Today’s top smartphones from Apple and Samsung offer amazing screens, high-resolution cameras, and ever-increasing amounts of storage and battery life. But there’s one area where even the best phones disappoint: playing audio through the built-in speaker.
Many people have turned to wireless Bluetooth speakers as a way to enjoy better quality sound from their mobile devices. With their larger drivers, a portable speaker can play louder and clearer without distorting. The marketplace for speakers is getting crowded with products from Jambox, Urbanears, and of course, the Beats Pill speaker by Dr. Dre.
At CES 2015, I was introduced to a Bluetooth speaker that really stood out from the crowd. The Superstar Backfloat from Monster can do one thing these other speakers cannot: it can go swimming in the pool with you! Think about that for a second: electronics and water are not a good mix. Monster has managed to take a portable Bluetooth speaker and not only make it waterproof, but it also floats on the surface instead of sinking to the bottom.
While the phone case industry is dominated by big players such as Otterbox, there are a number of new contenders in the arena. One such company is Urban Armor Gear, which was founded in 2011.
UAG makes cases for the Apple iPhone and iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Nexus 6, HTC One, and for all three versions of the Microsoft Surface Pro. The company specializes in rugged, drop-proof cases for smartphones and tablets. Every case they make passes the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 drop test for shock impact. They recently sent one of their cases to the edge of space via a high-altitude balloon, and it survived!
Urban Armor cases feature a raised edge that keeps the screen and back free from contact with surfaces that might cause scratches. They also feature oversized cutouts for connecting headphones and charging cables.
We stopped by the OtterBox booth at CES 2015 to check out what was new and exciting, and they did not disappoint! The new Resurgence power case for the Apple iPhone 6 will extend the life of your device and provide a full extra charge.
The Resurgence case is both a battery case and a MIL-SPEC drop-tested case in one! It packs 2,600mAh of power, which provides more than two times the battery life of the iPhone 6. Otterbox’s unique Auto-Off technology prevents overcharging by switching off the battery case when the phone is fully recharged.
Although it packs an internal battery, the Resurgence case retains a slim profile thanks to its redesigned circuitry.
The Resurgence case for iPhone 6 will be available in early 2015 with an MSRP of $99.
In June of 2014, Hyper launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce the iStick – a USB flash drive that would connect to smartphones and tablets as well as computers. It was notable for being the first USB drive to include an Apple Lightning connector.
The wildly popular campaign blew past its stretch goal and raised over $1 million USD – more than 10x what the project was seeking to raise!
At CES 2015 in Las Vegas, Hyper was showing off their new iStick Pro model. Like the original, this one features both an Apple Lightning connector as well as a Micro USB connector.
The iStick Pro features an aluminum body while the original iStick was made of plastic. We caught up with Jennifer from Hyper who told us a bit more about the new drive.
The iStick Pro comes in capacities ranging from 8GB to 128GB and will be available later this year. The iStick Pro is the latest evolution of a great idea. We hope to see more from Hyper in the future!
1. Speck Candyshell Amped Passive Amplifier Case
This case works as a passive amplifier for the iPhone 5 or 5s. Its unique design reflects the phone’s internal speaker and makes it 2x louder and clearer. Price is $44.95 each.