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Best rugged Android tablets money can buy

Update: check out our 2017 edition of best rugged tablet list and our best rugged smartphone list

From luxury to commodity to absolute necessity, being able to connect to the web while on the go and carrying your work with you far and wide have taken new meanings in recent years, as conventional PCs lost steam and ultraportable alternatives rapidly gained traction.

Best Rugged Android Tablet

Tablet construction site

And whereas most smartphone and tablet owners nowadays still fall in the light to moderate user categories in regards to their productivity and range of tasks completed, there are those who take gadgets very seriously, depending on them not to entertain and amuse, but put bread on the table.

These power users are not the same so-called power users that Apple or Samsung usually address with fancy new iPhone, iPad or Galaxy launches. They are real-life, modern John McClanes, who rock Casio Commandos, Kyocera Torques or Cat B15s as “daily drivers”, not because they make them feel manlier, but because a bendable 6 Plus or GNote 4 couldn’t get a through a workday without cracking under pressure.

They’re not heroes, they just like things done a certain way. They work in tough outdoor conditions but never complain. Even in their spare time, they love hanging out in the wild, with nature’s strengths and shortcomings.

Panasonic Toughpad

They’re not afraid of a splash of water, dust, dirt, extreme temperatures, altitudes or things like radiation or vibration. Some can even take a bullet without blinking. Each and every one of them however need survival tools, and a good starting point are the rugged Android smartphones we recommended a while back.

Next step? A solid yet compact and portable, secure, smooth and powerful ruggedized Android tablet. Yes, we know, Windows has the upper hand for the most part in this grossly overlooked niche. But if you look hard enough, here are some of the best Google-powered options you’ll be able to find:

Fujitsu Stylistic M532 – available at $358 on Amazon

Just so we don’t scare you right off the bat, we’ve decided to start the countdown of the best rugged Android tabs with possibly the world’s cheapest. Obviously, the M532 is thus not the most robust ultraportable money can buy.

On the bright side, it’s fairly thin and light, at 8.6 mm and 560 grams respectively. And given the wasp waist and low price, the 10 incher is no featherweight, withstanding extreme conditions such as high altitude, shocks, vibrations and minimal or maximum temperatures, courtesy of MIL-STD-810G certification.

Fujitsu Stylistic M532

The Stylistic can also remain whole after being dropped a few times, though it’s best to protect it from violent contacts with hard surfaces. Above all, the M532 is a business-oriented slab, offering a host of security add-ons and data protection methods, and ergo being a better fit for an enterprise environment rather than a construction site or war zone.

Last but not least, the thing runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, packs quad-core power, 1 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1

Just so you know, the Android “Terminators” are arranged in no particular order, as they’re simply too different to rank. Clearly, pitting the Toughpad FZ-A1 against the Stylistic M532 would have been comparing apple to oranges.

Toughpad FZ-A1

That said, deciding between the two is pretty easy. Fujitsu’s option is better for enterprise, this thing “dares to go where no tablet has gone before”. Meaning you definitely want to put on a protection helmet while on duty as, say, a contractor, but this baby can handle any and all environments by itself.

Yes, it’s that tough. It even comes with an extended 3-year warranty to show you how durable it is. And Panasonic may not list bullet resistance as one of the slate’s features, but honestly, this is your safest best for a war comrade.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1 back

It’s massive, at 2.1 pounds, it can handle repeated drops from dizziness-inducing heights, and it’s of course MIL-STD-810G certified. The carcass is encased in magnesium alloy, the corner guards are made of elastomer, and you get all kinds of hardware encryption methods, the highest degree of password security, root and anti-virus protection.

Panasonic Toughpad JT-B1 – available at $1,486 on Amazon

Does $1,500 feel a little too rich for your blood? We get where you’re coming from, and don’t blame you, but believe it or not, the JT-B1 is even stronger than the other Panasonic Toughpad. Aside from complying with all military standards for everything from extreme temperatures to rain and freeze, this compact little 7 incher sports a sealed “all-weather design”.

Toughpad JT-B1

And the raised bezel increases the LCD impact protection. Translation: you can drop the JT-B1 on its face over and over again, and it won’t crack. The craziest thing is the device’s weight, 1.2 pounds, although the 8-hour battery life is a close second.

Getac Z710 – $1,495

This is the last uber-expensive tab we’re going to list, we promise. And perhaps we’d never have recommended it in the first place, especially as it doesn’t come from a big-name manufacturer, but the Z710 breathes strength through its every pore. Maybe more than the Toughpad rivals.

What we like the most at Getac’s design approach is they knew from the get-go their target audience couldn’t care less about style and elegance. There are no aesthetical bells and whistles here, just a 7-inch tablet small enough to hold in one hand and “built to survive”.

Getac Z710

Six-foot drops, extreme temps, solar radiation, you name it. Oh, and the screen is perfectly readable in the most difficult lighting conditions, plus glove-friendly. A barcode scanner is inbuilt for obvious reasons, and 3G connectivity is not an option, it’s standard.

Guaranteed to last you at least three years of constant abuses, the Z710 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and packs 1 GB RAM, as well as 16 GB internal storage.

Xplore RangerX – $1,391

1,400 bucks is still a lot of money, but not only is the RangerX a little cheaper than our previous two recommendations, it’s also larger, at 10 inches, and thus more productive. Needless to stress this can also take a loooot of abuse, specifically repeated drops on every edge, corner, plus directly on its face, including on concrete from heights of up to 4 feet.

rangerx

Then you have all the extreme conditions that don’t affect the usability of the big guy in the least, which include -4° F to 140° F temperatures, blowing rain, 95% humidity, functional shock, 15,000 feet altitudes, fluid contamination and solar radiation.

As for security options and neat add-ons and features, Xplore Tech equipped this beast with Gigabit Ethernet, CAC and Smart Card Readers, a Kensington lock slot and optional Verizon 4G LTE among others. Just beware of the vague, fishy Amazon listing and maybe go over to Xplore directly for a quote depending on your exact needs.

Motorola ET1 – $1,246

Bet you didn’t know this thing still existed, huh? Well, it has amazingly survived Motorola’s rise and fall, its retreat from the tablet market and successive buyouts from Google and Lenovo. Of course, it’s no longer widely available, but Amazon sells it directly, and the price isn’t so bad… all things considered.

Keep in mind that Moto put Jelly Bean on the 7 incher a while back, so the software at least should be silky smooth. The hardware, not so much, as that dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor is horribly outdated. Not quite as indestructible as some of the above contenders, the ET1 remains a top choice for enterprise users, with its manageability, security and decent durability.

Motorola ET1

The spec sheet includes a bar code scanner, phenomenal 8 MP rear camera, 1 GB RAM and protection for 4-feet drops, thermal shock, humidity, etc., etc.

Before wrapping up, we’d like to remind you the Android universe is an extremely volatile one, so keep your eyes out for alternatives yet to come. Like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Active. Not recommended for the most extreme wild conditions, the $700 KitKat-loaded 8 incher will nevertheless fight water and dust, plus remain operational after dropped from 4-feet high… in theory. It’s your call now, so choose wisely and stay safe.

Best Bluetooth headsets of 2019 (so far)

If you thought ranking the world’s best Android smartphones, tablets or wearable devices was difficult, considering ever-increasing competition, the sheer sizes of the three markets and diversity of consumer preferences and budgets, we’d like to see you try to compile a mobile accessories top picks’ list.

ProductBrandNamePrice
JabraJabra Stealth Bluetooth HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$86.9(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)
PlantronicsPlantronics Voyager Legend Wireless Bluetooth HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$62(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)
LGLG Electronics Tone Pro HBS-750 Bluetooth Wireless Stereo HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$59.99(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)
SamsungSamsung Level U Pro Bluetooth Wireless In-ear Headphones with MicrophoneBuy on Amazon|$54.98(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

There are so many things to factor in when rounding up, for instance, the finest Bluetooth headsets that it comes as no surprise today’s top ten directory already looks very different from the September and April 2015 rosters.

Bluetooth headset

Thus, without a doubt, we’ll need to refresh the 2017 best Bluetooth headset collection at least once before the new year wraps up, but for now, let’s focus on the current cream of the crop, ordered from most recommended:

Plantronics Voyager Legend

Plantronics Voyager Legend

Cheaper than ever before, the “legendary” Bluetooth 4.0-enabled mono Plantronics Voyager Legend headset withstands rain, sweat and coffee spills, can separate your voice from 80 Db’s of background noise (which is a lot, trust us), and automatically answers calls if you just start wearing it all of a sudden.

At the same time, it redirects audio to your phone when it senses the user doesn’t want to activate hands-free endeavors, and understands two very straightforward spoken commands – answer or ignore. Pretty intuitive UI at such a low price.

JayBird X2 – starting at $129

JayBird X2

As the successor to the incomparable Bluebuds X, we always expected the X2 headphones to cost far more than most of their low-profile new rivals. There are a number of good reasons for that, including brand loyalty and product reliability, the latter of which is supported by Amazon’s four-star review average.

Then you have a minimalistic, timeless, unparalleled design, six different coats of paint, ranging from “alpha” to “storm” to “ice”, a lifetime sweat proof warranty, SignalPlus technology for skip-free music outdoors, 8-hour battery life, and Shift Premium Bluetooth audio quality. It’s perfect for professional and novice athletes, business users, audiophiles and travel enthusiasts.

Samsung Level U Pro – $90

Samsung Level U Pro

Don’t let the manufacturer’s name fool you into thinking this is a Galaxy-exclusive “appliance.” It can work fine with any type of Bluetooth-enabled Android handheld, and even iPhones. It’s good for wirelessly initiating and answering voice calls, but especially playing music, courtesy of Ultra High Quality Audio (UHQA) features delivering a “true” 24bit digital audio experience on the tiniest imaginable earbuds.

Flexible and neck-adjustable, the Level U Pro can also handle its occasional splash, and technically lasts up to 9 full hours of talk or play time on a single charge.

Jabra Move – $86

Jabra Move

Before you even start, we know, we’re comparing apples and oranges, i.e. over-the-ear and in-ear headphones. But both classes of devices work towards the same end goal, the former typically edging out the latter in audio quality and the latter easily winning the portability battle.

Besides, we’re not telling you to choose the Jabra Move over the JayBird X2 or vice versa. We’re simply urging you to consider every possibility, including paying just 85 bucks or so for a pair of large yet lightweight stereo headphones that look extremely similar to your “premium”, overpriced Beats Studio.

Jabra Stealth – $80

Jabra Stealth

Why in the world would you ever go for a mono earbud when it costs the same or more than decent stereo mobile accessories? Well, because sometimes, it’s wise to keep an ear free and connected to the surrounding reality, and because the Jabra Stealth ensures “crystal clear sound at both ends of phone calls.”

This bad boy’s built-in mic is the best in the biz, and through tricks that may often feel like magic, it somehow manages to reduce background noise to the absolute minimum. Oh, oh, oh, and it’s got a dedicated physical button for remote activation and voice interaction with Google Now. Also, NFC for easy pairing, Multiuse for controlling the audio on two handhelds at once, and 6-hour autonomy in HD voice calls.

LG Tone Pro – $40 and up

LG Tone Pro

And we’re back to stereo headsets. To an industry classic, that is, which ergonomically bends around your neck for an ideal fit and stellar ergonomics, taking less than two hours to charge and then resisting up to 21 days in standby or a whopping 15 hours in talk time.

The design for this LG Tone Pro received awards, enhanced bass response, HD Voice, aptX compatibility, echo cancellation and noise reduction cover everything you need in both call and music modes, but unfortunately, the advanced age comes with a Bluetooth 3.0 speed tradeoff.

Photive BTH3 – $40

Photive BTH3

Here we have a cheap as chips over-the-ear wireless Bluetooth headset with built-in mic and 12 hour battery that doesn’t look very glamorous, but pulls off its duties honorably, generally satisfying almost 3,000 Amazon customers.

A four-star review average means the bang for buck factor is as delightful in reality as it looks on paper, though compared to some of our list’s headliners, the Photive BTH3 may not be so great for high-fidelity audio detail playback.

AYL V4.1 – $26

AYL V4.1

The AYL brand name probably doesn’t ring many bells, the design is by no means special, but at the end of the day, there has to be something special about this in-ear stereo headset, since Amazon currently lists it as its general best seller in Bluetooth cell phone headsets.

Granted, that doesn’t directly make it the best Bluetooth headset of 2016, not even to date, but it goes to show you don’t need to spend a full Benjamin to enjoy decent wireless smartphone audio controls, including on two devices simultaneously, with EDR APT-X decode technology, CVC 6.0 digital noise reduction, and 10 meters range.

SoundPeats QY7 – $20

SoundPeats

Bluetooth 4.1 capabilities? Check. Ergonomic, lightweight design? Double check. Lengthy endurance? Semi-check, at 5 hours in “premium quality talk/play time.” Partial liquid protection? You got it. Why only 20 clams then? No idea, but let’s keep it on the down low, before the little known manufacturers realize they could get more.  The SoundPeats QY7 is the true underdog of this list.

Mpow Wolverine – $20

Mpow Wolverine

You thought the Mpow Cheetah was flashy, eye-catching and, well, ear-catching with a decidedly cool name? Mpow Wolverine takes everything to the next level, clawing its way on our top ten list of today’s best Bluetooth headsets thanks to 4.1 compatibility (read easy pairing with all the new high-end Androids), “dynamic”, rich sound (they all say that, though), a unique, rectangular look, robust aluminum shell, Noise Cancellation 6.0, and 8-hour battery performance under heavy use.

We don’t remember ever seeing the X-Men listen to any tunes, but Hugh Jackman can sure sing and dance, so we wouldn’t be shocked to hear him endorse Mpow. For free, even, given the profit margins here are likely razor-thin already.

ProductBrandNamePrice
JabraJabra Stealth Bluetooth HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$86.9(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)
PlantronicsPlantronics Voyager Legend Wireless Bluetooth HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$62(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)
LGLG Electronics Tone Pro HBS-750 Bluetooth Wireless Stereo HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$59.99(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)
SamsungSamsung Level U Pro Bluetooth Wireless In-ear Headphones with MicrophoneBuy on Amazon|$54.98(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

Best cheap 10 inch Android tablets available today

Are Android tablets on their sure way to extinction, caught in an inescapable chokehold by rapidly soaring phablets and slowly recovering conventional Windows PCs? Hard to cast a definitive verdict, but even Apple’s mighty iPads seem to be losing steam, as iPhones close the size gap.

ProductBrandNamePrice
LenovoLenovo Tab A10 10.1-Inch 16 GB Tablet (59413342) Midnight BlueBuy on Amazon|$399.88(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:32 ET)
AsusASUS Transformer Pad TF103C-A1-Bundle 10.1-Inch Tablet with Keyboard Bundle (Black)Buy on Amazon|$254.99(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:32 ET)
AmazonFire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa, 10.1" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers (Previous Generation - 5th)Check Price on Amazon
HPHP Slate S10-3500US 10-Inch Tablet with Beats Audio (Silk Grey)Check Price on Amazon
LGLG Electronics E10 LGV700 10.1-Inch TabletBuy on Amazon|$650(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:32 ET)
LenovoLenovo TAB2 A10 - 10.1" Tablet (ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core, FHD IPS, 2GB SDRAM, 16GB SSD, Android 4.4 KitKat) ZA000001USBuy on Amazon|$89.95(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:32 ET)
AsusASUS ZenPad 10 Z300C-A1-BK 10.1" 16 GB Tablet (Black)Check Price on Amazon

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.


Woman with tablet

What’s crystal clear is Google-endorsed slates have trouble standing out without an obvious, compelling selling point. The superior productivity of laptops can’t be denied, and convertible models are no longer significantly bulkier than, say, your average 10-inch slate.

Meanwhile, there are 5.5, 6-inch, even 6.4-inch “handhelds” around that can essentially do whatever a 7-inch tab is capable of, plus make and receive voice calls. Game over for Galaxy Tabs, Amazon Fires, G Pads, Asus ZenPads, and so on, and so forth? Not so fast, given some of those still hide an important ace up their sleeve.

Namely, extreme affordability, combined with a footprint phablets don’t come close to… just yet. Yes, dear readers and friends, the best budget 10-inch Android tablets on the market today should stay in the spotlight a while longer, and tempt you with their quality-pricing ratios, generous screen real estate, and in a few cases, remarkable versatility.

Lenovo Tab A10 – $240 (Bluetooth keyboard included)

The first product featured on our list of best inexpensive 10-inch tablets is not necessarily the absolute best, but it’s the costliest, when you factor in the companion keyboard cover accessory. Without it, the first-gen A10 doesn’t look great on paper, sporting mediocre 1,280 x 800 display resolution, and packing humdrum quad-core MediaTek 8121 power.

Lenovo Tab A10

But you have to consider the ensemble’s economical price when judging its specs, and at least appreciate the 8-hour battery life, 16 GB internal storage space, microSD support, dual front-facing stereo speakers, and relatively slim design. On the not so bright side, you’re offered an ancient Android iteration out the box, 4.4 KitKat, and 1 gig of RAM hardly makes this a multitasking champ.

Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-A1 (keyboard bundle) – $233

Another 4.4-running 2-in-1 machine, the TF103C further ups the endurance ante, to close to 10 hours, and likely improves raw speed as well, thanks to an Intel Atom Bay Trail Z3745 CPU. At 545 grams, keyboard not included, the Transformer Pad is no featherweight, but it’s decently robust, and more importantly, comes with over $270 worth of free content and services.

Asus TF103C

Before you yell crapware, let us mention Asus gives you 500 gigs of complimentary WebStorage cloud depository for two years, in addition to a 16 GB ROM and microSD card slot. Even the six gratis mini-subscriptions to your favorite magazines out of a very generous library sound pretty enticing.

Amazon Fire HD 10 – $230

It has barely gone on sale, and so, it’s untested at the moment, but the closer-to-stock-than-ever Android user interface alone makes it an attractive prospective purchase. It’s also the thinnest Fire family member to date, at 7.7 mm, and yet, it still vows to last a solid 8 hours between charges.

Fire HD 10

Like all Amazon products, the Fire HD 10 is ideal for e-book reading first and foremost, though the on-board Dolby Atmos audio system means listening to music is always an option. And the 1,280 x 800 display isn’t that bad, delivering decent HD video content.

HP Slate S10 – $200

Is the Palo Alto-based computer giant really so delusional that it believes an affordable 10-inch tablet can actually sell in 2015 loaded with decrepit 4.2 Jelly Bean software “treats”, and powered by a dual-core Marvell SoC?

HP Slate S10

Technically, HP isn’t the one charging two Benjamins through Amazon for this Beats Audio-armed bag of mediocrity. It’s a third-party merchant, which had better consider a discount if it wants to clear lingering inventory. Make it $150, and maybe, just maybe, the 9-hour promised autonomy, 5 and 2 MP cameras, and 16 GB ROM will justify the buy.

LG G Pad 10.1 – $199

Forget archaic OS builds, obscure processors, and questionable aesthetic choices. The 10-inch G Pad was released on 4.4 KitKat, then recently upgraded to 5.0 Lollipop, it’s fashionable and slender, and the quad-core chip under the hood is a speedy, respected Snapdragon 400.

LG G Pad 10.1

Even better, the 8,000 mAh cell is massive, the 5 MP rear cam above-average, given the price range, the stereo speakers loud and sharp, and proprietary LG software add-ons like Knock Code, dual window and Q pair 2.0 destined to enrich your user experience.

Lenovo Tab 2 A10 – $179

Lenovo Tab 2 A10

Want the best all-around cheap 10-inch tablet in the world? This is probably it, with a Full HD (1,920 x 1,200) IPS LCD screen in tow, 64-bit quad-core 1.5 GHz MediaTek MT8165 SoC, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM, 10-hour battery, 8 and 5 MP snappers, immersive Dolby audio, 8.9 mm profile, 74 percent screen-to-body ratio, and a planned update to Android 5.0 Lollipop for the near future.

Discounted from its $200 MSRP, the Tab 2 A10 would likely be worth as much as $280, if tablet sales weren’t hurting so badly on a global scale.

Asus ZenPad 10 – $159

Asus ZenPad 10

The least pricey tab on our roster is clearly not the worst pick, since it also features 2 gigs of random-access memory, Lollipop goodies, a quad-core 64-bit Intel Atom CPU, sleek aluminum finish, lightweight 1.1 pound design, 16 GB local data hoarding room, microSD capabilities, and even 100 GB of free Google Drive cloud storage for your first two years of ZenPad ownership.

Any downsides to buying this ultra-low-cost 10 incher? A few: lousy 2 and 0.3 MP cameras, lackluster 800p panel, unremarkable sub-8-hour battery life.

ProductBrandNamePrice
LenovoLenovo Tab A10 10.1-Inch 16 GB Tablet (59413342) Midnight BlueBuy on Amazon|$399.88(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:32 ET)
AsusASUS Transformer Pad TF103C-A1-Bundle 10.1-Inch Tablet with Keyboard Bundle (Black)Buy on Amazon|$254.99(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:32 ET)
AmazonFire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa, 10.1" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers (Previous Generation - 5th)Check Price on Amazon
HPHP Slate S10-3500US 10-Inch Tablet with Beats Audio (Silk Grey)Check Price on Amazon
LGLG Electronics E10 LGV700 10.1-Inch TabletBuy on Amazon|$650(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:32 ET)
LenovoLenovo TAB2 A10 - 10.1" Tablet (ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core, FHD IPS, 2GB SDRAM, 16GB SSD, Android 4.4 KitKat) ZA000001USBuy on Amazon|$89.95(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:32 ET)
AsusASUS ZenPad 10 Z300C-A1-BK 10.1" 16 GB Tablet (Black)Check Price on Amazon

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

Best wireless chargers, charging pads and docks available for Android smartphones

Many of the higher end smartphones these days are equipped with wireless charging capabilities, Samsung has been making phones with wireless charging in their last couple iterations of the Galaxy series, even the iPhone 7 is rumored to have such capability.  Don’t despair if you have an older model phone, you can also easily add a wireless charging case to existing technology.

Qi Charging Pad

Unfortunately, even if the technology has been around for years now, it’s yet to spread like the cable-free wildfire everyone anticipated. Believe it or not, numerous flagship mobiles these days lack built-in wireless charging functions for various mystifying reasons. Production costs, tricky manufacturing, just good old fashioned laziness, you name it.

Wireless charging

HTC, for instance, snubbed the Qi standard on all three latest hero handhelds – the One M7, M8 and M9. Meanwhile, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony recently got with the inductive charging program for the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S5, S4, Note 4, Note 3, Note 2, G4, G3, G Pro 2, Droid Turbo, Maxx and Xperia Z3.

The list of supporting devices is obviously not exhaustive, and there’s one more thing. To actually activate and use the futuristic feature, you’ll typically need dedicated back covers that add to the often extravagant prices of the above mentioned phones.

LG G4 wireless charging

Plus, the no-wires chargers and charging pads we’ll detail in the following lines. It’s also wise to keep in mind the electromagnetic field that transfers energy between Android gadgets and these ingenious accessories through thin air is produced by plugging the chargers into a traditional electric socket. So, in a way, this isn’t true wireless charging.

Still, it’s deemed convenient by many, and will likely make headway before long, so without further ado, here are the best wireless chargers, charging pads and docks money can buy, ordered from cheapest to costliest:

PowerBot PB1020 inductive charging pad station – $11.69 and up

PowerBot

It doesn’t come with a power AC adapter, it’s not particularly speedy or “versatile”, but it’s really, really small, at 2.5 inches in diameter and 0.5 inches thick, lightweight (6.5 ounces), and energy efficient, courtesy of a Smart IC management system design. No wonder it’s rated at close to four stars based on nearly 1,900 Amazon customer reviews.

Yootech Qi wireless charging pad – starting at $13.99

Yootech

Once again, the AC adapter isn’t included, which you’ll find to be a staple of the economical price range, and once more, the compact form factor and ease of transportation feel like the key selling points. That said, you’ll probably look to conceal the petite but unattractive Yootech puck on your office after setting it up, the good news being it’s sufficiently silent and low-key to ultimately go unnoticed.

Anker PowerPort – $15.99

Anker PowerPort

The marginal price gaps between these entry-level chargers and their very similar capabilities will induce (pun intended) serious headaches when deciding on one to buy. The PowerPort stands out with temperature control and a self-enabling idle mode that eliminates concerns regarding overcharging or energy wasting.

Otherwise, the circular docking station is virtually identical to the two indexed earlier and the next few contenders as far as internals go.

RAVPower Mini wireless charging pad – $15.99

RAVPower Mini

Another tiny, featherweight slab (2.8 x 2.8 x 0.4 inches; 4.9 ounces), with universal Qi compatibility, slip protection, built-in USB connection and excellent Amazon customer feedback. It’s getting harder and harder to choose.

Fuel iON magnetic wireless charging system – $17.95

Fuel iON

Finally, something special and original. Better, too? That’s up for debate. The manufacturer claims magnets are better and faster than the inductive Qi system, but the case needed to get the Fuel iON to work is… awkward and slippery. And some clients accuse it of not connecting properly. All in all, while the idea is decent, the execution requires further work. Perhaps a higher tariff to secure more adept engineers and testers.

Choe upgraded Qi wireless charging pad – $18.99

Choe

The textbook definition of minimalism, Choetech’s newest charging square is unfortunately only covered by a 12-month warranty. The blue LED indicator is also way too bright, aggressive and annoying, and unless you center your device perfectly on the 4.7 x 2.7 x 0.4-inch pad, this won’t work.

On the plus side, device slips are physically impossible thanks to the bottom rubber surface.

Samsung wireless charging pad – $29.89

Samsung wireless charging pad

Ah, yes, now we’re talking! You know what they say – with great price comes great… quality. Stylish but also robust, slender yet very powerful, Samsung’s Qi-capable contraption doesn’t squarely go out to Galaxy S6 or Note 4 proprietors.

It works smoothly and effortlessly even when paired with rival handsets, and the built-in LED light is non-intrusive, always there to have your back and very easy to comprehend.

Qi-infinity – $42.99

Qi-infinity

Wondering what on earth could justify a tag almost four times as lavish as our number one budget-friendly option? First and foremost, an inventive design that lets you view your phone at an ideal angle when docked for checking notifications and even watching videos.

Second, the rare ability to juice up through thick, muscular armors and cases. Third, complete silence and a subtle yet resourceful indicator light that merely bothers you when assistance is mandatory. Lastly, you can try all you want, but you won’t find a way to place a phone on the Qi-infinity so as wireless charging to be prevented.

LG WCP-300 wireless charging pad – $47.95

LG WCP 300

Like arch-rival Samsung, LG doesn’t block users of competing devices from rocking the WCP-300, but it makes the purchase feel impractical. At 30 bucks or so, maybe this would be worth it. It’s extremely good-looking, fairly compact and portable, at 2.74 x 0.46 x 2.74 inches, and it sports an unusually large “active area.” Translation – it doesn’t require a lot of attention when made to work.

But it presents a number of troubling recurring glitches, according to a horde of reviewers on Amazon, as it sometimes halts charging before the phone’s battery is fully loaded and often refuses to sync up to devices it should support no problem.

Fonesalesman QiStone+ – $54.99

QiStone+

And it’s all come to this. The most expensive and, yes, best all-around wireless mobile charger. The only true wireless accessory on our list today, capable of easily doubling as a funky power bank. You read that right, the QiStone+ can carry standalone 4,000 mAh stamina, which is itself Qi wireless-compatible.

Sooo, you can charge the QiStone+ sans cables, then wirelessly transfer the energy to a phone of your choice. Or even simultaneously beef up two handhelds, one wirelessly and the other via USB. It’s fast, flexible, has a very unique design and, at the end of the day, it’s not that costly, considering the travel freedom it can facilitate.

5 Best 10 Inch Tablets In 2019

It seems like the lifespan of our devices are getting shorter by the second. Whether we break them ourselves or they’re just becoming so outdated they’re unusable, there’s plenty of reasons to invest in a new tablet this year. 10 inch tablets are a popular choice, and today we’re sharing with you our top 5 favorites at that size.

Best 10 Inch Tablet 2018

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
AppleApple iPad Pro 10.5-inch649
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Tab S3449.99
LenovoLenovo Tab 4 Plus247.99
AsusASUS ZenPad 10.1154.91
AmazonAmazon Fire HD 10149.99

Apple iPad Pro

It’s no surprise that at the top of our list is Apple’s 10 inch iPad Pro. Sleek and sophisticated, you won’t be disappointed with this one.

As for the specifics, we’re cheating a little bit, because this tablet is actually 10.5 inches, with retina, wide color, and true tone display at 2224 x 1668 resolution. With the embedded M10 coprocessor, you’ll have up to ten full hours of battery life. It’s also compatible with the Apple Pencil and their Smart Keyboard.

Buy it now: Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

This awesome tablet by Samsung clocks in at 32GB, and even includes a complimentary S Pen. The Galaxy Tab utilizes AMOLED display, quad speakers, and an adrenal 530 coprocessor.

Another great thing about the Galaxy Tab S3 is the 12 hours of battery life. That’s not something you see everyday, but we think you’ll agree that it’s fantastic for numerous reasons. If you’re going to be without a space to charge it for prolonged period of time, this is truly helpful.

Buy it now: Amazon

ASUS ZenPad 10.1

The ASUS ZenPad is a great option if you’re on a budget or you’re in the market for something to utilize for more general use. For the quality of this tablet, the price is really unbeatable. It has 16GB of storage, a quad core processor, and ASUS TruVid display.

This tablet is also available in 2 colors: dark gray, and rose gold. One neat thing is that it also utilizes a blue light filter, which reduces light damage to eyes, therefore making it a safer choice for not only individuals, but also children and families.

Buy it now: Amazon

Fire HD 10 Tablet

Another great one for families is the Fire tablet by Amazon. This tablet has come a long way over the years, and now comes in 10 inch display with Alexa integration and stereo speakers.

The specifications of this tablet are 32G of storage for all of your favorite apps and content, stunning 1080p display, and 10 hours of battery life. As mentioned above, it also has Alexa integration, which makes it hands-free. If you have any questions, want to pause your video, or perhaps just order a pizza from your Fire, you can do all of that without touching a single button.

Buy it now: Amazon

Lenovo Tab 4 Plus, 10″ Android Tablet

Marketed as fantastic for children, we’re pretty confident that even adults will enjoy the sleekness and ease of this Lenovo Tab. If you’re anything like me, you’ve dropped your device more times than you can count. With this tablet, you don’t have to worry if you drop it on your own or if you hear your child sending it crashing to the floor in the other room, because it’s protected by dual-glass casing to safeguard from cracks, scratches, and other mishaps.

The tablet also comes with fingerprint scanning so that different users within a family can have their own space within the device. That’s neat because you can easily transition from work to play. Once you’re finished with working from where you are, your child can easily access their favorite game without undoing everything you just accomplished.

While it only has 16GB of storage, we think this is probably the best tablet on this list for families. Whether you’re planning a long road trip or looking to help you child kill time in the waiting room, you’re both going to love the Lenovo Tab.

Buy it now: Amazon

Closing

These are all great tablets that we can’t recommend enough. If you’re in the market, definitely do your research on each of these, because one of them might be exactly what you’re looking for.

If you have experience with any of these tablets, what is your favorite feature, and why? Be sure to share it with us in the comments.

Best 10 Inch Tablet 2018

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
AppleApple iPad Pro 10.5-inch649
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Tab S3449.99
LenovoLenovo Tab 4 Plus247.99
AsusASUS ZenPad 10.1154.91
AmazonAmazon Fire HD 10149.99

Top 10 Android-compatible wearables better than the Apple Watch

One can safely assume the decision to support iPhones on the Android Wear platform didn’t come easy for Google. Always an endorser of diversity and choice, the search giant would love it if its customers only had to pick between hardware products built by sanctioned brands.

Apple Watch vs Android Wear

But iPhones make the mobile world go round, and in order to stop the Apple Watch from rapidly rising to similar popularity levels, the Android architects made a major compromise, indirectly giving their blessing to the arch-rival’s main cash cow.

Cupertino likely accepted the “vote of confidence” without thinking twice, even if the Android Wear’s cross-platform support could soon prove a double-edged sword for Tim Cook & co. Will “iWatch” sales linger, while LG, Motorola, Asus, Huawei and Sony, plus Samsung, Pebble, Microsoft and Fitbit get to see their market share grow?

Android Wear devices

It’s possible, at least if we have a say in this, and you lose your flock instincts, going for the wearable device that objectively looks better, not the one the crowds are recommending. Namely, one of the ten following Android-compatible smartwatches and activity trackers superior to the Apple Watch:

LG Watch Urbane – $278 in silver; $299 pink gold

Until the 2015 Moto 360 and Huawei Watch become widely available stateside, this beaut remains the handsomest of its kind. It’s perfectly round, unlike the boxy, rectangular Apple Watch, breathes strength through every pore, yet also elegance and slimness, courtesy of a 10.9 mm profile, and 66.5 grams weight.

LG Watch Urbane

Water and dust resistant, the Watch Urbane may soon spawn a high-res sequel, though at 320 x 320 pixels, it’s already pretty sharp. And it lasts a while between charges, thanks to a 410 mAh battery.

Motorola Moto 360 (original) – starting at $147

Obviously eclipsed by its recently unveiled follow-up in style, autonomy and especially customization, the 2014 Moto 360 is cheap enough to stay in the limelight a few more months. Even in snazzy cognac leather, light metal and champagne gold metal versions, it sets you back around $150 a pop, which is peanuts compared to the “entry-level” $350 tag of the Apple Watch.

apple-watch-moto-360

Mind you, this is one of the first Android Wear pieces that will offer iPhone synchronization functions, although it should still work better pulling notifications from a Moto X Style or Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.

Motorola Moto 360 (second-gen)

Only up on pre-order from Lenovo’s daughter company, the polished men and women’s 360 starts at $300, which feels excessive. Next to the OG, that is, not the clearly inferior and still pricier Apple Watch.

Moto 360 2015

With a refined exterior, improved battery, a whole lot of size, case, bezel, band and face choice, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Android Wear single-handedly propelled to the mainstream by the “New” Moto 360.

Huawei Watch – $350 and up

Okay, so it’s not exactly affordable. It actually matches the “iWatch” in terms of retail costs, but with a big, fat fashion advantage. Oh, yes, the $350 flavor is a definite knockout, what with its circular body, robust stainless steel construction, and distinguished black suture leather strap.

Huawei Watch

What does the Apple Watch offer at $350? A fluoroelastomer (read good, old-fashioned, chintzy rubber) band, awkward squarish build, anodized aluminum (i.e. a material short of steel toughness), and let’s not even go into specifications like screen resolution, processing power, or non-iPhone-dependent productivity.

Asus ZenWatch – $150

We know you’re inclined to wait for the second-gen, but at $150, the original feels almost impossible to turn down. Fashionable in its own way, with a curved 2.5D display, fairly chunky bezels, and a rectangular build, the ZenWatch can do plenty of things sans relying on a phone’s brains.

Asus-ZenWatch-Apple-Watch

It counts steps, estimates calories burned, measures your heart rate, tracks your progress in different sporting activities, not to mention it’s water-protected, endowed with a microphone, stereo speakers, and 4GB internal storage space.

Pebble Time – $195

The newest plastic-made Pebble feels like one of our own, although it technically runs a proprietary operating system, backing both Android and iOS before multi-platform compatibility became the norm rather than the exception.

Pebble Time

The simplistic UI allows the Time to keep the lights on for up to seven days, with a fairly rudimentary 64-color e-paper display in tow. Rudimentary but always-on, and despite the lackluster design, you get Gorilla Glass protection, a curved, ergonomic profile, water endurance up to 30 meters, plus all the essential alerts and notifications brought to your wrist.

It’s definitely not for fashionistas, but people perennially on the move, looking to make their connected lives easier, will love it.

Samsung Gear S2

gear-s2-apple-watch

They say it’s going to cost $350 stateside in a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-limited configuration, or $400 with standalone 3G connectivity. Too rich for your blood? Too Tizen-y, maybe? Keep in mind it supports an entire slew of Android handhelds, not just Samsungs, it’s got a rotating bezel somewhat similar to Apple Watch’s “crown”, a vivid, circular display with minimal borders, and vows to run for at least two days on a single battery charge. It’s almost worth it, huh?

Samsung Gear S – $200 with AT&T contracts; $330 outright

Samsung Gear S

Let’s be honest, the oddly shaped Gear S is uglier, less functional, powerful and bulkier than its successor, only working in combination with a handful of Galaxy gadgets. On the plus side, it can run solo, it’s relatively inexpensive with carrier pacts, and the Super AMOLED panel still wipes the floor with the “Retina” on the Apple Watch, at 2 full inches and 480 x 360 pixels.

Microsoft Band – $138

We know exactly what you’re thinking. A primitive fitness band that trumps a progressive, extravagant smartwatch?! That’s crazy! Well, it is, and… it isn’t, as the primary use case for intelligent timepieces and activity trackers alike remains various fitness and health application.

Microsoft Band vs Apple Watch

So, if that’s what you’re looking for, why not purchase a contraption designed specifically for tracking your vitals, knowing when to push you, and how to convince you to live a better life. Plus, it’s got a screen, it can do messages and emails and notifications, and works smoothly with Androids, iPhones and Windows Phones for up to two days continuously. It’s pretty much the best of both worlds.

Fitbit Charge HR – $143

Fitbit Charge HR

If you’re willing to give up even more of your fancy wrist computer functions, and get a longer-lasting, simpler, super-reliable wireless activity tracking device, you can’t go wrong with a Fitbit. They’re the sales leaders of the market for a reason, unlike Apple, and the Charge HR deservedly rules supreme in Amazon fitness technology demand.

4.1 out of 5 stars based on 8,800+ customer reviews. Words are truly useless.

Top 7 Android smartphones with physical QWERTY keyboards

Phones with QWERTY keyboards aren’t getting much love with the major manufacturers these days, but you can still find some high end phones with a physical keyboard.  In this June 2017 update, we’re recommending the Blackberry KEYone as the best QWERTY keyboard smartphone on the market right now.  

ProductBrandNamePrice
BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone GSM Unlocked Android Smartphone (AT&T, T-Mobile) - 4G LTE – 32GBBuy on Amazon|$269.99(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)

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If you can’t stand using the touch keyboard phones that’s dominating the market, give the KEYone a shot.  It’s highly unlike you will find another smartphone with physical keyboard that will beat the Blackberry KEYone, since most manufacturers simply do not make these type of phones anymore.  You can find the specs here for this Android phone with QWERTY keyboard.

Blackberry Priv

BlackBerry, a company that was once renowned for their business-oriented smartphones with physical keyboards, has to fight for significance in a world dominated by virtual keyboard typing experience. Just like Clark Kent dressed in casual clothes, the BlackBerry Priv looks deceptively ordinary, perhaps with the exception of the curved display. But it takes just a quick slide to reveal Priv’s 4-row QWERTY keyboard hiding underneath the display.

The keyboard also features an integrated trackpad and several programmable keys for launching apps and changing the position on the screen. You can swipe up across the keyboard to access a full-sized virtual keyboard with special characters and symbols. Clever stuff, indeed.

Also hiding under the 5.4” display with 540 ppi is the powerful Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 chipset, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage space, and Adreno 418. With such high-end specifications, the Priv is a productivity beast with ample power to fuel any multitasking (or gaming—we won’t judge) frenzy.

While the Android operating system looks close to the pure Android experience that you get on Nexus devices, BlackBarry has made a lot of changes under the hood. Privacy and security have been given a special attention, for example, with the BlackBerry DETEK app, which can tell you how secure you are and what improvements you can make.
Pros

  • 4-row QWERTY keyboard
  • Beautiful curved display
  • Sharp, vivid camera
  • Good performance
  • Increased privacy

Cons

  • The smartphone is slightly top-heavy

Talk QWERTY to me
The age of the Q is over. There’s no point denying it, arguing it or sugarcoating it. Flagship physical QWERTY phones are long gone, and they’re not coming back. Sad? Damn straight, as we all remember how we used to be able to send like five texts a minute on a full-size keypad-boasting handheld.

Since phone manufacturers simply aren’t seeing too much demand for Android smartphone with keyboard, they just aren’t releasing too many new variants of these.  But if you really need that keyboard, a good work around is to get the latest and greatest smartphone you can find, and get a mini bluetooth keyboard that you can carry around with you and sync with your phone.  If that doesn’t work for you, then check out these smartphones with keyboard currently on the market.

Yes, they were bulky, clunky, even ugly, but they got the job done in a way no touchscreen-toting iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S will ever get close to. Whatever “highly intuitive” apps like Swiftkey or Swype evolve into.

It’s also odd though how each and every mobile player (save for BlackBerry, maybe) turned their backs on productivity-centric gadgets all of a sudden, especially when Samsung, LG and Sony are so vocal about the diversity of their product lineups. Cater to the needs of everyone, my arse. Where’s my Galaxy S5Q, my LG G2 Slider and my Xperia Z2 Chat?

QWERTY meme

Heck, right now, I’d probably settle for a Galaxy S3Q or LG Optimus G Slider. Any semblance of a decent, upper mid-range Android QWERTY phone would be nice. Instead, the seven best physical keyboard devices of March 2014 are these old geezers:

7. LG Mach

Still stuck on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the 15 month-old Mach basically makes the cut here because there are no half-decent alternatives. I mean, I wouldn’t touch this thing with a ten-foot pole nowadays.

Not only is it four software generations behind the times, it’s mostly unavailable stateside and restricted for use on Sprint and Boost Mobile. The latter sells it online for $180 with prepaid plans, whereas if you want Now Network’s version, you’ll need to reach out to some fairly obscure Amazon sellers and cough up $360 (!!!).

LG Mach

Yeah, right, like anyone would be so nuts as to drop that kind of money on a chunky little fellow tipping the scales at 168 grams and packing a 4-inch 800 x 480 pix res touchscreen, dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, as well as meager 1,700 mAh battery.

6. Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2

Despite its retro (read fugly) design, and overall underwhelming hardware, the Verizon-exclusive Stratosphere 2 is clearly not the worst QWERTY option around. Up for grabs via Amazon and Best Buy free of charge in a contract-tied flavor, the slider is on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, weighing 14 grams less than the Mach.

Galaxy Stratosphere 2

The juicer is a tad beefier, at 1,800 mAh, but sadly, the Super AMOLED panel is equally as mediocre. The dual-core 1.2 GHz SoC too. Bottom line, the Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2 is obviously not an ideal choice for productivity fanatics.

5. Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G

Though its two months older than the second-gen Stratosphere, the S Relay 4G is superior to its Verizon counterpart primarily in the aesthetics department. Less pronounced curves equals more elegance, not to mention the Relay is slightly slimmer while retaining the 1,800 mAh ticker.

Galaxy S Relay 4G

Hardware-wise, the T-Mo-restricted S Relay resembles the Stratosphere 2 greatly, but ups the processing power ante with a 1.5 GHz CPU. On-board software? Android 4.1 Jelly Bean starting April 2013. Price? $205 outright on Amazon.

4. Motorola Droid 4

One of the last remaining Mohicans of a lost era, the Droid 4 has aged rather gracefully, but it has aged nevertheless. Almost harder to score than the LG Mach, Moto’s once mighty slider is $220 with Verizon branding but no pacts via Amazon. Oh, and it’s pre-owned.

Worth the dough? Refurb products are always a gamble, two year-olds especially, yet the Droid still has a few things going for it. Like a decent 4-inch 960 x 540 pixels resolution touchscreen, 16 GB built-in storage, 8 MP rear-facing camera with image stabilization, 1 GB RAM, microSD support and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Motorola Droid 4

Downsides? For one thing, the dual-core TI OMAP 4430 is ancient and laggy. Also, the 1,785 mAh battery is pretty tiny, plus non-removable. Finally, have you ever carried around a brick in your trouser pocket? You will if you buy the Droid 4, as it weighs a staggering 179 grams.

3. LG Optimus F3Q

The youngest of the bunch, released but a few weeks ago on T-Mobile, the F3Q looks like a violent blast from the past design-wise, with a funky turquoise blue physical keyboard and an even swankier textured rear cover.

I personally think the blue-black color combo is a bit too much, but hey, kids may dig it, and in the long haul, it could help QWERTY phones become hip again. Available for $0 upfront and $312 full retail price, the device is hardly a powerhouse, with a dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 running the hardware show, aided by 1 GB RAM.

LG-Optimus-F3Q

The 4 GB on-board storage is cringe worthy, as is the 14 mm waist, yet software upgrades beyond 4.1 Jelly Bean could be on the horizon, and that should count for something. Also, it packs a gargantuan 2,460 mAh battery, capable of holding a single charge for up to 16 hours of talk time and 16 days (!!!) of standby time.

2. LG Enact

Yes, I realize the Enact and Optimus F3Q are in many ways virtually identical. From the design language to the CPU, RAM and battery life. Yet I like to think of Verizon’s Enact as F3Q’s classier brother. Sure, the Big Red fellow is chubby as hell (15.8 mm thickness, 170 grams weight), however it replaces the tacky blue keyboard with a black-and-silver one.

LG-Enact-Verizon

And the rear looks better too, in my humble opinion. Also on 4.1 Jelly Bean and likely to be upgraded before long, the Enact doubles down on storage, and costs a penny with contracts, as well as $400 without a service plan.

1. Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE

Not sure whether we should laugh or cry seeing a mid-2012 phone top a 2014 list. But that’s how behind the market is for QWERTY aficionados. And mind you, the Photon Q was hardly a high-ender when it first saw daylight, back in July 2012.

Up for grabs for free with 24-month Sprint agreements, the big guy weighs in at a massive 170 grams, however it offers the most generous screen real estate of all seven QWERTY world champion title candidates: 4.3 inches.

Motorola-Photon-Q-4G-LTE

The resolution is decent, 960 x 540, there’s scratch-resistant glass on top of it, a dual-core 1.5 GHz chip beneath the hood, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB storage, 8 MP primary camera with LED flash, 4G LTE and microSD support. Compared with, say, the Galaxy S5, it’s a featherweight, but like I said, it’s all we got.

At least until the Motorola Droid 5 goes official, if it’s ever to go official. Any thoughts? Maybe some other contenders we unintentionally snubbed? Anyone else out there rooting for a QWERTY revival? Sound off below.

ProductBrandNamePrice
BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone GSM Unlocked Android Smartphone (AT&T, T-Mobile) - 4G LTE – 32GBBuy on Amazon|$269.99(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)

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Best Android tablets with the highest-resolution screens for watching videos

Looking for a large, uber-productive, robust, physical keyboard-boasting and/or stylus-supporting tablet to meet your enterprise needs? The answer to your prayers is only a couple of clicks away. How about a rugged, muscular, almost unbreakable Android slate? We have you covered there, too.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Don’t want much, just ultra-fast LTE connectivity and keeping non-vital expenses to a minimum? Here’s a list of the best inexpensive 4G-capable tabs available stateside. Meanwhile, students and teachers can browse our recommendations for classroom-ready gadgets, and the all-around top budget choices are indexed here.

Talk about something for everyone. Well, not quite everyone. Not yet, as we’ll cater to very particular sets of requirements in the next few weeks. Namely, we plan on rounding up the longest-lasting jumbo-sized Androids, the best tablets for gaming, and the ones that can support your obsessive Netflix binge-watching with the most grace.

Netflix Android tablet

We’ll start with the latter, and without further ado, here are the top ten Android tablets for video content playing. I.e., the tabs with the best, highest-resolution, crispest screens. We also have options for (almost) every budget, from $199 to $649:

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 – $649 with 32 GB storage; $748 in 64 GB configuration

Yes, this gargantuan laptop replacement is really that costly. And for the most part, it’s worth every penny. Which doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy it. Unless you absolutely, without a doubt need to have the extra screen real estate compared to 10 inchers.

samsung-galaxy-note-pro-122

Porn nature documentaries will feel almost as spellbinding as if you’d watch them in your living room, on a 50-inch 4K TV. Well, not exactly, but you get the point – the large 2,560 x 1,600 pix res Super clear LCD panel is outstanding.

Oh, before we forget, there is a way to score the Note Pro and save a buck – purchase it certified refurbished, at only $369.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

We know what you’re thinking, but the Xperia Z2 name inaccurately sends all the wrong signals. This is by no means outdated, although technically, it sounds like it’s two generations behind the times. Still, it’s a tad pricey, given the less-than-stellar 1,920 x 1,200 pixels resolution.

Xperia Z2 Tablet

That’s over the Full HD mark, but produces a ppi inferior to the Note Pro, even if Sony’s big guy is a “measly” 10.1 inches in diagonal – 224 vs. 247.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – $448 in white or bronze

Ah, yes, now we’re talking. Crowned by countless reputable media outlets as the Android tablet with the best display in history, the 10.5-inch Tab S is ironically not the most expensive product on our roster. It’s roughly 73 percent screen (ultra-slim bezel alert), and delivers staggering 288 pixel density.

Galaxy Tab S 10.5

In comparison, the smaller iPad Air 2 merely touts 264 pixels per inch. And the icing on the cake is the Super AMOLED tech used to manufacture that remarkable 10.5-inch glass. Kevin Spacey has never looked this handsome on a tablet before. Or, you know, Crazy Eyes, whichever way you’re leaning.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact – $418 international version

Oh, hello there, our first sub-10 inch contender. Refreshing to see you in the mix, for diversity reasons and more. Yes, this thing is tiny, compared to the GNote Pro, but the 8-inch TFT LCD screen is pixel-packed: 1,920 x 1,200, resulting in 283 ppi. Not too shabby, and if squinting isn’t too big of an inconvenience, we highly recommend the compact, bang-for-buck-tastic Z3.

Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

Google/HTC Nexus 9 – $350 with 16 GB native storage; $430 in 32 GB variant

Not too large, and not too small, the N9 may well hit the sweet spot with its breathtakingly sharp 2,048 x 1,536 pix res 8.9-inch IPS LCD screen. The 4:3 aspect ratio is slightly unorthodox for the Android ecosystem, but if it works for Apple, why wouldn’t it for Google and HTC also?

Nexus 9

That said, old habits die hard, and most people unconsciously prefer 16:9 or so content players. Good thing the N9 is affordable, and has a slew of other things going for it besides video friendliness – Tegra K1 punch, 2 GB RAM, 6,700 mAh battery juice, etc., etc.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 – $348 in white; $400 in bronze

Reasonably priced, at least in white, Super AMOLED, 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, 359 (!!!) ppi density. Need I say more? Well, perhaps the octa-core Exynos chip and 3 GB RAM will help seal the deal, ensuring 2K movies and clips are shown glitch and stutter-free. Did we mention size isn’t everything? The 8.4-inch Tab S is ultimate proof.

Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Nvidia Shield Tablet

LTE on the cheap is Shield’s number one forte, then you have an interface designed with gamers in mind, stylus support and, last, an above-average 1,920 x 1,200 8-inch touchscreen sandwiched between a pair of slightly too thick horizontal bezels.

Shield Tablet

PPI? A cool 283. Graphics processing unit? A powerhouse 192-core (!!!) Kepler, meant to improve video quality in gaming first and foremost, but good for YouTube and Netflix optimizations as well.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 – $299 brand new; $220 certified refurbished

Slightly larger than the Shield, the 8.4-inch Tab Pro makes a lot more sense as a multimedia playing purchase for film buffs, even if it’s not as colorful and vibrant as its Tab S sibling. No Super AMOLED love here ergo, but the impressive 2,560 x 1,600 resolution remains impressive. And the quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU can breezily play Full HD+ vids.

Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4

LG G Pad 8.3 – $280 Wi-Fi-only; $130 and up with Verizon LTE

In desperate need of a high-end, high-res refresh, the G Pad family relies on the aging 2013 8.3-inch model for a spot under the video-friendly sun. But really, the only way the 1,920 x 1,200 slate can be deemed a sensible buy is, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, when acquired on-contract at Verizon.

LG G Pad 8.3

No, the IPS LCD panel ain’t half bad, despite its advanced age, but the quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor can hardly keep up with content streaming advancements. Bottom line, go cheap or look away.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 – $199 (discounted from $239)

How in the world can a 7-inch tablet ever be a top-shelf entertainment-centric option? Simple, you take 1,920 x 1,200 resolution, generate 323 ppi, add 100 percent sRGB color accuracy on top, and wrap everything with a nice Amazon Prime Instant Video bow.

Kindle Fire HDX 7

Sure, nothing makes up for the cramped viewing surface, but as long as you’re young, and your eyesight as dependable as an eagle’s, you shouldn’t let anything stop you from procuring the best all-around sub-$200 Android-based slate.

Our work here is done, and so it’s time to pass the mic over to you, our dear, demanding readers. Did we forget your video-watching favorite? If not, which of the nominated ten is the best of the best?

Best mobile Bluetooth keyboard accessories for your Android tablet

Let’s be frank, we were all a little wary of tablet PCs when they first emerged as “laptop replacements.” Clearly, they had nothing on traditional computers in terms of power and productivity, merely standing out with compact form factors and, iPads notwithstanding, affordability.

Best Bluetooth Keyboard

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
LogitechLogitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch K811 Keyboard179.5
LogitechLogitech diNovo Edge Keyboard695.98
1byone1byone Wireless Bluetooth Keyboardcheck price
OMOTONOMOTON? Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard13.99
EC TECHNOLOGYEC Technology Foldable Bluetooth Keyboardcheck price

Android keyboard

Only even the latter forte didn’t seem enough to make a stand against equally as cheap netbooks. Somehow, tabs took off nonetheless, bringing the demise of mini-notebooks and, for a few years, enjoying a swift popularity rise.

Now, the market is in a bit of a slump as conventional PCs show signs of resurgence, so it’s innovate or throw in the towel for OEMs like Samsung, LG, Asus, Lenovo, Amazon, Microsoft and even Apple. The struggling industry segment’s saving grace could well be keyboard accessories, given there’s virtually no way to further cut prices.

SONY DSC

With phablets on the upswing, tablets can keep matching wits with jumbo-sized smartphones… and lose, or narrow the productivity gap separating them of laptops and desktops… and hope for the best. Here are some of your top universal keyboard accessory choices available on Amazon, as well as a few notebook-transforming contraptions designed specifically for the most popular Android tabs out and about:

EC Technology backlit Bluetooth keyboard – $18.99

Our least expensive recommendation wirelessly connects to any Android tablet or even smartphone known to man, plus iPads (boo!) and Windows slates (no one cares). It’s not fancy, it doesn’t send a very premium vibe, and the keys only offer decent travel and responsiveness, with almost no spaces between them.

EC Technology backlit keyboard

Still, it pulls off the basics of a portable keyboard accessory, it’s 7-color backlit, impressively light (0.37 pounds) yet respectably sturdy, as well as long-lasting, courtesy of an 800 mAh built-in battery.

Hype Ultra-Slim Bluetooth 3.0 Wireless universal keyboard – $19.99

At just 0.23 inches thin, this baby is the textbook definition of convenience, it’s available in seven different coats of paint and it’s also a lot wider than the EC Technology product, coming really close to your standard 15-inch laptop keyboard.

Hype Ultra-Slim keyboard

Once again, the key quality isn’t ideal and you’ll need 2 AAA batteries to power on the Hype, which is both a disadvantage and a strong point. A strong point because you’ll not have to remember to juice the cell up every month or so.

Anker Ultra Compact Slim Profile Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard – $19.99

Back in the day up for grabs at a whopping 60 bucks, the Anker Ultra Compact is, well, tiny, taking up “two thirds the space of a traditional keyboard.” Again, both a forte and weakness, as cramped space limits functionality.

Anker keyboard

Meanwhile, the 18-month warranty is sure a nice touch, and the rechargeable 800 mAh lithium battery promises up to 6-month autonomy based on 2 hours of daily use. Not too shabby… for 20 clams.

AmazonBasics Bluetooth keyboard – $31.90

AmazonBasics keyboard

Big, clean, straightforward, quick and quiet, the all-black AmazonBasics peripheral works with all Android 3.0+ devices, not just Kindle Fires. The 30 foot range is impressive, and the glowing reviews praise the speedy connection, responsiveness, accuracy and convenience of the Bluetooth keyboard. Sounds like a must-buy, unless you can afford one of the following.

EC Technology Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard Ultra-slim Mini – $36.99

It’s portable, it’s foldable, ergonomic and versatile, squeezing right into your trouser pocket if you need it to. Of course, it’s congested too, so professional typists should look elsewhere for their business travel requirements.

EC Technology foldable keyboard

What’s truly remarkable about the second EC Technology item on our list is the aircraft-grade aluminum construction, ensuring “superior rigidity” and stellar endurance despite the foldable design.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device K480 – $45.99

In the market for a handsome, vigorous “full-sized” keyboard you can easily pair with your desktop, smartphone and tablet? You can’t go wrong with Logitech’s Windows, Mac, Android and iOS-compatible K480.

Logitech K480

This thing lets you seamlessly switch between three simultaneously connected Bluetooth wireless gadgets, offers a “familiar” layout with all the shortcut keys you’ve grown accustomed to use, and doesn’t require a third-party stand to hold your tab at the perfect angle for typing and reading.

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard – $62.99

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard

It might feel weird to mate a Redmond concoction with an Android, but one look at this keyboard, and you’ll realize it’s the best in its class. It’s large but not bulky, ergonomic yet not flimsy, lasts up to six months on a single charge and provides a detachable multi-purpose cover/stand. It’s more than a peripheral, it’s a device-changing accessory.

Fire keyboard – $59.99

Fashioned for “seamless integration” with Amazon’s newest Fire HDX 8.9, it also supports the Fire HD 6 and 7 and “other Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets.” But that’s it. No full-scale Android compatibility here.

Fire keyboard

The ample touchpad, 4.8 mm wasp waist, various shortcut keys and 2-month “active use” battery are only some of this keyboard’s strong suits. If you really want to get the most of your Fire HDX 8.9 experience though, you’ll have to purchase the $70 leather origami case too.

Elegant, protective and stunningly versatile, the case and keyboard go together beautifully and transform your standard 8.9-inch tab in something that transcends mobile and desktop boundaries.

Samsung keyboard case for Galaxy Tab Pro/Note Pro 12.2 – $74.36

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro keyboard case

Yes, it’s costly, even after a substantial discount, but it’s surely worth it if you want to convert one of Sammy’s “professional” 12 inchers into a bona fide hybrid laptop. Rated at 4.5 stars by 72 mostly satisfied customers, the keyboard doubles as a shielding case and works like a charm for flawless on-the-go typing.

Samsung keyboard case for Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – starting at $81

Galaxy Tab S 10.5 keyboard

Possibly the best ever Samsung tablet deserved a matching premium 2-in-1 accessory, and that’s exactly what it got. There’s no trackpad here, so you won’t fool anyone into believing you own an actual notebook. But the keys are exquisitely well-spaced, quick to react, decently robust and the battery lasts for ages.

Logitech Type-S for Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – $76.40

Logitech Galaxy Tab S keyboard

Not content with Samsung’s proprietary Tab S 10.5 proposal for some reason? This 2-in-1 case/keyboard from Logitech used to cost $100, and for all the right reasons. It aims to guard your beautiful Super AMOLED gadget from accidental bumps, scratches and spills while offering “laptop-like typing” on a standard keyboard layout with Android shortcuts added in the equation. Tough call, huh?

Nexus 9 keyboard folio – $129.99

Hesitant to spend over a third of the top-notch Google tab’s price on a rudimentary “keyboard folio”? Well, that’s where you’re wrong. The multipurpose accessory is as versatile as these things come, not to mention stylish, light, slim and uber-productive in keyboard mode.

Nexus 9 keyboard

We know, we know, you’d have loved a touchpad, a little room between keys and, above all, a $30 or so price trim. But trust us when we tell you no universal keyboard will ever compliment the N9 as this does.

Best refurbished Android smartphones available today

Not everyone can afford the newest, hottest, speediest gadgets on offer today. Especially when manufacturers put so much pressure on the everyday consumer to upgrade yearly, sometimes even more than once within 12 months.

ProductBrandNamePrice
MotorolaMotorola MOTO X 2nd GEN XT1096 16GB Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Smartphone - Black (Certified Refurbished)Check Price on Amazon
HuaweiHUAWEI Ascend Mate2 16GB Factory Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Quad-Core Android Smartphone w/ 13MP CameraCheck Price on Amazon
MotorolaMotorola Moto G (XT1028) - Android Smartphone - Verizon No-Contract (Certified Refurbished)Check Price on Amazon
SamsungSamsung Note 2 I317 16GB Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Quad-Core Smartphone w/ 8MP CameraCheck Price on Amazon
MotorolaMotorola Droid Turbo - 32GB Android SmartphoneCheck Price on Amazon

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

Updated May 2017 – FYI info below may be outdated… table above was updated May 2017

verizon-refurbished-phone-box

We say it’s okay to own yesteryear’s Android flagships, and going refurbished is often a wise choice if you can’t or won’t spend north of $600, $700, even $800 on the “next big thing.” No, on-contract phones aren’t an option, and if you feel this inherent reluctance towards pre-owned gear, that’s because you don’t know their full story.

What does refurbished mean?

First of all, it doesn’t mean broken, damaged, defective or cosmetically impaired. A refurb product should show limited or no wear, and while it’s been in the hands of at least another proprietor before you, you can rest assured they didn’t meddle with its internals, dropped it, or harmed it in any significant way.

phone repair

If something like that did happen, it’s actually the best possible news, as the OEM then probably replaced components affected by the injuries. In a nutshell, we’re talking devices that look, feel and function “like-new” here, returned to the seller for one of a number of reasons, and professionally restored to fully working, mint condition.

Most retailers also offer warranties and advantageous return terms, so if you’re not getting what’s advertised, there’s nothing to lose, only to gain. One final note. Just because someone “tested” a phone, and decided to ask their money back, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with the gizmo. Maybe the buyer had unrealistic expectations. Maybe he ordered it by mistake, realized too late, and thought he’d play with it for a while anyway.

It’s possible the merchant and/or courier mishandled the refurbished item as well, which brings you a nice discount at minimal risks.

Best place to buy used phones

Amazon warehouse boxes

Lesson number one – don’t conduct business on eBay unless you absolutely have to, or the deals are too attractive, and you trust the seller. Brick and mortar stores will rarely seem a good idea, considering their limited inventory in such cases.

Ergo, the best places to buy used cell phones are generally online. And the best sites to buy used phones are chiefly Amazon and Best Buy. Currently, the official Best Buy refurbished phones roster merely includes ten Android models, the most compelling of which you’ll find a $265 HTC One M8 and $330 Samsung Galaxy S5 to be.

A $329 Samsung Galaxy Note 3, $249 Galaxy S4 and $90 Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD are other semi-appealing Best Buy used phones up for grabs at the time of this writing.

Best refurbished smartphones on Amazon

Moto X second gen

Ah, the Mecca of all things mobile, all things cheap, all things electronics. And of course, the home of the best refurbished cell phones stateside. Look for the portal’s “certified refurbished” section first and foremost, choose the “cell phones” category, and make sure you’re always covered by a standard 90-day warranty.

One of the best refurbished phones you should probably think about scoring this holiday season, for yourself or a loved one, is the $230 second-gen Motorola Moto X. The 5.2 incher works on Verizon, plus competing GSM carriers, and in brand new, untouched form, it costs 300 bucks.

Galaxy Note 4

What do you reckon a rehabilitated Sony Xperia Z3v with 32 GB internal storage space and unlocked GSM support is worth? If you guessed $340, you are correct, and the prize is, well, a $340 Full HD, water-resistant and Snapdragon 801-packing Z3v.

Don’t mind spending a little extra on one of the world’s best phablets, and the second best S Pen-capable product to this day? Then the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 can be yours, in exchange for $430, in black or white, accompanied by your typical 3-month quality guarantee, with a beautiful 5.7-inch Quad HD display in tow, octa-core Exynos 5433 SoC, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM, 3,220 mAh battery, 16 MP rear camera, Android 5.0 software goodies, fingerprint sensor, and faux leather backplate.

Huawei Ascend Mate 2

At the opposite end of the spectrum, a certified refurbished no-contract Verizon Moto G is only $40, an LG Lucid 3 goes for $95, the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 costs $210, and an oldie but goldie Samsung Galaxy Note 2 still commands a pre-owned price of $250.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the Verizon unlocked Motorola Droid Turbo, at least in passing, with the 2014 battery powerhouse once sold for over $500 off-contract, and now available at just $310 in refurb condition, coated in snazzy blue, orange and purple, and ready to keep the lights on for two whole days between charges, despite sporting a super-sharp 5.2-inch 1,440p Super AMOLED panel.

Droid Turbo

Now that’s what we like to call a must-buy! Quite possibly the best refurbished phone money can buy before, during and after the Thanksgiving – Black Friday – Cyber Monday 2015 festivities.

ProductBrandNamePrice
MotorolaMotorola MOTO X 2nd GEN XT1096 16GB Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Smartphone - Black (Certified Refurbished)Check Price on Amazon
HuaweiHUAWEI Ascend Mate2 16GB Factory Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Quad-Core Android Smartphone w/ 13MP CameraCheck Price on Amazon
MotorolaMotorola Moto G (XT1028) - Android Smartphone - Verizon No-Contract (Certified Refurbished)Check Price on Amazon
SamsungSamsung Note 2 I317 16GB Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Quad-Core Smartphone w/ 8MP CameraCheck Price on Amazon
MotorolaMotorola Droid Turbo - 32GB Android SmartphoneCheck Price on Amazon

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Best small Android smartphones available today

Update: Here’s our new list of best small phones in 2018

ProductBrandNamePrice
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S5 Mini G800F 16GB Unlocked Cellphone - International Version (Black)Buy on Amazon|$450.49(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)

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Bigger doesn’t necessarily equal better. It’s not the size that matters, it’s how you use it. We mean the phone, you perverted oddballs! You may find it hard to score a half-decent small Android handheld these days, but despite the undeniable mainstream rise of phablets, there’s still demand for devices you can easily slide in and out of your standard-issue trouser pocket.

A compact form factor, proper one-hand maneuverability and sensible design will always go a long way with certain mobile consumers, especially if they’re linked to affordability, a high-res screen, and generally respectable hardware specifications.

Before setting out on a quest to find the best small Android phone in the world prior to the 2015 holiday season, let’s land on a display diagonal range. Can we all agree 4.7 to 5.2-inch handhelds are “normal” nowadays, 5.5 inchers start feeling a bit uncomfortable, and anything beyond 6 inches is excessive, unless your job is to make a dozen slam dunks a few times a week in NBA games?

phone size evolution

Good, then we can probably also agree 4 to 4.5 inchers are “small” by today’s high-end standards, yet remain crowd pleasers for those who like to effortlessly manage mobile business with one normally-sized hand. That said, here are the top ten contenders to the title of best small smartphone, ordered as usual from cheapest to costliest:

LG Leon – $78 for MetroPCS; $83 for T-Mobile

LG-Leon

It’s perhaps not fair to compare unlocked and carrier-restricted prices, but at the end of the day, CDMA networks like Verizon or Sprint rarely support gadgets not specifically made for them, so the only important thing that’s lacking at the Leon is AT&T compatibility.

Outside of the connectivity spectrum, the elegant, slim-bezeled 4.5 incher also disappoints with 854 x 480 screen resolution, though the quad-core 64-bit Snapdragon 410 CPU isn’t half bad… for a lot less than 100 bucks. Oh, and you get Lollipop goodies pre-installed as well.

Motorola Moto E (second-gen) – $90

Moto E 2015

Possibly the most appealing sub-$100 proposition, the E2 can be had in US and global GSM configurations, including with 4G LTE speeds, and the 4.5-inch panel is slightly sharper than that of the LG Leon, at 960 x 540 pixels.

Too bad the 2015 Moto E is only around 64 percent screen, massive bezels occupying the rest of the space, and making it a tad cumbersome, with 129.9 x 66.8 mm height/width measurements. On the plus side, the ultra-low-cost Android soldier already runs 5.1 Lollipop, and should be further upgraded to 6.0 Marshmallow sometime next year.

Motorola Moto G (1st generation) – starting at $92

Moto G

It’s old, not very attractive from a design standpoint, lacks microSD storage expansion possibilities, provides a measly 8 GB ROM in an entry-level variation, and tips the scales at a fairly chunky 143 grams while sizing up at 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm.

But it’s super-affordable, offers close to stock Android 5.1 user experience, and above all, it sports a beautiful 4.5-inch 720p IPS LCD screen.

Huawei Ascend P7 Mini – $144

huawei_ascend_p7_mini

Don’t hold your breath for a Marshmallow makeover in the near future, as even Lollipop is yet to land on the China-imported qHD 4.5 incher. Be happy the P7 Mini is phenomenally skinny (7.8 mm and 115 grams), and pretty gifted in the selfie-taking department, thanks to a 5 MP front-facing camera.

Also, the 2,000 mAh battery is decently spacious, all things considered, and the quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip takes good care of your basic web browsing, multimedia and even gaming needs.

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini – $192

Galaxy S4 mini

The tiny Super AMOLED 4.3 incher has turned two a few months back, which amounts to 50 or 60 in human years, yet a timeless design, hefty 1.5 GB RAM, satisfactory 8 MP LED flash main cam, and appropriate 1,900 mAh cell keep it in the spotlight for fans of pocket-sized gizmos.

The screen borders aren’t exactly unnoticeable, but the diminutive sibling of Samsung’s 2013 flagship measures just 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.9 mm, and weighs 107 grams.

Samsung Galaxy A3 – $201

Galaxy-A3

Unusually inexpensive for an all-metal device, especially one manufactured by a profit-hungry company, the A3 falls short of impressive aesthetics, with a mediocre 65 percent screen-to-body ratio, and also settles for a so-so 960 x 540 Super AMOLED 4.5-inch display.

Then again, 1.5 gigs of memory, 16 GB on-board hoarding room, Snapdragon 410 muscle, 8 and 5 MP photographic equipment, and Android 5.0 software all feel like the absolute cream of the $200 crop.

HTC One Mini 2 – $239

HTC-One-mini-2

Why on earth didn’t HTC renew this aging thing to try to squeeze M9’s magic in a smaller package? Granted, the latest hero and the One M8 the Mini 2 is based on are extremely similar, but a One Mini 3 could have brought SD410 power, 1.5 or even 2 GB RAM, and a refined exterior to the table.

Nonetheless, the 4.5 incher on tap offers a lot for a reasonable price tag, starting with 13 and 5 MP cameras, and of course, a premium aluminum unibody build.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact – $250

Xperia Z1 Compact

Sony made the sequel, confusingly named Z3 Compact, a bit too large to be considered here, and the Z5 Compact will also go on sale soon with a 4.6-inch display in tow. It’s all for the best however, as it allows us to remember this oldie but goldie 4.3-inch HD slab, capable of great things to this day.

Silky smooth multitasking? The 2 GB RAM have you covered. Overall system speed? There’s a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor inside. Shutterbug satisfaction? And then some, as the 20.7 MP shooter is simply amazing. And let’s not forget 2,300 mAh battery juice, 16 GB local storage, microSD support, as well as water and dust protection.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini – $267

Samsung_Galaxy_S5_mini

It seems Sammy inexplicably took a page from HTC’s undependable playbook, and decided to skip or greatly delay the Galaxy S6 Mini. Is last year’s Liliputian flagship still worth around 270 clams in this context?

Yes and no, given we very much dig the 4.5-inch 1,280 x 720 AMOLED panel, 1.5 GB RAM, quad-core Exynos SoC, 8 MP LED flash rear cam, microSD card slot, fingerprint sensor, and IP67 certification for water and dust resistance, but we’re not fans of the cheap plasticky construction or Android 4.4 KitKat flavor.

Kyocera DuraForce – $0 down with AT&T financing; $419 outright

Kyocera DuraForce

This expensive (off-contract), muscular 4.5 incher has a crystal clear target audience – people that constantly drop and damage their phones. By no means a featherweight, at a whopping 200 grams, the DuraForce withstands shocks of different nature, and produces HD images, driven by a Snapdragon 400 chip, and backed for stellar endurance by a colossal 3,100 mAh battery.

ProductBrandNamePrice
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S5 Mini G800F 16GB Unlocked Cellphone - International Version (Black)Buy on Amazon|$450.49(Price as of 02/15/2019 13:31 ET)

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Best Bluetooth earbuds available today

It’s only been five months since we last rounded up your top Bluetooth cell phone headset options on the market, and while mobile accessories don’t look as flashy and prone to frequent upgrades as smartphones or smartwatches, a lot has changed between April and today.

Best Bluetooth earbuds

Bluetooth headphones

To make sure you don’t go for a pair of outdated earbuds therefore, we’ve decided to already refresh the list of best Amazon picks. But this time, we’re ruling out mono, single-ear headsets primarily meant for initiating and answering voice calls hands-free.

We’re also not focusing on high-end, pricey, audiophile-centric over-the-ear headphones like the Beats Studio or Bose QuietComfort 25… just yet. A separate inventory of those will be coming soon, but for now, let’s see what your five-star, budget-friendly in-ear stereo Bluetooth headset choices for September 2015 are.

Wireless earbuds

Some of these excellent earbuds have rolled out very recently, others are treated to massive discounts that make them absolute bargains, while a few simply eluded us back in April. Why should you buy one of the following models and not a larger, arguably better-sounding counterpart? Well, they’re clearly more portable, compact and inconspicuous, and at the end of the day, they’re the wise pick for both traveling and athletic purposes.

Jabra Sport Pulse – $176

As the name suggests, these premium wireless earbuds are designed specifically for your most extreme workouts, with sweat, drop, dirt, temperature and humidity protection, plus, believe it or not, built-in heart rate monitoring functions.

Jabra Pulse

No other accessories needed, just fit the headset in your ears, blast the music, and simultaneously get coached on whether to accelerate or pace yourself, based on your heartbeat. Granted, battery life isn’t exactly stellar due to the advanced technology integrated in an otherwise typical-looking package, and crisp audio. But 4.5 hours is still long enough to last you a couple of extended running sessions.

JayBird BlueBuds X – $150

JayBird BlueBuds X

Let’s face it, the price here feels a little on the steep side, sans HR features or anything along those lines. But the BlueBuds X should be capable of “remarkable” sound, with a snazzy yet fairly low-profile design, 13.8 grams (!!!) weight, “lifetime warranty against sweat”, and 8, yes, 8 hours of continuous run time between charges. Worth the Benjamin and a half all in all, don’t you think?

Beats Powerbeats 2 – $144

Everybody knows that Beats purchases give you status, bragging rights over other brands, and a unique sense of style. That said, the Powerbeats 2 certainly stand out a little more than they maybe should from an aesthetical standpoint, and connect up to 30 feet away from your Bluetooth-enabled Android phone.

Beats Powerbeats 2

Their key selling points also include quick charging support, with an hour of non-stop playback provided by 15 minutes of power-up activity, as well as a six-hour normal endurance rating, water resistance, and dual-driver acoustics for booming sound.

LG Tone Infinim – $80

As we enter ultra-low-cost territory, it’s best to lower the expectation bar when it comes to features like heart rate monitors or swanky designs. Then again, as long as you’re not peeved by stiff neckbands, the Tone Infinim contraption is quite the looker, and it offers both ergonomics and versatility.

LG Tone Infinim

The actual earbuds are retractable, you have easily accessible call and music controls to your left and right, and above all, LG joins forces with Harman Kardon for “premium audio quality.” Wait, then why are these so cheap? Well, they’re currently reduced from $150, and it’d be a pity if you didn’t take advantage of the deal before it eventually expires.

Jabra ROX – $79.80

Jabra Rox

Also heavily discounted, from $130 to under $80, the ROX ensemble is super-small, lightweight, and keeps the lights on for around 5.5 hours on a single charge. There’s NFC compatibility for easy handheld pairing, HD Voice support, advanced noise cancellation for phone calls, multimedia stream capabilities, plus rain, dust and shock resistance. Not too shabby!

Plantronics BackBeat Fit – $78

BackBeat FIT

Sure, these earbuds look odd, but they’re among the best reviewed of their kind on Amazon, with a 4.3-star average based on over 1,700 user opinions. That’s primarily because they’re flexible and remain wrapped around your head no matter what, sweat-proof, and endowed with DeepSleep functionality for hibernation when not in use, and consequent autonomy expansion. Speaking of, they can run for 8 hours on end while you run for 8 hours on end. Protip – take a break before the BackBeat Fit.

RevJams Active Sport – $33

RevJams Active Sport

They’re active, you’re active, they’re sporty, you’re sporty, they’re comfortable in their skin and promise “superb sound with no wires”, you… would very much like that at the uber-economical price point. Win-win situation, y’all!

Mpow Cheetah – $28

Mpow Cheetah

Bendy, sneaky, light as a feather yet handsome and stylish, the compact, comfortable and secure earbuds let you skip tracks, control your volume and take calls without ever coming near your phone. It’ll be easy to forget the Cheetah is even synched to a separate device, after 8 hours of talk or music time, or 180 (!!!) in standby. And yes, the audio quality is fine, courtesy of aptX technology.

G-Cord – $27

We know you like to go unnoticed when out for a jog, but this black-and-red gizmo is just too darn classy to turn it down. And no, the all-black model isn’t an option, trust us. Funnily enough, the manufacturer forgot to give the headset a proper name, so we’ll simply call it the 2-Link Soundblaster.

G-Cord

That’s right, you can connect two Bluetooth phones at the same time and “free switch”, and endurance is rated at a solid 8 hours of calling, or 6 hours of music. Or 160 hours of standby. The assorted neckband isn’t too rigid, and the design is both ergonomics-focused and rugged, with durability a key G-Cord objective.

TaoTronics – $25.99

Another technically unnamed set of earbuds, another ridiculously low price tag, another comfortable and secure construction, not to forget “CD-like high quality sound” (as if anyone listens to CDs nowadays), 5-hour autonomy, and built-in HD microphone.

TaoTronics

Okay, we’ll be honest with you. This isn’t the greatest or prettiest headset around. But it’s the cheapest wireless design, and it fulfills its basic duties honorably.

MEE Audio Sport-Fi M6 – $17.99

MEE Audio Sport

Yes, this thing is wired, which may prove a major inconvenience for some. And if you want a mic, you have to pay 5 bucks extra. But once again, affordability rules, and cash-strapped consumers drool… over the noise isolating, “energetic sound”-capable, enhanced bass-producing M6. Which repels water, by the by, and comes bundled with a handy shirt clip and half a dozen sets of eartips ensuring the perfect fit for everyone.

Best quick-charging Android smartphones money can buy

Charging your phone every single night after returning from work, school or a stroll around town in order to be able to start again the next morning without losing track of your Facebook friends, favorite Twitter feeds or Pinterests might well be the most annoying modern-day chore.

Android battery

It’s not only boring as heck, but you have to actually remember to do it, not to mention keeping all sorts of cables on hand and hugging walls for hours on end. Of course, some devices last longer than others, and you can always use power banks on the go whenever you need a quick, no-plug-in-necessary pick-me-up.

And let’s not forget about wireless charging, which is slowly taking off, although it’s not exactly wireless if the dock must be physically connected to an energy supply for the whole thing to function.

Quick Charge 2.0

Finally, while it doesn’t solve the underlying problem, i.e. the constant demand for more juice, fast-charging technology at least reduces the time wasted waiting. Like many mobile inventions, this is bound to become truly useful down the line, when you’ll be able to fill up the tank in mere minutes.

But there are already numerous Android phones endowed with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 capabilities or similar functionality, and we give you today the cream of that crop:

LG G4 – starting at $371 on Amazon

LG G4 battery

Will the G5 make this old-timer look its age at last in a little over a week, with a vastly refined design, considerably beefier processor under the hood, more RAM, a better camera, and smoother UI? You can bet the farm, the house, everything you own on that.

It’ll even invigorate its battery 38 percent faster than the G4, courtesy of Snapdragon 820’s Quick Charge 3.0 support. At the same time, it’ll probably cost twice as much, and you have to wonder if it’s worth the premium. After all, last year’s leather-clad bad boy can still lift its cell capacity from 0 to 60 percent in half an hour. And mind you, we’re talking a relatively large 3,000 mAh battery.

HTC One A9 – $386 and up

htc-one-a9

If you ever wondered how an Android-running iPhone from a legit OEM might look, this somewhat disappointing upper mid-ranger is your guy. It’s slightly overpriced, we won’t argue otherwise, but it’s compatible with both Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 standards. The bad news? You need to pay extra for one of those super-fast charger accessories.

The worse news? The A9 packs a tiny 2,150 mAh battery, so no matter how quickly you can liven it up, it’ll still leave you hanging when you might need it most. Say, during a business meeting. So yeah, better not risk it and instead buy the…

ZTE Axon Pro – $400

zte-axon-pro

A costlier ZTE recommended over an affordable HTC? What exactly is the Axon Pro’s secret? Well, it’s got several strong suits, all made public and marketed quite aggressively on US shores of late. Number one, a beautiful 5.5-inch Quad HD display. 2, a somewhat gimmicky but proficient 13 + 2 MP dual rear-facing camera. 3, more RAM than you could ever need on a mobile device (4 gigs). 4, a respectable 3,000 mAh battery. Last but not least, standard fast-charging times: 30 minutes to go from 0 to 60. In a nutshell, plenty of bang for 400 bucks.

Nexus 6P – $450 through Google Store

Nexus 6P

This stock Android Marshmallow-based phablet is sure an odd duck. For one thing, it comes with a reversible USB Type-C port that isn’t however capable of 3.1 data transmission and charging speeds. Granted, a slew of other phones released in the latter stages of 2015 half-heartedly adopted the new USB technology like that, but only the N6P also lacks Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 support.

Fret not, as it’s gifted with a proprietary equivalent nonetheless, though Google and Huawei refuse to make any pompous claims regarding stamina-inducing times. Even if it takes, say, an hour to reach 50 percent volume, this is a must-buy for Android purists, what with a 3,450 mAh battery, Snapdragon 810 SoC, 3GB RAM, and 5.7-inch 2K screen on deck.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 – $588 and up

Galaxy Note 5

Since Sammy was basically forced to fit a homebrewed processor inside its latest wave of high-enders, their rapid charging technology is different from Qualcomm’s too, promising a full tank in a measly 120 minutes, even wirelessly beefed up.

A full 3,000 mAh tank, that is, rated at up to 22 hours of continuous 3G talk time. Add an S Pen into the equation, all-time record low price, and we see no reason why you should hold off for the Galaxy S7. Well, aside from microSD storage expansion maybe.

Motorola Droid Turbo 2 – $624 full retail price at Verizon

Droid Turbo 2

As the name suggests, this turbo-charging beast uses its own personal implementation of standard QC technology, squeezing no less than 13 hours of average usage from a massive 3,760 mAh battery after only 15 minutes spent hugging a wall. Such a shame the “shatterproof” 5.4-incher isn’t available on America’s number two, three or four operators. Guess that’s one of the reasons Big Red preserves its market domination.

LG V10 – $620 and up

LG V10

50 percent in 40 minutes? That’s not so impressive. It’s definitely not record-breaking or trend-setting, but overall, the V10 is. Because it’s also military-approved for shock resistance, including contact with hard surfaces, equipped with a secondary notification display that can be both an energy and life saver, plus two front-facing cameras for… double the selfies?

Clearly, you’re dealing with a one-of-a-kind product, and even if it’s not a rapid-charging champion, it gets that job done too in addition to a bunch of other strenuous jobs.

BlackBerry Priv – $698

blackberry-priv

Would this particular writer ever consider buying the Priv? No chance. Not at $700, and possibly, not at a penny over $600 either. But that’s because I’m personally not obsessed with security, and my physical QWERTY keyboard love affair ended half a decade ago.

If you’re into those sorts of things though, you know how hard it is to find them elsewhere, especially combined with open-source Android, Google apps, a beautiful curved Quad HD AMOLED panel, and large 3,410 mAh battery capable of providing 60 percent juice after 30 minutes “wasted” hooked up to a power supply.

Lenovo Smart Display Vs Echo Show Comparison Best Home Assistant Device 2019

There are a lot of smart home devices to choose from. In fact, some of the most common ones are options like Google Home and Alexa, which are purely voice-activated smart home assistants. Now, there are other more interactive options entering the market. These options can look like a traditional tablet, but are actually a nice centerpiece for your home, still equipped with voice assistant functionality. In fact, they bring some added functionality, such as being able to video chat with friends while cooking dinner or even looking up a quick YouTube video for a recipe you’re experimenting with. Or, instead of your Google Home or Amazon Echo simply telling you what the weather looks like, it can show you a hourly forecast (or even through the next few days).

One of these devices is the Amazon Echo Show, one you might’ve heard of and already be familiar with. But what has come to compete with it is the Lenovo Smart Display, introduced at CES 2018. In this roundup, we’re going to pit the two against each other and show you which is better. Follow along below!

Lenovo Smart Display

If you’re familiar with Amazon smart home devices, the Lenovo Smart Display is a little different, as it has Android front and center paired with the Google Assistant AI (similar to what you would find on Google Home or the Pixel 2). Lenovo just introduced the Smart Display at CES 2018 this year, and it’s a 8- or 10-inch modern-looking device that sits on a table or counter, just like Google Home with.

Since it has a screen, you can video chat with friends over Google Duo, check out some interesting videos over on YouTube, or even ask Google Assistant for weather and traffic updates. You’ll not only get audio feedback, but can see the results of those questions visually, too.

When the Lenovo Smart Display isn’t being used, it can double as a photo album, too. Load some photos up on the Smart Display, and after a certain period of time, it’ll start cycling through all of your memories. If you need to use it again, it’s as simple as saying “Hey, Google” followed by your prompt.

The Lenovo Smart Display isn’t available just yet, with plans to launch early this summer for $250 (the 10-inch model) or $199 (the 8-inch model). Find out more below.

Read More: Lenovo

Amazon Echo Show

The whole idea behind the Echo Show is that Alexa, the voice assistant found in most of Amazon’s smart home products, is able to show you things. For example, if you were to say something like “Alexa, how’s the weather,” you would only get audio feedback with the Amazon Echo. With the Echo Show, you ask Alexa how the weather is, and you not only get audio feedback, but shown how it is, too.

It does a lot of other neat things, too. For example, you can tell Alexa to play some music, and it’ll show the lyrics as they’re sang with Amazon Music. You can make video calls to friends, you can watch your home security feed. In fact, you can even hook up the Echo Show to your baby monitor, and Alexa will be able to bring that up, too. There’s thousands of little different things you can do with the Echo Show and Alexa.

When it comes down to it, the Echo Show is a glorified Amazon Echo. It adds a few extra features, and enables Alexa to do some cool things since you have a screen to look at now, but inside, all it really is is an Amazon Echo backed by the Alexa voice assistant. Check it out for yourself below.

Buy it now: Amazon

Verdict

So, if you’re looking for a audio/visual voice assistant tool, should you pick up Lenovo’s Smart Display this summer or pick up the Echo Show right now? It can be a tough decision, but if all of your stuff (accounts, apps, devices) are all weaved with the Google ecosystem, we’d recommend waiting for the Smart Display to come out on store shelves, as you’ll get the best experience with your Google account and Google Assistant all tied together.

If you can’t wait, by all means, pick up the Echo Show. If you don’t entirely care what ecosystem you’ve been using, the Echo Show would be our first choice. It’s a higher quality product at an affordable price point (just $230). On top of that, Amazon is always upgrading it, adding more “skills” and functions to it. You really can’t go wrong with a product that’s already been on the market and battle tested. We’d recommend the Echo Show to anybody without any hesitation, but once again, it ultimately comes down to what ecosystem you most use, as you’ll always get a better experience if you use Google over Amazon a lot more, or even the other way around.