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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!

Get social with MrMobile!

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1 month ago

Huawei Mate 9 preview: Big deal

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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

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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

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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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1 month ago

Huawei Nova Plus second opinion: Canada's best $400 phone

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The best value in Canadian smartphones today.

Canada is a strange market for handsets right now. It hasn't transitioned to financing, so phones are still purchased through carriers on subsidy, and the weak Canadian dollar has actually pushed on-contract prices up over the past few years.

What that means is that Canadians get hosed (see what I did there?) from every angle, since the cost of wireless service has also steadily risen along with the demand for LTE data.

That's why the Huawei Nova Plus is such an interesting proposition. It's a $400 phone, free on contract, and available now at Rogers (and soon, Bell). It's got some blistering specs for the price, and exceptional build quality taken straight from the Nexus 6P, which debuted for $699 last year, when the Canadian dollar was 10% stronger.

In other words, you're getting a deal.

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1 month ago

Hands-on: Wileyfox's Swift 2 adds metal chassis, fingerprint and upgraded CPU for £159

4
Wileyfox Swift 2

British startup ships its most premium phone yet, as it looks towards a future of subsidies, revenue sharing and life beyond CyanogenOS.

Wileyfox is keen to paint itself as the quintessential startup: a disruptor in a world of crusty, outdated brands. For a company that didn't even exist two years ago, its goals are lofty. It wants to challenge Samsung, and the perception that you need to spent hundreds to get a great smartphone, while beating established mid-level players like OnePlus and Honor. Its arsenal consists of its brand, affordable yet capable hardware, and finely tuned software.

The reality isn't so rosy. Last year's entry-level Wileyfox Swift was pretty good, but the mid-level Storm was underwhelming. And the Spark, released over the summer, was hot garbage. Add to that the recent news that software partner Cyanogen is moving on from being an OS provider, and you've got a fair number of challenges.

In future, Wileyfox wants its customers to be able to upgrade for free.

Nevertheless, the company is bullish. Today at a launch event in London for its new Swift 2 handset, Wileyfox laid out a vision of where it's headed in 2017. Not only does it want to sell good phones for less than the competition, it also wants to let customers upgrade at no cost. Wiley was light on exact details of how this will work, but plans apparently involve sharing revenue from preloaded services with consumers, while working with partners like Amazon and Google to reward consumers who use their services. At the same time, it'll continue to hone its brand, working with charities like Center Point to give away phones to people in need.

Wileyfox Swift 2

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1 month ago

Best Android Phone Under 5.7 Inches

The industry has sort of agreed that phones with 5.5-inch screens are mainstream. The best phone you can buy at that size is the Google Pixel XL.

Daniel Bader Daniel Bader is Managing Editor of Android Central, writing about all things mobile, Google, and shiny when he's not making sure everyone else on the team is doing the same thing. In addition to writing and producing, Daniel regularly appears on Canadian networks CBC and CTV as a technology analyst. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram and email.

*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Best overall

Google Pixel XL

See at Google See at Verizon

It came as a surprise to us, too, but it became apparent quickly after its release that the Google's Pixel XL is the best phone under 5.7 inches you can buy. While the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge comes with a number of additional software features, in addition to sporting expandable storage and water resistance, the Pixel XL makes up for those shortcomings with the potent combination of speed, battery life, screen quality and camera performance.

Of course, it takes a lot to dethrone the king, so Google made sure to give its Android software — the latest version, Android 7.1 Nougat — some additional kick, with Google Assistant and 24/7 support. And because Google engineers Android itself, the Pixel is all but guaranteed the quickest software updates, with the latest features. Right now, Android 7.1 boasts improvements to notifications, multitasking and the home screen, with features that make a meaningful difference to users' lives.

Bottom line: The Google Pixel XL is probably the best phone you can buy today. Not only is the camera incredible, the software simple-but-powerful, and the performance unparalleled, but Google's 24/7 support and quick software updates are unmatched in the Android ecosystem.

One more thing: The Pixel XL also has a smaller sibling, the Pixel, which shaves some screen size and resolution for some one-handed love.

Why the Pixel XL is the best

An obvious choice for anyone who values simplicity and speed over features.

The Pixel XL is one of the fastest phones out there today — in fact, it may be the fastest. How? Because not only does it use the latest Snapdragon 821 chip paired with 4GB of ultra-fast RAM, but it's the first Android phone designed by Google to run with its software. In other words, it was built for speed.

But more than that, Google's hyperbolic claims of the Pixel XL having the best camera on the market seems to have been true — or at least true in most situations. Daylight, poor light, motion and even selfies, this phone consistently takes some of the best photos we've ever seen from a mobile sensor. Combine that with Google's mastery of software stabilization and you have a device you can rely on to get that perfect shot almost every time.

Elsewhere, the Pixel XL excels where you'd expect: it's actually a good phone, able to connect to nearly every network around the world with no configuration; it's got features, like Move gestures and Google Assistant, that make a meaningful difference to the way you use your phone; and it's well-built, with a well-proportioned combination of metal and glass. It may lack the expandable storage and water resistance of the Galaxy S7 edge, but it more than makes up for those shortcomings.

Best for features

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

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

There's no question that Samsung hit a home run with its Galaxy S7 line. We already think the smaller GS7 is one of the best phones on the market, and the edge takes everything we love about the smaller phone and makes it bigger — but not too much.

This water-resistant phone is comfortable to hold, and even to use in one hand, while the internal specs are some of the best in the business — Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 in the U.S. and an Exynos 8890 internationally — with 4GB of RAM and a standard 32GB of storage. But it's the dual curved display that is so arresting, with an infinity pool experience that really stands out amongst a sea of flat smartphones. That curvature also has a purpose, allowing for quick access to favorite contacts, apps, web pages, and more.

Around back, the 12MP rear camera competes with the best in the business; many other devices have been released since the Galaxy S7 edge came out earlier this year, and only the Pixel XL appears to have dislodged it from that top position. And just underneath that camera, a massive 3,600mAh battery keeps things moving all day.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S7 edge takes Samsung's beautiful hardware design and adds useful curves that work well with the company's ever-improving software suite.

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 at many things

OnePlus 3

See at OnePlus

The OnePlus 3 does everything well — that's what you need to know first. It's a huge upgrade over the OnePlus 2, and its all-metal chassis doesn't feel overly large despite the ample 5.5-inch screen size. And that's what you're looking for in a big phone: one that doesn't feel like a brick in your hand.

OnePlus did a great job improving the internals in the OnePlus 3: the 5.5-inch Full HD display is vivid and bright, and the quad-core Snapdragon 820 paired with 6GB of RAM makes the phone a formidable performer — even more so when you consider the $399 price point. While it lacks the little things that add up to justify the S7 edge's extra cost — water resistance, expandable storage, and a high-quality QHD display — the OnePlus 3 is without compromises, which is something we're really happy to see at this price tier.

Bottom-line: With a big, bright 5.5-inch screen, a great camera, excellent build quality, and loads of nice software touches, the OnePlus 3 is one of the best smartphone deals you can find today.

One more thing: The OnePlus 3 has a 16MP camera that does a lot more than just shoot great photos — it supports 4K video, slo-mo, and excellent panoramas.

Best for doing more

Moto Z

See at Motorola

The Moto Z is an interesting phone. Yes, it doesn't have a headphone jack, but there is so much more to the story than that. It's extremely thin — under 5.2mm to be exact — and light, but is made of strong stuff, including aluminum and stainless steel. And while the Moto Mods story is the one that most people are telling, even without add-ons the Moto Z is one of the best Android experiences on the market. It has a great 5.5-inch QHD display, the specs you'd expect from a $699 phone, including an excellent 13MP rear camera and some fantastic software, but when paired with a Moto Mod, the story becomes more interesting.

Those Mods, which range from inexpensive battery adds-ons to more expensive projector and camera options, add a considerable amount of functionality to the device, and are well worth the investment.

Bottom-line: It may not be cheap, but Motorola, under Lenovo's ownership, has proven that it is still one of the most innovative companies in phones today.

One more thing: You can buy the Moto Z unlocked directly from Motorola, as well as through Verizon under the Droid name.

Conclusion

There are so many smartphones out there today. It's not easy picking the right one, especially when tasked with choosing a phone at a certain size. This bracket, between 5.3 and 5.6 inches, appears to be the sweet spot for many people, which is why an increasing number of flagships are settling in it.

The Pixel XL is the clear winner here, with an attractive design, incredible performance, bloat-free software directly from Google (and updates before anyone else), and a camera that outclasses even the Galaxy S7 edge in most situations. Moreover, its battery lasts all day, and the addition of Google Assistant — currently a Pixel exclusive — is an AI-powered bonus.

Best overall

Google Pixel XL

See at Google See at Verizon

It came as a surprise to us, too, but it became apparent quickly after its release that the Google's Pixel XL is the best phone under 5.7 inches you can buy. While the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge comes with a number of additional software features, in addition to sporting expandable storage and water resistance, the Pixel XL makes up for those shortcomings with the potent combination of speed, battery life, screen quality and camera performance.

Of course, it takes a lot to dethrone the king, so Google made sure to give its Android software — the latest version, Android 7.1 Nougat — some additional kick, with Google Assistant and 24/7 support. And because Google engineers Android itself, the Pixel is all but guaranteed the quickest software updates, with the latest features. Right now, Android 7.1 boasts improvements to notifications, multitasking and the home screen, with features that make a meaningful difference to users' lives.

Bottom line: The Google Pixel XL is probably the best phone you can buy today. Not only is the camera incredible, the software simple-but-powerful, and the performance unparalleled, but Google's 24/7 support and quick software updates are unmatched in the Android ecosystem.

One more thing: The Pixel XL also has a smaller sibling, the Pixel, which shaves some screen size and resolution for some one-handed love.

Note: This list is of phones between 5.3 inches and 5.6 inches. We already have a list of the best phones 5.2 inches and under, and the best phones 5.7 inches and above.

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1 month ago

LeEco's first U.S. flash sale is today — here's what you need to know

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LeEco's first U.S. flash sale is Nov 2

Get to know LeEco ahead of its first flash sale in the U.S.

LeEco is trying to make its way into the U.S. after a (relatively) long history selling products in China and India, and it's kicking things off by selling a few of its top products via a "flash sale" on November 2. It's an unfamiliar model for most people in the U.S., but the products offer enticing value propositions with very attractive pricing.

Before the sale kicks off, here's an introduction to LeEco, its products, the LeMall store and its interesting consumer sales model.

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