Fun fact: I never leave home without a microUSB cable. I have a short cable that stays in my bag at all times – you know, just in case. The need for charging and the like is constant, so it's hard to say when that cable could come in handy. Several months ago, a new Kickstarter campaign hit the scene that could end my need for a USB cable in my bag, and instead put one in my wallet.
I'm sure the first question on your mind is why is AP reviewing a car stereo? Two words: Android app. Basically every aspect of the controlFREQ from Scosche ($119, scosche.com) can be controlled from the companion Android app (there's also an iOS version, but neither is required for the player to work) – or at least that's the claim being made here, anyway. The execution is, let's just say, less than perfect.
Last year, we took a look at Arkon's Dash and Bicycle mounts and came away impressed with all of them. However, the company spent the last year in the lab figuring out a way to make the mounts better, as well as add support for much larger devices like tablets. The result is the new Slim-Grip Ultra mounts, which come with a variety of options: a dash mount, quick-release strap mount (for bicycles/motorcycles), and a nifty cup holder mount – all of which are better than their predecessors in almost every way.
The Harman / Kardon BTs are a pair of high-ish end over-ear Bluetooth headphones, and the current street price for them is around $200. They don't offer active noise-cancellation, but they are extremely striking and very obviously a premium product. So, are they worth two-hundred of your big ones?
Wireless, hardware, and battery life
I paired up the HK BTs with a Galaxy S4 and Note II with zero problems. Audio transmission sounded fantastic, and latency was well within the range I've come to expect with Bluetooth headsets.
I don't have high expectations when it comes to audio. I want something that sounds good enough not to make my friends cringe and doesn't take half a day for me to figure out how to set up. If the device producing the sound happens to look nice, that's an added perk. When I pulled the Geneva Model S Wireless out of the box and started streaming music from my phone with zero setup time, I was in love.
Announced at CES this year, the ASUS Cube has managed to get a decent amount of attention for a Google TV Box. Formerly known as the Qube, this angular, textured device came to market toward the end of last month, and I've been living with it ever since, trying to get a feel for the product and decide whether ASUS has something special on their hands.
In reviewing the Cube I wanted to answer two main questions that I think underlie every GTV device: Is the user experience a good one, and does the product successfully make Google TV something I actually want to use on a daily basis?
It's very easy to look at BlackBerry and see a technological Neandertal - the company that almost had it ("it" being smartphones), but then refused to evolve in order to keep up with the competition. Let's not mince words: the iPhone nearly killed BlackBerry, and Android is happily hammering the nails into its coffin.
After the disastrous Storm and Storm 2, few thought BlackBerry had the chops to break into full-touch devices in a big way, at least until Android really started taking off.
We've covered quite a few Bluetooth speakers here at AP over the last year or so – but we've never seen one quite like the BlackDiamond3 from Acase ($100, Amazon). Simply put, the BlackDiamond3 (known from here forward as the BD3) adds a pleasing visual element to your tunes by way of embedded LED lighting and multiple "diamond edges" that refract the over 16,000 colors to create a beautiful and ambient light show.
When we reviewed the MOGA Pocket (then simply called "MOGA") back in October of last year, we loved the controller, but felt it lacked a lot of functionality users want out of a game controller (emulator support, anyone?). Enter the MOGA Pro ($50): a larger, more full-featured version of the MOGA Pocket. With this controller, it appears that PowerA has taken into consideration everything it did "wrong" with the Pocket, and used that to improve things with the Pro.
In the interest of time, I'll spare you, dear readers, my usual spiel and say simply this: I like official accessories. In theory, anyway. I like the idea of accessories specifically made for specific devices by the device's original manufacturer. I've been delighted by the Nexus 7 pogo dock, and love the Nexus 10 pogo charger (though it isn't actually official yet).
Then there's the official book cover for the Nexus 10.