Welcome to our new, continuously-updated First Looks - a collection of previews showing brand new iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. Here’s what’s hot right now:
Models: WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set
Compatible: iPhone 3GS to 6 Plus, iPod touch 4G/5G, iPad 2 to Air, All iPad minis
The WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set ($100) is the newest entry in Belkin's lineup of home automation products that began two years ago with its WeMo Switch and WeMo Switch + Motion, and has been more recently expanding into everything from crock pots to humidifiers. With this latest entry, Belkin goes back to WeMo's roots with a lighting solution that is both functional and easy to install. The LED Lighting Starter Set includes two Smart LED bulbs that can be screwed into any standard light fixture along with a new "WeMo Link" bridge that plugs into a standard wall receptacle, providing connectivity between the bulbs and the Wi-Fi network. Additional bulbs sell for $30 each, and the system provides support for up to 50 bulbs on a single WeMo Link. The bulbs can be controlled individually or in groups using the free WeMo iOS app.
PureGear has debuted several new cases for the iPhone 6 already, starting with the DualTek Extreme Shock Case ($35), a matte plastic and rubber case with a small piece of shock absorbing material in the shell. The HIP Case+ ($35) is a two-piece multi-use case. A simple plastic shell houses the iPhone 6, offering a kickstand, but little coverage. However, that shell can be inserted into a larger and more protective holster, which also includes two slots for ID or credit cards. Finally, the Slim Shell ($25) is a thinner one-piece case made from a mix of plastic and softer rubber, capable of flexing to accommodate insertion and removal of the iPhone 6.
Third-party case makers aren't the only ones releasing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases before the devices have actually come out — Apple's official iPhone 6 Plus Leather Case ($49) is one of two new case options for the company's new iPhones, alongside less expensive silicone cases. Basically a real leather shell, the iPhone 6 Plus Leather Case is similar to Apple's prior-generation leather iPhone 5s Case, but this new version retails for $10 more and yet leaves the bottom of the phone completely exposed. Microfiber on the inside keeps your device from getting scratched during insertion and removal. Five color options include Olive Brown, Black, Midnight Blue, Soft Pink, and (PRODUCT) RED exteriors. Notably, the case makes clear that the encased iPhone 6 Plus will completely fill the whole front pocket of a pair of loose-fitting jeans, most likely not fitting into the front pockets of tighter jeans.
Compatible: iPhone 6
Following a number of other companies, OtterBox has already introduced cases for the iPhone 6 before the device officially hits the market. Commuter ($40-$45) uses two pieces — a rubber inner layer and hard plastic shell — to keep the iPhone 6 safe. The rubber layer covers the Lightning port and headphone jack when not in use for extra protection. Users can order separate shell and cover colors to make their own color combinations. Additionally, the case comes with a stick-on screen protector, cloth, and a card for applying the screen protector. Defender ($60) uses triple-layer protection, with complete port protection, a built-in screen protector, and a holster. This version even has a thin plastic membrane covering the Touch ID sensor. Last but not least, Symmetry ($40-$45) uses the same one-piece plastic-and-rubber design and shock absorbing interior found in the case's previous iteration; it remains one of the slimmest OtterBox cases for iPhone. Commuter and Symmetry offer fancier graphic designs at higher price points.
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