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2 days ago

Lenovo K6 Power first impressions: Incredible value on a budget

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Lenovo K6 Power

The K6 Power offers a lot of phone for not a whole lot of money.

Lenovo is all set to kick off sales of its latest entry-level handset, the K6 Power, starting December 6. The phone will be sold exclusively on Flipkart for ₹9,999, and will be available in gold, silver, and dark grey color options.

The K6 Power is the latest handset to be powered by the Snapdragon 430, which offers an octa-core CPU with four Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four Cortex A53 cores at 1.2GHz. There's also the Adreno 505 GPU, and you get a massive 4000mAh battery, 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage, microSD slot, dual-SIM connectivity, 13MP camera (Sony IMX258) with PDAF, 8MP front shooter, 4G with VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.

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4 days ago

First look: Android 7.0 Nougat on OnePlus 3 + 3T

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OnePlus 3 Nougat

Android 7.0 + OxygenOS 4.0 update adds software tweaks from the OnePlus 3T, along with small visual refresh and new Nougat features.

OnePlus recently released its first Android 7.0 beta build for the OnePlus 3, bringing the phone up to the latest (stable) version of the Android, while also including features from OxygenOS 3.5 on the OnePlus 3T. Because the OnePlus 3 and 3T are set to remain on the same software track going forwards, the experience on the OnePlus 3T should be the same when the update arrives for both phones later this month.

So what's new? If you've already been using OxygenOS 3.5 — either in community build form on the 3, or as a stable build on the 3T, many features will already be familiar. (For example, the redesigned home screen launcher and updated widget shelf.)

But there are also plenty of other changes, both big and small.

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5 days ago

OnePlus 3T lands in India for ₹29,999; 128GB variant debuts at ₹34,999

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The best phone you can get for under ₹30,000 in India.

The OnePlus 3T has made its debut in India, with sales set to kick off from December 14 exclusively on Amazon. The 64GB variant will retail for ₹29,999 ($440), while the 128GB variant will be available for ₹34,999 ($512).

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5 days ago

Hands on with the new Mophie and Incipio Moto Mods for Moto Z

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There are new Moto Mods on deck for the Moto Z family, and they're coming in the next couple of weeks.

While we've already seen the first — a 3,000mAh battery add-on from popular accessory maker Mophie — we can confirm that it is available now in the U.S., at Verizon, for $79.99. That's the same price as those from Incipio and Tumi, except with a 36% premium in battery capacity. It's also slightly thicker as a result: 0.35 inches compared to 0.27 inches.

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5 days ago

Best Cheap Android Phones of 2016

The Moto G4 represents the ideal experience for an inexpensive Android phone and is a fantastic value.

Best overall

Moto G4

See at Amazon

The Moto G line basically created the high-value low-cost phone segment, and years on has kept making great options that start at amazingly low prices. The latest, the Moto G4, builds on the same formula. You get a 5.5-inch phone that gives you a solid screen, 13MP camera, long battery life and most of Moto's great software features.

On the downside, the Snapdragon 617 processor and 2GB of RAM can sometimes come up short if you have expectations set by more expensive phones, and the hardware doesn't exactly feel inspired. But you have to give in somewhere.

Bottom-line: You really can't go wrong with a Moto G4 — it's the inexpensive phone that all other inexpensive phones are measured by.

One more thing: If you want to endure ads on your lock screen, Amazon will sell you a Moto G4 for $50 off.

Why the Moto G4 is best

Moto just knows how to get the most out of inexpensive hardware.

Ever since it debuted the Moto G and Moto E lines, Motorola has known how to take inexpensive hardware and make it sing with great performance and software features that elevated the whole phone above what you'd expect for the money. Now that Moto is part of Lenovo, things haven't changed: the Moto G4 is an excellent value.

From our Moto G4 review:

So is the Moto G4 worth the $199.99 price tag? In a word, yes. This phone packs a serious punch for its asking cost. You get fantastic battery life, a decent display, and a camera that delivers great results.

The Moto G4 isn't a spectacular specimen of finely crafted hardware or exquisite design, but that's not what you want in a cheap phone. You want to get a good screen, enough power, plenty of storage and a capable camera — the Moto G4 delivers on all points, while offering you a clean and simple software experience that isn't loaded up with useless cruft that slows down the phone.

If you're willing to spend a little extra money it's worth cerious consideration to get the Moto G4 Plus, but if you can't spend extra the baseline Moto G4 will handle your basic smartphone needs and then some.

Best backup

Honor 5X

See at Amazon

The Honor 5X is a perfect example of where the $200 price point smartphone market is headed. For a remarkably good $189, the first Honor phone to officially launch in the U.S. packs a metal body, decent screen and fingerprint sensor. The hardware certainly feels worthy of a higher price point.

Aside from being more than a year old now, the only real drawback to the Honor 5X is the software. Huawei's EMUI is still an acquired taste with some questionable features and things that still don't work quite as we might hope. But, there's a lot of good stuff, too, and some really useful features baked in.

Bottom-line: The Honor 5X is still a decent buy, and has gotten a lot better with its Marshmallow update.

One more thing: You might also consider the Honor 5C, which has far less spectacular build quality but a speedier CPU.

Best under $100

Moto E LTE (2015)

See at Amazon

Motorola's second-generation Moto E adds LTE to the mix, while retaining more of the premium features from more expensive Moto phones than ever before. You're looking at a basic 4.5-inch qHD (960x540) LCD display, and a Snapdragon 410 processor running the show in the LTE model (which is the one to buy).

Beyond that, the latest Moto E is an unspectacular but solid budget offering, with a decidedly basic 5-megapixel rear shooter and chunky plastic construction. It does have Moto's excellent software experience going for it though, and has been updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. For well under $100 ($87 at the time of writing), it's a great buy if you're on a strict budget.

Bottom-line: The Moto E LTE gets you basic smartphone functions and doesn't feel as cheap as the price tag would lead you to believe.

One more thing: Don't expect an update to Android 7.0 Nougat on the Moto E.

Best in Europe

Wileyfox Swift 2

See at Amazon

The Wileyfox Swift 2 is the British company's latest Android phone and has every right to be taken notice of. It costs a ridiculously cheap £119 and packs Moto G-matching hardware while undercutting it on price.

The display is nice, the battery life is pretty good, the overall appearance is on point and the software provided by Cyanogen is slick, speedy and bloat-free. It's not available officially outside Europe right now, but it's absolutely one of the best cheap phones money can buy. And with recent offers dropping the price to just £99, it really is a bargain.

Bottom-line: For those in Europe looking something a little nicer than a Moto E, with a fresh software experience, the Swift is a good choice.

One more thing: Don't be tempted by the lower-end Spark or Storm. The Swift is the only one we recommend.

Conclusion

If you don't want to spend over $200 and still want a great Android phone, the Moto G4 is the best choice. You don't get the best looking or feeling phone, but it offers a top-notch experience, especially for the price.

Best overall

Moto G4

See at Amazon

The Moto G line basically created the high-value low-cost phone segment, and years on has kept making great options that start at amazingly low prices. The latest, the Moto G4, builds on the same formula. You get a 5.5-inch phone that gives you a solid screen, 13MP camera, long battery life and most of Moto's great software features.

On the downside, the Snapdragon 617 processor and 2GB of RAM can sometimes come up short if you have expectations set by more expensive phones, and the hardware doesn't exactly feel inspired. But you have to give in somewhere.

Bottom-line: You really can't go wrong with a Moto G4 — it's the inexpensive phone that all other inexpensive phones are measured by.

One more thing: If you want to endure ads on your lock screen, Amazon will sell you a Moto G4 for $50 off.

Best Android phones under $400
Best Android phones under $100

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5 days ago

These are the Huawei phones that will be updated to Nougat

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Wider EMUI 5.0 rollout will commence in the first quarter of 2017.

The Mate 9 is Huawei's first device to offer EMUI 5.0 — based on Nougat — out of the box, and the company is now announcing when other phones will receive the update. EMUI 5.0 will be rolled out to the Huawei P9, Nova and Nova Plus, and others in the first quarter of 2017.

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6 days ago

Android 7.0 Nougat is now making its way to the Xperia XZ

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Nougat goodness is coming to the Xperia XZ.

After rolling out Nougat to the Xperia X Performance yesterday, Sony is now making the update available on the Xperia XZ. The update brings build number 39.2.A.0.327, and is rolling out initially to the unlocked variant (F8331) as well as the dual-SIM model (F8332).

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6 days ago

Samsung works with Australian carriers to block the Note 7

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Note 7 will be cut off from accessing mobile networks in Australia.

At this point, I thought we were done with the Note 7 saga. Turns out that isn't the case, as Samsung is now announcing that it is working with Australian carriers to disable services for Note 7 units in the country. Samsung did the same with New Zealand carriers last month, so it isn't surprising to see the company resort to the same measures in other regions as it tries to get back the few units still out in the wild.

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6 days ago

Moto Z may get a Google Tango Moto Mod in 2017

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Let's Tango, Moto.

Right now, Google Tango is a great idea trapped inside mediocre hardware. As we saw in Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro, there is a lot of potential in the camera-reliant augmented reality technology, but right now there's really no reason for a consumer to invest in it.

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6 days ago

Best Android racing games

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Speed your way past the competition in these outstanding racers for Android!

We've rounded up the best racing games to be found in the Google Play Store. With so many options to choose from, we've compiled a list that covers a whole slew of sub-genres — from stylized arcade racing to highly realistic racing sims — so no matter your preference, you should find an outstanding game that's right for you. Let's hit the road!

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6 days ago

'Gooligan' Android malware used to compromise Google accounts

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Android security

Malware used existing root exploits to target Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop devices, racking up fake installations and reviews on Google Play.

Security firm Check Point has revealed a new malware campaign involving using malicious apps to root Android devices, steal Google authentication tokens and illegitimately rack up installation numbers and review scores for other apps.

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6 days ago

Huawei Mate 9 gets major software update as release nears

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Update to build B126 fixes notification bugs and improves performance and photo quality.

Up to now we've been using the Huawei Mate 9 on pre-release firmware, as we noted in our review. Today, ahead of its December launch in Europe, the global dual-SIM version (the model reviewers currently have) has received a major software update, essentially putting it on retail-quality software.

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6 days ago

BlackBerry DTEK60 review: A great Android phone and the best BlackBerry

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DTEK60

The BlackBerry DTEK60 isn't getting much attention outside of the hardcore BB audience. That's a shame because it's one of the best phones of 2016.

No, I haven't lost my marbles. The BlackBerry DTEK60 really is that good.

Like a lot of Android fans and people who write words about phones for a living, I chuckled and instantly dismissed the DTEK60 before it even arrived. BlackBerry having Alcatel make a phone for them and deigning to charge a premium price for it sounded like a recipe for disaster much like the Priv. Good phone, great phone — none of that matters when you're competing against the Samsung juggernaut, especially when you have BlackBerry's reputation (mostly unfair, in my opinion). I mean, come on. Is BlackBerry even still in business? They lost about 99% of their market in the past five years and everyone outside a small group of the BlackBerry faithful has written the company off. What could they possibly do to turn things around?

You start by making a phone like the DTEK60, that's what.

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6 days ago

Meizu unveils the Pro 6 Plus with 5.7-inch QHD display, Exynos 8890 SoC

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So. Many. Features.

At an event in Beijing, Meizu rolled out its latest flagship, the Pro 6 Plus. The phone is an upgrade to the Pro 6, offering a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with 3D touch. It is powered by the 14nm Exynos 8890, the same SoC used in international models of the Galaxy S7.

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1 week ago

Nougat OTA starts rolling out to the Xperia X Performance

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Nougat is now available for unlocked U.S. and global variants.

Sony has started rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to the Xperia X Performance. The update is now available for the unlocked U.S. model (F8131) as well as the dual-SIM global variant (F8132). As spotted by Xperia Blog, the update increments the phone's firmware to 39.2.A.0.327.

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