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2 days ago

Google Photos for Android now offers easy archiving

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Help eliminate the embarrassment of bad angles by archiving what you don't care for others to see.

Launching Google Photos can become a practice in vulnerability. The app tends to showcase the last batch of pictures you took, and if any are just plain bad or unflattering, it can leave you feeling exposed.

The latest update to Google Photos helps eliminate this kind of embarrassment. Discovered by 9to5Google, now you can archive photos from appearing on the main screen. Simply tap on the ability in the overflow menu, or select the ability from the navigation drawer. Archived photos will remain in your albums and search results, as well as on the Archive page — just as you would archive a batch of notes in Google Keep, for example.

Easily archive any or all selfies in Google Photos.

Granted, there are even more features coming to Google Photos in the near future — a majority of which were teased at Google I/O — but this will certainly help anyone looking to get their photo albums in order for when those machine learning tricks do make it to the photo-sharing suite. The feature is currently rolling out for Android; iOS users and web app users might have to hang tight for the moment.

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2 days ago

Android Pay now lets you pay with a PayPal account

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The latest software update adds PayPal integration so that you can tap and swipe with your account as if it were cold, hard cash.

A month after it was initially announced, Android Pay finally offers official support for PayPal integration. With the latest app update, you can now file in your PayPal account with the rest of your debit, credit, and loyalty cards to use wherever NFC-enabled wireless payments are accepted.

The setup process is easy. When you're adding a new card to your virtual wallet inside the Android Pay app, tap Add other payment methods to select the PayPal option. Once it's logged in there, you'll be able to choose it as your payment method every time you fire up the app. PayPal will require that you input a "top up" amount, however, so be ready to put away about $10. You'll need your in-store PIN to set up the payment method, too.

Why would you want to use PayPal to pay for things? Well, let's say you run a business, for instance, and that's where all of your earnings go before they make it into your bank account. If you have Android Pay with your PayPal account, you can use that cash flow instantly without waiting for the other-bank transaction.

PayPal is also useful if you're traveling overseas with the family; it's great for setting up a budget pool of sorts, and with Android Pay launching in more countries, you'll be able to use that account on the fly. It's unclear if that's available at the moment, however, considering PayPal integration with Android Pay is currently limited to the U.S. If that applies to you, check out the Play Store to see if your app has been updated.

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2 days ago

Watch: Android execs talk about the future of Android

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Android's Dave Burke, Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson, and Sameer Samat sat down for a chat on this week's All About Android.

If you watch All About Android on on the TWiT network on Tuesday nights, you may have caught this week's interview with three of Android's top executives. The panel included Dave Burke, Vice President of Engineering for Android; Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson, Group Product Manager for Android; and Sameer Samat, Vice President of Product management for Android and Google Play.

The trio gave a recap of Google I/O 2017, as well as a bit more context about some of the new technologies and announcements made during the keynote. For instance, much of the improvements made to Android O this time around are focused on making the platform stable for both developers and users alike. Here's how Cuthbertson explains it:

We really focused on three core things. First was the security program we talked about, Play Protect, which is a larger extent exposing many things we were doing already. In particular, the fact that we were scanning every app on every connected device to look for harmful apps.

The second changes: Instead of OS optimizations that are fairly comprehensive, boot time is one of the big ones we talked about and you'll see that right away [in Android O].

We [also] made optimizations in the runtime and in the compilers. Apps will just run faster and more smoothly and that's because of a whole maelstrom of changes we made, like concurrent compacting garbage collection. All those changes…mean those apps you have are automatically going to run faster.

One theme remained particularly resonant throughout the interview and that's Google's attempt at mending Android's disjointed software update process. Before explaining how it plans to fix the process, however, Burke offered a colorful anecdote as to why it takes so long for software updates to get to you in the first place:

The right way to think about it is like a pipeline: We write all this code, and then we release it in open source and then the silicon vendors...take the Android code and then they do a lot of work on the code to optimize it for the silicone. The challenge today is that they actually end up changing not just low level code, but quite a lot of pieces of code. And then what happens is they hand that code to device makers, who then make more changes on top of it because they have a specific camera part they want to use, or a specific GPS or what not. Then it goes to carriers to test it, and then [emphasis added] it goes out to users.

Thus, he continues, came the idea for Project Treble. Burke describes it as an interface that will help make it easier for device manufacturers to drop in code relevant to their hardware, without interfering with Android's existing APIs.

You can watch the interview in its entirety -- about 40 minutes -- to get the scoop, including how the idea of adding Kotin support in Android Studio came to be, and how Android Go will affect the current Android One program.

Disclosure: I am a co-host on the podcast, but I wanted to share a direct link for anyone who might not have been aware the segment aired.

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2 days ago

Best Screen Protectors for Samsung Gear Fit 2

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Best Screen Protectors for Samsung Gear Fit 2

What's the best screen protector for Gear Fit 2?

The Samsung Geart Fit 2 is a smart fitness tracker with a long display that can get scuffed and marked while you work out. If you'd like to keep your wearable's screen blemish-free, pick up one of these screen protectors.

RinoGear

RinoGear's Shield screen protector for the Gear Fit 2 is as clear as they come, highly rated on Amazon, and so inexpensive that you can't afford not to get one — it's about $2 for an eight-pack.

This military-grade film is self-healing and flexible TPU, which will keep your Gear Fit 2's screen scratch-free. If the screen protector starts to look a little worn, grab another from the eight-pack and easily install it using a convenient and simple wet-install method.

See at Amazon

Spectre Shield

Spectre Shield's screen protector allows for full touch sensitivity and won't cloud up your Gear Fit 2's display. Spectre Shield promises that your wearable will feel like it's wearing nothing at all, thanks to a natural-feeling, proprietary material.

Spectre Shield protectors are laser cut and install easily with the liquid application method, which allows you to adjust things during installation, making sure you get it perfectly lined up. An eight-pack is around $2.

See at Amazon

Illumi AquaShield

Illumi's two-pack of Gear Fit 2 screen protectors comes with a lifetime warranty so that you can buy with confidence knowing your protector is backed up for good. This military-grade TPU features a UV-resistant layer to prevent yellowing over time, and once installed and dried, Illumi promises a glass-like finish that's smooth, bubble-free, and frictionless.

See at Amazon


Your favorite?

Have you found another great Gear Fit 2 screen protector? Sound off in the comments below.

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2 days ago

OnePlus 5 confirmed to have Snapdragon 835 processor, surprising nobody

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We'll always take a proper confirmation.

The upcoming OnePlus 5 will have a Snapdragon 835 processor, matching the top-end power offered by just about every other flagship launched in 2017. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau made a post on the OnePlus Forums to confirm everyone's suspicions on the processor choice, and go further in depth on performance aspirations for the OnePlus 5.

Having a Snapdragon 835 is simply a spec, as we all know, and while it's something we love to point to when choosing a new phone it isn't nearly as important as the actual performance of the device it's in. Lau acknowledges this in his post:

But choosing the right components is only the first step. You also have to optimize performance to create the best user experience. When we began developing the OnePlus 5, we envisioned a smartphone with flawlessly smooth performance.

He goes on to explain that OnePlus is focusing on multiple performance and experience areas that start with the Snapdragon 835 and go up from there. Lau calls out examples of improved touch response (something often noted as slightly lagging behind on OnePlus phones) and better handling of apps for improved responsiveness around the entire phone.

These are the types of performance levels you expect all smartphone makers to be working on, but it's great to see OnePlus pointing out publicly that it's focusing on them. By setting standards for itself ahead of time, we can hold the OnePlus 5 to a higher standard as well — and hopefully it lives up to it.

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2 days ago

How to set up Samsung's Secure Folder on the Galaxy S8

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Secure Folder makes it easy to keep your stuff where only you can get to it.

Secure Folder is a component of Samsung Knox that gives you a "compartment" to hold apps and files that is separate from the rest of the phone. You don't need to create a new user or go through any hoops to get it up and running, and once you're all set up you can not only keep private files private but you can also use apps with a separate user login, or add apps that you only use through your secured profile.

Secure Folder is one of those awesome things Samsung offers on every Galaxy S8 or (Galaxy S7 with Android 7.0) so you don't have to go looking for an app that tries to do the same thing.

As mentioned, it's easy to get started.

Set up Secure Folder

Secure Folder uses your Samsung account, so you'll need to have that setup and running. If you downloaded anything from Samsung Apps you're already set up. If not, the easiest way to do it is to open Samsung Apps and check out some icon themes. You'll be walked through the setup process. Don't worry, it's easy. Once that's done, here's how to set up Secure Folder.

  1. Open the device settings by tapping the gear icon in the upper right corner of your notification shade.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Lock screen and security section. Tap to open it.
  3. Scroll down until you see the Secure Folder entry and tap it to open the setup process.
  4. Log in with your Samsung account.

A few apps are part of Secure Folder by default, but you can add or remove most any app you like.

You'll see a short tutorial about what Secure Folder is and what it can do that you should look at. The setup process itself is simple. You sign in, agree to the terms and conditions, and set an unlocking method. you can use the same options you use to unlock your phone: Pattern, PIN, Password, Fingerprint or Iris. This sets up Secure Folder with a few apps already there (Gallery, Calendar, Contacts, Email, Camera, Internet and My Files) ready for use. You can also add more, and any app you have installed on your phone can be copied to Secure Folder. You can also copy any file to Secure Folder's storage.

This adds a Secure Folder icon in your apps list. To get inside, you tap the icon and you're prompted to sign in with whatever method you used during the setup. You can customize the icon and name of the Secure Folder app, and if you go back to the Secure Folder section in your device settings you'll now find other options. Be sure to take a look at them and set things up the way you like them.

Using Secure Folder

This is the cool part. When an app is copied to Secure Folder, it's a completely separate installation. That means it doesn't share any data with the "regular" version of the app and you can log in with a different username. Things you download or save while using an app from Secure Folder aren't available through the regular version of an app, and you can even manually move files like photos or documents to Secure Folder to keep them private.

To install an app to Secure Folder

  1. Open the Secure Folder app from your app drawer by tapping the icon.
  2. Log in with the method you chose when you set things up.
  3. Look for the Add apps button and tap it.
  4. Choose an app from your phone or download an app through Google Play or Samsung Apps.

Data you save from an app in Secure Folder isn't available to a 'regular' version of the same app.

Now your new app will be inside the Secure Folder app, ready to use and completely private. You use the apps the same way you would have before, but remember that you can't share data between the secure version and the regular version. That means if you do something like add a calendar appointment through Secure Folder it won't show in the normal calendar.

You can also edit the apps you have put in Secure Folder by tapping the Edit apps button instead of the Add apps button. Choose any apps you want to remove from Secure Folder or apps you want to place a direct shortcut to the secure version of on your home screen and make the corresponding choice.

To manually move files to Secure Folder

  1. Open the Secure Folder app from your app drawer by tapping the icon.
  2. Log in with the method you chose when you set things up.
  3. Look for the Add files button and tap it.
  4. Choose the file you want to be placed in the Secure Folder storage area.

You can copy files to Secure Folder or move the originals. Remember that they will still be visible outside of Secure Folder if you copy them.

You can add any file to Secure Folder by choosing the My Files button when you add a file. This opens the file browser, and from there you just choose it like you normally would. You can also filter for just pictures, music, documents and videos by using the shortcuts when you tap the Add files button.

You have a choice to move or copy files from the regular storage to the Secure Folder. If you choose to copy them you'll still have the original that is available through any app. If you choose to move them, you'll only be able to access them through Secure Folder.

This is awesome

Privacy is pretty important. Secure Folder gives us an option to hide files and apps from view even if we lose or phones without having to encrypt the entire SD card. The concept isn't exactly new, but Samsung native implementation is great and it's something you should have a look at!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

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2 days ago

Video: Google's crazy experiments from I/O 2017

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Google I/O is about more than just keynote presentations, big announcements, developer sessions and sunburn. Each year, Google also has a tent full of wacky computational "experiments" based around some of its most important products, platforms and technologies, and I/O 2017 was no exception. This year's "Experiments" tent combined everything from machine vision, with an AI-powered electronica robot, to VR ping-pong and machine learning picture recognition games.

As the show was winding down late last week, we stopped by the tent in question to capture these experiments in all their glory. Check out our video feature above to see how both professional and amateur developers are using Google's technology to do fun, crazy and interesting things!

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3 days ago

Should you buy the all new Amazon Fire 7?

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Is Amazon's newest budget tablet worth your $50?

The online giant is calling it the "all new Fire 7," which is perhaps more a marketing thing than actual hard truth when it comes to the tablet in question. It is new, and it is improved, but marketing hype is still marketing hype.

So, let's actually break down what is new and whether this latest budget tablet is worth your time.

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3 days ago

Get great deals on Logitech gear today only

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with great deals on Logitech gear that won't last until the end of the day!

Amazon's Gold Box Deal of the Day features a selection of Logitech PC gear. Pretty much anything you get from Logitech is going to be pretty high quality and these are all good prices, but there's a couple of items that stand out as a worthy investment here:

Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mouse – $48 (from $60)

This is a match for the lowest price ever on this wireless mouse. The Anywhere mouse uses Logitech's Darkfield laser technology to allow it to track on any surface, even glass. It can connect to whatever device you need it to with the included receiver or through Bluetooth. Plus, this new generation uses a micro-USB cable and built-in battery to keep it charged so you don't waste money on batteries.

Logitech Z523 Speaker System with Subwoofer – $50 (from $75)

The only audio system in the listing for today, the Z523 is an inexpensive and simple way to add some quality sound to your computer setup. This thing is not going to revolutionize the way you think about audio, but you'll be hard pressed to find this level of quality sound for $50 no matter where you look. The $50 price matches its lowest ever and is the lowest it has dropped in at least three months.

Logitech HD Pro C920 1080p Webcam – $50 (from $60)

If you're looking to do any sort of streaming or video conferencing, the C920 is the webcam to get. It's a favorite for gamers and podcasters alike. It delivers solid 1080p video and can work with programs like Skype and Open Broadcaster Software. The price matches its lowest all time and is only the second time it has dropped this low in 2017.

These aren't the only options available. There's a big list, but the deals end when the day does so get moving!

See at Amazon

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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3 days ago

Chromebook Gift Guide: What you should gift for Dads and Grads

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Chromebooks make great gifts and we're here to help you decide the best one to buy for the dad or grad in your life.

Update May 2017: We updated things to help you pick what's right for Father's Day and graduation gifts.

It's that time of year when we set aside a day for our dads and watch the next generation leave school and prepare for their future. That means we're looking for great gifts to celebrate! Good thing there is something that's easy to find, won't hurt your wallet and is something that anyone would love — a new Chromebook!

They come in plenty of sizes, styles and capabilities, so you'll be able to pick the perfect model no matter who you're buying for. And what you're giving — the full internet experience with the Chrome browser, thousands of apps and extensions that go with it and a secure system that is quick and almost maintenance free. Of course, you also get Google Play and over 1,000,000 Android applications on select models.

Since different people have different needs, let our expertise help you pick the right Chromebook to make the perfect gift.

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3 days ago

Grab three of these USB-C adapters for just $7 right now!

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a deal to make your transition to USB-C even easier!

Aukey is currently offering a three-pack of its Micro-USB to USB-C adapters for just $7 with coupon code AUKUSBC2, a savings of $3. With these adapters, you can turn those old cables you have laying around into something that can charge your new Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, Google Pixel or other compatible phone. The adapters are quite small so you could easily fit them in your pocket or maybe even your wallet, and always have one with you so you are never without a cable to charge up with.

Odds are this deal won't hang around too long, so be sure to act quickly if you are interested. Don't get stuck with only old cables around and a dead battery! Grab these adapters now and thank yourself later. Be sure to also check out Aukey's Quick Charge 2.0 wall charger for just $6 with coupon code EV96DTG4 for a great way to charge multiple devices quickly from a single outlet!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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3 days ago

Become an IT Security professional for $29

The world of IT Security is ever-changing and fast-paced and with increased worries over black hat hackers, the demand for IT security professionals is increasing as well. Whether it's important credit card information or private data from a company, hacking is a real problem that is best fended off by people who hack themselves. If you're interested in getting into this field, you have probably wondered how do you even begin to understand the certifications required to step into this field?

Become an IT Security professional for $29! Learn more

There are three major certifications that IT Security employers are looking for: CompTIA Security+, Ethical Hacker Certification, and Cisco's CCNA Security. With all of these under your belt, you'd be qualified to break into this exciting field.

Allow us to introduce you to the 2017 IT Security & Ethical Hacking Certification Training by the IT experts at LearnSmart.

Right now, you can start your certification training in all three areas for only $29.99, that's a 98% savings! This bundle of three courses would normally cost you almost $2,000.

This incredibly low price gives you 12 months of access to course content that includes:

  • Types of keyloggers, including hardware, software, and kernel/driver keyloggers
  • Password studies: how they're created, restored and cracked
  • Spyware and the necessary countermeasures
  • Securing Windows systems against attacks and Windows security measures
  • Over 50 hours of advanced training and 48 hours of course content

Get access to these great courses at a low price! Learn more

After completing these courses you'll be prepared to take on your exams, and depending on how you study you could be done these courses in a few short weeks! Don't miss out on your chance to step into this exciting career! The price is right and the time is now, you can get your IT Security and Ethical Hacking Certification training for 98% off the regular price with Android Central Digital Offers!

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3 days ago

Everything you need to know about WebVR

Your web browser is also a VR platform.

Most conversations about VR surround specific headsets, like Oculus Rift or Google Daydream. WebVR, as the name suggests, is bringing immersive experiences to anything with a browser. It's a lot of fun to explore, and something anyone can try out without a lot of set up or additional hardware.

Lets get to know WebVR together!

Read more at VR Heads!

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3 days ago

Best Android Phones Over $700

Samsung Galaxy S8

Update, May 2017: Article changed to better reflect a listing of phones costing over $700, rather than under $900. Galaxy S8 moves to the top spot, dropping the Pixel XL one position. The LG V20 and Galaxy S7 edge are replaced on the list.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S8

See at Verizon See at AT&T See at T-Mobile See at Sprint See at Best Buy

The Galaxy S8 has futuristic hardware with tiny bezels that give it a big screen in a small body, but inside it still offers everything you want: a high-end processor, lots of storage, an SD card slot, full waterproofing and a top-end camera.

Yes the fingerprint sensor is slightly awkward to use, but the GS8's iris scanner is dramatically improved to make up for it. And it only takes one look at the industry-leading display to start to forgive Samsung's decisions on the back.

Its software can be a little overwhelming to novices, but you can't argue that Samsung continues to pack in hundreds of features to a single phone, making sure there's something in here for everyone's needs. Samsung continues to take this approach of offering more more more with just a few compromises — and it continues to work.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 gives you tons of features in a beautiful body, and is a great choice for a top-dollar smartphone .

One more thing: You can always pay a little extra and get the larger Galaxy S8+ with a bit more screen and battery life.

Why the Galaxy S8 is the best

Samsung's Galaxy S brand carries serious weight in the smartphone world, and the Galaxy S8 continues to both leverage that brand while also offering a fantastic overall smartphone experience that people want today. Once again, Samsung took its core principles of great hardware, a top-end display, waterproofing, solid cameras and mounds of features and updated it all for 2017.

The result is a fresh design that shrinks down the display bezels and really smooths out all of the sharp edges to give you a sleek, thin phone with a really large display that doesn't actually feel that large. The extra-tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio comes in at 5.8-inches across on the Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inches on the Galaxy S8+, and in both cases feels smaller than the numbers would lead you to believe.

The sleek body still packs in top-end specs, starting with that magnificent Super AMOLED display and backing it up with a Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 processor, 4GB of RAM, larger 64GB of storage (plus an SD card slot), a new USB-C port and locking it all down with waterproofing. The batteries are no bigger than last year's models, but battery life hasn't taken any hit. On the other side of the hardware, there's one downside: Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to an awkward position on the back next to the camera, leaving you with the less-consistent and less-convenient face scanning and iris scanning instead.

Samsung continues to make phones with all of the design and features people are clamoring for.

The camera experience has actually changed more on the front than the back with a new 8MP unit that packs auto focus. But the 12MP rear camera is still no slouch — Samsung has improved its processing to get even more out of this setup, and it remains a competitor for the best overall smartphone camera out there.

The ongoing point of contention when it comes to Samsung phones is the software, and that's the same once again on the Galaxy S8. Samsung continues to put in a massive number of features without removing many from years prior, leaving you with lots of things to get in the way when you're trying to get the basics done. On the other hand, it's hard to find someone who can't get what they need done right out of the box on this phone. It truly is aimed at being relevant to as diverse a set of consumers as possible, and it succeeds on that point.

By putting up with a few of the out-of-the-box quirks and taking some time to set it up how you like it, the Galaxy S8 can do anything you want and get it done at a fast pace while looking great as well.

Best runner-up

Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL

See at Verizon See at Google Store

In what is generally a toss-up that comes down to personal preference for many, Google's Pixel XL comes in at the runner-up spot in this top-dollar list. Whereas our other "best phones" lists in various categories start with the smaller and less expensive Pixel, if money's no object we definitely suggest going with the larger Pixel XL.

It'll set you back an extra $120 retail, but the bigger Pixel XL is definitely worth that step up. With all of the same features and hardware quality, you get a nicely sized 5.5-inch display that's really the sweet spot for most people. At the same time, you're getting a 3450mAh battery that's plenty for a day of use — not something that's consistently the case on the smaller Pixel.

You miss out on some advanced features and the hardware lacks extras like waterproofing and wireless charging, but some will find that trade off worth it for the simple, smooth experience of a Pixel XL.

Bottom line: For a clean, fast and simple experience when price is no object, the Pixel XL absolutely fits the bill.

One more thing: Since you're buying the Pixel XL unlocked anyway, consider Google's own carrier, Project Fi.

Best tough phone

Moto Z Force Droid

Moto Z Force Droid

See at Verizon

Moto's Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Force Droid is in an odd place because it ostensibly sits above the standard Moto Z, but has the one restriction of being tied to a single carrier. But if you're on Verizon (or willing to be), it's a really great phone. Yes it's coming around on a year old, but it also still has all of the features that made it great from Day 1.

The Moto Z Force Droid's massive 3500mAh battery gives it plenty of longevity, and you always have the option to pop on a battery Mod to add even more power in a snap. The "Force" part of the equation related to its shatter-proof display, which may be the only feature that matters if you're rough on your phone.

In the end you get really solid performance, typical smooth and useful Moto software and external hardware that's good but won't blow you out of the water the same way Samsung can — a fine trade off for many.

Bottom line: Moto's top-end Z is a great choice for those who may beat up their phone a bit.

One more thing: The Moto Z Force Droid is set to be replaced soon — we can recommend holding on to see what Moto has in store.

Conclusion

If you're looking to spend top dollar on a phone, our top choice remains the Galaxy S8. It's followed closely by Google's top-end Pixel XL, though, and if you need something tougher you can consider the Moto Z Force Droid.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S8

See at Verizon See at AT&T See at T-Mobile See at Sprint See at Best Buy

The Galaxy S8 has futuristic hardware with tiny bezels that give it a big screen in a small body, but inside it still offers everything you want: a high-end processor, lots of storage, an SD card slot, full waterproofing and a top-end camera.

Yes the fingerprint sensor is slightly awkward to use, but the GS8's iris scanner is dramatically improved to make up for it. And it only takes one look at the industry-leading display to start to forgive Samsung's decisions on the back.

Its software can be a little overwhelming to novices, but you can't argue that Samsung continues to pack in hundreds of features to a single phone, making sure there's something in here for everyone's needs. Samsung continues to take this approach of offering more more more with just a few compromises — and it continues to work.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 gives you tons of features in a beautiful body, and is a great choice for a top-dollar smartphone .

One more thing: You can always pay a little extra and get the larger Galaxy S8+ with a bit more screen and battery life.

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3 days ago

Samsung's new Gear 360 available tomorrow for way cheaper than the original

11

You can pick up a new Gear 360 starting May 25!

The biggest hurdle for most people when it comes to getting into 360-degree photography is price. Cheap 360 cameras don't take good photos, and good 360-degree cameras aren't cheap. Samsung is going to put an end to this with its new Gear 360 camera, which will be launching in stores and online just about everywhere for $229.

That price undercuts the original Gear 360 pricing by over $100, and makes the next best camera in the lineup considerably more expensive. It's also going to be available in way more places, with Best Buy, Amazon, and all of the major U.S. carriers planning to carry the camera.

On top of great pricing and thoroughly expanded availability, Samsung is firing up a special promotion with the new Gear 360 for those who haven't yet picked up the Galaxy S8. If you pick up the phone between May 25 and June 19, you'll be able to score a Gear 360 for $49 through a Samsung Store promotion.

This is a huge win for Samsung, and a great opportunity for anyone looking to get into 360-degree photography. The Gear 360 was one of the best cameras you could get before pricing was announced, but now it's going to take a truly impressive new camera from a competitor to come anywhere near this offer.

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