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Our Verdict

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by the LG G Pro 2. It’s sleek, stylish and lightweight despite its huge display, and we love the stunning camera and thoughtful software within it. We really do hope that LG decides to launch it outside Asia at some point in the near future.

LG unveiled its G Pro 2 phablet earlier this month, boasting a whopping 5.9in display, 4K video recording and Android 4.4 KitKat. We spent some time with the device at MWC in Barcelona to find out how LG has tackled such an enormous phone for our hands-on review.

LG G Pro 2: Display

A follow up to last year’s ‘best smartphone of MWC 2013’ the G Pro, Lenovo’s new G Pro’s display has grown from 5.5in to 5.9in for version two. This also makes it 0.2 inches bigger than its close rival, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

I was dubious about the size of the device before I approached the LG stand at MWC, as I’ve always thought the idea of having such a big screen on a smartphone is a bit bizarre. However, upon picking up the LG G Pro 2 for myself, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s huge, yes, but even with my reasonably small hands I was able to hold and grip the phablet with ease.

That’s in part thanks to the incredibly thin bezels, which mean the device is actually only around 2.7mm wider than the Note 3, and exactly the same thickness at 8.3mm.

It’s just 4g heavier than the Note 3, too. I was pleasantly surprised by the lightness of the device – somehow LG has managed to make what should be a bulky, clunky device almost dainty and delicate. There are no physical buttons on the front or side of the phone, instead using the power key and volume key on the back of the device beneath the camera lens.

To unlock the G Pro 2, LG’s added Knock Code to the device – an evolution of the company’s KnockOn feature which now requires a series of predetermined taps on the screen. Apparently there are a total of 86,367 possible combinations, so it should be pretty secure. We found it easy to get used to, and liked the double-tap to lock feature too.

When it comes to actually using the LG G Pro 2 things do get a little tricker. One-handed use is pretty much out of the window, though LG has come up with a window-shrinking feature called ‘Mini View’ that should help here. We found it a bit odd at first, as the small, adjustable window sits on an otherwise black display, but it certainly solves the problem and we were able to thumb in a phone number without requiring both bands.

You can find out more about the new software features and other new features in the LG G Pro 2 our MWC hands-on video below.

LG G Pro 2: Camera

We were really impressed with the 13Mp rear camera, which has optical image stabilisation (OIS) and can record video in UHD 4K and 120fps HD. Some new camera modes have been added, including Magic Focus, which takes a series of photos in quick succession to allow you to refocus your photo to your preference after you’ve taken it.

LG has even added a feature designed to help you take better selfies with the LG G Pro 2’s front-facing 2.1Mp camera. You get a white border around the viewfinder while taking a photo in this mode which is designed to provide better lighting.

LG G Pro 2: Performance and battery life

The LG G Pro 2 has the same speedy 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor found in the LG G2 and a whopping 3GB of RAM. Using the phablet felt effortlessly fast, and we’re hoping we’ll have the chance to put it through some further tests to see exactly how well it performs. See also: LG G2 review

There are 16GB and 32GB versions of the G Pro 2 available, and there’s a microSD card slot to allow you to add up to 64GB more.

The battery removable is 3200 mAh.

There’s no UK price for the LG G Pro 2, but that’s not a surprise because there’s been no confirmation that we’ll be getting this device in the UK, unfortunately. We’re keeping our fingers crossed, because it seemed to be attracting a lot of attention on the LG stand at MWC, so we’d hate to miss out on it.

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Review: Lg Optimus G Pro Is An Oversized Phone With A Beautiful Screen

LG hasn’t always been a fan favorite: For a long time the company was best known for its budget handsets that did little to stand out from the competition. In recent years, however, LG has earned a reputation for creating solid, reliable devices. The LG Optimus G Pro continues that string of successes, blowing away its nearest competitor in size and design, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, and rivaling the recent HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 as one of the best Android phones on the market. The G Pro runs like a sports car engine in the body of a family minivan—an unassuming aesthetic mixed with luxury performance. Provided you can fit it in your hand (a big caveat), this quick, flashy giant might very well be the phone for you.

Built for Goliath

At 5.9 by 3.0 by 0.4 inches the Optimus G Pro is larger than almost any other phone on the market. Like last year’s Galaxy Note II, the G Pro packs 5.5 inches of screen real estate, straddling that fine line between tablet and phone. Michael HomnickThe LG Optimus G Pro (right) next to the Samsung Galaxy Note II (left).

On the other hand, the G Pro carries its size well. It’s definitely overlarge (people with tiny hands, beware), but I found the G Pro surprisingly comfortable to operate. In addition to a volume rocker, the left spine of the handset features a quick-launch button that can be customized to open any app on the device—handy for accessing the camera or a browser. The G Pro is slightly slimmer than the Galaxy Note II, which helped it sit better in my average-size hands. You’re also able to compress the keyboard closer to the left or right side if you really want to use the device one-handed.

Michael HomnickThe G Pro has a great-looking display.

As for the screen, it’s a beautiful behemoth running at 1920 by 1080 resolution, with a pixel density of 400 pixels per inch. That’s a much higher resolution than what you get on the Galaxy Note II’s 267 pixels per inch and 1280-by-720-resolution display, though the G Pro’s density doesn’t quite live up to what the HTC One and Galaxy S4 offer (both are 1920 by 1080 displays, with 469 and 441 pixels per inch, respectively). Unfortunately, this beautiful screen is housed in a cheap plastic exterior that relentlessly attracts smudges. The phone is by no means ugly—especially with the screen on—but it just doesn’t stand out, as the lovingly-honed HTC One does.

Performs like a pro

Driving this enormous phone is the same basic architecture as the HTC One—a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB of RAM. The G Pro feels quick and incredibly responsive. The phone handled everything I threw at it with ease, including bleeding-edge games and resource-intensive applications. The G Pro comes equipped with 23GB of usable storage out of the box, though you can always add more via a MicroSD card.

Michael HomnickThe G Pro packs a lot of performance into a slim package.

The phone’s battery shouldn’t have any problem handling an average day of use. However, the huge screen definitely chews into battery life during prolonged usage. If you’re heavy on games or constantly checking Twitter, consider toting a charger on your outings.

One area where the Galaxy Note II bests the G Pro is in multitasking. Though LG touts the ability to view multiple apps on the G Pro, that feature is fairly limited: You can’t view apps side by side but instead must rely on LG’s QSlide feature to do more than one thing at a time. QSlide can launch one of four apps—calendar, notes, video, or calculator—above whatever’s currently running. While the international version of QSlide includes a browser, that’s not in the U.S. version. As a result, the G Pro’s multitasking capability feels lopped off at the knees.

AT&T only

For some reason, LG made the baffling decision to lock the G Pro to AT&T, so keep that in mind if you’re considering this device.

The G Pro’s call quality leaves a bit to be desired. Noise sometimes crept into the outgoing voice, and the incoming audio sounded a little tinny (though plenty loud). The handset is also not very good at cutting out background noise—which is odd, since using speakerphone on the G Pro makes you sound incredibly distant even if you’re only 6 inches away.

4G LTE reception was fast enough in our San Francisco office location to stream video and download apps over AT&T’s network with ease (your results will vary depending on AT&T’s coverage in your area).

13 is a lot of megapixels, but…

Michael HomnickThe G Pro has a 13-megapixel camera.

Even though it’s packed with pixels, the 13-megapixel camera on the G Pro didn’t meet our expectations. Images taken under normal conditions were significantly fuzzier than what we’ve seen from the similarly spec’d Samsung Galaxy S4. The G Pro’s low-light performance was better than that of Samsung’s offering, but overall the G Pro’s camera performance was subpar.

The G Pro’s camera app has a number of extras, including HDR (high dynamic range) and Panorama mode, both of which have their share of quirks. Panoramic shots look sharp at first glance, but lose clarity even faster than the G Pro’s standard shooting mode once you begin zooming in. The HDR setting works well, but takes too long to shoot and process images for regular use.

The G Pro also features an “Intelligent Auto” mode, which adjusts aperture, white balance, and shutter speed on the fly to take better pictures. Unfortunately the mode is a bit fidgety, especially when it comes to white balance. It has a bad habit of completely changing the white balance for a split second right as you go to snap the perfect shot, leaving everything too orange or blue. It’s better to adjust the options manually.

If you’re obsessed with taking high-quality pictures on your phone, the G Pro’s camera might be a deal breaker. It certainly doesn’t hold up to the S4, and its options are quite limited. On the other hand, if you treat the camera as supplemental to the other features, or as a nonissue, it should work fine for most of your needs.

Bottom line

LG’s Optimus G Pro is king of the small—but growing—phone/tablet hybrid market (I refuse to use the term “phablet”). It’s a performance powerhouse that, despite its large size, is relatively comfortable to use even with average-size hands. The G Pro loses a few points for its limited multitasking features, but if you’re looking to buy a large Android phone and aren’t dismayed by the underperforming camera, then the G Pro is definitely worth considering.

Lg G8 Thinq Review: Gimmicks With A Capital ‘G’

The LG G8 has a great screen and processor, but its gimmicks are just too much to bear.

That’s a shame, because underneath all of the gimmicks is really good phone. Maybe even a great one.

Had LG focused on the things that matter while undercutting its Samsung and Google rivals, it might have had a hit on its hands. Instead, the LG G8 is filled with gimmicks that might be fun initially, but their persnicketiness and general uselessness ultimately frustrate and cheapen the experience.

It’s not enough for LG that the G8 ThinQ has the best processor, a great screen, an impressive battery, and a solid camera. Like nearly every G phone that came before, the G8 also has to be different, and that’s where it gets tripped up.

Mind you, the G8 is still saddled with LG’s overly staid design language and UI deficiencies. But with top-of-the-line specs and gesture navigation, LG’s latest flagship should be able to stand up to the Galaxy S10 or Pixel 3 XL. And it probably would, if not for all of those gimmicks.

The design remains the same

If you’ve ever seen the LG G7, you already know what the G8 looks like. It has the same 6.1-inch display, ports, and overall shape, and comes in the same two colors: black and silver. The dedicated Google Assistant button remains. While the G8 is a touch heavier at 167 grams (versus 162 for the G7), the two phones have an extremely similar aesthetic and frame, right down to their unbalanced bezels:

G8: 151.9 x 71.8 x 8.4mm

G7: 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm

Things are a little different on the back. LG has mounted the camera array horizontally rather than vertically, bringing it more in line with the V40 than with previous ‘G’ phones. It’s also fully encased under the glass, which gives it a sleeker, smoother look compared to other all-glass phones. If not for the fingerprint sensor in the middle, in fact, the back of the G8 would be just as smooth as the front. It’s a good look, and makes the camera bumps on iPhone XS all the more unsightly.

Christopher Hebert/IDG

The LG G8, left, has a OLED display versus the LCD on last year’s G7.

A top-notch screen, processor, and battery

The G8’s display is the same size and resolution as the G7’s, notch and all, but there’s one big change: LG has switched from LCD to OLED. LG’s OLED screens have been somewhat problematic in the past, with dull colors and banding, but there’s no such issues here. It’s definitely a nice upgrade over last year’s LCD, even with a notch that LG insists on calling a “new second screen.”

Christopher Hebert/IDG

In a nutshell, the LG G8 is a good phone undone by some bad gimmicks.

Two other high points on the G8 are its speed and battery life. Like the Galaxy S10, the G8 uses the newest Snapdragon 855 chip. Consequently it’s an absolute workhorse, launching, switching, and handling apps with ease. Benchmarks backed up my real-world impressions, and while it’s not a massive boost over the G7’s Snapdragon 845 (8,980 vs 7,832 based on PC Mark’s Word 2.0 score), it’s definitely more than enough speed for any user.

The G8 runs on Android 9, but you won’t find Digital Wellbeing or any kind of screen-time monitoring. Gesture navigation is represents, however, and you get a similar implementation of the swipe-up-on-the-home-button method that you’ll find on the Google Pixel. LG still hasn’t quite mastered the app drawer, but the implementation is good and you can toggle back to the old way if you’d prefer. 

Unfortunately, the rest of UX 8.0 leaves much to be desired. LG’s Android skin is both boring and unintuitive, with bloated settings, unwanted apps, and an overall clunky aesthetic. Much like Samsung did with the excellent One UI, it could use a complete makeover.

Time-of-flight is dumb on arrival

The rest of the G8’s featured tech is where the problems creep in. Filling the space left by the receiver in the notch is the G8’s unique signature feature, a time-of-flight “Z Camera” front sensor that’s used for three things: 3D facial unlock, vein and palm unlock, and touch-free gestures.

Christopher Hebert/IDG

You can dismiss calls using Air Motion on the G8, but it’s easier to just tap the Ignore button.

Hand ID, LG’s name for its bizarre palm unlocking feature, doesn’t work nearly as well. Not only did it fail to recognize my hand more than half the time, but I struggled to find a legitimate case scenario in which it would be useful. Even if it worked, raising your palm to your phone while holding it with the other hand is cumbersome at best. Presumably LG is thinking of those times when your G8 is lying flat on a table. But it’s just as quick to use a pattern or a PIN.

Christopher Hebert/IDG

Hand ID lets you unlock your phone by holding your palm in front of the time-of-flight camera. In theory, anyway.

While Apple has baked Face ID into all aspects of iOS, LG reserves face unlock and Hand ID for unlocking. That’s partly because Android doesn’t support time-of-flight scanners for system-wide authentication, and partly because LG has focused its time-of-flight innovations on what might be the most useless feature to ever appear on a smartphone: Air Motion.

Sadly, it’s also the G8’s most marketable feature, allowing you to control parts of the phone without needing to touch the screen. Instead of taps and swipes, you hold your hand about a six inches from the front camera until your hand is recognized. Then you can wave to do things like play music and answer calls, and twist to raise and lower the volume. It’s something people are going to want to try out and it might even convince a few people to buy one.

Christopher Hebert/IDG

With a swipe of your hand you can launch one of two apps on the G8 and control some tasks.

A camera with little new to offer

There’s nothing wrong with the G8’s camera, there’s just not much new about it either. Like the G7, the G8 has a dual camera, and the specs are very similar:

G7: 16MP, f/1.6, 1 μm + 16MP, f/1.9, 1 μm

G8: 12MP, f/1.5, 1.4 μm + 16MP, f/1.9, 1 μm

As such, the two phones take very similar pics. In an age of triple and quadruple cameras, the G8’s array feels a little pedestrian. Its ultra-wide lens is no longer a novelty, and what was once a leading camera app is more or less run-of-the-mill now. Thankfully, the ThinQ bits have been toned down, too: For instance, the AI Cam, which used to visually process every aspect of the scene with words that flew across the screen, is little more than normal computational adjustments on the fly now.

Michael Simon/IDG

The G8 (left) captured better color and detail than the G7 (center) in this Lego figure, but again, the Google Pixel 3 (right) is a clearly winner. 

The G8’s camera offers a few improvements. Auto focus works better and faster, and the new Night View mode isn’t nearly as artificial looking as the Super Bright Camera mode was on the G7. However, when comparing the G*’s images to those of a top-notch camera such as the Pixel 3, or even last year’s Samsung Galaxy S9, the differences are stark.

Michael Simon/IDG

The LG G8’s night mode (left) is a bit darker than the  G7 (center), but much. of the detail is still preserved. However, the Pixel 3 (right) took the low-light crown, with better brightening and detail than either phone.

Should you buy an LG G8?

There are plenty of reasons to buy the G8: top-of-the-line processor, excellent battery life, great screen, solid camera. But great specs and nice hardware aren’t enough when you’re competing with the Galaxies and Pixels of the world. The unique features that should make the G8 worthy of its $829 price tag are unfortunately where it falls short.

Christopher Hebert/IDG

To get Air Motion to work, you need to hold your hand in just the right spot.

The G8 would be easier to recommend if it were $200 cheaper. As it stands, you can get a Galaxy S10e or an iPhone XR for $70 less than a G8, and both of those deliver a better UI and equal or better performance without the cheap tricks. The G8’s time-of-flight tricks only serve to cheapen the experience, rather than strengthen it with strong facial recognition and portrait shots.

So if you can get it for a healthy discount, I suppose the G8 is worth considering. But even then, I’d probably recommend the Galaxy S10e instead. For my money, the G8 is just one too many gimmicks over the line.

Get Android 5.1 Lollipop On Your Lg G Pad 8.3 (Unofficial Cm12.1)

LG G Pad 8.3 official Android 5.1 update may not come, ever, but thanks to CM12.1 custom ROM, it’s already available unofficially. Announced back in September 2013, the G Pad 8.3 inch version is still a capable tablet and can run the Android 5.1 update without any issues. You cannot argue if the users need more, in fact the latest, and this is something that can only be fulfilled by, a custom ROM.

Couple of days ago, CM12.1 custom ROM for the LG G Pad 8.3 (model no. V500) became available with the amazing set of customization options and features. You can treat yourself with stock Android UI, in its pure form, without the changes by LG. CM12.1 as the name suggests is based on Cyanogen Mod Android 5.1 code, thus similar to the stock Android update, but it does come along with tons of customization options that makes it a good choice of ROM for G Pad 8.3. You can always go back to install official firmware back, which will bring the device back to factory state, and will remove your custom recovery and ROMs along. You’re not likely to get your warranty back.

Note: You know, because this ROM is not an official Google Android 5.1 update for LG G Pad 8.3, there are chances you could find few kinks at some of its corners. Any major bugs will be reported below.

Sr. #

ROM

Major Bugs

1

CM 12.1

ROM 

Gapps

NOTE: When downloading a ROM, do check its development page first for newer and more stables builds, if any available, with less bugs. Since the 5.1 ROMs are under heavy development, consider this a must.

More Android 5.1 based ROMs to be added as and when available.

Supported devices

LG G Pad 8.3 (model no. V500)

Don’t try on any other device whatsoever

Instructions

Warning: Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page. You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.

Backup important files and data (contacts, messages, etc.) stored on your device before proceeding with the steps below, so that in case something goes wrong you’ll have backup of all your important files.

Transfer the ROM file and Gapps file to your device’s internal storage and remember the location where you save them.

You will need either of TWRP recovery, CWM or Philz recovery for this. Get TWRP recovery from here. The guide below is based on TWRP, although procedure in other recovery is nearly same.

Boot into recovery mode.

[Optional] Make a backup. Once in TWRP recovery, take a backup of your current ROM. In TWRP, select Backup, then do a “Swipe to Back Up” on the bottom of the screen. Wait for the backup to finish, the process may take some time to complete.

Once the backup is finished Wipe your device, do this: tap on Wipe, then Advanced wipe, and then select Cache, Dalvik/ART cache and Data. Then do the “Swipe to wipe” at bottom to ready the device for ROM flashing by erasing the cache, dalvik cache and data in one shot.

Install ROM now. Go back to the main menu of TWRP recovery and select Install. Navigate to the file where you saved your ROM’s zip file, select it and “Swipe to Confirm Flash” on the bottom of the screen. Now wait until the flashing process finishes.

Also install the Gapps the same way as ROM.

Go to back to recovery’s Main menu, select Reboot » select System.

Your device will now reboot with Android 5.1 update, via CM12.1 ROM!

In case you need any help over this, let us know. And, you can thank the developer for creating the ROM.

Deals: Airpods Pro 2 Land At $200, Apple Pencil 2 All

All of Thursday’s best deals are now up for the taking, courtesy of our pals over at 9to5Toys. On tap today, AirPods 2 have returned with a $49 discount attached to land at the second-best price yet at $200. If you’re looking to upgrade your iPad now that Final Cut Pro has launched, an all-time low has returned on Apple Pencil 2 at $85. Then go shop all of the Apple accessories in Twelve South’s 20% off Memorial Day sale. Hit the jump for all that and more in the latest 9to5Toys Lunch Break.

AirPods Pro 2 with improved ANC lands at $200 (Reg. $249)

Amazon today is offering one of the first chances this year to save on the new AirPods Pro 2. Apple just refreshed its flagship true wireless listening experience last fall, with a handful of discounts set to follow over the past few months. Now on sale for $200, the latest pair of earbuds from Apple arrive with $49 in savings from the usual $249 going rate. That not only marks the second-best price to date at within $1 of the all-time low, but also the lowest we’ve seen in two months since back in March. Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 continue the legacy left by the original pair of the high-end earbuds by delivering one of the most robust listening experiences on the market. 

Everything comes centered around one of the hallmarks of the Apple ecosystem, with the H2 chip enabling quick handoff between devices, as well as upgraded audio processing for even more peaceful active noise cancellation. There’s Spatial Audio to throw you right into the center of your favorite album and studio sessions, improved battery life that means the 6 hours of onboard listening is 33% more than the first-generation pair, and a redesigned charging case that delivers MagSafe charging on top of a lanyard loop, Find My access, and an extra 30 hours of play back.

Apple Pencil 2 returns to all-time low of $85

After Apple just launched Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro on iPadOS devices earlier in the week, Amazon today is rolling out a fitting markdown on the companion Apple Pencil 2. The popular accessory has been deemed a must-have by practically any iPadOS user, and now you can score an even better price. Typically fetching $129, right now the stylus drops to $85 at Amazon. That’s stacking up to $44 in savings alongside delivering a new all-time low. This is an extra $4 below our previous mention and the first time it has dropped below $89. 

Compatible with everything from the just-released iPad Air 5 to the Pro models and even Apple’s compact iPad mini, Apple Pencil 2 elevates the experience be it for drawing, taking handwritten notes, or just getting more precise input. Its refreshed design magnetically snaps onto the side of your device for storage and also in order to recharge for a streamlined package. There’s also the unique new hover features that are rolling out to the new M2 models. 

Twelve South’s annual Memorial Day sale is live with 20% off everything

The Memorial Day savings are now beginning to roll in, and Twelve South is the first of our favorite Apple accessory makers to get in on the action. Taking to its own online storefront to kick off its best sale of the year, the company is now taking 20% off everything. There’s no code needed to see the discounted prices, and shipping is free across the board. The last sitewide sale we saw for comparison was back on April Fools’ day at 12% off. A favorite from the sale has one of Twelve South’s newest releases marked down to the best price ever. The new HiRise Pro stand for MacBooks just launched earlier in the year and is now down to $80 from the usual $100 going rate. It’s $2 under our previous mention, still one of the first chances to save, and lower than ever before.

The HiRise Pro MacBook stand is Twelve South’s latest addition to the lineup and can adjust from 2.5 inches all the way up to elevating your machine 6 inches off the desk, with a tilted design. On top of being able to hold everything from M1 MacBook Airs to 16-inch M2 Pro MacBook Pro models, there’s also an integrated spot in the base that hides below the metal and vegan leather-trimming for putting a MagSafe charger. This helps streamline your workstation with a hidden iPhone 14 charger. Best of all, this is the second chance to save since first hitting the scene earlier this year and is a new all-time low. We further break down what to expect in our hands-on review. 

iOttie’s just-released MagSafe car chargers see first discounts from $35

Amazon today is now discounting two of iOttie’s just-released iPhone 14 accessories for the very first time. Kicking off the savings, the new Velox Pro MagSafe Car Charging Mount falls to $65. It’s down from the usual $75 price tag it just launched with last month, and is landing as the very first discount at $10 off. Arriving as iOttie’s most capable MagSafe car mount yet, the brand starts its latest release off with a dashboard design. It has a suction cup base that adheres to your car and features a swivelling base with adjustable telescoping arm. Affixed to the end is the actual MagSafe mount, which is seeing a big upgrade over previous chargers from iOttie. It now comes equipped with what the brand calls CryoFlow cooling, helping keep your iPhone 14, as well as 13 and 12 series handsets running cooler while charging with the 7.5W magnetic Qi pad. We further break down what to expect from the experience in our launch coverage, too. 

On the more affordable side of the new debuts, the iOttie Velox Mini Mount brings much of the same MagSafe features to your car in a more compact design. It normally sells for $40, but is now seeing its very first discount down to $35 courtesy of Amazon. The mount trades in the more flexible design of its dashboard counterpart above, instead opting to rely on an air vent mount design. This lets it rest on any ride’s air vent to position your iPhone 14 within view of the road. It sports 7.5W charging feature, though you will have to supply your own USB-C car charger.

Govee’s just-released HomeKit RGB lightstrip with Matter sees first discount

Earlier in the week, Govee launched its very first smart light strip equipped with Matter support, and now Amazon is pairing that new release with its very first discount. The smart home accessory now sells for $50. That’s down from the usual $60 price tag that it just debuted with, delivering $10 in savings and a new all-time low along the way.

Aside from just being the first accessory in Govee’s stable to arrive with Matter support, the new lightstrip also packs out of the box HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant support. That lets you bring all of the multicolor accent lighting to your prefered digital assistant, with the 6.56-foot strip pairing right to your Wi-Fi. Perfect for making your gaming rig a bit more worthy of the battlestation moniker, this accessory is also notable for just adding some ambiance to shelves, behind a desk, or anywhere else in your home that could using some lighting. We break down the full experience in our launch coverage, which takes a closer look at why this lightstrip is more vibrant than previous Govee releases.

Best trade-in deals

9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device, or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way!

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Best Cases For Airpods Pro 2 In 2023

At the Far Out event, Apple unveiled the new AirPods Pro 2, the AirPods Pro’s sequel. Its size and appearance are almost identical to the AirPods Pro except for the charging case’s design. It features a speaker grill on the bottom and a lanyard hook on the side of the casing. So, you must be searching for new cases for AirPods Pro 2. Here, I have curated a list of the best ones!

1. Noreve leather case – Editor’s choice

Noreve offers premium handmade leather cases for AirPods Pro. It’s sturdy and made of smooth, supple leather of the highest quality. Besides, the case has two hard components that fit the case like a second skin and provide excellent grip. Also, the top cover won’t slip out thanks to double-sided adhesive. 

So, you will get protection against water, dirt, and drops. The precise cut-outs ensure proper charging and light indicator visibility. I liked its extensive customization options of different colors, textures, and styles. You may juice your AirPods using wireless chargers as the case has MagSafe compatibility.

Pros

Elegant texture

Handmade with high-grade leather

Double adhesive taps for a secure grip

Cons

No lanyard or speaker cut-outs

Check out on: Noreve

2. Spigen Rugged Armor case – Decent looks

This sleek, lightweight AirPods Pro 2 Rugged Armor adds a layer of toughness and daily protection. Its flexible silicone and Hybrid Polymer technology offer a secure TPU grip and fingerprint resistance while protecting against regular scratches. Besides, the matte-black surface (which I am totally in love with) repels dirt. 

Also, sturdy dual-layer construction and Air Cushion technology offer good drop protection. The straightforward style is understated, thin enough to fit in a pocket, and portable. Additionally, it supports the power light’s visibility for rapid battery status updates. The metal carabiner is included for accessibility and regular use. Also, the side cutouts accommodate lanyards snugly.

Pros

Carbon accent for good grip

Fingerprint-proof

Easy access to the pairing button

Cons

The two-piece design is a bit inconvenient

3. i-Blason Cosmo case – Stylish

If you want an attractive, stylish case for your AirPods Pro 2, then the i-Blason Cosmo case is a great choice. It’s made of Faux leather that feels luxurious, and the shock-absorbing TPU bumpers protect against bumps and sudden drops. Also, the texturized side edges ensure it doesn’t slip off your hand. 

I love the adorable, portable, and small design that makes it simple to carry with you. Although the two-piece design is a little cumbersome, the adhesive strips on the top cover’s construction keep it in place firmly. Besides, the unique PU leather wrist strap offers additional protection against theft or loss.

Pros

Faux leather

Military-grade drop protection

Textured edges for good grip

Cons

Hard to access the reset button

4. Spigen Ultra Hybrid case – Crystal clear

How about flexing your AirPods Pro 2’s original looks with a good amount of protection? Spigen Hybrid non-fade hard shell case has a transparent frame and long-lasting clarity. Also, the patented hybrid structure of the single-layer body with bumper protection is durable. 

Besides, the attached carabiner is meant for simple transportation and daily carrying. You can access the new side lanyard hole through the precise cutout. It provides good wireless charging, and you can check the battery status easily with a clearly visible LED light. But once you put it on the cover, it’s hard to remove.

Pros

Hardshell case

Non-yellowing

Fits like gloves

Cons

Scratches the charging case

Hard to remove

5. elago clear case – Anti-smudge

The elago cases are designed exclusively to protect AirPods Pro 2 from scratches and bumps. One of the problems with clear cases is color fading or yellowing. But elago claims this case’s color would never fade and look brand new, thanks to the high-quality TPU. However, the extended usage will cause the yellowing effect.

The 2mm thick case safeguards the AirPods from sudden drops and provides quick wireless charging. Besides, I liked its unique micro dot design. So, you’ll never have to worry about smudges, and you can personalize your case by adding stickers. Using gel tape, you can put this cover on the charging case with no hassle.

Pros

Micro dot pattern

2mm thickness

Gel tape included

Cons

The top part comes off easily

6. PITAKA MagEZ case – Premium

PITAKA is my go-to casing brand for any new device I buy. It is because they use 100% premium 600D aramid, which is highly resilient fiber and silky to the touch. So, this case for AirPods Pro 2 combines elegance and safety with delicate weaving. Besides, arc-shaped corners and shock-absorbing frames safeguard your AirPods Pro from drops and impacts. 

The snug fit maintains the pocket-friendly size, and accurate cutouts let you access the Lightning connector and LED light. What I liked the most was the textured surface for exceptional hold and comfort. PITAKA has employed specialized vacuum forming techniques and 3D Grip Technology to enhance the grip. Also, the integrated magnets allow safe and secure wireless charging.

Pros

Rare and durable 600D aramid fiber

Non-slip texture with 3D Grip technology

A lightweight and ultra-thin form-fitting design

Cons

Expensive

Check out on: PITAKA

7. ESR case with HaloLock – Secure grip

ESR is renowned for making tough case covers for Apple devices. Their AirPods Pro 2 cases with MagSafe incorporate strong magnets on the rear. So, your AirPods Pro charging case securely locks on the charging pad, enabling quick tap-and-go wireless charging for your earbuds. It is made of shock-absorbing polymer that is scratch-resistant.

Besides, the air-guard corners provide effective drop protection. Thanks to the magnetic locking lid, you never have to worry about the lid falling loose or your AirPods Pro opening accidentally. Actually, four powerful magnets on the inner side offer a precise fit and a secure, tight lock. Also, the patterns on the sides give a good grip and comfortable handling.

Additionally, you may attach a compact carabiner to keep your AirPods Pro safe while you’re on the go. But I think they should make a cutout for new lanyard holes in AirPods Pro 2.

Pros

Airguard corners

Strong MagSafe magnets

Magnetic locking lid

Cons

The cutout for the new lanyard holes is missing

8. SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro – 360 rugged protection

We all know that you can’t go wrong with the SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle series when it comes to security. So, whether you’re taking your AirPods Pro 2 on an outdoor trip or you just prefer the ultra-rugged design, this case is best. The brand has used a rigid PC and shock-absorbing TPU to make the outer hardshell with sturdy bumpers. 

Therefore, it provides excellent drop protection and scratch resistance. Also, you can easily access your AirPods thanks to its distinctive 2-piece design. With the included carabiner, the case can be attached to your belt loop or backpack while on the go. Besides, the precise cutouts let you use the Lightning cable and view the charging indicator.

Pros

Snap-on design

Carabiner included

1-year warranty

Cons

No cutout for the pairing button

Hard to remove

9. HOOKMEMO soft shell case – Waterproof

If you want to protect your AirPods from rain splashes, then go for this one. It is made of tough, high-quality silicone and is flexible. Therefore, you will get drop protection, along with scratch and dust resistance. Also, unlike others, the lanyard hole is highly sturdy and unbreakable. I liked the unique waterproof design that has an internal waterproof strip. 

Besides, the zigzag pattern provides a good grip. With a charging port connector, the charging hole will be clean and dry while also being waterproof and dustproof. Also, you can place it on a wireless charger. The metal carabiner allows for convenient hanging and carrying. Besides, the one-piece design avoids the chance of slipping out.

As being waterproof, it does not include lanyards or speaker holes. Therefore, you are limited to using the case’s lanyard hole. Also, I find it difficult to see the battery status as the LED light is not visible.

Pros

Unique look

Unibody

Anti-lose design

Cons

No lanyard or speaker holes

LED light is not visible properly

Check out on: Amazon

10. Catalyst waterproof case – Unique design

Catalyst waterproof case for AirPods Pro 2 is IP67 certified, so it will be intact under 1m/3.3ft water level. It has a unique textured design that incorporates patented waterproof sealing ribs. So, your AirPods will be safe and clean and not exposed to dirt and bacteria.

The case protects from scratches and is made to absorb drops of up to 1.2m/4ft (MIL-STD-810G). Also, the one-piece folding design wraps around the AirPods case so that even after a drop, the top will remain closed. The premium soft silicone material fits snugly with its non-slip grip. Besides, it won’t break, is simple to clean, and is compatible with Qi wireless charging.

Pros

Patented waterproof sealing system

4ft mil-grade drop protection

Innovative folding system

Cons

Lanyard holes and speakers are not accessible

11. Speck Presidio case – With Microban

Speck Products Presidio series is well-known for its collaboration with Microban. They have used built-in antibacterial product protection that removes up to 99% of the germs. So, your AirPods Pro 2 case will have a cleaner surface without any stains and odors. Besides, the durable one-layer construction offers a tight, anti-stretch fit without sacrificing durability. 

I liked its additional soft-touch coating that provides a superior hand feel. The two-piece design is simple to open and prevents interference with the hinge of the AirPods Pro. Besides, the case is compact and compatible with smooth wireless charging. Also, you may use the built-in carabiner as an attaching point to your bag while traveling.

Pros

Soft touch coating

Anti-microbial

Metal carabiner

Cons

Thick case

Slippery

Check out on: Speck

So, that’s all for today, folks!

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Author Profile

Ava

Ava is an enthusiastic consumer tech writer coming from a technical background. She loves to explore and research new Apple products & accessories and help readers easily decode the tech. Along with studying, her weekend plan includes binge-watching anime.

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