The New Apple iPhone Xs, Xs Max & Xr Specifications

It seems like the biggest tech event each year now is the launch of the new Apple iPhone lineup!

In line with last year’s offering, Apple has unveiled a triple threat of options. But are there latest updates enough to make it worth us parting with our hard earned dollars?

With the new Apple iPhone lineup of iPhone XS, XS Max and XR to choose from, which one will tempt you? Here’s our guide to the latest specs.

iPhone XS – The Lowdown

Rumors abounded ahead of the launch of the new Apple iPhone that there would be a smaller one, a cheaper one and, you guessed it, a bigger one.

Were these expectations met? Let’s break it down for the XS.

Display Detailing

Basically a replacement for the iPhone X model, you’d be hard pushed to tell them apart at first glance.

That’s because they are the same size and even seem to have the same screen specs. However, the crucial difference is in how quickly the iPhone XS responds to touch.

Technically, it is now equipped with 120 Hz touch sensing. This means that it is twice as responsive to touch as the iPhone X. This should make it much quicker off the mark and more user-friendly.

More Flexibility

Please don’t be misled and think you can bend it – you can’t.

What we’re talking about is its ability to double up – on SIMs that is. While there’s still only one port for a physical SIM card, you can now install a second ‘eSIM’.

This gives you the all the flexibility of a dual SIM device, allowing you to run two numbers simultaneously. At the same time, it maintains its sleek appearance.

Tweaks and Upgrades

If you’re expecting something massively new and innovative from Apple on the iPhone XS, well, you may be a little disappointed.

Yes, you’ll get 25% louder speakers – great, and all round an enhanced performance with faster wireless charging, a faster processor and increased RAM. The jury’s still out on whether the battery life is an improvement or not.

It also comes in a gold option, previously only available on iPhone 8, giving you another way to go in terms of style.

The cameras, now really the major selling point, have also undergone an upgrade. With improved specs, allowing pixels to absorb more light, it promises better shots in low light conditions.

Pricing and Options

Let’s get down to brass tacks – what’s this baby going to set us back?

The good news is, we’ve finally got a 512GB option to choose. The bad news is this comes in at an eye-watering $2199!

The 64GB option is a more affordable $1629, with the 128GB beauty coming in at a cool $1879.

Is it worth it?

That’s your choice, but it might be worth exploring the other new Apple iPhone to hit the market before making a final decision.

iPhone XS Max – What’s the Difference?

Surely the new Apple iPhone XS Max, is just the XS, but bigger?

Well, yes and no.

It is bigger – in fact, compared to the iPhone X and previous ‘plus’ models, it’s a monster with a 6.5-inch display. This puts it even bigger than biggest rival Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, which comes in at 6.4 inches.

Sadly, as on the XS, the notch remains. Love it or hate it, it seems that for now at least, it’s here to stay. This means the display, while huge, is partially compromised.

However, the differences don’t end there.

The bigger – and slightly heavier – phone comes with with a battery that packs more of a punch. Apple claims 25 hours of talk time for the XS Max. Pretty impressive, compared to just 20 hours for the XS.

And you guessed it, more phone means more money!

Also available in 64, 128 and 512GB variants, and coming in gold, space grey and silver, they range from $1799 to a whopping $2369.

iPhone XR – The Curveball

OK, the XS range is all singing, all dancing, but with a price tag to match.

What about this year’s curveball, the iPhone XR range?

Starting at a more modest $1229, do they still pack a punch?

Dramatic Displays

Last year’s iPhone 8 didn’t pack all the features of the iPhone X, significantly excluding Face ID. This year’s ‘budget’ offering, the iPhone XR however, comes fully equipped with Face ID, and lots of other high-end features.

The main difference you’ll notice is that rather than being a smaller device, the XR actually sits right between the XS and XS Max.

Coming in at 6.1 inches, it is still the second biggest screen Apple has ever launched, a major plus for many customers.

Like last year, only the flagships XS models get OLED displays. The XR comes with an LED 326 versus 458ppi. Not too shabby. Side by side you’ll notice the difference in sharpness, but the XR LED display is still of outstanding quality.

More Color Options

If you enjoyed the funloving 5C range, then the XR gives you another chance to express yourself with a more funky color palate.

Coming in coral, blue, yellow, and red options, it’s far more expressive than the muted tones of the XS range.

Technical Specs

Unlike previous entry-level versions, that were stripped down versions of the premium model, the XR is largely based on the same architecture as its pricier cousin the XS.

You’ll find there is just a single, 12-megapixel rear camera, but with the Smart HDR option, you’ll find little difference in the quality of your shots.

It also comes with the same level of waterproofing (IP67) as the iPhone 8, which is one step down from the XS family.

Unless you had your heart set on submerging it in 3 meters of water rather than just 1, we can’t see that making too much difference.

The Takeaway: New Apple iPhone Hot Specs

The new Apple iPhone triple threat of the XS, XS Max and XR are certainly eye-catching, cutting edge and highly desirable.

Are they worth the financial layout?

Well, the XR is certainly worth serious consideration. It’s a major step up from iPhone 8 and with a lower price tag, and most of the same features might be a great option if you’re thinking of an upgrade.

Even the latest iPhone can use a little bling… and protection!

Click here to check out our awesome range of iPhone cases.

The New Fitbit Charge 3 Leaked

The Fitbit was one of the first wearable devices available when it first hit the market in 2010. That year they sold a paltry 58,000 units worldwide. Fast forward a few years to 2016 and Fitbit was dominating the market, selling nearly 23 million units.

Since then many competitors have entered the market, most notably Apple with the Apple Watch, a smart wearable device that connects seamlessly with your iPhone. That product allowed Apple to take control of the market during the first quarter of 2018.

Early reviews have come out and it looks like Fitbit is entering a new challenger in the smart wearable devices market with the Fitbit Charge 3.

Read on to learn about what we love about Fitbit’s latest product and what can be improved.

What We Love About the New Fitbit Charge 3

The biggest change and our favorite thing about Fitbit’s newest product is that it’s finally waterproof. This was one of the biggest complaints after the release of the previous model and it looks like the company took its customer’s complaints to heart.

The new fitness tracker will have a 5ATM water resistance rating making it safe for up to 50 meters of water. To match this upgrade, they’ve added features for both swim duration and tracking laps.

Besides swimming, there are also enhancements in the fitness features. Besides things like heart rate tracking and workouts, there are also 15 sports that you can set directly from the device. Additionally, the device lets you set time or caloric goals before you start exercising.

Another big change comes in the device’s design. One of the criticisms against the previous model was that it was bulkier than its competitors. The new model is rumored to be lighter while at the same time featuring a significantly larger display.

This should make it more comfortable for both day wear and night time wear.

SmartWatch Features

Since this new device is targeting the smartwatch market, it follows that it needs to have competitive smartwatch features. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if Fitbit hits or misses the mark on this one.

Firstly, the alert system has improved since the Fitbit Charge 2. Although you cannot download apps to the new device (you’ll need the Ionic or Versa models for that), the Charge 3 gives notifications across a range of third-party apps.

Later this year, Android users will also be able to reply to messages with Fitbit promising more functionality moving forwards. What will these alerts cost you in battery life?

According to early rumors, the new device has an estimated battery life of seven days, but we’ll have to wait for the full reviews to see if that’s a reality.

What Can Be Improved

Fitbit still hasn’t added integrated GPS to their devices. It will, however, have Connected GPS. This means that you’ll still need to pair your wearable device with your smartphone as well as carry the phone with you while you’re exercising.

We’re frustrated that Fitbit hasn’t integrated the GPS feature when there are other devices on the market that include this capability. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to leave my phone at home when I go for a run.

Other Features of the Upcoming Fitbit

Besides being a fitness tracker, this device provides tracking data to help improve your life in general.

For one thing, it will help you understand more about other aspects of your heart. Some of these health tracking features include a 24/7 heart rate monitor, an all-day calorie counter, and charts based on your heart rate zones. These charts show you when you’re in each of the different Fat burn, peak or cardio zones to help you improve your workouts.

The Auto Sleep Tracking feature is one of our favorite things about these devices in the first place. We’ve tried using some of the phone apps, but there’s nothing like a device that’s actually on your wrist to measure your sleep cycles.

The fitness tracker, together with your smartphone, will show you how long you’re in light versus REM sleep each night. Not only that, but over time, it will be able to create insights based on that data and give advice on how to improve your sleep cycles.

What the Special Edition Offers

So far, the extra features on the special edition are Fitbit Pay and premium bands.

Fitbit Pay works in the same way as other contactless mobile payment methods. First, you add your credit or debit card info. This makes paying at participating retailers as simple as holding your smartwatch near the payment terminal.

Considering the company is billing the Charge 3 as a smartwatch, we’re a little disappointed that this feature isn’t included in the standard model.

In terms of bands, with the special edition, you can choose between a purple woven band or a white perforated sport band. Of course, there are so many great Fitbit bands on the market, we’re thinking it’s unlikely that buyers will choose this model just for the bands.

When Can You Get It and What Will it Cost?

An official release date has yet to be confirmed but you can pre-order the device from the company’s website. The standard model is set to ship in October and the special edition in November. There are two color options for each model.

Pricing starts at USD$149.95 for the standard model or USD$169.95 for the special edition.

We Can’t Wait to Test Out Fitbit’s Latest Smart Watch

Many of these things are still considered rumors about the Fitbit Charge 3 so we cannot wait to get our hands on one and test it out for ourselves.

Looking for a Fitbit for your little ones? Check out our review of the Fitbit Ace activity tracker for kids!

New 2018 iPhone Models Leaked

As we move through the Summer and look forward to Autumn, one thing that has iPhone fans excited is the expected release of the 2018 iPhone.

This year we’ve been promised not one, but three new versions of Apple’s iconic handset. Although no date has been released yet, September has become the month for iPhone news since the release of the iPhone 5 back in 2012.

This year, the rumor mill is hot with anticipation about the release of the 2018 iPhone; or should I say iPhones as we are anticipating not one, but three new models. Read on to learn all about them!

iPhone 9

This model will be the upgrade to last year’s iPhone 8. Apple is planning to give it a facelift, so it more closely resembles the iPhone X. It will have an LCD screen rather than the OLED version in the X it will have larger bezels around the screen.

The iPhone 8 has some great features and it seems as though the 9 will continue to build on that. Apple seems to be trying to update their basic handset version to more closely mimic the X. But iPhone 2018 leaks lead us to believe the LCD screen will bring it in at a much cheaper price point, somewhere around half the price of the new iPhone X.

The bad news is, there have been some delays in the development of the LCD screen. Apple is currently anticipating shipping iPhone 9 models in October, a month later than the X2.

Best Seller

The update to the 8 isn’t unexpected. Although Apple has been talking about how the X is the fastest selling handset of all time, the truth is that they did not experience the demand they anticipated for their new premium handset.

The iPhone 8, however, sold extremely well. Apple will be hoping to lure more people to the 2018 version of the X, but if price proves to be a problem then the 9 is the next best option.

For those of you who enjoyed your colorful, iPhone 5Cs, you’ll be delighted to hear that the 9 is expected to come in a range of colors. Reports vary but you can expect Gold, Grey, White, Blue, and Orange. There may also be a version in red, to support Apple’s long-term fundraising partnership with the charity by the same name.

The 2018 iPhone X

There are to be two versions of the iPhone X, which is rumored to be called the iPhone X2. With a starting price of around $1000, the X maintains the high price point that was set by the original X. Originally thought to be called the iPhone 11, the X2 will be joined in an X Plus with a larger display size.

The standard X2 will have a 5.8-inch display, whereas the Plus will be a ‘phad’ size (phone/pad hybrid) at 6.5 inches. This extra screen real estate will make the phone more usable for work, and for applications such as art packages which need more space.

There was some talk about Apple planning an LCD version of the X, but this seems to have been confused with the 9. Both versions of the new X will use the OLED screens that the originals had.

Smaller X?

Another X rumor that proved unfounded was the creation of a smaller, SE style model. This was fuelled by the news that case maker, Olixar had made a prototype of a screen protector for a smaller iPhone screen with similar bezels and notch as those found on the X. Of course, it may be that Apple is planning to surprise us with this news at a later date.

The iPhone latest update is also getting an updated camera. Although there was speculation that the X would have a triple-lens camera on the rear, which would improve performance in low-light settings, both X models will actually have a dual rear camera setup.

The 2018 Xs won’t be coming in the same range of colors as the 9. You can expect to find X2 and X2 Plus handsets in Gold, Grey, and Silver. You may also see the option to switch between SIM cards, though, a new function incorporated because users in China often have more than one SIM.

2018 Models

All three 2018 iPhone models will use the Intel chip, which may disappoint those looking for a speed boost in the new versions. Although they are all getting an upgraded CPU, the performance of Intel chips is slower than those used in Android models, made by Qualcomm.

They will also now come with a USB-C charger. There will be backward compatibility via an adaptor supplied with the X that will allow it to connect to a firewire charger.

Facial Recognition

It’s also thought that all three 2018 models will take advantage of facial recognition technology – however, this would come at the loss of the fingerprint sensor that made the touch facility possible. It’s also thought that facial recognition will work in horizontal mode, thus making it more useful for iPad users.

All of the new models will support wireless charging. However, Apple doesn’t currently make an accessory that enables it. Case companies have received dummy versions of the new models, allowing them to start work on their new range of cases.

Upgrading

While the sales of the iPhone x did not match with Apple’s expectations, they seem to be hoping they can get a better response to the 2018 release. Still, industry insiders are expecting the lower-priced iPhone 9 to make up as much as 55% of the sales of these new models.

Apple can certainly rely on its fanbase to continue to want the newer, more shiny model. With the launch of iOs12, Apple will have some exciting announcements to make in September. From the information already released, it does seem that they are offering something for everyone and ensuring that they cross a range of budgets.

What do you think about the 2018 iPhone? Will you be one of the early adopters, or are you planning to hold on to your current phone a little longer? Let us know in the comments below which features you are most looking forward to Apple discussing in September.

Getting Your Warrior Pose On: A Guide to Choosing the Best Yoga Mat

If you’ve ever tried doing yoga on a hardwood floor, you’ll know all about the aches and pains felt afterward.

But when you go to the store to choose a yoga mat, intending to put the pain behind you once and for all, you’re faced with a wide variety of choices: thick ones, thin ones, pink ones, brand-name ones.

What do you do?

Believe it or not, a mat can have a huge impact on your performance, which is why it’s important you choose the right one. That’s why we’re going to walk you through the steps to choosing the best yoga mat for your needs.

By the time we’re done, you can kiss those aches from the hardwood goodbye.

Do I Really Need One?

The short, quick answer? “Yes.”

Yoga “mats” have been used in some sense since the workout form was first practiced in Northern India. At that time, grass acted as the mat. It was eventually replaced with animal skins.

Mats not only help you balance in difficult poses, but they also protect your body from the hard floor. If you’re in a class, a yoga mat also acts as a border for your personal space. Further (and most importantly), they ensure you don’t slip.

That’s actually why yoga instructor Angela Farmer created the first mat in the 1960s. From there, they took off in popularity as people ditched their worn out, slippery towels for something sturdier and easier to practice on.

Is it possible to do yoga without a mat? Absolutely, but we don’t recommend it, especially if you’re inside.

How to Choose the Best Yoga Mat

When browsing the huge selection of yoga mats online or in the store, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. All of these will help you find the top yoga mats on the market as well as the one that was made just for you.

Thickness

The first factor you want to consider is thickness. There is no “all-fit” measurement here; the best thickness depends on your level, comfort preferences, and exercise plans.

Almost every yoga mat is 1/8 inch thick, but other measurements are available. If you’re planning on doing more floor exercises, a thicker mat is your best bet. If you tend to stand more when you work out, thinner is better.

If you bruise easily or have joints that ache often, consider a thick mat to take some of the pressure off your body when you work out. This is also ideal for beginners; before your muscles harden, your body will feel a bit more soft, meaning that floor can hurt.

If you plan on doing pilates as well as yoga, consider a thick mat. Keep in mind, however, the extra cushioning may make certain poses difficult because it affects your balance.

Try not to go over 1/2 inch thick unless you plan to use it for general exercise, too. Yoga mats are called “sticky mats” for a reason; their primary purpose is to stop you from slipping, not to act as a pillow.

Finally, for all you advanced yoga enthusiasts out there, thinner is typically better.

Length and Width

Most mats are between 68 and 72 inches long. Choose a mat that is at least half a foot taller than you in length. For width, measure your waist and add a foot.

Doing this will give you plenty of space to stretch without wandering “out of bounds.”

Grip

Unless you plan on taking a magic carpet ride that will result in a bruised bottom, it’s best to check out the grip characteristics of a mat.

It’s hard to tell how slippery the item is if it’s all wrapped in plastic and on a shelf, we know, but do your homework here. Read the description on the mat and find reviews online. You want to strive for nonslip so you don’t run into any issues doing your poses.

Weight

You’re going to be lugging it to wherever you do yoga, so consider finding a lighter mat if you’ll be traveling quite a distance. Many come with shoulder straps to make the journey easier.

Environmentally-Friendly

Unfortunately, the majority of mats are manufactured using PVC. They are especially found in cheaper mats because the material is affordable for companies.

However, PVC is full of toxins that make it unable to be recycled. If it’s burned or put in a landfill, it releases carcinogens. Even worse, many studies have shown PVC can be harmful to humans in more ways than we can list here.

If at all possible, try to find an alternative material. Many sustainable mats are on the market now, including fair-trade organic cotton, hemp or rubber.

Sweat Proof

Some yoga mats are designed to be sweat proof, so if you tend to drip a bit while struggling with your downward-facing dog, choose one of these guys.

Cost

We’ll be blunt here; the better mats are just more costly. They are made with more durable materials, have superior grip and demonstrate ideal durability. Some yoga mats quite literally cost thousands of dollars.

Experts suggest a good price range that will net you a quality mat is around $50 to $100.

Design

You might be surprised at the numerous designs on the market. There are plain colors (usually an inexpensive alternative), movie-themed ones and more.

There’s even a Han-Solo one where he’s trapped in carbonite. Can you get any cooler?

The design is a way to let your personality sparkle. Ideally, it should also be something that inspires you or makes it easier to go into your zen mode prior to working out.

If you’re not the type to get psyched about an upcoming yoga session, consider brighter colors. Some studies indicate warmer colors, such as red and orange, are also useful for boosting productivity and strength.

Are You Ready to Yoga?

Finding your perfect mat doesn’t have to be stressful. If you look for these factors and match them to your needs, you’ll find the best yoga mat for you in no time.

If you’re interested in other cool and custom-made fitness items, be sure to read our article. It gives all the spicy details about the best yoga apps and devices currently on the market.

And congratulations! In finding your personal needs for a mat, you’ve just gotten one step closer to spiritual freedom.

A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Equipment Essentials

Yoga, which has been practiced in some forms for thousands of years, is a relaxing strength training style of exercise that has many health benefits. From relieving stress and increasing flexibility to improving your mental and muscular acuity, yoga is seen by some as the fountain of youth.

If you’re new to the practice of yoga, you may be wondering exactly where to start. Whether you’re looking for the hatha yoga body-mind experience or just an excellent low-impact workout, you will need an assortment of yoga equipment to get the most out of your sessions.

As you develop your personal style of practice, you will discover which equipment suits you the best. In the beginning, though, you just need a handful of items to get you going. Read on to discover how to get started!

Yoga Mat

Perhaps the most fundamental piece of equipment for practicing yoga, a mat will serve you well in every session. Mats give you a bit of padding as well as grip, as yoga is typically practiced with bare feet. A mat also keeps your face away from the ground and helps you have a more hygienic experience.

Mats come in a variety of materials, the most common are made from a springy natural rubber or foam material. Cotton mats, often considered the first types of yoga mats, are soft and absorbent. Other available styles are made from hemp or grass, which can have a great natural woven feel.

Towel and Water Bottle

Yoga, though slow and deliberate, is a cardiovascular exercise that will get you sweating. To help keep the sweat at bay, a towel is essential. A common bath towel is perfectly fine, but you can also use special yoga towels that fit along the length of your mat.

Staying hydrated during your session is very important as well. Make sure to keep a spill-proof water bottle to replenish what you sweat out.

Yoga Clothes

Wearing the correct attire is important to make sure you can utilize your entire range of motion. Loose or ill-fitting items can get in the way during certain stretches, so choose athletic wear that fits closely but comfortably.

Pick items that are breathable and can stretch with your body. Moisture-wicking fabric is beneficial here. Shoes aren’t necessary, but arch support bands and gripping socks are options if you need them.

If you are taking yoga classes in a facility, consider bringing an extra layer that is easy to remove. While you will quickly warm during a session, the initial temperature may not be comfortable depending on their climate control.

Yoga Blocks

Especially for new practitioners of yoga, blocks are an extremely helpful tool. These over-sized foam bricks are lightweight, but versatile for ensuring you have a firm place to plant a hand or foot. A yoga block can be a stepping stone to complete a pose while you work on extending your flexibility.

Depending on the help you need, a yoga block can be turned to one of its many sides to give a few (or several!) extra inches of support. It can also help lengthen certain stretches or poses and push you a little further, when you are more seasoned, depending on where you place them.

Yoga Bands

Bands are also a useful tool to either lower or raise the difficulty, depending on how you use them. A band can support your body and help you hold your balance for the early days of your yoga journey, but can also be used for resistance to increase the level of a pose.

You may want to pick a lightweight band in the beginning and increase to higher resistance bands as your skill improves. Packs with multiple levels of resistance are a great way to get a variety of resistance bands for one price.

Yoga Bag

In order to carry your yoga supplies, you’ll need a bag. Totes are available that can accommodate the oblong shape of a rolled yoga mat, or include straps to affix it to the outside. With a good bag, you can carry your block, bands, mat, water, and even a change of clothes.

Alternatively, you can also get a strap for your mat for a separate and low-profile carrying system.

Extra Credit: Whale Back Bender

Yoga back benders are curved spinal supports that help you extend your spinal column. The shape of this piece of equipment resembles the curve of a whale’s back, hence the name.

Bending backward over it can help loosen back muscles and compression issues, as well as elongate the spine. Not only can this help alleviate back pain, but can improve your yoga (and daily) posture. The back bender also assists with several different yoga poses.

Yoga Equipment Can Heighten Your Experience

Yoga’s health benefits can be maximized with a few simple yoga supplies. While you may find that a few basic essentials are all you require in the beginning, you can add extra yoga equipment to suit your practice style as you progress in your poses. There are even smartphone apps you can use to kick your routine to the next level!

With regular sessions, you’ll experience better stamina, strength, flexibility, and yoga skills. You’ll also gain a better understanding of what equipment can help take your self-development to new heights.

Do you have your own favorite yoga essentials that really improve the quality of your sessions? Leave us a comment below! And check our blog for more in the latest fitness technology and lifestyle tips.

Check Out the 10 Best Apple Watch Bands of 2018

If you’re the kind of person that understands the impact a good pair of shoes or an accessory can have on your look, you probably have a wide variety of both in your wardrobe.

Why shouldn’t you have a few different bands for your Apple Watch then too?

Below are our top picks for the best Apple Watch bands of 2018.

1. Southern Straps – Apple Watch Straps

Whether you’re looking for a leather or nylon strap for your Apple Watch, Southern Straps offers many different options so you can make your watch more individual with a simple swap.

For the NATO-style fans out there, the ballistic nylon option gives you the style you’re looking for in multiple colorways at a very affordable price.

Looking to splurge a bit more? Southern Straps’ Italian leather bands feature leather from some of the finest tanneries in Milan and are well worth the $75 price tag.

Did we mention that each watch band is hand built in the United States?

2. Apple – Sport Band

If you lead an active lifestyle, the Apple Sport Band is an inexpensive option which features a simple, bold design that’s both easy to wear and even easier to keep clean.

For just $49, it’s one of the more affordable Apple Watch wristbands on the market – making it a great option if you want to stick with the Apple brand, but don’t want to spend a small fortune.

And the wide range of colors available doesn’t hurt, either.

3. Casetify – Saffiano Leather Watch Band Collection

If you’re a leather lover with a penchant for vibrant hues, the Saffiano leather watch band collection from Casetify is right up your alley.

The quality of the watch bands is similar to those sold directly by Apple, but there’s a lot more variety to choose from as far as colors and prints go.

Whether you’re feeling a simple stripe or something a little more bold like a tropical print, Casetify has plenty of options for you.

4. Apple – Nike Sport Band

Are you a fitness fanatic with a flair for fashion?

If you are, the Nike sport band from Apple is a collaboration you won’t want to miss. Like any other product, Nike releases new sport bands regularly, so if you’re fond of this design, you’ll want to check back every now and then to see if there’s another colorway that excites you.

Design wise, the Nike sport band is similar to Apple’s classic sport band, but the Nike version features cutouts which not only make the design more unique, but the band itself is more breathable too.

What makes this collaboration even better is that it’s the same price point as the classic Apple sport band.

5. Clockwork Synergy – Classic NATO Nylon Watch Band

If you’re looking to add a little class to your wardrobe in seconds, the Classic NATO nylon watch band from Clockwork Synergy is an easy and inexpensive way you can do exactly that.

The Clockwork Synergy nylon band is just as aesthetically pleasing as the Apple version, but for half the cost.

If a simple, understated design and function are more important to you than finding the best luxury Apple Watch bands, then a nylon band could be just what you’re looking for. They’re light, comfortable, and feature a simple and clean design that pairs effortlessly with just about everything in your closet.

And for the $24.95 price tag, you can even snag a few different colors without worrying about breaking the bank.

6. Hoco – Stainless Steel Apple Watch Band

Are you loving the look of the Apple Link Bracelet, but can’t justify dropping $449 on one?

The stainless steel Apple Watch band from Hoco is about to be your new best friend. With customizable links, a sleek design reminiscent of the Apple watch band, and a $68 price tag on Amazon, this Hoco watch band is the ultimate steal.

7. Grovemade – The Leather Apple Watch Band

If you’re looking for an American-made vegetable-tanned leather band that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, Grovemade is the brand for you.

Their minimalist look is reminiscent of many designer Apple Watch bands, but will only run you a cool $79.

8. Carterjett – Tire Tread Rubber Watch Band

If you’re the ultimate outdoor fan and are looking for a watch band that will hold up during just about any activity, the Tire Tread band from Carterjett is a clear choice.

It’s waterproof, hypoallergenic, and features a cool tire tread design that’ll definitely make a statement.

And guess what? It’s only $15.99 on Amazon right now.

9. V-Moro – Vintage Crazy Horse Leather Watch Band

Lusting for leather but on a tight budget?

V-Moro’s Vintage Crazy Horse watch band is under $20 and features a super-chic double-wrap design. And what’s more? It comes in several different neutral colors, so it’s easy to rock no matter what kind of look you’re going for.

10. Apple – Classic Buckle Band

If you’re looking for a classic, distinguished band and have a little more money at your disposal, Apple’s Classic Buckle band will fit the bill.

It’s polished enough for the office, but sleek and minimalist enough for everyday wear too. It’s a combination of fashion-forward design and function that you can’t go wrong with.

Get Your Hands on One of the Best Apple Watch Bands of 2018 Today

When it comes to Apple Watch bands, the number of options on the market today can be overwhelming, to say the least.

To make your decision easier, we decided to round up our top picks for the best Apple Watch bands of 2018. With this list, all of the bases are covered, so deciding what watch bands you want to purchase will be the least of your worries.

Want more great Apple Watch tips, like the 10 best apps you need to download? Check out the rest of our website for them, and more!

Music Festival Essentials: What You Need to Bring

Music festivals are the greatest way to spend one’s summer holidays, and with 2018 in full swing no one should miss attending even one.

However, packing for music festivals is just as important as attending them are, and not everyone knows what to pack to enjoy their music festival experience fully.

Have no fear, however, because here is a list of the music festival essentials everyone should consider taking with them on their musical adventures.

Music Festival Essentials

Whether heading to Miami or London, it’s necessary to know what to bring to a music festival.

For any good music festival packing list, all of the items should serve a purpose in surviving and enjoying the music festival to its fullest with the least worry or hassle.

Water Bottles

Bring at least one water bottle that can be refilled time and time again.

Music festivals are an entire day (or days) adventures and the most important step to enjoying the experience is keeping oneself hydrated at all times.

People are going to be perspiring all day and need to replace the water loss to stay healthy for the festival. Instead of buying expensive water at the festival, it’s easier just to bring one and refill it every time it gets low or empty.

Mini Emergency Kit

Pack an emergency kit along with all of the other essentials. Better yet, pack a small or mini one.

Accidents happen when thousands of people crowd together. Having band-aids, aspirin, and other emergency kit essentials will save everyone a lot of worry.

Snacks

Just like with water, snacks and food offered at music festivals will be much more expensive on the wallet than buying snacks beforehand and packing them along with other music festival essentials.

Not only are snacks less expensive, but people can also pack their favorites instead of settling on something at the festival. Plus, snacks are a lot more convenient for those always on the move.

Fanny Packs

Everyone needs something to store all of their essential items in, and for those that don’t want to carry the bulk of a backpack on their shoulders, there’s always the option of a fanny pack.

What’s even better is that fanny packs come in various designs and finding one to complement the outfit isn’t that difficult anymore, so there’s no shame in rocking a cute fanny pack.

Sunscreen

Let’s face it, festivals are an outside event that leaves everyone to the mercy of the sun. No matter the skin tone, everyone needs to pack sunscreen capable of shielding them throughout the long festival days.

No one wants to spend festival day two or three dealing with horrible sunburns. Plus, the festival afterglow diminishes a little bit when marred by sunburns.

Toilet Paper

Another recommended essential is toilet paper.

Why? Because when the public bathrooms are filled at almost all hours, one will never know when they will run out of the cheap toilet paper.

No one wants to be stuck in the bathroom because not just one but all the stalls are out of toilet paper. Packing a roll spares every one of the embarrassments and the challenge of asking the people in the next stalls for some.

Earplugs

Now, people may be wondering “Why earplugs?” Between the loud festival music coming off the giant subwoofers and the thousands of people trying to shout over one another, festivals are incredibly loud.

Festivals are even louder when someone wants to get as close up as possible to the stage.

Thus, to avoid ear damage and headaches, it’s recommended to pack a pair of earplugs. With the high volume, wearers will still be able to enjoy all of the music, but at a decent volume that won’t leave heads rattled and ears ringing.

Comfortable Shoes

A music festival essential that will save toes and sore feet is a pair of comfortable shoes. Don’t pack fancy shoes such as high heels or new shoes that haven’t been broken in yet.

While stylish shoes that match the outfit may seem like a must-have, the shoes will ultimately be the death of many a pair of feet by the time the festival is over.

Instead, pack comfortable shoes like a favored pair of sneakers. Sneakers are closed-toed so someone accidentally feet stomping on them won’t leave the toes safely nestled inside bruised.

Chargers

When off at a music festival, the phone is often the only means of connecting with friends, family, and much-needed rides home.

To spare everyone the worry of a dead phone, pack at least one phone charger.

Bonus points if it’s a portable charger, in which case a dying phone can be saved by plugging it in without the desperate need for a rare outlet.

Portable chargers also save people from the need to hunt down outlets or charging stations, all of which will be crowded by other festival goers with dying or dead phones themselves.

Sanitizer

As mentioned earlier, music festivals are a giant mosh pit filled with thousands of people. And that giant mosh pit includes everyone’s germs and bacteria.

As such, it’s always a good idea to keep a mini bottle of hand sanitizer on one’s person at all times.

People will go to music festivals even if they’re sneezing up a storm, and there’s always the bathroom situation to keep in mind. Public bathrooms aren’t always the cleanliest, after all.

Plastic Bags

Try packing at least a few plastic Ziploc bags. The weather can be unpredictable at times, and a Ziploc bag will go a long way in saving any and all electronics on hand.

Large plastic bags are even useful in storing wet or dirty clothing that no one wants to just shove into their backpacks filled with other precious cargo.

All Packed?

Before heading off to the music festival of choice, make sure that everything is all packed up.

No one should wait until the last minute to pack otherwise some items are inevitably going to be forgotten and left behind only to be sorely missed later.

While packing all of the music festival essentials, check out the blog and what it has to offer!

The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most Out of Your Workout Plans

Today, being physically fit is as important as ever.

The rate of obesity worldwide has nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, an estimated 1.9 billion adults across the globe are overweight.

Among them, about 650 million people have obesity.

With all the unhealthy habits people have these days, eating healthy and staying fit should be one of your priorities. Did you know that being obese could increase your risk of numerous life-threatening diseases? You are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and some cancers, among others.

Now, you should create workout plans to help you get in shape and become healthier.

Exercise isn’t a precise science. Its effects on people depend on many factors. But, the important thing is, something is better than nothing.

You can make the most of your workout and look better with this ultimate guide to help you out!

1. Commitment and Motivation

The most crucial thing you need to do to make the most of your workout is to commit! Commitment is not as easy as it seems. The truth is, it’s quite hard at first.

Proactiveness is key to a healthy life. Also, staying motivated is an important step to achieving your fitness goal. Your motivation may come in many forms – a music playlist to amp you up during your workout, a health issue you want to get rid of, or a photo of how you want to look like.

Remember, start with committing yourself to a fitness goal and keeping yourself motivated to begin your journey.

2. Consistency is Key

Having a schedule will make you maximize your workout plan. Remember, habits don’t just happen, they’re developed.

Create a schedule when there’s the best time to exercise. The time shouldn’t hinder your other activities such as your work, or time with the family. But don’t stress because anytime is the best time to exercise.

The main significant thing is consistency. Create a healthy lifestyle through habits you’re going to stick to each day. Don’t create a schedule that you can’t follow in the first place.

3. Be Competitive

Being competitive may help you feel hyped to work out and follow your fitness plan.

According to a study, competition is far more effective in motivating you to exercise than friendly support.

In fact, the researchers found that people who have more support from family and friends are more likely to exercise less. If you’re left alone, you get to feel more motivated to exercise.

4. Lessen Workout Time but Increase Its Intensity

Yes, you’ve heard it right. We’re telling you to lessen your workout time. But, the thing is, you should increase the intensity of your workout.

Science can back this up. A study has shown even a one-minute of high intensity can give you the perks as a 45-minutes of moderate exercise.

All you need to do is focus on the quality of your workout rather than the quantity.

By doing this, you can maximize your workout plan and get the summer body you’ve always dreamed of. Plus, you get to become a healthier version of yourself.

5. Do the Proper Warm-up

In every exercise or workout, one of the essential things to do is to have the proper warm up. This is an integral part of your fitness plan.

But, remember to update yourself with the new warm-up exercises to make the most of your workout plan.

Warm-ups help enhance performance, prevent injury, and prepare your mind for the workout ahead. It helps condition your body.

One study specifically found that a good warm up before any exercise will help reach the best health and the best performance of athletes.

6. Listen to the Right Music

Have you tried working out with your motivational playlist on? Did you notice that you feel hyped to perform better?

This is true, according to science. Your favorite tune can fire you up for a workout.

The study found that listening to music help, you enjoy your workouts more, regardless of how hard they are. Another study says that people who listened to slow music after a workout may recover faster, too.

Music boosts the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body. These hormones are known to promote a faster recovery. When working out, try to bring your phone and listen to your workout playlist.

7. Do Strength Training, Not Just Cardio

Many people believe that cardio exercises are enough to help them become fitter. But, many experts say that strength training is far more critical.

In fact, it’s not just applicable to being physically healthy. Weightlifting helps boost brain health and improve memory.

In a particular study, the researchers found that strength training and weight lifting help boost memory. It may also reduce the risk of developing dementia in the future.

8. Increase Water Intake

During exercise, you will sweat a lot. To replace all the water and electrolytes you’re losing, you need to stay hydrated.

Drinking enough water will help you make the most of your workout plan.

Did you know that the fastest runners lost 3.1% of their body weight through urine or sweat below three hours? Being dehydrated can negatively impact your performance. If you feel weak to work out, you can’t make the most of your workout plan.

Remember, it is important to keep your body hydrated particularly during high-intensity workouts. Dehydration may cause many unwanted health consequences.

Making the Most of Your Workout Plans

Working out has many health benefits. Also, it helps develop your totality as it may also boost brain power and give you an emotional boost. But, remember to always stretch and cool down after every workout.

These tips will surely help you make the most of your workout plans. If you follow this guide, you will surely achieve a healthier, fitter, and more conditioned body.

Being healthy isn’t magic, you need to work hard. If you’re committed, you will certainly get the body you want in no time.

Know more about being healthy and fit. Visit our blog for more tips!

How to Setup Your Fitbit Charge 2: Tips & Tricks

With around 75 million Fitbits sold since 2010, and even with over a dozen models released in that time, it can feel a bit like you’re wearing the same accessory as everyone else.

Luckily, they’re easily personalized with customizable Fitbit Charge 2 bands!

There’s always the question of which Fitbit to buy, but we’re going to assume that you’ve already chosen the Fitbit Charge 2. Released in 2017, the Fitbit Charge 2 quickly gained popularity due to its improvements over previous models.

While still wearable tech, it straddles the line between a smartwatch and fitness tracker with some advanced features normally only found in smartwatches fit inside the sleeker designs normally associated with fitness trackers.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Fitbit Charge 2!

Getting Started With Your Fitbit Charge 2

To begin with, you need to connect your Fitbit to a supported device. You can either download the Fitbit App on your smartphone or tablet or you can sync your device using Fitbit Connect on your computer.

From there, simply follow the instructions to pair your Fitbit with your device. The company has also released a series of videos to help you get started.

Navigating the Fitbit Charge 2

We’re so used to touch menus thanks to smartphones and tablets, but the Fitbit Charge 2 is actually not a touchscreen. Instead, it’s controlled through a combination of tapping on the band and pressing the side button.

On the main menu, you’ll find a log of your daily fitness stats including steps taken, calories burned, the distance you’ve traveled and more. By tapping the band, you’ll cycle through screens for your heart rate info, exercise info, alarms, relaxation sessions, and notifications. On each of those screens, pressing the button will bring you to a menu with more options.

Adding More Activities to Your Fitbit Charge 2

One of the improvements that Fitbit keeps making is adding more different sports that it has dedicated modes for. Now, along with the default settings of running, bike and interval sessions you can add more sports to your dashboard including spinning, hiking, and even yoga.

To add more sports, you need to use the Fitbit App. Select the Cog icon, choose your Fitbit model and then on the next screen, select “Edit Exercise Shortcuts”.

Teach Your Fitbit To Improve Accuracy

We were chatting with some friends recently about our daily step goals and how far we had walked that day when someone asked, “How far is 10,000 steps anyway?”

At first, we brushed them off as being cheeky but it’s actually a valid question when you think about it. Certainly, 10,000 steps is a very different distance for say, Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) versus Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth).

When you set up your Fitbit, it uses your height and gender to calculate your strides, however, this calculation can be manually adjusted. To calculate a more accurate stride length, you need to choose two points that you know the exact distance between.

To calculate your stride length, divide that distance by the number of steps it takes you to cross it. We recommend trying it a few times to get a more accurate count.

Personalize Your Device with Fitbit Charge 2 Bands

Just like we wouldn’t want to wear the same clothing or accessories every day, we love that Fitbit recognizes that people will want to have flexibility with the appearance of their fitness trackers.

Of course, the other reason we like being able to change our Fitbit band is for practical reasons. As much as we love the stylish leather and metal bands, they just aren’t as conducive (not to mention sweat-resistant!) to exercising as the sports bands.

Changing your Fitbit Charge 2 band is super easy. All you need to do is find and press the latches on the back of your device to release the bands. Next, slide the new band into the empty slots and you’ll hear it click into place.

Using GPS on Your Fitbit Charge 2

The Fitbit Charge 2 doesn’t have an internal GPS but don’t worry, you can still track your running and cycling routes through its connection to your smartphone.

While you are running or cycling, your Fitbit will display a phone icon on the screen meaning that it is working with your phone’s GPS system to track your route.

Compete Against Friends

What can we say, we’re inherently social creatures and we love competition. What better way to meet your fitness goals than when you’re going up against your friends and family?

With the Fitbit Charge 2, you can connect with others either using your email address or social media through the Fitbit App. After you’ve connected, you can challenge your friends to different events like the Daily Showdown, the Weekend Warrior and more.

Competing against your friends and family is a great way to stay motivated about reaching your goals. And there’s even a feature in the Fitbit App that lets you taunt your friends!

Stop Waking Up the Neighbors

Well, by neighbors, we mean your partner sleeping next to you. Anyone who has had the pleasure of being woken up on a daily basis by someone’s alarm repeatedly going off will be thrilled to hear about the silent alarm feature.

With the silent alarm, your Fitbit will wake you up with a vibrating alarm. Set up this alarm through the Fitbit app. Frankly, a sounds like a much more peaceful and civilized way to start the day for everyone involved.

Make Your Fitbit Match Your Personality

So there you have it, a guide on how to make the most of your shiny, new Fitbit. Now all you need to are a few beautifully designed bands so that you can make your device as unique as you are.

Check out our full range of designer Fitbit Charge 2 bands and more!

Take a Look at Some of the Best iPhone 8 Features

A whopping $18.9 million of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus units sold out in the first month after a successful launch. The demand for this new generation of iPhone has been quite consistent. This is because of the amazing iPhone 8 features.

Some of these features focus on health which attracts a lot of fitness enthusiasts. Who wouldn’t want to be fit and healthy, after all?

But eing fit and healthy does not necessarily mean a daily trip to the gym. No need to spend hundreds of dollars on personal workouts or gym membership.

Apple is smart enough to incorporate the best apps and features that help people track their health. So, Apple fans not only get an amazing phone but also a helpful tool for better health!

Below are some of the best iPhone 8 features that offer fitness benefits.

Siri Can Make a Great Fitness Buddy

Why not use Siri to get workout reminders? This intelligent personal assistant can help people succeed in their fitness endeavors by assisting users when it comes to their exercise routine.

Users can tell Siri to start timing their jogs. They can ask Siri to start a workout with other third-party fitness apps. For those who have Apple watches, they can just tell Siri something like:

“Go for a 3-mile walk” or tell it to start an outdoor run.

Remember, the more the user talks to Siri, the smarter she gets!

Apple Watch App to Monitor Heart Rate

For those into fitness, it is always best to have an Apple Watch as an accessory. There’s a built-in Apple Watch app on the iPhone 8. It allows users to check their heart rate anytime they want.

The good thing about this app is that it allows users to receive notifications on their phones. They can get notifications when they have an elevated heart rate even when they’re not active.

For those who don’t have the Apple Watch, it is still possible to check one’s heart rate. There are many third-party heart rate monitor apps on Apple store that can measure one’s vitals.

The heart rate monitor makes use of the phone’s camera, which is probably one of the best iPhone 8 features. Users can just place their fingertips on the lens and the app will calculate the heart rate.

The Health App is One of the Best iPhone 8 Features

Get in shape with the newly improved Health App!

This is the best app to visit to learn about one’s health. Its primary function is to consolidate information and other relevant data.

This data is all coming from the device, Apple Watch, and other third-party apps. It also provides users with recommendations about the other health apps to install. Apart from that, this app also shows how much the user moves.

For example, the Health App calculates the user’s number of steps and distance traveled. For Apple Watch owners, this app also shows how often they stand or exercise. The app also has the ability to count the number of calories they were able to burn throughout the day.

Another reason why many fitness junkies love this app? It shows the user how much time was spent being mindful.

Being mindful is simply the number of times the user take a couple of deep breaths. This happens when people silence their minds to get rid of the stress and boost their overall health.

With the help of other third-party apps, the Health app can also tell the user whether he is getting his nutritional needs met. It helps the user count his calories, caffeine, carbs, and everything in between.

Health can also help users to practice a much healthier sleep routine. Whichever sleep tracking app the user chooses to use, be it a third-party sleep app or the unit’s bedtime feature, Health can easily get the needed information from them.

Use the iPhone 8 as Pedometer

Everyone who is into fitness probably has his own daily step goal. Ever wonder how to keep track of step count? The pedometer of the iPhone 8 comes in handy!

Yes, the iPhone 8 has a built-in pedometer that shows the distance traveled on foot by recording the user’s number of steps. For those who don’t know how to set it up, the first thing to do is to enable the Motion Tracking feature. The user should toggle the Fitness Tracking on under Settings to allow iPhone to count steps.

After doing so, the user can then go to the Health app and choose the Activity category. The user can then tap Steps, which is at the bottom part and then toggle the Add to Favorites on. This lets the user check his step count easily!

But wait. There’s actually a much easier way to count one’s steps. Pedometer ++ is another great app that users can download for free.

This third-party app uses the data coming from the iPhone’s built-in pedometer and displays it as a chart. This app allows the user to set a daily step goal and once achieved, it gives the user a confetti shower in celebration.

So for those who don’t want to go through the tedious steps on how to setup the iPhone’s built-in pedometer, the Pedometer ++ app is the solution. The only thing to do is to download the app, launch it, and allow it to access the Motion data.

Enjoy These Features and More

Health is wealth but getting in shape isn’t always a walk in the park. Today’s technology allows people to take advantage of the apps and other smartphone features designed to improve health. And iPhone 8 users are lucky enough to enjoy the advantages and benefits of this device.

In order to get the most of the iPhone 8 features, especially those related to health and fitness, downloading third-party health apps is a practical idea to consider. There are many free apps out there but it is also worth it to spend just a couple of bucks to get the app that best fits the fitness needs.

For questions and other relevant information about the iPhone 8 features and other health apps, contact us today and check our blog!