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3 weeks ago

The Galaxy S7 edge: A second opinion

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Galaxy S7 edge

The Galaxy S7 edge is both the Galaxy S7 that we wanted, and the Galaxy S7 that we deserved.

Android Central Choice Award

There are a whole lot of people on this little planet who eagerly wait to see what new products big tech companies like Samsung introduce every year. If you're reading this — either as a regular Android Central reader or someone who found us for the first time, you're probably one of them. And this year, when we first got to see the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, we saw the very best that Samsung — and possibly anyone else — could produce today.

We knew how special the S7 (in my case, the edge model in particular) was when we first got our hands on it. As part of our job we get early access to a lot of the latest tech, and we talk amongst ourselves before we're allowed to talk in public. All of us knew that we had something different here, and things can and will never never be the same.

I have the T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy S7 edge now, and have been using it for a while. See what I think of one of the best phones you can buy.

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3 weeks ago

In Canada, the Galaxy S6 is still the best Android deal around

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In this market, age is a good thing

I'm holding a Galaxy S7 in my hand. It's comfortable, like a pebble, but sleek and modern, like a race car. It's also got a cool black colour option, which I like very much.

But in Canada, it's almost inaccessibly expensive, especially for customers upgrading not only to a new phone, but to a new plan. See, unless you want to spend a lot more up front, Canadian carriers now force customers to upgrade to one of their new share plans before buying a subsidized phone on a two-year contract. For the Galaxy S7, that means spending $399 at the time of purchase (a $500 subsidy over the $899 outright cost) in addition to negotiating a new plan that, in most cases, offers the same or less data for a higher monthly spend.

To alleviate some of that pressure, previous generation devices remain on store shelves once the flagships are released. Apple began doing that as far back as the iPhone 4, while Android OEMs like Samsung and LG took a few years to get on board, but you'll just as likely see a Galaxy S4 or S5 (for $0, of course) as you will an S6 or S7.

Bargain hunting

That brings us to today's topic: the Galaxy S6. Right now, it is either free or $99 on a two-year contract at most carriers. It is a bargain, a still-great phone that, once it receives Android 6.0 in a week or so will get even better. That $99 price point is manna for many prospective smartphone buyers — anything more and they balk — and it has no out-and-out drawbacks.

Device replacement cycles are extending year after year because the devices we buy are not becoming obsolete as quickly. The Galaxy S6 is a good example of such a product: it has a great screen and camera, approachable software, and decent battery life (that should improve significantly with Marshmallow). Perhaps more importantly, to the average consumer it still looks modern. One may not care much about specs, but the way a phone looks is generally always going to matter, and the Galaxy S6 is an attractive product.

2016 features at a 2015 price

It also has things that even the latest Android devices lack, such as wireless charging, Fast Charging, LTE Advanced and Voice Over LTE support, and a top-notch processor.

Some would even argue that the Galaxy S6 takes better photos than the Galaxy S7 in some instances.

An unlocked victory

If you're holding on to a really good plan and don't want to sacrifice it to upgrade to a year-old phone, why not buy the Galaxy S6 unlocked? It's relatively easy to find for around $600 CAD (though closer to $700 with taxes and shipping).

There are other options, too

Some other 2015 devices are still going strong. Expansys currently has the LG G4 for $424.99 CAD, which is also a great phone — great performance, camera, and battery; lacks fingerprint sensor — but not quite as good as the S6.

Have your say!

Would you buy a year-old phone to save money? If so, which one are you considering?

See Galaxy S6 at Amazon

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3 weeks ago

Where to buy the LG G5 in Canada

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The LG G5 has come to Canada after a brief wait, and now it's available at most carriers, both regional and national.

Updated April 8, 2016 with new listings from Bell, Telus, MTS, SaskTel and Videotron.

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3 weeks ago

Get a 32GB Moto X Pure Edition for $350 at Amazon

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If you've had your eye on the Moto X Pure Edition for some time, Amazon is currently offering the 32GB version of Motorola's 2015 flagship for $50 off.

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3 weeks ago

Why you might want to encrypt the SD card on your Galaxy S7

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Encrypting the SD card on your new Galaxy S7 is easy to do, but you need to know the details before you do it.

Everyone is happy that Samsung has brought expandable storage back to the Galaxy S7 series. Things aren't perfect — plenty still prefer how SD cards worked with KitKat on their Galaxy phones — but for the average user who just wants to store music, movies, photos and other documents on their removable card, it's a workable solution. It's also something that Google and Samsung will continue to work on, keeping things secure and consistent while still being expandable.

Something a lot of people don't think about, though, is encrypting the removable storage on their Galaxy S7. Encryption is all over the tech news because of recent events between the FBI and Apple, and we can take a few minutes and make sure everyone knows what options are available and how things work when it comes to protecting the data on your SD card.

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3 weeks ago

Lil Wayne pours some more champagne on the Galaxy S7 in new advert

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Galaxy S7

Lil Wayne is good at pouring champagne on the Galaxy S7, which he does a lot of in the video above. And he also shows off Samsung Pay, which works with traditional registers thanks to MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission).

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3 weeks ago

Huawei P9: The first 7 things you need to know

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Huawei P9

Some quick hits on Huawei's new dual-camera wonder.

The Huawei P9 is upon us, having just been unveiled to the world at its London launch event. The big focus this time around, without a doubt, is photography, as Huawei pushes its partnership with Leica in an effort to stand out in the crowded high-end Android space.

But there's more to this phone than just the Leica brand and the aforementioned dual camera setup. Let's dive deeper and take a look at some of the major P9 facts and features you might have missed.

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3 weeks ago

We're answering your Huawei P9 questions in the forums!

Questions big and small, we're answering them all.

We had a solid look at the Huawei P9 at its launch event in London, but now that the dust has settled we're here to answer all of your specific questions about the phone. Of course some of the biggest questions, like how the camera performs in a variety of situations, what battery life is like and how we're seeing performance will take more time to evaluate, but there's a lot to look at that can be answered right away.

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3 weeks ago

Huawei P9 unboxing — you're gonna Leica this

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Opening up Huawei's latest for the first time.

The Huawei P9 was finally unveiled after a good bit of teasing from the Chinese manufacturer, and today at the event we walked away with an untouched, in-box P9 to unwrap for the first time.

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3 weeks ago

Latest HTC 10 teaser focuses on the camera and how 'you'll see it'

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The latest HTC 10 teaser from HTC once again puts the focus on the camera, with the tagline of "you'll see it." HTC is set to officially unveil the phone on April 12 during an online-only event. The teaser talks about capturing your favorite memories, and how much time and effort went into perfecting the camera set up so that you will get the pictures that you want.

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3 weeks ago

8 things to know about the Samsung Galaxy S7's SD card slot

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10 things to know about the Samsung Galaxy S7's SD card slot

Samsung brought back the SD card in the Galaxy S7, now it's time to know what you can do with it.

While a good number of people will be completely fine with the 32-gigabytes of internal storage on their Galaxy S7, having the ability to pop in an SD card and expand that storage by 200GB more is very appealing. Even large SD cards can be found for a great deal, and the best part is being able to choose later on down the road if you want more storage.

But as is the case with adding external storage to most computing devices, there are lots of things to consider: what can you do with the storage? How does it interact with the system? How reliable and fast is it? We answer these questions, and many more, with the first eight things you need to know about SD cards in the Galaxy S7.

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3 weeks ago

Huawei P9 + P9 Plus hands-on: Dual cameras in Huawei's new high-end duo

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Huawei P9

Huawei's latest high-end phone aims to prove that two cameras are better than one.

The concept of two cameras in a smartphone isn't new. In the Android world, the trend dates all the way back to the dark ages of 3D phones, with manufacturers like HTC and LG using dual cameras to take 3D images or produce depth-dependent effects. Even Huawei got on the dual-camera bandwagon with 2014's Honor 6 Plus.

The Huawei P9 — the Chinese company's latest high-end offering — goes about things a little differently. The phone is the first developed through Huawei's partnership with German optics Leica, and uses a monochrome sensor behind one lens in addition to a full color sensor behind the other. It's an approach which, combined with a "co-engineered" lens system and a revamped camera app influenced by Leica, has Huawei hoping it can differentiate through photography.

We've taken a quick look at the P9 and P9 Plus ahead of their launch event in London. And here's what we found.

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3 weeks ago

Huawei P9 and P9 Plus specs

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Huawei P9 and P9 Plus

The Huawei P9 and P9 Plus are officially official. Two phones. Two rear cameras on each phone, Leica-certified, no less. And as you'd expect from Huawei, they're packed with the latest tech the Chinese manufacturer has to offer, including an updated Kirin 955 processor, some of the best fingerprint security in the business — and all in a footprint that shouldn't leave you wishing you had a smaller phone.

So let's get to it. These are the official specs for the Huawei P9 and the larger P9 Plus:

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3 weeks ago

Meizu m3 note unveiled: 5.5-inch 1080p display, Helio P10, 4100mAh battery

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Meizu has unveiled the successor to the m2 note in China. This year's m3 note retains the lowercase naming convention, as well as the 5.5-inch Full HD 2.5D curved glass display. Under the hood is where it gets exciting, as the phone now comes with MediaTek's Helio P10 SoC, which has eight Cortex A53 cores at 1.8GHz and the Mali T860 GPU.

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3 weeks ago

Huawei P9 launch event liveblog: April 6, 2 p.m. BST

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Huawei

It's time to meet the new dual-camera smartphone from the maker of the Nexus 6P.

A year on from 2015's P8 — and with a Nexus launch under its belt — it's time for Huawei to unveil a new high-end handset. Today we're live from Battersea Evolution in London for our first look at the Chinese firm's next major smartphone. The Huawei P9, teased on social media behind the #oo hashtag, is expected (if the rumors are to be believed) to debut a unique new camera system developed in conjunction with German optics firm Leica.

The action kicks off at 2 p.m. BST — that's 9 a.m. EDT, or 6 a.m. PDT. And we'll have live coverage embedded right here. And be sure to check back later for full hands-on coverage of everything Huawei announces!

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