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1 month ago

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro unveiled in China: FHD display, Snapdragon 625, and 4100mAh battery for $135

42

Xiaomi has unveiled the latest in its entry-level Redmi series, the Redmi 4, in China. The phone will be offered in three variants — a base model Redmi 4A, the standard Redmi 4, and a version called the Redmi 4 Pro with double the storage and a Full HD display.

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1 month ago

Google Pixel review: An Android for normals

90

"The best Android smartphone."

It's a well-worn phrase favored by pundits and pitchmen, and one that I'm hardly immune to trying out every now and then. But in the Android world, the "best" has almost always been divided between two very different camps. For purists who wanted unadulterated software and the fastest updates, there was the Nexus line; for mainstream consumers, companies like Samsung won plaudits by packing in feature after feature (and selling phones through carriers).

So what if you combined the best of both approaches into a single product that straddled the divide? You'd have an all-new Google phone – and in some ways, a new "best Android phone." That phone is called the Pixel – and this is the MrMobile review.

Get social with MrMobile!

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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1 month ago

Google Pixel XL vs. LG V20: Opposite approaches to greatness

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Google Pixel XL versus LG V20

You have choices when you go to spend big money on a phone today, with Google and LG being near the top.

When LG introduced the V series of phones in 2015 with the V10, it was aimed at a certain small group of people that wanted every possible spec and feature without much of a consideration of size, usability or style. Now the V20 is here, and it has much broader appeal with a sleeker body — but it hasn't given up the pile of features that made the V10 so appealing to power users. On the other end of the spectrum is Google's first phone, the Pixel XL, that's all about simplicity, not specs — though it has plenty going under the hood, it misses out on a few features in exchange for a more cohesive experience.

It's two ways to attack the high-end smartphone market, arguably with different potential markets for each. But when you put them head-to-head, which one comes out on top? We're here to answer that question.

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1 month ago

Moto M press renders leak ahead of Nov 8 unveil, show off metal body

26

We got a first look at the Moto M last week, and we're now being treated to leaked press renders of the device. The leak comes from NowhereElse, and showcases the phone's metal chassis as well as the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.

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1 month ago

New Zealand carriers will cut off access to the Note 7 from Nov 18

49

Still holding on to your Note 7? Samsung is rendering it useless.

Despite repeated efforts from Samsung to retrieve the discontinued Galaxy Note 7, the handset is still being used by customers that are unwilling to part with it. Samsung is now teaming up with New Zealand's telecommunications industry to blacklist the Note 7 on the country's mobile networks, essentially preventing the phone from being able to make calls, send texts, or use cellular data.

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1 month ago

Samsung's W2017 is a high-end flip phone with Snapdragon 820 and 4GB RAM

39

There is a market for flip phones — particularly in Asian countries — which is why companies like Samsung and LG continue to make them. After rolling out the high-end W2016 in China at the end of last year, Samsung is now looking to unveil the W2017 in the country, a flip phone powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820.

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1 month ago

Huawei's Mate 9 has basically no competition in Europe

57
Huawei Mate 9

With Samsung and LG out of the picture in Europe, there's nothing at all with a big screen to challenge Huawei's latest flagship.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle is good for everyone selling a high-end smartphone. The advantages of not having to compete with a phone as good as the Note 7 was, backed by Samsung's enormous marketing budget, are obvious. It's good for Apple, Google, and anyone else vying for consumer attention in a crowded market.

But the effect of the Note 7's demise in Europe is even more pronounced. Not only is the major big-screened Android phone out of the picture, but LG also isn't selling its V20 on European shores, nor are there any signs of that the situation will change anytime soon.

Nobody — literally nobody — is selling a current, high-end, mainstream Android phone in Europe with a screen bigger than 5.5 inches.

The result: Nobody — literally nobody — is selling a current, high-end, mainstream Android phone in Europe with a screen bigger than 5.5 inches. And if you're Huawei, having just launched your Mate 9, you've got to be rubbing your hands in glee at that fact.

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1 month ago

Google Play brings new developer features for subscriptions, refunds and Early Access

3

Google Play has announced a series of new features for Google Play developers alongside their Playtime developer event going on today in San Francisco. Among the announcements today are new features that could mean great things for users looking for the newest apps and the best deals.

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1 month ago

Huawei's $1500 Porsche Design Mate 9 is a special edition you'll really want

39

Alongside the "vanilla" Mate 9 — itself a beast of a phone — Huawei has unveiled a special limited edition Porsche Design version of the phone to be sold in stores throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East starting in December.

Porsche Design already has a history of partnering with manufacturers on limited edition smartphones, though the most publicized were BlackBerrys that sought to stand apart through aesthetic alone. This time, Huawei actually has a strong foundation on which to build a special edition device, and the Porsche Design Mate 9 has a number of impressive aesthetic and performance differences to covet a glance in its direction.

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1 month ago

Hands-on: The Huawei Mate 9 starts fast and stays fast

8

At first glance it's just another large-format superphone — but the Huawei Mate 9 isn't your average phablet. It's a smartphone meant to solve three of the biggest problems facing Android users today: bad battery life, poor camera quality and slow software performance.

Indeed, with a 4000mAh battery, a Leica-branded dual-camera assembly and a new version of EMUI built atop Android 7.0 Nougat, the Huawei Mate 9 seems poised to fill the gap Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 left in the big-smartphone space. I took a trip to China to learn more about this phone and the Kirin 960 chipset that powers it. Join MrMobile for the Huawei Mate 9 hands-on!

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1 month ago

Huawei Mate 9 preview: Big deal

77
Huawei Mate 9

Huawei pulls out all the stops for its new flagship — with refreshed, Nougat-based software, a gigantic battery and a sharp new dual camera setup.

Huawei phones have shown slow, steady signs of improvement over the past six months. You only need to compare the generally decent P9 Plus to the utter mess that was the P8 to see important progress being made across the board. And yet one asterisk has remained next to every Huawei review here on Android Central: The software, in general, has been pretty gross. Early on in 2015, some features were straight up broken. Even in recent products like the P9, key Android features like the notification area were implemented in way that looked bad and broke compatibility with a bunch of apps.

As good as the hardware was, the company's EMUI software has been the biggest reason for folks in the West to not buy a Huawei phone — a constant for as long as we've been reviewing them.

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1 month ago

Huawei Mate 9 specs

30

What's inside the new Huawei Mate 9? A lot.

Huawei's Mate 9 is official — it's the company's sleekest, most powerful phone to date, and the first to run the brand new Kirin 960 processor, which features a boatload of powerful cores and ARM's new Mali-G71 GPU, alongside Huawei's own i6 co-processor.

More than anything, though, the Mate 9 is impressive for its refined software: EMUI 5.0. Based on Android 7.0 Nougat, the Mate 9 features a simplified notification shade, a better home screen launcher experience, with an optional app drawer, and far fewer extraneous features.

Then there is the camera setup, which features two sensors on the back — one 20MP monochrome, the other 12MP RGB — for better detail and additional color. Rounding it out is a 4,000mAh battery that should last two days given the 5.9-inch LCD panel's rather homely 1080p resolution.

But wait, there's more! Huawei is also showing off a special Porsche Design version of the Mate 9, which features additional storage, a curved 2K display, and a hefty price tag!

The Mate 9 will sell for €699 later this year and the Porsche Design Mate 9 goes for €1395 when it debuts in December.

Category Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design Mate 9 Operating System Android 7.0 with EMUI 5.0 Android 7.0 with EMUI 5.0 Processor Huawei Kirin 960
4x A73 @ 2.4Ghz, 4x A53 @ 1.8Ghz
Mali-G71 MP8 GPU
i6 co-processor Huawei Kirin 960
4x A73 @ 2.4Ghz, 4x A53 @ 1.8Ghz
Mali-G71 MP8 GPU
i6 co-processor RAM 4GB 6GB Display 5.9-inch 1920x1080
IPS LCD
2.5D glass 5.5-inch 2560x1440
AMOLED
curved glass Rear Camera 20MP (monochrome) + 12MP (color)
f/2.2
OIS 20MP (monochrome) + 12MP (color)
f/2.2
OIS Front camera 8MP, f/1.9 8MP, f/1.9 Video 4K capture 4K capture Battery 4,000 mAh
Non-removable 4,000 mAh
Non-removable Charging SuperCharge
3.5-5V / 5A
9V / 2A SuperCharge
3.5-5V / 5A
9V / 2A Connectivity USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2 USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2 Fingerprint sensor Yes, on rear Yes, on front Storage 64GB 256GB Expandable storage microSD microSD Dual SIM Yes, dual nano Yes, dual nano Colors Space Gray, Moonlight Silver,
Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown,
Ceramic White Graphite Black Dimensions 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm 152 x 75 x 7.5 mm Weight 190 grams 169 grams Price €699 €1395

Huawei Mate 9

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1 month ago

Best Android Phone 5.2 Inches And Under

If you're looking at this page, it's because the right smartphone for you is the one that fits perfectly in your hand.

Best Overall

Google Pixel

See at Verizon See at Google Store

Like the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S7, Google's Pixel this year comes in two sizes: Really Big and Just Right. The latter is the Google Pixel with a 5-inch Full HD display that fits comfortably in the palm of any hand.

The Pixel is packed with a Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM. It's available with up to 128GB of storage space. Its 2770mAh battery might not seem like much compared to other phones its size, but with its 1080p display and Nougat's revamped Doze mode, you'll likely be seeing a little bit more on-screen time than other devices in its class. The Pixel's 12-megapixel rear-facing camera is also really impressive and it gives even the Galaxy S7 a run for its money.

Bottom line: If you're looking for Google's Android in a compact size, the Pixel is it.

One more thing: You can purchase device protection insurance for your Pixel. It covers accidental damage from a drop or water ingress, as well as any general malfunctions for two years.

Why the Google Pixel is the best

It's Google in a handheld smartphone.

Google's Nexus devices feel like a relic of the past compared to its new Pixel lineup. The 5-inch Pixel is a particularly attractive package for anyone looking for a premium Android experience without all the extra software fluff. And so what if it sort of looks like the iPhone? It also comes in a really attractive Really Blue color.

Its performance is impressive, too, especially for a stock Android device. Its rear-facing camera produces some impressive photos and you can easily back them up with unlimited Google Photo storage. What's more: Google Assistant is quite impressive despite its adolscence. There's still quite a bit of work to be done, but the potential is there, and for now you'll get more interaction with Google's AI than you've been able to before. It'll be even more compelling once Google Home comes to market.

Best Second-best

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

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

Unless you've been living under a rock this past year, you know that the Galaxy S7 is one of the biggest hits of the year. The flagship smartphone features a stunning metal-and-glass unibody design that's both water resistant and comfortable to wield. On the inside, it's fueled by top-end internals, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. It also offers solid battery life and an impressive rear-facing camera that you can confidently utilize as your primary shooter. Best of all, the Galaxy S7's screen is a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, so even though it's a smaller screen, you'll still get stunning, TV-like quality from the dullest of YouTube videos.

Perhaps the only drawback of the Galaxy S7 is that it doesn't run the latest version of Android just yet. Nougat has yet to be optimized for Samsung's flagship devices, but it's coming.

Bottom line: If you're looking to adopt one of the best compact smartphones available, get the Galaxy S7.

One More thing: This highly-rated device is available at all four major carriers in the U.S., but if you'd rather live dangerously and contract-free, Samsung offers an unlocked model that also works overseas.

Best affordable phone

Nexus 5X

See at Amazon

If you're looking for a device that's easy to cradle, but you don't want to break the bank, consider one of Google's Nexus devices. The Nexus 5X is a pocketable, 5.2-inch device with a 1080p LCD display, a solid 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 2700mAh battery. It runs on a Snapdragon 808 processor with 2GB of RAM and its rear-facing fingerprint scanner is faster to use than most smartphones that have it embedded on the front. And though the Nexus 5X doesn't sport the most forward-thinking chassis design, it does come in a seriously attractive mint blue color.

Bottom-line: The Nexus 5X is the best choice if you want a smaller Android phone that will receive consistent software updates for at least another year.

One more thing: You can purchase Nexus Protect for an extra $69 to help cover any device malfunctions and accidental damage for two years.

Best under 4.7 inches

Xperia X Compact

See at Amazon

Bet you didn't think we'd offer up a Sony smartphone as a choice, but the Xperia X Compact is worth the consideration—especially if you're looking for something that's under five inches. Inside, the Xperia X Compact runs on mid-range Snapdragon 650, 3GB of RAM, and a 2,700mAh battery. It's equipped with a 720p IPS display, though that's all you really need from a 4.6-inch screen. It also supports Quick Charge 3.0, so that you can quickly charge it up during your layover, and it offers a solid 23-megapixel rear-facing camera with laser autofocus.

Bottom-line: The Xperia X Compact is great for anyone who's been grumbling that smartphones are just too big in this day and age.

One more thing: The Xperia X Compact will officially launch in the U.S. on September 25.

Conclusion

Folks, if you're looking for a compact smartphone that's got as much power and capability as the laptop on your desk, the Pixel is the way to go. It's the perfect representation of the way Google wants you to use Android. And it's a mere 5 inches, which makes it comfortable enough for a variety of hand sizes. It's also got Google Assistant, which will soon be more than a neat trick you can show off to your friends.

Best Overall

Google Pixel

See at Verizon See at Google Store

Like the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S7, Google's Pixel this year comes in two sizes: Really Big and Just Right. The latter is the Google Pixel with a 5-inch Full HD display that fits comfortably in the palm of any hand.

The Pixel is packed with a Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM. It's available with up to 128GB of storage space. Its 2770mAh battery might not seem like much compared to other phones its size, but with its 1080p display and Nougat's revamped Doze mode, you'll likely be seeing a little bit more on-screen time than other devices in its class. The Pixel's 12-megapixel rear-facing camera is also really impressive and it gives even the Galaxy S7 a run for its money.

Bottom line: If you're looking for Google's Android in a compact size, the Pixel is it.

One more thing: You can purchase device protection insurance for your Pixel. It covers accidental damage from a drop or water ingress, as well as any general malfunctions for two years.

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1 month ago

Huawei Mate 9 launch event liveblog

12
Huawei

Get ready to meet Huawei's next big thing.

We're live from Munich, Germany today, where Huawei is about to hold a press conference for its next flagship Android phone. We're expecting to see the rumored Mate 9, the latest in the company's big-screened phone series. Rumors point to a new CPU and camera setup, and Huawei's also been teasing a major new version of its EMUI software in recent days.

We'll have live coverage of the event starting at 2 p.m. CET — that's 1 p.m. UK time, 9 a.m. EDT, or 6 a.m. on the West Coast.

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1 month ago

Xiaomi Redmi 4 will make its debut on Nov 4

3

Xiaomi is all set to introduce the latest model in the entry-level Redmi series in China later this week. The official Redmi account teased an image along with the November 4 unveil date for the Redmi 4 on Weibo, pointing to a metal chassis and 2.5D curved glass.

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