Accessories

5 best cases for the iPhone XS and XS Max

A case for every occasion

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If you just bought the new iPhone XS or XS Max, trust us you’re gonna want to get a case for it immediately. Breaking the glass on either side of the phone will set you back much more than a good case can.

Thankfully, one of the biggest and probably most underrated advantages of owning an iPhone is the array of third-party accessories you can get. Go online or to the mall and you’ll find one that matches your mood, the occasion, or your next destination. There are obviously more important factors to consider when buying a phone, but knowing you can get a case for your newest investment, in every style, color, or material possible after your purchase is always comforting.

Can you imagine going to an important meeting or on a night out with a flimsy jelly case? Neither can I. Here are some of my favorite cases for the new iPhone XS and XS Max.

1) Casetify Impact Cases, $50

If you’re a little clumsy like me and drop your phone often, there are a lot of military-grade cases out there that you can get. Unfortunately, they will most likely ruin the premium aesthetic of your new iPhone or your cute outfit. Fortunately, Casetify’s new Impact Cases come in fun, quirky prints. You can even pick the color of the bumper to match the color of your iPhone! The designs may look dainty but these cases have a two-layer construction of what they call qitech material so your phone will survive even a six-foot drop.

2) Casetify Leather Case with Strap, starts at $80

Need to elevate your outfits? This genuine leather case is the answer. It comes with a detachable chain wristlet and/or strap so you can wear it on yourself. There’s a version that comes with a card slot, perfect for a girls’ night out — you can hit the dance floor hands-free without worrying about misplacing your phone! The best part: You can personalize it with your initials. It’s a little pricey but power dressing is always better when paired with quality accessories.

3) Speck Presidio Grip World Edition, $39.95

It’s been three months and I’m still not over the World Cup so sue me. Speck’s iconic Presidio Grip cases now come in Germany, France, England, Spain, Brazil, and Mexico colorways (none for Argentina, sadly). The next World Cup may be four long years away but there are so many tournaments anyway, and these cases will surely come in handy. Not a football fan? The Presidio Grip line comes in other eye candy colors that offer the same amount of protection.

4) Native Union Clic Terrazzo and Clic Marquetry, price TBA

The new Native Union collections for the new iPhones are not out yet, but you can’t really go wrong with this brand. They offer some of the most tastefully made cases I’ve seen on the market and I can’t wait to check out the new Clic Terrazzo collection. It’s made of Jesmonite so no two pieces are ever the same, says Native Union. There are also going to be new leather color blocks for the Clic Marquetry collection which, I’m hoping, are more monotone and are made of different textures of fabric so they’re more versatile.

5) Gramas Hybrid Shell Case, ¥ 6,000

I first encountered Japanese brand Gramas one leisurely stroll at the mall. They stood out in a shelf of plastic cases not only because they looked t h i c c, but also because I’m always attracted to cases that combine completely different materials that somehow end up looking good. I believe they’re called hybrid for that reason, but upon closer inspection, I found that underneath that beautiful shell is a card slot made for IC cards in Japan. Most cases that double as card holders have their slots exposed because usually credit cards still need to be taken out to be swiped or inserted. Since IC cards work just by tapping, there’s really no reason for them to be out there. Of course, if you’re already using Apple Pay for Suica or if you don’t live in Japan, then the card slot is best occupied by something else, like say, an elevator or parking access card.

Bonus: Spigen Classic C1, $39.99

Every die-hard Apple fan freaked out when Spigen made these cases that look like the iMac G3 of yesteryears. They have yet to confirm whether the iPhone X cases are compatible with the new iPhone XS or if they’re making a version for the iPhone XS Max. But, seeing as how they succumbed to customer demand and crowd-funded versions for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, it won’t be long before the demand for cases compatible for the 2018 iPhones forces Spigen to make them.

Ever since the new iPhones were announced, brands have been quick to label their old iPhone X cases as compatible with the iPhone XS but that may not always be the case, no pun intended. One of the upgrades to the new iPhones is a bigger image sensor so the camera module at the back is actually also slightly bigger. That said, unless you can return them, it would still be wise to go to a store and try the cases on before buying them. You paid so much for your new iPhone after all, so you wouldn’t really want to rock a sloppy-fitting case, would you?

Accessories

Nokia E3100: Trying new buds for work to workouts

Yes, Nokia has earbuds now

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Nokia E3100

Nokia and I go way back. It was the mobile phone brand of my youth. Our history includes a series of phones that predate the existence of touchscreen ones we use now. Everyone had a Nokia device then. In recent years, it’s become a rarity. So imagine my surprise when I first heard that Nokia is now making earbuds. How did it fare against the audio giants of our time?

First impressions

I got a hold of the Nokia E3100 Essential True Wireless Earphones. Compared to my old set of earbuds (Anker Zolo Liberty+), this one’s battery case and earbuds are extremely light, almost the same weight as a tube of drugstore lipstick.

The buds can operate up to 2.5hrs with a single charge, and up to 10 hours with help of the rechargeable battery case. Super convenient to pack if we still had our old lifestyle of going out daily.

On the job

I used to be able to maximize my earbuds on my commute — listening to music or watching series whenever I’m in transit. Nowadays, I mainly connect my headset to my laptop for Zoom meetings and other virtual work calls.

The Nokia E3100 did not disappoint on the sound side. Audio from the people I’m in the call with was always clear and crisp. But, it can be a hit-or-miss as a mic. The earbuds have a built-in microphone on the right side, but my experience with it left me wanting. There was a point when I had to switch back to the laptop microphone in the middle of a call just so people can hear my voice clearly.

Nokia E3100

On the mat

I also tried the Nokia E3100 for a few home workout sessions. Since the earbuds fit my ears perfectly, there’s no fear of it falling out in the middle of jumping jacks.

Another nice surprise is how you can easily skip or repeat tracks via push button controls on the earbuds. Less distractions to your exercise momentum! The only time I have to reach for my phone is when I want to switch to a different playlist.

Nokia E3100

Is the Nokia E3100 your GadgetMatch?

It’s reliable as an earpiece for listening to music, working out, and watching series. But when it comes to the demands of working from home, the current built-in mic just won’t do.

Nokia has to work on the voice sensitivity and responsiveness of the earbuds’ mic in order to take on this new age of virtual calls and meetings.

The Nokia E3100 retails for PhP 1,999 (US$ 41)

Buy here

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Accessories

Apple launches the AirTag

Long rumored item, now finally real

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Do you keep losing or misplacing things? There’s an Apple product for that. Introducing the AirTag.

The AirTag is a small designed accessory and helps keep track of and find items you may have misplaced through Apple’s Find My App. It can help locate a lost item while keeping location data private and anonymous with end-to-end encryption.

It’s built using stainless still and is IP67 rated (water and dust resistant). The AirTag also has a built-in speaker that plays sounds to help signal its location. Its cover is easily removable to replace the battery.

If you bring them close to an iPhone, they will instantly connect. Users can assign AirTag to an item and name it with a default like “Keys” or “Jacket,” or provide a custom name of their choice.

Once it’sset up, it will appear in the new Items tab in the Find My app. Here, users can view the item’s current or last known location on a map. If a user misplaces their item and it is within Bluetooth range, they can use the Find My app to play a sound from the AirTag to help locate it. Users can also ask Siri to find their item, and AirTag will play a sound if it is nearby.

Customization

Customers can personalize AirTag with free engraving, including text and a selection of 31 emoji when purchased via apple.com or the Apple Store app. They can be used as is or with accessories like the Polyurethane Loop, Leather Loop, and Leather Key Ring.

Privacy and security

Apple says location data or location history is physically stored inside AirTag. Communication with the Find My network is end-to-end encrypted so that only the owner of a device has access to its location data, and no one, including Apple, knows the identity or location of any device that helped find it.

Price and availability

The AirTag will be available in one (US$ 29) and four packs US$ 99. It can be purchased from apple.com, in the Apple Store app, at Apple Store locations, and through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary) beginning Friday, April 30.

Customers can order AirTag beginning at 5AM PDT on Friday, April 23.

Apple-designed AirTag accessories include:

  • Leather Key Ring in Saddle Brown, (PRODUCT)RED, and Baltic Blue for US$ 35
  • Leather Loop in Saddle Brown and (PRODUCT)RED for US$ 39 (US)
  • Polyurethane Loop in White, Deep Navy, Sunflower, and Electric Orange for US$29
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Accessories

Sony launches WH-1000XM4 Silent White edition

In celebration of Sony’s 75th anniversary

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Sony’s best and highly acclaimed active noise cancelling headphones — the WH-1000XM4 — is getting a new flavor. The WH-1000XM4 Silent White edition is launching in May 2021 to celebrate Sony’s 75th anniversary.

The WH-1000XM4 Silent White has a pearlescent finish to the topcoat of the headphones to create a sense of depth and a luxurious touch. Worried about it getting dirty? It includes an additional coat compared to the earlier black and silver versions for more stain-resistance and to retain the white color.

All of the accessories included also come in white.

WH-1000XM4

New to the headphones in its 4th iteration is Multiple device pairing. This has been one of this headphones’ weaknesses and it has finally been addressed. You can now connect the Sony WH-1000XM4 to two devices simultaneously.

When a call comes in, your headphones will know which device is ringing and connect to it automatically. You’ll also be able to quickly switch your headphones to either of the two devices in a single tap.

It now also has Edge-AI, DSEE Extreme which more accurately rebuilds audio lost during digital compression for a full fidelity experience. The 360 Reality Audio feature is now also making its way to these headphones. It lets listeners enjoy a custom immersive musical field that is perfectly optimized for each individual user.

Price and availability

Exact price will be revealed at launch. The Sony WH-1000XM4 Silent White edition will be available across Asia Pacific in May 2021. In Singapore, it will be available exclusively at Sony Stores and Sony Stores Online.

SEE ALSO: Sony WH-1000XM4 review: As good as it gets

 

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