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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Mobile Accessories

Samsung Galaxy phones get a little bit modular at CES with this case

The Elite Smartcase and Smartblade adds extra power and memory to your Galaxy S6 or S7.

This case has magnetic pins that connect to extra components.

Lynn La/CNET

Modular phones -- phones that have swappable hardware components -- are still a distant dream. Though the LG G5 and the Motorola Moto Z series attempt to approach this concept, they're still far from perfect.

Phone cases also try to lend your phone a semblance of modularity, like the Elite Smartcase from i-Blades. Designed for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 (and their Edge counterparts), the Smartcase attaches to your handset, which can then connect to another accessory that increases your phone's power and memory.

The case attaches to the 1,800mAh battery pack, called the Smartblade, via magnets on the back similar to the Moto Z's. The Smartblade also has 64GB of built-in storage and includes a microSD card slot that can hold an extra 128GB, both of which would come in handy if you ever run out of space in your own phone. When I briefly tried it out, the connection felt secure and snappy, and their rubber-coated finish help with durability.

i-Blades first announced the phone case last November, and units are just beginning to ship out. In addition to the Smartblade, the company has a VR case module and an optional Smartcase with an environmental sensor that can measure air quality. Together, the Smartcase and Smartblade retail for $130 (converts to roughly AU$180, £105), and i-Blades said that they were continuing to work on other accessories.

Click here more on CNET's coverage of CES 2017.

Where to Buy

i-Blades Elite Smartcase

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