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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.

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 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 Bluetooth cell phone headsets available today (Updated for 2019)

Admit it, you don’t often think of accessories whenever in the market for a new smartphone or tablet. But if you’re wise, you remember to save a couple hundred bucks for a decent power bank, nice external speaker and especially a Bluetooth headset.

Best Bluetooth Headsets

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
PlantronicsPlantronics Voyager Focus179.44
Sennheiser Enterprise SolutionSennheiser Bluetooth Headset127.9
JabraJabra Stealth Bluetooth Headset86.9
SamsungSamsung Level U Pro Bluetooth Wireless In-ear Headphones54.98
PlantronicsPlantronics Voyager Legend Wireless Bluetooth Headset49.99

bluetooth-headset

You don’t want to be pulled over and get a ticket just because you “forgot” to tell the wife you’re going fishing with the guys. Besides, talking on the phone while driving with only one hand on the wheel can be extremely dangerous.

Then there are those times when your multitasking abilities are pushed to the limit, and you simply cannot afford to occupy one hand with a device that can niftily sit in your trouser pocket. Finally, while you’re at it, why not grab a stereo headset capable of doubling as a crisp music listening contraption? That way, you’ll save on expensive headphones and kill two birds with one stone.

Bluetooth headset

Bottom line, everybody needs a Bluetooth headset, be it mono, stereo, ultra-cheap and simplistic or slightly pricier and adept at more than one task. And here we have the best options available on Amazon today, ordered from the costliest to the most affordable:

Motorola Moto Hint – $104

We could go on and on about this little guy’s controversial quality-price ratio, but at the end of the day, the equation is simple. If you own a Moto X phone, the Hint is a must-buy. If not, don’t bother. When paired with any other Bluetooth-enabled handheld, it’s “beautifully out of sight”, aka really tiny, but sketchy as far as call quality is concerned.

Moto Hint

When used with an X, it’s a lot more than a wireless earbud, delivering notifications directly to your ear, and sending text messages via voice.

Plantronics Voyager Legend – $69.99

The name is fitting, as this long-lasting, ergonomic, retro-looking, water-resistant appliance achieved legendary status and racked up a cool four-star review average from 3,000+ Amazon customers.

Plantronics Voyager Legend

Granted, it’s nowhere near as subtle as the Moto Hint, but triple mic tech can separate the user’s voice from 80 dBs of background noise, ensuring the cleanest conversations you’ve ever heard.

Jawbone Era – $69 and up

The masters of low-cost activity trackers ironically charge more for their “smallest, lightest headset” yet. But Era’s design is a winner, its range above-average (33 feet), and battery life respectable (up to 4 hours of talk time).

Jawbone Era

Obviously, it’s not meant for stereo music playing functions, however what it does it does exquisitely, eliminating background noise courtesy of NoiseAssassin 4.0 technology.

Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 – $59.99

Plantronics again? You betcha, and this time, they have a relatively inexpensive pair of wireless Hi-Fi earbud headphones for you, which you can hook up to literally any Android through thin air. The Go 2 is comfortable, compact, fairly stylish and, above all, a waterproof bluetooth headphone.

Plantronics BackBeat Go 2

It goes without saying you won’t get Beats Studio-matching audio excellence at 60 bucks, yet Go 2’s versatility makes it an uber-smart purchase.

Jawbone Icon HD+ The Nerd – $59.97

No, the name isn’t particularly inspired, but the part Bluetooth headset, part USB audio adapter stands out with killer noise reduction abilities, HD sound, solid battery life you can easily keep tabs on via your phone, plus seven different earbuds guaranteeing perfect placement in your ear.

Jawbone Icon HD+ The Nerd

BlueAnt Q2 – $50.89

It’s perhaps not as resourceful and convenient as the Moto Hint, but the Q2 also relies on voice control for a slew of basic operations. Just wirelessly connect it to your phone, slip it in your ear and, whenever a voice call comes through, you can say the magic words “answer” or “ignore”, and the headset will oblige.

BlueAnt Q2

Of course, if you don’t know who’s ringing, voice commands are useless, so that’s where the integrated Text to Speech engine comes in. If the number reaching you is stored in your phonebook, the Q2 shall announce the name before letting you decide if you’re too “busy”. Quite nifty, don’t you think?

LG Tone Pro – $44.89 and up

LG Tone Pro

Here’s another stereo headset that aims to help you not just by diverting calls away from your phone. It’s good for casual audiophiles too, and it can go on for up to 15 hours in continuous use while looking swanky and sophisticated. It’s (almost) the best of both worlds.

Motorola H720 – $39.99

Motorola H720

The H720 may strike you as old-fashioned at a first glance (and not in a good way), and it’s certainly not a Moto Hint rival. Still, it provides up to eight hours of uninterrupted conversation, as per the manufacturer’s claims, it boasts noise reduction and echo cancellation, and works with Samsungs, LGs, HTCs and even iPhones, not only Motorolas.

Jabra Clipper – starting at $32.65

Jabra Clipper

Probably the cheapest half-decent Bluetooth stereo headset these days used to cost $150, and that tells you everything you need to know about Clipper’s premium features. This bad boy can automatically switch between calls and music mode, it’s rain and shock-resistant, it alerts you of incoming caller and mobile distance, and even facilitates remote music control.

The accompanying earbuds are, according to a fair share of customer reviews, “dreadful”, but on the bright side, they’re very easy to replace.

Plantronics M50 Bluetooth Headset – $29.99

Plantronics M50

This is basically the poor man’s Voyager Legend, looking far less glamorous, renouncing water protection and easing up on the advanced noise cancelling technologies. Then again, the low price, 11-hour battery and 33 feet range have helped it cross the 6,000 customer review mark on Amazon and still keep a near-spotless four-star track record.

Mpow Swift – $29.99 and up

Wait a minute, it seems you can actually find an even cheaper pair of stereo headphones than the Jabra Clipper. Alas, the Swift isn’t extremely “complex”, plus it’s a little awkward from an aesthetical standpoint.

Mpow Swift

It’s ergonomic, comfortable and “stable” nonetheless, delivers an appropriate signal… for its price range, and lasts up to five hours of talk/playing time. Overall, it’s not the best, it’s not the worst product in the world.

Kinivo BTH240 – $24.99

Oh, come on, a 25 bucks set of large, sleek, foldable stereo headphones?!? What’s the catch? Incredibly enough, we can’t find one, other than the BTH240 isn’t waterproof, which isn’t surprising looking at the design.

Kinivo BTH240

Call and sound quality is reported as average at worst, the battery runs for a whopping 10 hours even in music playing, and you also get a built-in noise canceling microphone. No wonder 3,350 buyers gave Kinivo’s stellar item a weighted 4.2 star evaluation.

No-name black wireless Bluetooth 4.0 universal headset – $7.94

Forget big industry names like Motorola, LG, Jawbone or Plantronics. Amazon’s number one best seller in Bluetooth cell phone headsets is a product assembled by an obscure Chinese company probably headquartered in Shenzhen.

No-name Bluetooth headset

Worried for the possible shoddy quality of this thing? Then why not buy a couple? Half a dozen. A full dozen. At 8 bucks a pop, you can afford to replace them every other month. Funnily enough, you’re even promised “noise reduction”, “echo cancellation” and the design ain’t as bad as you’d expect. The final choice is entirely yours. 

Best Bluetooth Headsets

ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
PlantronicsPlantronics Voyager Focus179.44
Sennheiser Enterprise SolutionSennheiser Bluetooth Headset127.9
JabraJabra Stealth Bluetooth Headset86.9
SamsungSamsung Level U Pro Bluetooth Wireless In-ear Headphones54.98
PlantronicsPlantronics Voyager Legend Wireless Bluetooth Headset49.99

This week’s best deals on phones, tabs, wearables and accessories – May 18 – 24

You can never really know when (or where) lightning will strike next, so it’s wise to always be prepared. It’s the same with gadget deals and promotions, which sometimes come in unstoppable tsunamis, one after the other, then cool down for weeks in a row, then relentlessly proceed from where they left off.

price-cut

Bottom line, it’s been a while since we last rounded up Amazon’s best Android bargains, but the recent calm could have only anticipated the perfect storm of smartphones, tablets, wearables and mobile accessories discounts:

Smartphones

 

BLU Studio 6.0 HD – $141 with 8 GB storage (25 percent off)

Pre-installed with Jelly Bean a year ago, this mid-end 3,000 mAh battery-packing giant scored a surprisingly swift KitKat upgrade and, believe it or not, it’s almost up for a Lollipop makeover already.

BLU Studio 6.0 HD

Need further reasons to fall in love with the affordable phablet? How about if we told you it nearly made our top ten list of ultra-compact handhelds, thanks to a 71.2 percent screen-to-body ratio? Also, ironically (and impressively) enough, the 8 GB config has become cheaper than the 4 gig model.

Asus ZenFone 2 – $199 in 16/2 GB configuration; $299 with 64 and 4 GB

Don’t even think of pointing the obvious. No, the ZenFone 2 is not technically discounted. But Asus loses money on the low-cost flagship as it is, so it’s no wonder both versions are backordered literally hours after their commercial US debut.

Just how awesome they are? Extremely, with Full HD screen resolution, quad-core Intel Atom punch and 4G LTE connectivity offered across the board, plus four record-setting gigs of random-access memory inside the top-shelf $300 variant. Thrifty power users, assemble!

Samsung Galaxy S6 – $639 factory unlocked in white; $645 black; $663 gold

Galaxy S6

They say the metal-and-glass Quad HD device, alongside its “edgy” sibling, aren’t selling quite like hotcakes, which would explain why Amazon keeps dropping no-contract tags. Of course, the trims are far from radical, but the S6 is all of a sudden on-par with HTC’s underwhelming One M9. Could Samsung be fearing the LG G4 menace?

Tablet deals for May 18 – 24

 

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 third-generation – $349 with 32 GB storage; $379 in 64 GB variant

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

Superseded by a 2014 slate that ditched the Kindle branding, this oldie but goldie gracefully stands the test of time, with an uber-sharp 2,560 x 1,600 pix res display, quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB RAM, 8 MP rear camera, 12-hour battery and optional LTE speeds.

Wi-Fi-limited, the 2013 HDX 8.9 is a bargain… if you hustle.

Lenovo Tab 2 A7-30 – $89.99

Barely a couple of months old, this long-lasting 8-hour steal may sport a cringe worthy 1,024 x 600 panel, but totally makes amends with quad-core power, an impending Lollipop promotion, enhanced Dolby audio and a stylish, ergonomic design. Also, did we mention it’s about as “pricey” as a Windows 8.1 System Builder DVD? Unreal, huh?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 – $279

Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Recently updated to Android 5.0, and soon to get a sequel, the OG Super AMOLED 8 incher remains a must-buy for on-the-go video content consumers. It’s high-res, slim, elegant, beefy and can even recognize your fingerprint.

Wearables to buy today

 

Motorola Moto 360 – $199

Moto 360

If you missed the $179 promo, we’re sorry. But even at $199, the Moto 360 is absolutely worth it. Follow-up or no follow-up on the way. It’s going to support standalone Wi-Fi before long, via an Android Wear 5.1.1 bump, it’s beautifully crafted, decently productive… for a first-wave smartwatch, and lasts longer between charges than an Apple Watch. There, we said it!

Samsung Gear Fit – $106

Running RTOS instead of Android or Tizen, but fully compatible with Android-based handhelds, the Gear Fit is by no means a complex or fancy gadget. It does the rudimentary fitness-tracking job, however, and it’s water-resistant, which is always a plus.

LG Watch Urbane – $336

LG Watch Urbane

It’s Amazon’s number one new release in men’s wrist watches, it’s not exactly dirt-cheap, but boy, is it handsome! And robust, and pre-loaded with the newest Android Wear iteration, and capable of synching to a compatible phone from miles away.

Sony SmartWatch 3 – $195

Wi-Fi-ready, just like the Watch Urbane and Moto 360, the SW3 is weeks, maybe days away from a 5.1.1 update and, coincidentally, it’s also cheaper than ever before. Plus, waterproof, slim and sleek and, yes, GPS-endowed out the box.

Accessories deals

 

Supcase water-resistant full-body rugged case for Samsung Galaxy S6 – $14.99

Galaxy S6 case

What’s there to say about this unbreakable S6 protective cover? It’s ultra-tough, it’s liquid-proof, it’s cheap, end of story.

Allpowers 10,000 mAh solar panel charger – $30 in orange ($50 off)

Now that’s a massive price cut. And a massive power bank, with “faster than normal charging speed” and sun energy-harvesting capabilities. Think about it, you can protect the environment and quickly juice up your phones and tabs while nowhere near a conventional AC socket.

RAVPower third-gen mini 3,200 mAh portable charger – $9.99

RAVPower

Yes, this thing is smaller, girlier and less eco-friendly than the aforementioned solar charger. But small is often good, girly as well… if you’re a girl, and the 1,000 recharge cycle guarantee almost makes up for the fact you’re (slowly) destroying Mother Earth.

TaoTronics TT-BH01 Bluetooth headset – $12.99 (71 percent off)

Excellent noise cancellation technology, 13-hour continuous talk time endurance, compact and light-weight design and universal Bluetooth compatibility. Where do you sign up? Why, on Amazon, of course.

Sony SRSX9 NFC Bluetooth Wi-Fi speaker system – $498 ($202 savings)

Sony SRSX9

No typos, no mix-ups, no temporary insanity pleas. We’re actually recommending an “affordable” 500 bucks speaker. Rather a $500 seven-speaker setup with 154 Watts digital amplification, immersive 45 Hz to 40 kHz sound, Wi-Fi audio streaming and all sorts of sweet optimizations and enhancements only hardcore audiophiles can get and truly appreciate. Too bad the SRSX9 is “temporarily out of stock”, likely due to this ginormous discount.

This week’s best deals on phones, tabs, wearables, accessories and apps – April 17

We might as well call this the Samsung Galaxy S6 promotion collection. The most exciting smartphone in Android history since… ever (?) reportedly got off to a roaring start at the box-office, and is fairly hard to come by in many brick and mortar US outlets.

Save Money

Things will likely get worse in the next few weeks, despite LG G4’s imminent debut, so we’ve gathered for you today a slew of Amazon listings that you can use to dodge the in-store frenzy. But of course, we have our budget-conscious handheld buyers covered as well, plus basic wearable enthusiasts and especially Android app bargain hunters.

Listen up, y’all, and listen good, because discounts galore:

April 17’s best smartphone deals

 

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, gold platinum 32 GB$300 with AT&T contracts; $815 outright (pre-order only; shipping April 27)

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, gold platinum 128 GB$500 with AT&T pacts; $990 outright (available April 27)

Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S6, gold platinum 64 GBstarting at $300 with Sprint

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, gold platinum 64 GB Sprint$400 and up

What we’ve selected here for you is far more precious than your typical $10 off “deal”. It’s a bunch of exotic flavors of the “next big things” that no one can deliver earlier than Amazon. Have at it, and remember, gold is best! Particularly when paired with enough digital hoarding space to store every episode of The Simpsons ever made.

Samsung Galaxy S6 factory unlocked, white – $754.94

Still not exactly affordable, the SIM-free metallic beast is a cool $100 cheaper than last week.

Samsung-Galaxy-S6-White

Samsung Galaxy S5 unlocked – $397 in black; $396 in white

If your reaction to a one-year-old high-end mobile is “Ew! No way!”, then this promo isn’t for you. Everyone else, consider this – HTC’s One M8 is $470 and up. And the S5 isn’t that bad, with waterproof features, a sharp Super AMOLED 1,080p screen and 16 MP rear-facing camera.

BLU Vivo Air – $189.97 in black; $199.99 in white gold

Say hello to the world’s slimmest smartphone. At 5.1 mm thin, the Vivo Air looks like it may crumble out of the blue. But all things considered, it’s pretty durable in addition to incredibly stylish and well-endowed in the photography department.

Blu Vivo Air

Motorola Moto G for Boost Mobile – $43 (67 percent off list)

This is the original model, so you don’t get LTE speeds or microSD support. At 43 bucks, consider yourselves lucky you’re getting a touchscreen. With 720p resolution, no less.

LG G2 AT&T unlocked – $211

It’s got Lollipop now, it’s cheaper than ever before, so you’ll want to look beyond its advanced age. After all, a Full HD display, quad-core S800 punch and 2 GB RAM are anything but 2013-reminiscent specs.

Tablet bargains

 

Lenovo A10-70 – $209

In the age of ultra-low-cost gear, it’s still not easy to find a half-decent 10 incher at sub-$250. Lenovo’s low-profile trooper qualifies, with 9-hour battery, KitKat software and a 9 mm waist.

Lenovo A10-70

Asus MeMo Pad 7 ME176CX – $125

Always a team player, always focused on squeezing the best quality out of the least pricey contraptions, Asus gives you quad-core Intel Atom speed, a respectable 1,280 x 800 7-inch screen and 16 GB internal storage for a little over a Benjamin. Not bad!

Wearable deals and steals

 

Jawbone Up2 – $99.99

Jawbone Up2

It literally just broke cover, and it’s already up for grabs. Forget savings, that alone is a fact worth mentioning. Also, the Up2 is sleeker and handsomer than its predecessor, offering the basics of fitness tracking in a long-lasting package.

Garmin Forerunner 220 heart rate monitor bundle – $259.99

It’s perhaps not the “smartest” watch as far as Android users are concerned, but sports addicts go nuts about “advanced” Garmin wearables, and for a good reason. Make that several reasons: built-in GPS support, high-res color display, stellar battery life, water protection, shock resistance, more sensors than we can count.

Jawbone Up24 – $33.69 used, very good condition

No better time to purchase older Jawbones than just as newer models debut. While you’re at it, why not score a pre-owned, mint-like smart band?

Accessories

 

Bastex Samsung Galaxy S6 Anti-Glare Anti-Fingerprint screen protector – $2.99

Bastex Heavy Duty hybrid armor case for Galaxy S6 – $6.99

Galaxy S6 case

Bastex Heavy Duty Galaxy S6 protective armor case – $7.99

No matter what various drop tests might try to tell you, the glass-and-aluminum GS6 ain’t indestructible. The screen can be a finger magnet too, and not in a good way, but in exchange for only 10 bucks, you’ll kill two birds with one stone.

Satechi Divoom Bluetune-Bean portable Bluetooth speaker – $16.99 and up

“Small enough to fit in one hand”, this baby is a little on the unattractive side, but it can last 6 hours between charges and packs “powerful 360-degree sound.”

Belkin Fusive portable Bluetooth speaker – $33.48 (67 percent off)

Belkin Fusive

At under one pound, the Fusive is extremely light for its size… and capabilities – 10-hour autonomy, 30 feet range, “room-filling”, distortion-free audio.

VicTsing wireless Bluetooth 3.0 waterproof speaker – $20.99 ($59 savings)

Another portable speaker? Is there something in the air or what? No idea, but the cool thing about this product is it conveys 5W sound in the shower.

Free Android app of the day bundle

Runtastic Pro

 

You all know and love these “routine” Amazon Appstore freebie accumulations, and this week in particular, you can find an impressive number of gems downloadable with no charge. Runtastic PRO for outdoorsy individuals. Virtua Tennis Challenge for Sega fans. Flightradar24 Pro for frequent fliers. Prince of Persia Classic. A Better Camera Unlocked. Splashtop Whiteboard, typically available for $34.99 (!!!), and so on and so forth.

Hurry though, as app promos tend to expire before you can take full advantage of them.

This week’s best deals on phones, tablets, wearables and accessories – April 9

A most fertile ground for practical jokes and hoaxes of all sorts, April doesn’t seem to be a particularly auspicious month as far as mobile deals and bargains are concerned. Due to substandard harvest, we saw ourselves compelled to skip last week’s promotion roundup, and we can’t say we’re too impressed with how things are looking today either.

piggy_bank

Still, after meticulously drilling Amazon’s depths, nuts and bolts, a fairly decent collection of on-the-cheap Android smartphones, tablets, wearable products and accessories came together. Long story short, buckle up and let the discount games begin:

April 9’s best smartphone deals

 

BLU Advance 4.0 unlocked dual SIM – $49.99 (44 percent off)

Remember when this petite Jelly Beaner was $89? Probably not, but the $69.99 price tag must ring a bell. Well, now the 4 incher has hit a new all-time low, albeit for 24 hours only. Until April 10, at midnight PDT, that is.

BLU Advance 4.0

Compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Cricket Wireless and whatever GSM network you can think of, the Advance caps off at HSPA speeds and packs a modest dual-core MediaTek chip. Yet at 50 bucks, it basically walks on feature phone turf.

Samsung Galaxy S6 factory unlocked international version – $855

How exactly is this a deal? Technically, it’s not. If anything, $855 is a tad steep. But factory unlocked S6s are uber-hard to come by right now, and Amazon, through WorldWide Distributors, promises to ship the “next big thing” as soon as you put your order in. You won’t find that anywhere else, trust us, we’ve checked.

Galaxy S6

HTC One M9 factory unlocked gunmetal grey with US warranty – $649

In stock, offered with free one-day delivery and as affordable as it’ll get for at least a few months. It’s a slam dunk, even though it ain’t discounted per se.

LG G3 – $351 factory unlocked in white; $360 black

Yeah, yeah, you’ve seen it going for less SIM-free, and on-contract at AT&T, it’s still a penny with an extra complimentary gift card worth a cool Benjamin. Just don’t brush it off at $350 unlocked. You might be sorry once the G4 rolls out, and last year’s flavor of the month starts moving slowly but steadily towards extinction.

Tablet bargains and steals

 

Fuhu Nabi 2S – $99.99 ($112 off)

Fuhu Nabi 2S

Currently available at Best Buy for a whopping $172, the Nabi 2S isn’t all fun and games. It’s sharp and punchy… for a kid-friendly slate, with a 1,280 x 800 pix res 7-inch screen and quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 titanium bronze – $380

You know what’s hilarious? Samsung says their online store is offering $100 savings with a $400 GTab S. Thanks, guys, but no thanks. Amazon for the win!

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 black – $494

Once again, we’d like to signal a false marketing claim, this time from Best Buy. BB sells the gargantuan Tab Pro for “$100 off”, at… $550. So, then, Amazon has this baby at $155 off? Cool!

Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2

Toshiba Excite Go – $78.99

Launched at $100 back in the day, this quad-core Intel-powered 7 incher was deemed unlikely to ever get its price slashed. Incredibly enough, it’s now $21 off, with the same robust spec sheet – 1 GB RAM, Android 4.4 KitKat, microSD support. Patch Lollipop over KK there, Toshiba, and gear up for stellar profits sales.

Wearables, wearables, wearables

 

Moto 360 champagne metal – $260

Moto 360 champagne

It’s hard to picture a swankier, more premium smartwatch. At least until the sequel drops, hopefully free of “flat tire” design compromises. Then again, if that’s going to be the case, such a stylish second-gen 360 will probably cost $400 or so. OG champagne 360 it is!

Sony SmartWatch (version 1) – $76.81

It looks archaic now, and it’s obviously passé compared to the 360, yet at $77, it offers something very few fitness bands in that price range can compete with – a nifty multi-touch color 1.3-inch OLED display.

Runtastic Orbit – $78.62 ($41 savings)

Runtastic Orbit

Speaking of basic activity trackers, the Orbit sure looks awkward, but it’s waterproof up to 300ft, lasts up to seven days on a single charge, and is more than capable of monitoring steps and distance covered, “active minutes”, calories burned, as well as sleep patterns.

Accessories for all

 

Spigen Galaxy S6 cases – $14.99 slim armor; $16.99 tough armor; $17.99 Neo Hybrid Series

All listed at north of $29.99, all up for grabs for roughly 50 percent off, these protective covers are literally the only ones that can keep your precious safe at the moment. Remember, the S6 and S6 Edge may not be very easily bendable, but they’re certainly not indestructible.

Galaxy S6 Spigen case

Spigen Galaxy S6 Edge cases – $17.99 slim armor; $19.99 tough armor; $20.99 Neo Hybrid Series

A fancier phone, slightly fancier and costlier accessories. Still small prices to pay for the degree of shelter Spigen brings to the table.

Sony SRSX2 NFC Bluetooth Wireless speaker – $64 in white; $68 other colors

It missed out on our external speaker chart the other day, but with 20 watts of power and such an uber-low price point, it might force us to reconsider.

Sony SRSX2 speaker

Yubi Power 2,500 mAh lipstick-size portable power bank – $7.99 (73 percent off)

A real man wouldn’t be caught dead carrying this awkwardly named, oddly shaped external battery charger. Luckily, that’s what girlfriends are for.

Newisland extendable selfie stick with built-in Bluetooth remote shutter – starting at $10.99

Look, we hate selfie sticks as much as the next (sane) person, unless of course they’re made of wood, but if you’re into these horrible inventions, at least try not to spend a fortune. 11 bucks is okay (down from 30), though zero would be ideal.

Best smartphone and tablet-compatible Bluetooth speakers money can buy

Regardless of their processors’ number of cores and clock speed, RAM count, camera megapixels, screen diagonal or resolution and battery size, most upper-tier Android smartphones and tablets nowadays come with fancy audio enhancements.

Android music

Dolby Mobile, BoomSound speakers, Beats sound augmentations, DTS systems, even Harman/Kardon special editions with Clari-Fi and LiveStage technology. Any idea what all devices using these “innovative” functions and capabilities have in common?

That’s right, they deliver sucky acoustics across the board. And don’t bother splashing the cash on a $500 pair of ultra-high-end Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 headphones with active noise cancellation. It won’t make a noticeable difference. Well, it will, but I think we can all agree spending $1,200 or so on a decent portable audio experience is a total waste.

Android headphones

Want the best of the best, the loudest, crispest, sharpest, most deafening, bass-filled music your HTC One M9 or Samsung Galaxy S6 can play? There’s only one solution to your pickle – a Bluetooth external speaker. Which is fully compatible with not just smartphones and tablets, but laptops and whatever else touts Bluetooth support.  Be sure to also check out the best bluetooth headset 2016.

So, basically, you won’t be buying a measly speaker. Some of our top recommendations below are outright home/travel entertainment systems. Others are just wireless and cheap. Here we go:

Best sub-$100 Bluetooth speakers

 

SoundBot SB510 HD – starting at $12.89 in grey/black

SoundBot SB 510 HD

To counter any favoritism accusations, we’ll list these first-class accessories from the least expensive to the costliest. Obviously, our opener isn’t much better than pre-installed audio systems on some flagship handhelds around, but its prime forte is water resistance.

That means you can listen to your favorite tunes in the shower or pool via Bluetooth 3.0, with a respectable connection range of 10 meter (32 feet) and 6-hour autonomy. All for the price of a fast food meal.

Etekcity RoverBeats T3 Ultra – $19.99

Etekcity RoverBeats T3 Ultra

This thing is tiny, but not tinny, and the nearly 900 customer reviews on Amazon tell you everything you need to know about its strengths and utter lack of weaknesses. It’s surprisingly loud for its size, comes with hands-free call answering support and up to 7 hours of life between charges. Obviously, it’s also usable while juicing up. The perfect travel companion? Why not?

AmazonBasics – $19.99 Ultra-Portable Micro; $29.99 Ultra-Portable Mini; $49.99 Portable; $69.99 Large Portable

AmazonBasics Micro Ultra-Portable

Now that’s what we call diversity. One size fits all? How about all sizes fit all? Starting with a somewhat awkwardly designed Micro model that tips the scales at, get this, 4 ounces while measuring 3.4 x 3.4 x 1.2 inches. How punchy can such a little guy get? 3W.

Not bad, since the 7.2 ounce Mini is exactly as rambunctious. Then you have a 6W Portable version weighing in at 1.2 pounds, and a Large 10W Portable with 1.6 pound bulk, call divert function and 8-hour battery life. As usual, Amazon’s own brand is a safe accessory bet.

Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle Enhanced Edition – $27.99

Cambridge OontZ Angle Enhanced Edition

Compared to the $30 AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Mini, this baby is heavier and larger, but it also lasts an impressive 12 hours on a single charge and stands out with a futuristic style, two “precision neodymium speaker drivers”, as well as above-average hands-free speaker phone capabilities.

DKnight Magicbox Ultra-Portable – $28.99

Amazon’s number one wireless & streaming audio system best seller is palm-sized (literally), designed to blend in no matter the background (that being a good thing), and capable of running on its own Li-Ion battery for up to 10 hours.

DKnight Magicbox

Total sound power is rated at an appropriate 6W, and if you don’t own a Bluetooth 2.1-enabled device, you can always use the 3.5mm port or standalone microSD card to render your melodies at tedious parties or while away from home.

Jawbone Jambox – starting at $89.99 in “Red Dot”; $99.99 most other colors

Jawbone Jambox

This barely makes the sub-$100 category, and as a direct consequence, predictably walks the fine line between casual and professional Bluetooth speakers. Aside from the simplistic but striking aesthetics, the “normal-sized” Jambox will no doubt catch the eyes ears of audiophiles with an output capacity of 85 decibels, a pair of proprietary, “highly sophisticated acoustic drivers” and ultra-small yet extremely apt dome.

Jawbone doesn’t even have to advertise hollow, meaningless numbers. Their reputation precedes them, and over 3,700 mostly satisfied Amazon customers give the Jambox a weighted average of four stars.

Best $100 to $200 external speakers for your Android

 

Bose SoundLink Color – $129

Bose SoundLink Color

Things are officially getting serious. Now, we know the SoundLink Color doesn’t look like much. It’s probably fugly by many standards, but it only weighs 1.2 pounds and measures 2.1 x 5 x 5.3 inches while delivering “clear, full-range sound you might not expect from a compact speaker.”

Marketing baloney? Maybe, although the producers are known for never skimping on quality since 1964. Besides, you can’t fool 1,500+ demanding buyers who claim this accessory is nearly five-star-worthy all in all.

TDK Life on Record Trek Max A34 – $149.99

TDK Life on Record Trek Max A34

Nowhere near as popular a brand as Bose, Beats or even Jawbone, TDK Life on Record offers a satisfactory quality-pricing ratio here, courtesy of A34’s rugged, water-protected, “weatherized” construction. And dedicated two front full-range drivers, and reliable subwoofer, and “dynamic audio performance”, Signature Sound tech, plus 8-hour battery.

It’s clearly a tad tougher to carry around than most of its rivals, at 3.6 pounds, but rain or shine, it stands beside you to put a smile on your face. Rock and roll, baby!

Beats Pill (newest model) – starting at $149.99 in white; $159.99 and up other paint jobs

Beats Pill

The ultimate portable speaker, this is vocally contested by many audio “pros”, but it’s easily the number one mainstream choice. It’s stylish, petite, incredibly easy to pair with phones, as well as fairly loud and powerful. Warning – it’s not the loudest money can buy.

Sony SRSX5 – starting at $164.51

Sony SRSX5

Don’t try to understand the name or design. Just keep your eyes on the 20 Watts (!!!) of power, rich 50 Hz to 20 kHz sound, convenient One-Touch Listening features, excellent range, hands-free calling functions and, last but not least, 8-hour battery. That’s amazing for such a forceful speaker.

Bose SoundLink Mini – $199

The customer review average isn’t a perfect five stars, but it’s phenomenally close – 4.8. And for all the good reasons. Cleverly made to look like a retro, miniature stereo, the SoundLink Mini brings the party to you, at home, out in town or in the car traveling to… wherever.

Bose SoundLink Mini

It goes on and on for up to 7 hours, has a range of roughly 30 feet, and the physical volume controls are such a simple, nice touch, we wonder why they aren’t “borrowed” by everyone.

Best $200+ Wireless Bluetoth speakers

 

Jawbone Big Jambox – starting at $208

Jawbone Big Jambox

It’s perhaps unfair to separate the Big Jambox from the SoundLink Mini for a pithy 9 bucks, although this bad boy’s towering size allows it to offer up to 15 hours (!!!) of continuous play. In addition to customary footprint-enabled audio, volume and bass improvements, the 2.7 pound big guy also adds something called LiveAudio tech in the equation for, you guessed it, immersive 3D “live” sound.

Logitech UE Megaboom – $299.99

Megaboom

Maybe the “pricier is better” equation doesn’t always check out when it comes to Android smartphones or tablets, but accessories and especially audio tools greatly depend on production costs. The Megaboom, for instance, which unfortunately only ships “within 2 to 5 weeks”, could have never afforded to lay “freakishly amazing 360-degree sound” at your feet, plus “heart-pounding” bass, water resistance, 100-feet Bluetooth wireless range and 20-hour autonomy.

It’s the best of both worlds, compact and outlandishly powerful. In the illustrative words of its makers, it’s “musical mayhem on the go.”

This week’s best deals on phones, wearables, tabs, accessories and apps – March 20

Another weekend approaches, so it’s time for an all-new series of promotions brought to you with no strings attached, no catches, no fine print straight from Amazon. As usual, some of these deals are extremely time-sensitive, while others depend on slim inventory.

Free money

We have high-end smartphones at the best possible prices to bestow on you, a couple of low-cost, low-end must-buys, plus tablets and mini-laptop “convertibles”, fancy smartwatches, entry-level fitness trackers, and last but not least, cart fillers. Otherwise known as accessories.

Oh, and since this is a special week for the Amazon Appstore, we’ll wrap up today’s list with our recommended selections from the wicked “Free App of the Day Bundle.” But less yada yada, more facts, bargains and steals:

Smartphones

 

LG G Flex 2 – $199.99 with Sprint contracts; $599.99 outright

lg-g-flex-2

Technically, the G Flex 2 isn’t available at a discount. But it’s a (relatively) new arrival at Amazon, it delivers killer value for money, and we feel it’s not getting the attention it deserves due to a couple of rivaling flagships that shall remain unnamed.

Sure, it lacks S6’s Quad HD screen, the dual-curved construction of the S6 Edge, and the all-aluminum body and 20 MP cam of the One M9. But it’s still got a beautifully curved frame, explosive Snapdragon 810 chip and self-healing back panel coating.

LG G3 – $0.01 on-contract at AT&T with free $100 gift card

LG G3

Not exactly fresh, it’s amazing this promo lingers on, given you can basically score one of the world’s best handhelds for under $0. Yes, Amazon is paying you to “rid” them of the magnificent G3. Crazy!

Motorola Moto G with universal 4G LTE – $160 unlocked ($60 off)

Moto G LTE

Clearly listed as valid today-only, this deal is too much for cash-strapped mobile consumers. LTE speeds, 4.5-inch 720p display, quad-core power, stock Android 4.4 KitKat with Lollipop nigh, 1 GB RAM and 2.070 mAh battery?! Are you sure you’re not losing money on the G 4G there, Moto?

BLU Advance 4.0 – $69.99 ($20 savings)

Blu-Advance-4.0

Look, we’re not going to pretend the 4-inch Advance is more than it is. A dirt-cheap, meager dual-core slab with crappy FWVGA screen resolution, good squarely for first-time smartphone users, kids and elders. But if 70 bucks is all you have, it’s (marginally) better than nothing.

Wearables

 

LG G Watch – $159 ($71 off list)

LG G Watch

The G Watch has stopped being worth north of $200 a long time ago. Yet Best Buy still sells it at $207 on a “clearance deal”, so Amazon does it better.

Original Pebble – $94.99

Pebble

That’s the same tag as via BB, and it’s an all-time low for the OG we owe this whole smartwatch craze to. In a nostalgia outbreak, you could pick up the first-gen Pebble more than two years after its commercial debut, since it remains a battery powerhouse, and offers the intelligent wearable basics for both Android and iPhones.

Motorola Moto 360 – $227 in black leather ($23 off)

Moto 360

We can’t stress this enough – the Moto 360 is the all-around best smartwatch in the world. It’s better than the Apple Watch… by a landslide, it’s cheaper than LG’s G Watch R, and a lot prettier than everything Samsung dished out thus far. So, yeah, be thankful for Amazon’s microscopic discount.

Misfit Flash – $35 ($15 savings)

Misfit Flash

As rudimentary as activity trackers come, the Flash stands out by never requiring battery charging. Instead, once every six months, you’ll have to replace the ticker. It’s also waterproof, and monitors more than steps. Specifically, sleep time and patterns, calories, plus distance run, cycled or swam.

Tablets

 

HP Slate 7 Extreme – $99.99

HP Slate 7 Extreme

For a little more dough, you can certainly do better. For a Benjamin, this is decent – Android 4.2, quad-core Tegra 4 CPU, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage (!!!), 7-inch 1,280 x 800 pix res panel.

Asus Transformer Pad TF701 – $280; $350 with bundled keyboard dock

Asus TF701

It’s not heavily discounted, but it was really a bargain before, with versatility, productivity, respectable power, 2 generous gigs of RAM, 13-hour battery life and Android 4.4 KitKat software.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition – $342 used in “good” condition

Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

Yes, it’s pre-owned, therefore a risk, and old, thus in danger of sticking to KitKat until the end of times. But 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution, quad-core Snapdragon 800, 3 GB RAM, S Pen support and 8,220 mAh battery? Sounds like a reasonable 2015 Edition to us.

Accessories

 

TaoTronics Bluetooth 4.0 car kit – $29.99 (down from $159.99)

TaoTronics car kit

Wait, is that an 81 percent cut? For reals? Yes, it is, and it comes with aptX coding for crisp music transmission from your phone to your car’s audio system, noise cancellation for hands-free voice calls and fast USB charging. Also, the ability to connect two devices at once.

EasyAcc 40W 5-port USB charger – $19.99 ($17 off list)

EasyAcc

It has five USB connectors, ranging from 1 to 2.4 A, it’s compact, compatible with literally everything, and affordable. It’s perfect!

Lumsing 4-port 21W USB wall charger – $10.99 (63 percent off)

Lumsing

Wait a minute, this baby is even cheaper, better reviewed, smaller and, not that it counts very much, prettier. Its only flaw is the number of USB ports. Then again, if you have more than four gadgets in need of simultaneous charges, you may have a problem.

Omaker Premium 15,600 mAh external power bank – $24.99 with coupon code “22NUA55F” ($45 savings)

Omaker Premium

How in the heck did we miss the gigantic Premium when rounding up today’s best external chargers? Well, we won’t make the same mistake twice, and warmly recommend the premium constructed, ultra-fast, high-capacity juicer now.

Jarv Joggerz Pro Sports BT-301 Bluetooth 4.0 headphones with built-in microphone – $17.99 ($42 off)

Jarv Joggerz

Fitness nuts, rejoice! These elegant, lightweight, foldable speakers deliver rich HD sound, are wirelessly controlled and last a good 20 hours of continuous play time. Also, they’re Bluetooth 4.1, not just 4.0, enabled.

Apps and games

Happy birthday, Amazon Appstore, and thanks a bunch for the 34 no-charge titles. To save you time, hassle and disappointment, let’s focus on the handy and/or fun apps included in the celebratory bundle.

Five Nights

Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 is quite popular for a reason, World of Goo is silly and charming, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon doesn’t live up to its name, but it’s entertaining… enough, and SimplePlanes is a nice $5 off.

Then you have your productivity-centric Servers Ultimate Pro, EasyTether or Elements of Photography Pro. Total market value for the trio alone? No less than $22.50.

Got juice? Here are the best external battery power banks available today

We’ve all been there. Smack-dab in the middle of a critical phone conversation/argument with the GF or wife. An important business call. The longest, most rewarding Temple Run gaming session yet. Lost in traffic, trying to retrace our way back home on Google Maps. On the slowest train in the history of public transportation, doing everything possible to preserve our mental sanity on Facebook.

Android battery

All of a sudden, you see darkness. Just as she was starting to buy your excuse for forgetting about her birthday, just as you were closing the month’s biggest sale, a few feet away from a new personal record. Oh, and what was that, left or right at the next intersection? You’ll never know, because those lazy jerks couldn’t be bothered to put a decent battery on their latest “flagship”.

How could they when they made it thinner than a pencil and “lighter than air”? Heck, even the best of the best (we’re looking at you, Droid Turbo) can only enjoy limited continuous use. It’s an inconvenience we’ve begun to accept since phones became too smart for their own good. Smarter than their owners and manufacturers.

Android low battery

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s this magical universal accessory working as the answer to all your prayers. It’s called a power bank, portable charger or external battery and offers to prolong the life of your smartphone or tablet to the point you won’t be able to keep up with it.

And typically, these things are fairly cheap. Without further ado, here are the ten best such contraptions available on Amazon for literally any and all Android devices:

Second-gen Anker Astro Mini 3,200 mAh – $12.99 in black; $15.99 in blue; $19.99 in three other colors

Anker Astro Mini

For the record, we’re listing these in no particular order. So we’re not saying the Astro Mini is number one. But Amazon claims it’s the website’s top-selling external cell phone battery pack, and the glowing customer reviews leave little room for doubt.

4.5 stars from over 12,200 opinions. This baby is a must-buy. It’s incredibly inexpensive, tiny and light, resembles a lipstick tube (hello, ladies), and vows to add almost a full charge to a Galaxy S5 in no time.

Omaker Intelligent 10,000 mAh – $19.99

Omaker Intelligent

Another best seller (in touch screen tablet cases?!), with a 4.6 star average and whopping 10,000 mAh capacity, the Intelligent is slightly pricier, but it can juice up a tablet, any tablet, from 0 to 100 percent. Pretty impressive for 20 bucks, and the 2.1A charging speed is also quite staggering. Oh, yeah, there are two USB outputs as well. Double whopper!

Second-gen Anker Astro E4 13,000 mAh – $29.99 and up

Another Anker? Man, these guys are good. You can say that again, and close to 5,000 satisfied buyers will confirm it any time. It goes without saying 13,000 mAh is enough for a high-end slate and smartphone, and E4’s pair of USB ports let you easily load up two gadgets simultaneously. With up to 3 amp speed.

Anker Astro E4

Sufficiently light and thin to fit in the palm of your hand, the Astro E4 is also fairly robust, withstand drops and contacts with hard surfaces.

Third-gen RAVPower Deluxe 15,000 mAh – $39.99

They say bigger is better, and so this 15,000 mAh beast shines bright like a champion, with a couple of 4.5A USB connectors for synchronous two-tablet charging. Obviously not our slimmest contender, the Deluxe stands out nonetheless with iSmart technology, as well as premium A+ cells good for over a thousand charging cycles.

RAVPower Deluxe

RAVPower Luster 3,000 mAh – $12.99

Only got the one phone, a limited budget and favor portability and style ahead of muscle? The Luster might be the ideal choice for you, especially if you’re a lady who wants her external power bank to go unnoticed among typical make-up instruments.

RAVPower Luster

Lipstick-shaped, weighing less than 3 ounces and made from a long-lasting aluminum alloy, the Luster automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for your connected device, and is guaranteed for 500 cycles.

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 10,400 mAh – $23.58 and up

Let’s be honest, Xiaomi entered this market with an unfair advantage over its lesser known competitors, having quite the reputation in the smartphone business for respectable, affordable products.

Xiaomi Mi power bank

Respectable and affordable is the best way to describe the Mi Power Bank, what with its outstanding aluminum casing, relatively compact form factor, optimized charging/discharging efficiency, stellar device compatibility (not just Xiaomis), and, of course, staggering capacity, as well as fast 2.1A acceleration. Way to branch out and bring your A game to this tricky niche, Xiaomi!

IOGear GearPower 11,000 mAh – $44.99

Does 45 clams feel a little rich for your blood? Then be sure to check out the 7,000 mAh model, available at $29.99. But hurry, quantities are limited. Back to the 11,000 config, it actually provides decent value for money, given the 12,000 mAh version is an exorbitant $62.95.

IOGear GearPower

And once again, customer reviews don’t lie – 4.6 stars for a simple, minimalistic, hefty external battery capable of keeping the lights on for two separate devices, courtesy of 2.1 and 1A USB ports.

Poweradd Pilot 2GS 10,000 mAh – $19.99

Whoa, now that’s an outstanding bang for buck factor! Think about it, you’ll be paying a dollar per 500 mAh energy. With 12-month worry-free manufacturer warranty, dual 2.1/1A USB connectivity, aluminum construction, auto detect technology and an attractive, lightweight design.

PowerAdd Pilot

Zilu Smart Power Basic 4,400 mAh – $15.99 in black; $17.50 in pink; $24.90 in white

Equipped with a handy LED flashlight, made from premium, durable materials and resistant to surface scratches, this somewhat bulky (given the capacity) accessory delivers more than a full charge for your Galaxy S4 or S5.

Zilu SmartPower

And it does so with 93 percent efficiency, temperature control, overvoltage and short circuit protection, plus a useful reset mechanism. Let’s not forget the extended two-year warranty, 1000 life cycles promise, and, oh, that incredibly low price point. Darn it, it’s getting harder and harder to pick just one.

AmazonBasics 2,000 mAh – $12.99; $14.99 with 3,000 mAh capacity

We realize this is no way to wrap up an exceptional list of uber-convenient, powerful smartphone/tablet accessories, but Amazon’s own petite line of power banks is affordable, low-profile and lightweight enough to be worth a shot, despite being, well, a smidge too basic.

AmazonBasics

Besides, if you’re wary of shopping brands you’ve never heard of, like Anker or Zilu, these things are Amazon-backed and certified. Plus, a USB cable and carrying pouch are included in the $13 and up package. Not so bad after all, huh?

That’s all for today, folks, so as usual, we’d like to get your feedback now. Own any of the above? Thinking of buying? Which one and why?

This week’s best deals on smartphones, tablets and accessories – March 13

TGIF, everybody! Another exhausting work week is almost behind us, so it’s time to fire up the YouTube cat videos, catch up on all the entertainment news you feared would distract you from your strenuous business tasks, and… spend some of that hard-earned cash.

TGIF

Otherwise, what’s the point of busting your hump day in and day out… well, at least from Monday through Thursday? Go on, be adventurous, have a little fun and stock up on gadgets and accessories. After all, you can never own too many of those.

The thing is purchasing a new powerhouse phone, backup handheld, tablet, power bank, keyboard accessory or whatever sometimes feels like another day at the office. You have to scour the web for the best prices, spend hours reading user reviews, and ultimately, the joy is all gone.

Android money

But that’s why we’re here. We have dozens of unbeatable promotions on sizzling hot gear, carefully selected and handpicked to make your life so much easier. Many are time-limited, a few will expire in a matter of hours due to overwhelming demand, and all come with the safety guarantee of America’s number one online retailer, Amazon:

Smartphones

 

Samsung Galaxy S5 – $1 with Verizon contracts

This baby is the number one on-contract best seller on Amazon for a very good reason. It’s handsome, powerful and not particularly pricey. Just keep in mind Big Red’s tag has been fluctuating for weeks now between $1 and $100.

Galaxy-S5-Verizon

BLU Studio 6.0 LTE – $220 (60 bucks off)

One of the largest 4G-enabled phones you can find under $250 is also Full HD-capable, quad-core-powered, and ready to keep the lights on for a full day’s work, thanks to a 3,200 mAh battery.

BLU Studio 6.0 HD – $149 ($40 discount)

It goes without saying the “HD” ditches LTE and lowers the screen res bar to 720p. But at $150 unlocked, it’s still a bargain, what with its quad-core processor, 3,000 mAh cell and 8 MP camera.

Prepaid HTC Desire 510 – $49 for Sprint; $69 with Boost Mobile

“In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.” This should tell you everything you need to know about Desire 510’s popularity. A well-deserved success, given the value for money: quad-core Snapdragon 400, 1 GB RAM, 2,100 mAh battery.

HTC-Desire-510

LG Tribute – $39 on Sprint or Virgin prepaid

Yet another prepaid Moto E “killer”, the Tribute stands out with uber-slim bezels, a generous juicer and respectable S400 chip. Also, a no-contract tag $40 under the list price.

Tablets

 

Kindle Fire HDX 7 – $199 ($40 off)

Kindle Fire HDX 7

A surprise contender in our recent high-res slate roundup, the tiny Fire HDX thrills with raw power as well, though the closed ecosystem may throw you off a bit.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 – $150 by itself; $163 with Targus case and free stylus

The bundle offer in particular is very attractive, albeit the HD 7 incher has never been a beast.

Free Shield controller and tablet cover with 32 GB 4G LTE Nvidia Shield Tablet

Shield Tablet controller

The deal is as straightforward as it sounds. Buy an LTE 8-inch Shield, with or without an AT&T pact, and the gaming controller and protective cover are on the house. Sweet!

LeapFrog LeapPad 3 kids’ learning tablet – $79 in green

Much more than a toy, the third-gen LeapPad is made to resist shocks, and perfectly blends entertainment with education.

Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-A1 – $239 (with keyboard dock)

Can’t decide between a large tablet and mini-laptop? Why not get both… for the price of one? Processing and shipping may take a while, unfortunately.

Asus TF103C

32 GB Asus Google Nexus 7 2012 – $140

If Nexus 5’s disappearance reopened your appetite for the family’s classics, it’s good to know the OG N7 can still be found on Amazon. And it’s a steal.

Best Amazon deals on accessories

 

Rebelite Ultra Slim Bluetooth keyboard – $16.95 (down from $49.99)

The only thing “wrong” with this heavily discounted listing is the product doesn’t qualify for free shipping by itself. But you can surely find something to add to your cart to reach $35, and thus not miss out on one of the cheapest all-compatible smartphone/tablet keyboards.

Omaker 10000 mAh external battery pack with flashlight – $18.69 (63 percent savings)

Omaker power bank

No idea why you’d need a flashlight on your power bank, but this thing is gigantic and affordable, not to mention it’s praised by Amazon buyers like the second coming of Jesus. So yeah, it’s probably a must-buy, if your phone or tablet’s cell can’t keep up with your lifestyle.

Otterbox Defender Series Samsung Galaxy S5 case – $25

It goes without saying there are better, stronger cover accessories to be found on Amazon for the S5, but many cost over $50, some almost $100. For $25, this bad boy offers respectable protection against drops, bumps and shocks.

Tech Armor Samsung Galaxy Note 4 screen protectors – $5.91 (3-pack)

They keep your precious Note 4 away from scratches and dust, they’re 6 bucks, and there are three of them. We rest our case.

Jawbone Jambox Wireless Bluetooth speaker – $79.99 in purple hex

Jawbone Jambox

With its own internal rechargeable battery, cross-platform support, a compact form factor and, above all, booming sound, the Jambox is a no-brainer purchase for always-on-the-road audiophiles. Especially at $80, which is almost half off.

Aaaand there you have it. Something for everyone, at the best prices around. Remember, same place, same time, next week, all-new deals!

The best accessories for the most popular Androids this holiday season

So you bought yourself a cool new phone, an inexpensive Android tablet and perhaps a cool, futuristic hybrid too. Got everyone you care about something special as well, yet it still feels there’s more to buy as long as retailers nationwide are having Christmas promos and yard sales.

Android Christmas present

But surely, there’s little left in the bank. After all, you also have to eat and living in a post-Christmas box isn’t the most enticing prospect. Good thing we’re around to give you the scoop on the hottest, cheapest possible Android stocking stuffers.

Accessories. Not smartwatch or activity tracker types, although those will work too. We mean cases, covers, external power banks, wireless chargers, screen protectors, car holders and so on and so forth. You know, the small but essential things mobile consumers tend to forget about until they actually need them.

Android Christmas ornaments

Well, we want you to be prepared for anything and everything, so we give you the best accessories money can buy this jolly holiday season for the best Android gadgets out and about:

Best Samsung Galaxy Note 4 accessories

First things first, we’re sorry to report Sammy keeps playing hardball with the phablet’s price – $734 unlocked, $270 on-contract at AT&T and Verizon. The good news is, if you know someone with a Note 4, chances are they couldn’t also afford a very wide array of appendages.

A solid Christmas gift idea would ergo be a 9-item accessory bundled kit from DigitalsOnDemand, typically available at $60, but slashed to $25 for the holidays. A couple of protective cases are included, a screen protector, stylus pen, car charger adapter, and travel pouch bag.

Galaxy Note 4 S View

Looking for something with a little extra pizazz? The S View Flip Cover is by far the safest bet. It’s slightly steeper, at $35 and up by itself, but man, it’s sleek and convenient. This $26 rugged protective cover is ideal for folks with slippery hands, and this $45 power bank not only comes with 5,000 mAh juice, but it also doubles as a media kickstand.

Samsung Galaxy S5

It may not be as sizzling hot as expected, and it clearly lost steam over time, but the S5 is today a more sensible purchase than ever, at $50 with Verizon, AT&T or Sprint pacts, or $518 in a factory unlocked flavor.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on accessories either, even the fanciest of them all going for just $79. That so-called Samsung GamePad is quite a unique little contraption, taking mobile game to unexpected heights of comfort.

Galaxy S5 case

A more traditional choice would probably be the $26 S View Flip Cover, a $30 wireless charging battery cover, or an extra-slim yet highly rugged $20 metal case from Verus. And let’s not forget wireless charger kits, available for as little as $35 (down from $100 back in the day), and spare battery chargers with OEM replacement cells, going for $31.

Feeling all warm inside as Christmas comes creeping in, and want to share your jolliness with the world? Then how about scoring yourself a $7 snowflake and Christmas tree-decorated case, or an $8 snowman-adorned cover from Head Case Designs? They’re cheesy, you say? Ah, we’ll allow it for one measly week a year.

LG G3 accessories

LG’s spearhead 2014 phone isn’t a must-buy just because it’s beautiful, powerful and large, it’s also amazingly cheap for what it has to offer. Namely, it can be had from Amazon at $405 free of contractual and carrier obligations, or one penny with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint pacts. You read that right, a penny. $0.01.

Now, accessories can never be as affordable, but incredibly enough, LG and Amazon sell one of those swanky Quick Circle window folio cases for $25. Much too sweet a deal to say no to, and the same goes for the $27 compatible wireless charging pad.

LG G3 Quick Circle case

What else? Well, you can always opt for a simpler, more straightforward, even cheaper $10 Supcase wallet leather case. Or the virtually unbreakable $18 heavy duty full-body rugged hybrid protective cover with a built-in screen shield and impact resistant bumper.

Last but not least, if you’re in a festive mood, this $8 Mr. Snowman snap-on hard back case cover is bound to put a smile on people’s faces. There’s also an $8 “Santa on His Sleigh” case, albeit it may be a little much.

HTC One M8

Much like with the Galaxy S5, time hasn’t been particularly kind on the once phenomenal M8. But the full-metal 5 incher is a bona fide steal these days, going for a penny with Verizon pacts, $30 on Sprint and AT&T, and $650 factory unlocked with a US warranty.

HTC One M8 Dot View

The accessory selection is almost too generous, and probably the all-around best-seller is the $9 Dot View Flip Case. A close second is this $20 Spigen drop and scratch-proof air cushioned cover in our book, and fitness enthusiasts can’t do better or cheaper than Shocksock’s $10 machine washable armband.

Clearly, a “smart wired” headset available at 7 bucks is hardly a top choice for pretentious audiophiles, but it’s so cheap it’s worth a try. And so is this $6 ArmorSuit MilitaryShield screen protector.

Google/HTC Nexus 9

The world’s trendiest Android tablet this holiday season has been a little hard to come by since it technically went up for sale, but it’s now in stock at Amazon both in 16 and 32 GB Wi-Fi only configurations, for the low, low prices of $350 and $430 respectively.

Nexus 9 magic cover

It almost goes without saying the best, smartest way to accessorize the Nexus 9 is by pairing it with a $130 keyboard folio that’s bizarrely “under review” on Amazon at the moment. If you hurry, you can grab it via HTC for 50 percent off, i.e. $65, or on Google Play at full retail.

Alternatively, the $35 magic cover is pretty neat too, although nowhere near as productive, while this $36 IVSO stylus pen-including ultra-thin keyboard portfolio case is fairly productive, but doesn’t quite “click” as HTC and Google’s official keyboard folio.

Motorola Moto G accessories

You didn’t really think we’d wrap this list up without showing some love for our most budget-constrained readers, did you? If you did, you were all kinds of wrong, as the Moto G and second-gen G continue to be amongst the Androids we really can’t recommend enough for Christmas presents.

The OG is $60 with no-contract Boost Mobile prepaid commitments on Amazon, and $72 for Verizon, whereas the 2014 edition costs $180 unlocked. The first-gen can be had unlocked too, at $160.

Moto G flip shell

$9 replacement shells in an assortment of snazzy colors are the easiest way of making the 2013 G feel personal, while Abacus24-7 lets you grab a leather wallet case for either the first or second-gen at just $7.

The $13 and up flip shells are exactly like their $9 counterparts, only they also cover up the display, and guard it against damage. Then you have extra-durable $14 grip shells, and a neat $7 combo pack consisting of a wall charger, car charger, micro USB cable and LED keychain light.

Power packs cost as little as $14 and can be paired with all Android devices, not just Motorolas, and the $145 Moto Hint is one of the most original takes on the wearable concept, breaking all-new ground for thus far rudimentary Bluetooth headsets.

Still can’t find the perfect accessory for your Android soldier of choice? Stay tuned on The Droid Guy, and we’ll be sure to update the roundup with more options for more smartphones and tablets. That’s a promise.

Scentee accessory provides alerts…to your nose?

Scentee

The creators of Scentee, a new smartphone accessory from Japan, seem to believe that regular notifications that alert you via vibrations, tones, or LED lights are old school. Its solution: a notification system that emits scents and smells to let you know that you have a new message waiting to be opened.

Scentee
Scentee

Scentee works by releasing the scents in so-called flavor capsules once triggered by an incoming notification or alarm. Such capsules, which offer a wide range of scents, are stored right inside the accessory that plugs into your smartphone.

The range of smells that the Scentee can produce are wide, and some of the choices are surprising. Among those available in the scent catalogue are apple, coconut, jasmine, strawberry, bacon, corn soup, coffee, rose, curry, ylang-ylang, lavender, mint, and cinnamon roll. These capsules retail for $5 a pop, and each lasts for around 100 puffs. But that’s not all: the company is offering a limited-edition scent capsule to celebrate the device’s launch next month. Called Hana Yakiniku, the scent capsule comes with three flavors that will approximate a real meal: calbee or beef ribs, tan-Shio or salted tongue, and Jyaga butter or buttered potato. These scent capsules are available on Amazon Japan.

You can customize which smell the Scentee accessory dispenses for Facebook likes, new e-mails, or text messages. You can also choose to program the accessory to release your preferred scent at particular time intervals, so your smartphone remains smelling like flowers or fruits every half hour or so. Customization is done by means of a smartphone app, which currently supports both Android and iOS devices. The round gadget also comes with an LED light whose color can also be customized via the free mobile app.

The Scentee device is bound to arrive in the Japanese market on November 15th. It will retail for around $35. Eventually, Scentee will make its way to foreign markets, but such schedule has not yet been revealed.

Would you consider buying an odd smartphone accessory like the Scentee?

via androidauthority

source scentee

Nova external flash seeks funds on Kickstarter

Nova

Nova is a credit card-sized external flash that aims to improve your smartphone photos. Currently, the team behind it is asking for funding help via Kickstarter, where it aims to raise $25,000. With ten days to go until their campaign ends, Nova has already gotten gone way past its goal, hitting $63,155 of support from 1,157 backers.

Nova
Nova

Nova points out that the typical built-in flashes on smartphones do not often always provide the best kind of aid to cameras. They sometimes cause red eyes in photos, or washed-out colors. Taking a cue from professional photographers, Nova proposes a separate, portable flash that can better capture important moments.

Nova features 40 x 65 Lumen white LCDs that can generate temperature-adjustable white light, depending on the lighting conditions. It is powered by a built-in lithium ion polymer battery that charges using a USB micro B cable that comes with the device. The battery has an estimated capacity of 4 weeks on standby between charges, or up to 150 flashes. Its measurements are 3.4 x 2.1 x 0.25 in., while its weight is 5.03 oz.

Nova promises to roll out upgrades before the device is shipped in February. Among these are brighter LEDs, longer battery life, in-app photo filters, in-app social network sharing, and FCC certification.

To use the Nova, one has to download the free Nova app to tweak the settings. It has an automatic and an advanced mode, depending on the amount of control you want to have over the light the flash produces. There is also a preview window which shows how the photo may appear with the specified settings. The flash connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth, and functions up to 20 feet away.
The Nova team accepts pledges as low as $1, which lets backers receive updates about the product. $39 buys one the electronics internals. $54 is the cost of Nova for Android or iPhone. $64 gets backers a Nova and Nova case to protect the flash. Shipping is free for all backers in any part of the world.

At the moment, Nova supports a limited number of devices. The Android devices that are supported include Google Nexus 7, 2013 version, Samsung Galaxy S4, and HTC One. These devices must be running Android 4.3 to be compatible with Nova.

Click here to check out Nova’s Kickstarter page.