Best Watch Bands for Samsung Gear S2 Classic

Class up your Samsung Gear S2 Classic with some great watch bands.

Updated May 2017: Added Moretek's great silicone band — perfect for fitness fanatics.

If you've bought or are looking into buying the Samsung Gear S2 Classic, then you're probably someone who enjoys the traditional watch look with some sweet tech under the hood.

We've rounded up the best watch bands for your Gear S2 Classic so that you can match your smartwatch to your personal taste and lifestyle.

SLG D7 Buttero Italian leather band

SLG (Small Leather Goods) make some beautiful leather straps and the Buttero Italian leather band is our favorite. It blends the classic, sophisticated look of leather with a modern and fresh design.

SLG, based in South Korea, makes its bands from high-quality Italian leather from the Walpier tannery. While most leather bands can feel somewhat oppressive, becoming soggy from sweat, SLG's Buttero bands are designed with patterned holes to make sure your wrist can breathe.

That and they just look great. SLG Buttero Italian Leather bands come in beige, black, and blue. We particularly dig the blue, but they'll all look great with any color Gear S2 Classic.

See at SLG

Infantry

Infantry makes another awesome leather band that eschews sophistication for the more rugged, distressed leather look. The inside of the band is soft and comfortable, while the outside is a deep and warm brown.

There is one downside to Infantry's band in that it does cover your Gear S2 Classic's heart rate monitor. Oh well. Fashion first!

Infantry leather bands come in different shades of brown and black, with different color combinations for buckles and straps. You might as well get a few, since they start around $12 each.

See at Amazon

Geckota

Geckota shark mesh bands are a unique blend of cool and functional. They resemble Milanese loop watch bands, but feature a more spread-out design that looks like a series of woven chains, which looks really neat and offers excellent durability and strength. Your Gear S2 Classic is never coming off your wrist accidentally and you should have a pretty hard time breaking the band.

The clasp is an easy to use stainless steel fold-over with a brushed finish. Even if you rest your wrist on hard surfaces, scratches shouldn't mare the clasp or scuff it up too badly like they would with a glossier finish.

It's worth mentioning that the black features ion-plated coating which could chip off over time, though these Geckota bands are of high quality.

See at Amazon

Casetify

Casetify has partnered with Samsung to make bands specifically for the Gear S2 Classic. Each band is made of comfortable and flexible TPU, which is often used to make phone cases. That means that Casetify bands are durable and strong, so you shouldn't have to worry about everyday wear and tear.

These bands come in five quirky designs, which will certainly add a definitive accent your Gear S2 Classic. You can get Casetify bands in Gold and Coral, White Marble, Dark Marble, Diamond (which features a multi-colored geometric pattern), and Woodland Camouflage.

If you're looking for a band that makes a statement while also fitting comfortably, then check out Casetify's line. If the band you want isn't available now, you can ask Casetify to notify you by email when it does become available.

See at Casetify


Barton Ballistic Nylon

Barton makes great watch bands, and its Ballistic Nylon line is there for you to mix and match. At around $12 apiece, you might as well grab all 21 colors and color combinations (well, maybe not all of them).

Ballistic nylon was originally developed by DuPont as a material for flak jackets for airmen during WWII. That's why these types of bands are sometimes referred to as "NATO-style." It's a tough and durable material that'll secure your Gear S2 Classic, but it'll also breathe and move with you.

Like the Infantry bands above, Barton bands unfortunately block your Gear S2 Classic's heart rate monitor. However, if that's not a huge deal and you put comfort and fashion above that function, then you really can't go wrong with a Barton band.

Make sure you select the right size – 20mm – before checking out.

See at Amazon

Barton Quick-release

Barton makes silicone bands that definitely deserve a mention in our best list. They're thin and lightweight, while also breathable and very comfortable.

These quick-release bands come in vibrant colors and are the epitome of convenience. A little slider on each side of the band allows you to quickly change bands on the fly. And for around $13 each, you might as well grab a few and change them daily!

The best part of silicone is that it's waterproof and washable. If you're wearing a Barton band because you'll be pretty active, easily remove it and wash it with some gentle dish soap. No stinky wrists (like leather bands can cause).

If you like the comfort, durability, and versatility of silicone, then check out Barton's line up.

Make sure you have 20mm selected before you check out.

See at Amazon

Cbin Milanese

If you love the light, stylish Milanese loop style, then Cbin's band is the one for you. It comes in black, silver, and rose red (who you foolin'?), and has a fully magnetic closure, making it easy to put on and take off.

This band is great for everyday use (though the black is plated, so you won't want to order that one if you're doing anything repetitive that might rub it and cause the finish to come off.

If you like a light metal band and want something that's great all the time, you really can't go wrong with the Milanese loop.

See at Amazon


Moretek

Moretek's sport band is perfect for the days when you know you might be a bit rough with your Gear S2 Classic. These silicone bands feature many holes so that your wrist can breathe and sweat can dry quickly. Moretek's bands are also waterproof and washable, so easily remove it from your Gear S2 Classic with the quick-release, and give it a thorough cleaning now and then.

You have your choice of six vibrant color combinations, and Moretek provides a one-year warranty should anything go wrong with your band.

See at Amazon


What's your favorite?

What's your favorite watch band for your Samsung Gear S2 Classic? Sound off in the comments below!

OnePlus Starts A Referral Program, Offers Cheaper Accessories

Just yesterday we informed you about OnePlus selling the remaining stock of the OnePlus 3T, effectively discontinuing the device. The recent moves by OnePlus may suggest that the anticipated premiere of the OnePlus 5 is coming very soon. To complement that, the company is starting a referral program for its users, bringing some goodies to the current and future OnePlus device owners.

These kinds of systems aren’t totally new to OnePlus. The Chinese OEM used a dreaded invite system to sell the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2. Those attempts didn’t go well, as users didn’t have a chance to get these phones on time. Still, that was a valuable experience for the company (if only because their first device was just too desirable), as OnePlus managed to prove its position in the smartphone market. Now, we expect a fourth flagship from OnePlus coming this summer, possibly within a month.

The newly introduced referral system is different from the invite system, luckily. Anyone who has ever bought a OnePlus device via the official website can get a unique referral code. If it’s used to get a OnePlus 5 (or any other smartphone made by OnePlus), the buyer will get a $20 (or equivalent in the local currency) discount for accessories. The person who shared the code will receive 100 referral points no more than 30 days later. Collected points can be spent on standard shipping, accessories or the Never Settle T-Shirt. OnePlus promised to expand the referral hub with new stuff, including price discounts on phones. The referral program is located here.

The introduction of the referral program is an interesting move. New users could get some nice accessories the for the lower price. Finally, current OnePlus customers will get something for free. All we need to do is wait for the OnePlus 5 launch.


Source: OnePlus

Internal Video from Microsoft Showcases Their Original Vision for the Lumia 950

The Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL were not the most popular of smartphones. The phones opened up against heavy competition from Android OEM who enjoyed the figurative edge in the mobile ecosystem. The Android OEMs prevailed and Microsoft retrenched its efforts in the mobile space.

A new video from Windows Central showcases Microsoft’s original vision for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The original vision promises a Windows experience that might have helped the devices get the extra edge in their fight against Android.

According to the ‘original’ vision, the Lumia 950 series was going to be Microsoft’s star Windows phone that would showcase the best the platform had to offer. The video shows off the several ideas that Microsoft had planned for Lumia 950 and Windows 10 Mobile. These include a different Glance screen, pen support, device edge gestures and even smart covers.

Windows Central cites internal and external sources that wish to remain anonymous and goes on to mention that the video was created before the Lumia 950 and Windows 10 Mobile were finished. As a result, the video is showing off what can be considered concept ideas but which were expected to be ready in time for the launch in 2015. Some of these features like the pen support made it to testing, but were then cancelled before the launch. It’s also interesting that there was a lot of emphasis on both Continuum and cross-compatibility with the Surface line.

We are unlikely to see any of these features or accessories release for the Lumia 950 series now. But that by itself does not rule out the possibility of these features coming to a future Surface phone, if it exists. The video remains an ode to what Windows Mobile could have been.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s original vision for the Lumia 950 and Windows 10 Mobile? If the showcased features were real, would they have convinced you to switch over from Android? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Source: Windows Central

How to Switch Modes on Your Chromebook

How to Switch Modes on Your Chromebook is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

Advanced Chromebook users might want to take their experience to a higher level. They can try a more complicated setup using the advanced modes of the operating system: Beta Mode or Dev Mode – short for developer mode. We’ll show you how to switch your Chromebook to Beta Mode or Dev Mode and back to Stable Mode.

Samsung Chromebook Plus stylus

The Chromebook offers simplicity that most mobile laptop platforms can’t match. It’s nearly immune from viruses and significant malware. It’s as simple as your browser to use. ChromeOS does face complications, but unlike Windows, macOS or Linux, if a user faces a catastrophic failure, they can simply Powerwash their Chromebook in under fifteen to thirty minutes and it’s back up and running like before with all their apps and settings in place. The simple Powerwash gets a little more complicated for Chromebooks with Android apps installed on them. After the simple restoration process completes, it takes more time to then install the Android apps that the user installed before the Powerwash.

Why Switch to Beta Mode or Dev Mode on a Chromebook?

Users usually switch their Chromebook to Beta or Dev mode because they want to take advantage of features that Google plans to add to a future version of ChromeOS. These features typically aren’t ready or stable enough for the Stable mode of ChromeOS. For example, the Google Play Store only works on some Chromebooks in Stable Mode, but works on a few more if they’re running in Beta Mode or Dev Mode. Also, the new Settings screen looks cleaner and better organized in more recent builds of ChromeOS, but only shows up in Beta or Dev Mode.

Chromium list of chromebooks with android apps

If you want Android apps but don’t see the Play Store logo on your ChromeOS Shelf, then you might get the store if you switch to Beta or Dev Mode. Go to the Chromium list of supported systems to find out if your model supports the store yet and in which ChromeOS mode. See the screenshot above. Notice the name of the manufacturer in the first column and the model name in the second. Then see whether your computer has the Play Store and whether it works in Stable, Beta or Dev Mode.

Remember that switching to either Beta or Dev Mode will make your Chromebook less stable. If Stable is the most reliable of the three modes, Dev Mode is the least and Beta Mode sits between them on the spectrum of stability. Don’t switch unless you’re ready for some glitches, freezes and apps shutting down without warning. You can lose work and this can get frustrating. I run my Samsung Chromebook Plus in Dev Mode with few problems. Fortunately, if you experience an issue, you can just return to Stable Mode following the steps below.

How to Switch to Beta Mode or Dev Mode

Before going any further, back up any data on your Chromebook that you want to keep. If your Chromebook has an SD card or micro-SD card reader, then copy files to it using the Files app. You can also upload them to your Google Drive.

how to open settings on chromebook
Click on your Profile icon and then the Settings icon.

Open Settings on your Chromebook. Do this by clicking on your user icon in the lower right corner and then choose the Settings icon. It looks like a gear icon and sits above the date in the pop-up box.

choose about Chrome OS in Settings
Click on the About Chrome OS link at the top of the Settings screen.

Now click on the About Chrome OS link at the top center of the Settings screen.

click on More info in the about screen
Click on More info… below the Check for and apply updates button.

Click on the More info… link below the Check for and apply updates button. Now, you’ll see a Change channel button in the center of the next screen. Click on it.

change channel selection screen in ChromeOS
Choose the Mode you’d prefer and click on the Change channel button.

Choose the Mode you’d prefer and click on the Change channel button. Remember that Developer – is the most unstable of the three options.

After you pick your mode and click on the Change channel button, then the Chromebook will offer to Restart. The Chromebook will restart and ask you to sign in to “Install a critical update”. Sign in and then choose Update from the dialog box that shows up once it restarts. The Chromebook will install the update and then restart again, erase the drive and install the new version of ChromeOS.

How to Return to Stable Mode in ChromeOS

What if you’re not pleased with Dev Mode or Beta Mode? You can easily change the channel again and go back to Stable.

After you update to Beta or Dev Mode in ChromeOS version 59 or 60, the Settings screens will look very different. Follow these instructions to change channels in the newer version of Settings in ChromeOS.

Click on Settings in the Upper Left corner
Click on Settings in the Upper Left corner.

You still open Settings the same way. Click on your profile icon and choose the Settings icon that looks like a gear above the date. A new box will open. Click on Settings in the upper left corner of the box.

Choose About Chrome OS along the left at the bottom of the list
Choose About Chrome OS along the left at the bottom of the list.

Now click on the About Chrome OS link in the bottom of the list that flies out from the left edge of the Settings dialog box. This takes you to a new screen. Find the Detailed build information item in the new screen in the center of the box. Click on it and then click on the CHANGE CHANNEL button about a third of the way down on the right (see below).

change channel
Click on CHANGE CHANNEL on the right of the list next to the Channel item in the list.

A new box pops up with the three options. To go back to Stable, select it from the list and choose CHANGE CHANNEL AND POWERWASH.

pick your mode
Pick your Mode and then click the blue button.

You may prefer to try Beta mode, if you’re running Dev Mode and it’s too unstable. Beta Mode will not cause as many problems for as many users as Dev Mode. However, to get a reliable experience with the fewest crashes, pick Stable and then click on the button.

relaunch and powerwash chromebook

The Chromebook may seem to do nothing, but it’s downloading the Stable version of ChromeOS. Give it time. When it’s finished, click on the button that says RELAUNCH AND POWERWASH. The Chromebook restarts and shows a screen telling you that it’s Powerwashing the computer. This erases the system and restarts in factory state as if you just opened and turn it on for the first time. Go through the typical process of setting up your Chromebook and you’re ready to go again.

How to Switch Modes on Your Chromebook is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.