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Samsung Galaxy Note II accessories: Colored Flip Covers and AllShare Cast Wireless Hub

Samsung sells several accessories for their smartphones and tablets and with the 50% registration coupon code, I recently picked up three pieces. The two colored Flip Covers and AllShare Cast Wireless Hub are nice accessories, especially at half the price.
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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Samsung Flip Covers and AllShare Cast Wireless Hub

After I purchased my T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note II I visited the Samsung site and registered my new device with my Samsung account. Samsung then sent me a coupon code, via email, with an offer for 50% off accessories from the Samsung store. It turns out they let you take 50% off of your entire order and since I couldn't decide on just one color for a case I ended up buying two of them along with the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub.

Samsung Protective Flip Cover

There are a lot of 3rd party accessories for Samsung devices, but I find the design of the Galaxy S III and Note II Flip Cover from Samsung to be one of the best. I like that it replaced the back cover of the phone and provides a simply flip cover solution. There are seven color options for the Note II and I had a tough time deciding what to buy. With my 50% discount I went ahead and ordered the orange and mint ones after taking a poll with my family.

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2 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Front of the orange and mint Flip Covers

I am a big fan of orange and like the one they sent, but it's a bit different than I like on my devices. I actually prefer the mint one, it reminds me of 50s appliances, and it definitely makes my device stand out a bit. The back is glossy and snaps right into place after you remove your included back cover. There is a small indentation in the front flap for the center button. The front cover also has a slightly textured feel to it with Samsung and Note II labeling and an opening for the headset speaker. I like that I now have screen protection with the Note II in my pocket and it folds all the way back for phone calls too. It is a bit tough to take photos since the front flap hangs down as you open the case to view the display. The case is expensive at $39.99, but with the 50% off coupon it is a good deal.

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3 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Back of the Flip Covers

The back of the Flip Cover has a glossy finish.

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4 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Inside Flip Cover

The inside has soft material to protect your display along with an indentation for the bottom action button so it does not get pushed accidentally.

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5 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Inside back of the Flip Cover

Here you can see where the connections are made, as well as the clips and openings in the back of the Flip Cover.

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6 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

AllShare Cast Wireless Hub retail package contents

AllShare Cast Wireless Hub

I have been using HTC devices with the HTC Media Link HD, but since the Note II has earned a secure place in my collection I wanted something to support media on my TV with it. I was going to purchase a MHL adapter, but with the 50% off coupon I was able to pick up the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub for about the same price. It retails for $99.99 and comes with a microUSB A/C adapter and HDMI cable in the package. The AllShare Cast Wireless Hub is designed to enable you to connect Samsung devices like the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, and Galaxy Note 10.1 to your TV or HDMI-enabled dislay.

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7 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Back of the AllShare Cast

You can view photos, slideshows, movies, play games, enjoy music, and share your display with the AllShare Case Wireless Hub. The HTC Media Link defaults everything to landscape, which makes sense on a TV or HDMI monitor. The AllShare Cast works much like Nokia devices with HDMI out and shows just what is on the display in both portrait and landscape orientation. I enjoyed Transformers 3 (T-Mobile gave it to Note II owners for free) and Christmas Vacation on my 37 inch HD LCD rather than watching it just on my 5.5 inch Note II. When video is playing then it goes to full screen and plays in very high quality. Both of these movies looked great and played flawlessly.

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8 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Bottom of the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub

You can view photos, slideshows, movies, play games, enjoy music, and share your display with the AllShare Case Wireless Hub. The HTC Media Link defaults everything to landscape, which makes sense on a TV or HDMI monitor. The AllShare Cast works much like Nokia devices with HDMI out and shows just what is on the display in both portrait and landscape orientation. I enjoyed Transformers 3 (T-Mobile gave it to Note II owners for free) and Christmas Vacation on my 37 inch HD LCD rather than watching it just on my 5.5 inch Note II. When video is playing then it goes to full screen and plays in very high quality. Both of these movies looked great and played flawlessly.

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9 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Top of the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub

You can view photos, slideshows, movies, play games, enjoy music, and share your display with the AllShare Case Wireless Hub. The HTC Media Link defaults everything to landscape, which makes sense on a TV or HDMI monitor. The AllShare Cast works much like Nokia devices with HDMI out and shows just what is on the display in both portrait and landscape orientation. I enjoyed Transformers 3 (T-Mobile gave it to Note II owners for free) and Christmas Vacation on my 37 inch HD LCD rather than watching it just on my 5.5 inch Note II. When video is playing then it goes to full screen and plays in very high quality. Both of these movies looked great and played flawlessly.

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10 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

microUSB and HDMI cables are provided

You can view photos, slideshows, movies, play games, enjoy music, and share your display with the AllShare Case Wireless Hub. The HTC Media Link defaults everything to landscape, which makes sense on a TV or HDMI monitor. The AllShare Cast works much like Nokia devices with HDMI out and shows just what is on the display in both portrait and landscape orientation. I enjoyed Transformers 3 (T-Mobile gave it to Note II owners for free) and Christmas Vacation on my 37 inch HD LCD rather than watching it just on my 5.5 inch Note II. When video is playing then it goes to full screen and plays in very high quality. Both of these movies looked great and played flawlessly.

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11 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

AllShare Cast is connected, setup directions

The Note II has an AllShare Cast shortcut in the top notification shade area and also an area of settings that gives you even more options. All I had to do to get setup and enjoy content was plug in the HDMI cable, plug in the power cable (the AllShare Cast needs power via microUSB), wait until the light flashes red and then tap the reset button on the back adjacent to the microUSB port to turn the light blue, and then enable AllShare Cast on the Note II.

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12 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Connecting to the AllShare Cast

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My Note II display on my LCD TV

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Viewing photos on the large screen

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Watching Transformers via the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub

So far I have found that the AllShare Cast performs flawlessly every single time I connect and does so easily as well. I just tested the HTC Media Link HD with the Droid DNA again and found this system keeps giving me random disconnects and does not seem to perform as well. If you want to share your photos, movies, games, music, and other content with family, friends, or business associates then the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub looks to be a solid solution that is a lot cheaper than buying a new SmartTV.

TecTile NFC tags

I bought a packet of TecTile NFC tags as well and like figuring out ways to use NFC around the house and the office. I have a tag in my desk drawer that I tap to turn on WiFi and connect to my home network for WiFi Calling and faster data. You can setup these NFC tags to launch apps, check-in to places, update your social status, and much more.

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