How to charge your smart phone anywhere

There is nothing more frustrating than uploading photos to your favorite social media site when your smartphone battery suddenly runs out of power – especially when you are nowhere near a car or home outlet to recharge.

Well, we’ve got that one covered! Battery On The Go is a handy battery charger that no serious smartphone power user can be without. This sleek, functional, and portable smartphone charger will charge extend the talk time on your smartphone by up to 8 hours, and will extend your Internet use time by up to 7 hours.

How to charge your smart phone anywhere

I took one of these portable chargers home with me over the weekend to see if it really lives up to the claims. I simply plugged the charger into the USB hub on my computer and let it charge up for a couple of hours. Then I took it with me to the beach where I knew I was going to be snapping and uploading lots of photos on my Galaxy S4. When my phone started to run out of juice, I simply plugged the charger into my phone and watched as it recharged my phone’s battery. Simple. Convenient. Just as described. I loved it!

Battery On The Go will work with most smartphone brands including iPhone, BlackBerry, Samsung, Nokia, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony, and many more. It features a cool 4-LED display to let you know how much charge is left in the battery, and another LED light to let you know when it is charging. A handy power button also makes it easy to turn on and off.

It’s also compact enough for travel – making it an essential item for long plane trips or airport layovers.

We carry the Battery On The Go Portable Battery Charger in both pink (shown above) and blue. Stop by DreamProducts.com to learn more.

Scott Spooner is a Digital Marketplace Specialist for Dream Products.

This portable Apple Watch charger fits on your keychain.

The average American spends between five and six hours looking at their phone every day. Many people have tried to cut down on screen time and streamline their productivity by investing in smartwatches that allow them to better screen notifications. Still, busy people, and especially entrepreneurs, may find themselves constantly looking at their smartwatches and burning power like mad.

When your Apple Watch dies, it’s a real pain because you’ve gotten into the habit of using it as a de facto substitute for your phone. It can throw your whole day out of whack. That’s why you shouldn’t let your Apple Watch die in the first place. With the Apple Watch Wireless Charger Keychain, you never will. It’s on sale now for just $19.99 (reg. $49).

This sleek, elegant charger fits on your keychain and allows you to minimize the charger bulk you carry with you every day. No longer will you need a charging cable and electronic system to charge your Apple Watch. Instead, you can just place the watch on this portable magnetic charger.

Using it is easy. Just remove your Apple Watch and place it on the charger. The strong magnetic absorption allows you to adjust the angle of your watch easily without breaking the charge. Four LED lights indicate the charging status, so if you’re in a hurry, you can quickly see how much power you’ve gotten back to your Apple Watch. The charger has a 950mAh lithium-ion battery capacity and works with every series of Apple Watch.

When you’re done charging, either return the charger to your keychain or stick it in your pocket for later. It’s roughly the size of a car key fob, so it won’t bother you when you’re commuting, running errands, or even at the gym.

Charge your Apple Watch a smarter way. Right now, you can get the Apple Watch Wireless Charger Keychain for 59 percent off $49 at just $19.99. You can also get a two-pack for 60 percent off $99 at just $38.99, or a four-pack for 61 percent off $199 at just $76.99.

Chris Hoffman
How to charge your smart phone anywhereChris Hoffman
Editor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to charge your smart phone anywhere

Kite_rin/Shutterstock.com

Want more battery life on the go? You can get a portable charger for nearly any laptop—whether it has USB-or not. Portable battery chargers aren’t just for smartphones. Throw one in your bag and you’ll always have some backup power.

USB-C Chargers (for Laptops That Charge Over USB-C)

How to charge your smart phone anywhere

imuto

Many modern laptops come with USB-C Power Delivery for charging. For example, Apple’s newer MacBook computers charge via a USB-C cable. This is becoming common on new PC laptops, too—especially thin-and-light models.

If your laptop can charge via USB-C PD, you can plug in a portable charger that supports USB-C and charge from it. But you can’t use just any battery: You’ll want a battery that offers enough charging speed (watts) to charge your laptop and enough capacity (mAh) to fill it up. Smaller portable batteries intended for charging smartphones often don’t offer enough of either for a laptop.

A battery designed to charge a laptop may be a bit heavier, but it can still fit nicely in a laptop bag or backpack. We’ve got good USB-C battery picks for laptops and larger devices. Our best overall pick is imuto’s 45 W power bank at $60.

Unfortunately, while USB-C Power Delivery is supposed to be a standard that lets you charge any laptop with any standard USB-C charger, it doesn’t always work this way in the real world. Back in 2015, PCWorld found that not every laptop could charge with every charger. The only way to know for sure whether it will work is to try a charger with your laptop. You might want to find reviews that say whether a charger you’re interested in works with your laptop—or just purchase one from a store with a good return policy.

AC Chargers (for Laptops Without USB-C Charging)

How to charge your smart phone anywhere

Mophie

If you’ve got a laptop without USB-C charging—and let’s be honest, that’s most laptops people are using these days—you’ll need a portable AC charger.

This is exactly what it sounds like. Picture a big battery complete with an AC outlet. You plug your laptop’s charging cable into it just like you’d plug your laptop into a standard AC power outlet.

We say these work for “most laptops” because they can only deliver so much wattage. They may not be able to charge extremely power-hungry gaming laptops, for example. Check your laptop to see what it needs.

These chargers are more expensive and heavier-duty than your average USB-C charger. However, they’re also more flexible—you can plug nearly any device with a standard AC power connection into one. It’s a power bank that can function for a wide variety of devices in a wide variety of situations.

Wirecutter recommends the Mophie Powerstation AC, which can deliver 100 W of power output and is still slim enough to slip into a bag. It costs $200. For a more inexpensive option, Wirecutter also liked the RAVPower 27000, which offers 700 W of power for $130 but has an “unwieldy charging cord and power brick.”

These are far from the only options, and you’ll find many portable laptop chargers and power banks that can provide AC power both in online stores and brick-and-mortar electronics stores.

New Batteries (for Laptops With Removable Batteries)

Of course, if your laptop has a user-removable battery—these aren’t too common anymore, but they still exist—you can also just purchase a second battery for it and swap it in when you run out of power.

However, you’ll have to power off your laptop to swap the battery. Swapping the battery is often pretty inconvenient, too. It’s still worth considering if you have a laptop where the battery is easily swappable, as rare as those are becoming.

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How to charge your smart phone anywhere Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek.
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The Pfizer vaccine is now FDA-approved, but with Delta surging, you may have to pull out proof of vaccination. The official vaccine card doesn't fit easily in a wallet, though. Here's how to keep it handy on your phone.

How to charge your smart phone anywhere (Shutterstock)

After an initial rollout that left people anxiously refreshing Twitter feeds and state health websites for appointment slots, there is now ample opportunity in the US to get vaccinated. If you were holding out for full FDA approval of a vaccine, the agency today approved the Pfizer vaccine, which will be marketed as Comirnaty.

Access to COVID vaccines is a privilege that’s not available to everyone globally. But if you’ve received the jab, you may have set aside your white proof-of-vaccine card and tried to resume life with as much normalcy as possible.

But the Delta variant is here, and it means that even the vaccinated have to mask up indoors and be more cautious than they were a month ago, for the sake of themselves and others. Because of that, people who are returning to work or doing things like dining out or seeing a show are increasingly required to present a proof of vaccination. In New York City, going to a restaurant, concert, performance, or gym will require it (more on that below).

There are no clear answers on whether or not you should laminate your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and with booster shots on the way, it’s probably best not to. The card itself is larger than a credit card or driver’s license, making it easy to damage in a wallet.

Apps are usually the answer to dilemmas like this, but there aren’t that many universal ones, so we have a few options.

Note: Your card is “the official record that you were fully vaccinated,” according to the CDC, but it does not qualify as a vaccine passport for international travel.

Take a Photo (It Lasts Longer)

The easiest thing you can do is to take a photo of the front and back of your card and store it in your photo app of choice, like Google Photos.

The second easiest thing you can do is to make that photo a widget so it’s easy to retrieve. For iOS 14 and above, download a photo widget app like Photo Widget: Simple. Open the app and create an album that has only the photos of your vaccination card. Now long-press on the home screen, then tap the plus sign (+) button at the upper left. Select Photo Widget and press Add Widget. Once the widget is on your home screen, tap it to choose the album with your card. To show it, tap twice.

On Android, download a photo widget app like Shortcut Image. Then go to your home screen and long-press an empty area, choose Widget, scroll down to the Shortcut Image app, choose an image file, name it, and press save. A thumbnail widget is now on the home screen and you can press it to show it.

(Google just updated its Passes API for easier storage of COVID vaccination and test cards on Android devices, but developers from healthcare organizations, government agencies, and organizations authorized by public health authorities will need to implement it.)

Put It In Your Digital Wallet

VaxYes from GoGetVax creates a certificate that can be placed in your Apple Wallet or in Google Pay. You enter your phone number on the site and then upload an image of your vaccination card. In return, you get a digital certificate that can be stored on your device’s wallet.

Matters of State

Depending on where you live, there could be a local government solution.

New York City, for example, will soon require proof of vaccination for workers and customers at indoor restaurants, gyms, and performances. If you’re a New York State resident or were vaccinated in New York, the state offers the Excelsior Pass for proof of vaccination. Access it on the web or via Google Play and the App Store. Confirm some personal information and your vaccination date, and Excelsior Pass will produce a QR code you can store in the apps or your digital wallet of choice (including Apple Wallet). A restaurant or venue can then scan that QR code when you arrive. (You can also print it out.)

NYC also has Covid Safe app (iOS and Android), which lets you upload a photo ID, vaccination card, and negative Covid test results. But it’s perhaps not the most secure option, as Albert Fox Cahn, founder of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, discovered.

On the West Coast, Los Angeles County partnered with Healthvana, and has been sending digital vaccination records to those who received their vaccine at a county-run site, which can be stored in Apple Wallet or Google Pay.

People of Walmart and Sam’s Club

If you received your vaccination at Walmart or Sam’s Club, you can download either the Clear (Android, iOS), CommonHealth (Android), or CommonPass (Android, iOS) apps. Create an account, sign into your Walmart or Sam’s Club account, and agree to share your vaccination history with your verification app of choice. Walmart or Sam’s Club account credentials will then be used to verify your vaccination status in the app.

Samsung phone owners who use the CommonHealth app can add the card to their wallet by tapping the Add to Samsung Pay link in the app and then opening the Samsung Pay app and tapping COVID-19 Vaccine Pass.

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More and more phones are adding wireless charging capabilities, but if you’re using an older handset or one that still needs a cable to juice up—hello, Google Pixel 2 —you don’t have to be left out of the party. Here’s a straightforward guide to the kit you need to charge up any phone by just placing it down on a surface.

Fortunately for our purposes, understanding where you are with the tech is more straightforward than it has been in the past, since the lengthy battle between wireless charging standards is now drawing to a close . Just about everyone has decided to go all-in on Qi wireless charging, though you might still see hardware of a different standard around for a while—so be careful what you buy.

Wireless charging pads

The basics of adding wireless charging to a phone that doesn’t support it are the same as they are for a phone that does. You have your charging pad, plugged into the power, and then you can drop your phone on it to juice up.

With Qi wireless charging, all this happens with an inductive charging system, which uses an electromagnetic field to pass a charge between two devices via the copper coils embedded in them. If your phone doesn’t come with the necessary coil inside, then you need to add it somehow.

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More on that in a moment, but in terms of the charging pads you can buy, your choice is wide open. If you’re upgrading a phone that isn’t able to charge wirelessly out of the box, there won’t be any official charging pads to confuse matters, so you can pick your favorites from the many third-party models out there.

Make sure you see the Qi wireless charging standard label, and check up on the output wattage as well—the newest pads go all the way up to 10w and 15w, though you’re going to need a phone or adapter that’s able to draw more power to get the full benefit (otherwise the charging rate will fall back to the slowest supported speed).

You’ve got flat pads and vertical stands to pick from, and most of these options fall into the very affordable bracket. A word of warning though: The wireless receiver dongle is going to protrude from your phone’s power and data port, so you probably need to buy a pad-style charger. What’s more, you won’t be able to charge your phone with a conventional cable unless you unplug the wireless adapter, so you might want to buy two or three pads to cover the home and office.

Wireless charging adapters

The secret to wireless charging devices not built for it is a thin adapter that includes the required coil, and stays permanently connected to your phone’s data and power socket. You can plug and unplug it whenever you like, but if you’re doing that you may as well just use a charging cable.

These adapters are ubiquitous and cheap , no matter what type of charging socket your phone uses: MicroUSB, USB-C, or Lightning. The coil part of the device sticks to the back of your phone—it shouldn’t protrude any more than a sheet of paper, but the smooth aesthetics of your phone will inevitably be affected to some degree.

You need to look for something that fits your phone’s charging port, offers Qi compatibility, and looks as sleek as possible. Head to your favorite online tech retailer of choice, but the usual rules about carefully checking user reviews apply—read through a range of opinions and if possible look for a review from someone who’s used the adapter with your make and model of phone.

Setup is as simple as connecting the adapter and then placing the phone down on a wireless charging pad. As far as your phone is concerned, it’s charging through the power socket as normal; it’s just the source of the electricity that’s been changed.

Alternatively, you can opt for a case that includes the necessary adapter in it. Cases can interfere with and slow down wireless charging, so it makes sense to go for one made specifically with wireless charging in mind. Again, find the right fit for your phone: This case will enable wireless charging on older iPhones, for example.

Is it worth it?

Wireless charging is one of those conveniences that seem a bit gimmicky and unnecessary, until you actually try them. Even with the inherent downsides of wireless charging, once you get used to just dropping your phone down on a pad every night without hunting for a cable or a plug, it’s difficult to go back.

And there are downsides—wireless charging remains significantly slower than wired charging, and using third-party adapters to convert a phone that doesn’t have the tech integrated tends to slow down the process even further.

As we’ve already mentioned, if you need to charge your phone conventionally at any point, then you need to unplug the wireless adapter to make room for the cable, which isn’t ideal. If you’re constantly switching between wired and wireless charging as you go from home, to the office, to the car, then you might consider the added convenience of wireless isn’t really worth the effort.

The stylish looks of your phone are likely to suffer too—especially if you’re phone is currently bare or in a super slim case. Many cases should still work fine, with wireless adapter dongles being so thin, but having to buy a new case is a possibility.

Even with all those caveats in mind, you should still join the wireless charging revolution. With the price of adapters and pads so reasonable, you can even give it a try to see if you like it, without losing too much if you don’t.

Please Note: The information on this page is for New Zealand products only. Sequences or settings will vary depending on location and/or where the product had been purchased. To be redirected to your local support page please click here.

Cell phones, originally used for little more than calls and text messages, have evolved into all-in-one entertainment devices.

Your Samsung smartphone plays videos, music and games, and many include lightning-fast Web browsing and a robust app library. Use these features for more than a few hours, though, and your phone’s battery charge may not last longer than a day. You can coax more life out of your phone by charging the battery correctly and tweaking a few power-hungry settings.

Charge Regularly

To get the most out of your smartphone’s battery, you’ll need to charge it properly.

Most Smartphones have a lithium-ion battery that lives longer when charged regularly. Unlike the nickel batteries used in older phones, lithium-ion batteries do best when kept above a 50 percent charge. Repeatedly allowing the battery to drain fully may shorten its life and decrease its overall capacity.

If this happens, you’ll need to charge the battery more frequently and it may last only a few hours before needing a charge, for example.

Leaving the phone connected to the charger (when the phone is completely charged) while you are using it may lower battery life if you do it repeatedly.

Brightness, Vibration and Power-Saving Mode

Your phone devours battery power no matter what you do, but you can lessen the burden by adjusting the device’s settings. Most Smartphones have an auto-brightness setting that automatically adjusts the display’s brightness based on the lighting of your environment. If you normally have the display set to full brightness, enable the auto option to save a chunk of battery life.

Vibration also uses extra battery power, so if you don’t need it, disable it.

Your phone may allow you to disable vibration for certain items, such as notifications, while leaving it on for phone calls and messages.

Some phones have a power-saving mode that allows you to disable the data connection when the screen is off or to slow down processor usage. Power-saving mode may also turn off Bluetooth, vibration, GPS and syncing when you lock the screen. Available options differ by phone model.

If your phone has this mode, enable it, and you might see a significant improvement in battery life.

Location Services, Running Apps and Notifications

If you’ve enabled location services for maps or the GPS on your phone, the device is constantly scanning to determine your position on the map. Some location-based third-party apps do this, too.

Your phone runs out of power rapidly if you leave location services on all the time. To save battery life, disable these services and turn them on only when necessary.

Some apps run in the background until you explicitly shut them down. You may not even know they’re running at all. Most phones have a usage menu where you can see running apps, shut them down and even determine how much space they’re taking up on the phone. Check this menu regularly, and close apps you don’t use.

Many Smartphones feature a notifications system that alerts you to everything from new text messages to social-network updates. If you turned on automatic syncing for apps, email and other online accounts, the constant stream of updates can drain your battery fast.

Disable notifications for apps and other unwanted services to save power.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Many public places, including restaurants, airports and hotels, offer free Internet access if you have a Wi-Fi enabled phone. Wi-Fi comes in handy when you want to browse the Web on the go, but it’s also a huge drain on your battery. Turn Wi-Fi on only when you want to get online, and turn it off immediately after.

If you’ve connected a wireless headset to your phone via Bluetooth, you may have noticed how quickly the battery seems to drain. Bluetooth allows your phone to communicate with other devices, but the connection requires extra power. Don’t leave Bluetooth on all of the time, and remember to disable it when you’re done with it.

The above content is provided for information purposes only. All information included herein is subject to change without notice. Samsung Electronics is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages, arising from or related to use or reliance of the above content.

Looking for something else?

You can download the user manual from our Manuals & Downloads page. For all other queries or further technical assistance, please call Samsung Customer Care on 0800 726 786 or Live Chat with our Technical Team online, services are open 24 hours, 7 days.

Y ou may already have heard the warnings: Don’t overcharge your mobile phone. Make sure you unplug it from the charger after it reaches 100%. Don’t leave it charging overnight. Or else.

The direness implicit in those imperatives may be overblown, but they’re not paranoid conspiracy dictums — you still shouldn’t overcharge your phone. Here’s why.

Mobile phones contain a rechargeable lithium-ion (or li-ion) battery. Li-ion batteries charge faster than traditional rechargeable batteries. That’s why you can plug your iPhone or Android phone into a charger, and revving it up to at least an 80% charge happens fairly quickly. But as we all know, our smartphone battery charges don’t last long. We’re often lucky to get through the day without our phones losing all their juice.

Part of that dilemma is because the batteries on our phones are relatively small and can hold only so much capacity. But the other part is due to the way we use our phones. Constantly checking email, texting people, listening to music, watching videos, using apps, playing games. All those activities eat up a single charge, causing our phone batteries to run out of gas, often sooner than expected.

For that reason, many people (myself included) probably charge their phones overnight. You then wake up to a 100% freshly charged phone in the morning when you have to trot off to work or otherwise start your day. In most cases, your phone probably needs only an hour or two to hit 100%. Leaving it plugged in longer is pointless. So what happens if you act as I assume most do, and leave your phone plugged in overnight?

First, the good news. You can’t overcharge your phone’s battery, so don’t worry about that. Your phone stops drawing current from the charger once it reaches 100%, according to Cadex Electronics marketing communications manager John Bradshaw. Cadex manufactures battery charging equipment. “Go ahead and charge to 100%,” Bradshaw says. “No need to worry about overcharging as modern devices will terminate the charge correctly at the appropriate voltage.”

Edo Campos, spokesperson for battery-maker Anker, echoes that sentiment. “Modern smart phones are smart, meaning that they have built in protection chips that will safeguard the phone from taking in more charge than what it should,” says Campos. “Good quality chargers also have protection chips that prevent the charger from releasing more power than what’s needed. For example, when the battery reaches 100%, the protection hardware inside the phone will stop current from coming in and the charger will turn off.”

Whew, that’s a relief. Okay, what’s the not-so-good news?

Even though a charger turns off the juice when your phone reaches 100%, the charger will continue to top off the charge during the night, says Bradshaw. Such a “trickle charge” attempts to keep it at 100% to compensate for the small bit of charge that your phone just naturally loses on its own. So your phone is constantly being bounced between a full charge and a bit below a full charge. These trickle charges can lead to higher ambient temperatures for your phone, which can reduce capacity over time.

“Li-ion does not need to be fully charged as is the case with lead acid, nor is it desirable to do so,” according to an article from Cadex’s Battery University site. “In fact, it is better not to fully charge because a high voltage stresses the battery.”

Rechargeable batteries are also basically doomed from the start. Batteries in mobile devices are in constant decay from the moment they’re first used, says Campos. This results in a gradual loss of their capacity, or ability to hold a charge. That’s why those who’ve owned a phone more than a couple of years tend to find that their battery loses its charge quicker than just after purchase. I’ve owned my current iPhone 6 for almost three years and have seen a significant drop in capacity, especially over the past few months. Charging and recharging the battery doesn’t help. An Apple webpage about batteries cautions that the capacity diminishes after a certain amount of recharging, and that the capacity on li-on batteries diminishes slightly with each charging cycle.

By keeping your phone charged overnight, you’re actually increasing the amount of time your device spends with the charger, thereby degrading its capacity that much sooner.

“If you think about it, charging your phone while you’re sleeping results in the phone being on the charger for 3-4 months a year,” says Hatem Zeine, founder of Ossia, a developer of wireless charging technology. “So even though the manufacturers try their best to cover this scenario, this process inevitably lowers the capacity of your phone’s battery.”

What charging advice do experts have for smartphone owners?

Don’t wait until your phone gets close to a 0% battery charge until you recharge it, advises Cadex’s Bradshaw. Full discharges wear out the battery sooner than do partial discharges. Bradshaw recommends that you wait until your phone gets down to around a 35% or 40% charge and then plug it into a charger. That will help preserve the capacity of the battery. You should also keep your phone cool, as higher temperatures accelerate the loss of battery capacity. Pro tip: Take off your phone’s case before you charge it.

The moral of the story? The loss of capacity generally doesn’t become noticeable until after the second year. If you replace your phone every year or two, then don’t sweat the overnight charging since you’ll have a new phone before the battery in your old one starts to conk out. But if you hang onto your phone for more than a couple of years, resist the urge to charge it overnight, and your battery will retain its capacity that much longer.

Being out of cellphone reception is no problem if you own a satellite phone. Here’s how to never miss a call again no matter where you are in the world, and yet still keep your iPhone or Android device.

Thuraya SatSleeve for iPhone

I find it pretty weird that there’s cellphone coverage on the top of Mount Everest, yet there are loads of dead spots in my neighborhood. One way to get guaranteed cellphone coverage anywhere in the world is to own a satellite phone, and now you can transform your existing smartphone into a satellite phone by just sliding it into a case.

Yes, that’s right, you no longer need a dedicated satellite phone. What you need is a Thuraya SatSleeve.

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Just slide on the sleeve, and BINGO! You have a satellite phone.

In addition to offering support for calls and SMS messaging, the latest SatSleeves also have satellite data functionalities for emails, instant messaging, browsing and so on.

Yes, calls and data are going to cost you an arm and a leg (don’t be surprised if it adds up to several dollars a minute depending on where you want to use your handset). But for those time when you just have to make — or receive — that call, nothing beats a satellite phone.

The SatSleeve comes in three flavors:

  • SatSleeve for iPhone: Adaptor for iPhone 5/5s is inside the package (adaptors for iPhone 4/4s and iPhone 6/6S are available from Thuraya Service Partners)
  • SatSleeve for Android: Adaptor for Samsung Galaxy S4 is inside the package (adaptors for Samsung Galaxy S3 and S5 are available from Thuraya Service Partners)
  • SatSleeve+: A universal sleeve compatible with a variety of iPhones and Android devices.

There’s also Hotspot version that is more of a desk-mounted satellite phone hub, as opposed to a sleeve that fits onto your existing smartphone.

The SatSleeve also features a built-in rechargeable battery to extend the battery life of your smartphone, and there’s an optional solar charger for those times your adventures take you far from a power socket.

The SatSleeve isn’t a cheap solution — it costs around $499 — but if you need coverage where there isn’t a ground-based carrier service, this could very well be what you need.

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Share All sharing options for: You can wirelessly charge your smartphone anywhere with Mophie’s new magnetic battery pack

Mophie’s charge force cases have been known for making it easier for people to wirelessly charge their phones at their desk or in the car using magnetic mounts. But now you’ll be able to wirelessly charge your smartphone anywhere you want, thanks to the new charge force powerstation mini.

The portable battery pack magnetically connects to Mophie’s charge force and juice pack cases, which are available for the iPhone 6 & 7 (Plus as well) and the Samsung Galaxy S7 & S8 (Edge and Plus, too). The powerstation mini is essentially a 3,000mAh battery with magnets, which fully charge every phone it’s compatible with, sans the S8 Plus and S7 Edge, which come with 3,500mAh and 3,600mAh batteries, respectively.

If you already have a juice pack or charge force case, the $49 powersation mini is probably a good purchase, but if you aren’t already in the Mophie ecosystem, it’ll cost you at least $100 to get involved, and that’s not including the other wireless charging products like the base and desk mount that most people will want.

The Mophie charge force powerstation mini is available for $49 from Mophie’s website today.

Think all the data on your phone is safe in your pocket? Think again. Here’s how hackers can subvert your phone remotely.

We use our smartphones for almost everything—from paying bills to sending emails. Therefore they contain highly sensitive information about our lives. And if that data falls into the wrong hands, that could lead to quite disastrous consequences.

Here’s how your phone can get hacked remotely and what to do about it.

How Can Someone Hack My Phone Remotely?

It’s not a secret that hackers don’t need to have your phone in their hands to steal your personal information. They can target any of the data stored there remotely. Passwords, SSNs, bank account details, text messages, photos—almost anything can get into the hands of the bad guys if you aren’t careful enough and well-protected.

Cybercriminals come up with unique ways to access people’s smartphones and monitor them. Usually, they look for some vulnerabilities in the phone’s operating system to hack it or trick people into downloading malicious software onto their devices.

The scariest part in all this is that with technology constantly evolving, the process of hacking someone’s phone remotely is turning into a child’s play. There are various apps out there that can be used to get access to a smartphone with just a phone number. Unfortunately, it’s even possible to hack a phone’s camera.

Some other ways a hacker can get into your phone include:

  • Through public Wi-Fi networks. Cybercriminals create fake Wi-Fi networks, and when you connect to it with your phone, they redirect you to malicious sites.
  • SIM swaps. Hackers transfer your phone number to their device and gain access to your account.
  • Phishing emails or texts. Hackers send you an email with a malicious link and try to trick you into clicking it. Such emails or texts may look very real, and sometimes it may be complicated to distinguish between a malicious site and a legitimate one.

How to Know That Your Phone Is Hacked?

Whether you have an iPhone or Android smartphone, there are some signs that can indicate that your device has been hacked. If you notice such things on your smartphone, there might be a chance that a cybercriminal has targeted you:

  1. Unusual data usage spikes.
  2. Excessive battery drainage.
  3. Takes forever to launch apps.
  4. Restarts for no reason.
  5. Weird popups.
  6. Background noise.
  7. Apps that you don’t remember installing.
  8. Strange phone calls.
  9. Unusual activity on the accounts connected to your phone.

However, there is no need to panic right away. Not all cases like this are linked with hacking. For example, if it’s taking a long time to load an app, maybe there’s just something wrong with the phone’s performance, or you’re running an older version of the app and need to upgrade it.

But if you notice strange activity on your bank account or any other accounts that you have access to from your phone, then there is a chance that you’ve become a cybercrime victim.

Another way you can find out whether your device has been hacked or not is to use antivirus software to run a security scan on your phone. If there is anything suspicious, it will detect it.

How to Remove a Hacker From My Phone?

Do you have reasons to believe that your smartphone has been hacked? Then the first thing that you should do is factory reset your device. If you’ve never done it, be sure to check out our guides to learn about how to factory reset an Android device and how to factory reset an iPhone. But keep in mind that this will not just help you to get rid of the hacker but also delete every file stored from your device.

If you don’t want to run a factory reset on your smartphone, there are some other things that you can try:

  • Get rid of suspicious apps. Search for applications that you haven’t installed by yourself on your phone and delete them. However, there are no guarantees that this will help for sure.
  • Install an antivirus application. It can detect any malicious software or processes on your device and help you protect your smartphone from future possible hacker attacks.
  • Tell your contacts that you’ve been hacked. It’s best to let them know that they shouldn’t open any suspicious messages coming from your phone number so that they won’t get into any trouble.

After you’ve done everything you could to remove the hacker from your phone, it is also recommended to change your account passwords, such as the device’s passcode, all social media, Apple ID or Google account, email, and internet banking. Make sure that you choose strong passwords for your accounts.

How to Prevent Hackers From Getting Into Your Phone

There are a few actions that you can take to protect your smartphone and any personal information stored there from hackers. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Lock your smartphone. Create a strong password for locking your device’s screen. If your phone also has such features as Touch ID or Face ID, then set it up as well.
  2. Don’t turn on mobile data or Wi-Fi unless you need to use them. This can prevent malicious software from using your data.
  3. Turn off your hotspot in crowded places. It makes it easier for the hacker to get access to your device when it is turned on. And if you’re using this feature, then make sure you have a strong password set.
  4. From time to time, check the list of apps installed on your smartphone. If you notice any suspicious apps, uninstall them immediately.
  5. Never click on suspicious links. If you’ve received a strange text message from your friend telling you to click on a link to open some random site, think twice before you do it. There can be malware in disguise.
  6. Make sure that your device and the apps installed on it are up-to-date.
  7. Don’t jailbreak your phone. This can increase the chances of your smartphone getting hacked later on.
  8. Use two-factor authentication. An extra layer of security for your apps will ensure that you’re the only one who can access them.

Of course, installing an antivirus application is always a good option. But using it and remembering the tips mentioned above can give your iPhone or Android device even more protection from hackers.

There’s Nothing Wrong in Being Cautious

The risk of getting hacked is extremely high these days. And since it’s that easy to do it, it’s best to be protected from such a possibility.

Not only a phone can be hacked. Your social media accounts, computers, email, almost anything is at risk, which is why you should always be careful.

Here’s how cybercriminals hack into a Facebook account, and how to protect yourself from attackers.

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Romana is a freelance writer with a strong interest in everything tech. She specializes in creating how-to guides, tips, and deep-dive explainers about all things iOS. Her main focus is on iPhone, but she also knows a thing or two about MacBook, Apple Watch, and AirPods.

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