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2 weeks ago

China recalls some Galaxy Note 7 handsets, bans use in-flight

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Galaxy Note 7s

No suggestion of a wider Chinese recall yet, as a different battery supplier is said to have been used in the country.

The Chinese authorities have recalled 1,858 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones partly sold "through an official Samsung website before the Sept. 1 launch, as part of a testing scheme," according to Reuters.

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2 weeks ago

Galaxy S8: Model numbers revealed as analysts predict early launch

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Samsung phones sign

Samsung reportedly skipping 'unlucky' model number for next flagship, which may launch earlier in 2017 due to the Note 7 recall.

We've already heard how the Galaxy S8 might come in two edge-screen models with 4K displays, and now further details on Samsung's internal designation for the new flagships have come to light. SamMobile, which has a pretty good track record for these things, says the big and small GS8s (Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, perhaps?) are in development under the codename "Dream" and "Dream2."

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2 weeks ago

Xiaomi is launching the Mi Air Purifier 2 in India on Sep. 21

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Xiaomi is all set to launch its first product in the Mi Ecosystem in India. The company has sent out invites to the media for an event on September 21, where we'll see the Mi Air Purifier 2 make its debut in the country.

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2 weeks ago

Evening news briefing: September 13, 2016

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Android Central

Samsung may cap Note 7 batteries at 60%, Lenovo delays its Tango phone, and some good news for Canadians!

I meant to get up out of this chair today, but the news wouldn't quit. As Samsung was busy announcing controversial OTA updates for the remaining Korean Note 7s that have yet to be replaced, it was also putting up and taking down an IMEI checker site to help people figure out which version Note 7 they have.

Meanwhile, Apple has a big day, launching iOS 10 — though it wasn't without its own problems — and OnePlus got caught up in a bit of a controversy of its own.

To be honest, I feel a little bad for Samsung. The company has been criticized of mishandling this recall process, but the scale is enormous, and the logistics equally so. On the other hand, we're hearing from people still having trouble returning their phones to carriers or getting replacements when promised, which is quickly exposing the sometimes frayed relationship between manufacturers, carriers, and their customers.

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2 weeks ago

LG V20 is the first phone compatible with Wind Mobile's upcoming LTE network

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A new era for Wind Mobile approaches.

Canadians in the large cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary are used to paying a premium for wireless data. Thanks to a system that limited price-lowering competition to regional markets in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and to a lesser extent, Quebec, many have held out hope that one company in particular, Shaw-owned Wind Mobile, would offer the relief they so desperately need.

Though Wind Mobile has talked about its burgeoning LTE network for over a year, it has been constrained by one major factor: a lack of handsets that support the AWS-3 spectrum it purchased (for a steal) in early 2015. Phones have supported the well-used AWS-1 band for five years now, but AWS-3 uses a different pair of frequencies in the 1700/2100Mhz range. Instead of creating a separate band for that pair, the governing body behind international spectrum allocation, 3GPP, combined AWS-1, AWS-3 and AWS-4 (owned by Dish Network in the U.S. and yet to be auctioned in Canada) into a single Band 66.

Read more: Is Wind Mobile worth it?

Now, the LG V20, which is expected to be released in Canada next month, is confirmed to be the first device approved for use with Band 66, which will let it be tested and ultimately used with Wind Mobile's LTE network when it is launched either later this year or in early 2017. The company has been overhauling its HSPA+ networks throughout Canada, beginning with the western-most provinces and moving east, in anticipation of its LTE network, partnering with Nokia to replace aging tower equipment.

Not only does the V20 provide Wind Mobile with its first LTE-capable device, but it builds a platform on which the carrier can advertise its new high-speed capabilities.

Not only does the V20 provide Wind Mobile with its first LTE-capable device, it builds a platform on which the carrier can advertise its new high-speed capabilities when it does launch, offering tier one devices that take advantage of the network. And the V20 is likely the first of many products released in the next few months that support Band 66, though notably the iPhone 7 is absent from the list.

For those in the U.S., the LG V20 also supports T-Mobile's new 256QAM, triple-carrier aggregation LTE network, supporting theoretical speeds of up to 400Mbps on its combination of Band 4, Band 2, and Band 12. Cellular Insights, in their preliminary tests with the V20 in New York City, found T-Mobile spitting out speeds of around 180Mbps, something that Canadians have only recently experienced with Bell's 3xCA in big cities like Toronto. T-Mobile, which is Wind Mobile's main roaming partner in the U.S., is also expected to roll out its first sites with AWS-3 support in the next few months.

So this is great news for those anticipating Wind Mobile's LTE network, and while the company won't promise a firm launch date, it won't be long now.

LG V20

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2 weeks ago

Android users greet iOS 10 with a loud shrug

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Yawn.

It's that time of year again, when Apple releases its latest version of iOS to millions of people on the same day, and Android users get all salty that they're still waiting for [insert latest version here].

The reality is, as we remind people year after year, you can't directly compare the two ecosystems as they relate to software updates because Google by design only controls a small number of the phones. On the day Android 7.0 Nougat was released to the world, we shared all the tools on how to update a recent Nexus phone immediately, and those who waited a bit longer should have received their over-the-air update by now. Still, Nexus phones account for less than 1% of the total Android devices in use, and many millions of people will never even catch a whiff of Nougat. That's by design, whether you like it or not.

But that hasn't stopped people from complaining — and rightfully so! Updates are fun, and they add exciting new features that more often than not improve the way a phone functions. Because of the way Android updates work, even simultaneous rollouts are issued in stages, so users rarely have a chance to share in the excitement of a simultaneous update.

Of course, even the world's biggest tech company can't get software right all the time, as evidenced by the large number of Tweets complaining that iOS 10 is bricking their devices. As Samsung struggles with its own quality control issues with the Note 7's battery, it was incumbent on Apple to have a flawless release season, scooping up as many potential Note 7 customers as possible.

Of course, even the world's biggest tech company can't get software right all the time.

While it remains to be seen if the iPhone 7 hardware has any showstopping bugs, a widespread issue updating from iOS 9 to 10 on existing hardware is no easy thing to fix, and a potential PR nightmare. Apple says it has corrected the issue, but there are a lot of upset early adopters right now. Except our own Andrew Martonik, who was #blessed with a flawless update on his iPhone 6. Yes, even we AC editors still use iPhones from time to time.

In the meantime, it's totally possible that you are an Android user with an iPad, or a dual-wielding phone owner excited about what iOS 10 can offer. And it offers a lot, bringing many of the features to the iPhone that Android users have been enjoying for some time. But as Apple tends to do, it approaches things like widgets and homescreen icons and background processes a little bit differently, and — love it or hate it — it continues to keep a grip on the App Store in a way that Google never will. That's OK, because these days both ecosystems are incredibly powerful, and we're lucky to have them.

So what do you think of iOS 10 and the iPhone 7? Sound off in the comments!

Read more: iOS 10 review on iMore

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2 weeks ago

OnePlus developer exodus forced merger of OxygenOS and HydrogenOS

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All isn't well in the optimistic, upstart world of OnePlus.

In 2014, when the relationship between nascent smartphone maker OnePlus and alternative software maker Cyanogen Inc. was souring, the company began work on a new in-house version of Android, which would eventually become to be called OxygenOS.

The team behind OxygenOS was largely made up of members of the former custom ROM group Paranoid Android, many of whom in early 2015 relocated to Shenzhen to work more closely with the company's hardware and marketing teams.

The goal was to have OxygenOS, which at first was less feature-rich than the version of CyanogenOS that arrived on the company's first phone, ship with the OnePlus 2 in early 2015. In the subsequent months, the development team built up what we now know of as the software that ships on the OnePlus 3, the latest unlocked, direct-to-consumer smartphone from the upstart manufacturer.

Long hours and insufficient resources at the company in the run-up to the launch of the OnePlus 3 lead a number of people on the OxygenOS team to leave.

But in mid-August, OnePlus released a community build of an upcoming version of OxygenOS, dubbed OxygenOS 3.5, which confers some big aesthetic changes to the OnePlus 3's near-stock aesthetic. The changes were not universally lauded, but since the release much of the core community has taken to its new look and updated feature set. In the days following OxygenOS 3.5, OnePlus announced through a series of interviews that it was merging its OxygenOS development team, which has heretofore focused on the North American and European markets, with that of HydrogenOS, a separate version of the software for OnePlus's growing Chinese audience.

While the messaging from OnePlus depicted a company with a singular goal of building efficiency through consolidation, in order to offer faster software updates for all OnePlus owners, Android Central has learned that prior to the merger, many of the core members of the OxygenOS team left the company, including the Head of Mobile Product, Helen Li. Long hours and insufficient resources in the run-up to OnePlus 3's launch led to a number of OxygenOS team members striking a deal to terminate their contracts just after the phone's release, according to people who didn't want to be named because they signed non-disclosure agreements. As a result, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau had no choice but to merge the remaining members of OxygenOS, some of whom are only signed on until the end of 2016, and HydrogenOS.

According to these people, despite a 3:1 ratio of OxygenOS users to its Chinese market counterpart, OnePlus was disproportionately pouring resources into HydrogenOS, causing strain between the two teams and leading the subsequent talent purge.

In a statement to Android Central, OnePlus said, "We have unified our software platform and team to increase efficiency and speed up our software updates. This has been in the works for a while now because maintaining two separate software platforms is not sustainable for such a small, young company with big ambitions." The company confirmed that OxygenOS and HydrogenOS will remain separate products aimed at distinct markets for the time being, and that the "back end" change is "an important step in the right direction."

Read more: OnePlus 3 review

But our sources say that this move was never intentional, and came out of a staff exodus that took the company's management by surprise. Since the unification, the HydrogenOS team has begun the slow process of merging code from the two projects, the first versions of which have been the OxygenOS 3.5 community build and the subsequent 3.5.1 update, released a week later.

The chief designer responsible for championing and maintaining OxygenOS's "Nexus-like" aesthetic is no longer with the company.

Projects that uniquely identify OxygenOS, like the Shelf, are currently being tended to by the remaining OxygenOS members, who are assisting in the transition before they, too, leave. Similarly, the chief designer responsible for championing and maintaining OxygenOS' "Nexus-like" aesthetic, is no longer with the company, so it remains to be seen whether the now-unified product, dubbed OnePlus OS, or OOS, will shift more markedly towards a custom look and feel, similar to Huawei's EMUI software layer, or Xiaomi's MIUI, which looks and operates drastically different to what North American Android users expect.

While this news is undoubtedly a setback for fans of the OnePlus 3's stock-like software experience, it's unclear how the internal changes will affect the quality of the phone's release going forward, or whether, under a single team, the company can stick to its promise of more frequent updates without any negative consequences.

OnePlus 3

OnePlus

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2 weeks ago

Join the Honor 8 incentive program to earn prizes, discounts and more!

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Thanks to Honor, Android Central is offering a great way for our members to earn incredible prizes, including its latest phone, the Honor 8.

Entering is easy! Simply jump into our Honor forums and contribute your expertise, knowledge, and interest in smartphones. For your efforts, you'll have an opportunity to earn discounts, free products did we mention the brand new Honor 8, and maybe even a trip to an Honor event later this fall! Excited? Here's how you can started earning valuable prizes!

Start a thread in Honor 8 forum!

  • Everyone that starts a new thread in the Honor 8 forum prior to September 30th, 2016, will receive a coupon code for $50 off Honor products on Hihonor.com/us! Offer is limited to one coupon per user, cannot be combined and must be used by October 3rd, 2016.

Post regularly in the Honor forums

  • The member with the most posts (total) across all Honor forums on Android Central each week, will receive a free Honor selfie stick on Honor products. Offer is limited to one coupon per user. Gifts will be shipped to winners every month.Promotion valid through December 16th, 2016

Post quality and helpful answers to questions

  • The member with the most 'best answers' to questions across all Honor forums on Android Central during each calendar month will receive a coupon for one pair of Honor Engine earphones! Offer valid through December 16th, 2016

Kick up great discussions

  • If you start the most talked about thread (most replies to a thread you start during any ), you will receive a free Honor Band Z1! Offer valid through December 16th, 2016

Write clever and appreciated posts

  • Every month, the member with the most 'likes' within the Honor forums on Android Central will receive a free Honor hybrid earphones! Offer valid through December 16th, 2016

Post consistently

  • Every month, the member with the most days-in-a-row with at least 1 post in any Honor forum on Android Central will receive a free Honor 5X. Offer valid through December 16th, 2016

Get active in the Honor forums

  • Six (6) of the most active members in the Honor Forums will be chosen by Android Central to participate in a review panel. The panel will receive a free Honor 8 device! The member with the most activity (most threads and posts) in the Honor forums over the next five months (ending December 16th, 2016) will have the opportunity to attend an Honor event in person! This includes a ticket to event, airfare and accommodations.

In all cases above, ties will be broken by member post count, and like count if needed.

Yes, you've read this correctly. We're going to give you free stuff just for taking part in the world's best Android forum! Head over to the Honor forums and start earning great prizes today!

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2 weeks ago

Best Verizon phones

Best Verizon Phones

Want a new Verizon phone? See the best the largest operator in the United States has to offer.

Whether you're an existing Verizon subscriber looking to upgrade, or you're thinking of switching over to Verizon and want to know what phones they offer; we're here to help.

We have put together our list of the best phones Verizon has to offer. We encourage you to read our reviews to learn more about each device we have featured, but if you are ready to pull the trigger, we have also included links to buy directly from Verizon.

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2 weeks ago

Get in on Google's Chromecast 'Preview Program' for early access to updates

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Want to be the first to see new Google Cast features? Of course you do.

Google announced a new "Preview Program" for all versions of the Chromecast that lets those of us who are eager to see new features in on the latest software updates before they're broadly released. While this explicitly isn't a "beta" program that will give you potentially unstable updates, it will give you access to the latest Google Cast features before everyone else.

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2 weeks ago

Go Time! Episode 9: Walk your Magikarp

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Don't miss out on Episode 9 of Go Time!

Episode 9 of Go Time has arrived, with Russell, Erin, and James representing their respective teams.

This week we were joined by the wonderful James Bricknell from 3D4Geeks repping Team Valor. We got to chat about the type of Pokémon you find when you live in the desert, and the awesome new buddy system that Niantic has started rolling out. Of course we had to mention that Pokémon Go now has Apple Watch support, and then Erin detailed how she plans on spending $100 in PokeCoins.

We're still just getting started! Be sure not to miss an episode of our fun with Pokémon Go!

You can also join our Facebook page to keep up on all things Pokémon Go. See you in the world!

Pokémon Go

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2 weeks ago

Google's fancy new Wallpaper app is the best thing about its leaked 'Pixel launcher'

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Pixel launcher

The launcher for Google's upcoming smartphones has leaked — but that's not even the most interesting part about it.

In the past day notorious HTC leaker @LlabTooFeR has leaked the latest version of Google's "Pixel launcher" — the home screen app that'll be preloaded on the two upcoming HTC-built Pixel phones (neé Nexus). Obviously it's important that this is branded as the Pixel launcher — removing any doubt that that's what this year's Google phones will be called. Also big: No more Google search bar, instead a Google "tab" icon you can drag out to get to Google Now. And the app drawer has changed significantly, almost moving back to the Android 2.x days where the drawer was a literal drawer that you'd pull up to see your apps.

All of that is important a neat, but what's way cooler is what Google's now doing with wallpapers.

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2 weeks ago

Save $50 on this Chromebook that will soon run Android apps!

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Right now you can pick up a Samsung Chromebook 3 for just $180 at Amazon, a savings of $50. The 11.6-inch Chromebook offers 4GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD, an Intel Celeron N3050 processor to help it run Google's Chrome OS with ease. Samsung's Chromebook 3 offers 11 hours of battery life, which should get most people through an entire day's use without plugging it in.

If you've been looking to check out a Chromebook, or want to be prepared for when they can run Android apps, Samsung's offering is one you will want to check out. This deal won't last long, so be sure to get your order in quickly if you are interested. Will you be picking one up? Let us know in the comments.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Turns out a Galaxy Note 7 did not explode in a child's hands

148

About that Note 7 exploding while a kid was using it...

The general consensus amidst hours of conversation here at Android Central was that as long as a Note 7 didn't actually harm a human being during the recall process, there was a chance the Note brand could eventually recover from this exploding battery problem. Then the NY Post published a story claiming a 6-year old from Brooklyn was using his grandfather's Note 7 when the worst happened.

Anger toward the grandfather for recklessly continuing to not only use the phone but share it with a child filled our forums and comment threads. Speculation as to whether this would have happened if the battery were removable grew, and a constant wave of speculation as to how Samsung and their partners could have better handled this situation has filled the internet.

There's just one small problem here — that phone wasn't a Galaxy Note 7. NBC New York identified it as a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime, released in 2014. This detail still isn't good news for Samsung, and this detail certainly doesn't make the suffering Kadim Lewis or his family feel any better, but it's significant all the same. The Galaxy Core Prime is a phone with a removable battery that has no history of battery problems. The reasons for the explosion are still being investigated, but at the moment there is no reason to believe it is directly related to the ongoing Note 7 battery flaw. It hasn't even been confirmed that this Galaxy Core was using the original Samsung-provided battery, and when you consider how many shady "cell phone parts" stores and carts exist in NYC it's not impossible for this battery to have been third-party.

It's still a mess, and still unfortunate for a child to go through all of this, but it's important to recognize there's no reason to assume this is Note 7 related. No reason to blame the parents and grandparents, and certainly no reason to call for all Samsung phone sales to be halted until a full investigation is completed. And yes, you should still absolutely, unquestionably power off your Note 7 and go exchange or return it immediately.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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2 weeks ago

Best cases for Moto G4 Play

2

What are the best cases you can buy today for the Moto G4 Play?

The Moto G4 Play is barely out of the gate, but if you're aching to equip it with some stylish protection, here are a few worthy considerations.

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