Cases - some people love them, others hate them. Regardless of how you feel about them, there is one truth: they're useful and help keep your device in top condition. A quick look through eBay or Craigslist will prove the value of keeping your gear in a case - when trying to sell a device most users put "has been in a case since day one" or something similar (whether it's true or not).
A few weeks ago, we highlighted a neat accessory for your cell's camera called the Easy-Macro Lens Band. After reading our coverage of the item, the creator of it hit me up on Twitter to say thanks, and then sent me a few samples. I absolutely love macro photos, so I've spent the last several weeks playing with this little band and wanted to share my feelings.
What Is It?
For those unaware, the Easy-Macro band is an extremely simple solution for taking macro photos.
While some manufacturers are doing whatever they can to increase battery life in power-hungry smartphones, most of us still have to find a way to make sure our gear stays charged on-the-go. Sure, extended batteries get the job done, but they add extra bulk to your device, and they don't help a bit if you have multiple devices to keep juiced. So, what's the most practical solution?
A portable charger.
I'll make it known now, I've been itching to try out Logitech's Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 headphones for some time. Artem, the Android Police Chief, if you will, swears by this pair of headphones. I'm pretty picky about sound, so I wasn't entirely certain if I'd come to love them as much as he does. But after a couple of weeks with these rather pricey earbuds, I have to say, the sound is better than any other earbud I've used (admittedly, I've not tried any other earbuds above the $150 mark for any meaningful amount of time).
The stakes for the ZAGGsparq 2.0 aren't low -- after all, the 6000mAh charger won not one, but two innovation awards at CES 2010, and its claim to charge a smartphone up to four times is downright stunning. But underneath the shiny black exterior and all the fancy marketing prose, is it really all that? Well, not quite...
At A Glance
The ZAGGsparq 2.0 features:
- 6000mAh of juice
- Dual charging ports -- one labeled "general," and the other "optimized"
- Compatibility with both phones and tablets
- 6000mAh – It’s not the most powerful or juice-filled portable battery we’ve come across, but with 6000mAh under its hood, the ZAGGsparq 2.0 still isn’t anything to scoff at… at least not on paper.
We've taken a look at a couple of portable chargers in the past, but the PortaCharge from DriodAX offers something that we haven't seen on any of its competitors: a digital display that outputs exactly how much juice the unit has (in percentage). This gives it a definite advantage over its competition, as it addresses one of the biggest annoyances with other portable batteries and ensures that you always know when it's time to put it on charge.
I'll be the first to admit, I'm a big fan of Klipsch. I like their style, their sound signature, and their products generally. I started with a ProMedia 2.1 computer speaker setup, and have since graduated to a pair of their reference bookshelf speakers, and I've been pleased the whole way through. I had never, however, tried their headphones. Until recently, Klipsch's in-line control headphones designed for smartphones had only fully worked with iOS devices.
I've been on a bit of a headphone kick lately, and have tried out a number of sets from various manufacturers. The only on-ear headphones I've tried during this time, though, have been AKG's K 830 BT's, the company's only high fidelity Bluetooth headphones. Bluetooth headphones remain a relatively young technology, and have been growing steadily as more and more computers and smartphones adopt the A2DP Bluetooth audio transmission standard.
Before seeking out a few companies to find the best Android-friendly headphones around, I had never heard of Etymotic Research. Apparently, they've been around quite a while - since 1983, actually, and were among the first companies to market in-ear headphones to consumers. They actually claim to be the inventors of in-ear headphones (or "canalphones"), though whether or not that's actually true is apparently an object of some controversy.
Anyway, the good folks at ER sent me a pair of their hf2 in-ear headphones with Android-friendly inline controls and microphone, and I have to say, these headphones rock - the sheer difference in sound quality from your standard $30-80 earbuds is mind-blowing.
People who constantly wear Bluetooth headsets annoy me. I'll admit it. Yep, it's probably pretentious, judgmental, and just kind of mean, but nonetheless, that's where I stand (see: this highly relevant video). I figure it's only fair warning for you, our readers, going into this review. So, when Samsung offered me a chance to spend some time with their latest high-end Bluetooth headset, the HM7000 (the product naming department was on vacation), I accepted with a good deal of hesitancy.