Touchscreens have allowed a whole new era of innovation in mobile gaming and so far it's been pretty great. Sometimes, though, you just need buttons. There are a variety of companies out there trying to create the right solution and this isn't even the first review I've done on a third-party controller. With a unique grip to hold your smartphone, though, this one actually seemed like it stood a fighting chance of not disappearing into the nearest drawer.
Good news for old-school gamers on the go: the latest update from the iMpulse Bluetooth controller has added quite a bit of features, making it more attractive than ever. The creators of the Kickstarter project released a new design render, showing off a switch from a PlayStation Portable-style analog stick to a more conventional D-pad, which should work better for a wider variety of games. They've also added two "shoulder" buttons (actually on the back of the tiny device) for more flexibility, and the housing has been slimmed down, making the iMpulse look considerably less like a brick.
I've reviewed several sets of Bluetooth earbuds. With each one, there are things I would change about the design. On some, the buds are huge. Others forgo the massive bud size in exchange for a remote/receiver that needs to be "worn." Why can't someone just build a set of BT earbuds that look and feel like wired buds? is the question I find myself asking with each new headset.
Then I got my hands (and ears) on the Plantronics BackBeat GO.
Remember the Philips Fidelio AS851 we reviewed last year? Well, it's smaller counterpart, the AS351 is once again on sale, this time for the crazy-low price of $24.99 from CowBoom. For reference, the AS351's list price is $129.99, and Amazon's price is $81.57, a little over $56 more expensive than CowBoom's offer.
While, unlike the AS851, this dock doesn't offer a remote control, this little speaker is Bluetooth capable and only a little less powerful than its more expensive counterpart, and at $24.99 is a complete steal.
I have a love-hate relationship with docks. On the one hand, they offer me a place to keep my devices, a home, designating where my fancy smart toy resides in an otherwise chaotic world. I may change which pocket, hand, spot on the coffee table or place in my heart that a phone belongs, but a dock is always a constant. When night comes, the dock is its resting place. On the other hand, paying $50 or more for a dock that I can only use with one phone is not something I'm a fan of.
So, you like to play golf. Ever wish there were a way to see how you can improve your swing? Thanks to a new Bluetooth accessory called SwingTip, now you can.
It's pretty simple: install the companion app, put SwingTip on your club, pair it with your phone, and swing away. The unit automatically detects your swing and and sends the info back to your phone or tablet. From there, it can give you all the info you've ever wanted to know about your game, including a full animation, club head speed, swing path, club face angle, impact zone, and tempo.
Anyone who reads this blog often knows my disdain for touch-controls on mobile games. There are a few titles out there that are intuitive enough, like NBA Jam, Dark Meadow, and Horn, but past that, most games are just awkward to play. Thus, if a game supports it, I usually use some sort of controller, be it Bluetooth or USB. While that's practical enough at home, large controllers are too cumbersome for gaming on-the-go.
Back at the end of May, a gaming accessory company called PowerA announced a new Bluetooth gaming controller for Android phones called the MOGA. At the time, release date and pricing information wasn't yet available, only that the controller would be released "before the holiday season." Looks like PowerA met that deadline, because it just officially announced the MOGA would be hitting the streets on October 21st for $50.
For those who may not be familiar with the MOGA, it's a game controller that includes a nifty built-in clamp-style holder for your smartphone, essentially turning it into a handheld gaming system.
Bluetooth speakers are rapidly becoming a thing that people, you know, buy. And because of that, a lot of companies have started making them. One of those companies has become the unabashed leader of the pack with a little device called the Jambox. But the Jambox is over a year and a half old. Competitors have started springing up, and some of them are actually quite awesome. And we know Bluetooth speakers aren't a "one size fits all" affair, so we're going to give you some of favorites in a variety shapes, sizes, and styles.
Satechi is known for offering good products for a good price. Recent examples: an awesome $30 portable Bluetooth speaker, a high-quality headrest mount for tablets, and a whopping 10,000mAh portable charger for just $50. So when the company announced some new lightweight Bluetooth headphones (creatively named "BT Lite Headphones"), it caught my attention.
With the promise of light weight, good features, and quality sound at $45, I cracked open the package with high expectations.