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Wednesday, July 30th
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Potent portables

27 Accessories to Make Your Smart Phone Smarter

You don’t need us to tell you that smartphones are becoming exceedingly central to our lives; just look at the massive market for phone accessories. Whether you’re a fitness buff, a photographer or an avid traveler, there’s tons of gear for your phone that matches your lifestyle. We’ve picked our favorites for both the Android and iOS ecosystems.

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iOS or Android? Choose wisely -- or else

Decrypted: With Smartphone Ecosystems, Divorce Is an Ugly Proposition

Your next phone decision is likely to play a role in everything from your next vehicle to your next home…so choose wisely.

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No relation to one Katy Perry

Tested: Sound Blaster Roar SR20

Creative’s new Sound Blaster Roar SR20 boasts improved Bluetooth pairing, a sound-boosting “Roar” mode, and half the price of its Bose competitor.

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New school. New gear.

Kit: Freshman Year

Our college years have faded into the past, but that hasn’t stopped us from rethinking what we’d pack if we could do it all over again. Whether you’re matriculating this fall and looking for a leg up on your classmates, or a (clearly hip) parent prepping for one last spending hoorah before crossing your offspring off the books for good, consider your packing list officially started.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Ignoring Friends and Family

The 50 Best iPhone & iPad Games

From the Archives: Consoles don’t provide much in the way of portability (anyone else ever own this masterpiece of engineering?), and grown men carrying Gameboys often attract the wrong kind of attention, but mobile games offer interactive experiences on the devices that most of us carry every day. They allow us a bit of serenity when we need it most — in the airport, on the subway, at a questionable mid-life Bris. Here, we’ve provided a list of 50 of the best games made for iOS. Play at the risk of your relationship.

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What's New, Now

Today in Gear: July 30, 2014

Indian announces its 2015 Roadmaster, a Mac Pro Go Case, HasselBlad’s CFV-50c for V System photographers, Mission’s Lumen bike and more.

Tuesday, July 29th
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A New Column on Watches Under $1,000

Time is Money: An Ongoing Search for the Affordable Watch

I’m out to prove that you can be passionate about watches and not spend boatloads of money by reviewing watches every week that cost under $1,000, many under $500.

Buying Guide
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Six Battery-Powered Powerhouses

The Return of the Quartz Watch

By MATT NEUNDORF

The quartz watch was our introduction to timekeeping — the gateway drug that spurred our talk of ticks and led to our appreciation of mechanized complications — and like our first car, it demands respect. Battery-powered watches pack incredible complications, intricate details and robust build quality into an infinitely wearable and affordable package. Even the most ardent watch snob would be proud to strap any of these six quartz watches upon his wrist.

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One giant leap

Time on Our Hands: Linde Werdelin Oktopus MoonLite

Wearing a $20,000 watch with a white strap onboard a Great Lakes wreck diving charter is inviting ridicule. But duty called, and I strapped the Linde Werdelin Oktopus MoonLite ($20,000, limited to 59 pieces) over my drysuit cuff, clipped on the Reef digital dive module and waddled to the back of the boat. It quickly proved a sports watch in a category all its own.

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Ticking Off the Latest in Watch News

This Week in Watches: July 29, 2014

This Week in Watches: An affordable Kiwi travel watch, a Wright brothers Bremont, Moscow’s time zone change and more.

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Uncomplicated, for your wallet

Five Complications Under $500

From the Archives: Watches that simply tell time are a dime a dozen, and sometimes close to a dozen a dime. But start adding more functions and things can get complicated — and expensive. While we’re just starting to forgive the quartz watch for dealing a near death blow to our beloved mechanical timepieces, there’s no denying that when you want more bang for the buck, battery power is the way to go. You’ll pay dearly for dual time zones, flybacks, alarms and tide trackers on the mechanical side of the fence, but if you’re willing to put up with a tick-tick-tick seconds hand, we’ve found five watches that are happy to complicate your life for under (or around) five hundred dollars.

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What's New, Now

Today in Gear: July 29, 2014

Today in Gear: A new spin on absinthe from Nashville, Wolverine’s 1,000 mile boots, a convenient iced coffee maker, and more.

Monday, July 28th
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GP x Petrolicious

The Collector Series, Part Thirteen: Ferrari 400i

Vintage is in something fierce. You can blame the cliche and assign Mad Men all you want. But vintage is deeper than that. A stretch of tough times and the “planned obsolescence” of today has refocused our attention to history even more than ever. New doesn’t always equate to better and some things really don’t work like they used to. The Collector, a new Octane series in partnership with the classic car experts at Petrolicious, acknowledges the automotive gems of yesteryear that have gone overlooked for one reason or another. As a series, the selections we’ll share stand as both a group of savvy buys we’d base our personal car collection around and as a source of inspiration for life in the wake of ownership.

Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Thirteen: The Ferrari 400, then peruse the kit it inspired.

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No blue jeans and sneakers allowed

Kit: Ferrari 400i

Just because the Ferrari 400i isn’t nearly as coveted as, say, a 512 Berlinetta Boxer, doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of respect. It’s just the right car for the businessman who wants to set himself apart from the typical German sports sedan. For starters, it’s got automotive character in spades, and it’s still thrilling to drive as well as hear. To own one, dress and gear up appropriately. Gear Patrol has the right kit to helm this Cavallino Rampante.

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A case study in the downsides of the CUV

The Bizarre Success of the BMW X6

The BMW X6 been around since 2007 and has found shockingly good sales success for BMW, even earning a refresh this year: all this, despite its inferior specs, a small interior, and the fact that it looks like it’s been whacked with the same ugly stick as the Pontiac Aztek. So how does the X6 manage to draw buyers?