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11 hours ago

LG G6 first photo and video samples!

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LG G6 camera

Check out our first sample images and video from the G6's dual 13-megapixel cameras!

With the official announcement of the LG G6 today in Barcelona, we're finally able to share our first sample images and video from the phone, which we've been using here in Barcelona, Spain for the past few days. The G6 builds on the dual camera setup of the LG G5 and V20 from last year, now with the same 13-megapixel sensor in both cameras. In the regular 71-degree camera you've got an f/1.8 lens and optical image stabilization. For the wide-angle, it's f/2.4, but without OIS. And around the front, LG brings a 5-megapixel behind an f/2.2 lens, with a 100-degree angle to fit more stuff in your selfies.

Check out our sample pics below, and be sure to hit up our full review for the verdict on LG's 2017 flagship! (Keep scrolling for our (#vidsample) at the bottom of this post.)

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11 hours ago

LG G6 specs: Dual 13MP cameras, 3300mAh battery, Snapdragon 821

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LG G6

Get to know everything that's inside the latest from LG.

The LG G6 isn't pushing the envelope in every spec category, but still has plenty of what you want in a top-end phone today. With a high-res display, dual cameras, fast charging and waterproofing there's lots to like here. Though perhaps some may see downsides in the Snapdragon 821 processor, limited 32GB storage in some regions and wireless charging that's exclusive to the U.S.

Here's the full spec sheet for the LG G6.

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12 hours ago

LG G6 officially unveiled at MWC 2017

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Read our LG G6 review!

Following weeks of leaks from LG and unverified sources alike, the LG G6 is finally official for all to see and experience. Unveiled on-stage at MWC 2017, the LG G6 rounds out much like we expected based on the early information. The phone is highlighted by its extra-tall 5.7-inch display with a new 18:9 aspect ratio, which means the phone is smaller overall. Thanks to the dramatically reduced bezels, LG says the G6 has the footprint of a 5.2-inch phone. It's wrapped by a glass and metal body that brings the materials back for the first time since the original Optimus G.

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13 hours ago

LG at MWC 2017: LG G6 liveblog and livestream at 6 a.m. ET Feb. 26!

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LG G6 Day at MWC 2017

LG is shaping up to hold the biggest announcement of MWC 2017.

With many of its competitors choosing over time to move major announcements away from shows, LG is sticking with its plan of launching the LG G6 at MWC 2017.

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20 hours ago

Is using VR while high a good idea?

Is getting high and playing in VR really a good life choice?

Virtual Reality is able to transport you to entirely new worlds, sometimes with little more than a headset and a good pair of headphones. This offers up plenty of questions, including of course whether using VR while you are high is a good idea or not. After smoking with friends you might be tempted to jump into a game of Eagle's Nest or Thumper, keeping in mind that your perception of things gets warped after smoking and that will definitely affect your experiences.

Getting high and checking out VR is now entirely legal in plenty of places, but whether that is a good idea isn't exactly clear. Here's some advice from our own... research.

Editor's Note: This article is not advocating the use of marijuana in places where it is not completely legal to do so.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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1 day ago

Shopping for phones is still a mess of hidden details

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They get you with the fine print, then make the fine print hard to find.

I spent the better part of last week digging through websites, calling representatives and generally pulling my hair out trying to sort out all the details about cellular phone service from the Big Four. I came to a couple of conclusions, the clearest of which is that all four of them do whatever they can to hide the tiny details that can make a big difference for some of us.

I know that most companies do this. But most companies aren't all over your TV, paying for ads on YouTube and everywhere else, and have huge colorful graphics plastered all over their website with tiny disclaimers and superscript references way down at the bottom in a different color font. I'll go out on a limb and say it's damn near deceitful.

You don't have to trick people into buying something that's worth the money. Phone service included.

The things they feel the need to hide behind three links aren't even that terrible. I doubt many people would fault a company for cutting off your service if you make too many calls from outside the U.S. on the "wrong" plan or using your phone to do something against the law. And we all know there are fees for everything, so why bury them? It only makes a carrier and their service look better to people who aren't aware of all the baggage that comes with any phone plan, so I'll assume they are doing it to purposefully deceive new customers. If you know someone shopping for their first phone plan, help them out.

I also saw two things that I really liked this week. Verizon and Sprint get a shout out here for doing something better than anyone else.

Starting with Sprint, I want to talk about their new changes to their unlimited plans. They are super basic — calls, texts. data and some tethering. They are also super cheap, especially if you need more than one phone line. This is just what a lot of people are looking for. There are options for calling to Canada and Mexico (for example) but they are options, as is not added to a base plan making it more expensive. I'd like to see the rest follow and show us something a good bit cheaper with zero frills.

Verizon and Sprint each buck a trend and get a good-guy award.

Verizon does something important about those hidden details I talked about earlier. If you go through the motions to set up new phone service through Verizon on their new unlimited plan, part of the checkout process has a big blue link saying "see all the details of this plan" right where you can see it. When you click on it, you'll find the full terms and conditions for everything you picked and have in your cart. They are written in garbled legal language, of course, but they are there. Where you can find them. The only thing they could do better would be to force you to click to agree and put them in those bullet points telling us how great the plan is on the front page of Verizon.com.

So thanks, Sprint and Verizon. I'm not a fan of any service company, but I do appreciate the little things.

Short and sweet this week so we all can prep for an onslaught of phonery stuff in the next 48 hours.

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1 day ago

Best Android games according to you!

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We want to know what games you're playing!

What games are you playing on your Android phones or tablets? We want to know!

We've started a thread in the AC Forums as a place to share your opinions on games you think more people should be playing. Look out for posts by me (Marc Lagace) and say hello! You can also comment below!

Updated February 25: In this week's edition, we shine a light Super Phantom Cat, Retro Grid, and Roller Coaster Tycooon!

Submit your gaming reviews and opinions!

Super Phantom Cat

I'm a real sucker for platformer games on Android, so when J Washburn recommended Super Phantom Cat in the comments as a Mario clone, I was all over it.

(Still waiting on Super Mario Run, Nintendo…)

Super Phantom Cat features bright and colorful graphics with a blocky, simplistic art style that's delightfully retro. You play as Chemist White, who was saved by Super Phantom Cat as a child. Years later, Chemist White is ready to embark on his own journey to Phantom World and learn how to use sprites to unlock super powers.

There are 11 worlds to play through, with each level filled with secret areas to explore, super powers to unleash, and multiple characters to unlock and play as. The controls are pretty amazing — like if Nintendo actually wanted to do a direct port of a Super Mario Game for Android, I would feel quite happy with controls this tight.

It's a free game, but there are ads you'll have to contend with.

Download: Super Phantom Cat (Free w/ads)

Retro Grid

This next retro recommendation comes from Catalin K in the forums. Meshing classic retro graphic style with modern gameplay, Retro Grid mixes the fun of a classic top-down shooter game with a reimagining of classics like Space Invaders, Snake, and other retro arcade games.

This game features endless gameplay for as long as you can survive wave after wave of increasingly powerful enemies. Fortunately, the game throws many power ups and weapon upgrades your way as you play, and the dead-simple one-touch controls for both shooting and moving allow you to take decisive action. It's a really solid game that's free to play, with in-app purchases available to buy coins and remove ads once you've reached game over.

Download: Retro Grid (Free w/IAPs)

Roller Coaster Tycoon

This game was recommended by jmagnt7 in the comments and, frankly, I'll take every opportunity to recommend this nearly flawless port of one of the best simulator games ever made.

I spent a lot of time playing this game as a kid and nearly as much time playing it on Android for my review last month. Given the smaller menus and buttons, it would really shine on the bigger screen of a tablet, but I had no major issues building coasters and managing my park finances on the 5-inch screen of my Google Pixel. And again, this is as pure a port as you'll find, which means there's no in-app purchases (beyond expansion packs), delayed build times, or any other free-to-play mechanics to deal with.

However, you do have to pay for this game — 6 bucks, which might seem steep for a port of an older PC game. But if you're an RCT fan or are interested in finding out what the hype is all about, it's well worth the money.

Download: Roller Coaster Tycoon ($5.99)

What are you playing?

We want to know what Android games you're playing — even if you're still addicted to Candy Crush or Clash of Clans. Let us know in the comments below or you can join the conversation in our recently revamped forums!

Submit your gaming reviews and opinions!

Android Gaming

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1 day ago

BlackBerry KEYone vs. BlackBerry Priv: Lock, stock and mobile

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BlackBerry Mercury morphs into the KEYone, and the Priv is still all about your privilege. Which one is better for you, though?

There are only two Android-based BlackBerrys with keyboards, and while they share a few key features, at their cores they couldn't be more different.

The BlackBerry Priv has been available since November of 2015, so it's certainly not the newest cat around, but for all its quirks it did a lot of things right — and for being the first BlackBerry running Android, it was ambitious as hell.

The KEYone has a quirky name — as do most BlackBerrys cough DTEK50 cough — but it's got some real reasons to get excited. Let's run through some of them.

But first, a spec rundown between the two phones:

Category BlackBerry KEYone BlackBerry Priv Operating System Android 7.1.1 Nougat Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Display 4.5-inch
1620x1080 IPS LCD
434ppi 5.43-inch curved
2560x1440 AMOLED
540ppi Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Quad-core 2.00GHz
Adreno 506 GPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Hexa-core 1.8GHz
Adreno 418 GPU RAM 3GB 3GB Storage 32GB 32GB Expandable microSD up to 2TB microSD up to 2TB Rear Camera 12MP f/2.0, PDAF
dual-tone LED flash
HDR, 4K, 30fps 18MP f/2.2,
OIS, PDAF
HDR, 4K, 30fps Front Camera 8MP f/2.2
1.12um pixels 2MP f/2.8
1.75um pixels Battery 3505 mAh
non-removable 3410 mAh
non-removable Charging Quick Charge 3.0
USB-C Quick Charge 2.0
Micro-USB Water resistance No No Wireless charging No In some models Dimensions 149.1 x 72.39 x 9.4 mm 147 x 77.2 x 9.4 mm Weight 180 grams 192 grams

Now, the Priv, when it was announced, was a high-end phone; it cost $699 when it debuted which, without carrier support, made it pretty hard to swallow. It had a big, high-resolution display with curved glass, a fast-at-the-time processor in the Snapdragon 808, and an 18MP camera that produced some great shots. Its 3410mAh battery was no slouch either.

And while BlackBerry's Android build debuted with some crushing bugs and some slow-as-molasses software, it improved with the Marshmallow update (though our friend, MrMobile, somewhat disagrees).

Of course, many people bought the Priv not for the specs but the thing that lay underneath, the better-than-it-deserved-to-be slider keyboard. While shallow, sure, it was an incredible feat of engineering, and a viable input alternative to the also-excellent virtual option bundled with the phone.

The KEYone's 3,505mAh battery should last considerable longer than the Priv's.

The KEYone is a different class of phone altogether. At $549, it's not as expensive (though not as cheap as we hoped), and the keyboard is prominent. It replaces the Priv's high-resolution AMOLED display for a more reasonable and less battery-sucking IPS panel, and the camera has stepped down to a better-in-the-dark 12MP Sony IMX378 sensor.

Finally, the 3,505mAh battery should last considerable longer than the Priv's, given its Snapdragon 625 chip, an octa-core multitasker that, while not as fast as the Snapdragon 808 in single-threaded tasks, shouldn't pose a problem to any of its users' average daily tasks. Indeed, the 625 holds its own in other devices like the Moto Z Play and Huawei Nova Plus, and leads them to best-in-class battery life, so I have no doubt the results will be similar in the KEYone.

Of course, the KEYone, running Android 7.1 out of the box, has a distinct advantage over the current Priv — better notifications, true multi-window, and improved efficiency — but the same update is expected on the Priv at some point. The Priv, however, has a 16:9 screen, with no obstructions like a keyboard when held in landscape, so it's better for watching movies or playing games.

The Priv is currently sold for a more reasonable $499 directly from BlackBerry, and can be found for less around the internet.

See Priv at BlackBerry

The BlackBerry KEYone will be released in April for $549, and you can find out more information over at BlackBerry Mobile.

See KEYone at BlackBerry

BlackBerry KEYone

BlackBerry Mobile

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1 day ago

BlackBerry KEYone specs

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What's inside the BlackBerry KEYone?

The latest BlackBerry, the 'Mercury', is now officially called BlackBerry KEYone. The latest device from BlackBerry Mobile has a strange 3:2 aspect ratio screen to accommodate the full-sized QWERTY keyboard, similar to what CrackBerry addicts were using for years and years.

With a 4.5-inch HD display, a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, this isn't necessarily a state-of-the-art powerful device, but the 3505mAh battery, along with the very efficient chip, is aimed at making the KEYone the longest-lasting BlackBerry to date.

Here's the full spec sheet.

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1 day ago

Everything you need to know about Verizon's Unlimited plan

76

A complete breakdown of Verizon's new Unlimited plan and everything else you can get when you sign up for service.

In the United States, there are a lot of companies that can get you and your phone online, but most people use one of the four biggest: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Choosing between them can be difficult. Your first priority should be what service works best in the places you spend your time. It's not worth saving $10 a month if the service is bad. Once you have that sorted, you can look at what each company has to offer and the prices they charge for it.

More: Which unlimited plan should you buy?

Let's take a look at Verizon to see what they can give you and what it will cost.

Note: The details of this plan are current as of February 20, 2017.

Verizon Unlimited plan details

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Unlimited HD streaming video (see Verizon's Video Optimization Deployment page)
  • 10GB high-speed mobile hotspot
  • Add a tablet with unlimited data for $20 per month
  • Add a connected device for $5 per month
  • Unlimited calling and texting to and from Canada and Mexico

Verizon's definition of Unlimited Data means that after you use 22 GB in a single month, your service can be slowed down if you're in a congested area. You'll hear the word throttled used here but you need to know that it's only a temporary deprioritization of your data connection when you're in a busy area. It may not happen at all depending on how many other customers are using the same towers.

Verizon gives you all the details and fine print on their website, though you might have to dig around to find them.

Verizon links you to all of the fine print right from your cart when you sign up for the unlimited plan. In that fine print you'll see how Verizon takes steps to protect their network. Data services, both on-device and through tethering can not be used for illegal activities, anything that violates trade or economic sanctions, any type of server, email auto-responders or bots and sending malware. They also let you know that they can and will be monitoring your usage to make sure you comply. All service providers have the same restrictions, but Verizon takes the time to present them so well we wanted to give them a shout out.

Additional lines can be added to a Verizon Unlimited plan. Every line has the same benefits outlined above and requires an equipment purchase. Here is a pricing breakdown.

  • One line of service is $80
  • Two lines of service is $140
  • Three lines of service is $162
  • Four lines of service is $180

Verizon Unlimited plan add-ons

Verizon's Unlimited plan lets you call and text to Canada and Mexico, and lets you call and text from Canada and Mexico back to the states. If 50% or more of your usage over any 60-day period is from Canada or Mexico Verizon can cut you off. So be careful if you live on the border!

If you need other international services, Verizon has you covered.

  • The free International Messaging add-on lets you send text messages to over 200 countries and multimedia messages to over 100 countries
  • The Unlimited Together - North America add-on gives you discounted calling rates to over 230 locations for $5 per month
  • The Unlimited Together - world add-on gives you discounted calling rates to over 180 locations for $15 per month
  • A daily Travel Pass gives you unlimited data and calling when you're in one of over 100 countries for $10 per day
  • A monthly Travel Pass gives you discounted calling and messaging rates as well as a data alotment based on your needs (prices vary, see Verizon's International Travel page)
  • Cruise ship rates are $2.99 per minute for voice calls and $0.50 per message sent / $0.05 per message received for texting.

Verizon also has a program that gives you a prepaid card of up to $650 in value for a trade in if you switch from another network. The details are on the Switch to Verizon page of their website. They also have a referral program and a rewards program that can put money back in your pockets.

They also offer a wide range of their own services, including their own RCS messaging app, a personal cloud and an excellent account management app. You can find them in Google Play.

See at Verizon

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1 day ago

BlackBerry KEYone hands-on: Your dad's favorite Android phone

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Mercury has a name, but there are still lots of questions remaining.

The BlackBerry 'Mercury' isn't new — you saw it at CES — but the company behind the new phone, BlackBerry Mobile, has been trickle-announcing the hardware QWERTY flagship, teasing it to hardcore CrackBerry addicts who came of age tapping away on Bolds and Curves.

But this is a new BlackBerry — the phone itself is made by TCL, under the eponymous Waterloo company's brand — and the first in a series of devices set to be released this year, next year, and if successful, well beyond. This is the BlackBerry KEYone.

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1 day ago

BlackBerry KEYone is the Mercury's official name, and it's coming in April for $549

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Mercury is no more, but in its place, the KEYone hopes to be the beginning of a beautiful QWERTY legacy for BlackBerry.

The Mercury has a name, and the phone that rode into 2017 without one hopes to be a catalyst for a series of devices released annually by the newly-formed BlackBerry Mobile.

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1 day ago

Deck your phone out for your Oscars Party with these award-worthy wallpapers!

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It's time for us all to pretend we care about movies as an art form for one night!

This weekend, millions will gather at Oscar parties and act like they knew Hidden Figures was going to win Best Picture. Or Moonlight. Or Arrival. As the proud holder of a Radio-Television-Film BA, I'm gonna ooh and aah over the fanfare, whine when Disney doesn't sweep everything, and squee within an inch of my life when Lin Manuel-Miranda performs. And I'm gonna do it with a snazzy, wallpaper on my Android phone.

Who is your home screen wearing?

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1 day ago

BlackBerry 'Mercury' at MWC 2017: Stream and liveblog, 1 p.m. ET Feb. 25!

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'Mercury' is coming soon! Here's how to follow along with the big announcement!

There will be two ways to follow along with Android Central and CrackBerry for the unveiling of the BlackBerry Mercury on Saturday, February 25 at 1pm ET / 7pm CT. You can watch the video below, or follow along with the livestream above. Your choice!

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