Phandroid » Accessories Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:46:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New internet trend sees people using live rabbits as smartphone cases [Awww] Fri, 24 Oct 2014 01:29:24 +0000 Live rabbit cases

Whether it was the Harlem Shake or Ice Bucket Challenge, the internet is often the source for all sorts of strange, cute, noble, or hilarious new viral trends. Still in its infancy, the latest internet trend sweeping across the globe is something a lot higher on the “adorable” scale. People are using live rabbits as smartphone cases. Before we go any further, let’s just all get it out of our system right now: Awwwwwwww!

It all started with the above tweet, then seems to have quickly spreading across Asian countries where their love for the cute and odd is commonplace. While the vast majority seem to be iPhone owners, you’ll find the occasional Xiaomi Mi Phone or Samsung device scattered throughout. Take it all in, folks. This is Pulitzer Prize winning journalism right here.

Seriously, though. Man up the f*ck up and tell us which bunny is your favorite (the Samsung rabbit doesn’t have eyes!). I’m gonna grab a beer. Goodnight.


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Google exec confirms Chromecast V2 and Backdrop API for developers is in the works Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:15:30 +0000 GigaOM Chromecast interview

There’s no question Google’s Chromecast has been one of the company’s more successful projects. We’re sure a lot of that has to do with its ridiculously low $35 price tag, a near-impulse buy piece of technology for infusing your television with some smarts. After hitting the 1 million in sales mark back in March, it’s not much of a stretch to assume Google was already hard at work on a followup.

In an interview with GigaOM, Google’s VP of Product Management Mario Queiroz talked numbers, mentioning over 650 million casts have been beamed since launching last July, a number that was only 400 million 3 months ago. He also went on to talk about Backdrop, the Chromecast’s newest feature which allows your TV to display feeds of information onscreen without active user input (things like weather, images from your Google+, etc.). While, again, limited at this point. Queiroz mentioned that they hope to one day launch some sort of API for developers to take advantage of and expand this useful feature. The prospect of feeds from social networks like Tumblr, Facebook, or Twitter could all one day be a reality.

When asked whether the Nexus Player and the Android TV platform — which has Google Cast functionality baked in — would soon replace the Chromecast, Queiroz was quick to announce: “There will be a 2nd version of Chromecast in the future.” Of course, he declined on providing any sort of details but he did mention Google is working with developers to further extend the 1st/2nd screen experience, things that “haven’t been possible as of yet.”

You can watch the full interview in the video down below.

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Google introduces Security Key for better 2-step verification Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:10:56 +0000 google u2f security key

Google’s done a lot on their part to help strengthen web security. They urge users of their services to setup 2-step verification to ensure the only person accessing your account is you. Don’t know what 2-step verification is? This article should give you a nice idea, but the skinny of it is that you use your phone as a way for Google to prove that you’re the one signing into your account. Verification typically involves using a short security code sent to you via text message that you input when logging in.

But Google says even that isn’t enough — what if a malicious website is posing as an authentic Google site and you accidentally give them the verification code for your account? Well, that’s a tough luck situation in this current point and time, but Google’s introducing a new method that could solve that problem.

Security Key is the name of the feature, and it utilizes a small USB key that uses Universal 2nd Factor (a FIDO Alliance creation) to allow you to verify yourself by plugging it into your computer and giving it a little tap. This is possible thanks to U2F implementation in Chrome, so Google’s sites have been tricked out to “listen” for this tap and allow you to login without having to input a code. The USB key will only issue an encrypted signature after verifying that the site you’re logging into is a secure Google website. Here are the benefits laid out by Google:

  • Better protection against phishing. With 2-Step Verification, Google requires something you know (your password) and something you have (like your phone) to sign in. Google sends a verification code to your phone when you try to sign in to confirm it’s you. However, sophisticated attackers could set up lookalike sites that ask you to provide your verification codes to them, instead of Google. Security Key offers better protection against this kind of attack, because it uses cryptography instead of verification codes and automatically works only with the website it’s supposed to work with.
  • No mobile connection or batteries needed. Security Key works without a data connection, and you can carry it wherever you go on a keychain or in your wallet.

What’s more is that Google’s hoping this protocol will benefit more than just their own users. As Chrome has U2F compatibility built in they’ve ensured any site can use the technology to setup similar security measures. Google also hopes competitors will get on board — they want everyone on the web to be safe even if those folks don’t use their browser. Good guy, Google, good guy.

So what do you need? A U2F-capable USB key. You can find a couple of them on Amazon right now for relatively affordable prices so be sure to look into them if this is something that interests you. Beyond that, just make sure your Chrome browser is updated to version 38 and you’ll be able to use U2F for secure logins across all of Google’s services. This isn’t an excuse to completely dump the traditional 2-step verification method — many sites, browsers and devices won’t be compatible with U2F this early in the game — but this is a nice first step toward making the web a more scure place. Let’s hope others will get with the program in due time.

[via Google Security]

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Nexus Player sold out… but not on eBay (update: it hasn’t cleared FCC) Sat, 18 Oct 2014 13:09:19 +0000 It’s not surprising that the $99 Nexus Player – the first official Android TV device – sold out in its first day. The price point makes it affordable for a wide audience, it has the “Nexus” allure, and it’s the type of thing early adopters dream about. Even limiting the Nexus Player to 2 per customer, they sold out well before 24 hours.

So, as is typical with such cases, we’re now seeing the Nexus Player on eBay for $150:

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 8.49.04 AM

The seller of the listing above actually seems quite reputable, with a 99.8% feedback score and 168 positive reviews in the past month (2 neutral, 0 negative). Then again, he’s not the only one selling it.

My first question: who is buying it? The Nexus Player doesn’t even ship until mid November and the likelihood that Google puts it back up for sale again is very good. Why jump the gun when you’ll likely save $50 and get it sooner directly from the source? And since there is a 2 unit limit, how do these sellers have unlimited devices to sell? That seems a bit fishy.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking to buy the Nexus Player right now, you’re met with the below dreaded message. Were you able to buy the Nexus Player before it sold out? Hit up the Nexus Player Forum on!

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 8.47.24 AM

UPDATE: We’re now being pointed to the bottom of the Nexus Player page to a quote that says the following:

This device has not been approved by the Federal Communications Commission.
It is not for sale until approval of the FCC has been obtained.

That seems like a rather large detail to overlook before initially putting it on sale for the first time… don’t ya think? Could that mid November shipment date be in jeopardy? Or is the NexP just about to make good with FCC folk and this is a mere technicality?

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Nexus Player now available on Google Play for $99 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:34:55 +0000 Nexus Player Google Play

Check out the Nexus Player forum on!

Announced alongside the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, anyone looking to infuse their TV with some smarts can now find the listing for the Nexus Play live in the Play Store. At $99, it wont put a much of a dent in your wallet and directly competes with Apple TV (only it can do more, like play video games). In fact, the official GamePad is also live, running an extra $40.

While initially showing only as “out of inventory,” the Nexus Player should now be available for purchase with the set top box leaving Google’s warehouse in 3-4 weeks. Direct Google Play link provided below.

Nexus Player on Google Play

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Misplaced your Moto 360 charger? You can now buy a replacement (or spare) at Best Buy Mon, 13 Oct 2014 23:36:38 +0000 Moto 360 charging dock DSC06925

We talked about it in our in depth review, but one of the best features of the Motorola Moto 360 was the fact that the smartwatch charges using the Qi wireless standard. That means if you’ve got another Qi wireless charger laying around the house, you could charge up the smartwatch using that as well.

Be all that as it may, not too many wireless chargers prop up the Moto 360 for easy viewing of the docked bedside clock mode. Should you ever find yourself in need of an additional (or replacement) Moto 360 dock, you can now find them available at Best Buy for $40.

A bit pricey, you’ll probably want to bookmark this for future use, especially given you wont be able to use this charger for anything other than your Moto 360. Don’t forget, you can also pair this with a portable charger for charging away from the outlet.

[Moto 360 wireless charger at Best Buy]

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OnePlus and JBL team up for new affordable headphones Mon, 13 Oct 2014 13:40:31 +0000 oneplus one jbl e1 plus

A $40 pair of headphones isn’t the most exciting bit of news to be had on a Monday morning, but OnePlus seems to be quite excited about a new partnership with JBL. The two have come together to introduce the JBL E1+, an affordable pair of headphones designed to let the OnePlus name and signature color shine through.

This in-ear set of cans features 9mm drivers and a sound frequency range of 10hz through 22,000hz. OnePlus says it delivers booming base and crisp sound throughout the mid-high range. The in-line volume and music control buttons stand to be important features for folks who need to change or pause music at a moment’s notice, and the ability to snap a photo using the buttons doesn’t seem to hurt its tale of the tape.

oneplus one jbl e1 plus 2

Unfortunately we don’t know when the headphones are expected to launch as OnePlus only gives us a “coming soon” estimation. Be sure to check them out over at the OnePlus website right now.

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AT&T confirms they’ll exclusively offer the HTC Desire EYE by holiday season, plans to carry RE camera Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:55:08 +0000 htc-desire-eye-front-screen

AT&T seems to be the one carrier who won’t hesitate to try something new. The company has confirmed they’ll be exclusively offering HTC’s latest phone announced just yesterday — the HTC Desire EYE — as well as the RE camera. The former is expected to be on store shelves by holiday season which is rather quick turnaround. Unfortunately HTC didn’t sound as sure about the RE camera as they only designated its launch window as “later this year.”

It’s too early for pricing and availability information for the Desire EYE, though we already know that the RE camera is coming in at a starting price of about $200. The former is a smartphone that places a ton of emphasis on the front-facing camera.

Whereas most phones are fine enough with 2-5 megapixels, the HTC Desire EYE slaps a 13 megapixel beast on the front. That sensor is accompanied by dual-LED flash to make sure lowlight situations aren’t as big of an issue as they typically are with front-facing sensors. Who’d ever thought selfies would get so serious?

The RE camera is a new product category for HTC — an activity camera that you can take on hiking trips, underwater snorkeling shenanigans and more. It’s set to rival something like the GoPro line, with much of its uniqueness coming with the ability to automatically sync photos and video with an Android or iOS device and edit all your memories with HTC Zoe (which is now available on all Android devices).

More information regarding the launch of these two devices ought not be far out so we’ll be keeping a close eye on the newswire and rumor mill for more details. Will you be picking either of these up once they’re available later this year?

[via AT&T]

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HTC RE: $199 GoPro alternative to easily capture life’s special moments [VIDEO] Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:49:06 +0000 htc-re-standing-colors

People want ways to passively capture special moments in their life without having to miss the moment while staring at a screen. GoPro is living proof, recently growing from a niche product for extreme athletes to a public company valued at more than $10 billion dollars. Google Glass accomplishes passive photography too, albeit for more casual purposes, but also comes with a much higher price tag and geek stigma. HTC is making a case to be the next big player in the space with the HTC RE, a camera that blends passive photography with stylish looks at an affordable price.

The RE looks like a little periscope – a well thought out form factor that serves many purposes – most notably the ability to set it on a flat surface and begin taking extended video for set-it-and-forget-it activities or time lapses that would otherwise require a accessories or Mother Teresa-like patience.

The shape also makes holding it extremely comfortable, especially when your shot requires an extended arm to raise above a crowd or other obstacle. A perfectly placed button on the top rear will snap a picture when pressed or begin recording video when long-pressed.


But what are the specs? I can already hear you asking… so let’s talk about what firepower that $199 price tag brings.

HTC RE Specs

Here is what comes packed in the HTC RE. (We’ve done a separate comparison of the HTC RE vs GoPro Hero3 White, both priced at $199 so something you’ll definitely want to check out.)

  • 16MP Camera
  • 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor
  • Ultra-wide angle lens (146 degrees) f/2.8
  • 8GB storage via MicroSD (included in box)
  • 820 mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 96.7 x 26.5 mm
  • Weight: 65.5 grams
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, WiFi Direct
  • MicroUSB
  • IP57 certification

That’s the nitty gritty, but there some important takeaways worth noting. First, taking 16MP pictures at 146 degrees means you’ll often capture way more image than you need to, enabling you to simply point, shoot, and crop to meet your needs later. This is essential due to the purposeful lack of a viewfinder and particularly helpful when taking group selfies.

The RE will work as a standalone device, able to transfer files via MicroUSB, but the real magic comes with the companion RE application for Android and iOS. A few of the things it can do:

  • Sync photos, videos, and time lapse over WiFi
  • Backs up all your photos to your phone or the cloud
  • Real-time video streaming to YouTube
  • See live view of the camera output on your phone
  • Use your phone as a remote control
  • Works with Zoe to create after effects and highlight reels

You’ll see a complete showcase of the HTC RE’s features in our hands-on video and full review, but perhaps what the HTC RE does best is get out of the way.

“Step out from behind the viewfinder and focus on the moment, not on your camera… – ”

But… how do you carry it?

Not hold it- holding it is very comfortable and feels great. Nice and light. Nice shape. Really good feel.



I’m talking about carrying it. Taking it with you. Nobody will want to hold it in their hand 24/7 and putting it in your pocket could expose the lens to scratches. Thankfully this isn’t something that HTC overlooked.

The HTC RE Travel Pack will include a lens cover and a lanyard, allowing you to put it in your pocket or around your neck for super quick and convenient access. The lanyard could be particularly interesting to use while recording, but if the RE is a success, better “action” accessories could come next.


Another nice inclusion comes just below the MicroUSB port, where you’ll find an ISO standard tripod mount (1/4 inch tripod connection), further extending the HTC RE’s flexibility.

How long will the battery last?

The battery is only 820 mAh but with no viewfinder sucking up energy, the HTC RE is capable of taking 1,200 16MP photos or recording 100 minutes of continuos Full HD video. If you need more than that… you’re probably astalkerish paparazzi creeper guy that needs to chill out.

There’s no power button, either, and that’s a good thing. It’s because the HTC RE has a grip sensor that knows when you’re holding it and ready to rock/shoot/record, automatically activating it from its cozy sleep. Of course if you want to use it without holding it, you can remotely operate the camera with a phone that’s Android 4.3 and above or iOS 7 and above. Pretty nifty.

If you leave it on your nightstand and don’t use it you can expect the battery to last up to 2 months.

Warning: Underwater shots!

Be careful with this suggestion! Rarely do companies promote underwater use of electronics unless their device is extremely waterproof, more often calling these devices water resistant to prevent accidental damage.

Here is how you can plan to use the HTC RE in water:

  • 1 meter under water for up to 30 minutes without MicroUSB cap (IP57)
  • 3 meters for up to 2 hours with MicroSB cap snugly attached (IP58)

And even then, I wouldn’t be as daring as the above conditions suggest you can be. Sure, hold it near the surface of a swimming pool to get a shot or two, but be careful- one slip of the fingers in the deep end and you’re $200 in the red. Don’t forget that elements like salt water aren’t included in these ratings either.

If you’re looking for use in extreme conditions, buy a GoPro. If you’re looking for more casual use the HTC RE is for you. Which has us wondering… what ever happened to those Flip cams?

Is the HTC RE worth buying?

This is the ultimate question:  the device will become available this holiday season for $199 at the following locations:

  • HTC’s website
  • Best Buy (blue color exclusive)
  • Amazon
  • AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon

Whether it’s worth buying depends on mostly one thing: how do the pictures turn out? That’s something we’ll most definitely test in a full review, so stay tuned.

In the meantime the HTC RE looks like a promising product in a totally new territory. It’s exciting. It’s different. It identifies a whole in the market and fills a need. We’re hoping it lives up to the expectations because this thing has a chance to really rock… and we’d like to see even more innovation from HTC.

Head on over to our HTC RE Forums to discuss with other tech enthusiasts on Android Forums!


Hands-on video:

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HTC RE camera is official, pre-order now for $200 [VIDEO] Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:28:14 +0000 HTC RE Camera action

During HTC’s Double Exposure event in NYC, HTC President of Americas Jason Mackenzie took the stage to officially unveil the HTC RE camera. A sort of GoPro video for the everyday man, the camera will allow you to film all of life’s precious moments and easily transfer them to your smartphone via a handy app. You can pre-order the RE Camera for $200 right now via its new website in 4 colors: orange, teal, white, or navy blue. Make sure to check out our full hands-on post here.

[Pre-order: HTC RE]

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Android Deals: Pebble price cuts, sound music savings, and more Tue, 07 Oct 2014 19:10:21 +0000 deals

This week we’ve got a ton of deals on great music plus savings on some great audio accessories with which to enjoy it. Also on tap are offers for the HTC One M7, Motorola DROID Maxx, and price cuts on Pebble smartwatches. Remember: act quick, because while these deals were active at the time of posting, they won’t last forever.

Hardware & Accessories

pebble update

Pebble price drop saves you as much as $50 on your next smartwatch. Snag a Pebble or Pebble Steel for as low as $99 thanks to price cuts across the smartwatch line. The acclaimed wearable just got all the better. [Amazon, 2]

Take over half off the HTC One M7 and find out what the hype is all about. Not to be confused with the more recent HTC One M8, the 2013 flagship remains a tempting option for buyers, especially at a rock bottom price of $215 unlocked. [eBay]

Get a Motorola Droid Maxx for free. All signs point to a new Motorola device for Verizon, which means significant savings on last year’s model. The top-tier Droid Maxx is now free when signing up for a new two-year contract with Big Red. [Verizon]

Save 25% on a Soundfreaq Double Spot wireless speaker and bring big sound to any room in your house. With all the accoutrements expected of a Bluetooth speaker for mobile devices, the Double Spot features fine-tuned sound and snazzy design all for only $112 thanks to this special deal. [AndroidArea]

Knock nearly $100 off a pair of AIAIAI headphones if you prefer a more personal listening experience. These pro-quality wired headphones were designed for DJs, but they can be yours for only $159. [AndroidArea]

Apps & Games




Music & Media





TV Shows

[Find any great deals not included here? Be sure to send them our way or share in the comments below!]

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Logitech’s new Galaxy S5 case offers rugged protection and integrated 2,300mAh battery Mon, 06 Oct 2014 21:08:47 +0000 protection-plus-power for samsung galaxy s5

If you going to use a big, thick case to protect your smartphone, why not have one that gives you a boost in battery life as well? That’s the idea behind Logitech’s new case for the Samsung Galaxy S5 (and iPhone 6).

It’s called the Logitech Protection [+] (Plus) and as the name implies, offers more than just protection. With an integrated 2,300mAh battery, the Logitech case can increase battery life by as much as 80%. While extra juice for day out is always nice, the case doesn’t slouch in the protection area.

protection-plus-power-for-samsung-galaxy-s5-1 protection-plus-power-for-samsung-galaxy-s5

Logitech says the case exceeds the US Military’s drop-test standard for rugged devices (MIL-STD 810 G), surviving falls from up to 1.2 meters high thanks in part to the case’s thick layer of thermoplastic rubber to help absorb impacts.

Also “hidden” inside the case is a metal plate that integrates with Logitech’s other smartphone accessories like their air vent mount or windshield/dashboard mount.

You can find the black/grey or white/blue Logitech Protection [+] case on for $100 with free shipping.

Logitech Protection Plus for Samsung Galaxy S5 Logitech protection [+] power_S5_WinterWhite_BackRight logitech-protection-plus-power-for-samsung-3 logitech-protection-plus-power-for-samsung-4



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Android Deals: 30% off the Galaxy Tab S, 90s albums at 90s prices, and more Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:19:57 +0000 deals

This week’s Android deals include sweet savings on the Super AMOLED-equipped Galaxy Tab S, your one-stop shop for password management, and classic 90s albums at vintage prices. Act quick. These deals are here today, but they could be gone tomorrow.

Hardware & Accessories


Take 30% off the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and unleash the beast that is the tablet’s high resolution Super AMOLED display. Normally priced at $549, the Tab S is available through eBay for $379.99 with free shipping. Also available is the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 for an affordable $339. [eBay]

Snag a Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX for $120 and get a piece of the name that started it all. The Droid Razr Maxx is one in a long line of popular Droid handsets from Verizon, and while it’s a couple years old at this point this refurbished edition is still a perfectly capable Android smartphone. [eBay]

Take flight with the $75 Micro Drone and wrest control of the skies. With a built-in camera, this little remote control flyer is one of the most fun and most affordable quad-rotor drones on the market. Normally close to twice the price, you save 46%. [AndroidArea]

Double your data at AT&T from now through the end of October. Sign up for a new AT&T plan at regular price and see your data allowance multiplied by two for the length of your stay at AT&T. Prices start at $130 for 30GB (normally 15GB) of shareable data. [AT&T]

Save 70% on Creative Airwave Portable Bluetooth Speaker and go wireless while you jam out to your favorite tunes. Normally $100, today only you can grab this mighty little sound machine for only $29.99. [Amazon]

Apps & Games


Manage all of your passwords with Dashlane Premium, only $49.99, and keep your passwords secure across multiple platforms. With apps for Android, iOS, and desktop encrypt and manage your login credentials for all your sites and services. [AndroidArea]

Become an elite Android hacker with this discounted bundle featuring 74 lectures and over 10 hours of educational content. Learn about app development, Java, and hacking techniques to test the stability and security of your newly created software. All available for only $39. [AndroidArea]



Music & Media





TV Shows


[[Find any great deals not included here? Be sure to send them our way or share in the comments below!]

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Deal: get a factory refurbished Chromecast for $15 via Groupon Thu, 25 Sep 2014 14:56:07 +0000 Chromecast-featured-LARGE

Chromecast is already an incredibly cheap accessory that helps you watch content from your mobile phone or tablet on the big screen, and today you can have it for about as cheap as you’re ever going to find it. Groupon is selling refurbished Chromecast units for $25, and you can take an extra $10 off using the coupon code HAPPY10.

The price is likely to come out to about $16 after taxes and all that jazz have been figured in, but it’s still a pretty nice deal for such a useful device. The “refurbished” tag might put some of you off, but there is a fair return policy and a standard one year warranty. And if all that fails? Well, it’s $15 — pretty much water under the bridge. Head to Groupon now to take advantage.

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Photos of HTC’s RECamera leaked directly from their site, looks oddly like a PVC pipe elbow Thu, 25 Sep 2014 01:32:19 +0000 HTC RECamera accessories-hero

Moments ago we saw a teaser video for HTC’s soon-to-be-announced  RECamera, a GoPro-like competitor that’s scheduled to be unveiled during their October 8th press event. Looks like we wont even have to wait that long to get a glimpse of the new camcorder as a crafty Android slueth on Reddit has discovered what appears to be a few images of device buried directly on HTC’s new RECamera site.

HTC RECamera about-bg

The leaked images were taken from an accessories and about page for RECamera, and show a design that frankly, looks like a PVC elbow with a lens crammed inside. We’re guessing one of the accessories is some kind of strap attachment for securing the camera on a backpack strap, while the other image shows a young woman taking a selfie with a bare device.

There was also mention of a “REMoments” on the site, so expect some sort of Android companion app to launch along side the new accessory.

HTC has long been known for their wonderful product designs but this… this is interesting. What do you guys think?

[RECamera 1, 2]

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