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3 days ago

Galaxy S7 display defaults to Full HD after Nougat update, but you can switch back

40

Samsung's new display scaling options change the default resolution of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

The Nougat update to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge introduces a new display scaling option that lets you reduce the screen resolution as a way to conserve battery life. With the update, you can now choose between three modes — WQHD (2560x1440), FHD (1920x1080), and HD (1280x720). While it's a nifty feature to have, the display on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge is automatically defaulting to Full HD for those that have installed the update.

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4 days ago

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review: Setting the benchmark for the budget segment

8
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 India

Xiaomi's Redmi Note 3 was one of the best-selling devices of 2016 in India. With its successor, the company is looking to continue the momentum.

Quick take:

It's hard to follow up on the Redmi Note 3, but Xiaomi has managed to deliver a great successor in the Redmi Note 4. The phone now comes with more memory and storage, and the design changes make the device feel upmarket. Battery life has also received a boost thanks to the Snapdragon 625 SoC, and the camera is also better than what we saw last year. In short, this is the phone to beat in the budget segment.

The good

  • Class-leading performance
  • Premium design
  • Great battery life

The bad

  • MIUI quirks
  • Fast charging limited to 5V/2A

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4 days ago

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 lands in India with Snapdragon 625, 4GB RAM, 4100mAh battery

6

The Redmi Note 4 is here, and it is amazing.

At a media event in New Delhi, Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 4 for the Indian market. The local variant of the handset is powered by a 14nm Snapdragon 625 SoC, offering a 5.5-inch Full HD display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage, a 13MP camera, 5MP front shooter, and a 4100mAh battery. On the software front, the phone runs MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but a Nougat preview is already in testing and will be rolling out shortly.

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4 days ago

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 specs

0

The latest phone in the Redmi series is a beast.

The Redmi Note 4 has made its debut in India, offering enticing specs and a great all-metal design. The Indian variant is powered by Qualcomm's 14nm Snapdragon 625, and comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage. Here's a look at the hardware on offer with the Redmi Note 4.

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4 days ago

Motorola releasing Nougat for unlocked Moto Z in Feb, Moto Z Play in March

38

Nougat for the unlocked Moto Z is coming sooner than you think.

Waiting is never easy, especially when the wait doesn't make sense. In the case of the unlocked Moto Z, sold directly to consumers by Motorola, users have been waiting nearly two months for an update to Nougat that was rolled out to the Verizon variant in late November. Usually, unlocked versions receive updates first because they require purportedly require less testing and don't need to adhere to carriers' strict guidelines for network performance and optimization.

The good news is that Motorola has confirmed to us that Nougat will be rolling out to the unlocked Moto Z in February, though the spokesperson neglected to say when in the shorter month it would arrive. The person also let us know that both the Verizon and unlocked versions of the Moto Z Play, our favorite mid-range phone of last year, would get Android 7.0 in March.

The discrepancy between the Verizon and unlocked versions of the Moto Z is due to the fact that the former was released in late July, while the latter came out at the end of September. It may seem like there's nothing between the two, but they're on separate software paths, with different teams working on them, since the unlocked version is optimized for AT&T and T-Mobile.

The Moto spokesperson hinted, but would not confirm, that the Moto Z Play update would arrive for unlocked and Verizon units at the same time during March.

Moto Z, Moto Z Force and Moto Z Play

Motorola Verizon

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4 days ago

Video: Google Pixel vs OnePlus 3T camera showdown!

34

The OnePlus 3T is a legit competitor to the Pixel XL, and for a whole lot less money than Google's latest phone -- almost $400 less, in fact. In terms of specs and user experience, they're both pretty similar. However, if you stump up the cash for a Pixel XL, one thing that gets you is Google's legendary Pixel camera.

We've all seen the ads — it's supposedly the "best smartphone camera ever!" And that plays out in real life too — the Pixel does take spectacular photos. So how does the cheaper challenger measure up? It's time to find out, in our Pixel vs 3T camera showdown video!

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4 days ago

How to take light painting photographs with the Honor 6X

0

Take the guesswork out of light painting and let the Honor 6X do it for you.

The Honor 6X features a solid rear-facing camera that's equipped with a bevy of fun camera modes to help spark creativity. One of those features is light painting mode, a photographic technique that can only be composed with a long exposure.

Most smartphones now come equipped with "manual" camera settings so that you can control things like the exposure and shutter speed, but the Honor 6X helps take the guesswork out of setting that up. Here's how to use it.

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4 days ago

OxygenOS 4.0.2 OTA update now rolling out to the OnePlus 3 and 3T

10

The latest OxygenOS update has bug fixes and stability improvements.

OnePlus delivered the OxygenOS 4.0 update for the OnePlus 3 and 3T on December 31, and has since rolled out a hotfix 4.0.1 update. The company is now issuing the OxygenOS 4.0.2 update to both the OnePlus 3 and 3T with stability improvements and bug fixes, including additional APN settings, and fixes for Play Store downloads and the proximity sensor.

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5 days ago

Verizon starts redirecting outgoing calls for Note 7 holdouts

46

Verizon is taking additional measures to retrieve the Note 7.

Earlier this month, Samsung announced that it recovered over 96% of Note 7 devices sold in the U.S. With the carriers issuing updates to effectively brick the phone, most customers that have bought the device have returned it to Samsung. However, Verizon has revealed to Fortune that "thousands" of its customers are still using the device, posing a legitimate safety risk:

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5 days ago

Google could bring its budget Android One phones to the U.S. later this year

30

Low-cost phones with software updates directly from Google.

Google launched the Android One platform in India in 2014, tying up with third-party vendors to offer $100 phones with clean Android and the promise of quick updates. According to The Information, Google is looking to bring Android One phones to the U.S. "before the middle of the year." The phones will be priced between $200 to $300, and will receive software updates and security patches directly from Google for "two years from sale date."

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5 days ago

Thinking about a Pixel 2: How to improve the best Android phone

210

What do we want from the Google Pixel 2?

We're well into the new year (happy 2017!) and we've just done an audit of our favorite Android phones, and yes, the Google Pixel still sits atop the list.

Despite much haranguing from a small minority, and a few notable issues people continue to encounter along the way, Google has quite a smash hit on its hands — critically, if not financially.

But that doesn't mean the Pixel is perfect. Far from it. There are many things we thought immediately needed to be changed, and have since lengthened that list, from waterproofing to wider carrier availability. Here are the things we think the Google Pixel 2 — or whatever it's going to be called — needs when it inevitably debuts later this year.

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5 days ago

Best Android Phones of 2017

Best Android Phones of 2017

The Google Pixel is the best Android Phone you can buy today. Whether it's the straight-from-Google Android software, top-notch performance or better-than-expected camera, the Pixel — in either size — does it all.

Andrew Martonik Andrew has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at Android Central since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at andrew.martonik@androidcentral.com or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.

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Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel does almost everything right. Its metal body is well-built and easy to grip — in either the 5-inch or 5.5-inch size — and its spec sheet is top-notch, featuring a Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM.

But Google's Pixel, available in two sizes and screen resolutions, really makes the case for Google owning the hardware and the software. Android has come a long way, but even the best manufacturers can't achieve what Google has with its first-party powerhouse.

Android 7.1 flies through every task, and the small software additions add up to something larger. Then there's the camera, which is one of the best in the business, helped along by Google's exemplary electronic stabilization schemes.

Bottom line: It may cost more than the Nexus line, but Google handily competes with Samsung's best.

One more thing: The Pixel is available unlocked through Google's store in most countries, but if you're in the U.S. may we suggest getting it through Google Fi.

Why the Google Pixel is the best

Google could have built another Nexus phone with a partner like Huawei, LG or even HTC, but with the Pixel it decided to go it mostly alone. Tapping HTC for the manufacturing, Google's first "real" Android phone hits all the right marks.

In either size, the design is familiar but striking, with a plain front in either black or white and a dual-toned rear finish in silver/white, silver/black, or blue/blue. The larger of the two models, the Pixel XL, is the true enthusiast phone, boasting a large 3,450mAh battery and 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display, but both devices have largely the same internals and camera setup.

To that end, the Pixel flies: Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 chip, coupled with Google's own take on Android 7.1 Nougat, is the fastest Android experience we've had to date.

Alex Dobie, in his review, explained it this way:

The chassis is attractive, though some may say it's not as bold as Samsung's glass and metal designs. The software is fast and mostly good-looking. It's always going to be up-to-date with the latest Android software, and exclusive tricks from a new and highly ambitious AI-focused Google. The battery easily lasts a day, and charges quickly. The camera matches the Galaxy S7.

While the phone lacks waterproofing and expandable storage, Samsung's Galaxy S7, our former recommendation, is still two major Android revisions behind, and its software can't match the effortless polish of the Pixel.

And then there's the camera. The cornerstone of any flagship, if the Pixel's camera wasn't as good as the S7's, it probably wouldn't have topped our list — but it is. Despite lacking optical image stabilization, the Pixel's camera takes amazing photos in almost every condition.

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Best for features

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

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

The Galaxy S7 rocks a beautiful metal-and-glass design that's waterproof while also holding a solid battery, top-end internals and a microSD card expansion slot. Around front you'll find an industry-leading 5.1-inch QHD SuperAMOLED display that's beautiful in every situation, and around back you can capture fantastic photos with the 12MP camera. It's also rated IP68 water resistant, which is helpful in many situations, unforeseen and otherwise.

The software may take some getting used to if you haven't used a Samsung phone before, but that's hardly a reason to look away from all of the fantastic features that the Galaxy S7 has to offer. It's compact, powerful, easy to use and takes wonderful photos — it really is one of the most complete packages in the Android world.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S7 has the best hardware in Android, but its software keeps it behind the Pixel.

One more thing: If you don't want to buy from a carrier, Samsung offers a U.S. unlocked model of the Galaxy S7 for a cleaner experience.

Best for a budget

OnePlus 3T

See at OnePlus

OnePlus took an interesting approach in 2016, choosing to bump the internal specs of its flagship OnePlus 3 and make a new model the OnePlus 3T. The new version has a slightly faster Snapdragon 821 processor, optional 128GB of storage, a larger 3400 mAh battery and new front-facing camera.

The update keeps the OnePlus 3T relevant for that much longer, and it still stands as an excellent option that competes with the rest of the flagships at a much lower price — even though it is a tad more expensive than the original, at $439. The hardware, camera and software can all stand up to the competition that retails for $200 more.

Bottom-line: Though it doesn't have some of the fringe features you'll find elsewhere, the OnePlus 3T offers the best value in a high-end Android phone today.

One more thing: The OnePlus 3's Dash Charge fast charging solution isn't compatible with any other quick charging standards, so you'll need to invest in new chargers if you want to top up quickly.

Best "big phone"

Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9

See at Amazon

Huawei's Mate series has a sizeable following that love its big screen, big battery life and full set of features. With the Mate 9 Huawei has kept that all around, but dramatically improved the software experience with EMUI 5.0 to complete the package. The new software has removed many of the annoying idiosyncrasies and bugs that burdened previous Huawei phones, and it lets the Mate 9 shine.

The 5.9-inch display is only 1080p, but it looks fantastic and makes the battery life amazing. The rest of the internal specs add up for great performance, and while the "Leica" name on the back is mostly for show the camera is still great.

With its recent expansion to the U.S., the Mate 9 is a top-end phone we can recommend right alongside the rest. It also has an attractive price of $599 which compares favorably to the big competition.

Bottom line: A big phone with all of the modern features power users want can be yours for just a hair under $600.

One more thing: Huawei's fast charging standard can be hit-or-miss in its interoperation with other fast chargers — it's best to stick with the included brick if you want the fastest speeds.

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Conclusion

The best overall Android experience right now can be obtained by either the Google Pixel or Pixel XL. Regardless of which size Pixel, you're getting a great design, excellent build quality, incredible performance, and one of the best cameras on the market. That, combined with Google's simple-but-beautiful interpretation of Android 7.1 Nougat, and always-first updates, makes the Pixel the best option for most people right now.

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel does almost everything right. Its metal body is well-built and easy to grip — in either the 5-inch or 5.5-inch size — and its spec sheet is top-notch, featuring a Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM.

But Google's Pixel, available in two sizes and screen resolutions, really makes the case for Google owning the hardware and the software. Android has come a long way, but even the best manufacturers can't achieve what Google has with its first-party powerhouse.

Android 7.1 flies through every task, and the small software additions add up to something larger. Then there's the camera, which is one of the best in the business, helped along by Google's exemplary electronic stabilization schemes.

Bottom line: It may cost more than the Nexus line, but Google handily competes with Samsung's best.

One more thing: The Pixel is available unlocked through Google's store in most countries, but if you're in the U.S. may we suggest getting it through Google Fi.

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5 days ago

How to fix a broken Galaxy S7 edge screen

8

Here's what you need to know if the screen on your Galaxy S7 edge breaks.

Chances are you will break the screen on your phone one day. If it hasn't happened to you yet, you have it to look forward to. They're glass — which is pretty fragile — and we carry them around all day every day in our pocket or bag or even in our hand. No matter how careful you are, your phone is bumped and squished and dropped. If you break the screen on your Samsung Galaxy S7 edge you'll want to get it fixed. Here's what you need to know about repairing or replacing the screen.

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5 days ago

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

27

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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6 days ago

Samsung launches Galaxy C9 Pro with 6GB RAM in India

7

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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