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1 month ago

Sony's powerful Xperia X Performance now available in Canada


Sony Canada has released its impressive new flagship, the Xperia X Performance, on two Canadian carriers: Rogers, and Bell.

Available for $199.99 on a 2-year plan, or $699.99 outright, the device is available to purchase today at Bell, and can be reserved at Rogers for a July 14 release date. Rogers' version comes with a free pair of Sony headphones with every reservation.

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1 month ago

Which Canadian carrier is the best at pushing Android updates?

Telus store

Avoid all of these issues by buying a Nexus. But if you don't want to, here's some advice.

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1 month ago

How we'd change the Nexus 6P

Nexus 6P

Several months into the life of the Nexus 6P, we're taking a critical look at the phone.

Each Nexus phone garners extra attention as if they're Google's chosen platform for development, and a bastion of light for the Android enthusiasts among us. For some, the Nexus 6P is just yet another phone ... but for many of us, it comes with higher expectations, no matter the fact that it's less expensive than the top-end phones out there.

Just about everyone at Android Central has been using a Nexus 6P since it was launched, bouncing back and forth as work duties bring in fresh phones to try, and with this wealth of time spent with the phone we have a few ideas for how we'd change it to make it just right for us. Read on.

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1 month ago

Nextbit plans battery life boost for Robin in future OS update


Nextbit has revealed its plans to release an OS update for its Robin smartphone in the fourth quarter of 2016 that will offer owners better battery life.

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1 month ago

The best unlocked phones

Best Unlocked Android Phones

Unlocked phones — outside the shackles of the carriers and able to work on any GSM operator worldwide — are finally starting to have their moment in the sun.

And we're not just talking more expensive versions of top-shelf phones. There are a number of mid-range unlocked phones that will serve you very well — and not burn a hole in your wallet. Let's take a look.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

All that and a bag of chips, (and a microSD card slot)


  • Great battery life
  • Excellent camera
  • Amazing display


  • Samsung software leaves a little to be desired
  • A little bit slippery to hold

We can't have a best of Android phone list and not include Samsung's twin flagships for 2016: the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. Rather than reinvent the wheel, Samsung chose to refine the best features of last year's flagships and make them better. Both phones feature Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, great for watching YouTube videos or streaming Netflix, and both have larger batteries than their predecessors, great for keeping them alive for a full day's use.

In keeping with Samsung's reputation for making superior cameras, both phones have excellent ones, with improvements made for taking better low-light shots. LTE connectivity means that you'll be able to surf the web and stream content without annoying load times, and yes, the microSD card slot is back, so you're not stuck with just the storage capacity they come with.

If you're looking for an all-around superior unlocked phone, you can't go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge. Better yet, Samsung now sells a proper unlocked model for the U.S., so you don't have to buy one imported from another region.

Want more information? Read our Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge reviews. And learn specifically about the U.S. unlocked model here.

See at BestBuy See at B&H Photo See at Samsung

Nexus 6P

Nexus 6P

Nexus and unlocked go together like PB&J


  • Great build quality
  • Excellent camera
  • Pure Google software


  • It's pretty big
  • Lacks wireless charging
  • A little bit slippery to hold

In the Android world, one brand should always come to mind when thinking unlocked: Nexus. For the Nexus phones aren't just a way to get the latest and greatest software from Google. They're also a way to get a good phone at a good price and stay away from a new contract. Of the two current Nexus phones, the 6P is the one to get.

We've previously had to recommend a Nexus phone with a rather large caveat — and that's usually had to do with the camera. Not so with the Nexus 6P, manufactured by Huawei.

It's got a camera that doesn't make us want to carry around a second shooter, just in case. It's got the design and build quality that stands up against any other phone. And perhaps most important is that it's going to always be updated to the latest version of Android, and that goes for the monthly security updates, too.

Read our Nexus 6P review

See at Amazon



You've got friends


  • Removable battery
  • Excellent camera
  • Innovative modular design


  • Display can be dark on auto-mode
  • Modules are a bit scant at the moment

The LG G5 is one of the most attractive phones available – sleek and glossy. Coupled with LG's innovative Friends ecosystem and the phone's modular design, it's a top-notch flagship phone.

The LG G5 comes with a 5.3-inch Quad HD quantum display, great for watching videos and playing games. Its 4GB of RAM helps with multi-tasking, and its Snapdragon 820 processor gives you plenty of power too.

Another benefit of the LG G5 is its ability to take amazing photos. It has two cameras in the back — a 16 megapixel main camera and an 8 megapixel wide-angle camera — so you can capture beautiful pictures wherever you are. Of course, it's got an 8 megapixel front camera for those selfies.

If you want a phone with an innovative design that snaps great pictures and has a lot of future appeal, look no further than the LG G5.

Read our LG G5 review

see at Amazon

OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3

Finally all grown up


  • Excellent build quality
  • Good camera
  • Fast, smooth software
  • Invite-free


  • Slippery body
  • Real concern over timely updates
  • Weak vibration motor

After releasing a few phones that were tantilizing but not quite complete products, OnePlus has really hit the mark with the OnePlus 3. This high-end device checks just about every box you're looking for, from top-end specs to a great screen, solid camera, fast software and long battery life.

Best of all, it'll only set you back $399, which is easily $200 less than the other flagships out there. You don't get a few of the nice-to-have features like waterproofing, but for the whole experience it's hard to get something nicer than what the OnePlus 3 offers. You no longer need an invite to get it, either — just buy it online.

More: Read our full OnePlus 3 review

See at OnePlus

HTC 10

HTC 10

Premium sound in a stylish package


  • Great audio
  • Snappy performance
  • Aluminum unibody


  • Display has issues in sunlight
  • Inconsistent battery life

The HTC 10, the latest offering from HTC, is a solid phone with a stylish aesthetic and great audio.

Its aluminum body is beautiful and modern, while design elements such as the curved back and the wide chamfer make it comfortable to hold.

While its 5.2-inch Quad HD SuperLCD5 display has some problems in bright sunlight, its vibrant colors and sharp picture make it ideal for watching videos, whether they're from YouTube or Hulu.

Where the HTC 10 really shines is in its audio output — its got a tweeter for high frequency sounds in the earpiece and a down-facing woofer along its bottom for low frequency sounds, giving you amazing Hi-Fi audio right from the phone's speakers, and the sound from the headphone jack is even better, pushing out sound at 1V for a powerful audio experience.

If you want a solidly performing phone with amazing high quality audio, the HTC 10 is the one for you.

Read our HTC 10 review

see at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Yes, its big, but you can write on it


  • Top notch S Pen
  • Great new design
  • Awesome camera


  • Speaker isn't great
  • Expensive

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a beast of a phone and is unique in the mobile space because of its accompanying stylus, the S Pen.

Running an Exynos 7420 octa-core at 2.1GHz quad + 1.5GHz quad and 4GB of RAM, its capable of running multiple apps at the same time and running even the most graphics-intense mobile game with nary a stutter.

Its 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display is one of the best around, and with that much screen real estate, you're sure to enjoy watching movies or playing games on this phone.

If you're looking for a phone with a large screen and a handy stylus, check out the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. It doesn't get much better than this.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review

see at Amazon

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Moto G

Still one of the best value phones around


  • Solid build quality
  • No manufacturer bloatware
  • MicroSD card slot


  • No NFC
  • Only a single speaker compared to previous model
  • No quickcharge or wireless charging

Motorola is arguably responsible for reinventing the budget phone space when it tore up the rule book with the original Moto G. Now three generations in and it's no more difficult to recommend to anyone looking for the best on a budget. And without a contract.

The hardware is more than ample for the price and Motorola's signature software experience of value added to stock Android remains. The camera is improved on its predecessor, Moto Maker allows for some customization on the color schemes and all-in-all the essence of what made this phone great hasn't gone away. And we'd definitely recommend the 16GB/2GB RAM model. It's worth the extra.

The Moto G isn't just a good phone for its price, it's a good phone, period.

Read our Moto G review

See at Amazon

Huawei Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Honor lands Stateside


  • Premium design and construction
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Good quality display


  • EMUI still broken in places
  • Sluggish at times
  • Launched on Android 5.1

The Honor 5X is a perfect example of where the $200 price point smartphone market is headed. For a remarkably good $199, the first Honor phone to officially launch in the U.S. packs a metal body, decent screen and fingerprint sensor. The hardware certainly feels worthy of a higher price point.

The only drawbacks to the Honor 5X come in the software. Huawei's EMUI is still an acquired taste with some questionable features and things that still don't work quite as we might hope. But, there's a lot of good stuff, too, and some really useful features baked in.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is on the horizon, but overall the Honor 5X proves you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good looking, well built, carrier free phone.

Read our Honor 5X review

See at Amazon

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1 month ago

When will Android 7.0 Nougat be released?

Android N

We don't yet know exactly when the next version of Android will land, but Google's development timetable provides a few clues.

For about as long as Android has existed, a major new platform version has dropped every fall. And starting with 2014's Lollipop release, Google has preceded that with developer preview builds designed to help devs get their apps ready for new Android releases. This year, that process kicked off a couple of months earlier than expected, with an initial Android 7.0 Nougat preview (then just called "Android N") in early March.

That's one of the many signs pointing to a slightly earlier release of Nougat than in years past. So when exactly will the next version be finalized by Google and unleashed as a stable release? And when will we learn the version number of the next version of Android? Well, Google's timetable offers a few clues.

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1 month ago

Bought the OnePlus 3 in India? You'll have to manually activate the 12-month accidental damage cover


The OnePlus 3 is now on sale from Amazon India for ₹27,999. OnePlus and Amazon have rolled out several launch day offers for the handset, including a free 12-month accidental damage protection plan, which is handled by Servify. However, it looks like you'll have to manually activate the plan, or stand the risk of losing out on free service should the phone get damaged.

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1 month ago

6 tips to improve battery life on the Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X

How do I improve battery life in the Nexus 5X?

While the 2,700mAh battery in LG's Nexus 5X can get you through the day on a single charge, depending on usage, we think you can probably get a little bit more out of it by making a few simple changes.

1. Turn off Ambient Display

Ambient Display is a feature that sends notifications to your screen when it's locked. It's useful to see what's going without having to unlock your phone's screen, but it does consume battery power.

To turn this feature off, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Ambient Display switch to off.

2. Mind your Bluetooth

Smartwatches are great and we love them, but you should be aware that they consume more battery than Ambient Display does. If you know that you need extra power, leave your smartwatch at home that day.

The same goes for fitness trackers, speakers, car audio systems, and just about anything else with a Bluetooth connection. When in doubt, disable Bluetooth!.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade
  2. Tap Bluetooth
  3. Toggle the Bluetooth switch to off.

3. Lower your screen's brightness setting

The Nexus 5X has a beautiful 5.2-inch inch full HD LCD display that hits that sweet spot for size but is one of the most battery-intensive features of the phone.

Dial down how much battery your Nexus 5X's screen draws by decreasing the brightness level a few notches:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Tap on Brightness level.
  4. Tap and drag the brightness bar to your desired level.

Alternatively, you can let Adaptive brightness manage the brightness level of your screen based on the amount of ambient light available:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Adaptive brightness switch to on.

4. Limit or turn off Location Services

Google's Location Services is useful for helping you get around town and some apps, such as Foursquare and Twitter, use it to determine your location as well. However helpful Location Services is, it can take a huge chunk out of your battery, especially when using GPS.

Location Services has three modes: High accuracy, Battery saving, and Device only. High accuracy uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile network information to find your position, Power saving uses just Wi-Fi and mobile network information, while Device only uses only GPS. Of the three, the most power hungry modes are High accuracy and Device only.

If you need some form of location services on, choose Battery saving — it won't be as accurate, but it will save on battery. For the most power savings, turn off Location Services altogether. If you choose to turn off Location Services, some apps that rely on it may not function properly — just something to be aware of.

You can find all of these settings under Location in your Nexus 5X's Settings menu:

  1. Tap Location.
  2. Tap Mode to pull up the Location mode screen. From there tap the option of your choice:
    • High accuracy
    • Battery saving
    • Device only

To turn Location Services off, simply toggle the switch to off at the top of the screen.

5. Check apps' battery usage

Android keeps tabs on how much battery every app on your phone consumes and it's simple to check:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Battery.

Here you'll see a breakdown by app of how much battery they consume as a percentage of total battery use.

Video streaming services and games naturally will use more battery than others, but if something else is hogging the battery when it shouldn't be, you'll see it here.

6. Avoid streaming video

The Nexus 5X loses power more quickly when streaming video. If you can, download any video content you plan to watch to your device and watch it locally.

Here's how you can download content for offline viewing in Google Play.

  1. Launch the Google Play Movies and TV app from your Home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Menu button. It looks like this ☰.
  3. Tap My library.
  4. Tap the Download button next to the content you'd like to watch offline.

That's it. Now the content will download to your device and be available to watch any time you'd like, no internet connection necessary.

How about you?

We've given you some tips on how you can eek out a few more hours of life from your Nexus 5X's battery, but what about you? What do you do to make your battery last longer? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Want more information on the LG Nexus 5X? Have a peek at our review.

Nexus 5X

Google B&H Photo Amazon

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1 month ago

Best cheap Android phones of 2016

There's never been a better time to buy a cheap Android phone and still get a top quality experience.

It used to be the norm that to get a good phone you'd have to spend a good chunk of change. But while the high end continues to progress at a predictable rate, the mid-tiers have suddenly become where the action is at. It's easier than ever to get a quality Android smartphone without paying too much for it. We daresay you can call it a "cheap" Android smartphone at this point and not feel bad about it.

For under $250 it's now possible to get a good phone by any standard — but it's worth taking care when spending this kind of money on a smartphone. Just as there are some great bargains to be had, there's also a lot of crap out there. So with that said, here's our roundup of the best you can get right now, broken down by their price and value.

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1 month ago

Best AT&T prepaid phones

ATT store

Going prepaid with AT&T and in need of a phone? Check out our favorites.

Sure, you could pick up a prepaid phone straight from AT&T, but if you'll always have more choice by bringing your own unlocked device. That's why we've rounded up the best phones you can buy outright to use unlocked on the carrier.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

A popular pick (and rightfully so) is the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge. All that was awesome about the Galaxy S6 has been enhanced and Samsung keeps giving the people what they want.

The battery life in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge has been improved and extended considerably; in other words, bring on your busiest day and it will keep up with you. If your day involves rain or possible puddle or pool encounters, worry not; the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are waterproof. Take that, Mother Nature. The fingerprint sensor is conveniently tucked into the Home button and works like such a charm you'll wonder how you've gone without one until now.

If you love photography with your Android phone, these are the phones you need to get your hands on. Photos turn out fabulously in just about any light and the Quad HD SuperAMOLED display on both phones keeps your pictures and streaming videos looking clear and sharp.

Need a little more convincing? Check out our reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

See at AT&T



For something completely different, have a look at the LG G5. The modular design is a new direction for LG and it makes the phone a unique offering in the world of Android.

You want a great camera? LG's got a great camera – three, in fact. Of course, you have your front-facing camera for those necessary selfies, but you also get two rear-facing cameras: a 16-megapixel main camera (same as the G4) and an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera. The fingerprint sensor is built into the power button on the back of the phone and it boasts impressive accuracy.

The Snapdragon 820 processor will keep you happily multitasking all day and the 5.3-inch Quad HD quantum display keeps your video streaming and app gaming in top form. The feel isn't as premium as the Galaxy S7 series, but that's what you'll trade for the G5's modular capabilities. The "Friends" ecosystem of add-ons includes items like camera modules that attach to the phone when you remove the base.

Want to know what we think about the LG G5? Check out our review.

See at Amazon

Nexus 6P

Nexus 6P

The latest Nexus phone has lived up to all the hype, and a long-awaited and well-executed phone from Google could be right up your alley — even as we enter the latter half of the year. You can't buy the Nexus 6P from a carrier, but you purchase it unlocked and bring it to AT&T.

The camera holds up well next to many current Android phones, offering 8 megapixels for the front-facing camera and 12.3 megapixels for the rear-facing one. It works in bright outdoor light or shadowy indoor environments and features laser-assisted autofocus for accurate focusing in the dark.

The 5.7-inch display and aluminum body look and feel modern, industrial, and comfortable in your hands. The fingerprint sensor uses Nexus Imprint and is located on the back of the phone, which is a departure from the way some manufacturers have been doing it, but 6P owners tend to like this feature having its own space away from the home screen or bezels. The nippy 810 Snapdragon processor and strong battery life round out the reasons the Nexus 6P is a good buy.

There's more to learn. Check out our review of the Nexus 6P to see what we have to say.

See at Amazon

HTC 10

HTC 10

HTC is back in a big way with the HTC 10, an outstanding 2016 flagship phone for the company that's been a little quiet lately. Although it's not offered directly from AT&T, the unlocked HTC 10 is compatible with the network and can be purchased from another retailer.

Crazy about music? Say no more: the HTC 10 features BoomSound Hi-Fi that's going to make all of your music sound stellar. The front-facing tweeter and bottom-facing woofer give you more volume than you could possibly need (with some help from Dolby, no less), and there's a dedicated amp in the headphone jack so that you can rock out in crystal clarity. The capacitive fingerprint scanner doubles as the home key; the set up for scanning is straightforward, easy, and secure.

The HTC 10 comes with either 32GB or 64GB of storage that can be expanded upon with a microSD card, which can be used as adoptable storage, so you'll never run out of space for photos or music. The 5.2-inch Quad HD display can be a little hard to see in bright sunlight, but the 10 makes up for this in other areas.

Need to know more? Get all the details on the HTC 10 from our review.

See at Amazon

LG Nexus 5X

LG Nexus 5X

For a solid mid-range phone, look no further than the LG Nexus 5X. You'll need to purchase it unlocked from another retailer and opt for the bring-your-own-device prepaid plan.

A smaller and lighter offering compared to other phones, the 5.2-inch display is clear and covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. The Snapdragon 808 Processor and dependable battery give you a full day of work and play without much to worry about in terms of bogging down the phone or searching for an outlet to charge up at. The phone is available in 16GB or 32GB, and for the price, you'll be better investing in the 32GB model.

The camera is one of the phone's best features, offering a 12.3-megapixel sensor for excellent color and detail capture. The phone also features Nexus Imprint fingerprint scanning, which sets up easily with six simple presses to the sensor.

See more on the LG Nexus 5X in our review.

See at Amazon

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

Yes, this is Android Central, but no, we're not going to leave the iPhone off of the list when we're talking about the best phones to use on AT&T. They have much to offer and are worth considering.

The iPhone 6s has a 4.7-inch Retina HD display and the iPhone 6s Plus tops out at 5.5 inches. Shutterbugs will rejoice at the 12 megapixel camera for still photos and the 4K video capabilities, and they can bring those still shots to life with the Live Photos feature, which animates an image using a second and a half before and after the image was taken. 3D Touch sensors also recognize the pressure your fingertips put on the screen to easily open apps or preview content.

Touch ID keeps your iPhone secure and the storage capacity ranges from the standard 16GB up to as much as 128GB. Not too shabby, iPhone.

Thinking about making the leap to an iPhone? Check out iMore's reviews of the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus.

See at AT&T

More, you say?

If you need to see more options before buying, have a look at some of the best unlocked phones and see how they stack up.

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1 month ago

How to save money on roaming fees outside the UK

Plane view

Using your phone abroad can be expensive — but with a little planning, it's easy to save a lot of money.

If you're unprepared, using your phone overseas can add hundreds of pounds to the cost of a trip abroad, in the form of an enormous roaming bill when you return home. Fortunately, international roaming is more affordable than ever. Depending on your network and circumstances, it's easy to keep costs to a minimum. And even if your phone is locked to a network with unfriendly roaming rates, you've still got plenty of options.

Let's dive in.

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1 month ago

Location services: What's the difference between the choices, and which should I pick?

 What's the difference between the choices, and which should I pick?

Your phone knows exactly where you are. Is that good or bad?

Android phones come with a few options for location services, and these are useful for map apps, locating nearby shops, restaurants, and the like, but which one is the right one for you to use? Let's clarify the differences and help you out.

Accessing location services

To find and select your location services:

  1. Tap the Settings button on your Home screen.
  2. Tap Location under the Personal menu.
  3. Tap Mode.
  4. Tap the option you want to use for your location service.

    Tap Location, tap Mode, tap your option

Now let's have a look at what each of the three options mean.

High accuracy

When you select the High accuracy location service mode, you are allowing multiple networks to pinpoint your precise location (hence the name High accuracy). It calls upon every service available: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and/or cellular networks in whatever combination avaailable, and uses Google's location services to provide the most accurate location.

It might feel a bit like Big Brother is watching you, since your phone's location will be pretty well down to the street corner you're standing on, or the home address you're living at or visiting. Some people find it disconcerting, others find it comforting. Regardless, you'll probably want this mode turned on if you're looking for turn-by-turn directions.

Battery saving

A sure way to save battery life is to eliminate GPS from the location equation. Battery saving mode uses less battery-intensive location sources (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and/or nearby cell towers) to figure out where you are using Google's location services.

Granted, this will not be as accurate as using them along with GPS, but you will still get a close approximate location and your maps or apps will still point you in the right direction within a few extra feet of where you are — all while saving valuable battery life.

Device only

Device only mode relies solely on the GPS radio signal built into your Android phone. It works in much the same way that a GPS device for cars does, using the GPS-designated network of satellites to find your phone's location. This means it will work in places where Wi-Fi and cellular network coverage are lacking, but will also end up using more battery power to determine your location than the Battery saver mode.

It will be a bit more time consuming for the information to reach you, but you'll get a pretty good idea of what's nearby; just keep in mind that some app features you might want to use won't necessarily function without the other networks.

Which one's right for you?

For the most part, if you're going to use location services you should leave your phone set to High accuracy. It eliminates guesswork and is the most precise location service you can use, so why not? Sure, switch to battery saving mode if you're running low but still need to use maps and other services, but High accuracy mode live up to its name when you absolutely need to know where you are and where you're going.

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