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Tag: phablet

Is Your Smartphone Safer with the iRing or Bunker Ring?

Do you worry about dropping your smartphone in the toilet? You should if you often practice a one-handed grip. If you’re also using a stick-on ring for total security, you may want to rethink your plan…

Do you worry about dropping your smartphone in the toilet? You should if you often practice a one-handed grip. If you’re also using a stick-on ring for total security, you may want to rethink your plan…

Ten months ago, I experienced a watershed moment… I attached an ‘iRing’ to the back of my iPhone 6 Plus. (Actually, my Tech 21 case.) And I immediately felt invincible. Of course, this tiny plastic square absolutely ruined the perfect sleek profile of my Apple device.

Sacrilege.

But let’s face it, these plus-sized iPhones are huge, and I must admit they’re a little difficult to handle one handed.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my little phablet.

But I’m the first to admit that I’m a multitasker throughout my day. I often find myself balancing my iPhone in one hand while my other hand is doing something else. Dropping my digital companion while trying to ‘one hand it’ would be something of a game-over moment.

So the ideas of attaching a ‘non-destructive’ stick-on plastic square with a ring to the back of my iPhone and then sliding my finger through the ring for extra support seemed simultaneously strange and brilliant.

So, I gave it a go…
And quite honestly, it was a game changer.
To be able to hang your iPhone from your finger…. Whoa!

Plus, you can use it as a kickstand to watch videos on a table with others.
Like…. “Hey, look at this.”
(Plop.)
(Play…)

So Weird, It’s Cool
I simply loved my iRing. Not to mention I discovered this $20 add-on became something of an unexpected fashion statement.

More than a few folks asked me,

“Hey, what’s that on the back of your phone?”

“Oh this little thing…? It’s an iRing.”

“Ooh…”

Suddenly, I’m the cutting-edge, ‘early adopter’ guy.
(When I often choose not to be)

And all I’m actually trying to do is not drop the darned thing in the toilet!

These were halcyon days.
Until….

My iRing Lost Its iPhone Connection
A couple of week’s back I was holding my iPhone using my fabulous iRing…
In no particular strange way or stressful positioning…
And my magical power circle… It… just… popped off.

What?!
(I was sitting at a table. So, my iPhone only had an inch or so to drop. I was insanely fortunate.)

It had been ten months since I first stuck the iRing to my life.
I would have thought the heralded ‘restickable’ adhesive would have lasted longer than that…

But have no fear… The iRing’s makers say you can reuse the iRing ‘hundreds’ of times.

Really?
Okay then…

So I ran the adhesive section under running water to ‘recharge’ it as per the instructions.
(No I don’t understand how that works either.)

And I pressed it back on.

Two days later, the iRing came off again.

A third attempt lasted for only 24 hours.
(By this time, I was mostly palming my iPhone to protect it from what seemed like the inevitable.)

No doubt about it – My iRing had reached the end of its useful life.
‘Cause really… If you can’t trust the ‘stick’… it’s simply a liability.

So now what?

Plenty of Other Choices
I could buy another iRing and hope to get a year out of the next one. But just the knowledge that it is doomed to fail, suggested I should try my luck elsewhere…

Actually, there are plenty of other competing smartphone ‘rings’ on the market.
Here’s a bunch I quickly found on Amazon:

Hello, Bunker Ring
As I did my research, all of these stick-on rings all started to look the same…
And maybe some of them actually were!
(Plus, you’ve got to wonder if the adhesive technology they’re all using comes from the same ‘sticky-goo’ lab.)

My brain started to feel fuzzy, and I began to loose focus on my quest to regain my grip.

Then, I happened upon another choice –

Bunker Ring in Box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmm…

  • It had a solid name.
    (Not unimportant)
  • The product was supported by a professional-looking main website.
  • And it’s received better overall user reviews than the competition on Amazon.

Bunker Ring Essentials

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bunker Ring seemed like the real deal… as opposed to some reseller popping their own name on a generic unit.

That said, the Bunker Ring is more expensive than the other choices above.
(I certainly hope that means it’s got more going for it.)

A couple other details:

  • The ‘Essentials’ model is a fifth generation design.
    (Maybe the fifth time is the charm?)
  • The flat ‘super pad’ is a little larger than the iRing’s.
    (Hopefully that will give it more sticking power.)
  • The outside of the ring part is circular as opposed to having one flat edge like the iRing.

Bunker Ring Vs iRing

 

 

 

 

 

 

On that last point… the iRing had won out in my first search last year, partly because that one section on the outside of the ring was flat, theoretically making its ‘stand’ functionality more stable.

Meh.

Ironically the Bunker Ring is marketed on Amazon as a “kickstand,” and while I’ve used that trick a bunch of times, the one-handed ring maneuver is really what I need to perform flawlessly multiple times every day.

Déjà Vu?
After going through all of this mishegoss, I realized I had actually considered the Bunker Ring Essentials my first time around, but the iRing’s flat edge was more appealing and took the prize.
(Hey, it was ten months ago. Sometimes, I can barely remember yesterday.)

Bunker Ring Vs iRing angle shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe it was time to give the runner-up a shot…

Click.

Never Dismiss the Strength of Five Fingers
So I’m happy to report I’m again one-handing my iPhone with confidence. My Bunker Ring Essentials is firmly attached, and my hand is back in control of my huge smartphone.
(For now)

But really… who am I fooling? Do I really expect any super-stick voodoo to last forever?

Before, the iRing made me feel totally secure. I didn’t need a net…
My iRing’s failure says more about me than its chemical engineers. That I would totally entrust the safety of my iPhone to some marketing promise was silly.

Perhaps I should actually thank the iRing for its sticky failure. That experience will now force my hand to pay a little more attention when relying on the support of my Bunker Ring Essentials.

Yes, tech is there to make our lives better… but it’s rarely perfect. You should never give up total control…

Or else one day… you could find your life in the toilet.

Brother, Can You Spare a Battery to Power my Phone Call?

Is this what your smartphone’s battery icon displays at 3:30pm? You really need help from a Mophie battery case.

Is this what your smartphone’s battery icon displays at 2:55pm? You really need help from a Mophie battery case.

Red Alert!
Smartphone batteries can’t get you though your day anymore.
Everybody out there seems to need a battery with more ‘mAh’ capacity.
(‘milliamp hour’)

Whenever someone shows up for a meeting with me,
the first comment I often get after “Hello!” is
“Can I plug in my phone somewhere?”

Worse yet, they often ask if I can loan them my iPhone charger for a quick hit.
It feels like they’re bumming a digital cigarette off me.
Now, I’m their personal power refueling station?!

Your Smartphone is Hungry!
This isn’t a new problem, but it seems to be getting worse.

Once upon a time, I could get through two days on one iPhone charge.
Then, as I discovered more apps to use, I wasn’t so sure.
So I made it a point to juice up every night.

Now with iOS 7, my little partner seems even hungrier.
I watch its battery percentage icon drain away throughout the day, and I often have to ration my afternoon email check-ins to keep the phone alive until I make it home.

And I don’t really consider myself a power user…

Better Keep that Smartphone in your Pocket
I think the good news is it’s okay to admit you can’t get through your day without a little extra juice…
I’ve always felt I was somehow hiding this deep, dark secret that I couldn’t keep my phone going all day long.

But there’s really no shame in it.
You’re not some sort of malcontent who can’t control your impulses to overuse your smartphone.
(If you are… sorry for calling you out!)

Sure, there are ways to cut back on the power drain:

  • Close unused apps
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if your not using them
  • Don’t check your email with a poor signal
    (That makes your phone work harder.)

But the truth today seems to be that smartphone batteries just can’t keep up with the normal drain that’s put on them.

So until that problem improves, you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands.

You Need Some Portable Power
Last year, I got the tiny Innergie PocketCell for my iPhone to help keep it alive on the road with me.

This elegant $60 white ‘stick’ is small enough to slip into your back pocket and is great as a portable power back-up solution for lots of your hungry digital devices.  The one big downside is you always have to carry it around with you.

Plus, it’s cumbersome to set up your little digital MASH unit in the wild and execute a power transfusion whenever your smartphone runs low.

Feed your Digital Beast!
So I finally decided it was time to get with the program and upgrade to an augmented and elegant onboard battery solution…

Unfortunately, smartphone manufacturers don’t offer this tech through their own brands.  (That would suggest their technologies are somehow lacking.)

The added juice you need comes hidden in the bodies of
third-party smartphone battery cases.

And the good news is… There’s a lot of choice out there for you.

Size Doesn’t Matter
Sure, battery cases will inevitably make your smartphone’s footprint a bit larger.
But today, that’s not so much of an issue.
In fact, if anything, bigger is better.
iPhone users are drooling over all the larger screens out there.
Have you seen the size of these Phablets?
They’re huge!

So a little extra heft is really not a deal breaker anymore…

Mighty Mophie to the Rescue
A digitally enlightened friend of mine has happily used
the Mophie Juice Pack Plus.
So instead of going through my usual painstaking research before pulling the trigger on a battery case, I quickly settled on the Mophie.

Mophie_juice_pack_plus

Call me impulsive.
Or maybe it’s just the time of year, where you don’t have a lot of spare time to brood over the perfect power accessory for your smartphone.
(If you do, you should know that Mophie also offers a couple other design flavors.)

All my right-brain decision-making aside, Mophie is still highly regarded.

It’s Going to Cost You
Of course there’s a catch…
Convenient battery back up from Mophie doesn’t come cheap:

  • $100 to fuel the 4/4s
  • $120 for the 5/5S
  • $100 if you’ve got the Samsung Galaxy S4

But can you really put a price on having enough power to get you through your day?  Mophie claims to almost double the runtime of your iPhone.
Sweet!

Discovering a Great Last-Minute Tech Gift
What choice do we flawed, digitally dependent humans really have?

  • If you’re going to get caught on a few long phone calls throughout the day
  • If you like to stream a little Hulu video or watch part of a movie you downloaded from iTunes
  • If you pay a fair amount of attention to your email
  • And if you don’t want to plot your day based on where you can plug in

…You really need one of these battery cases.

And who wants to spend this time of year worrying about your power limitations?  Open up your brain space for more important concerns.

Like….
Time is running out and you don’t have all your presents yet!?
If only it was easy to find a great last-minute tech gift.
Wait a minute!

Got to run…

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