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3 days ago

Android O hands-on preview: Top 10 features!

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Surprise! Google just took the wraps off a new version of Android in developer preview form. Say hello to Android O!

It's still early days for Android O, and Google will be adding new features over the course of four developer previews before it's all finalized later in the summer. For now, what we have is a very early sneak peek at some of the new features — including notification channels, adaptive icons, and picture-in-picture mode for phones and tablets.

And we still don't yet know what Android O will be named, either, though there are some obvious possibilities.

It'll take a few more preview releases before we're able to show all of Android O's capabilities in all their glory, but for the moment we've got a preview of the top ten features you need to know about!

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3 days ago

Here's what the Galaxy S8's 5100mAh power bank accessory will look like

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It's fair to assume that the Galaxy S8 will be arriving with a refreshed accessory lineup.

It's springtime (for some of us) and just as the flowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing through the meadows, so is Samsung preparing itself for its big flagship release later next month.

Practically everything about the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ seems to have been revealed, but of course, we won't know if that's the case until an official announcement from Samsung. For now, we can speculate on the smartphone and what its accessories might look like, especially considering the company will have to ostensibly refresh its accessory lineup to work with the Galaxy S8.

Samsung might sell this curvy, oblong-looking battery pack along with the Galaxy S8. It's a 5100 mAh battery pack with 15W Fast Charging and USB Type-C compatibility. According to the source, it may come in Samsung's signature gray and blue aesthetic, and it may retail for €60. The new accessory lineup may also include a few new cases and screen protectors, too.

We'll know more after Samsung officially announces the Galaxy S8 on March 29.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

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3 days ago

OnePlus arrives in Denmark via exclusive partnership with 3

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Get your OnePlus 3T from 3!

Calling all Danes! The OnePlus 3T is now available in your country, exclusively available through 3. Both the 64GB and 128 GB models are available in Gunmetal. You can buy in-store or online with pricing starting at 99 kr./month for 30 months when you sign up for one of three service plans, or can be bought outright for as low as 4270 kr.

In its advertising, 3 is calling the OnePlus 3T "probably the best smartphone in the world right now", which isn't too far off from our thoughts — the OnePlus 3T is the best Android phone you can get if you're on a budget.

Including Denmark, this means OnePlus 3T is now officially offered in over 31 countries around the world.

OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3

OnePlus Amazon

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3 days ago

Google makes searching on Android better with new Shortcuts feature

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Google has introduced yet another way to search on Android.

There is no shortage of ways to find things on an Android device. If you've bought a phone in the last couple of years, it's more than likely you have a Google search bar on your main homescreen — Google requires it as part of its certification process — and some phones, including its Nexus and Pixel line, have the Artist Formerly Known As Google Now, now known merely as the Feed, to the left of the main homescreen.

Well, Google still thinks searching for specific topics is too difficult, because it's introducing a new Shortcuts menu within the Feed that's meant to simplify the process of getting in-depth information.

Getting up-to-the-minute info is as easy as a single tap. With shortcuts right on the home screen, you now have access to in-depth experiences across sports, eat & drink, entertainment and weather. Need to know whether to bring a raincoat tomorrow? Want the score to last night's basketball game? Looking for what's on TV tonight or who's nominated for best supporting actress? Shortcuts on Google will get you there.

Android users will find dozens of other useful shortcuts too—translate, nearby attractions, flights, hotels, internet speed test, currency converter, and more. Plus, if you're looking for fun, there are shortcuts like tic-tac-toe, roll a die, animal sounds, solitaire, and always a Google favorite: I'm feeling curious.

What's interesting about this is that Shortcuts presumably makes it easier to get sports scores, movie times and other pieces of information people often search for. But it's also putting web apps like Google Translate and Google Trips — experiences that are available as native apps on Android — front and center in the experience.

The feature is rolling out first to Android, iOS and mobile web users U.S., with more countries expected to come in the next few months.

What do you think of Shortcuts? Is it useful, or just another set of icons cluttering up the Feed?

Android Nougat

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3 days ago

Samsung's Galaxy S8 Korean teaser hints at a world of possibilities

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Samsung starts hyping up the Galaxy S8 ahead of its official unveil on March 29.

Samsung has released a 15-second trailer for the Galaxy S8 in South Korea, showcasing little of the phone itself, a refreshing change in pace from the litany of leaks, rumors, and renders we've seen of the device in recent weeks.

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3 days ago

Galaxy S8 pre-orders may ship as early as Apr 18

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Galaxy S8

Expect a big pre-order push in Samsung's home market.

As it looks to draw a line under last year's Note 7 unpleasantness, Samsung is reportedly betting big on Galaxy S8 pre-orders. South Korean outlet The Investor reports that subsidized deals for the new flagship will be unveiled from April 7, with pre-orders shipping out to customers as soon as April 18. It's worth noting that this likely refers to Korea, not necessarily other parts of the world, where an April 28 ship date has been rumored.

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3 days ago

Xiaomi Redmi 4A hands-on: A decent phone at an unbeatable price

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Xiaomi Redmi 4A

The Redmi 4A solidifies Xiaomi's place in India's budget segment.

Xiaomi is sailing high in India — the company's Redmi Note 4 sold a million units in just 45 days, and the entry-level Redmi 3S is faring remarkably well in the country. Coupled with the immense success of the Redmi Note 3, Xiaomi is well on its way to continuing its dominance in the online segment.

The company is far from resting on its laurels, as evidenced by the launch of the Redmi 4A. With Samsung somehow managing to sell millions of units of the thoroughly underwhelming Galaxy J2, Xiaomi is positioning the Redmi 4A as a viable alternative.

Xiaomi's offering has much more going for it in the form of a 720p display, Snapdragon 425 SoC, 13-megapixel camera, and 3,120mAh battery. We've seen several decent phones often get waylaid on account of the price, but that isn't an issue for the Redmi 4A. With a retail price of ₹5,999 ($90), Xiaomi will be lucky if it can meet the insatiable demand for the device in the coming weeks.

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4 days ago

ZTE Blade V8 Pro review: Remarkably good for the price

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The ZTE Blade V8 Pro is better than it has any reason to be.

I'm always a little shocked at how little people know (or care) about the Chinese companies slowly (and in some cases, not so slowly) eating into market share in the West. Through missteps and massive marketing campaigns, giants like Huawei and ZTE are encroaching on the feeling, if not the actual doorstep, of popular culture, largely because they have found success in their home country and feel it's replicable in the U.S.

But the powers that be are not ready to concede the traditional handset market to these agitators, at least not at the carrier level, so the likes of ZTE have to play the hand they have. And my, what a hand.

The quick take

The ZTE Blade V8 Pro is the series' first entry into the U.S., and it's a stunner. From the incredible build quality to the excellent performance and admirable camera performance, this is a phone that does not betray its $230 price point.

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4 days ago

Moto G5 Plus vs. Moto G4 Plus: What's changed and which offers more value?

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The Moto G5 Plus offers a lot of value, but there are tradeoffs.

The Moto G5 Plus is all set to make its debut in the U.S. shortly, featuring several key upgrades over its predecessor. Motorola has announced that the variant with 2GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage will retail for $229, $20 less than what the Moto G4 Plus debuted at last year. The model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage will cost $299.

With the G5 Plus, Motorola finally switched to a metal design, and the internal hardware has also been upgraded. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 625 SoC, which is significantly better than the Snapdragon 617 in the G4 Plus. The base storage also gets a welcome boost to 32GB, and the camera on the G5 Plus has the potential to be one of the best in this segment. Although the megapixel count has reduced from 16MP to 12MP, the f/1.7 aperture and 1.4 micron pixels make the G5 Plus stand out in this category.

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4 days ago

Samsung announces Bixby AI for the Galaxy S8, says thousands of engineers are working on it

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Samsung has announced Bixby, its upcoming AI assistant for the Galaxy S8. But Samsung has much bigger plans for the cloud platform.

We've known about Samsung's Bixby AI assistant for months now, though the company has kept a pretty tight lid on exactly what it will end up being. We've considered that it will, for the most part, be designed to take on Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa, and Apple's Siri, but Samsung has much bigger plans for its artificial intelligence.

Samsung has pre-announced Bixby in a detailed blog post that is half product announcement, half manifesto.

Samsung has a conceptually new philosophy to the problem [of virtual interaction]: instead of humans learning how the machine interacts with the world (a reflection of the abilities of designers), it is the machine that needs to learn and adapt to us.

The company notes three distinct ways that Bixby will surpass its competition:

  • Completeness
  • Context awareness
  • Cognitive tolerance

The first is about being able to use Bixby for anything, in any situation. "[It should] support almost every task that the application is capable of performing using the conventional interface (ie. touch commands)," says the post.

Next is being able to understand what you're doing as a user and adapt accordingly. "Bixby will allow users to weave various modes of interactions including touch or voice at any context of the application, whichever they feel is most comfortable and intuitive."

Finally, Bixby will be able to complete tasks from incomplete sentences: "Bixby will be smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information and execute the commanded task to the best of its knowledge, and then will prompt users to provide more information and take the execution of the task in piecemeal."

Samsung confirms that Bixby will have a permanent place on "the next device," the Galaxy S8, with a "dedicated Bixby button that will be located on the side" of the phone.

For example, instead of taking multiple steps to make a call – turning on and unlocking the phone, looking for the phone application, clicking on the contact bar to search for the person that you're trying to call and pressing the phone icon to start dialing – you will be able to do all these steps with one push of the Bixby button and a simple command.

The company also points out that this is a long-term vision for the platform, and that the Galaxy S8 will only have "a subset of preinstalled applications [that] will be Bixby-enabled."

But Samsung says there are thousands of engineers working on bringing the platform to other devices and applications, including the company's wide range of appliances. "In the future you would be able to control your air conditioner or TV through Bixby. Since Bixby will be implemented in the cloud, as long as a device has an internet connection and simple circuitry to receive voice inputs, it will be able to connect with Bixby. As the Bixby ecosystem grows, we believe Bixby will evolve from a smartphone interface to an interface for your life. Our investment in engineering resources speaks for itself – we have thousands of software developers supporting this effort."

It seems like Bixby is one of the most ambitious software projects Samsung has ever participated in, and we're excited to see what comes from it.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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4 days ago

HTC's 'unexpected surprise' is a U Ultra with a sapphire panel and 128GB storage

43

HTC's limited edition U Ultra picks up 128GB storage and a sapphire-coated display for an additional $150.

HTC Taiwan said last week that it would share an "unexpected surprise" on March 20, and like the company's recent launches, the reveal itself was rather underwhelming. Instead of a successor to the HTC 10, we're being treated to a limited edition variant of the HTC U Ultra with 128GB internal memory and a sapphire screen, a product HTC referenced back in January.

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4 days ago

Huawei P10 vs. P10 Plus camera comparison: Tiny improvements

5
Huawei P10 + P10 Plus

Just how much difference does the P10 Plus's f/1.8 lens make?

In addition to a bigger, higher-res screen and the ability to max out your RAM and storage, the jump from the Huawei P10 to P10 Plus gets you Huawei's most advanced Leica camera to date. The trusty f/2.2 Summarit-branded lens, used in the past a generation of Huawei flagships, makes way for a brighter f/1.8 Summilux aperture.

On paper that should allow for a modest improvement in photo quality across the board. A wider aperture lets you capture more quickly, resulting in less motion blur, or keep the shutter open for longer at lower ISO levels, reducing the appearance of noise.

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4 days ago

Galaxy S8 breaks cover in blue, white and silver

25

Some GS8 models may have colored front panels, if latest leak is to be believed.

The most recent Galaxy S8 render leaks may have given us the impression that Samsung's next major phone will use black front panels, even if the rest of the phone is silver, grey or some other color. However fresh live photos of the phone, scooped up from Chinese social network Weibo by Dutch outlet Techtastic, suggests that at the very least some GS8 models may feature colored front panels as well.

Behold, the Galaxy S8 in blue, white (we think — though it may be gold) and silver:

The shots appear to show legitimate, functioning Galaxy S8 models — though it's tough to get a feel for which of these might be the larger GS8 Plus. At the very least, it shows that Samsung is considering colored bezels for some GS8s, even as it reduces the screen borders to almost nothing.

So if you'd like a little more color in your, it appears that may well be an option. And if you'd prefer to not be looking at seven very obvious cut-outs in the top bezel (for various cameras and sensors), it seems that'll be an option too.

Multiple color options for the GS8 would be in line with the past few release cycles for Samsung flagships — even if they don't reach all regions. A purple hue has also been rumored in recent days.

We'll know more when the Galaxy S8 officially launches in New York on March 29.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

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4 days ago

Xiaomi Redmi 4A goes live in India with 720p display, Snapdragon 425 for just $90

2

The Redmi 4A shows that sub-$100 phones don't have to be boring.

At a media event in New Delhi, Xiaomi rolled out the latest product in the Redmi series, the Redmi 4A. The phone will be sold exclusively on Amazon India for ₹5,999 ($90), making it the most affordable phone launched by the Chinese manufacturer in the country.

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4 days ago

Rogers and Telus now rolling out Nougat update to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

6

Nougat update is now live for most Galaxy S7 and S7 edge variants in Canada.

The Android 7.0 Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge made its way to Canadian carriers SaskTel, Bell, Virgin Mobile, Eastlink, Videotron and Freedom Mobile last week, and the 1.2GB OTA update is now rolling out to Rogers and Telus subscribers.

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