Thursday, October 23, 2014

With new phones, come new cases; the iPhone 6 Case Roundup

The new iPhone 6 has hit consumers far and wide, which means the accessory floodgates have been opened. Having a device we are all dependent on which is not only pricey, but also fragile to boot, there is a high demand for cases to protect this digital crutch. The first cases that we have received are the CM4 Q Card Case and the UAG Outland case, both for the iPhone 6. It’s time to break em down and see which case is best to protect your new smart phone. First up is the Q Card Case, and some of it’s standout features include the ability to protect the phone with a soft rubber build and a pocket that holds up to three cards and cash, eliminating the need of a wallet. The soft feel of the case is very comfortable and the protection keeps coming as the case extends from the screen allowing to lay flat without scratching the face. I liked the fact that this case easily removes the need for a wallet but do not overstuff as it does stretch the fabric. 

Next up is the UAG Outland Case, a more tactical designed case to protect the new iPhone from bumps and bruises. Most cases claim protection from accidents, but UAG goes a step further by drop testing to military standards. This strength comes from the 2-ply protection, a soft inner core with a hard plastic shell. What I did like about this case, which was not included in the card case, was extended corners for grip and skids pads on the back. 
Both of these cases also include protection from scratches by providing easy to install screen guards.  Each also allow easy access to the buttons, have a low profile to allow use of most headphones, and do not interrupt pictures with glare. Depending on what the case is being put to would define the best fit, if outdoors often or just generally clumsy then the UAG case would be my suggest go to, but if you find yourself as a minimalist that has been searching to do away with a wallet then the Q Card Case is where it’s at. 
UAG’s case is available now in six different colors with a price of $39.95. The Q Card Case by CM4 is available in three colors and has a $39.99 price tag

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Jabra releases the Move; bold on ear wireless headphones

We have another headset in and this gem comes to us from Jabra, dubbed the Move, cutting cords for wireless personal audio. Move is an on ear headset which uses Jabra's DSP to provide the most digital sound out of the high quality components used. These cans are built for both style and durability with a simplistic Scandinavian design and metal adjustable arms. Controls are on the side to take calls and control audio playback but should you run out of juice on the go, the audio cable will allow continued listening until the next available charge.

These headphones are pretty smooth looking, fit well, and sound even better. The Move feels sturdy without weighing on my head or neck, when not listening. The long use with minimal strain comes mainly from the fabric wrapped headband and leather wrapped ear pads, both with plush cushioning. The headphones sound great at higher volumes but tend to have a lot of sound bleeding and at lower volumes they are a bit flat. These headphones were also not made to be packed away as the arms do not fold in and the sides swivel, but not enough to lay flat.

Jabra's Move are a pretty good set of headphones that do a solid job of keeping my phone in my pants. During use, they strongly reminded me of my time with the Revo Wireless, just lacking the touch features and coming out at a fraction of the price. Move also isn't limited to the everyday black, but offer individuality for the bold in blue or red. The Jabra Move On ear headphones are available now for $99.00.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

iblazr is the phone flash accessory I didn't know I needed

Next up we have the iblazr, a unique accessory for the smart phone camera junky, in the form of a 4 LED flash for Android and iOS devices. The thumb sized flash plugs into a phone or tablet via 33.5mm jack, includes it's own internal battery, and has multiple light modes for those low light shots and videos. The four powerful LEDs are topped with 70-degree optics to provide enough light for just about any situation. Features aside, it's time to see how this simple beast performs.
The iblazr was more functional than I was expecting as it could be used as a laptop lamp by way of a flexible charger or audio extension cable and a light source for personal camera from the included cold shoe mount. I was worried about the battery life due to the small stature, but the internal battery outlasts my phone. The iblazr is easy to use with a push of the button and additional presses for various steady light levels. Using the flash requires use of the iblazr app, which is on par with the iOS 7 camera app, unfortunately after upgrading to iOS 8, it does not offer the same features but offers a lot more lighting than the LED flash on the phone.

I enjoyed the iblazr for its' portability and night shots it was able to capture, but was ultimately surprised by the functionality it provided. My only complaint is the app required to use the flash function, but after a week of use it was quickly overlooked by the amount of time I used for the steady lighting and the multiple light levels. I have a soft spot for phone camera accessories, such as the iblazr and lenses for the capabilities they are able to provide to the devices most of us cannot be without. The iblazr is available now in white or black for $49.99 and aluminum for $69.99.

Divoom Voombox Ongo: A Bluetooth For Bikes

The latest in the Divoom lineup has arrived, this go round is dubbed Ongo. The Ongo is a part of the Voombox product line, so it sports the portable and rugged, dual driver build. What's fresh with the Ongo, is that it is built to go more place by including a bike mount and built in loop to clip to. Now that the temperature is about to drop going into fall, let's see if it's up to the challenge of never leaving your side.
The Ongo is a great little speaker, with a super sturdy build, but the new design is where it really shines. The addition of the loop to clip a caribiner to is nice and the compact build makes it really easy to get around without a lot of bulk. The included bike mount is the best part of the Ongo for those that commute around town or cruise the local bike trails on weekends when the Arizona temperatures drop below 100. The sound is good providing that extra oomph when the phone's speakers can't cut without being so loud that it's offensive to those nearby.

The Voombox Ongo is a strong fit for anyone with an active lifestyle or looking for great portability. The durability and eight hour battery life will bring your playlist along on most any day trip, wet or dry. The bike mount is easy to put on the handlebars and stays in place even on rough trails, and a nice side note, it uses the same threading as cameras and can mount to tripods. The Voombox Ongo brought to us by Divoom is available now in a variety of five colors.