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1 month ago

Best ASUS Phones

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This is the best that ASUS has to offer.

While ASUS has been making phones for years, it wasn't until the ZenFone 2 that the company was recognized internationally for its good work. Now that we're nearly two years out from that device, ASUS has even more great stuff on the horizon.

Though some models are region-specific, they all have signature ASUS quirks. So which one do you choose? We've done the hard work for you; this is the current list of the best ASUS phones you need to know about.

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1 month ago

Mobile World Congress 2017: The Android Central preview

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Fira Barcelona

The biggest phone show of the year is about to kick off in Barcelona. Here's what to expect...

Mobile World Congress, held each February (or sometimes early March) in Barcelona, Spain, is usually the event which kicks off flagship phone launch season. For the past two years, Samsung has unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S phone ahead of MWC, and although we'll need to wait a few more months for this year's Galaxy S8, there's still a ton of Android goodness to look forward to.

The show itself takes place at the purpose-built Fira Barcelona in the south of the city, however this is preceded by a couple of days of action-packed launch events around Barcelona. This year the Android Central, Windows Central and CrackBerry teams will be on the ground from Thursday, February 23. Most of the big press events take place on February 25 and 26. And the show officially kicks off on February 27, running until March 2.

In addition to tapas, cervezas and some unmatched scenery, we can predict the following for Mobile World Congress 2017...

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1 month ago

ASUS launches ZenFone 3s Max in India with 5000mAh battery

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The ZenFone 3s Max doubles up as a power bank.

ASUS launched the ZenFone 3 Max in India last November, and is now rolling out an updated variant dubbed the ZenFone 3s Max (ZC521TL) with a larger 5000mAh battery and Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. The phone retails for โ‚น14,999 ($220), and will be available online and offline stores starting today in Black and Sand Gold color options.

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1 month ago

LG G6 invite teases bezel-less 'Full Vision' display

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Get ready for a Full Vision display.

LG has been teasing the launch of the LG G6 by revealing details of the device ahead of its unveil at Mobile World Congress on February 26. In the press invite for the launch event, LG is touting the bezel-less nature of the 5.7-inch display with the tagline, "Big Screen That Fits."

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1 month ago

ZTE's Axon 7 flagship gets Nougat, Daydream support

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The ZTE Axon 7 is set to receive Android 7.0 Nougat, and users of the popular unlocked flagship are in for a Daydream upgrade! ๐ŸŽ‰

Nougat is an elusive piece of software for many smartphone owners, including those with the world's most popular Android phones on earth, the Galaxy S7.

But China's ZTE, which claims to be the fourth largest manufacturer by sales volume in the U.S., and second in the unlocked space, can now claim that its flagship is among those few beneficiaries of Google's latest features, including improved notifications, more advanced Doze, and proper multi-window support. The company's Axon 7 flagship is set to receive Android 7.0 Nougat beginning February 7, bringing Daydream support along with it.

As part of the release, ZTE says that users will see a simplified interface that doesn't detract from Google's original intentions, along with numerous bug fixes and performance improvements in its so-called MiFavor interface. The company is also teaming up with Hiya, a platform that helps weed out spam and robocalls before they come through to the user. Available as a third-party app to all Android users, Hiya will be integrated directly into ZTE's dialler app, a first for both companies.

The full change log for the update is below:

  • Android OS Upgraded from 6.0.1 to 7.0
  • Axon 7 2017U is Now Daydream Ready! Get a Daydream View to experience VR today.
  • Camera RAW Implemented in Manual Mode and Enhanced Auto-Focus for Camera.
  • Google Security Patch Updated to December 2016
  • Various Device Stability and Security Improvements.
  • Hiya Caller ID/Blocking added to default dialer.
  • Miscellaneous Performance Improvements and other Enhancements.

What's your experience been with the Nougat update? Let us know in the comments!

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1 month ago

Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus 3D renders offer clearest look yet at upcoming flagships

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3D renders of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus detail Samsung's design choices for its flagships.

We've seen the first live photo of the Galaxy S8 late last month, which pointed to a bezel-less display with an 83% screen-to-body ratio, along with a fingerprint sensor located next to the camera module at the back. Noted leaker OnLeaks has now published detailed 3D renders of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus on GearIndia, revealing additional details regarding the design of Samsung's 2017 flagships.

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1 month ago

Best T-Mobile Phones

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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1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy A5 + A3 launch in the UK: Flagship features come to an affordable price point

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Galaxy A5 + A3

Glass construction, water resistance, and latest Samsung UI arrive in new 4.7 and 5.2-inch handsets.

Samsung has unleashed the latest devices in its mid-priced A series on the UK, with the arrival of the 2017 variants of the Galaxy A3 and A5. As in previous years, Samsung has brought a smattering of high-end features to a more affordable price point through the pint-sized 4.7-inch A3, and the larger 5.2-inch A5.

Both phones share a similar glass and metal construction, much like Samsung's higher-end offerings, along with the IP68-rated water and dust resistance that comes as standard with the Galaxy S7. In fact, aside from a few differences in port and button placement, the A5 is the spitting image of its more expensive sibling. (In fact, it one-ups the GS7 in one small but notable area, shipping with a more up-to-date USB-C port.)

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1 month ago

Our favorite Android devices through the years

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Looking back, everyone has a point where they started loving Android. Often those products became sentimental favorites. These are some of them as told by the AC editors.

Android is quite amazing. Not only is it nearing its 10 year anniversary, but the platform has dwarfed any reasonable expectation of success the founders must have had when developing the software.

It's also why, and how, many of the writers on Android Central got their start in the industry โ€” by trialling new phones and tablets and offering their opinions online. We asked them to highlight some of their most memorable devices โ€” not necessarily the best (as you'll see) but ones that had the most impact.

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1 month ago

Pick up an unlocked HTC One A9 for just $249 today only!

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Brought to you by the Thrifter team

Right now you can pick up a 32GB HTC One A9 for just $249 at Newegg, a savings of $250 from its regular price. Featuring a 5-inch 1080p display, the One A9 comes equipped with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded with a microSD card. This is an unlocked variant of the smartphone in the topaz gold color, so it will work on any U.S. GSM carrier, like AT&T, T-Mobile, Tracfone, and others. HTC has also already pushed the Android Nougat update to the phone which brings a number of great new features to it.

Newegg is offering free 3-day shipping with all purchases right now. This deal is only good for today, February 3, so be sure to act quickly if you are interested!

See at Newegg

For more great deals on tech, home goods, everyday essentials, fashion and everything in-between, head over to Thrifter now!

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1 month ago

Best Android 7.0 Nougat features for the Samsung Galaxy S7!

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One of the best Android phones of the past year is getting its biggest software update yet. Android 7.0 Nougat for the Samsung Galaxy S7 overhauls the phone's UI, and adds new features which offer some hints at the direction in which Samsung is heading for the Galaxy S8. A new, lighter UI is joined by a revamped Settings app, redesigned quick settings and a host of other useful features.

Whether you're just getting started with Nougat on your GS7, or you're still waiting on the update, we've got a full rundown of what's new in the latest firmware in our video feature.

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1 month ago

Best Budget Phone in India

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Update, 03 February 2017: The Redmi Note 4 is now our top budget pick in India.

Best overall

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

See at Flipkart

The Redmi Note 4 is the phone to beat in the budget segment. It offers a 5.5-inch Full HD display with 2.5D curved glass, a premium design with an all-metal chassis and contoured edges, and class-leading battery life.

For the first time, Xiaomi is offering a variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage in this segment, making the device an even more enticing option. The Redmi Note 4 is available in three configurations, with the base version coming with 2GB of RAM and 32GB storage for just โ‚น9,999. The Redmi Note 4 has a hybrid SIM card slot, so if you want to use two SIM cards, you should get the 64GB version.

The phone runs MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box, with Xiaomi rolling out software updates with stability fixes once every two weeks. If you're new to the MIUI ecosystem, there's plenty to explore.

The camera has received a sizeable upgrade as well, and it now takes great images in daylight conditions. Overall, you're getting a phone that offers an incredible amount of features for not a whole lot of money.

Bottom line: A premium aluminum design, great battery life, decent camera, and attractive pricing make the Redmi Note 4 the standout device in this category. For its retail price, it's bordering on illegal to ask for more.

One more thing: Xiaomi is testing the Nougat update for the phone. It's in preview right now, but a stable build should be available shortly.

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1 month ago

The LG G6 looks shiny and tall in this leaked shot

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Will there be anything left to show of the LG G6 when it's announced later this month?

The LG G6 hasn't been shy in showing itself before its official announcement later this month at MWC. We've seen how the phone will be made of metal and have very slim bezels, and we're heard that it will be water resistant and eschew modularity.

Now we're seeing a live shot of the phone from the rear, exposing its familiar dual camera setup and rear home button, while giving us an indication of how tall it will actually be. While the form factor of the 5.7-inch flagship won't stray too far from traditional handset, its will reportedly have a 2:1 (or 18:9) aspect ratio, giving the QHD screen slightly more vertical space than most Android devices.

Other than that, we can see from the photo that the (blue? black?) metal reflects a fair amount of light, and that it may be prone to some serious smudging โ€” so stock up on microfiber cloths if you're planning on ordering one when it goes on sale, likely in early March.

What do you think of the LG G6 from what you've seen so far? Let us know in the comments!

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1 month ago

The difference between BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile

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It's time to make a few things clear: there's BlackBerry the software company, and there's BlackBerry Mobile, the hardware vendor.

As we move into the month of CrackBerry's 10-year anniversary, and the return of CrackBerry Kevin, we thought it was important to highlight a few key differences between the BlackBerry we knew and the one we're likely going to continue writing about.

From CrackBerry:

Late last year, BlackBerry signed a software and brand licensing deal with TCL granting them the rights to design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. Additionally, TCL is managing all sales and distribution and will serve as a global distributor of new BlackBerry-branded mobile devices along with their dedicated sales teams. Effectively, this means TCL is designing, building and marketing BlackBerry Smartphones for themselves, not for BlackBerry. BlackBerry is supporting TCL in this partnership, but TCL is now driving the Android-powered BlackBerry Smartphone train in almost all markets globally.

This helps distinguish BlackBerry the software company โ€” yes, the one that still builds secure Android versions and various Android apps in addition to mobile device management solutions across multiple platforms โ€” from the TCL-owned BlackBerry Mobile, which builds the actual phone hardware.

Again, from CrackBerry:

When it comes to Mercury, the accurate statement would be to say that BlackBerry Mobile is officially unveiling the BlackBerry Mercury at Mobile World Congress on February 25th. It would be incorrect to say that BlackBerry is.

From a journalistic perspective, this is an important distinction, because the people we're dealing with at BlackBerry Mobile โ€” owned by TCL โ€” are different from those at BlackBerry proper. But for you, the user, it's also important, since BlackBerry Mobile now controls the facilities for building BlackBerry hardware, and the two companies will work together on software updates. While it's not clear at this point whether BlackBerry itself will control the bulk of the software update or if that will be under the purview of BB Mobile, the companies have assured us that the BlackBerry proper will have final say over the digital signature of each build, ensuring the high mark of security is maintained on all future devices.

It's important for the user to know the difference, since BlackBerry Mobile now controls the facilities for building BlackBerry hardware, and the two companies will work together on software updates.

BlackBerry 'Mercury' will be a test of that new relationship; BlackBerry itself has, for a number of years now, distanced itself from the actual production of its smartphones, but now that responsibility is entirely out of its hands. TCL, the company that has turned Alcatel (formerly Alcatel OneTouch) into a reputable hardware vendor across the world, knows what it's doing, and based on the devices we've used โ€” the DTEK50 and DTEK60 โ€” and ones we're about to โ€” 'Mercury' โ€” we're pretty confident things are only going to get better for the BlackBerry hardware brand in 2017 and beyond.

Cleaning up the Confusion: What you need to know about BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile

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1 month ago

Honor 8 Lite ditches the dual rear camera, comes with Nougat out of the box

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The Huawei P8 Lite 2017 is being sold as the Honor 8 Lite in Finland.

The Honor 8 Lite is now official in Finland. The phone is currently up for pre-order in the country for โ‚ฌ269 ($290), with deliveries slated to kick off from February 17.

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