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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Mighty music player: Is this what replaces the iPod in 2018?

Why this music player is still relevant

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Today’s time sees the extinction of all other devices as the smartphone becomes the one machine that can do everything. But, what if we don’t want to do it all? What if what you need is something that’s so simple it only does (gasp!) one thing?

Music and only music

This is the premise of the Mighty music player. At a time when iPods have all but died, there’s a demand for a simple machine that’ll allow us to listen to our music without the hassle of having to bring our phones. This tiny device can do that and in updated 2018 terms — yep, it plays streaming music from your Spotify account no matter where you are.

The Mighty music player is a tiny device, no bigger than what iPod Nanos used to be. This small thing will definitely fit in whatever purse you bring.

Its face is all buttons and a tiny LED light. On the back is a simple clip.

There’s only one port on this thing, an audio port that’s used for both charging and earphones on the top side.

Play sounds

Mighty works by accessing your Spotify account. Unlike iPods that stored music data, this thing just streams playlists from the app. You’d need to download the Might app, connect your player, and pick playlists to be copied before you can get down to actual fuss-free listening.

Once that’s done, you can take your Mighty anywhere and play your music anywhere — or at least, the playlists you’ve downloaded on to Mighty. Take note that as of now, you can only copy playlists and not artists, albums, or anything else.

Imagine all the possibilities. You can now go to the gym without any alerts or distractions; take that jog outside without having to worry about carrying your smartphone! Heck, you can even zone out on your commute without having to fiddle around your bag to find your phone and play that song you’re in the mood for.

In today’s technology-tangled time, things are just getting more complicated and we’re just given more and more tasks and distractions. The Mighty player brings you back to simpler times. Well, simpler times where music streaming and Spotify exist!

Think about it: Uninterrupted sounds without having to worry about carrying your phone, message alerts that come in, or phone battery time. Isn’t that the dream?

Mighty says it’s the reality.

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Accessories

OnePlus introduces Explorer Backpack — and I want it!

Launching along with the OnePlus 6T

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All eyes will be on the OnePlus 6T launch at the end of this month, but my money will likely be spent on the accompanying backpack instead.

OnePlus revealed through its official forum that the new Explorer Backpack is set to be revealed on October 30, as well.

As you may or may not know, the tech startup is no stranger to creating sleek accessories to match whatever phone they have in stock; I myself had their first-generation backpack.

While it wasn’t the best backpack in the world — it wore out easily and got replaced by the more rugged Xiaomi backpack I use now — Project Manager Donna L. touts that this model will last for “years to come.”

There are no pictures of the interior, but it supposedly has multiple compartments, including a secret pocket on the back — which is important for a techie such as myself who has multiple gadgets at once.

Other features include a compartment with breathable vents, premium magnetic Fidlock, and two colors to choose from: Slate Black or Morandi Green.

Price and availability will hopefully be announced on stage in New York. I can already smell it.

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Accessories

Freitag R523 Hoffmann: Recycled laptop bags have never looked this good

Each bag is literally one-of-a-kind

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Continuing the never-ending search for a laptop bag I’d actually use, Freitag’s R523 Hoffmann was the next victim.

A good laptop bag is essential to your work, and your #OOTDs! When shopping for a bag that will house one of my most prized possessions (not to mention, the tool that gives me my living) there are certain considerations: Is the bag spacious enough? Will it protect my computer? Will I be able to carry it around on long days? Does it ruin my outfit?

So, does the Hoffman live up to my standards? What’s so special about this brand? Let’s find out.

What’s the deal with Freitag?

It’s really not your usual brand. Zurich-based Freitag boasts that each bag is made of truck tarpaulin, each one selected (yes, they have special truck spotters), washed, and cut to create bags — each one entirely unique to others.

So yes, these bags are made out of recycled materials but they look oh so good.

Also, they’re heavy-duty because, well, they are made out of materials designed to be outdoors under all elements. A big plus: That makes these bags waterproof, which is a great thing because I’m putting my laptop in it.

The bag I tried on for size was the Hoffmann:

Look and feel

My pick was a white bag because you can never go wrong with this color. It looks crisp, classic, and ready to match any given outfit.

Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like it’s a bag that’s made out of tarpaulin — at least not how I imagined a tarpaulin bag would look. It’s classy and it matches even business or work outfits which is great for those long meeting days. Also worth noting: Its texture gives off a great look and feel.

It has a strap handle which is pretty sturdy; no way this will break even when you have a laptop (and a whole lot of other things like I do 🙈).

It also has a longer strap so you can wear it around your shoulder. If you’re like me and you have frail arms, this feature is a godsend.

These straps are also very sturdy and adjustable. The better to carry everything you need with!

What’s inside?

There are two outside pockets for stuff you want to keep but need easy access to.

And of course, it has a dedicated laptop pocket! There are also smaller side pockets inside for other stuff and knick-knacks. Great for organizing your things — no more bags that are bottomless pits of random stuff.

This is a surprisingly spacious bag. It can house my work gear (laptop, external hard drive, small camera, cords, and chargers) plus all my everyday essentials (a semi-big makeup bag, wallet, and perfume).

Final thoughts

Despite it being sourced from upcycled materials, this is one expensive-looking bag. That’s also because it is. All those good qualities come at a price, listed at CHF 314.80 on their website and priced at over PhP 20,000 from Urban Traveller & Co. in the Philippines.

Freitag’s Hoffmann offers a good-looking laptop bag made out of heavy duty materials, ensuring your machine is always safe. A big plus is that it’s recycled — a great whoop for the environment!

One thing’s for sure: When you get yourself a Freitag bag, you get more than just a bag. You get a one-of-a-kind piece that’s not only an awesome home for your laptop, it’s also a statement on how you can breathe new life into random objects with some creativity. Each one serves as an example of how you can create new and amazing things from stuff that are seemingly worthless.

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