Make us your home page

Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Roundup: Samsung S4 at AT&T, LG pranks,

S4 comes to AT&T stores: Samsung's Galaxy S4 is on sale in AT&T stores today. (Other carriers, not yet.) So what's the reception for the new Samsung smartphone? Strong on hardware, but add-ons are gimmicky.   Washington Post

Make it your own:
Got a new Android phone? You'll have lots of options for customization. Here are some tips on getting you started on tricking out your new phone.  Time …

Full Story

Sports headphones stay put during workouts

The Motorola SF200 sports headphones are designed to stay put during exercising.

Lyra Solochek, Tampa Bay Times

The Motorola SF200 sports headphones are designed to stay put during exercising.

Wearing headphones can be a challenge when you're exercising. So many don't stay on your ears because of all the jostling, especially when you start perspiring.

With fitness buffs in mind, Motorola came out with the SF200 headphones. Designed with over-the-ear loop that hooks around the back of the ears, the headset is designed to stay in place. The loop is skinny enough to be able to wear even with glasses or sunglasses on. In fact, I think it stays on better that way, and didn't hurt like some other headsets with bulky loops.

I had my husband test it out when he went to the gym. He says the ear pieces stayed on during all the exercising, and never fell out or slipped. He was able to hear his music on the iPod even though the treadmills were located under the gym's speakers blaring out some "workout" music. But the SF200 doesn't completely block out outside noise, which is ideal if you're jogging along the road.

For me, the arc of the loop was too high, and didn't fit my ears well. The earpieces fit better with sunglasses on, however.

The headset comes with four sizes of silicone ear cushions for you to find a good fit. It's water resistant with mesh and silicone seals. The speakers are encased to keep moisture out. (Interestingly, the instruction manual, under the Use and Care section, says to keep the headset away from "Liquid of any kind: Don't expose your product to water, rain, extreme humidity, sweat or other moisture." Hmm.)

With the small built-in control and microphone, you can answer calls, control the volume or skip through music on your player.

Lastly, I appreciated that the cords were bright red, and not black like so many other accessories. Black tends to disappear in a sea of other black gadgets or car upholstery.

Motorola SF200
, $49.99

Full Story

Tough on your phone? Put an Armor on it

The heavy-duty clasp keeps the case shut tight, but you'll have to dig your fingernails in the little opening to unlatch it.


The heavy-duty clasp keeps the case shut tight, but you'll have to dig your fingernails in the little opening to unlatch it.

Otterbox phone cases have been known for its toughness. Many users swear by the brand for protecting their smartphones from, well, life. …

Full Story

Roundup: Celebrity home screen, best weight-loss apps, Apple's "killer app"

Celebrity screen: What you have on your mobile phone home screen can say a lot about you. What about some of your favorite musician, athlete or movie star? Here are some who were willing to share.   Men's Health

BlackBerry disputes findings:
BlackBerry is asking for an investigation by securities regulators after a report surfaced that the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphones are being returned by customers at an above-average rate.   New York Times

Survey says:
A Raymond James survey finds that a BlackBerry is the phone consumers want the least: a whopping 71 percent.  All Things D

Upgrade extension:
Verizon Wireless customers will have to wait a full 24 months (instead of the previous 20 months) to be able to upgrade their phone to a new model. Of course, if you're willing to pay the unsubsidized price, you can upgrade any time.   All Things D

Apple's "killer app": One analyst predicts that Apple will introduce a "killer app" – a true mobile wallet – this summer to be included with the iOS 7 update.   CNet

Keep your eyes away from that phone:
A California appellate court ruled that it's illegal to hold your smartphone to use it for anything, including finding directions on a map app. You can't even even look at it either.   Los Angeles Times

6 apps for losing weight: Shed some pounds with these weight-loss apps that can help you to stick to your plan.  New York Daily News

Tax Day freebies:
This has nothing to do with gadgets, but who can pass up sharing about some freebies on Tax Day (April 15)? So check out some of these offers listed on during your lunch break.

Full Story

Roundup: HTC One preorders, 40 years of mobile phones, Samsung shops within Best Buy, more

HTC One preorder starts today: The HTC One smartphone, which is coming out on April 19, is now available for preorder at AT&T. The phone will start at $199 for a 32GB model, and $299 for a 64GB (which is only available at AT&T). Preordered phones with the carrier will come with an HTC Media Link HD wireless HDMI adaptor. The phone will also be available through T-Mobile ($99.99 plus 24 payments of $20), but its release date hasn't been announced. Sprint will also sell the phone, but details are not yet officially announced. …

Full Story