Phandroid » Accessories Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:08:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Nexus Player is now officially available for purchase in the UK via the Google Store Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:17:24 +0000 nexus-player-artsy-2

The Nexus Player was officially announced and made available in October/November of last year, but it’s only today that our Android friends across the pond can now buy it from the Google Store.

The tiny set top box can now be picked up for a mere 80 quid, allowing you to infuse your television with Android TV smarts. If casual gaming is more your thing, you can also find the official gamepad — sold separately — for a £35.

If the Google Store isn’t your thing, you can also find the Nexus Player at Currys PC World, John Lewis, and, of course, Amazon. If you’re still on the fence, don’t forget to check out our full Nexus Player review right here.

]]> 0
You can buy a Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition inside Best Buy stores this Friday, March 27th Wed, 25 Mar 2015 22:40:16 +0000 gear-vr-hero

After Samsung began allowing casuals to test drive the Gear VR at their local Best Buy, the virtual reality headset will officially make its retail debut this Friday, March 27th. That’s when the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition — powered by Oculus — will hit more than 100 Best Buy retail locations across the US (with additional locations throughout the year), meaning you’ll officially be able to walk in, test it out, and walk out with a Gear VR if you like what you see.

If you’re still on the fence about the virtual reality craze, our own Kevin Krause was probably the biggest skeptic, but later raved about the Gear VR in his full review. The Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as of now (there are workarounds), but an official Galaxy S6 version is also expected sometime down the road. In case you missed it, we got a chance to play with that model during this year’s Mobile World Congress and were basically blow away.

The Gear VR simulates movement using your smartphone’s motion sensors and displays dual-images to each eye for an added 3D effect. While there isn’t too much VR content at the moment, the list is definitely growing. It was last week YouTube added support for 360-degree 3D videos via their Android app and Chrome, while Samsung has their own app for watching immersive 3D videos via the Milk VR app. Oh, and if “adult” entertainment is more your thing (we wont judge), we already got people are already working on that too.

The Gear VR IE is currently available online at for $200 but if you’re interested in waiting until Friday, you can find a list of Best Buy locations where you can walk in and buy one right here.

]]> 0
50% off ZeroLemon’s 20,000mAh solar-powered backup battery at Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:32:15 +0000 zerolemon-solarjuice

20,000mAh worth of reserve power is enough to charge the average smartphone nearly 10 times over. Couple that with the green energy of the sun and you get a nearly unlimited supply of clean backup battery power. That’s what ZeroLemon’s SolarJuice battery pack offers, and it can be yours now for 50% off the retail price at

Get the ZeroLemon SolarJuice backup battery for $49.99 at 

ZeroLemon’s SolarJuice portable charger features a 20,000mAh Lithium Polymer battery cell and offers dual 2.1 and 1 amp USB ports for charging multiple devices quickly. The 1.2W monocrystalline solar panel will recharge the internal battery in nearly any lighting condition. Designed to be both durable and portable, the SolarJuice is a backup you can’t go without. It even features a built-in LED flashlight if you’re in a pinch.

Normally priced at $100, you can get the ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20,000mAh backup battery for only $49.99 thanks to Head over and snag yours now.

]]> 0
Deal: Get the HTC RE camera for $99 (that’s 50% off) at Best Buy Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:20:26 +0000 htc-re-standing-colors

Quick deal alert for folks wanting to add some funky stuff to their digital photography kit. The HTC RE Camera is on sale for $99 at Best Buy, which is a full $100 off its normal retail price. HTC RE is meant to be a sporty camera that challenges products like the GoPro. Strap it to a helmet, a bike or something else and take unique photos and videos of the world — what’s not to like?

You can even live stream your musings in real-time and automatically sync clips to use for highlights with HTC’s Zoe app in Google Play (available to anyone with an Android phone, not just HTC users). Unfortunately it looks like Best Buy no longer has any orange units in stock, but the Blue and White are just as readily available as anything else.

Wondering how well this thing works? Here are just a few quick samples to give you a good idea before you run over to your local Best Buy:

RE Camera RE Camera RE Camera RE Camera

Head here if you’re looking to scoop one up.

]]> 0
Man uses Samsung Gear VR to virtually attend the birth of his child over 2,400 miles away [VIDEO] Mon, 16 Mar 2015 21:49:28 +0000 Samsung Gear VR birth 1

While you’re still thinking up reasons why you should pick up one of the soon-to-be-many VR headsets available on the market, one man was able to watch the birth of his child in 360-degrees. Over the weekend, Samsung Australia uploaded a video to YouTube showing how they were able to bring a man — over 2,485 miles away — closer to his family using the Samsung Gear VR headset.

It’s what Samsung is calling the world’s first “live virtual reality birth” using the Samsung Gear VR. Once strapped in, the man was able to watch the entire birth of his child live, in stunning virtual reality, almost as if he were in the room. Of course, it would take a great deal of effort to set something like this up and as Samsung notes, requires more than just a headset (360-degree camera, streaming equipment, Galaxy Note 4).

Not matter what your thoughts on virtual reality are, you have to admit — that’s pretty damn cool. The 6-minute emotional video can be found below. Bring a tissue.

]]> 0
With Google Store now selling devices, here’s the new URL for Google’s Merchandise Store Wed, 11 Mar 2015 23:03:42 +0000 Google Merchandise Store new URL

With Google re-purposing as their new devices page, offering up everything from Nexus, to Nests, and other hardware accessories, you may be asking yourself what happened to the old Google Store. You know, Google’s old merch store where they sold all kinds of Google branded merchandise from sweaters, to t-shirts, dog bowls, or even (our personal favorite) an Android cookie jar.

As you probably guessed, it’s officially been moved. Starting today, you’ll want to bookmark if you’re looking for Google branded merch. Where should you start? Well, how about these official Android stickers for only $2.20.

[Google Merchandise Store]

]]> 0
Hands-on: HTC One M9’s new Dot View and stylish interchangeable stand cases Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:48:26 +0000

During our Mobile World Congress coverage, we spent a quick minute checking out HTC’s all new and updated cases for the HTC One M9. The Taiwanese manufacturer has made quite a name for themselves thanks to its aluminum flagships, they also happen to be a master of polycarbonate, doing a fantastic job at crafting stylish plastic cases and accessories.

HTC One M9 Dot View 2 DSC08847

Without question, last year’s Dot View cases were probably one of the coolest accessories we’d ever seen on a smartphone. Similar to flip cases, the Dot View cases had perforated cover flaps that display time and notifications in brilliantly animated 8-bit like designs. Our only complaint was while they looked pretty, they didn’t exactly behave themselves in real world use. The cover flap often times wouldn’t sit properly on the One M8 and was extremely awkward to use when flipped behind the device. For 2015, HTC has improved upon this design with their Dot View 2 case for the HTC One M9.

HTC One M9 Dot View 2 DSC08847 HTC One M9 Dot View 2 DSC08844 HTC One M9 Dot View 2 DSC08846 HTC One M9 Dot View 2 DSC08840

The new case — which will come in a variety of colors — has been engineered to function more properly and fold back behind the device much easier. HTC spent a great deal of time fine tuning the design of the One M9, polishing up its aluminum exterior and what not. So why hide that beautiful finish with a case? The Dot View 2 also comes in a variant with a clear backside, ensuring the phone’s shimmery exterior can still shine through.

HTC Dot Design Breaker Message

What’s more, the companion app for the Dot View case has also been updated. HTC is adding the ability to draw 8-bit like visuals (like a heart, or bird or something) adding a bit of a unique and personal touch. There’s also a new scrolling marquee feature, although its usefulness is for you to decide (hailing a taxi for instance, or yelling at someone in the car next to you).

HTC One M9 Dot View 2 DSC08848

Arguably the best part about the updated app is the new ability to play simple video games straight from the cover. Unfortunately, there’s only one at the moment, HTC’s take on the classic Brick Breaker. The game controls are simply, requiring the user to tilt the device to control the paddle and that’s about.

HTC Dot View Breaker game

Really, the game was was more interesting than it was fun, reminding us a lot of those calculator games we used to play in our algebra class. You’re more likely to use this as an ice breaker at parties than really trying to pass the time and while that was the only game available, we can’t wait to see what else HTC comes up with.

HTC One M9 OEM cases DSC08887

Finally, HTC’s regular ‘ol plastic cases have been spruced up and are now more stylish and functional than ever. Besides offering a light amount of protection (these aren’t Otterboxes, you know), their new Stand Case features pop-out replaceable back plates so you can change the design and colors. Each box comes with 2 color choices that can be swapped out quickly and easily to suit your mood/outfit.

HTC One M9 OEM cases DSC08885

They look pretty flashy, but the coolest feature is their ability to open up on one side (they have tiny rubber hinges). This will prop up the One M9 for a more optimal viewing angle should you want to watch a quick YouTube or Netflix video during lunch. It’s flippin’ amazing (get it?). Check out our gallery below for a better look with more angles.

HTC One M9 OEM cases DSC08881 HTC One M9 OEM cases DSC08883 HTC One M9 OEM cases DSC08878 HTC One M9 stand cases DSC08925

This is just a small serving of the cases and accessories HTC has meticulously designed for the HTC One M9. We also spied a more rugged water proof case, and a Clear Shield case, but those were behind glass. What do you guys think of the new cases we got our hands on? Sexy, or silly?

]]> 0
First Reaction: Gear VR for the Samsung Galaxy S6 [VIDEO] Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:07:46 +0000 Samsung Gear VR DSC08515

It wasn’t long ago that we highly praised the Samsung Gear VR in our full review. In fact “highly praised” would be putting it lightly- to quote from that review, the proper terminology would be “stunned’. Only a few months have passed and Samsung has already announced huge improvements that help address some of the few (but hugely important) pitfalls of the Gear VR.

To remind you what an immersive, mind-blowing experience the Gear VR can be, watch our very own Chris Chavez dive head first into an alternate universe by way of Samsung’s new virtual reality technology:

There are some quotable gems in there, folks… Chris Chavez, ladies and gentlemen.

You can see in the photos that this new hardware looks identical to the existing Note 4 ready version, only the portion that houses the phone now fits the S6 and S6 edge. Adding this will drastically increase the pool of eligible buyers, but Samsung would optimally offer a one-size-fits-all option or (although it’d be much more expensive) build the screen and guts into the headset hardware itself.

Samsung Gear VR Rob peekaboo DSC08523

I tested two experiences:

  • Theatrical show with a sprinkle of scandalousness
  • Flight simulation warfare game

They were equally amazing in their own way. The first allowed you to enjoy entertainment as you explored the world around you. It was like the difference between watching a movie at the theatre or going to an interactive experience (like SleepNoMore in NYC) where you become part of the movie itself. I’m really excited to see where this takes the entertainment industry as whole. Film makers who embrace this could create some truly stunning experiences. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung partner up with a major film maker or studio to help push out a big launch that is only available on the Gear VR.

Samsung Gear VR video games DSC08527

The game was promising as well, bringing me back to the days of Starfox 64 but instead of playing on the TV, I became part of the action, tracking my opponents with real life head movements instead of merely button mashing. It’s a pretty amazing experience that, unfortunately, doesn’t translate over YouTube and needs to be experienced for yourself.

The graphics weren’t exactly mind blowing and aside from shooting down incoming enemies there wasn’t much to explore, but this is just a demo. And as a demo it served its true purpose: I’m convinced that gaming on the Samsung Gear VR could revolutionize gaming.

]]> 0
Hands-on with Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 Edge cases Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:30:16 +0000 Samsung Galaxy S6 flip case open DSC08607

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge offers a unique new form factor, so it goes without saying we will see some interesting cases for the new flagship. Samsung will offer a few options out of the gate, including a new take on their S-View flip cover case as well as a lightweight plastic shell case.

The updated flip case features a translucent front providing a full-frontal view of the S6 display. Just as with previous Samsung flip covers, the phone can detect when the case is shut and displays a power-friendly clock and notification widget for at-a-glance updates. Lifting the cover will launch directly into your Galaxy S6 homescreen (provided you don’t have a screen lock enabled).

The case is curved to match the phone’s display and snaps snugly to the rear to offer 360 degrees of protection. We missed the presence of a magnetic clasp or other secure closure mechanism. The flip cover has a tendency to flap around freely otherwise.

Samsung Galaxy S6 cases DSC08597

Samsung’s other case option for the S6 Edge is more or less the rear of the folio case without its flipping front — that is, a standard plastic shell case that snaps on over the rear of the device. The minimalist cases offer basic protection while showcasing the design of the device.

Samsung’s snap-on rear cases are transparent while the S6 Edge folio case is available in a selection of colors to match those of the Galaxy S6. All should be available at launch.

Samsung Galaxy S6 flip case DSC08603 Samsung Galaxy S6 flip case open DSC08607 Samsung Galaxy S6 flip case back DSC08601 Samsung Galaxy S6 cases DSC08597 ]]> 0
Speck unveils Galaxy S6 cases for their popular CandyShell and MightyShell lineups Mon, 02 Mar 2015 04:53:50 +0000 Yesterday was a doozy in the land of mobile. We saw Samsung announce the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge. We saw HTC announce the One M9. And we saw a popular accessory maker strike while the iron’s hot as Speck announced their product lineup for all three devices.

Speck Galaxy S6_Family

There are 9 different cases total and the Samsung Galaxy S6 gets the majority of the love, with 7 of the 9 cases made for it and only the CandyShell Grip case being made available for the Galaxy S6 Edge and HTC One M9.

  • Galaxy S6 CandyShell Case ($34.95)
  • Galaxy S6 CandyShell Case + Faceplate ($44.95)
  • Galaxy S6 CandyShell Grip Case ($34.95)
  • Galaxy S6 Edge CandyShell Grip Case ($34.95)
  • HTC One M9 CandyShell Grip ($34.95)
  • Galaxy S6 CandyShell Card Case ($39.95)
  • Galaxy S6 CandyShell Inked Case ($39.95)
  • Galaxy S6 MightyShell Case ($49.95)
  • Galaxy S6 MightyShell Case + Faceplate ($59.95)

These are iterations of previously available and quite popular phone cases that – if you haven’t taken notice of before – you may want to now.

The CandyShell Cases are the glossy, colorful cases with a hard outer shell that offer military grade protection:


The CandyShell Grip – the only one made for the S6, S6 Edge, and M9 – is similar to the CandyShell but it includes patterned rubber gripping areas that not only offer a cool look, but help make sure your sexy slim device doesn’t slip out of your hands.

Speck_SamsungS6_CandyShell Grip-Family

Then you’ve got my personal favorite: the CandyShell Card. It securely holds up to 3 cards such as credit cards and your drivers license. Everyone I know who has this case absolutely loves it, which leaves me wondering why I’ve never owned one myself.

Speck_SamsungS6_CandyShell Card

Then you’ve got CandyShell Inked which essentially offers a vibrant, printed design for a $5 upcharge on the CandyShell and the MightyShell which offer 2X military grade protection for those with a rugged lifestyle or ultra-clumsiness.

Speck_SamsungS6_CandyShell Inked-Family


A recent poll shows that 70% of our readers plan to buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the HTC One M9… will you be buying one of these Speck cases to go along?

]]> 0
SanDisk was able to stuff 200GB of storage space inside their latest microSD card Sun, 01 Mar 2015 21:23:55 +0000 SanDisk-microSD200gb-hero-blnk

You thought SanDisk’s 128GB microSD cards were insane? The company has just announced another huge milestone — a whopping 200GB of data inside a chip smaller than the size of a nickle. It’s a UHS-1 Class 10 chip, which means it can transfer data at up to 90 megabytes per second.

So why not 256GB, the natural step up from 128GB? It’s likely SanDisk was unable to physically fit enough circuitry, doodads and whatever else makes these things tick inside such a compact form factor. It’s possible that could change with refined engineering techniques in the future, but for now this is as high as it gets.

You shouldn’t bat an eyelash at 200GB. It’s absolutely insane, and it’s even crazier to know that it can work in any device that supports microSDXC cards of 64GB or higher (which includes the newly-announced HTC One M9, but unfortunately not the just-as-fresh Samsung Galaxy S6).

Of course, you’d have to be willing to spend the $400 that this thing will cost to start so if you have that sort of money to throw around on micro storage chips you’ll likely be able to afford a smartphone that can utilize it. The chips are due Q2 2015.

[via SanDisk]

]]> 0
Here’s a look at Nexus 6 dbrand skins, bring on the customization Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:57:26 +0000 Nexus_6_Dbrand

Recently, popular phone skin manufacturer dbrand ran a promotion where they were offering 25% off of all skins. Being a former Motorola Moto X user, I was already familiar with customizing the exterior of my phone, but I’ve never used a phone skin before and this seemed like the perfect opportunity for a skin newbie like myself to partake in the world of customizing the outside of your phone with third party accessories. It was time to spruce up my boring Nexus 6.

So, what exactly is a phone skin? Often called wraps or decals, they’re made from 3M vinyl and are essentially high quality stickers. All skins are 100% resistant to scratching and fading. The most important part here though is that the adhesive used never leaves any residue on the back of your phone, kind of like a 3M Post-It Note, so that you’re able to apply and reapply as many skins as you like and not damage your precious Android phone.

I chose a simple carbon fiber skin for my Nexus 6, though dbrand has plenty of colors and textures that can be mixed and matched together to create your very own style.


Being a bit of a perfectionist, I was worried that the dbrand skin for my Nexus 6 wouldn’t line up perfectly, have gaps, or just wouldn’t look good. I’ve been using this skin for a few days now and can say that I’m happy with the results. The entire skin screams precision as the cutout matches up perfectly on all sides and even around the Nexus logo too. The back of the Nexus 6 is a little slick, so I’m also enjoying the added grip and feel thanks to the carbon fiber texture as I’m not really a case type of guy.

If you’re looking to spruce up your plain looking Nexus 6, head on over the dbrand’s online store. Skins for the Nexus 6 start at $10 a pop.

]]> 0
$150 off the LG G3, award-winning movie sale, and more [Android Deals] Tue, 24 Feb 2015 19:55:31 +0000 deals

This week at T-Mobile you can get $150 off the LG G3, plus Kindle tablet sale at Best Buy and an opportunity to catch up on award-winning movies past and present. Those and more in this weeks roundup of deals on Android devices, accessories, apps, games, and media.

Hardware & Accessories


$150 off the LG G3 from T-Mobile Pay $0 down and get $150 off the regular price of $600 when purchasing the LG G3 from T-Mobile through their monthly installment plan. [T-Mobile]

Save up to $65 on select Amazon Fire HD tablets Choose from a range of discounted Amazon Fire HD tablets with prices starting at $84.99 for the 6-inch, 8GB model. [Best Buy]

Take 62% off the LG G Flex The new G Flex 2 is on its way, but you can get last year’s model at the low price of only $229 with free shipping. [eBay]

Get the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 for $125 off $240 gets you the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 with 3G and WiFi, a 34% savings. [eBay]

Apps & Games




Music & Media





]]> 0
Spigen’s Galaxy S6 Edge cases now available for pre-order, renders show off front view Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:52:59 +0000 Spigen Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge cases

Shortly after we got a good look at the side profile of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge courtesy of T-Mobile and AT&T, case maker Spigen is now ready to let the cat out of the bag. Taking to their Facebook page, they’ve announced that their Galaxy S6 cases are now available for pre-order, showing them off with new shiny renders.

While they do show off the front of their cases, we should note that the device within looks more like a Samsung Galaxy Note Edge than anything (notice the curved edge on only one side, while the Galaxy S6 Edge is rumored to have curves on both sides). In fact, most of the device renders on their actual Amazon product page cleverly hide the left side of the device. That should be your first clue that this isn’t entirely accurate.

Looks like we’re still looking toward Samsung’s March 1st for our first real look at the device in all its glory. That is, if Samsung can continue keeping everything under wraps until then. If you already have your heart set on the Galaxy S6 Edge, you can pre-order (or browse) Spigen’s new cases via the link below.


]]> 0
Get the Power Vault 18,000mAh portable battery fro $30 at Mon, 23 Feb 2015 19:18:59 +0000 power-vault-battery-pack

We’ve got another great deal on portable power thanks to, and we all know you can never have enough when it comes to backup batteries. This time its the Power Vault 18,000mAh portable battery pack, a real steal at $80 off the regular retail price.

Get the Power Vault 18,000mAh battery pack for $30 at

Light and compact while still providing over six full charges for the typical Android smartphone, the Power Vault features sleek aluminum construction. Two USB ports allow for simultaneous device charging from the packs 18,000mAh rechargeable battery.

Normally priced at $109, you can’t get days worth of charging power without ever touching a power outlet for only $30 now at

]]> 0