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1 month ago

HTC 10 initial photo and video samples

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HTC 10 camera

An early look at the HTC 10's photographic capabilities

After years of ho-hum cameras, HTC's newly-announced 2016 flagship, the HTC 10, promises a significant bump in photographic capabilities. There's a new 12-megapixel "UltraPixel 2" camera around the back, paired with dual-tone flash and laser autofocus, behind an f/1.8 lens. And with large 1.55-micron pixel paired and optical image stabilization (OIS), the rear camera should be better than ever at night photography — a major differentiator in mobile photography right now. Around the front, HTC brings us the first selfie camera with OIS, with a stabilized 5-megapixel sensor, also behind an f/1.8 lens.

Our full review of the HTC 10 is on the way soon, with much more on the phone's photographic capabilities and its redesigned camera app. In the meantime, we invite you to see for yourself — continue below for a handful of photos and video shot on the HTC 10.

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1 month ago

Oppo F1 Plus unboxing and first impressions: Promise it's not an iPhone

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We know what you're all thinking.

This is the Oppo F1 Plus, a beefed up version of its recent, camera focused F1. And if you read the slogan on the box, this phone is a "selfie expert."

That would be because the signature feature of this phone is its whopping 16MP front facing camera.

Sixteen. Megapixels. Those are going to be some high-resolution selfies.

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1 month ago

HTC changes course, confirms plans to bring the HTC 10 to India

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HTC has reversed its decision regarding the launch of the HTC 10 launch in India, with the vendor now listing the Snapdragon 820 variant on its official website. Earlier this week, it was the Snapdragon 652-based HTC 10 Lifestyle that was listed in its place, which led to consternation among the local audience over the Taiwanese vendor's decision to not bring its "true flagship" to the country.

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1 month ago

LG launches K7 and K10 in India, commences local production

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LG has launched the K7 and K10 in India. The budget phones are the South Korean vendor's latest bid to increase its market share in the country, and will be the first LG phones to be assembled locally. Both phones offer LTE connectivity, and come with VoLTE and VoWi-Fi as well. The K7 will retail for ₹9,500, and the K10 for ₹13,500.

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1 month ago

Nextbit Robin is coming to India in May, Kickstarter deliveries going out this month

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Nexbit has announced that it will launch the Robin in India in the month of May. No mention as of now of a launch date or estimated pricing in the country.

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1 month ago

The HTC 10, explained by HTC's VP of Design

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HTC VP Design Claude Zellweger

We sat down with the manufacturer's VP of design to talk about what makes this phone so good.

"The HTC 10 is very recognizable as an HTC phone," says HTC VP of Design Claude Zellweger, "but it's also very distinguishable as a new direction for our design language."

We talked with the design lead about the company's latest flagship phone — the new HTC 10 — on the evening following the launch, and he wasn't shy about mentioning Apple or Samsung either. We've got the interview on video, so make sure to hit the play button!

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1 month ago

Listening to the LG G5 with its Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play module

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The Bang & Olufsen HiFi audio module lives up to its promise of premium sound — now we only need a price and release date.

We've had a look at the European version of the LG G5 and spent some time with the elusive "Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play" module. While the G5 plays music and other audio files without any problem on its own, the 32bit Sabre ES9028C2M DAC and Sabre9602c amplifier inside the HiFi module are designed to natively play 24bit/192kHz hi-res tracks, as well as tracks upscaled to 32bit.

With these chips being a newer replacement from Sabre — a company well-known for producing excellent digital audio components for companies like Pioneer and Yamaha — we expected some pretty good stuff.

We weren't disappointed. It's pretty obvious to anyone who has had a chance to try the B&O module that it delivers better sound that the "vanilla" G5 when using the same headphones. We dug out some patch cables and gave things a closer look — as well as a comparison to 2015's LG V10 — to see why.

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1 month ago

Android is finally making its emoji look like people

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We still don't know Android N's eventual food-related name, but we are slowly learning more about its extensive feature set.

In the second Developer Preview issued to a variety of Nexus devices today, Google announced that with N it will support Emoji Unicode 9 standard, which includes a number of new pictorials. Google also plans support for skin tone variations, a feature that iOS users have been enjoying for some time.

But perhaps the most interesting change is that Google is moving away from its often-reviled cartoon emoji in favor of a "more human-looking design," according to a post on the company's developer blog.

The Unicode Consortium, the organization that decides on which emoji will be added to each release, plans to make Unicode 9.0 available sometime in June 2016, well before Android N becomes publicly available. New glyphs include "Face Palm," "Bacon," and "Mother Christmas," though not every character will likely be included in the Android N update.

Google already added a host of new emojj with Android 6.0.1 back in December, but as with any new Android release, only a small percentage of users have received it. Of course, some manufacturers override Google's own emoji design. Samsung in particular has its own unique set of emoji, and it's unclear whether Google's changes in N will have any impact on how the company approaches its pictorials in the future.

Android N Developer Preview

The Android N Developer Preview is just that — a developer preview. While it's now "release candidate beta" quality we still have to issue a word of caution. Tread lightly.

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1 month ago

This simple tweak fixes the most infuriating thing about Huawei's EMUI

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Icons yo

'PureIcons' lets you free your app icons from Huawei's obsessive squirclization.

Using the Huawei P9 over the past week has made me appreciate the progress the Chinese firm has made in fixing up its EMUI software layer to the point where basically nothing is overtly broken. But I've also become reacquainted with the more overbearing parts of Huawei's UI — its... unique... way of handling Android notifications, its paranoid power consumption notifications and, of course, its insistence on being all up in your icons.

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1 month ago

HTC 10 preview: a Canadian perspective

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HTC's made a really good phone this year.

I'm not alone in thinking that HTC needs more than just a good smartphone to regain lost ground in the smartphone market. At this point, it's not even feasible for the company to reach the heights of profitability and market share it had back in 2011 and 2012; instead, one must take a bit more of a sober look at its prospects. Can it get back to the black? Can it leverage its engineering prowess in the smartphone world to push its VR and health wearables business?

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1 month ago

Where to buy the HTC 10 in Canada

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Exclusives are the name of the game here.

The HTC 10 is here, and it's coming to Canada in in late April for $399 on a 2-year contract. Want it unlocked? That'll be available directly from HTC in early May for $999. Looking for where to buy it? It's pretty simple: it's only coming to one carrier, for now.

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1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy J7, LG G Stylo 2 and Kyocera Hydro REACH head to Boost and Virgin Mobile on April 15

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On April 15, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile will begin carrying three new budget smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy J7, LG G Stylo 2 and Kyocera Hydro REACH will all be available on April 15, and all priced under $230. Each phone offers something a bit different than the others. For example, Kyocera's Hydro REACH has a 5-inch QHD display and is both dust and waterproof, with Wet Touchscreen Operation. It runs Android 5.1 and comes with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

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1 month ago

Comparing the two rear cameras in the LG G5

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Choosing when to use either of LG's rear cameras leads to some fascinating results.

The back of the LG G5 features a pair of cameras, which by now isn't new information. You've got one 16MP "standard" camera that shoots like just about any other high-end smartphone camera out there today, and a separate 8MP "wide" camera that captures images behind a 135-degree lens. LG offers a pair of modes in the camera app that allows you to use these two cameras together, but most of the time you'll be choosing between the two when capturing an image.

Knowing this, we decided to compare the LG G5 against itself to see which camera you'd want to use and when. Here are our results. Click any of the smaller photos for a larger look!

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1 month ago

CREO Mark 1 hands-on: Decent hardware backed by excellent software

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CREO is betting on custom software features to drive sales of the Mark 1.

CREO is an Indian vendor with a difference. The company has made its foray into the world of Android with the Mark 1, which will go on sale later this month on Flipkart for ₹19,999. While the phone offers decent hardware for its asking price, it is the software on offer that will entice users.

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1 month ago

CREO Mark 1 unveiled in India: Here's everything you need to know

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At a media event in New Delhi, CREO unveiled its first phone, the Mark 1, for ₹19,999. The device is constructed out of metal and glass, offers high-end hardware, and runs a custom Android fork. The differentiator with the Mark 1 is monthly updates, which will be driven by community feedback.

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