these snuggly fit inside the ear canal itself. This made it so they didn’t fall out, but extended listening periods became painful. Now we have a hybrid of the two which promises to be the most comfortable earbuds you ever wear, and guaranteed not to fall out.

I’d never heard of Yurbuds before, but apparently the company is the #3 headphone vendor in the US. These headphones are designed specifically for athletes, by athletes, and are made of some pretty tough stuff.

 

The Yay

Comfort: These headphones are comfortable. They were in my ear for the entire 5 and a half hour trip home from CES, and never once did I have to take them out due to being uncomfortable.

Strength: I can’t say specifically what the headphones are made of, but I was told that the gauge of wire used in the headphones, coupled with the sheath material, give them the highest tensile strength of any headphones on the market. This means they will last. I have given them some pretty big yanks, and so far they are going strong with no sign of damage.

Water Resistance: All Yurbuds products are moisture and sweat resistant. This doesn’t mean you can go swimming in them, but it means that sweat and rain are not going to phase them. Read more