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D’oh! Sorry the Gear Fit 2 sold out so quickly yesterday. I suspected it would. I haven’t found it selling elsewhere for even close to that price, but of course I’ll keep looking. Watch this space, and watch Twitter, too! More and more I’m using that to blast out updates, bonus deals, TV/movie/book recommendations, etc.
On to business. Regular readers of this column know of my affinity for the Ninja Loop, a simple strap that makes gripping your phone much easier and accidental drops much less likely.
If you like the idea but not the execution, fear not: There are lots of other ways to Ungrip, is perhaps the most comfortable of the bunch.. One of them, the
And for a limited time, it’s on sale. (Actually, it was already on sale; I finagled an even better deal for you, dear readers.) You can get an Ungrip for $8.50 when you apply discount code CHEAPUNGRIPS at checkout. That’s for one of the Colors Collection; the Patterns Collection will run you $10.20, while Specials are $13.60. (Put simply, the code takes 15 percent off any style.)
Shipping adds $4 for up to three Ungrips.
Kind of a soft, cushy version of the Spigen ring, the Ungrip consists of a small plastic bumper that attaches to the back of your phone (or case, though not rubber or silicone ones) and a fabric loop attached to it. The bumper also has a tiny hole for use with a lanyard or wrist-strap.
I tested an Ungrip for a couple weeks with my spare phone, a Galaxy S6. I have to admit I never liked the Spigen ring because it’s a little hard on your finger. The Ungrip is soft and oh-so-comfortable — more comfortable, even, than the Ninja Loop, which can feel a little constricting after a few minutes. (I frequently hold my phone for long stretches while reading.)
The downside is that your finger doesn’t work its way into the loop quite so naturally: It’s harder to “catch” by touch alone. And I don’t love the bump it adds to the back of your phone. At least the Spigen can double as a kickstand.
As noted, the Ungrip comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and the loop is actually removable from the base, so you can change it out if you want a different look. Unfortunately, you can’t buy just replacement loops; it’s the whole kit or nothing.
Another consideration: You can’t use it with a magnetic car mount, and it would definitely get in the way of an inductive charger (as it prohibits your phone from sitting flat).
Those wrinkles aside, if you frequently drop your phone and/or you wish you had a longer thumb (so it could reach the farther corners of your big screen), you’re likely to love the Ungrip. It’s not perfect, but I’ve yet to find the gripper that is.
Bonus deal: This is pretty close to selling out (only 17 percent of total inventory remains as I write this), but you might still be able to grab one. GoPro (via Ebay) is offering the refurbished GoPro Hero Session action camera for $99.99 shipped. Price for a new one: $150 (originally $200). This is a manufacturer-certified refurb, and it comes with a full one-year warranty.
The Hero Session is an “entry-level” GoPro, one that can capture 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second (fps) or 1440p at 30 fps. It’s waterproof without needing a special housing, and a single button powers on the camera and starts it recording. CNET hasn’t reviewed it, so search elsewhere if you want to learn more. Based on what I’ve read, it’s a great camera — especially at this price.
Bonus deal No. 2: Ever feel like modern fitness bands are over-complicated and overpriced? Wish you could just wrap something lightweight and simple around your wrist, forget it’s there, and still track steps, sleep and calories? A few years ago, before Fitbit became the dominant player, the Jawbone Up24 answered that call.
Of course, it was $150. Today, you can get a refurbished Jawbone Up24 activity tracker for $4.99 shipped when you apply discount code CNUP245 at checkout. It’s available in a variety of colors and sizes; check this guide to make sure you get the right size for your wrist.
The Up24 looks more like a bracelet than a piece of tech. There’s no screen, of course, but it can still count your steps and track your sleep. It’s also water-resistant, meaning you can keep it on in the shower, and its battery should be good for up to a week between charges (though with refurbs, the battery condition is a question-mark).
I’ve never used one myself, so I’ll turn you over to. Of course, that was based on the $150 price tag. For five bucks out the door, how can you go wrong?