Bluetooth

What mattered at Mobile World Congress, day 3: S5 apps, tough tablets, and BlackBerry's return

Like at any technology show, the biggest product releases of Mobile World Congress dropped in the first couple of days. But the latter days of an event remain just as interesting. You actually have time (well, a few minutes anyway) to roam the show floor to find hidden gems and underdog products, and you can dig up a few juicy scoops. All of that is just what happened on day 3 of the world's biggest wireless show.

The return of BlackBerry? By now you may have forgotten about BlackBerry, but the former smartphone powerhouse showed up in Barcelona with … Read more

Samsung's Gamepad makes any Android phone a portable console for $90 (hands-on)

BARCELONA, Spain -- Ever wished you had real buttons to play your mobile games with? Samsung's trying to make your Android gaming experience more like a portable console with its new Gamepad accessory, a 60 Euro (around $90, or £50) Bluetooth pad that gives your touch-screen games an old-school analogue feel.

Made of sturdy, glossy black plastic, the Gamepad has a fairly clunky slide-out clip that locks your phone in place. There's no physical connection between the two though -- all the data flows through Bluetooth.

It works with the S Console app, which translates your fevered … Read more

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Samsung's Gamepad makes any Android phone a portable console for $90 (hands-on)

BARCELONA, Spain -- Ever wished you had real buttons to play your mobile games with? Samsung's trying to make your Android gaming experience more like a portable console with its new Gamepad accessory, a 60 Euro (around $90, or £50) Bluetooth pad that gives your touch-screen games an old-school analogue feel.

Made of sturdy, glossy black plastic, the Gamepad has a fairly clunky slide-out clip that locks your phone in place. There's no physical connection between the two though -- all the data flows through Bluetooth.

It works with the S Console app, which translates your fevered … Read more

Originally posted at

By

The new PUMP Bluetooth HD Sportbuds promise beefed up audio (hands-on)

BARCELONA, Spain -- Bluetooth specialist Blueant hopes to tempt the fitness-minded with its new PUMP Bluetooth HD Sportbuds. Priced at $129, this rugged stereo audio device is both water-resistant and pliable to withstand the rigors of intense workouts.

I was able to see the HD Sportsbuds in person at MWC 2014. The product consists of two main earloop-style earbuds linked by a flat cord designed to be tangle-free. The entire gizmo is coated in a rubbery material which Blueant says will protect the headset against liquid spills, sweat, and the odd drop onto hard surfaces.

Though a flat wire connects … Read more

Plantronics BackBeat Fit: Stereo Bluetooth headphones for fitness buffs (hands-on)

The latest headphones from Plantronics are flexible and sweat-proof, making them perfect for gym rats and runners. The BackBeat Fit can connect with up to eight devices through Bluetooth, and also double as a wireless headset thanks to a built-in microphone.

CNET's full coverage of Mobile World Congress

A play and pause button, along with volume controls, sit on the left earpiece, while the power and phone buttons are located on the right side. Additional controls, such as the ability to skip songs or go back, can be accessed with a long press or double tap of the play … Read more

Automate your Android phone in the car with NFC, Bluetooth

A few weeks ago, Garmin released a car kit that uses NFC to automatically launch the Navigon navigation app when a compatible smartphone is placed within its arms. Being an Android fan and a tinkerer at heart, my first thought was, "I could DIY something better than that," and now I'm going to show you how.

You'll need:

An NFC compatible Android phone. I'm using the LG Nexus 4, but check your specs to make sure that your personal handset is compatible with the technology. An app that can receive instructions from NFC. I'm … Read more

Add-on module auto-unlocks your car when your phone is near

LOS ANGELES -- For some time now, we've been anticipating the day that you'd be able to unlock your car by simply approaching it with your smartphone in your pocket. It turns out that the technology has been right under our noses.

The first generation of the Mobile Enhancement Specialist's (MES) Bluetooth Passive Keyless Entry module hit the market earlier this year and, after being professionally installed in almost any car with power locks, can automatically unlock the vehicle's doors when it recognizes your Bluetooth-enabled cellphone is within range. The phone doesn't even have to … Read more

Nissan smartwatch links car and driver

The link between man and machine drove car enthusiasts for decades, unwitting adherents to Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto, yet until now that link lacked coherence. Nissan's Nismo smartwatch takes the first step in using technology to quantify the connection between car and driver.

Smartwatches have only gained momentum in the last couple of years, and Nissan is first to jump on the bandwagon, today announcing its Nismo Watch concept.

The watch is designed for drivers of Nissan Nismo model variants, currently encompassing the 370Z, Juke, and upcoming GT-R. Photos Nissan released ahead of the unveil at the Frankfurt auto … Read more

SpeeCup Bluetooth speaker pretends it's a travel mug

When it comes to speaker design, the world of hi-fi audio can get pretty outlandish. Beyond the basic rectangle, you have speakers that look like pyramids, spheres, wavy towers, and flat planes.

But until now, there hasn't been one that looks like a traveler's coffee mug.

iCreation's SpeeCup is more than just a speaker. The 8.5-inch-tall casing also contains Bluetooth hardware, integrated play controls, and a battery with 20 hours of charge. The battery helps the SpeeCup's portability: I could use it in my car, then take it into a hotel or use it in … Read more

Simple Bluetooth audio adapter plagued by nonstandard quirks

The Gogroove BlueGate performs one very simple function that can be split into two parts. It receives a digital Bluetooth audio signal from a smartphone (or other Bluetooth capable device) and outputs an analog audio signal that can be listened to through headphones, a car stereo, or home audio system. It basically takes a wireless signal and makes a wired one.

The wireless portion of the BlueGate's functionality was performed almost flawlessly. It's the wired half of the equation that frustrated me.

The trouble with wires The BlueGate device itself is remarkably compact and unobtrusive. The tiny matte-black … Read more