Mobile

Ditch the hulk for some helpful tech

Mobile Motivators: Best Fitness Trackers for a Smarter Workout

Most of us are out of touch with our bodies. We clueless about calories, how much we’re walking in a day, or even how to check our own heart rate. Luckily, there’s a host of new fitness trackers that make training truly personal. Strap them onto your wrist or toss them in your pocket and they’ll track your every move -- every step you take, every minute you sleep, every calorie you inhale or burn off. Read on for our five best bets for prying you off the couch -- and tracking your efforts.

Call for backup

Five Alive: 5 Best iPhone 5 Battery Cases

Doubling battery life is a no-brainer. Options run the gamut for solutions to Apple's latest quick-to-die wonder -- and we really mean run the gamut. It's a bit of the Wild West in the battery case world at the moment, so start here with our five best selections, then do your homework and make sure what you choose will get you what you want.

This system is no P.O.S.

Square Business in a Box

Brick-and-mortar merchants looking for a point of sale system that isn’t a POS can end their search here. Powered by Square's mobile payment system, Business in a Box ($249+) is a point of sale solution designed to handle small business needs with ease while keeping the IRS at bay.

Finally the One for you?

HTC One: The Best Android Phone Yet?

HTC has a solid track record for making incredible Android phones such as the One X and more recent Droid DNA. But they've never gained the brand recognition of titans like Samsung. Thanks to a newly announced flagship, dubbed the HTC One, their time in the spotlight may finally come -- granted a few bold bets pay off.

Skinny, not mini

Sony Xperia Tablet Z

The 1 pound, 6.9mm-thick Sony Xperia Tablet Z pushes gadget bulimia to new lows as the thinnest 10-inch fingerprint magnet on the market. But while the fat's been trimmed, all the muscle's still there -- including a Qualcomm 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, an 8.1MP Exmor R rear camera, 2MP front camera, NFC, LET, a microSD slot, "S-Force" virtual surround sound and a 10.1-inch full HD screen.

Get... chained down?

Ion Audio Cordless Phone System

We’ve never been inside the R&D division of Ion Audio, but based on what we’ve been seeing lately we have a sneaking suspicion that the department is comprised of a gaggle of bros sitting around on torn-up leather couches with some fairly potent recreational products at their disposal. How else to explain their Cordless Phone System?

Big Daddy

ZTE Grand S

The Grand S is ZTE’s first ultra-smart smartphone, entering a field peppered with rather esteemed — and, well, huge — company (the Grand S is over 5.5 inches tall and nearly 3 inches wide). Similar in most every specification to other biggies from Droid, Huawei and Sony, the Grand S boasts some serious kit. Its...

As if you needed more options

Vizio MT11x Windows 8 Tablet

Tablets tablets everywhere — how’s a man to choose? Vizio’s MT11x Windows 8 slate adds another drop in the bucket of great selections. A full-HD 1080p capacitive touchscreen with 10-finger multi-touch gestures pleases eyeballs from the start; it’s the guts, however, that make the 11.6-inch device a top-line competitor. 64GB SSD storage, AMD’s Z-60 APU...

For the notary public and/or spy in your life

Ion Audio Air Copy

We have a ton of questions about the Ion Audio Air Copy, which was just announced at CES 2013. The primary one is, what’s a company most known for making inexpensive USB turntables doing throwing out a wireless scanner? More importantly, who actually needs — literally, needs — a wireless scanner? From our deep and...

That's one hot (home media) librarian

Seagate Central Shared Storage

Hard drives are about as exciting as, well, hard drives. Seagate Central ($190-$260) aims to change all that as the world’s first shared storage device with a Smart TV app, enabling you to access files on your flatscreen and just about every other device in your home. In short, the Seagate Central allows access to...

A different kind of POS

ShopKeep iPad POS by Griffin

Forget the confusing title, and remember this: the ShopKeep iPad POS by Griffin is going to make a lot of small business owners very happy. The new point-of-sale iPad mod — consisting of a protective case with built-in magnetic card reader that works in conjunction with the ShopKeep app — makes manning the cash register...

Built for thrills and spills

Sony Xperia Z & ZL

Sony’s finally taken the gloves off in the smartphone ring with its Xperia Z and Zl flagship Android handsets. Externally, the perfectly rectangular 0.31 inch thick Z is a classic example of Sony design and definitely different, — but it’ll likely take some getting used to in the hand. Its hardware rap sheet also stands toe-to-toe with premium devices like the Droid DNA, Optimus G and Nexus 4 thanks to a 5-inch 1080p “Reality Display”, Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, NFC, LTE, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a MicroSD slot.

Sheltered no longer

Freedom Pop

It’s hard to comprehend, but there are people out there in this great land of ours who don’t have high-speed internet access. Some, by choice (like your grandfather, who asked you to explain what Facebook is) and others by lack of choice, hamstrung by providers that ignore less populated areas due to high installation and...

Carpe Vita!

1 Second Everyday App

If the world really does end on the 21st, this app will be useless. But if Zero Hour doesn’t hit, 1 Second Everyday could be a life changer. Using your iPhone camera, this personal hobby turned TED Talk turned funded Kickstarter project chronicles your life one second at a time. Its creation story is blessedly...

Road trippers of the world, celebrate

Google Maps for iOS 6

It’s safe to go out on the streets again. No more following driving directions into a lake a la “The Office”. Google Maps for iOS 6 (free) is the same quality tool it’s ever been, with a new streamlined look and a deliciously intuitive UI in addition to search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation and street...

Digital Dynamo

Widealab Aurender S10 Music Server

Most people are perfectly content to store and experience their music collection on a computer (we do it everyday at the office). The convenience of accessing massive amounts of music and rich metadata on a whim with just a click or a search is simply unparalleled. For audiophiles, though, this ease of use comes at...

12 gifts for the tech obsessed

12 Guys of Christmas: The Techie

To the inexperienced, the words “techie” and “guy” seem synonymous. Sure, most guys do like technology these days — but like does not true a techie make. So while this list can absolutely be applied to any modern man, its real target is the hardcore gadget nut. The one who scours the blogs and refreshes...

Compressed for size, not sound

Astell & Kern AK100 Portable Audio System

The Astell & Kern AK100 portable audio system ($699) aims to be the iPod of audiophiles. It’s the first portable music player capable of playing Mastering Quality Sound files (MQS) from online stores like HDtracks.com, in addition to a slew of other lossless formats like Ogg, FLAC, WAV, WMA, APE and yes, even MP3 audio...

Your current case is on the edge of extinction

Dodo Case Customizer Tool

Seems like you can customize just about anything these days. From kicks to cars, people want to be their own clever, intellectual, trendy (or not), unique snowflake — just like everyone else. Which is why we’re shocked someone didn’t think of the Dodo Case Customizer Tool ($80+) sooner. Fueling your one-off narcissism, Dodo Case enables...

1080p beyond the TV

HTC Droid DNA

Every six months or so, a smartphone arrives that raises the bar for the entire industry. HTC’s newly announced Droid DNA is by far the most advanced device available to date: it’s the first mobile phone capable of supporting full HD (1920 x 1080 resolution) on its 5-inch Gorilla Glass 2 super LCD 3 display....

Dialed in on 007

Sony Xperia TL

Sony has struggled to create a successful smartphone in a U.S. Android handset market stuffed tighter than Oddjob in a dinner jacket. Its latest Xperia TL flagship, however, is the first compelling device we’ve seen from the lauded Japanese electronic giant, thanks to a spec list that can finally stand toe to toe with other...

The Nexus in line to the Android crown?

LG Nexus 4

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was announced a little over a year ago, and right on queue, Google has officially shared its latest pure-Android flagship device, simply dubbed the Nexus 4 ($299+). As the slew of early leaks suggested, the LG handset touts plenty of impressive hardware specs — and we’re not talking about that Gorilla...

Keeping tabs on the tablet market

Apple iPad Mini and 4th Generation iPad

Steve Jobs had a lot to say about the market for 7-inch tablets back in October 2010: in his eyes, it boiled down to a conflict of hardware and software. “Apple’s done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff… there are clear limits of how close you can...

Putting off aires

McIntosh McAire

While iDevices flipped the consumer audio industry ass over tea kettle in a brush of a click wheel, the audiophile world stubbornly weathered the storm for years, hoping the digital compression nightmare might just vanish away in time. The introduction of the McIntosh McAire hints that convenience is gaining ground with the stuffy, stubborn niche...

Goodbye Wifi

Novatel MiFi Liberate

Gadgets of all shapes and sizes are shipping with cellular data connectivity options these days, but if you’ve still got tech that’s stuck off the grid, the Novatel MiFi Liberate can help. It’s the first LTE mobile hotspot to sport a 2.8-inch touch screen, which is truthfully more nifty than necessary, but does make checking...

Trump Card

Design Spotlight: MOO NFC Business Cards

The humble business card is an antiquated yet necessary tool of business communication. Their simple swapping is a time honored tradition the world over, and not a form of etiquette that is likely to disappear. But in today’s digital world, taking the time to transfer those vitals to a useful place seems downright tedious. MOO...

Xtravagant

HTC One X+

It was only a few months back at the Mobile World Congress that HTC unveiled the HTC One X as a new standard bearer for the company and its streamlined “One” branding. Now, the firm has announced an augmented version of that flagship, the One X+, which looks as if it’s downed more than few...

Sharpening its edge

Motorola RAZR i

Motorola Android smartphone launches seem like a dime a dozen recently, but their latest offering is a cut above and, unfortunately, beyond (as in, beyond U.S. shores). The RAZR i is the new buff uncle in Razr family tree, thanks to its powerful 2Ghz Intel Atom processor, and is the first Moto device to feature...

Tiletillating

HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S

HTC produced some of the best devices for early Windows phone users, and by the looks of their two latest handsets for Windows Phone 8, that’s still true. The newly announced 8X and 8S both feature premium external detailing thanks to unibody construction, big gorilla glass screens, bold color ways and a beveled-thin edge that...

Excuse me sir... Your butt is flashing

Monocle

Riding your bike in the dark on city streets is an activity best reserved for those with a death wish. The Monocle is an inexpensive and ingenious way to avoid becoming street pizza. You’ve spent plenty of money on your iPhone; why not use it as a bike light, too? The Monocle, which is made...

Apple's Jam

The New Apple iPod Nano and iPod Touch (2012)

Unveiling a new iPod along with the new iPhone is becoming a bit of a tradition, so it’s no surprise that a shiny new iPod Touch and iPod Nano were rolled into today’s big iPhone 5 launch. As usual, the Fifth Generation iPod Touch ($299+) takes its cue from many of the features from the...

Five Alive

Apple iPhone 5

Let’s face it, not much was kept secret about Apple’s latest iPhone — so let’s start with what the geekosystem didn’t already know. The new device is powered by an A6 chip that doubles the speed and graphics processing of the iPhone 4S. Like Amazon’s recent Kindle Fire HD, so-called “ultra fast wireless” is onboard,...

Second fiddle never sounded so good

Nokia Lumia 820

With all the noise surrounding Nokia’s other Windows 8 phone, it’s easy for to ignore the Nokia Lumia 820. And while it is, basically, a scaled-down version of the 920 (in both size and specs), that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a look. The 820 shares many of the same genetics as its big brother:...

Un-extinct?

Philips S10 Cordless Phone

You get the call — but your cell phone is charging/buried in your gym bag/temporarily lost. While most landlines have gone the way of the dodo, the Philips S10 Cordless Phone re-envisions the now retro (how old does that make you feel?) appliance — and, somehow, it’s not entirely ridiculous. Using Bluetooth, the S10 conglomerates...

RAZR'ing the bar

Motorola Droid RAZR HD, Maxx HD and M

From the StarTAC, to the original RAZR to the Droid, Motorola has led the way for mobile hardware on quite a few occasions. Now, firmly entrenched under the wing of its Google mothership, Motorola is kicking off the new era with a family of handsets: the Droid RAZR HD ($299), the RAZR Maxx HD ($199)...

Dashingly Different

Nokia Lumia 920

Copying is always the easy way out of anything. That’s why we’ve been impressed with the Nokia Microsoft partnership — since both firms appear hell-bent on blazing their own trails on the mobile road map. The newly announced flagship Nokia Lumia 920 is as impressive as it is bold and serves as an excellent starting...

Phabulous

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Brushing off the recent court ruling, Samsung introduces the latest update to their ground-breaking phablet with the Galaxy Note II. With a bigger Super AMOLED screen (5.5” vs 5.3”) at a lower resolution (1280×720 vs. 1280×800), the new smartphone takes style cues from the Galaxy S III. Intended to conserve battery life and reduce screen...

G-Force

LG Optimus G

When’s the ideal time to unveil a flagship superphone? When your Korean competition is issued a $1,055,855,000 legal sanction of course. Yes, LG’s newly announced Optimus G (we assume P was taken) is a long-rumored 4.7-inch handset that measures 8mm thick and is the first LTE phone to sport Qualcomm’s quad-core, 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro...

App your service

Sony SmartWatch

GEAR PATROL SPONSORED POST Smartphones are the ultimate connectivity security blanket for a new generation of consumers. But the gift of talking, texting and tweeting from anywhere we fancy comes at the price of distraction. Today, we’re all seemingly at the beck and call of a chime or vibration, pausing life to dig into pockets...

Handy Dandy

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE

If you can’t palm a basketball, you can forget about holding most Android phones these days. Verizon’s recent addition to the Droid Incredible family is quite the unwieldy mouthful, but the same thing can’t be said about its proportions. The so-called HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE’s highlights include Android 4.0 (with HTC’s Sense 4.0 on...

Is that a Deadmaus in your pocket?

iRig Mix

The new iRig Mix ($100) is packaged with the promise of portable party prowess to help you move the crowd. Whether you’re only rocking an iPhone, or packed your iPad too, IK Multimedia’s latest iTool will process your playlists and allow you to scratch and fade with any iOS device. Twist some knobs to fiddle...

The Hulk to your Smartphone's Bruce Banner

Clamcase Clambook

If your penchant for gaming, music and web surfing through your smartphone is a 10/10, then you might want to put a tickler in your calendar for this holiday season in anticipation of the Clamcase Clambook. With nary a hint of Macbook Air (ahem), the Clambook is as thin as the day is long and...

Roaming? Yes, please.

IsatPhone Pro

Looking like a hefty version of an everyday cell phone, the IsatPhone Pro packs a well-designed punch. Features include: a case resistant to any harm that might befall it, reliable global coverage, and most importantly, a battery that actually has a life — 8 hours talk time, 100 hours standby — and it can function...

The future will be displayed properly

Design Spotlight: Fraunhofer Mini-Projector

Pico projectors have teased geeks like us for years with the potential of carrying a theater-size screen in our pocket. Tony Stark’s candy land o’ holograms may still be a pipe dream, but European research group Fraunhofer has given us a titillating preview of where display technology is headed with the release of their smartphone...