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5 Sports Phone Accessories that will help you Work Out 0

Smartphone armbands will keep your phone in place while you work out

As the weather warms and summer hits, there’s less excuse than ever not to be out and about and exercising outside! Even on a cloudier day or when it’s too warm not to be in an air-conditioned gym, there’s lots of ways you can get active through spring and summer. And why not take your device with you? Here’s our top 5 sports phone accessories to help you work out!

1 Wireless Headphones

Whether you’re running, jogging or power walking, outside or on a treadmill, lifting weights or working out, it’s imperative that your wireless headphones stay put in your ears – and don’t wobble, dislodge or fall out!

We recommend the HB-QY8 Wireless Bluetooth Running Headphones, which can play and pause with just a touch to the ear. They’re perfect for the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, and Samsung ranges (Galaxy S7/S7 Edge/SG Edge/Note/J5/J3/A5).

If you’re a use of the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Sony Xperia range, or Huawei P9, a Sports Running Headset with Mic may suit you better – so you can talk mid-workout too!

Shop the full range of Gadgetwear wireless headphones!

2 Wired Headphones

Even if your phone doesn’t deal with Bluetooth connections well and you need wired headphones, there’s nothing more off-putting than headphones that aren’t quite snug; you still don’t want them to fall out!

We stock both official Apple and Huawei earphones, so you can ensure the perfect fit whilst working hard.

Shop the full range of Gadgetwear headphones!

3 An Arm Strap to keep your Phone in place

To listen to music when moving, it’s important that your headphones can’t snap out at the slightest move and that you don’t inadvertently smash your phone to the floor. Your best bet is to strap it to your bicep (whilst not curling it, of course).

Peapod do a range of flexible armbands for holding your device in place; for the iPhone 5 and 5S, 6 and 6S, 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7. Rock Moc do a great Universal Smartphone Armband that’ll work regardless of manufacturer; perfect for your Motorola, LG, Nokia Lumia or HTC!

4 A Sport Strap for your Apple Watch

If you’re an Apple Watch owner, using the Workout App alongside Health is the key to mapping and tracking your workouts without the need to install any other apps or buying another watch to track fitness. But, your business-style strap isn’t going to cut it here!

The Sport range of straps are made from high-performance fluoroelastomer for a clean fit and wipe-clean watch. They look great too, and there’s a colour to go with every bit of activewear in your wardrobe!

5 A Protective Case for your Phone

Regardless of what exercise you’re doing, if you’re taking your phone for the ride you need to be extra careful not to drop and smash or bash it along the way. Accidents happen, though, and so if your smartphone does fall, you need to make sure it’s protected as much as possible for a safe landing.

Your best bet for comprehensive protection is Under Armor’s military-grade range of cases. You’ll find cases for all the major phone manufacturers, alongside some tablet devices. There’s no need to take unnecessary risks on what’s probably the most expensive gadget you own – but no need to stay indoors and inactive either!

  • Diana Cox

Universal Accessories you NEED for your Phone 0

No matter what your phone is, there’s a range of accessories available that are ‘universal’ – that is, they’re compatible with most, if not all, smartphones on the market. There’s several great accessories on offer in the Gadgetwear store so read on for our top picks – no need to fork out for expensive manufacturer-branded products!

Phone-Nav

There’s no need these days for a separate sat nav device anymore, as most smartphones can handle a Maps-based app to get you where you need to be. Mounts to hold your phone up and away from you (remember – no touching it whilst driving!) fit around your phone no matter the size or shape. We recommend the Dash Crab FX holder to mount onto your windscreen or the Mobius Air Vent holder to slot in to the vents on your dashboard.

There’s lots of sat nav apps out there, but you’ll find great existing maps functions on Google Pixels, Samsung Galaxy models, and the Moto G4 Play. No matter the model of your phone, visit out In Car Accessories range to shop.

Cables and adaptors

Most phones at the moment either have a lightning or Micro-USB connector.

Despite popular misconception, you don’t need to use an ‘official’ cable or adaptor from your phone’s manufacturer. The connections are universal within their type and can be used with a range of adaptors to connect your phone up to your laptop, desktop PC, TV or other devices to allow you to back-up your content or watch/look at it on other screens. There’s plenty of brands other than your (often pretty pricey) manufacturer’s cables that work just as well.

Sport accessories

As summer hits, there’s less excuse to not get out and about and active, and there’s loads of ways your phone can come along for the ride. Plug into your favourite tunes whilst running or exercising with the ROCK Moc armband and use their Magnetic Bike Mount to navigate whilst out cycling.

Photo tripod

Lots of smartphones now come with fantastic camera capabilities – including the iPhone 7, Sony Xperia range (m5/x/z3/z5/XA/Xz), Nokia Lumia and Google Pixel XL. The Huawei Mate 9 has a double-lens Leica-branded camera included.

You can use your phone for more than just selfies – set up your perfect shot properly with the iStabilizer Tab Mount tripod to really give your photography a professional edge.

Cases and covers

Fascia cases for phones aren’t often universal, as they’re designed for your phone’s exact design. However, there’s a range of cases to protect your smartphone from the rough and tumble of being in your pocket/phone/suitcase that really are one size fits all. The Qialino leather wallet range are designed by size rather than shape, so will fit a whole range of phones; as well as your cards and essentials!

Docks and stands

If you’d like your phone to be sat up so you can use it and see alerts whilst you focus on something else, for example at a desk while you’re working, we’d recommend investing in a HOCO Metal Desk Stand. It’s smart and compact, and can expand out to house bigger phones or even small tablets. It’s the perfect desk companion for models with big screens, like HTC and LG phones.

Stylus and pens

There’s lots of reasons why people can’t use touchscreens as intended – whether it be an undelying issue with their fingers, long nails or just comfort. Instead, there’s a variety of stylus and pen options available. Ditch the digits!

 

 

  • Diana Cox

Wireless Charger Comparison 0

 

With more and more brands of smartphone promoting the ability of wireless charging and more and more public spaces offering such facilities, it really seems that we’re on the cusp of wireless charging taking off and becoming the new norm.

Currently primarily the domain of Android models, wireless charging is currently compatible with the Google Pixel range, LGs, Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge/S6 Edge/Note/J5/J3/A5, the Sony Xperia M5/X/Z3/Z5/XA/X/X, Huawei Mate 9, Moto G4 Play and the Nokia Lumia. And iPhone users – don’t despair! We explain below how you too can benefit from wireless charging.

There’s two type of wireless chargers available for these models: manufacturers models specifically, and then Qi-enabled chargers. The latter are those accredited to the current best practice certification for wireless charging.

What different forms do wireless chargers come in?

There’s a few different forms of wireless charger for you to consider and compare. Which you choose to use is based on personal preference and the circumstances in which you need to charge.

Charging cases are designed specifically for your model of phone and fit around it like a normal cosmetic fascia case. These are normally a little chunkier than standard cases, as they include a battery within that plugs into the charging socket of your phone and boosts the battery. These cases can either be used once or re-charged for repeat use.

Charging docks hold your smartphone upright and plug into the charging socket to charge it up. These are similar to standard charging docks but can be unplugged from the wall and charge on without mains power.

Charging pads are small flat pads that lie on a surface and you place your phone on top of. There’s no physical connection plugging anything into your phone in this instance, but your phone will need to stay in place above to continue to charge; otherwise the electromagnetic connection will be broken.

Using wireless adaptors

For iPhones and Apple products, you’ll need a Qi adaptor for lots of types of wireless chargers and will probably find that charging cases work best for you. If you’ve got an Android phone that has a Micro-USB cable, you’ll find alternatives to cases and docks that plug into a Micro-USB slot.

Comparing wireless chargers

 

Charging case

Charging docks

Charging pads

Use phone whilst charging

 Y

 Y

 N

Needs mains supply

N

N

Y

Can be used more than once

 Some models

 Y

 Y

Suitable for ‘on the go’

Y

N

N

 

What works best for you may not work for others, so it’s worth trying your options to find which you like best. And of course, if you need wired charging solutions, we have cables and adaptors available too!

  • Diana Cox

Everything You Need To Know About Wireless Charging 0

Wireless phone charging pad

Wireless charging for smartphones is becoming more and more common, and our recent blog explained some of the differences between wireless and wired charging. But what exactly is wireless charging, and how does it work? We explain…

How Does Wireless Charging Actually Work?

Wireless charging is inductive; meaning an electrical current is passed between two coils (one in your phone, one in the charger) to create an electromagnetic field. Wireless chargers can come in the form of charging cases, docks, or pads. These can be single-use or rechargeable. There are single-use wired chargers too – and you’ll probably recognise those as the cases that have a part that physically plugs into the charging socket. 

What Does Qi-enabled Mean?

Lots of phones are ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’) enabled, including the Samsung Galaxy, Edge and Note ranges, the Microsoft Lumia models, the Sony Xperia range, the Google Nexus 4-7, the Motorola Droid, and the Blackberry Priv. Qi is the best practice standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) for inductive power transfer up to 4cm.

OK, So My Phone is Qi enabled. Now what?

Easy. You just need to buy a Qi wireless charger, and start using it! You’ll find pads and cases available, and both universal and individual manufacturer-branded chargers. It’s completely up to you what you use.

My Phone’s Not Qi Enabled. Can I Add It?

If you’re an Apple iPhone user, you’ll find that whilst some wireless chargers will work with your phone, lots won’t – and you don’t have Qi built into your smartphone handset. But there’s no need to despair: Qi receiver adaptors are available that sit between your phone and a Qi charging pad, and plugs into the lightning cable.

If you’ve got an Android phone (including the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL) with a Micro-USB cable instead of a lightning connection, you’re not left out. There’s an alternative that works through the Micro-USB slot.

How Fast Can A Wireless Charger Charge My Phone?

Whilst not yet quite faster than a traditional wired-in charging option (mainly because wired charging is getting faster all the time, with lots of Samsung and LG phones now offering ultra-fast charging as standard), the technology is improving.

Current charging technology can take your phone from 0-50% in about half an hour, so it’s already quite fast, but varies between charging pads, docks and cases. It’s unlikely that you’ll find anything that beats your wired connection just yet, but in lots of cases, the time-frames shouldn’t be far off.

With wireless charging now available at lots of fast food restaurants, bars and libraries, it’s worth giving it a go when you’re around a facility next. If it suits you, you can then consider investing in a charger yourself – and charge on the go, everywhere you go!

  • Diana Cox

Expandable Storage Options For Your Phone 0

Storage full error message

Why do you need expandable storage options for my phone?

When choosing a new phone, it’s really important to understand the available storage. Smartphones on contract payment plans often are considerably cheaper when a handset has a smaller memory option. This means that lots of us take the first model we’re offered and don’t even consider the phone’s memory capabilities, until we try to save something and receive the dreaded error message “not enough storage”.

That’s not to say you need to fork out lots for a model, with lots of internal storage right away – there’s lots of ways you can expand the storage options on your phone,  before you splash the cash.

Memory Cards and Adaptors

Lots of smartphones have memory card slots which gives you the opportunity to save data and then remove it to save it elsewhere. The Samsung Galaxy models (all but the S6, for which it was temporarily dropped) all have capacity for MicroSD memory cards, as do the flagship models for LG, Sony and HTC. However, MicroSD cards don’t just plug in directly to laptops and other devices – so you’ll need a MicroSD USB card reader to use this with other USB devices. Once adapted and plugged in, you can drop and drag your info to another device to save it there, or pop it online. The Huawei Honor range and P6-9 models also have capacity to take a MicroSD card. Motorola phones typically take full-sized SD memory cards, but memory capacity and facilities ranges from model to model.

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones come in a number of storage sizes up to 128GB, so if you can afford to splurge on a more expensive model, it’s worth doing so.

Online File Storage

There’s lots of ways to get around saving spacious files onto your phone. There’s some pretty big name file storage websites for you to drop files and photos onto (in some cases, for free), but of course, this requires you having the time to manually sort through files and upload them to the internet – which isn’t always the case if you need to save something immediately. Similarly, you can avoid taking up phone memory with music by using online streaming services; but you’ll need a decent enough signal to stream the content when you want it.

Most smartphone handsets can now be linked to cloud facilities, be it iCloud for iPhones or Google’s services for Android users. There’s free options here too, so it’s worth shopping around to find exactly what works best for you. Have a look around and see what you can find!

  • Diana Cox

Wireless Charging vs. Wired Charging 0

Increasing smartphone capacity and usage is creeping into our everyday lives, but with it comes shorter battery lives… alongside an ever-shortening tolerance for lack of phone access.

We just can’t seem to get stuff done without a device on-hand. Libraries, fast food joints and airports all now offer charging facilities so that we don’t run low; but what’s the difference between those that actually plug into your handset, and those that don’t?

With the introduction of wireless chargers into the market, we have noticed a huge increase in the demand of these charges, but question we get asked a lot is...

How do wireless phone chargers actually work?

Wireless chargers can come in the form of charging cases, docks, or pads. These can be single-use or rechargeable, and the charging is inductive; meaning an electrical current is passed between two coils (one in your phone, one in the charger) to create an electromagnetic field.

Wired chargers are an easier-to-understand solution, literally using electricity to recharge a battery once plugged in.

Most phones can manage both – even if it isn’t a model that can be wirelessly charged, adaptors are available for a wide range of models.

Which is phone charger easier to use?

The darting around behind the sofa to find a spare plug socket can be tricky, but a wired charging cable does have advantages over wireless docks and pads. For example, if you want to continue using your mobile device as it charges, then this is a slight issue. This is because once you pick up your phone from the wireless charging dock/pad, the charging connection stops.

You also need to make sure that wireless chargers are already charged before they can charge your device, but of course for the mains, you just plug in and go.

Which wireless charger is best for my phone model?

For Samsungs, including the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and the Note, J5, J3 and A5, charging pads and docks are available, as well some pretty heavy-duty cases that charge on the move (don’t forget to pick up a screen protector for full protection coverage!).

Charging cases are currently best for you if you have an iPhone, Nokia Lumia or Huawei Mate 9.

Those with a Sony Xperia (m5/x/z3/z5/XA/X/Xz), Google Pixel (or Google Pixel XL) or Moto G4 have ‘Qi’ enabled phones. This means they’re accredited by the Wireless Power Consortium and can all use the Noosy Universal pad.

Is wired charging quicker?

It depends on your phone and the charger. Lots of Android phones now have ultra-fast wired charging, so it’ll take about half an hour to replenish your battery back to 100%. However, faster wireless solutions are being worked on for Samsung and LG models, so watch this space for updates there. Technology seems to allow 0-50% of a charge in about 30 mins, so wireless charging isn’t far off already.

What will you choose? It’s all down to your individual preferences, but worth trying both and finding out which you like best.

 

What You Need to Know About Screen Replacements 0

We’ve all been there – that horrible second of shock where your heart shoots into your throat as you watch your phone hurtle toward the ground in slow motion. You pick it up and say a silent prayer, but alas, you have a smashed phone screen and no way to use it without slicing open your fingers. It’s a horrible feeling and a real inconvenience, but is often completely preventable especially with the wide range of screen protectors available.

Smashed Screen Removal

Normally a broken phone screen doesn’t actually mean a broken phone, but you will need to have your smashed screen removed and replaced. Lots of discount phone accessory shops offer screen repair, but what you may not realise is that without having a repair done through an authorised dealer (stipulated by your insurance company or phone manufacturer), you could actually invalidate your warranty and/or phone insurance. What seems a cheap deal could, unfortunately, become a costly mistake if you have other issues further down the line.

iPhone repairs can be done at any Apple store, and likewise for Samsung models in their shops – but both are expensive, and a new glass screen won’t actually make it any less likely to shatter upon impact in the future. The best way to make sure you don’t smash your screen is to protect it in the case of trips, drops and falls.

Getting the Right Screen

Smartphone screens are made up of two layers – a glass overlay and an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). Whilst you may be able to have the former dealt with by a local shop, the latter controls your touch-screen operation, which can be much more difficult to get fixed ‘on the quick’. If you find a dropped pixel, black lines across the display or a watercolour-type pattern, the LCD is damaged and will need a full replacement.

Cases and covers are available to help prevent breakages before they happen, and most of the time you won’t even notice they’re there. For a great value option, we recommend Nilkin Crystal Screen Covers, which are available for a variety of models of Google, Sony, Huawei, Motorola, LG and HTC phones.

Anti-Glare and Fuller Coverage

For fuller coverage, some screen protectors include the area around the screen too, allowing you to even colour the area in shades not available for standard purchase. The ZAGG invisible shield for iPhone gives you great protection coverage as well as a full rose gold fascia, not available in shops! And as we wrote in a previous blog, with summer just around the corner, anti-glare screen protectors make for a good investment to provide some piece of mind even in the brightest sunshine.

At, GadgetWear, we have a whole host of screen protection options for you to choose from – select your phone’s make and browse the whole range of screen protectors now!

Everything You Need to Know About Wireless Headphones 0

Wireless headphones are all the rage, so we've put together a handy guide on what you need to know. 

Types of Wireless Headphones

There are three main types of wireless headphones; infra-red, radio frequency and Bluetooth headphones.While infra-red headphones are rarely used nowadays but are best used alongside a TV. However, this type of connection requires an unobstructed line of between the headphones and transmitter, meaning there are limits on both the distance and angle when it comes to using them. Radio frequency works similarly but is more powerful, and Bluetooth is the best option if you want headphones without a transmitter but offers a strong connection.

However, there is an argument against using Bluetooth headphones as many believe that they offer poor sound quality. This is due to the fact that Bluetooth was not originally intended for streaming high-quality music, and as technology advances so do the level of quality of Bluetooth headphones.

Battery Life

Wireless headphones require their own power supply which comes in the form of either a built-in rechargeable battery or standard disposable batteries. When it comes to headphones that require a wireless transmitter, the transmitter will often double up as a charging dock. If you're considering buying Bluetooth headphones, look for a battery life of around 8-12 hours which will give you all day playback.

It's important to keep in mind that battery life is related to volume. Therefore, the louder your music, the shorter the battery will last.

Form and Size

Wireless headphones come in the three standard styles; over-ear, on-ear and in-ear. The first two look and function much the same as their wired counterparts. The latter, in-ear, differ somewhat but are similar to earphones that connect via a cord.

HB-QY8 Wireless Bluetooth Headphone

At GadgetWear, you can find the HB-QY8 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones that are ideal for running. They have CVC6.0 noise reduction to greatly enhance the performance of call and audio transmission as well as a built-in high definition microphone, lets you enjoy crystal clear phone call. And if it's comfort you're after, these are for you as they feature an ergonomic in-ear design with soft earbuds and stabilisers for long-time wearing comfort.

Alternatively, we have a selection of excellent Bluetooth headphones, so check them out!

5 Samsung Myths Debunked 0

The successor to the popular Samsung Galaxy S6, the S7 Galaxy improved on its predecessor in almost every way. Then it started exploding like the Galaxy Note 7, and Samsung was forced to recall 2.5 million units. Since then many ideas have floated around regarding the Galaxy S7 and its current state. Today we’re going to dive into some of these topics and explain how these myths came to be and what the truth of the matter is.

Users would need to buy new Samsung Galaxy S7’s all over again..

Just today, Samsung put to rest the rumours that customers would only be able to purchase new phones. Samsung confirmed that the company will offer refurbished versions of the device for sale or rental. Details are still scarce, but this commitment to improving the customer experience is a welcome sign.

The screen scratches too easily

The Samsung Galaxy S7 came equipped with touted Gorilla Glass, intended to withstand scratches, but unfortunately has not been as good as advertised. But honestly, why rely on the stock screen? A myriad of fully tempered, nigh impervious screen covers and cases are available. Some of our favourites are the Amorous Full Temped Glass (£8.99, Amorous Full Tempered Glass ) and 360 Waterproof Tough Case (£5.99, 360 Waterproof Case ). In addition to a durable screen, this case is dustproof and waterproof to 10m. It even offers superb stylus resistance. Our favorite? The Lunatik Alloy Touch, which produces a finer stroke width than even traditional ballpoint pens (£26.99, Lunatik Alloy Touch).

It would ditch the 3.5mm audio jack

With Apple, Motorola, and LeEco all abandoning the 3.5mm jack, many thought Samsung would follow suit, but thankfully for us, they didn’t. Our favourite headphones? Still the Skullcandy Method In-Ear. These affordable headphones are sweat proof and feature Off-Axis technology so they won’t fall out. Looking for wired headsets instead? The Klipsh Reference One brings 65 years of audio excellence in an affordably stylish Samsung headphones (£39.95, Klipsch Reference One).

The battery would be diminished after the recall

By all accounts, battery life on the new models is identical to the original release. With an on-the-go lifestyle, we find Samsung’s official Adaptive Fast Charging Car Charger to still be the best on the market (£12.99, Samsung Car Charger with Micro USB Cable ). This car adaptor charges the phone to 50% in just 30 minutes and works with the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 4 and later models of the Galaxy S and Note series.

The Final Verdict

The myths that have circulated about the S7 are largely unfounded. We hope the accessories we’ve covered demonstrate the versatility of the phone and make you proud to own one of these wonderful phones.

The Ultimate iPhone 7 Headphone Accessories 0

The Ultimate iPhone 7 accessories for 3.5mm fans

One of the most controversial features of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is the removal of the 3.5m port. The biggest lament is that the 3.5mm jack is simply so effective. Bluetooth headphones can be difficult to work with, and developers have come out with fantastic tools that use the 3.5mm jack, such as credit card readers, thermometers, and 3D scanners. Not all is lost, however. Below are some of the best ways to work around, or work with, the new Lightning port.

Battery Extender Case w/3.5mm Headphone Jack

The case that brought back the jack! This battery extending case has both a Lightning port and a 3.55mm jack built in. The built-in 3.5mm headphone jack lets you listen to your headphones or headsets while still having access to the Lightning port, all without any dongles or adapters. It offers 124% extra battery life, giving you the extra power you need in a protective, stylish case.

2-in-1 Charger and AUX Audio Adapter 

Without a headphone jack, a lot of users are out of luck listening to music off their iPhone in their car. This solution gives you a car cable that converts audio from the iPhone’s Lightning cable and channels it through the included 3.5mm cable into your car’s AUX input. Allows charging through a standard Lightning-USB cable through a car charger.  

Docking Station with 3.5mm Audio Port

The charging station to replace your charging station. The 3.5mm jack lets you listen to music through standard headphones while charging through the Lightning port. Its small size makes it unobtrusive and the 3.5mm jack lets us pretend it never went away in the first place.

We hope these iPhone 7 accessories can ease some of the sting we all felt when the audio jack was taken away. Let us know what you think in the comments. If you would like to know more about our iPhone accessories, please contact us today!