Sturdy adjustable kickstand for phones and tablets

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I wanted a stand for my iPhone 6 Plus, and after looking around, I took a chance on this $5 TaoTronics adjustable kickstand. I wasn't disappointed. The body is made of anodized aluminum, and the kickstand is made from some kind of black plastic. To adjust the angle, you press a button near the hinge. Once its set, it won't budge. The body has rubber feet to keep it from sliding around. I'm very happy with it. For $5, it's a great deal. Read the rest

Ultra thin BLU Vivo Air unlocked Android phone on sale for $100

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The BLU Vivo Air, a GSM 4G phone, has just 16GB of internal storage (with no microSD expansion), but at $100, this unlocked 0.2-inch thick phone with a 4.8-inch display is a great deal. A newer LTE version is available for $144. Read the rest

India's $4 smartphone declared a Ponzi scam

By Syed0145 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Freedom 251 is a 3G Android handset with a 4-inch display, a Qualcomm 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 1 GB RAM. It was introduced a couple of weeks ago in India for the low, low price of 251 rupees (US$3.67). It sounds like a great deal for millions of people who couldn't otherwise afford a smart phone.

But India MP Kirit Somaiya says he's looked into the little-known company that makes the phone and says they're Ponzi schemers.

“This is a huge scam, that is why I went through all the papers of the company. The government has informed Uttar Pradesh government to check the bonafide of the promoter. This is a Ponzi bogus company scam,” Somaiya told ANI. [Indian Express]

On Twitter, @Joydas posted photos of the Freedom 251, calling it a "Chinese Smartphone. Whitener used to Hide Name. Sold in garb of Narendra Modi's "Make in India" campaign."

The manufacturer, Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd., announced on its website that it is not taking new orders for the phone: Read the rest

Six months with a dumbphone

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In yearning for simplicity, the question is its own answer. Or maybe just get something old from Nokia.

Kenu Airframe+ Leather Edition car mount for smart phones and phablets

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I've been using my Montar smart phone mount when I drive, but it has been so blistering hot in Los Angeles lately that the sun's rays coming through the windshield are overheating the phone, causing it to shut itself down.

I was given a Kenu Airframe+ Leather Edition car mount ($40 on Amazon) to try out. It clips onto a car's heating/aircon vent. Because I have the air conditioner blasting at all times, it keeps the phone cool. The phone feels a bit more wobbly than the Montar, but it has not yet bounced out of the Kenu's spring-loaded grip, so it's not a big deal. If the temperature ever drops below 90 degrees F again, I will probably switch back to the Montair, but for now, the Kenu is what I need. Read the rest

Dual USB charger with 10000mAh for under $10

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Kmashi's Dual USB portable charger packs a beefy 10000mAh and is just $9.29 when you use coupon code MHLSNM2R at checkout in the Amazon store. It also includes a micro USB charger cable. I have one of these and I'm pretty sure Jason does too. Read the rest

NYT to SCOTUS: Cops should get warrant before searching your cellphone after arrest

From an editorial by the New York Times editorial board:

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether law enforcement officers during an arrest may search the contents of a person’s mobile phone without a warrant. The court should recognize that new technologies do not alter basic Fourth Amendment principles, and should require a judicial warrant in such circumstances.

Read: "Smartphones and the 4th Amendment." NYTimes.com

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