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2 hours ago

Nougat update starts rolling out to the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium

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Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium pick up Nougat.

After rolling out Nougat to the Xperia X, Xperia XZ, and the Xperia X Performance, Sony is now bringing the update to the Xperia Z5 family. As noted by Xperia Blog, the Android 7.0 update is now rolling out to the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium, and will make its way shortly to the Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z3+ and Xperia Z4 Tablet.

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3 hours ago

Samsung launches Galaxy C9 Pro with 6GB RAM in India

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6-inch Full HD display, 4000mAh battery, and stereo speakers.

Samsung has launched the Galaxy C9 Pro — the company's first phone with 6GB of RAM — in India. The phone was unveiled in China last October, and will be up for sale in India next month for ₹36,900 ($545). Pre-orders for the handset will go live starting January 27, and Samsung is throwing in a one-time screen replacement service for free to those pre-booking the device. The service will be valid for one year from the date of purchase.

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15 hours ago

HTC One A9 gets its Nougat update

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Good news for a phone that desperately needs some.

Owners of the strange, better-than-we-thought-but-worse-than-we-hoped 2015 "flagship," the HTC One A9, will begin receiving Android 7.0 through an OTA update beginning late January 16.

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17 hours ago

Galaxy S8: 5 things the GS7's Nougat update reveals about Samsung's next flagship

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Galaxy S7 Nougat

We don't yet know for sure what Samsung's next big thing will look like — but the Galaxy S7's Nougat update gives us a few important clues.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Android 7.0 update has just started rolling out to some users, giving GS7 owners a taste of Nougat. In addition to new Android OS features, Samsung is giving GS7 owners an early look at its updated TouchWiz UI, which builds on the work we saw in the Note 7.

The update provides a useful window into what to expect from Samsung's next big thing, the Galaxy S8. Just as 2015's GS6 Marshmallow beta foreshadowed the UI we would eventually see on the Galaxy S7 at launch, the GS7 Nougat update gives us a few clues about what to expect from the Korean company's 2017 flagship.

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19 hours ago

How to fix a broken Galaxy S7 screen

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Here's everything you need to know if you cracked the screen on your Galaxy S7.

Broken screens happen. Mix a big piece of thin glass (no matter how many Gorillas were involved) and something that will be dropped and bumped and otherwise gently abused and the outcome is broken displays. If this happens to your Galaxy S7, you'll probably want to get it repaired or replaced. There are several different things that can be done depending on how broken your screen is. Let's take a look at what to do to get your Galaxy S7 back in action.

Get a good screen protector

If the display is badly scratched or has hairline cracks but still works, you can usually get away with covering the whole screen with a good glass screen protector. Think of this as a way to delay the inevitable worsening of cracks in the glass or damage to the actual display. Over time the cracks will get bigger and those dark pixels will expand, but a glass screen protector will really slow things down and gives you a smooth surface while you're waiting.

It's important that you get a real glass one. They are stronger and hold the pieces in place. A more flexible screen protector isn't going to do much to help. If you're reading this before your screen breaks, a glass screen protector goes a long way in keeping your display from getting broken in the first place! After looking at a few and asking folks what they have and how they like it, I think the aFilm Bye-Bye Bubble tempered glass screen protector is the one to buy.

See at Amazon

Getting it repaired

This is the route that most of us will take. Having people who know what they're doing when it comes to taking expensive phones apart is generally a wise decision. But finding the right people to do the repair can be a little tricky.

If anyone besides Samsung fixes your phone you'll lose your warranty, and water resistance.

The first thing to do is take it back to the place you bought it from and see what they have to say. For most of us in North America, that means a carrier store. No matter the carrier, they will be able to help get the phone repaired or replaced under insurance or a warranty. They can start the official repair process, and even if they need you to call Samsung yourself it's smart to have a record of talking to the folks whose name is on the device first. Be sure to mention any warranty from your credit card or third party program, and let them know if you or purchased the Samsung Protection Plus package.

If you bought your phone outright, you're going to be mostly on your own here. Don't worry, that's not a big deal in this case. Get things started by starting a repair ticket at Samsung.com or calling Samsung customer service at 1-800-SAMSUNG (726-7864). They'll get the paperwork started and tell you where and how to send your phone to them, give you an estimate of the cost and let you know approximately how long it's going to take. Generally, it costs about $200 and takes 14 days. The web is full of folks with horror stories, but those aren't the rule and you likely won't have any surprises if you send it off to Samsung.

There are also plenty of other places that repair Samsung screens, and there's a good chance you even have one within driving distance. There are also some good nationwide options for people in the United States, and we can recommend two:

  • UBREAKIFIX is a well-known company that has both walk-in and mail-in service. Visit their website to see if you have a local store or your options for sending it in. This is also the company Google uses for their Pixel repairs for Project Fi insured phones.
  • Office Depot has a lot of locations that do phone repairs for Samsung phones. Their work has a full one-year warranty and they offer a price match guarantee with same-day service in many cases. They don't handle mail-in repairs, but it's worth a look to see if you have one of their repair centers in driving distance.

If you decide to go local, ask around and see which service the local phone reps at your carrier store use. Also, make sure you get a confirmation of any guarantee and warranty up front and in writing from any place that's going to take your phone apart. Most local "fix it" centers for cell phones have a person or two who is pretty good at doing things like fixing screens, but it's always better to be sure of everything in advance.

Do it yourself

If you've got the know-how and the patience, you can repair the screen on your GS7 yourself. Like most newer phones, the Galaxy S7 isn't very repair-friendly but the display can be worked free of the adhesive.

We're not saying it's easy. There's always the chance you'll break something else taking a phone apart or that you won't be able to get it back together again. You'll need to start from the back and disassemble everything between the back cover and the display, including removing the mainboard itself.

There are plenty of in-depth tutorials about changing your GS7 screen on YouTube. You should start with Jerry Rig Everything's video where he repairs the screen and charging port.

You can pick up a kit that includes the complete digitizer and screen assembly and the tools to do the repair for about $150 so you're not saving very much money. But you will save time versus mailing your phone off to a repair center.

See at Amazon

Have questions?

Do you have questions about getting your screen repaired? Or if you know of a good repair option in your neck of the woods, or can tell us how your repair went we'd love to hear it!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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1 day ago

Google Pixel goes up for sale on India's Snapdeal, gets a minor discount

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The Pixel sees its first price cut as retailers incentivize cashback schemes.

If you're looking to purchase the Google Pixel online in India, you now have more options. The phone is now up for sale on Snapdeal, with the 32GB variant available for ₹54,199, a minor 5% discount from its ₹57,999 retail price.

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1 day ago

How to disable 'power-intensive app found' notification on the Huawei Mate 9

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How do I turn off that annoying "power-intensive apps" notification on EMUI 5.0?

One of the Huawei Mate 9's charms is its 4000mAh battery, which allows the phone to last more than one day on a charge. But the reason for the phone's long uptime isn't all due to the battery size itself; Huawei has optimized EMUI 5.0, based on Android 7.0 Nougat, to notify the user (you) of apps that use an excessive amount of battery in the background.

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1 day ago

Lenovo K6 Power vs. Redmi 3S Prime: Picking the best entry-level phone in India

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Lenovo K6 Power vs. Redmi 3S Prime

There isn't a whole lot that separates two of the best entry-level phones available today.

The Lenovo K6 Power and Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime are two of the most sought-after devices in the entry-level segment right now. Both are sold for under ₹10,000, and offer compelling hardware for the asking price.

Although there are hundreds of phones available in this space, most aren't worth your time as they miss out on basic hardware features or run outdated software. That isn't the case with the K6 Power or the Redmi 3S Prime. If you're in the market for an entry-level handset and are unsure as to which one to get, read on.

Hardware

Lenovo K6 Power vs. Redmi 3S Prime

The K6 Power and Redmi 3S Prime share a lot of similarities — both in terms of the design and the internal hardware. Both phones sport a metallic chassis and feature a fingerprint sensor at the back. They are also powered by the Snapdragon 430 SoC, offer a 5-inch display, 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage.

Both have 13MP rear cameras, and the Redmi 3S Prime has a slender lead when it comes to battery capacity — 4100mAh versus 4000mAh for the K6 Power. However, the K6 Power has a 5.0-inch Full HD panel, whereas the Redmi 3S sports a 5.0-inch 720p display.

There are three subtle differences when it comes to the design: the camera isn't aligned with the fingerprint sensor on the Redmi 3S Prime, and the K6 Power has the charging port at the top. The K6 Power's notification LED is at the top, whereas the Redmi 3S Prime has it at the bottom of the display. Otherwise, you're looking at two near-identical phones. They even come in the same color options: silver, dark grey, and gold.

Both phones have capable fingerprint sensors, and the overall fit and finish is remarkable given the price segment they're targeting. You won't have any issues using either phone one-handed thanks to the compact size, but the Redmi 3S edges slightly ahead thanks to its thinner 8.5mm frame over the 9.3mm profile of the K6 Power.

The Redmi 3S Prime has an added feature in the form of an IR blaster. Xiaomi is one of very few vendors that still offers the feature, and when paired to the excellent Mi Remote, it lets you control TVs, home audio systems, air conditioners, and set-top boxes of all major brands sold in the country.

Category Lenovo K6 Power Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime Operating System Vibe Pure UI based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Display 5-inch 1080p (1920x1080) IPS LCD panel
441ppi pixel density 5-inch 720p (1280x720) IPS LCD panel
294ppi pixel density SoC Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Eight Cortex A53 cores at 1.4GHz
28nm Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Eight Cortex A53 cores at 1.4GHz
28nm GPU Adreno 505 Adreno 505 RAM 3GB RAM 3GB RAM Storage 32GB storage
microSD slot up to 256GB 32GB storage
microSD slot up to 256GB Rear camera 13MP
LED flash
PDAF 13MP
LED flash
PDAF Front shooter 8MP
1080p video recording 5MP
1080p video recording Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 (A2DP), GPS,
microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 (A2DP), GPS,
microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack Battery 4000mAh battery 4100mAh battery with fast charging Fingerprint Rear fingerprint sensor Rear fingerprint sensor Dimensions 141.9 x 70.3 x 9.3 mm 139.3 x 69.6 x 8.5 mm Weight 145g 144g Colors Silver, Gold, Dark Grey Silver, Gold, Dark Grey


The display on the K6 Power is great, offering saturated colors and excellent viewing angles. There isn't a lot of customizability when it comes to tweaking the color settings, and in that regard, the Redmi 3S Prime wins out. The panel on the Redmi 3S is also quite decent in spite of it sporting a lesser resolution, but you get more options. MIUI lets you alter the color temperature, and there's a built-in blue light filter.

The K6 Power has a denser display, and great stereo speakers.

On the audio side of things, the K6 Power takes the lead thanks to its excellent stereo speakers. Although they're located at the back, they still manage to produce enough sound to fill a small room. The Redmi 3S also has a speaker located at the back, and while it's decent, it doesn't get as loud as the K6 Power. If your main use case involves watching a lot of videos, then the K6 Power is the better device thanks to the stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos tweaks.

When it comes to everyday usage, you're not going to see any difference between two phones seeing as how they run the same internal hardware. Both phones run lag-free, and the 3GB of RAM makes a lot of difference when it comes to multitasking. While they handle tasks like browsing and social media with aplomb, they aren't designed to tackle intensive video games. You can still play most major titles, but you'll see the occasional stutter.

Battery life

Lenovo K6 Power vs. Redmi 3S Prime

Battery life is increasingly becoming the primary consideration when buying a new phone in India. With a majority of people relying on their phones as the sole gateway to the internet, it isn't hard to see why. That's why manufacturers have also started focusing on improving battery life by adding larger batteries. The same holds true for both the K6 Power and the Redmi 3S Prime. If you want great battery life, these are the phones to consider.

The K6 Power has a 4000mAh battery that ensures the phone lasts a day even if you stream movies and videos all day. With medium usage, the battery life goes up to two days without breaking a sweat. Then there's the Redmi 3S Prime, arguably the best phone to get if all you want is stellar battery life. Thanks to its 4100mAh battery, the phone lasts two days at a minimum. You'll easily be able to eke out seven or eight hours of screen-on-time consistently.

K6 Power Vibe UI

Software

The software is where things get interesting for both phones. While there isn't a lot to differentiate the phones when it comes to the hardware, they offer vastly varying software experiences. Lenovo has tried to cut back on overt customization with its Vibe UI skin, and as a result its interface is cleaner and less cluttered. Meanwhile, the Redmi 3S Prime runs MIUI 8, which is one of the most feature-rich ROMs available today.

Lenovo's Vibe UI is uncluttered, whereas MIUI 8 doubles down on features.

MIUI lets you customize every facet of the interface, but at times it does feel bloated. At least with MIUI 8, Xiaomi fixed several issues with memory management (it isn't as aggressive now), and the overall design has picked up much-needed flair in the form of solid colors interspersed throughout the UI. But there are other issues. There isn't an app drawer — Vibe UI offers it — and you're going to need a manual to navigate the settings. MIUI is catered to power users, and as such it has a learning curve.

MIUI 8 Redmi 3S Prime

There are a few features that are common on both phones, such as dual apps — through which you can two two instances of the same app — and the ability to lock apps with a password. There are minor changes in the implementation, but the overall functionality is the same.

That said, neither handset is great at receiving software updates. In January 2017, the K6 Power is still on the June security patch, while the Redmi 3S is on the August update. There's no mention of when the Nougat update will be available, but it doesn't look like it will be rolling out soon.

Camera

Lenovo K6 Power vs. Redmi 3S Prime

One of the main drawbacks in budget phones available today is camera quality. Essentially, photos taken from either the Redmi 3S or the K6 Power are adequate for sharing on social platforms — which should be more than enough for a majority of the userbase interested in either handset. But to get a decent photo, you'll have to put in some work. Taking great images effortlessly is still limited to the likes of the Pixel and the S7 edge.

The Redmi 3S Prime has the better camera, but only marginally.

Neither handset is great at dialing in on a subject quickly, but the Redmi 3S takes longer. You get the ability to toggle HDR on the Redmi 3S, and doing so leads to better detail in the final photos. However, it takes more effort to shoot in HDR. Images from the Redmi 3S had more true-to-life colors, and there's more detail as well. That said, both phones struggled to take decent shots in low-light conditions.

The K6 Power's camera app is easier to use, and it offers a variety of shooting modes, including a manual mode that lets you tweak the white balance, exposure, and ISO settings. The Redmi 3S also has a feature-rich camera, and the ability to select between various scenes. It also has a Beautify filter, which as the name suggests removes blemishes and generally improves the quality of your portraits.

K6 Power cameraRedmi 3S camera

K6 Power on the left, Redmi 3S Prime on the right.

K6 Power cameraRedmi 3S camera

K6 Power cameraRedmi 3S camera

K6 Power cameraRedmi 3S camera

K6 Power cameraRedmi 3S camera

Which should you buy? It's up to you

Lenovo K6 Power vs. Redmi 3S Prime

It's incredibly hard to pick a winner between the two handsets. The denser panel on the K6 Power makes for a great multimedia experience — especially when coupled with the stereo speakers. The displays on both phones are great, but if you're primarily looking to consume multimedia, the K6 Power edges the Redmi 3S Prime out.

See at Flipkart

However, if battery life is your main consideration, then the Redmi 3S Prime is the phone to get. In all the phones I used last year, there wasn't one that came close to the battery life of the Redmi 3S Prime. MIUI's aggressive memory management combined with a huge battery means you'll easily get two days of battery even if you're a heavy user.

See at Flipkart

Both phones see a huge demand, so you'll have to wait until the next flash sale to buy either one. Irrespective of whatever phone you pick up, you're getting great value for your money.

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1 day ago

Lenovo's excellent Z2 Plus gets a price cut in India, now available for just ₹14,999

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One of the best phones in this segment is now more affordable.

The Lenovo Z2 Plus is one of the best phones you can get for under ₹20,000 in India. The phone offers incredible value for money in the form of a 5-inch Full HD display, 2.15GHz Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, 13MP ISOCELL camera, 8MP front camera, USB-C, and a 3500mAh battery.

Starting today, Lenovo is slashing the price of the Z2 Plus by ₹3,000 for the base variant with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage, making it available for just ₹14,999.

To put things into context, that's just ₹1,000 more than what the Moto G4 Plus is currently retailing for on Amazon. Lenovo is also discounting the variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage by ₹2,500, bringing it down to ₹17,499.

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1 day ago

LG G6 undergoing extensive battery tests, uses heat pipes to prevent overheating

13

LG is conducting rigorous battery tests to ensure the LG G6 doesn't end up like the Note 7.

The LG G6 will be the first LG device to use heat pipes as a way to siphon heat away from the core components. Speaking to Korea Herald, LG's Lee Seok-jong said:

We will significantly improve the safety and quality of our new flagship smartphones as more consumers seek safe smartphones.

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1 day ago

From the Editor's Desk: Flagship spotting

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HMS Vanguard, which is not a phone

Have you heard? There's a new Android flagship!

This industry has no shortage of irksome buzzwords (see: "iPhone killer," "phablet," "innovation" — I could go on.) But one that's been almost entirely stripped of all meaning is the term "flagship." It used to be that a flagship — the very best product in a series, intended to bear the standard of a particular brand — was easy to define. Then, with multiple high-end phone releases every year from the big brands, things became murkier.

With numerous product lines — like the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines, and LG's G and V series — intersecting, and each one laying claim to the "flagship" title, confusion can quickly set in. The crown is either shared between multiple products, or rapidly passed along the line in a matter of months. (And the less said of the "mid-range flagship," or the "entry-level flagship," the better.)

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2 days ago

LG G6 rumor roundup

270

LG has a lot at stake with the G6. What do they need to do to succeed?

It's safe to say that LG didn't take the world by storm with the G5 in 2016. The phone had a lot of things going for it, but the Korean company, whose mobile division has been in Samsung's shadow for the past half decade, emphasized its modular ambitions a bit too much without supporting it with actual accessories worth buying.

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3 days ago

Bloomberg: Andy Rubin readying launch of new AI-focused phone

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When the co-founder of Android makes a move, people pay attention.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Android co-founder and Google Robotics pioneer Andy Rubin has a team that's going to build the next big deal — an artificial intelligence-centric smartphone and smart home products that work together.

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3 days ago

Motorola is announcing a new phone at Mobile World Congress in February

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Motorola teases a new phone to launch at MWC.

Motorola is set to launch a new phone in Barcelona next month prior to the start of Mobile World Congress.

The annual show has become a traditional venue for manufacturers to launch phones for the European market, but many of them end up in North America and beyond.

Motorola is holding its event at 4:30pm on February 26, and while it's unclear what the Lenovo subsidiary is launching at this point, based on the render in the vague invite, it's unlikely to be part of its Moto Z line.

It's possible it may be another Moto X product, or a variant of the Moto M, which was released in Asia late last year, but the likely scenario is a new Moto G, which is due for a refresh after the successful Moto G4 and G4 Plus.

We'll have to wait and see; MWC 2017 is only a short time away!

More: Huawei's next flagship to launch at MWC 2017

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3 days ago

Video: LG G6 rumors, leaks, features and more!

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As is traditional in the weeks leading up to a new LG flagship phone, the Korean company has slowly started to trickle out details of its next big thing, the LG G6. We're expecting the new phone, which could be one of the first Snapdragon 835 devices, to break cover at Mobile World Congress in late February. And based on what LG has already teased, we're set for a new, unibody design, with the company moving away from the ill-fated modularity it introduced in the G5.

Other features likely to make it into the G6, based on LG's recent teaser, include water resistance — finally — and new camera tricks that'll let you "capture it all at once." Check out our video for more on what we're expecting from the first big Android announcement of the year!

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