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  #1  
Old 02-21-2011, 08:50 PM
Branais Branais is offline
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Default Purchasing decisions - can you help?

Folks,
These following questions are fairly tiny, maybe inconsequential. I have no idea why they seem to matter to me, but ... they do. I'd be really grateful for any observations you can make that will maybe give me a (gentle) whack on the side of the head.

I'm going to buy a Cowon J3. What I can't decide is:

1) Black or white?

(I haven't physically seen the white one, and there doesn't seem any way to at the moment. I live in Australia, and Cowon has a distributor here, but no presence in physical retailers.)

2) 16GB or 32GB?

(I doubt at any one time its storage capacity would ever be full. And I'm not likely to go through even 16GB of files in one sitting, even of the listen-once-only radio dramas I rather enjoy. But I don't want to have to connect the device and load a new library every day. Plus, I am buying the Cowon partly because of its wide support for lossless formats, so I'm inclined to think the extra elbow room for the larger individual files will be nice. Weighed against that, though, are comments I've read about slow start-up times, and how fairly obviously it takes longer to scan 32GB of files than 16GB. How much is the scan time an issue?)

3) APE format

(I had a few moments' play with a 16GB J3 at the distributor's office yesterday, but it seemes the unit was faulty and the whole thing fell in a heap. I'd taken some sample files in on an SD card to play with, but the device refused to read the APE files (version 3.99, normal compression). Have others experienced this, or are there limitations with APE files I need to be aware of? The FLAC files and 320KB MP3s had no issues at all.)

4) Which case?

Here in Australia, there is the choice of the hard plastic shell for $18 (which doesn't protect the screen) or the official "leather" (I'm assuming it's vinyl) cover for $45, which does, but looks cumbersome to me. I've confirmed with the Ringke people they will ship to Australia, so that's another option - that doesn't protect the screen directly either, but may help in the "glass lifting off" issue I've read a bit about. The Cowon distributor doesn't have access to the "jelly" covers, so I have no idea what they're like. How necessary do you find it to have the screen covered?


I know, pretty small bikkies, but I'd appreciate any thoughts you may be willing to share.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:45 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Branais View Post
1) Black or white?
I may be wrong here, but I thought white was only available in the 8GB size. I thought everything larger was in black.

But I feel the black looks gorgeous (I have a 32GB).


Quote:
2) 16GB or 32GB?
Obviously, this depends on the size of your music collection. Also, do you plan to expand the size of your collection in the future, and have you considered the use of the external SD storage?

In my case, I required at least 45GB total storage because I wanted to carry around my entire music collection with me. I didn't want to have to load or rotate anything daily, although I might add to it regularly.

I went with the 32GB size and also purchased a 32GB microSD card. That gave me plenty of room for expansion.

I subsequently went back and made FLAC versions of things I'd previously made highest-quality VBR 320kbps MP3 files of with LAME (not that there's hardly any discernible difference in their sound, but I felt better!)... since I had room.

I also copied some videos to the player... since I had room.

Just like with that 500GB hard drive on your computer you never thought you could imagine filling up or exceeding, it can probably never be wrong to have EXTRA SPACE for future use and/or expansion. Your needs will only grow with time.


Quote:
3) APE format
My collection does not include APE files, although when I first got my J3 I did certainly experiment with it. I actually wanted to see if I could tell any difference from the LAME-produced MP3 and FLAC files I was familiar with.

I immediately discovered that Cowon had neglected to support APE-tags, although they supported playing APE-files. I wrote them a trouble report (on their support web site), and in a later version of the firmware that defect was corrected. The J3 now supports APE-tags.

But to be honest, I haven't gone back since that initial attempt at playing APE files (which worked). I've simply decided to go with FLAC.

Theoretically, the J3 supports both of these formats equally well... but I really can't speak firsthand of late on APE.

What is mostly true is that THE J3 SOUNDS GREAT!!! Feed it lossless, and it's gorgeous (especially when played back through a good soundsystem, like my car's.)


Quote:
4) Which case?
I went with the standard Cowon leather case. At the time I bought my J3 there were no other alternatives available yet.

I'm very satisfied with that leather case, although I recognize this is subjective. It has no holes on the back side for the speaker and mic, but that's of no concern to me. Also, the front cover flap is either flapped open or flapped closed, so if you want to see the screen then you have to flip it open. Again, for me it's either sitting on a table (feeding my headphones) or sitting on the passenger seat in my car (feeding my car's audio system). I don't walk around with it playing music, so the position of the front flap isn't an issue.

Others like various assorted alternatives better, but it really depends on your use of the player which one is most appealing.

I did apply the Cowon LCD plastic screen protector sheet to the J3's screen. I think that's an absolute must, just because it cleans nicely (breathe on it and then use a micro-fiber cloth, like to clean your eyeglasses, so as not to scuff or scratch the plastic when you rub it around).
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2011, 01:31 AM
Branais Branais is offline
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DSperber,
Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a detailed reply! It seems to help me get my thoughts in order, and everything you say makes a whole lot of sense.

About the colours -- maybe the options differ from region to region. (Not sure why this would be so, but it seems to be. There's a third colour option in Korea, apparently ... at least according to the Cowon website.) But yes, the distributor here does have 32GB models in white as well as black, so I do have the luxury of that choice. I just have to make it! ;-)

Re the storage size: I wandered through a few shops today, and the current prices on micro-SD memory cards is bizarre. 8GB was $32, 16GB was $108 (!!!). I have no idea why. So $70 difference in price for 16GB difference in on-board memory seems not so bad, and it still leaves my expansion slot free for even more when I turn into a storage pig.

I'm puzzled about the APE files. Those particular files play fine in foobar, and checked out 100% corruption-free when I ran a test on them in the Monkey's Audio program, so I don't know what to say. Maybe it was an error in tagging, or maybe the device I was testing them on didn't have updated firmware. But you've given me a few things I can try.

And thanks for the heads-up on the screen protector. Eminently sensible.

Ta for the feedback, mate.

(p.s. I went to an all-day party once in Marina del Rey. What a cool place!)

Last edited by Branais; 02-22-2011 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Typos, typos, toujours typos!!
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2011, 03:39 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Branais View Post
Ta for the feedback, mate.

(p.s. I went to an all-day party once in Marina del Rey. What a cool place!)
And I've been to Manly Beach several times... what a gorgeous place (especially after the ferry ride across Sydney Harbor to get there).

I remember having fish and chips from some place up on the arcade, walking from the boat quay and docks up to the beach.

Also remember having the most fantastic ice cream cone I ever had from some other place down near the bottom of the arcade (Royal Copenhagen, on the Corso), with girls sitting in the window making fresh cones on a 4-iron spinning lazy susan with sterno cans and flames under each "waffle iron". The smell of vanilla wafting out the front door made the line of people waiting to get in to buy an ice cream stream out well into the arcade.


And I bring this up not only because of your location, but because the new season of "The Amazing Race" just started yesterday. For the first time in its 17 season lifetime it is now in HDTV, which makes us A.R. lovers just over the moon with happiness.

But more significantly, the first leg of the race is in Sydney, in the summer... with Manly Beach as a centerpiece, and Shelly Beach as a "pit stop".

IT WAS JUST GORGEOUS TO LOOK AT IN HD!! And it brought back my memories of that arcade, and that amazing fish and chips, and remarkable vanilla ice cream on a freshly made still warm cone at Royal Copenhagen.

(I spent 5 weeks in Sydney back in 1981, 7 months in Sydney in 1985, and 4 weeks in Sydney in 1998... all on business)
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2011, 08:53 AM
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sonorguy sonorguy is offline
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1) Black or white?

(I haven't physically seen the white one, and there doesn't seem any way to at the moment. I live in Australia, and Cowon has a distributor here, but no presence in physical retailers.)

I have the 32GB white, so I will take some pictures and post them.

2) 16GB or 32GB?

(I doubt at any one time its storage capacity would ever be full. And I'm not likely to go through even 16GB of files in one sitting, even of the listen-once-only radio dramas I rather enjoy. But I don't want to have to connect the device and load a new library every day. Plus, I am buying the Cowon partly because of its wide support for lossless formats, so I'm inclined to think the extra elbow room for the larger individual files will be nice. Weighed against that, though, are comments I've read about slow start-up times, and how fairly obviously it takes longer to scan 32GB of files than 16GB. How much is the scan time an issue?)

I think it is always to go with more room if you can afford it, and products like this tend to last a long time, so bigger is always better for me, but your needs might differ.

About scan time: I have a 16GB card and, all in all, it takes the J3 about 33 seconds to boot up for me. However, this is apparently on the long side of boot times according to what others have posted here. It honestly doesn't really matter, though. I only boot my J3 after I have unplugged it from my computer; the rest of the time I have it in sleep mode where the battery loss is negligible and the wake up takes the 2 seconds you hold the button down for.

3) APE format

(I had a few moments' play with a 16GB J3 at the distributor's office yesterday, but it seemes the unit was faulty and the whole thing fell in a heap. I'd taken some sample files in on an SD card to play with, but the device refused to read the APE files (version 3.99, normal compression). Have others experienced this, or are there limitations with APE files I need to be aware of? The FLAC files and 320KB MP3s had no issues at all.)

I haven't had any experience with APE files.

4) Which case?

Here in Australia, there is the choice of the hard plastic shell for $18 (which doesn't protect the screen) or the official "leather" (I'm assuming it's vinyl) cover for $45, which does, but looks cumbersome to me. I've confirmed with the Ringke people they will ship to Australia, so that's another option - that doesn't protect the screen directly either, but may help in the "glass lifting off" issue I've read a bit about. The Cowon distributor doesn't have access to the "jelly" covers, so I have no idea what they're like. How necessary do you find it to have the screen covered?

Honestly, I don't even have a case, just the screen protector that came with it. I have incurred any damage or scuff marks of any sort, it looks brand new. However, I always carry it in my pocket or my messenger bag, so, as with space, your needs may differ. I seem to hear the highest praise about the Ringke cases, and I considered getting one for a while; I still might. I like my gadgest slim, so I try to cut down on any material that I can.
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2011, 11:31 AM
Branais Branais is offline
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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
And I've been to Manly Beach several times... what a gorgeous place (especially after the ferry ride across Sydney Harbor to get there).
Yeah, Manly's a lovely stretch. Earlier in my life I lived for a few years just up the hill from there, in a place called Fairlight. It was a great way to head off to work in the morning, wandering down the hill and taking a ferry across the Harbour (what's this "Harbor" thing you keep talking about? ). But I doubt you'd recognise the place these days - Sydney seems to be simply flinging all its heritage and style away in a rush towards trying to look just like any other cosmopolitan glass-and-chrome city.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:17 PM
Branais Branais is offline
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sonorguy, mate, thanks for all your thoughts. I'm starting to get a good sense of this wee beastie!

And that's a really useful tip about the sleep mode. Thanks!

I've dropped an e.mail to the bloke who wrote Monkey's Audio (and, I presume, invented the APE format) to see if he has any ideas about idiosyncracies of the format itself. It could be the J3's implementation of it, of course, but I'm not about to assume that.

Anyway, ta so much.

(And since we're talking locations: Tallahassee. From my side of things, it sound so evocative and exotic! Is it a Native American tribal name?)

Last edited by Branais; 02-22-2011 at 12:40 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2011, 04:00 PM
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sonorguy sonorguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Branais View Post
sonorguy, mate, thanks for all your thoughts. I'm starting to get a good sense of this wee beastie!

(And since we're talking locations: Tallahassee. From my side of things, it sound so evocative and exotic! Is it a Native American tribal name?)
I'm happy to help. I'll get the pics posted when i get home from class, but I have neither the equipment nor the skills of some of the people on the forum.

Tallahassee, I can promise you, is neither exotic nor evocative :P

It is a word from the Muskogean tribe (I think a branch of the Seminole Indians). It has a few beautiful canopy roads and is covered with old oak trees (one of my favorite types), but that's about it. It will be an interesting transition when I move to New York City in a few months...
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:45 AM
Branais Branais is offline
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Wow, good luck in NYC, mate.

(It's absolutely not my cup of tea, personally, but that says more about me than the place. New York is obviously amazing, as cities go, but I'm not much of a city dweller, so the three times I've been there I found it pretty overwhelming. There ya go - I'd rather be among your Tallahasee oak trees! )

But thanks for your offer of the pics. 'Tis OK - I relented and bought a black unit. Can't be sure I did the right thing, but it's done. Perhaps would have preferred a different colour choice - white makes me think of vinyl handbags, for some weird reason - but there wasn't another option going. So I'm content.

Thanks again and best wishes to you, sonorguy, DSperber.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:00 AM
Mrblurr Mrblurr is offline
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Originally Posted by Branais View Post
DSperber,
Re the storage size: I wandered through a few shops today, and the current prices on micro-SD memory cards is bizarre. 8GB was $32, 16GB was $108 (!!!). I have no idea why. So $70 difference in price for 16GB difference in on-board memory seems not so bad, and it still leaves my expansion slot free for even more when I turn into a storage pig.
I believe this is because you are paying for a SSD (Solid State Drive) or Flash memory. No moving parts is the new thing in Hard Drives. A friend of mine bought a 80GB SSD and boots Windows 7 in 20 seconds. You are also paying about $1.25 per GB for Solid State at the moment. If you had a Terabyte Sata drive you'd pay about .01 per GB.

Basically you're paying for new(ish) technology that won't go down in price for about 2+ more years. I'd say not until a gaming console comes out with a 200GB+ SSD in it. I'm hoping that will be the next generation (or Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo are idiots)
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:05 PM
Nerox Nerox is offline
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Originally Posted by Branais View Post
Re the storage size: I wandered through a few shops today, and the current prices on micro-SD memory cards is bizarre. 8GB was $32, 16GB was $108 (!!!). I have no idea why. So $70 difference in price for 16GB difference in on-board memory seems not so bad, and it still leaves my expansion slot free for even more when I turn into a storage pig.
It's really , really expensive. I've found a supplier on the web which provide me micro sd CLASS 10 cards for an amazing Prices (without shipping)! ( 32 gb for 59 $ ,16gb for 20.5$ 8 gb for 9$). I've a 32gb class 10 , and this is really amazing .. 13 mo/sec in writing

4) For the case , i really advise you the Ringke Case from rearthusa . It fit perfectly the j3 and has a variety of coulours. I've a black one(sober) , and my brother have one in "lime" , the J3 became nearily "trendy" because of the case . The Ringke case is really perfect , in every ways
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:58 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Nerox View Post
I've found a supplier on the web which provide me micro sd CLASS 10 cards for an amazing Prices (without shipping)! ( 32 gb for 59 $ ,16gb for 20.5$ 8 gb for 9$). I've a 32gb class 10 , and this is really amazing .. 13 mo/sec in writing
Let me get this right... you bought a genuine, real H2Testw-confirmed 32GB CLASS 10 card for $59?

What is the brand name? Where are you located?

Please PM me a link providing either the web site a direct URL to make the same purchase.

Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:11 AM
Branais Branais is offline
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Originally Posted by Nerox View Post
It's really , really expensive. I've found a supplier on the web which provide me micro sd CLASS 10 cards for an amazing Prices (without shipping)! ( 32 gb for 59 $ ,16gb for 20.5$ 8 gb for 9$). I've a 32gb class 10 , and this is really amazing .. 13 mo/sec in writing
Wow, I'd like to hear about this too, if you would. This sounds like a real bargain.

Quote:
For the case , i really advise you the Ringke Case from rearthusa.
Thanks for the advice - I took it before you even gave it!

I bought a ringke - in my case, a Kiwi one - and I'm very happy with it.

I also bought a ringbo, and that's been a little more problematical. I found it very hard to get it on the device without getting little speckles of dust trapped, which make bubbles in the adhesion. (I live in an area where there's a great deal of dust in the air.) I followed the instructions for lifting it to clean it, but ruined one sheet that way completely. The second one in the pack is applied, but it still has a couple of specks trapped. Regretfully, I think they'll have to stay there. Annoying.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:38 PM
Nerox Nerox is offline
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Originally Posted by Branais View Post
Wow, I'd like to hear about this too, if you would. This sounds like a real bargain.
I've explained all to Dsperber(ask him to forward my PM ): To summarize :59$ for a 32gb micro sd class 10 with CE certifications and H2testw tested. Minimum order quantity = 5 pc . Shipping = ~20 $ by dhl.
I've sent you a PM with the email address of the person in charge of sales . Ask Dsperber if you can make a group order with him

Quote:
Originally Posted by Branais View Post
I bought a ringke - in my case, a Kiwi one - and I'm very happy with it.
My brother did the same .. and , i have to admit, it really transform the J3's appearance. It's as "trendy" as a Ipod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Branais View Post
I also bought a ringbo, and that's been a little more problematical. I found it very hard to get it on the device without getting little speckles of dust trapped, which make bubbles in the adhesion. (I live in an area where there's a great deal of dust in the air.) I followed the instructions for lifting it to clean it, but ruined one sheet that way completely. The second one in the pack is applied, but it still has a couple of specks trapped. Regretfully, I think they'll have to stay there. Annoying.
I've bought a best skin cover sheet (A3 size) , a while ago and i've cutted a piece to fit the screen - It protects the skin like a charm -
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:18 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Default Anybody interested in a "group order" for 32GB Class 10 cards?

I heard back from the manufacturer in Hong Kong, of these Class 10 32GB cards (with H2Testw guarantee). Go to http://psecflash.cn and search for "micro sd 32gb Top rated".

They claim to OEM for companies like Samsung, PNY, Ericsson etc. We're talking about normal minimum quantities of 50-100 pieces, or 10000 pieces per week, i.e. commercial volumes.

Pricing for 32GB cards (Class 10 = read 20M/s and write 15M/s):

SDHC 32GB : Class 10 Intel Chip (SMI+CPRM) $37 for Sample (which I take to mean individual quantities under 100, like 5-10).

SDHC 32GB : Class 10 Intel Chip (SMI+CPRM) $36.13/pc for 100pcs

DHL shipping cost to Los Angeles: $23.38

Delivery: 3 to 5 working days by DHL; 15 working days by HK post (cost less than $23.38, probably I would guess).

Payment: Paypal, Credit card, Alipay-Escrow.t/t.

Warranty:5 years, defective below 0.4 % ,which can be replaced by new ones in next order.


That's a pretty sizable $23 shipping cost to the US, but there's also a pretty huge price cut on the card itself. $37 for 32GB Class 10 card. Kind of unheard of.

But if a number of us were interested, that $23 shipping cost would be divided, further reducing the total cost for each of us.


Anybody interested? If 5-10 of us here in the US were interested, I could place the order and then mail each one to each of you within the US when the box arrived from HK, by ordinary mail.

Would probably be a total of around $42 dollars or so "delivered", for a legitimate 32GB Class 10 card. If you want such a card, this is probably the cheapest price you're going to find it at right now. Of course, you could also be out $42 if this turns out to be a fake, but it doesn't look that way.

Anybody interested? PM me.


Incidentally, there appears to be an online Asian marketplace for these SDHC cards in "commercial quantities".
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:14 AM
Branais Branais is offline
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Anybody interested?
Absolutely ... if you can just get the ship to swing by Australia and drop a couple off in my direction !!

(Or a box, even - I could sell the rest on eBay, maybe.)
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:04 PM
Nerox Nerox is offline
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@Dsperber ,

The last price for Micro sd 32GB was 59$/piece
16gb was 20,5 $/piece

On psecflash.
Minimum order quantity = 4 or 5
You can order 5 , it's really easy to resell.
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:11 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Just in passing...

Noticed that Fry's Electronics (here in LA) was advertising 32GB Class 4 microSDHC cards (from Polaroid/PNY) for $35.

Also, the same ad full-page was showing 6' HDMI 1.4 cables for $1.99.

My how times have changed.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:12 AM
tovarnak tovarnak is offline
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Quote:
4) Which case?
depends on preferences, if you want it to be as small as it can get, you should be satisfied with Ringke Silicon Case. But if you are like me, guy who likes a bit more luxurious look, I would get Noreve Leather Case ( http://www.noreve.com/langue/en/prod...Tradition.html ). Its shipped from France but they have really good shipping prices with acceptable delivery time (everything costed me around 40 euros and my case was at my place in a week). You can also choose from many color and leather type variations to match your liking (well, most of them are custom made so you would have to wait for those a bit longer, but there is always one Black standart case ready to be shipped). With case you will get removable belt clip and everything is wrapped in nice looking black box
Also I recommend getting some screen protector, I am using REALOOK for J3, ordered from amazon for like 10$ with shipping, surprisingly it was delivered in less than 2 weeks
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