92 articles published since January 19, 2022
About Chris Thomas
Chris’s first foray into electronics included fixing and destroying early PCs in his dad’s basement while testing the overclocking capabilities of an Intel 486 CPU. Since then, he’s melted considerably fewer processors while pushing increasingly powerful gaming hardware to its limits. He’s spent the last several years writing for numerous online tech magazines, of which Android Police is the latest and most fun. Chris has been a freelancer with Android Police since early 2022 and is honored to contribute alongside its team of experts. His focus lies on straightforward, helpful buying guides that make it easy for the average electronics user to make informed decisions on the most cost-effective devices. In particular, he loves recommending affordable wireless headphones that outperform far more expensive brands. One of his biggest goals is to find a high-quality yet truly compact Android smartphone that doesn’t cost a fortune, something the market hasn’t seen in several years (RIP Sony XZ1 Compact).
Brighten up your life with the best of the best smart light brand
With reliable bulbs, comprehensive feature sets, and compatibility with virtually every smart home system, Philips Hue has established itself as the go-to choice among high-end smart lighting brands. More than just a standard smart light bulb, Philips Hue offers bulbs in every size, shape, and style you can imagine. However, while they're easy to use and can do great things on their own, Philips Hue bulbs require a separate Hue Bridge to use more advanced features like scenes and away-from-home control.
Build your Echo-powered smart home with the best plugs, lights, locks, cameras and more
Alexa is the simplest and most prevalent voice assistant, with compatibility baked into some of the easiest smart home devices out there. The Alexa-compatible roster includes thousands of smart home appliances, including security cameras, smart thermostats, robotic vacuums, and more.
Protect your high-end smartphone and keep a couple of cards and a little cash on hand
The Samsung Galaxy S23+ is reasonably durable overall, but it's also covered in glass. Since it's decently large, you want to consider a wallet case so you can leave your actual wallet at home and keep one of your pockets free. Capacities range from one card to four, with some folio cases offering a slot for cash or small papers. What's more, there's a great selection of stylish, eye-catching, and sometimes customizable designs available in case the average case is too bland for you. Some are also only marginally bigger than the best Galaxy S23+ cases we've used.
Illuminate your world with any (or all) of these fun and colorful smart lights from LIFX
Sitting somewhere between premium Philips Hue lighting and bargain-basement offerings like Wyze, LIFX is one of the best smart lighting brands today. It works smoothly with Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, the two most popular voice assistants available today. Plus, LIFX lights also come in a decent variety of shapes and sizes, with brighter, bolder colors and more in-depth programming than many competitors.
Keep that beautiful OLED screen unblemished
Typically, in a roundup like this, we'd sit here extolling the virtues of the many excellent screen protectors available and why they're all great and easy to use. But we're also committed to providing objective, helpful information, so we'll give it to you straight: It's a bit of a tricky business to keep the glass on your Google Pixel 7 Pro in perfect condition.
At long last, there's a decent selection of quality cases for the Tab S8 Ultra
If you're going all out to get the biggest and best Android tablet money can buy, you're getting the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. It's massive and gorgeous display has a ton of room for productivity, and the power inside is plenty capable of getting even the most intensive tasks done — make sure you keep it that way.
Customize your Google Nest Mini with these mounts and stands
The Google Nest Mini is one of the most affordable and convenient smart speakers, and it's perfect for smart homes already built around multiple Google-friendly smart devices. Its small size and low price make it an especially good addition to an existing set of smart speakers scattered throughout your house. To make it even more accessible and improve microphone range and accuracy, consider one of the various stand and mount types available. Whether you want to mount it to the wall, hide it near an electrical outlet, or put it in a place of honor atop an artistic statue, there's a Nest Mini mount or stand that's right for you.
Cracked your Galaxy Z Fold 4 or Z Flip 4 screen? Here's what you'll need to spend depending on your warranty.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 have the general durability improvements you'd expect compared to their predecessors. Aside from those upgrades, both phones lean on display quality to stand out against the competition. Like any device, you'll want to protect your phone, foldable or not. A case is the best way for your Z Fold 4 or Z Flip 4 to survive any accidents, but even with the best cases in the world, the worst can still happen and damage your device.
Protect your versatile smartphone and express yourself with these great cases
Even an affordable phone like the Moto G Stylus 5G (2021) needs protection against the drops, bumps, and scrapes of everyday life. This is especially true when you consider that the bigger they come, the harder they fall, and the Moto G Stylus has an expansive 6.8-inch screen and a larger body to go with it.
Protect that slippery hunk of glass from the cruel, concrete world
While it isn't new, the 2021 flagship Google Pixel 6 Pro smartphone is still among the best Android phones today. Since it's been popular since before it even hit the market, there's a massive selection of cases to choose from. It's especially worthwhile to wrap this one up, for that matter, because its glass body is a touch more slippery than most people would like.
The best budget tablet deserves only the best case
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 has impressed us at every turn with its affordable price point combined with an excellent display that has kept it in the conversation of best Android tablets. While its midrange performance keeps it best used as a media device, it's still a tablet you're going to want to protect with a case to ensure you don't damage it when you're carrying it around. With that in mind, we've gathered some ultra-premium cases and a handful of well-constructed but considerably more affordable choices. Whether you need something rugged, fun, or packed with storage pockets, one of these great Tab A8 cases has you covered.
From bulbs and plugs to locks and cameras, these smart home devices are perfect for getting started
While it's firmly in the mainstream at this point, not all smart home technology is created equal. But you don't have to be an electronics wizard to get plenty of utility out of Alexa, Google Assistant, and all the electronics they pair with. In that light, some of the most popular smart home devices are great for beginners who don't want to learn how to program just to control their lighting or home security system via voice command.
Your Galaxy S21 FE deserves the most protective and colorful case you can find.
On paper, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE introduces a few downgrades compared to the original S21 lineup, but most people won't notice a difference during real-world usage. It's simply one of the best Samsung phones, any way you slice it. You will save some money by opting for the FE instead of its more full-featured relatives, but it's worth keeping in perfect condition both cosmetically and performance-wise.
Your Galaxy Tab S8 has a multitude of cases to choose from, so we've rounded up the best for you
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is one of the great Android tablets proving that Apple isn't the only one making high-quality and reasonably priced slates. Whether you're typing up homework or scrolling social media, it gets a lot done without hardly ever breaking a sweat. It's also notably more affordable than its two bigger siblings.
Heavy-duty cases for complete protection of the new Samsung Galaxy S23
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is the closest thing you'll find to a compact flagship smartphone these days, making it easily one of the best Android phones available. However, while it's easier to hold comfortably than larger phones, it's still a bit slippery and worth protecting with a high-quality phone case. To make absolutely certain you don't damage your large investment, invest in a rugged case with plenty of grip.
A rugged case is the perfect way to protect your high-end Samsung smartphone
Of the three Samsung Galaxy S22 models available, the Galaxy S22+ is the easiest to recommend. It has vastly superior battery life than its smaller sibling while being more manageable to hold than the Ultra. It might lack the fancy space zoom periscope lens, but the triple cameras are excellent.
The Pixel 6a is a phenomenal phone that only deserves phenomenal cases
With a bevy of great features and a surprisingly reasonable price, the Google Pixel 6a leads the pack of the best budget Android phones. It offers a similar experience to its far more expensive relatives, even if its hardware isn't quite as powerful.
Samsung's foldable may look mid-range on paper, but it can stand out even amongst flagships in the right conditions
There's no question that the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy S22+ are two of the best Android phones around. They're both packed with premium hardware and driven by Samsung's unbeatable OneUI user experience. But it's also obvious they're quite different in some drastic ways —for example, one folds in half, hamburger-style.
Add ports, flexibility, and functionality to your Chromebook with an excellent USB-C hub.
The best USB-C hubs for Chromebooks can effectively turn your laptop into a connectivity oasis, all with a compact piece of hardware that can even travel with you quite easily. Some Chromebooks might have enough ports for your needs as they come, but even today's best Chromebooks are paring things down with a focus on USB-C. And thanks to the versatility of the USB-C port, there's a huge variety of powerful hubs to choose from.
Use your Android phone safely by sliding it into one of these car mounts
It's unsafe and, in most places, illegal to hold your phone in your hand while driving. The solution is to invest in one of the many car mounts available today. A good phone mount holds your device securely, affixes reliably to your vehicle, and doesn't block any ports or buttons on the phone. Some also offer additional features like articulating arms and even wireless charging.