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3 weeks ago

Best T-Mobile phones

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The best phone options available through T-Mobile.

Whether you're a long-time T-Mobile subscriber looking to upgrade your phone or you're switching and want to find out what's available at a glance, we're here to help.

We've broken down the best devices available to buy through T-Mobile. Check out our reviews to learn more about each of these and if you're ready to take the plunge, we've included links to buy directly from T-Mobile.

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3 weeks ago

Here it comes! OnePlus 2 is finally getting its official Marshmallow update

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Ask, and ye shall eventually receive. The OnePlus 2, after a couple months in beta, is finally receiving its official update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

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3 weeks ago

Best Android games of 2016

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Best Android games of 2016

What are the best Android games of 2016?

If you're looking for the best new games available in the Google Play Store, you've come to the right place. Whether you're new to the cult of Android and need some fresh, new games to start building out your Google Play library or simply looking for the latest trendy games that are worthy of your time and attention, we'll break it all down for you with recommendations that are sure to ruin your productivity.

Sky Force Reloaded

Sky Force ReloadedSky Force ReloadedSky Force Reloaded

A true candidate for game of the year, Sky Force Reloaded is the latest entry in the vertical scrolling shoot 'em up series. Following the critically-acclaimed Sky Force 2014, Reloaded features frantic gameplay, dazzling graphics, and a deep upgrade system that will have you coming back and playing for hours.

The story picks up after the events of Sky Force 2014 with General Mantis' daughter picking up the cause of her fallen father. Most stages feature an epic boss battle with her in a massive warship, but first you have to shoot and navigate your way through intense waves of laser-blasting tanks, turrets, and helicopters. New missions are unlocked by collecting medals, which are earned by saving all the humans, destroying all enemies, and staying untouched through a mission.

Once you've collected all four medals, you unlock a harder difficulty — first Hard, then Insane, and finally Nightmare mode — with a new set of medals to collect. This leads to some grinding to collect stars and medals before you can unlock the next mission, but it hardly feels like a chore given how challenging and fun this game is to play.

But don't just take my word for it; here's what AC's fearless leader Phil Nickinson had to say about it.

Sky Force Reloaded is a free download in the Google Play Store, with in-app purchases available.

DOWNLOAD: Sky Force Reloaded (Free, IAPs)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

 A Tale of Two Sons A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a port of the critically well-received Xbox One and PS4 title from 2015.

It tells the emotional story of two brothers, still reeling from the tragic loss of their mother, who trek out on a quest to save their father who has fallen ill. Working together, they must traverse fantastical lands to collect water from the Tree of Life, the only thing that will cure their father.

You control both brothers at once using two on-screen joysticks — lack of controller support is a major drawback here — and must utilize each brother's size, skills, and demeanor as you interact with NPCs and objects, solving puzzle after puzzle. There are two control options, but by default you must press the center of the touchpad to have the brother interact with an object or NPC. While the controls do take some time to get used to, once you get the hang of things, you're off and running.

The art direction in Brothers is absolutely beautiful and instantly pulls you right into the game's world. Characters interact in a fictional language with no subtitles, so the story is told entirely through the characters actions and emotions — a bold and well-executed story-telling device. The gameplay is pretty linear — there's little chance of you getting lost or stuck and not knowing what to do — but the interesting control scheme makes the somewhat basic puzzles feel much more interesting and satisfying once you complete them.

DOWNLOAD: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Free)

Pocket Mortys

If you're both a fan of Pokemon and the Adult Swim show Rick and Morty, then get ready to fall in love with Pocket Mortys.

Set in the multiverse of the show created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, you play a Rick who's been caught up in the latest craze: Morty training! Yes, the Ricks are at it again, and this time they're collecting and battling over 100 different types of Morty, which run the gamut from the mundane (Moustache Morty, Old Morty, Red Shirt Morty) to the high-concept or absurd (Cronenberg Morty, Mermaid Morty, Evil Rabbit Morty).

If you've never seen the show, all that might sound like gibberish (it kind of is), but at it's core, Pocket Mortys does a great job of porting over the familiar Pokemon-style gameplay of exploring, catching, and battling into the world of Rick and Morty. You're also able to concoct special items by using the game's recipe-based crafting system. This adds to the game's replayability as you work to level up your Mortys and battle to take down the Council of Ricks.

Pocket Mortys is a free download in the Google Play Store, with in-app purchases available but not required.

DOWNLOAD: Pockey Mortys (Free, IAPs)

Slither.io

Simple snake gameplay meets massive multiplayer in this wonderfully addictive casual game that will eat up your free time as you eat up your enemies.

The Snake Game has been a mobile gaming mainstay since the Nokia phones of the 90s, but slither.io updates the format in a big way. Slither.io allows for freeroaming 360 degree movement and a smorgasbord of pellets to eat and grow your snake — and you're never alone. You're dropped into a circular arena with hundreds of other players, all battling for the same pellets.

You start as a tiny snake but quickly grow as you collect pellets. Double-tap and hold to go fast and try to cut off other snakes — if you run into another snake, you explode into energy pellets and must start from scratch.

Don't fret, since the biggest snake can always be taken down by the smallest snake if you get the timing right. Make it into the top 10 and everyone will see your nickname — but everyone will also be gunning to take you down. Manage to get the top score of the day and you get to broadcast a message to all other players.

The controls take some getting used to, but once you're familiarized, you'll be zipping around the arena gobbling up pellets and scaling up until you're the biggest snake in the server.

The developers quietly dropped this game into the app store in late March 2016, and you seriously just have to play it for yourself.

Slither.io is a free download in the Google Play Store.

DOWNLOAD: slither.io (Free)

Ancestor

Ancestor is a really fast-paced game that combines puzzle elements with the action runner genre to create a unique and challenging experience that requires sharp reflexes and quick thinking.

You play as our cloaked hero who must traverse dangerous lands filled with traps and enemies — all with the help of a mysterious orb that shoots lasers. Clear the path ahead by solving quick puzzles and shooting down enemies — including boss battles — as the game adapts to your skills and ups the difficulty as you go.

As you play, you collect currency chips that can be used to buy new cloaks, orbs, and projectiles to customize your experience. You can also buy new inventory via in-app purchases with real money, if you so desire.

Ancestor is a free download in the Google Play Store, with some in-app purchases available.

DOWNLOAD: Ancestor (Free, IAPs)

Clash Royale

From the makers of Clash of Clans comes Clash Royale. Battle human opponents in real time via frantic card-based battles where you must take out the enemy's Crown Towers while defending your own.

As you'd expect, this game really relies on the social aspect of joining a clan, which helps you to upgrade both your King Level and your cards so you can dominate your opponents in the arena.

Clash Royale falls into the category of mobile games with time-delayed unlocking of chests and an emphasis on in-app purchases. Fortunately, there's no time restrictions for battling.

While spending exorbitant amounts of money on gems and chests is likely the only way to rise to the top of the global rankings (somebody worked it out that it would take something like seven years of constant playing to unlock and max upgrade every card in the game), the gameplay is so well-designed and balanced that you can have hours of fun playing this in the lower level arenas just playing against similarly-skilled opponents.

Clash Royale is a free download in the Google Play Store, with in-app purchases available.

DOWNLOAD: Clash Royale (Free, IAPs)

Galactic Nemesis

Galactic NemesisGalactic Nemesis

This simple top-down space shooter will strike a chord with the nostalgic gamer, especially fans of arcade classics like Galaga or Galaxian. The developers behind Galactic Nemesis have done a good job keeping the retro look and gameplay style intact, while upgrading nearly every other aspect of the game to meet the standards of contemporary mobile gamers.

Controls are dead simple. Tap and drag your finger around the screen to move and shoot at the same time. Power-ups collect along the right side of the screen, so simply tap them when you need a little help.

Blast your way through waves of increasingly tough enemies and collect coins, which can be used to upgrade and buy new ships. Each level is broken into four stages, featuring four waves of enemies.

You get the first world for free but will have to pay $1.99 to unlock 3 other worlds. You'll also get 10 ships to unlock, over 50 in-game challenges, and no ads.

With great pixel art, simple controls, and a winning gameplay formula, you can't go wrong with Galactic Nemesis if you're into classic arcade games.

Galactic Nemesis is a free download in the Google Play Store, with an in-app purchase to unlock the full game with no ads.

DOWNLOAD: Galactic Nemesis (Free, IAPs)

UltraFlow 2

Ultra Flow 2Ultra Flow 2Ultra Flow 2

UltraFlow 2 is the perfect minimalist puzzle game for the casual gamer. Made with the Unity game engine, this game has no scores or timers — it's all about the player's dexterity.

Essentially a mashup between air hockey and mini golf, the goal is to bank the ball into the goal, but you only have as many banks as the number on the ball. Go over and KA-BOOM! Fortunately, you get unlimited replays, so you can continue to tweak your strategy until you get it right.

This sequel features 180 free levels and another 180 premium hard levels you can purchase if you don't want the fun to stop. It's a great time-waster that you can open anytime and play right from where you left off. And, thanks to that Unity game engine, the game runs smooth as butter.

Get UltraFlow 2 for free from the Google Play Store, with in-app purchases available for premium upgrades

DOWNLOAD: UltraFlow 2 (Free, IAPs)

Star Knight

Looking for a challenging action platformer with plenty of things to unlock and upgrade? Star Knight fits the bill and more, with beautiful graphics, tough enemies, and well-designed levels that will keep you playing through the multiple worlds.

No jokes, this game pulls no punches. While you're able to upgrade your weapons and unlock powerful skills to help you on your way, the enemies only get tougher and tougher as you progress. In terms of difficulty, it sometimes feels like a 2D side-scrolling version of Dark Souls. There are some parts where one false step means instant death, and each world ends with a seriously tough boss battle.

But instead of being frustrating and discouraging, it only spurns you to play smarter on your next go. With good controls, beautiful imagery, hours of gameplay, and a low price point, Star Knight is a game you shouldn't sleep on.

Star Knight is available in the Google Play Store for $2.99, but is currently on sale for $.99 in celebration of its global release.

DOWNLOAD: Star Knight ($0.99)

Exploding Kittens

The most-funded Kickstarter game in history can now be played right on your phone.

Exploding Kittens is the brainchild of Matthew Inman, the man behind the wildly popular comic site The Oatmeal. The mobile version of the card game features the same iconic art style Inman built his online empire upon and captures the same anxiety-inducing gameplay that the game is famous for.

If you've never played before, it's essentially a card game version of Russian Roulette. There are three types of cards — Attack Cards, Diffuse Cards, and Exploding Kitten cards — and your goal is to avoid drawing an Exploding Kitten card. If you do, you have 10 seconds to play a Diffuse card, which nullifies the threat and allows you to place the Exploding Kitten practically anywhere you want in the deck.

Attack Cards are used to avoid having to draw a card from the draw pile, with extra advantages such as reversing the order of play or forcing another player to draw twice. If you draw an Exploding Kitten card and you don't have a Diffuse Card, the kitten explodes and you're eliminated from the game.

Play with up to five friends in a local match or against strangers online. Either way you play it, with games averaging around five minutes, you're able to get all the fun of the original game in about the same amount of time it would take to set the game up in the first place. Exploding Kittens features playful taunts you can send to your other players and is an absolute blast to play.

Exploding Kittens is available for $1.99 in the Google Play Store, with deck expansions available via in-app purchases.

DOWNLOAD: Exploding Kittens ($1.99, IAPs)

LEGO Jurassic World

Whether you've got a dinosaur-obsessed kid to distract, or you're a big fan of Jurassic Park, LEGO Jurassic World is a fun take on the iconic film franchise and actually includes levels covering all four films.

The game features the same playful cut-scene humor found in other LEGO games based on films. The console versions are still the crème de la crème in terms of graphics, controls, and overall gameplay, but the Android version is jam-packed with things to do, dinosaurs to collect, and characters to unlock. The touchscreen controls can be a bit spotty, but the game supports a wireless controller, which makes the experience infinitely better.

And in case you missed this point, all the films in the franchise are included in one package here, which is a great value at this price point for fans of Jurassic Park.

LEGO Jurassic World is available in the Google Play Store for $4.99

DOWNLOAD: LEGO Jurassic World ($4.99)

MechCom 2 - 3D RTS

The real time strategy (RTS) genre has typically been dominated by PCs, but MechCom 2 proves that the format can be successfully brought over to mobile gaming.

Based on Warzone 2100, MechCom 2 puts you in the boots of a military commander of one of three corporations warring over control of the planetary assets on Tiberius. Mine valuable minerals, build up your base, and build a customizable army of Mechs to defend and attack in this nod to classic RTS games. Your goal is complete domination, accomplished by strategically maneuvering your mechs through the map and capturing rally points and mineral deposits as you wipe your opponents off the map.

There's a lack of multiplayer which is somewhat disappointing, but the gameplay is so tight and the computer AI is so strong that it's not a deal-breaker. And despite the lack of mouse and keyboard, the touch controls are quite serviceable once you get the hang of them — you're able to easily command large groups of mechs when it's time to rush the enemy.

MechCom 2 is available in the Google Play Store for $0.99, with no ads or in-app purchases.

DOWNLOAD: MechCom 2 ($0.99)

Fading Light

This beautiful, minimalist platformer was developed with the Unity engine and plays like a dream. You control a glowing square that needs to make its way through a maze and collect light crystals to avoid your square fading to darkness.

You control your square with Flappy Bird-esque controls, requiring you to tap left or right of the square to jump. Light crystals will always appear in the darkness, but you're only be able to see the walls of the maze based on your square's brightness. Things get complicated as your light fades, often leaving you blindly racing towards the next light crystal.

As you progress, the game gradually ups the difficulty by punishing you for touching the walls or forcing you to contend with black holes.

The creators continue to update the game, including a soccer mode that requires you to juggle one light crystal through the entire maze. There's even settings for turning ads on or off or choosing which style of ad you'd prefer to see — a thoughtful addition from the game's developer. And there's no app permissions!

Fading Light is available as a free download in the Google Play Store,

DOWNLOAD: Fading Light (Free)

Alto's Adventure

Beautiful visuals, intuitive controls, and endless playability.

It's no wonder why this indie game from Noodlecake Studios won so many awards as an iOS game in 2015. Finally ported to Android in February 2016, you'll definitely want to check it out.

You play as Alto, a snowboarding llama farmer who must race down the mountain to collect runaways. This endless side scroller features smooth gameplay and simple controls: tap to jump, tap and hold to do a backflip. Landing tricks — backflips and grinds across buildings and bunting lines — gives you a speed boost to help blast past obstacles. Collect coins and spend them on upgrading power ups that will assist you on your next adventure.

Alto's Adventure includes objectives, which are challenging but fun and greatly enhance the replayability. Overall, it's a fairly relaxing gaming experience, with tight physics and a great sense of speed.

Alto's Adventure is available for free in the Google Play Store, with some in-app purchases available.

DOWNLOAD: Alto's Adventure (Free, IAPs)

AirConsole

AirConsole

Longing for the days of hanging out with friends and playing fun multiplayer games around the same TV? AirConsole bridges the gap from those nostalgic memories by turning your phone into a controller you use to play a bunch of multiplayer games you can play in any browser window.

AirConsole has been around since November 2015, but they've recently launched support for Android TV, so that's why it deserves a spot on this list. AirConsole features a growing number of independently developed multiplayer games (of admittedly varying degrees of fun or playability) and is the perfect thing to throw on when hanging out with a few friends or at a massive house party, since some games support up to 15 players.

All you have to do to get in on the fun is download the app on your phone, go to airconsole.com on your web browser, and pair your phone with what you see on your computer, tablet, or Android TV. Then it's a matter of picking a game for everyone to play — from party classics like karaoke and a fill-in-the-blanks card game (think Cards Against Humanity), to party mini-games, quirky experimental games, and more. It works with Android and iOS devices, so everyone can get in on the fun.

There's a good amount of variety here already — with more expected to come — and while the games themselves might not be the "best," the concept itself is so strong that we can't wait to see what developers can do with it.

AIrConsole is a free download in the Google Play Store for Android Phones.

DOWNLOAD: AirConsole Controller for Android (Free)

AirConsole for Android TV is a free download in the Google Play Store for Android TV-enabled devices.

DOWNLOAD: AirConsole Controller for Android TV (Free)

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3 weeks ago

Best Virgin phones of 2016

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Best Virgin phones of 2016

Going prepaid doesn't mean you have to use outdated phones!

Virgin Mobile is one of the biggest names in the prepaid phone world and if you're making the switch, you want the best phone it has to offer.

Prepaid users are no longer relegated to outdated flip phones and low-power QWERTY keyboard phones. We've rounded up the best that Virgin has to offer. Check out our reviews to learn more about each device.

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3 weeks ago

The best budget phones in India

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Budget phones are no longer boring.

Even until a few years ago, the entry-level segment was a teeming mass of phones that had outdated specifications and poorly-designed user experiences. That isn't the case any longer, as intense competition in the budget segment has seen manufacturers stepping up their game considerably. The budget segment nowadays fields phones with the latest software and exciting hardware. What it means for consumers is that there has never been a better time to be in the market for an affordable handset.

These are the best budget phones you can buy in India.

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3 weeks ago

Best Boost Mobile phones

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Best Boost Mobile phones

The best phones currently offered by Boost Mobile.

Boost Mobile offers a wide selection of phones for their prepaid and no contract plans. If you're looking to join and want to know which phones are going to be the best value for your dollar, look no further.

We're breaking down the best phones you can buy when you sign up with Boost Mobile. We've also included links so you can make a purchase directly through their website.

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3 weeks ago

How to fix Galaxy S7 battery life problems

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The Galaxy S7's battery is bigger than before, but you still don't want to waste what you have.

The eternal quest for longer battery life in smartphones continues on, as evermore efficient chips and bigger batteries are in a battle with new software, apps, features and big screens. You want your phone to do everything, but also do it for a very long time — and those things are at odds, especially if you don't want to be chasing around a wall outlet everywhere you go.

The Galaxy S7's 3000 mAh battery is bigger than last year's Galaxy S6 and offers really solid battery life, actually, but if you consistently find your GS7 coming up short at the end of the day we have a handful of tips for you to get the most out of what battery you have.

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3 weeks ago

Snag a Nexus 6P at $80 off from various retailers

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Update: But ...

If you haven't yet picked up a Nexus 6P, now's your chance thanks to a solid $80 discounts available at various retailers.

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3 weeks ago

New renders reportedly show off Samsung's Galaxy Note 6

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 6 has been getting quite some attention lately, and now another render has surfaced. In addition to the new image, a short video was also released.

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3 weeks ago

Swipe Elite Plus offers a Full HD display for just ₹6,999

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Lesser-known Indian handset maker Swipe Technologies launched its latest entry-level offering, the Elite Plus. The phone sports an ergonomic arc design and a premium jaquard polycarbonate body with a metal frame around it.

The 5-inch Full HD smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 615 SoC and 2GB RAM, and packs in 16GB of internal storage that is expandable via a microSD card along with 100GB of cloud storage. That may not seem like a lot considering budget phones offer robust hardware these days, but when you consider its retail price of ₹6,999 ($104), the phone sounds like an enticing option.

Commenting on the launch, Shripal Gandhi, the founder of Swipe Technologies, said:

It has been endevour of Swipe to offer lower-cost feature-rich to the aspiring youth from tier-2 and tier-3 towns, thus contributing to true digitalization of India.

Swipe Elite Plus Specifications

Category Features Display 5-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display with Dragontrail protection Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 RAM 2GB Internal Storage 16GB; expandable up to 64GB with 100GB of cloud storage Camera 8MP front camera | 13MP rear camera Battery 3050mAh

The Swipe Elite Plus is priced at ₹6,999 ($104), and will be up for sale exclusively from Flipkart starting June 6.

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3 weeks 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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3 weeks ago

Moto X 2016: How we got here

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A lot has changed in three years.

We're only a handful of days away from the presumed announcement of Lenovo's latest Moto flagship, the Moto X 2016 (or, perhaps Moto Z), which promises a new design and a unique take on the modular smartphone.

But how did we get here? Let's take a look at the history of the Moto X line, and just how much has changed in three years.

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3 weeks ago

Best Straight Talk Wireless phones

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Going with Straight Talk? Here's the best phones they offer.

Considering switching your wireless service over to Straight Talk, but don't know what phones they offer? We're here to help!

Straight Talk's website requires you to enter your zip code to find out which devices are best-suited for the services available in your area. Having said that, we've generally found the same list of devices should be available just about everywhere.

We've broken down the best devices available to buy through Straight Talk. Make sure to check out our reviews and news sections to learn more about each of these, and when you're ready to take the plunge, we've included links to buy directly from Straight Talk Wireless.

Also, since you need to enter your zip code to see what they offer, you'll have to navigate through the Straight Talk website yourself to find the phones.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung really delivered with its flagship device for 2016 — the Galaxy S7. They brought back must-have features like expandable memory via microSD and a bigger battery, while improving on the sleek, one-piece design from the Galaxy S6, making the whole thing water and dust-resistant. It's a beautiful phone, featuring a stunning Quad HD Super AMOLED display, protected by Gorilla Glass on the front and back. The Galaxy S7 takes amazing photos, even in low-light conditions, and includes must-have features like Android Pay and wireless charging via NFC. Oh, and it's also VR-ready with the Samsung Gear VR.

Want an in-depth breakdown? Check out our review:

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

If the Galaxy S7 is a bit out of your price range, you should be good to go with the Galaxy S6. Sure, it's missing the option for expandable memory and it isn't water or dust-resistant like its successor, but you still end up with a well-built phone with an amazing camera. Given this was Samsung's flagship in 2015, you also get great features, such as wireless charging capabilities and a one-touch fingerprint sensor. Straight Talk also throws in a free case, so you can keep your shiny, new phone protected.

Want to learn more? Here's our review of the Galaxy S6:

Moto E

Moto E

If price is your top priority when considering your next phone, the Moto E provides the best bang for your buck via Straight Talk. This budget phone from Motorola features a fairly stock Android interface running on Lollipop (5.0.1) and includes a great battery, making it a decent option considering the price. The Moto E only comes with 4GB of internal memory, but does feature expandable memory up to 32GB via microSD.

Want to learn more about the Moto E? Check out our hands-on article:

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

iPhone 6s

Yes, we're aware which site this is. But considering the limited options provided by Straight Talk, it would be foolish not to include the latest and greatest devices from Apple. You really can't go wrong with the latest and greatest from Apple. Whether you're upgrading from an older iOS device or thinking about buying an iPhone for the first time, both the iPhone 6s and the larger 6s Plus are available through Straight Talk. Shoot and share 4K video with Apple's best camera yet, and take advantage of great features like 3D Touch, Touch ID and the hands-free functionality Siri.

If you're thinking about going down this route but want to learn more, check out our reviews:

Bring your own device

If you don't have the money to afford the Galaxy S7 or iPhone 6s, and also don't want to settle for the Moto E or other entry-level phones, you also have the option of bringing your own device to Straight Talk. But first you'll have to confirm whether your device is compatible with Straight Talk. So, depending on which devices you already own, that might actually end up being your best bet.

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3 weeks ago

Acer's Liquid Zest Plus headed to Canada in July for $249

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Acer's curiously titled Liquid Zest Plus will be landing on Canadian shores in July for $249, the company has confirmed.

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3 weeks ago

LeEco Le Max review

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LeEco Le Max

The quick take

The Le Max is a worthy flagship from the Chinese company LeEco, a recent entrant in the crowded Indian smartphone market. With a 6.33-inch display, it sits on the fence between a phablet and a tablet, which strikes you on first glance. Yet it looks good on paper, boasts of a stylish design with solid build quality, and doesn't miss out on new-age features like fingerprint sensor and USB Type-C.

The Good

  • Solid build quality and beautiful design
  • Good performance
  • Good camera performance
  • USB Type-C port with QuickCharge

The Bad

  • Unwieldy size for most people
  • Average battery life
  • Android Lollipop

LeEco Le Max Full review

LeEco isn't your typical Chinese smartphone brand and has a diverse portfolio of products like a smart cycle, Bluetooth headset and VR glasses, as well as an online video streaming service.

The Le Max was one of the first two (along with Le 1s) smartphones from the company to be launched in India. Dubbed as "Superphone," the large 6.33-inch display is the highlight of the Le Max and might also just be the primary factor for or against the device while making a purchase decision. It checks all the boxes of a flagship smartphone on the specifications sheet, and is a great option on the table if you're looking for a premium Android smartphone.

About this review

I used the Indian retail variant of the LeEco Le Max that ran EUI running on top of Android Lollipop 5.0 out of the box. For most of the time, I used it with an Airtel 4G SIM in Delhi NCR. Out of the 64GB internal storage, a little over 58GB was available out of the box.

LeEco Le Max Design

LeEco Le Max sports a solid metallic casing, and is built like a brick. At 204 grams, it almost weighs like one too. The 6.33-inch display and 8.95mm thickness makes it almost a no-go for anyone with smaller hands or those who prefer a proper grip on their smartphones.

Yet, it's good looking and exudes style and with the aluminium frame, and the unibody design feels premium. Undoubtedly, the Le Max is one of the best looking smartphones across price segments and for the display size it packs, it is actually compact with minimum bezels. The matte metal finish at the back and the curved edges help you with gripping the phone in your hand nicely.

The Le Max sports a fingerprint sensor at the back, slightly recessed just below the camera. It's right in the middle so that you can easily access it without shifting the phone in the hand. The Le Max also packs in a two-stage mute button on the left edge, but the position is a little awkward and the slider is not smooth.

I have a little gripe about the LeTV branding at the back. The phone was launched in India after the company's rebranding to LeEco. It's understandable that the phones were in the supply chain by that time, but it's a little annoying to buy a latest phone in the market with a branding no one recognizes.

LeEco Le Max Hardware

Powered by Qualcomm's 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with Adreno 430 GPU, the Le Max packs in 4GB of RAM with 64GB of internal storage that's not expandable.

Category Features Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop with EUI Display 6.33 inches IPS LCD, Quad HD (1440 x 2560), Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Processor Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 RAM 4GB RAM Internal Storage 64GB Rear Camera 21 MP, f/2.0, autofocus, OIS, Dual LED flash Front Camera 4 MP, f/2.0 Dimensions 167.1 × 83.5 × 8.95 mm Weight 204 grams Battery 3400 mAh

With those powerful internals, the performance of Le Max is top notch and there is no stuttering or lag even when you are pushing the device with a lot of apps or gaming for long sessions. Even while playing graphic-intensive games like Asphalt 8, I did not encounter any frame drops or freezes. Although, it does get hot when using camera for an extended period, especially when shooting 4K videos.

The LeEco Le Max sports a fingerprint sensor with mirror surface that the company claims is anti-scratch and USB Type-C connector with quick charging support.

LeEco Le Max Display

The 6.33-inch display on Le Max is overwhelming in size, but looks beautiful and is a delight when you're watching videos or playing a game. The AMOLED display sports QuadHD resolution of 2560x1440 pixels with a pixel density of 464 ppi along with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. LeEco also has a 128GB variant in pink color that sports a Sapphire Crystal display covering typically found on high-end watches.

The images are sharp and the text is crisp, and the colors are rich with pretty good contrast. You can also alter the color intensity of the screen choosing to give it a more natural white look, a brighter vivid look, or a warmer soft look. The viewing angles are great, and you can actually look at the display almost at 180 degrees as well.

The display is quite reflective though, and that affects sunlight legibility. It's not bad, but could've definitely been better. Also, it smudges a lot. LeEco uses a floating glass display technology where the entire front face of the phone is covered by a single piece of glass instead of a curved glass finish. It looks good, but the corners are strangely sharp.

LeEco Le Max

LeEco Le Max Software

Le Max runs on Android Lollipop 5.0.2 with LeEco's proprietary custom interface, called EUI. It's disappointing that there has been no news about Marshmallow update for Le Max, and the fact that the phone isn't even on Android 5.1 is baffling. During my usage, I did receive one large update for EUI though.

As with Android skins on most Chinese OEMs, there is no app drawer and all your apps and games stay on the home screen. The Le Max also includes its own service that allows users to back up their data to the cloud.

The notification drawer only lists the notifications, and you can customize which apps can show notifications. Interestingly, since the phone has a large display, you can bring down the notification drawer by swiping down from anywhere on the screen, and not necessarily from top of the display. From the left capacitive button, you can access the multitasking menu which also offers quick toggles for common settings as well as brightness and music controls.

While EUI is a decent customization with additional utilities like app permissions, user interface is a personal preference and to each their own. With the hardware in Le Max and for what EUI offers, it runs pretty well and could easily be your daily driver. Else, you can always choose an alternate launcher.

LeEco Le Max Battery life

The Le Max packs a non-removable 3400 mAh battery under the hood. While it sounds good enough for most smartphones, for a big and dense display like that of Le Max it barely suffices.

The Quad HD 6.33-inch display clearly drains the battery, and on moderate usage you could just make it last for an entire day. Reducing brightness extends the battery by a good measure testifying our assumption, although that's not a practical solution.

The positive thing is that the smartphone supports Quick Charge via the USB Type-C port which allows one to charge the phone quickly, and you can add good enough juice with few minutes of charging.

LeEco Le Max

LeEco Le Max Camera

The Le Max boasts of a 21-megapixel f/2.0 camera with optical image stabilization and touch to focus. It can capture 21MP images in 4:3 aspect ratio but can only capture 16MP and 8MP photos in 16:9 aspect ratio.

At first glance, you'd notice that the camera lens is slightly protruded at the back, and as the phone rests on the lens when put on a table, it picks up scratches. The photos are very sharp and the phone manages to capture pretty impressive detail in the photos. It focuses almost in an instant and the shutter speed is really quick too. Outdoors in daylight, colors are natural and the photos look rich, sometimes overexposed though. In low-light conditions, there's very little noise and colors still turn out to be okay.

The phone manages to focus on objects really close and the f/2.0 aperture allows capturing photos with quite a shallow depth of field and good bokehs. The HDR mode gives great shots but it slows the capture process.

The Le Max is capable of recording 4K video at 30fps, and the recorded videos offer good level of detail and natural colors. The OIS works well for most parts except in case of sudden movements.

Overall, the rear camera on the Le Max is pretty good and competitive.

On the front, there's a 4-megapixel camera with an 81.6-degree wide-angle lens – which means more people in your group selfies. The front camera takes good enough selfies for social sharing, although those lack details. The Beauty mode enhances facial features, although your dignity might take a hit.

LeEco LeMax

LeEco Le Max Bottom line

The LeEco Le Max is an impressive smartphone and a well-rounded package. There are some misses like the battery life, but the stylish design, good camera, and first-rate performance make up for those. It's a great phone that's also priced right, and the only real question you'd want to ask yourself is if you are okay with carrying a brick as your primary device.

Should you buy it? Definitely

The Le Max is big and heavy, yes, but you know that already — just make a decision up-front about whether you think you can carry a phone this large. Also, LeEco is a brand not many recognize – like most new Chinese brands entering India – but that too might be just a matter of time. For the price of ₹32,999 ($493) in India, the Le Max is a great phone and you'd hardly have any complaints if you buy one.

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