There’s a swarm of accessories available for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 even though it’s not been on the market that long. In my opinion, a lot of the official chargers, cases and other accessories made by Samsung are overpriced. Samsung isn’t the only company to do this–Apple USB leads are an astonishing price for example. I guess they assume that if you’ve already spent £700 on a phone, you don’t mind being ripped off on other items? I mind.
A phone case is an essential accessory for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7
There’s a few companies that make phone cases and I am overwhelmed by them all. I’ve since come to the conclusion that no case will do it all. For shopping, you should really have a case that completely covers the phone. Not just because it masks the value of your phone but also because it’s the best protector against scratches.
Initially I bought a Spigen case and they’re rated quite highly amongst most reviewers; unfortunately the cut-outs around the USB port weren’t suitable for my needs. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Samsung include a USB C to USB 3.1 adaptor–it’s a marvellous gadget but of course it doesn’t fit with 99% of the cases Spigen make.
Terrapin Accessories make a genuine leather wallet case for £12.99, and it is perfect for day to day travelling, shopping and whatnot. In my opinion, it’s possibly priced too low. It’s rare to say this, but my reasoning is because I think some people might overlook it and think it’s “cheap” and not built to a high standard–it smells and feels like a £50 wallet.
The clasp is magnetic, and you can even see some of the always on display when it is set to “night clock”. The housing that holds the phone is a slightly flexible plastic, the texture feels like a soft rubber but the housing in general is too hard to be rubber–it feels like plastic with a rubber surface–it’s nice, and the phone certainly won’t fall out. Detaching the phone is easy enough, you simply have to bend the wallet slightly and then pull the phone out.
The phone is set into the case somewhat, so even though the ports aren’t completely covered by the housing, there’s roughly a 3mm recess, as such, the phone is protected against damage by the leather exterior. On the left is room for a few notes and there’s also spaces for credit cards. You might want a screen protector if you use the credit card slots; I can’t imagine credit cards would scratch the screen but it’s too early to say what the durability of Gorilla Glass 5 is like.
The thing I really like about this case is that there’s space to plug in a USB C to USB 3.1 adaptor. There’s a cut out for the camera too, if you’re wondering.
The middle binder section actually goes inwards slightly, so with the wallet spread out, you can move your finger or thumb further towards the screen. This allows you to type with both hands without having to fold the wallet completely backwards. However, it is possible to bend the wallet back on itself but I do not advise doing that. Lastly, it will work with a wireless charger.
One annoyance; I’ve found magnets (with any case, not just this one) interfere with the pen.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 wireless chargers are awesome
You might think you don’t need a wireless charger, but they’re extremely convenient. They also allow you to keep the USB C port free to plug in external devices. None of them charge quite as quickly as a cable, but this should help to prolong the life of the Lithium Polymer battery.
The Satechi wireless charger is only £24.99 and it’s a beautiful device. It uses a more common micro USB port at one end and a standard USB port at the other; the included cable is quite long. I advise plugging it into a USB 3.0 or a USB 3.1 port and not a USB 2.0 port, because USB 3.0 supplies more current than USB 2.0.
It feels like a solid block of aluminium. The edges are chamfered slightly, and the top is smooth. Underneath are little rubber feet, so it won’t scratch your desk if it’s made of glass. What’s especially neat is that it can tell when your device has finished charging, and the LED on the front will change colour to green; normally it is blue–unless no device is being charged, then the LED turns off altogether. When the charger is not charging anything, it barely uses any electricity at all (less than 200mW). You don’t have to take your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 out of the case to charge it with a wireless charger, you can just throw it on the top and the LED will light up. What’s quite amusing is the screen will show a little animation to denote the phone is being charged.
It charges the phone quite quickly, surprisingly quicker than a normal charger but not quite as quick as Samsung’s wired USB C charger.
Note: Satechi and Terrapin Accessories provided me with sample products.
Creative Sound blaster E5
I recently stumbled upon this cool gadget, the Creative Sound blaster E5. I really want one, although I can’t justify buying one at the moment (I need to save up for my 2650+ mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail next year).
The Creative Sound blaster E5 attaches via USB-OTG and has an optical output for a Hi-Fi amp. It is a neat way of outputting digital audio. Cool huh? I’ve sure there’s similar devices somewhere, but this looks to be quite well put together. I cannot do a Creative Sound blaster E5 review as I don’t own one, but it looks quite unique and I felt it deserves a mention. When I eventually buy one, I will write a review.