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17 hours ago

Kevin Spacey is investing in a mysterious gaming smartphone startup, Wonder

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A new report claims to have some information on a startup called Wonder. The company is apparently working on a gaming-themed smartphone and counts actor Kevin Spacey among its investors.

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18 hours ago

OnePlus 3: A second opinion

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OnePlus 3

A phone as good as the OnePlus 3 should really cost more than $399. They've nailed it this time around. Now they just have to keep the software up to date.

There's not a whole lot to say about the OnePlus 3 that we haven't already said. (You've read our official OnePlus 3 review already, right?) This phone is legit. It hits a price point that's not inexpensive, but doesn't break the bank. And on paper, the OnePlus 3 probably should cost more than the $399 asking price.

It ticks all the boxes. It's nicely designed and built just as well as anything else out there.

So is there any reason to not recommend this phone?

Let's take another quick spin around the OnePlus 3 and see what's what.

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1 day ago

You can save $100 on various Nexus 6P models at Newegg right now!

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Newegg is currently offering $100 off the Nexus 6P in all storage capacities, dropping the price of the base model down to just $399. Whether you've missed out on previous deals, or are getting excited for the upcoming release of Android Nougat, you won't want to pass up on this special. You'll have your choice of multiple colors for each size, so you can pick the one that you prefer.

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2 days ago

Galaxy Note 7 might have a smaller battery than the GS7 edge

184

Latest leak points to a 3,500mAh battery for Samsung's upcoming Note.

There's been no shortage of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 leakage of late, and the latest details to sneak out of a Korean carrier gives some intriguing info on the phone's battery capacity.

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2 days ago

HTC Desire 530 now on sale at T-Mobile and HTC.com

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The mid-range HTC Desire 530 smartphone is officially on sale in the U.S. The phone can be purchased unlocked on the company's website for $179, or you can get it from T-Mobile for $159.99 without a contract. T-Mobile is also selling it for $0 down and $6.67 a month for 24 months.

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2 days ago

Moto Z Droid or Moto Z Force Droid — which should you get?

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Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Two phones, both alike in dignity. On fair Verizon, where we lay our scene ...

The Moto Z lands on Verizon on July 28. And if even if you've made up you're mind that you're going be diving into this modular menagerie, you've got a decision to make. Verizon, as it's been prone to do with its Droid line of late, has two Moto Zs from which you'll need to choose.

In many ways, they're exactly alike. Same software. Mostly the same internals. And they both use the new Moto Mods accessories.

Let's take a look at the ways in which they're different, though, and see if we can't figure out which one is for you.

Better battery capacity

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Should you ever turn down the opportunity to have more battery? The Moto Z has a 2,600 mAh battery. The Moto Z Force has a 3,500 mAh battery — that's about a 34 percent increase. Along with that extra battery comes some extra thickness, however. The Moto Z is a svelte 5.19mm thick (or thin, I guess). The Moto Z Force is 6.99mm. That's without the stock Style Shell back that comes in the box, however, so you'll need to add a couple millimeters for those, too.

I've used both phones. You should never pass up the opportunity for more battery out of the box.

I've used both phones. And you should never pass up the opportunity for more battery out of the box. Even with external batteries and the 2,200 mAh Moto Mod Power Packs that are available for the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, that extra 34 percent can be the difference between having to top up toward the late afternoon, or not.

The extra thickness on the Moto Z Force means a few things. One is that I don't mind using it without a Style Shell as much. That doesn't mean I won't use it without one, but the option is at least more comfortable. The other is that it's going to fit larger hands better than the Moto Z. That's subjective, but not unimportant.

Higher-resolution camera

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

The Moto Z and Moto Z Force have similar cameras. Same camera app, same f/1.8 aperture. They're both pretty darn good in sunlight, and less so when it gets dark. They're both what I'd call an above-average camera, though a few steps down from the best available.

The only real difference is that the Moto Z Force has a higher possible resolution — 21 megapixels — than the Moto Z, which is lower at 13MP. (One thing to keep in mind, however, is that both phones shoot at a wider, 16:9 aspect ratio by default, and don't use the full resolution until you change the setting to accommodate their native 4:3 aspect ratios.)

For my money, I'd opt for the Moto Z Force because of its larger battery and better chance at surviving a fall.

For the most part this discrepancy hasn't really affected me any. At least not in the way I shoot and share photos. For things like Facebook and Instagram and your basic social sharing, either one has served me just fine. It's another differentiator for Verizon, I suppose. But merely adding more megapixels doesn't necessarily improve the finished product that much.

ShatterShield display

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

If a bigger battery didn't do it for you, this one might. The Moto Z Force is the second phone to sport "ShatterShield." The short version is that means some extra protection for the display. So you'll be able to drop it without the screen breaking into a million pieces.

That doesn't mean you might not kill the phone if it takes a bad fall. Here's the important part from Moto's fine print:

The display and embedded lens are warranted against shattering and cracking for four (4) years from the original date of purchase; scratches or other damage to the protective lens is not covered by this warranty, but should always be in place to prevent scratches and other damage to the underlying components. This phone is not shockproof or designed to withstand all damage from dropping.

We dropped the Moto Z Force until it quit working. Actually, let's be more specific. The phone still works. The display, while showing signs of abuse, did not crack. It, uh, just doesn't actually show a picture anymore. So the first four times it took a bad spill ShatterShield worked as advertised. That's a pretty good insurance policy.

The bottom line

So which phone should you get? The Moto Z, or the thicker, longer-lasting, better protected, higher-resolution Moto Z Force? For my money, I'd opt for the latter. The upgraded camera sensor isn't that big a deal for me. But more battery and a better chance at surviving a fall?

That's worth my money just about every time.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Motorola Verizon

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2 days ago

Nexus 5X price cut to £169 at Carphone Warehouse

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Nexus 5X

Cheapest UK price yet for the LG-made Nexus.

We may be rapidly approaching new Nexus season, but there's still time to pick up a great deal on last year's models — specifically, the LG-made Nexus 5X, which has already been discounted by various U.S. retailers. And now Brits can get in on the action, with Carphone Warehouse selling the 5X for £169 SIM-free.

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3 days ago

Moto Z Force Droid Edition's ShatterShield survives drops, phone still dies

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Moto Z ShatterShield

It's not the fall that killed my Moto Z Force Droid Edition. It was the sudden stop at the end. And even then, it took five of them. ... And the screen still didn't crack.

I now have a zombie Moto Z Force Droid Edition. No, it's not the name that killed it. It was the drop test. And while I'm normally not a fan of killing a phone just to watch it die, we had good reason this time. Moto's ShatterShield.

This is the multiple-layer system that it put in the Droid Turbo 2 — and now in Verizon's Moto Z Force — to keep the phone's screen from shattering should it be dropped. That doesn't mean it's a rugged phone. That doesn't mean you should repeatedly drop it onto concrete. That means should the phone take a spill — like all phones do at some point — the screen should survive.

Yes, there's fine print. (There's always fine print.) And it reads thusly:

The display and embedded lens are warranted against shattering and cracking for four (4) years from the original date of purchase; scratches or other damage to the protective lens is not covered by this warranty, but should always be in place to prevent scratches and other damage to the underlying components. This phone is not shockproof or designed to withstand all damage from dropping. All other warranty exclusions, including scratches and other cosmetic damage, intentional damage or abuse, normal wear and tear and other limitations apply.

So I wasn't surprised after one-two-three-four-five drops that the screen quit working. ShatterShield isn't meant for the sort of abuse I subjected it to. (The phone still boots, actually. It still works. It's just as if the display became detached.)

But it did not shatter. It looks beat to hell — because it was. But ShatterShield did its job.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Motorola Verizon

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3 days ago

Where to buy the Moto Z

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Verizon's has the exclusive on the Moto Z, but it won't last forever.

So here's the deal with the Moto Z, insofar as when and where you'll be able to buy it.

The Moto Z is currently exclusive to Verizon, as a "Droid Edition." It's up for preorder and will officially be available on July 28. It costs $26 a month, or $624 outright.

It's not the only phone, however. Verizon also has the Moto Z Force Droid Edition. It's got a larger-capacity battery, higher-resolution camera and an unbreakable "ShatterShield" over the display. (We tried it. It works very well.) The Force costs $30 a month, or $720 outright.

Verizon's exclusive doesn't last forever, though. Globally you'll be able to buy a SIM-unlocked (but GSM-only) Moto Z (not the Force) in September, from Motorola.

See at Verizon

If you want more of the traditional Moto experience, you can also order the Moto Z Droid Edition and Moto Z Force Droid Edition on the MotoMaker website, which includes the ability to configure various different Mods, choose colors and more.

See at Motorola

We'll update this page as the Moto Z becomes available in more places.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Motorola Verizon

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3 days ago

Xperia X Ultra: After a disappointing start to 2016, I'm hoping for the best Sony phone in years

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Sony logo

Sony's Xperia X phones have been boring, overpriced and underwhelming. But there's reason for cautious optimism.

Sony, and before it Sony Ericsson, has been part of the Android ecosystem almost since the very beginning. Along the way, despite tumultuous conditions elsewhere in the company and a hit-and-miss biannual release cycle, Sony has managed to turn out some genuinely great handsets. The Xperia Z3 stands out as the zenith of that series — the last Sony phone that was really worth a spot next to the Galaxy phones and iPhones of the time. (And a model that holds up so well two years on that it's the only Sony phone currently involved in the Android 7.0 developer preview program.)

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4 days ago

The Galaxy Note 7 is already up for pre-order in Dubai

22

We're still two weeks out from the official unveil of the Galaxy Note 7, but the phone is already up for pre-order in Dubai. Customers interested in getting their hands on Samsung's upcoming flagship can deposit AED 500 ($130) to book the phone.

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4 days ago

Amazon's Moto G4 with lock screen ads has a locked bootloader

31

Amazon is selling a variant of the Moto G4 exclusively for Prime members for $149, a discount of $50 on the phone's retail price. The caveat is that the phone comes loaded with lock screen ads delivered by Amazon, and according to a Motorola support document, a locked bootloader.

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4 days ago

Confirmed: The Moto Z *will* receive security patches

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There's been much speculation today that the Moto Z and Moto Z Force would not regular security updates. Moto has confirmed to Android Central that such information in not correct, and that they will receive security patches.

While Moto left a little wiggle room — neglecting to say if they'd receive patches monthly, as Google pushes them, or on some other schedule — that's a far cry from the implication that its newest flagships would be left out to dry at launch.

In addition, Moto tells us that the phones — which shipped to reviewers with the May security patch — will be updated shortly after the July 28 launch.

The confusion stemmed from the Ars Technica review of the Moto Z, in which they erroneously claimed that the phone would not be receiving regular updates:

The new Motorola has a terrible policy when it comes to software updates. Motorola has stated the Moto Z will not be receiving Android's monthly security updates. Since the shipping version only contains the May security patch, Motorola will be shipping an insecure phone right off the bat. There's a whole list of known vulnerabilities for June and July, most of which the Moto Z will be susceptible to. This is completely unacceptable for devices costing $600 and $700.

Here's the full statement from Moto:

Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be supported with patches from Android Security Bulletins. They will receive an update shortly after launch with additional patches.

So there you have it, the Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be getting security patches, just like any other Android phone worth buying.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Motorola Verizon

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4 days ago

Check out our video review of the Moto Z and Moto Z Force!

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For those who aren't down with the written word, we've got 6-plus minutes of Moto Z in moving pictures for you. From the streets to New York to ... streets that are in other places ... we'll take you inside Moto's latest flagship (and its Verizon-exclusive counterpart), plus its Moto Mods, and get to the most important question of all:

Is this something you should spend your hard-earned money on?

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4 days ago

Grab a 32GB Nexus 5X for $290 at Groupon right now!

23

If you are in the market for a Nexus 5X but don't want to pay the full price for one, you'll want to check this deal out. Groupon is offering the unlocked 32GB version for just $290, a savings of more than 30%. We've seen a number of deals on the Nexus 5X lately, and while this may not be the lowest price it has been, it is still a great deal.

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