Samsung’s great Galaxy Note 8 order freebies end Sept 24, so act fast!

Well, we had a good run.

After weeks of pre-orders and another full week of actual in-store sales, the Galaxy Note 8 is falling out of its honeymoon period and getting into the swing of things. That means that Samsung's "do bigger things" incentives for getting in on the Galaxy Note 8 are coming to a close — September 24 is the end of the line for the freebies.

That means if you want to get a free Fast Wireless Charging Convertible charger bundled with a 128GB SD card, or a free Gear 360 camera, you'll need to order within the next couple of days. The nice thing is that Samsung makes it pretty darn easy to get these goodies if you order before the deadline. It doesn't matter if you're ordering through Best Buy, the carriers, Amazon or from Samsung's own site — you get the option to verify your purchase and have Samsung send you some free accessories.

More: Where to buy the Galaxy Note 8

Once you have your order in, it's pretty easy to register and get your gift. You just need to download the Shop Samsung app or visit the Samsung promo website and give Samsung some details so it can verify your purchase. Wait a bit, and you'll have the sweet free accessories.

Jerry says, ‘Hit me!’ [#acpodcast]

It’s a huge week of news and leaks in the Android world! Daniel Bader, Andrew Martonik, and Jerry Hildenbrand settle in for a roundtable feast of epic proportions, beginning with Android 8.0 updates to some Motorola phones, the Blueborne Bluetooth vulnerability, and data throttling on T-Mobile.

Moving on to the main course, Google spent $1.1 billion to acqui-hire HTC’s best engineers, more details and photos have surfaced for Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and Pixelbook, and a smaller Google Home Mini speaker is on the way.

For dessert, the Moto X4 is coming to Project Fi as the first Android One device for the U.S., and an unlocked Moto X4 with Motorola’s software will be shipping this year.

Show Notes and Links:

Grab Aukey’s cell phone tripod for $8 to become a better mobile photographer

It's time to take your photography game to the next level, and this inexpensive accessory can help!

Smartphone cameras have become significantly better over the past few years, and people like to push them to their limits. A great way to really take advantage of how far they've come is by using a tripod to take your skills to the next level. We know, people don't want to lug around a full-sized tripod to "get the shot", but what about a mini one?

Aukey is currently offering its cell phone tripod for $7.91 when you use the coupon code LSYFN9DC during checkout at Amazon. This is a savings of around $3 from its regular price. Beyond just your smartphone, you'll also be able to use this for a GoPro or even a DSLR.

  • Take clearer shots or time-lapse videos from a stable fixed position
  • Best for capturing a variety of landscapes and points of view
  • Compact, lightweight, foldable design to easily to grab, setup, and put away
  • Mount to smartphones up to 5.7" with included holder, or attach digital cameras, GoPros, camcorder, and more

If you are already having fun taking amazing photos with your phone, try adding one of these to your arsenal. Think of the long exposures, time lapses, and more that you'll be able to capture with this!

You can also check out the option with bendable legs for $10 with coupon code BGKMIGGR.

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Nest Thermostat E review: The perfect downgrade

The Nest Thermostat E is one of the best entry-level thermostats you can buy, and it can save you real money.

The biggest compliment I can give to the $169 Nest Thermostat E is that no one noticed it.

I've had a third-gen Nest Learning Thermostat in my entrance way for years, conspicuously placed so that everyone who walks into my living room inadvertently wakes up its bright LCD screen as they saunter past. The round stainless steel bezel is shiny — garish, even — inviting speculation and questions. "That's the touchscreen thermostat, right?" they ask. In fact, it's not touchscreen, but it looks like it.

After nearly two years with a Nest, I've learned a few things about it. For starters, it's very good at what it does; I've probably saved close to $1000 in electricity by intelligently rationing out central heat and air conditioning, and by allowing the system to learn my habits and create a schedule that accommodates my work-from-home lifestyle and my wife's desire for the house to be a tiny bit warmer than I'd prefer.

The second thing I've learned is that the Nest hardware itself is complete overkill, and totally unnecessary to enjoy the unit. It's a vestigial remnant of a time that you needed to physically walk up to a thermostat to make changes. And while I occasionally do make adjustments using the satisfying clicker ring used to navigate the basic user interface, I spend far more time in Nest's excellent Android and iOS apps. To that end, the $249 Nest Learning Thermostat is a nice-looking widget that tells people I have smart home.

The Nest Thermostat E is not that. It's cheaper — $169, a full $80 cheaper — and wonderfully understated. Gone is the shiny stainless steel and black bezel, replaced by a smaller, plastic housing and a lower-resolution screen. The screen is also covered by a frosted white glazing, meant to slightly obscure the screen and allow it to blend it better with its surroundings. And you know, it totally works.

Installation and compatibility

If you've used a Nest before, you know exactly how this one works.

The Nest E, as I'll refer to it, requires basically the same setup as its larger predecessor; it assumes that your house already has the necessary wires protruding from some wall in your house, likely in a basement or main floor. Compared to the Nest proper, there are fewer connections — six instead of 10 — which makes it less likely to be compatible with some higher-output dual fan systems, but it had no problem interfacing with my fairly generic single-blower forced air system.

Installing the Nest E was as simple as removing the older Nest, disconnecting the wires and removing the backplate, and installing the newer, smaller equivalents. My system was wire-for-wire identical, though that may not be the case for yours. If you're coming from an older system, or just don't really trust yourself to install it correctly, the company offers very detailed installation videos and, at a cost, professional installers, to ensure that it will work right.

Unlike the regular Nest, which claims to work with "95% of 24V heating and cooling systems, including gas, electric, forced air, heat pump, radiant, oil, hot water, solar and geothermal," the Nest E works with "most" heating and cooling systems, according to the company. In other words, the Nest E will probably work for you unless you have a bespoke or high-powered commercial system that probably needs a professional to maintain, anyway.

The experience

The Nest E offers what amounts to the identical experience as the regular Nest, with a few minor differences. The interface, due to the lower-resolution glazed screen, is a bit simpler, but it still allows you to turn the sphere to maneuver around, and push in to select, just as before. (If you're new to Nest, the controls are extremely intuitive, and you definitely won't mistake this one for a touchscreen.)

The Nest E is easy to set up and a joy to use.

Once set up and connected to Wi-Fi, the Nest E can be controlled either through the unit itself or the accompanying iOS or Android app (which we'll get to shortly). Like any thermostat, the Nest E sits on your wall and monitors the ambient conditions using built-in sensors; these include temperature, humidity, proximity/occupancy, and ambient light. When it detects the temperature is above or below a given threshold, it activates cooling or heating, respectively. When it detects humidity is too high, it can be programmed to run the fans for a few hours. When it detects people aren't home, it can be made to automatically activate Eco mode, which sets the conditions a bit higher or lower than is comfortable to save energy.

What the Nest E doesn't have are the near-field and far-field sensors built into the original Nest, which means it has a hard time determining whether people are home by the ambient movement or sound around it. To make up for it, a proximity/occupancy sensor ensures that if someone walks past, it jumps to attention and figures out whether it should start working, but it's a little less precise. In real-world testing, however, I've noticed no difference at all.

The upside

In fact, that's what I'm taking away from my experience with the Nest E. If it works with your furnace, it's exactly the same experience as its more expensive counterpart.

Much of that is due to the fact that Nest's app, which has grown in usefulness while remaining remarkably simple, is the primary control center for your thermostat, and any other Nest products (of which there will be a lot more in a few months) you may have, from cameras to smoke detectors. I have all three, so I spend a lot of time in the Nest app, and I've absolutely come to depend on it.

Anything you can do on the Nest itself can be replicated in the app; Nest's best features are the ones you set once and forget about, from Airwave, which uses the fan to continue blowing cold air through the system once the air conditioner itself has been shut off, to Early-On, which suggests a time for reaching a certain temperature in the house and adjusts the cooling or heating accordingly.

That Nest has been available since 2013, which may suppress a bit of its magic to long-time owners, but anyone coming from a clunky offline thermostat will marvel at the ability to remotely set temperature a few hours before returning home from vacation, or even from work, to compromise between comfort and cost.

And now that the asking price is a considerably lower-than-before $169, Nest is accessible to even more people.

The downsides

Nest isn't the only game in town. Others, like ecobee, have shown considerable innovation in areas that, for some reason, Nest refuses to touch. ecobee, in particular, uses in-room sensors to detect temperature in multiple rooms throughout the house, allowing the thermostat to make intelligent decisions about heating or cooling with additional data points. My bedroom is a good five degrees warmer in the summer, and five degrees cooler in the winter, than my living room — such is the agony of a tall house.

Nest is really good at a lot of things, but it still falls short when it comes to multi-room sensing.

When it's really hot or cold outside, I often have to manually adjust the temperature to accommodate for such discrepancies, something that I'm sure ecobee, and a couple of extra sensors, would take into account. ecobee's latest version, the ecobee 4, also integrates Alexa in the U.S.; Nest, owned by Google parent Alphabet, has no such plans to integrate Assistant into its thermostats anytime soon.

And Nest is a standalone product, owned by Alphabet; big names like Honeywell, Emerson, and Carrier, which either build their own or partner with many furnace providers across the United States and Canada, are manufacturing their own (admittedly dumber) smart thermostats, and providing heavy incentives for customers to upgrade. Nest isn't able to compete with such an entrenched market that is typically moved less by Silicon Valley than the Yellow Pages. Most of these companies throw in a so-called smart thermostat for free with a furnace or air conditioner upgrade, which puts Nest out of the conversation completely.

Should you buy it? Definitely

Even though I have the more expensive Nest Learning Thermostat, I have no intention of ditching the Nest E anytime soon. Not only do I think its white plastic housing looks better and disappears more easily than the chrome metal of the regular Nest, its simpler interface is a joy to use — I simply see no reason to go back.

For me, Nest built the perfect downgrade, a product that promises less and delivers more because of it. If you already have a Nest, you can completely ignore this review — there's no reason to switch. But if you've been on the fence about moving up in the thermostat world, the Nest E is probably your best place to start.

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RAVPower’s 22000mAh power bank includes 3 high-speed USB ports for $32

If you have long days ahead, this portable battery pack is a must-have for your bag!

There have been a lot of advancements when it comes to battery life on current smartphones and gadgets, but sometimes they still don't last long enough to make it through our busy days. This is where portable batteries come in handy, and RAVPower's latest option is a great one to consider.

Right now, you can pick up RAVPower's 22000mAh power bank with 3 high-speed USB charging ports for just $31.99 at Amazon when you enter the coupon code PB052USA during checkout. This is a savings of $8 from its regular price, and only a few dollars more than its lowest price ever.

Whether you have a smartwatch that doesn't last you the day, or your travel days take a toll on your phone's battery, these are a great thing to have in any bag you take on the go with you. 22000mAh is enough to charge many devices up to 8 times on a single charge, and recharging the battery is more than twice as fast thanks to its 2.4A high-speed charging input.

  • Multiple Charging with 3 USB Ports: Charge up to 3 devices simultaneously with a total current output of 5.8A. Note: Does not support Qualcomm Quick Charge
  • Speedy Recharging Time: Fully charged in just 11-12 hours with a 2.4A charger – twice as fast as a 1A charger
  • High-Density Li-Polymer Battery: Portable, lightweight build unleashes 22000mAh of power to charge an iPhone 7 for 8 times, a Galaxy S8 4.4 times, or an iPad mini over 3 times

Stop worrying about making it through the day, or having your phone die before you make it home that evening, and grab one of these for yourself now!

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