Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Editor's Choice Awards

We have had a great year of some great products having come in for review.  Some are good, and some are better than others.  We review based on design, features, quality, and performance.  We have multiple levels of awards that can be earned based on those criteria.  And the best of those products that come across my desk earn our Editor's Choice Award.  Every year, at the end of the year, we publish our annual Editor's Choice Awards.  Here is this year's recipients, with links to the reviews of their outstanding product.

Blue Headphones

Creative Labs E5 Headphone Amp

Creative Labs SoundBlaster Roar 2

Creative Labs SoundBlaster X7 High Resolution Audio Device

HTC One M9 Smartphone

Magellan Cyclo 505HC Bicycle Computer with GPS

Massive Audio D1600.4 Full Range Four Channel Digital Car Amplifier

Monster DNA Pro 2.0 Over The Ear Headphones

Otterbox Defender Series Smartphone Case & Alpha Glass Screen Protector

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Active Noise Cancelling Over The Ear Headphones

Westone W60 Signature Series In Ear Monitors

Kudos to those manufacturers that have such great products!  I continue to be amazed at what can be accomplished in terms of amazing products.  There have been some awesome ideas and spectacular products.  I can't wait to see what 2016 has in-store!  To that, I bid to all a Happy Holidays and Happy New Years from us at Stereowiseplus.com!  And stay tuned for what we have coming in 2016.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Massive Audio Four Channel Full Range Digital Car Amp

When it comes to electronics, you tend to get what you pay for. With car stereo amps, you want clean sound and good power. And when you want massive power, one of the best out there is Massive Audio. They provide clean sound, and a lot of power to play loud. Up for review today it their Massive Audio D1600.4 four channel full range digital car amp.

Features and specs:
  • Extreme power in a small footprint
  • MCU Power Management
  • High / Low Level Input Switch
  • Auto Turn-on/off Functions
  • Low distortion full band width for sound quality tuning
  • Advanced Full Range Digital design
  • Illuminated Logo on Heavy duty Aluminum Heat-Sink
  • Full Mosfet with high grade switching devices
  • Designed and Engineered in U.S.A.
  • Mil Spec double sided PCB with SMD parts
  • Built-in noise reduction circuitry
  • World Wide standard compliant (RoHS, E-mark, CEA-2006, CE)
  • Advanced 5 way protection
RMS @ 4 Ohm300w x 4
RMS @ 2 Ohms400w x 4
RMS @ 4 Ohm Bridged800w x 2
Min Impedance2 Ohm
THD at 4Ohm Load 30% Rated Power<.15%
S/N Ratio>70 dB*
Freq. Response20Hz - 20KHz
Dimensions2.1" x 6.5" x 12.1"

The Massive Audio D1600.4 came in a nice looking black box, that seemed to open on a hinge. Opening the box showed a well protected amp. Also included was the manual, mounting screws, and allan wrenches. Materials used in the construction was mostly aluminum, and the quality of the material used was excellent. The build quality as well as the fit and finish was also excellent. The Massive Audio D1600.4 is a solid and well built amp.

I love the design of the Massive Audio D1600.4. It has an industrial tough as nails look, and appropriately so. This is a seriously powerful and tough amp. The brushed aluminum cover helps give it this great look. The blue illuminated Massive Audio logo in the middle of the faceplate also adds a cool look. The right side houses the terminals for ground, power, and speaker wires. The left side houses the terminals for the RCA cables, and switches for gain, crossovers, and bridging the amp.

The Massive Audio D1600.4 was easy to set up. From wiring the power, ground and speaker wires, to the RCA's and setting up the gains and crossovers. Everything was well labeled and layed out, making set-up simple. The crossover used adds a lot of versatility as well, being able to use high pass, band pass, or low pass. So whether you want to power coaxials, tweeters, mids, midbass or subs, the Massive Audio D1600.4 can do it all.

The massive Audio D1600.4 is one seriously massive amp in regards to power output. It's a 4 channel amp, rated at 300 watts per channel at 4 ohms or 400 watts per channel at 2 ohms. That's 1200-1600 watts out of a footprint of only 12 x 6.5 inches for a  4 channel amp. WOW!! As impressive as it is, the D1600.4 isn't for everyone. The primary audience is the professional audio and sound competition users. After all, the Massive Audio D1600.4 can easily power 16 speakers. Now that's what we call Loud! And from an amp this small!!

While the Massive Audio D1600.4 is a clear contender for the pro audio crowd, it's also an amazing amp for the audiophile or car audio enthusiast as a whole system amp. While a 5 channel amp is preferred by many for powering a whole system, what do they provide? They typically max out at 75 watts per channel in the 4 channel section, and then usually only 300 watts for the sub. Maybe 500 watts for the sub, at 1 or 2 ohm, if you're lucky. That's not enough power for the enthusiasts. In 3 channel mode, the D1600.4 puts out 300 watts in 4 ohm for the front two channels, and 800 watts at 4 ohms to the subwoofer. That is exciting!

On paper, the Massive Audio D1600.4 is extremely impressive. So naturally I couldn't wait to see how it performed. I threw a wide range of music genre at it, for some critical listening. And I was pleased to see the magic on paper continued in it's actual aural performance.

Not only did the D1600.4 play loud, showing just how much power it had, it was really clean doing so. And it had plenty of reserves. The sound was not strained at all. Add to that the fact that the D1600.4 was also very transparent as well. So all of the small nuances I am used to hearing in my resolution rich tracks came out very well. The highs were clean, percussion was crisp, and flute had a lot of air. Midrange was also smooth with natural sounding vocals with good texture. Midbass had nice impact and depth. And the D1600.4 provided all the other sonic characteristics I like to hear, providing excellent dynamics, imaging, and a large soundstage.

As stated before, this amp is not for everyone. For the average listener with just coaxials in the front and rear, and either no subwoofer or a small one...it's not for you. This amp would be too much power. But for the audiophile or enthusiasts with multiple component systems or high power components, and multiple subs it's perfect.

I don't know of anyone who doesn't like music.  And there are a lot of companies out there making car audio products.  But for those that need it....Massive....well, that's where Massive Audio comes in.  And the Massive Audio D1600.4 4 channel full range digital amp delivers that concept in spades.  It's a well made product that flat out performs extremely well.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the D1600.4 has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  Kudos to Massive Audio for such a great product.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.massiveaudio.com.

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Kingston Mobilelite Wireless G2 Drive Review

It has become so easy to take your entertainment with you. I remember when a 32 GB hard drive on the desktop computer was a large hard drive. Now you can get that much on your smartphone. But being so easy to take your music, photo, and video collection with you, your smartphones or tablets capacity may not be enough. And some devices don't have memory card slots for more storage. Enter the Kingston Mobilelite Wireless G2. It provides extra storage capacity that you can tap into wirelessly. Kingston also included a 64 GB micro SD card to test.

Features and Specs:
Inputs for Storage:
USB and SD – reads SD, SDHC, SDXC and microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC (with included adapter)
Supported File Systems: FAT, FAT32, NTFS, exFAT
Dimensions: 129.14mm x 79.09mm x 19.28mm
Weight: 171g
Wireless Network Interface:
Wi-Fi 802.11g/n with wireless security (WPA2)
WLAN Ethernet Port:
to function as a mobile router
Rechargeable Battery: up to 13 hours of continuous use; built-in Li-ion 4640 mAh 3.8v battery
Local Storage5: wirelessly transfer files to and from the MobileLite Wireless app and the MobileLite Wireless hardware
Camera Roll support5: allows users to move photos from their mobile device to MobileLite Wireless in order to free up space
USB to micro USB cable included
Operating Temperature: 0–40°C
Storage Temperature: -10–45°C
Guaranteed: two-year warranty, free technical support
Customizable Device Name:
(SSID) User selectable Wi-Fi priority list when there are multiple APN/Key available
File Support6:
MobileLite Wireless can store any file type. Playback and viewing are based on the files supported by the mobile device
General file format support6:
  • Audio: MP3, WAV
  • Video2: m4V, mp4 (H. 264 video codec)
  • Image: jpg, tif
  • Document: pdf
Compatible with:
Windows® 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Vista® (SP2), Mac OS X v.10.6.x+, Linux v.2.6.x+
Compatible Mobile Devices:
iPad2, iPad (3rd Gen), iPad (4th Gen), iPad mini, iPad Air3, iPhone 4/4S/53, iPod touch3, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Android (4.0+)

The Kingston Mobilelite G2 came in a great looking colored box with photos of the device and specs. Construction was comprised mostly of plastic, but was of very good quality. Fit and finish was also very good, and it felt well made. I liked the two-tone look with black on the top and bottom, with white around the edge. Also included was the manual, USB charging cable and a micro SD to SD adapter.

The Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 is only a little larger than the size of a cellphone, yet it packs a lot of functionality. As stated before, it provides extra storage for your smartphone or tablet, that you access wirelessly. It also does media streaming that you can access your on a laptop. And it does even more, being able to be used as a portable battery charger, card reader, and wifi access point. With a selling price of less than $50, that is a HUGE bang for your buck!

I was really excited to test the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 drive. And as is normal for Kingston products, performance was excellent! The MobileLite G2 works great as a battery pack to charge your smartphone, as well as being a card reader and wi-fi access point. I absolutely loved and was blown away with it's performance with it's extended storage and streaming, being able to access the music and multimedia on the micro SD card inserted into the MobileLite Wireless G2.

I loaded the card up with content such as music, and having the drive in the middle of my large house on the first floor, I proceeded to test out it's wireless performance. I was utterly blown away! I started up some music on my smartphone from the drive, and began walking around downstairs. It didn't matter where I was, and how many walls were between me and the MobileLite Wireless G2. I never had a single hiccup. So I then went upstairs, and wandered room to room. Still, not a single hiccup. The music kept playing without a single drop. Now it had me very curious. With it still in the middle at my house, I went out my front door and into my front yard...still no drop. So I proceeded to walk to the end of my cul de sac. I reached the end of my cul de sac witch was around 450 feet away from the drive and multiple walls in between, and still not a single drop! So now I turned the corner and kept walking. It wasn't until the corner house got between me and my house at the end of the cul-de-sac, that I lost signal. The only glitch is it didn't reconnect until I got back inside. But the range it has was mind boggling!

The Kingston MobileLite G2 was very simple to set up. First you have to download the Kingston MobileLite app onto your smartphone or tablet. Once installed, it was simple to sync up the drive to my HTC One M9 smartphone. The small LED's on the side made it easy to see the drive's status. The Kingston SDCA 64Gb microSD card is a U3 high speed card rated for use with devices up to 4K2K resolution and is rated at up to 90 MB/s read and 80 MB/s write. It also performed well with the various tests. While doing content transfers onto the card I could tell it's a speedster. And with reading it never went under 90 MB/s, averaging close to 93 MB/s.

As you can see, the usability of the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 is huge! Many people use their smartphone for everything including photos, music, and video. If you are one of those users, and happen to also have a smartphone or tablet that has no memory card expansion slot, such as the iPhone or iPad, getting a MobileLite G2 is a no brainier, this is especially true for women, where it's easy to keep it in your purse. And you get the added benefit of having a mobile charger with you! Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Kingston Wireless MobileLite G2 earns our Value Award, as it delivers such a huge bang for your buck. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.kingston.com.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Monster SoundStage S1 Wireless Speaker System Review

Monster cable has been a company you can count on for all of your music needs. This continues with the Monster Soundstage wireless speaker system. Wireless music is something that has gotten more and more popular, with many of the music streaming services, like Pandora. It's easy to use with a smartphone or tablet, and is now easy to listen to at home. Up for review today is the Monster SoundStage S1 wireless speaker, which is part of their SoundStage line-up.

Features and specs:
More Ways to Connect
Monster SoundStage stands apart from one-trick wireless home music systems by giving you more ways to connect to your tunes. All three speakers in the line are both Bluetooth speakers and Wi-Fi speakers, letting you listen to the all the streaming music you love despite technology. It’s the freedom and convenience you need with the unrivalled Pure Monster Sound® you deserve.

No Complicated Bridge Required
Add up to 10 speakers, from up to four streaming music sources, all with no gateway or bridge. Unlike other wireless HiFi systems, this one is totally untethered. No need to connect anything to anything. You can even send music to other Bluetooth speakers and headphones around the house.

Room-Filling, Location-Free Pure Monster Sound®
Get more clarity, greater dynamics, higher definition, and more punch from all your streaming music. You’ll hear audio as it’s supposed to sound, no matter where you put the speaker. These Wi-Fi / Bluetooth speakers sound just as good as wired speakers, taking the system beyond wireless HiFi. This is high definition wireless.

Monster App, Monster Cable, Monster Connectivity
We built an empire on the quality of our cables, and they’re included in these speakers for audio that much better than the rest. Convenient USB charging, a handy 3.5mm mini jack for any source, fiber optic digital for TV, and micro USB for easy software updates are all included. Control it all from via the Monster SoundStage app for your iOS or Android device.

Decor-Friendly Design
No more boxy wireless home music systems and speakers. SoundStage is easy on the eyes, with a small footprint for easy stash-ability. Exquisite details include leather trim, the soft glow of LED, and a curved blade design that looks good with any d├ęcor.

Length – 11.50”
Height – 4.875”
Depth – 3.50”
¼-20 Speaker Mount for wall mounting
Touch controls on top of unit

The Monster SoundStage S1 came in a great looking box, with photos of the speaker system, and it's specs. Included was the speaker, power cord, and manuals. Materials used in the construction were mostly plastic, with some metal. Quality of construction as well as fit and finish, were excellent. The Monster SoundStage SI was very well put together, and had good heft to it. The SI seemed very solid in hand. I was pleasantly unsurprised with it's quality, as that is what I have came to expect with Monster.

Monster understands the need for a quality sound system for our wireless music. They also understand we typically have more than one room in our homes. For a whole house system, there should be multiple speakers. So wherever you are or wander in your home, your music will be there with you. The Monster SoundStage system is made up of three different speakers. They are comprised of the S1, S2 and S3. The S1 is the smallest for a small room, and the S3 is the largest for larger rooms. You can use up to 10 of the speakers together. And depending on the size of your rooms, they can be any combination of the S1, S2 and S3. They all integrate seemlessly together.

The next issue is compatibility. Here Monster wanted to provide the ultimate in compatibility. The SoundStage S1 comes with wi-fi and Bluetooth built-in. That way no matter what service you use, your music will come through loud and clear.  Setting up the SoundStage S1 was simple.  There is an app that helps to walk you thru it.  Once set-up and connected to your wi-fi, your smartphone is no longer needed as the SoundStage can now connect to your music streaming service thru your wi-fi.

The SoundStage is also pleasant on the eyes, with an elegant look that would look good in any decor.  The front is mostly a black metal grill, with a black plastic on the small sides and rear.  Under the grill is a midrange and tweeter on each side, and on the back is a rear firing woofer.  Under the woofer is a panel covered with a rubber cover to protect the connections.  The top is a smooth touch panel that is backlit that worked very well.

Setting up the S1 was pretty simple.  Downloading the app was easy, as was following the simple instructions on screen on my phone thru the app to get it set up.  And I loved the functionality that it gave.  If I wanted to connect an optical transport such as a CD or DVD player, there was the optical connection on the back.  And if I wanted to connect up an MP3 player, there was the 3.5mm analog jack that was also on the back.  Music from my smartphone, tablet, or streaming service worked great thru the Bluetooth or wi-fi.  And now that it's connected, it was time to do the listening. 

The first words that came to my mind were impressive, impressive, impressive!  It was Monster sound.  If you are familiar with Monster's products, you know what I mean.  If not, the SoundStage is a good product line to start with.  It was pure hi-fi and it was music to my ears. 

Right off the bat I was impressed with what I was hearing.  Percussion was crisp, clean, and very dynamic.  Vocals were smooth, natural sounding, with great texture and timbre.  The mids were smooth and not overly warm.  The midbass was very good, and it actually had bass!  Not 20hz bass, but it actually was pounding pretty good, especially for it's size.  And I found that placing it up close to a wall helped it even more with the bass. 

I have to admit that I was not prepared for what I was hearing, and I am very familiar with Monster products and their reputation.  For such a small product as the SoundStage S1, it was named correctly, as the S1 threw a large and deep soundstage!  It provided good channel separation, and the imaging was very good as was the resolution.  The engineers at Monster that designed the SoundStage need give Santa his present bag back, because they used some magic to get such a small system to sound this good.  I had to continually remind myself to stay on task, as I kept getting lost in the music.  And I guess that is probably the best compliment that I can give.  I just kept going from track to track, and from genre to genre.  It was all music to my ears.  For such a small system, it also played pretty loud.  While doing some of my testing in our family room, my 17 year old daughter actually asked me to turn it down!

Monster has done it again, and hit the ball out of the park!  They have shown us a new reality of how good a product this small can sound.  The SoundStage S1 was simple enough to connect and set-up, and the sound was excellent.  With an MSRP of $229, it is a great bang for the buck.  based on it's design, features, qualify, and performance, the Monster Soundstage S1 has earned our Highly Recommended Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website and www.monstercable.com.  

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Sigma Sport Activo Fitness Watch Review

Today we are reviewing the Sigma Sport Activo. Fitness watches are getting more and more popular. They can measure your activity such as paces, calories burned, and even your sleep activity. It's a simple tool to help track your activity. The Sigma Sport Activo is a great option for that.

Features and specs:
Four color choices
Red LED display
Intermediate Activity Targets
Sleep Analysis
Sigma Activ App
Bluetooth SMART (BLE) Technology
8 day battery life
IPX7 Waterproof rating
1 Button functionality
Simple Pairing
Battery Status Indicator

The Sigma Sport Activo came in a nice clear plastic box with printed paper. This allows you to see the product, as well as see it's features and specs. Also included was the manual, and charging cable. Construction was mostly comprised of plastic, with rubber on the band. Quality of materials used as well as fit and finish was excellent.  The Sigma Sport Activo was very well made.

Using the Sigma Sport Activo was very simple. It works wirelessly via bluetooth, with an app that you download onto your smartphone. After downloading the app, syncing the Activo with my HTC One M9 was simple. Setting up the App was also easy. I just told the app I was a male, gave it my age and weight, which is all it needed to help determine my calories burned. After the initial setup, you can track your data, either on the watch or your phone.

Tracking your info on the device was very basic, but effective. There is a single button on the face. By pressing the button you cycle from time, to step, Kcal, distance, and activity. The time cycle will tell you the time, and step cycle tells you how many steps you have walked. Kcal tells you the calories burned, and distance will naturally tell you how many miles you have walked. Lastly the activity cycle will tell you what your activity level is, either low, mid, or high. The Activo will also track your sleeping. Holding the button will get you into sleep mode for when you go to bed. Doing the same when you wake up in the morning gets you out of sleep mode.

Using the app on your smartphone, you can also check your status in a better visual presentation. The main screen gives you most of the info. It shows you steps, distance, calories burned, and length of activity (How long you have been active). Swiping up on the screen takes you to the sleep analysis screen. It breaks up your sleep into 3 categories; light, deep and awake. The Sigma Sport Activo also shows a chart with times and breakdown of sleep patterns. This allows you to see how you sleep each night. In the settings you can set it an automatic sleep mode, to go into deep mode at a certain time each night and then to exit sleep mode at a certain time each morning. Also in the settings you can have up to 3 alarms.

The Sigma Sport Activo is a great watch! It is small, comfortable to wear, and easy to use. It tells the time, has multiple alarms, and will tell you your activity status. You can even set activity goal levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold. And it notifies you when a level is met. And if you want more info, the app is easy to use. With an MSRP of $79, it is a good deal. It is well made to last a long time. Based on its design, features, quality and performance the Sigma Sport Activo has earned our Highly Recommended award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.sigmasport.com.  

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nextbook Flexx 10 Quad-Core 10.1" 2-in-1 Tablet Review

Up for review today is the Nextbook Flexx 10 2-in-1 tablet. It seems the size of computers we use is continually shrinking. First came desktops, then laptops. But that wasn't small enough, so next stop in the evolution came tablets. While tablets are handy, they have lost some of the convenience as they don't have a keyboard. Now we have the 2-1 Nextbook Flexx 10.

Features and specs:
• 10.1 inch High-resolution 1280 x 800 IPS Screen
• Intel® Atom Quad-Core / 1.8GHz (Z3735F)
• 2GB DDR3L; 32GB onboard storage
• WIFI 802.11 b/g/n
• Bluetooth 4.0
• Front-facing Camera 2.0 MP
• Back Camera 2.0 MP
• Micro HDMI
• Pogo Keyboard with two standard 2.0 USB Ports
• Micro-SD card slot for expansion to 64GB
• Support 3 -axis G-sensor
• Built-in microphone
• 7000 MAH Internal rechargeable battery
• Charging indicator light
• Windows 10
Office Mobile

The Nextbook Flexx 10 came shipped in a nice looking color printed box, with pictures of the tablet and it's features. Also included was the changing cable, and manuals. Materials used in the construction was mostly a soft plastic. Quality of materials used, as well as fit and finish is very good. Buttons and connections were put together well, were sufficiently responsive, as was the mouse pad. The touchscreen was also nice and responsive.

All in all I was impressed with the quality of the Nextbook Flexx 10. I liked the feel of the soft plastic. The keyboard and tablet ports fit together really well. The roller mechanism of opening and closing them was quite smooth. Detaching the tablet from the keyboard was as simple as pressing a button. Attaching the tablet back onto the keyboard was as simple as setting it back into the slot. And you could hear it lock into place, so you know it is secure.

One thing I did notice was that the keyboard is not Bluetooth. It will not work wirelessly with the tablet. The tablet needs to be connected with the keyboard. There are some metal contact points on the side of the keyboard that connects the two together when you mount the tablet to the keyboard.  So you don't need to worry about the keyboard not working when you want it to unlike some wireless products, since it has a hard connection.

When it came time to testing the Nextbook Flexx 10, I was glad to see things have not changed for Nextbook. They provide a great product at a nice budget price. They aren't as cheap as some lower tier budget products, and they perform very well. So in that aspect, the Nextbook Flexx 10 has lived up to their name.

Using the Nextbook Flexx 10 with the keyboard worked very well. There were no issues with the keyboard not being responsive. From that aspect, it worked just like a laptop. Whether you are typing a word document, or just surfing online, the keyboard worked great.

Using the Flexx 10 was fun.  The color display provided great colors and contrast with good saturation.  The screen was also sufficiently sensitive to use just as a tablet, without the keyboard.  The Intel Atom quad-core processor provided plenty of processing power.  Whether you are playing games, watching video, viewing photos, or using the split-screen more, the Intel Atom quad-core processor provided plenty of power.  The built-in camera didn't provide much resolution, but worked fairly well.  And with the microSD expansion card slot, you have access to much more of your content.
One aspect that was just a tad subpar would be the sound.  There are two speakers that are rear firing on the back of the tablet.  They provided adequate volume for you, as well as a few close by if you are sharing something, like a video.  But given the performance of the Netbook Flexx 10 up to this point, I was expecting a little more.  Not that the sound was bad.  You can't expect too much from the sound in a tablet, but I have heard better sound in other tablets.  The sound was just on the bright side and sounded a little tinny.  There was also a lack of lower midrange and bass.  The highs did sound crisp, clean, with good resolution.  The sound is easily usable and had plenty of volume. I was just expecting a bit better is all.

The performance of the Nextbook Flexx 10 was very good, and in most aspects has exceeded my expectations.  I loved the 2-in-1 functionality.  The attached keyboard definitely made it easier to use, and also doubled as screen protection.  If you are in the market for a tablet, the Nextbook Flexx 10 should be on your short list.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Nextbook Flexx 10 has earned our Highly Recommended Award.  With an MSRP of only $178, you get a 2-in-1 product at a great budget price.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.nextbookusa.com

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

OtterBox Defender Series Case And Alpha Glass Screen Protector Review

When it comes to smartphone cases, it's all about protection. And when it comes to protection, it doesn't get much better than OtterBox. They provide great protection with multiple difference case options. These options also give you color options, for your own look and style. And for screen protection, they also provide glass screen protectors.

Features and specs:
Defender Case:
U   Ultra-rugged protective case to maximize your daily adventures
·         Built-in screen protector safeguards HTC One M9's touchscreen against scratches
·         Port plugs allow easy access while locking out dust, debris and pocket lint
·         Holster clips to most straps and belts, plus locks in place for hands-free viewing
·         Two-piece internal polycarbonate shell snaps around HTC One M9
·         Synthetic rubber slipcover wraps around the shell to absorb additional shock

·         Built-in clear, membrane screen protector guards your precious HTC One M9 display against scratches and scuffs

Alpha Glass:
·         Fortified HTC One M9 glass screen protector with anti-shatter technology guards against scratches, scrapes and scuffs
·         Choose Vibrant or Privacy Glass
·         Vibrant: crystal clear touchscreen experience
·         Privacy: conceals your display from side views
·         Crystal clear HTC One M9 screen protector keeps your display fully visible — and protected
·         Reactive-touch technology retains your touchscreen’s sensitivity while offering a premium feel
·         Custom-fit glass screen protector fits your HTC One M9 touchscreen perfectly

·         Included tool kit for simple and precision installation

The OtterBox Defender Series case came in a great looking clear plastic package so you can see the product. The materials used in the construction of the Defender Series case was mostly made of plastic, with a synthetic rubber exterior cover. Quality of materials used are excellent. Quality of construction as well as the fit and finish is also excellent. The same can be said of the Alpha Glass Screen Protector, which came in a nice looking color printed box with photos of the glass. Quality of materials and construction was excellent. The Defender Series Case also came with a belt clip case holder, and manuals. The Alpha Glass Screen Protector also came with manuals, instructions and microfiber cloth to help with the install.

Installation was rather simple. For the Alpha Glass Protector, it was just a matter of 1st cleaning the glass screen of your phone. Then you take off the clear plastic film on both sides of the glass protector. And finally you carefully line up and press the protector down onto the screen.

Installation of the Defender case was even easier. The internal hard plastic frame is two pieces. One piece is the bottom, and the 2nd piece is the top. It was as simple a placing the phone on the bottom piece, placing the 2nd piece on top, and then snapping the two pieces together by pressing the two together at the edges. Then the rubber exterior cover wraps around the hard interior.

Having been an OtterBox user for years, I have seen one small downside to the Defender Series in the clear plastic screen protector. It is built into the top half of the internal hard plastic shell. It starts off clear, easy to use, see through, and work with. But after time, dust can get underneath it, and it is no longer as clear. If that happens, the clear plastic protector is easy to take off.

I thought I would experiment and try something different. I installed both the alpha Glass Screen Protector as well as the Defender Series case. So the clear plastic screen protector built into the Defender case was pulled out. I didn't know if it would work, but it did fairly well. And using both gives the best of both - glass screen protector for excellent image, and the Defender case for the best protection. The performance is top notch, as the installed case is a tight fit and provides protection on all sides!

When it comes to smartphone protection, the OtterBox Defender Series Case and the OtterBox Alpha Glass Screen Protector provides top of the line performance and protection. Protection doesn't get much better than that. At an MSRP of $49.95 for the Defender Series Case and $34.95 for the Alpha Glass Screen Protection. They are worth every penny. Based on the design, features, quality and performance, the OtterBox Defender Series case and Alpha Glass Screen Protector has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.otterbox.com.  

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