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1 week ago

Android 7.0: Better performance, longer battery life

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By addressing specific things that affect performance and power efficiency, Android 7.0 Nougat should make our phones run better and longer between charges.

Every time the software on our phones receives a big update, we hear how it will perform better and use less of our battery. While it's often true, the ideas and how they are implemented need plenty of fine-tuning to meet expectations. Android 7.0 improves on two existing features to help them live up to their full potential: Projects Doze, and Project Svelte.

The goals are simple — find ways to make the phone less power hungry when you're not using it, and better management of background processes. All software is built with an emphasis on performance and efficiency, and an operating system so much more so. We'll take a look at the changes and see how they could have an impact.

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1 week ago

Watch our Galaxy Note 7 video review!

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See what we have to say about the Note 7 in a fresh format.

In case you missed it while reading our comprehensive written review of the Galaxy Note 7, we've worked up a full video review for your enjoyment as well. Nice scenery, beautiful shots of the Galaxy Note 7, and some insightful analysis — what's not to like? This is the complete package.

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1 week ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Biggest and best

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung takes the spirit of the Note down to the Galaxy S line, and it's a hit.

The quick take

Even though the Note 7 doesn't immediately strike you as an altogether stand-out device like its predecessors, it's still an amazing phone that stands atop others available today. The Note 7 takes the Galaxy S7's formula of minimizing gimmicks in order to offer a fantastic core smartphone experience, and does so with very few, if any, missteps. It checks all of the boxes, and goes above and beyond expectations in just about every way. It's the best Galaxy Note to date.

The Good

  • Beautiful hardware
  • Industry-leading display
  • Great camera
  • Unique S Pen features

The Bad

  • Still too big for some hands
  • Very expensive
  • Carrier bloatware still horrible
  • No U.S. unlocked model

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1 week ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 now available for pre-order in the UK

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Galaxy Note 7

Major networks and retailers put Samsung's new Note up for pre-order.

Today's Samsung Galaxy Note 7 pre-order day in the UK, and that means Brits can finally secure their handsets ahead of the Sept. 2 UK launch date.

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1 week ago

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in the UK

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Galaxy Note 7

As expected, every major UK network will carry the Galaxy Note 7 — and it'll cost a pretty penny if you buy unlocked.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is official, and as expected all the major UK networks have announced that they'll be carrying the phone when it launches in early September. The official Samsung pre-order date is Aug 16, so that's when we can expect to see more details on pricing and colors form the UK carriers.

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1 week ago

Complain all you want about the OnePlus 3, at least it's getting updates

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OnePlus 3 software updates are fixing things and breaking other things. But that's OK.

I've been witness to a maelstrom of frustration and invective over the weekend as OnePlus rolled out yet another fix for its OxygenOS software for the OnePlus 3.

OxygenOS version 3.2.4 began trickling out in small waves over the weekend, with promises to fix a few of the OnePlus 3's nagging issues — many of which were introduced in previous updates. That's a problem, sure: it's never ideal to replace one set of bugs with another. But the reality is that OnePlus, free from the need to submit its software to carriers, can and is doing the right thing by unilaterally releasing regular fixes — even as it continues to roll up Google's own security updates into separate releases.

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1 week ago

BlackBerry Priv and DTEK50 first to be fully patched against all QuadRooter vulnerabilities

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BlackBerry is rolling out a patch against the QuadRooter exploit to the Priv and DTEK50 starting today.

BlackBerry has built a patch against the fourth and final vulnerability of the QuadRooter exploit.

As a refresher, QuadRooter was able to use vulnerabilities in Qualcomm's firmware drivers to gain elevated permissions (read: root) on your phone or tablet. Zero cases have been reported in the wild, and the user would have to disable factory security settings and manually install an app using the QuadRooter code. In addition, all phones running Android 4.2 or higher and use Google Play have built-in protections that scan apps and warn the user before the installation. BlackBerry devices that run Android — the Priv and the DTEK50 — also have a secure boot process that verifies the system hasn't been tampered with.

In other words, this wasn't going to go far in the first place.

Nevertheless, it's great to see BlackBerry's active focus on security. Three of the four vulnerabilities were patched by Qualcomm and included in the August Android Security Patch, but the fourth was slated to come with the September patch.

Some critical Android vulnerabilities – for example, one that can be easily and remotely exploited with a publicly disclosed method to execute 'root' privileged malware – simply can't wait for a monthly update cycle. — BlackBerry Chief Security Officer, David Kleidermacher

Kleidermacher is correct. BlackBerry stakes its reputation on security, and patching a new firmware bug should take top priority. Well done, BlackBerry.

The patch has been released and is available today for devices purchased from ShopBlackBerry.com. Partners are expected to begin the rollout this week.

MORE: Android Malware — should you be worried?

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1 week ago

Huawei P9 Plus video review

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Huawei P9 Plus

What you need to know about Huawei's true 2016 flagship.

You've read our Huawei P9 review, but it turns out the P9 isn't the top tier device for Huawei in 2016. There's a bigger, badder P9 Plus available in parts of Europe and Asia, with a 5.5-inch screen, a heftier 3,400mAh battery, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. But there's more to the P9 Plus than mere specs, as we'll explore in our video review.

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1 week ago

Score an unlocked BlackBerry Priv for just $299 right now!

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Right now you can grab an unlocked AT&T version of the BlackBerry Priv for just $299 at eBay. We've seen a number of sales for this phone, but this one drops it right down to the same price as the recently-announced BlackBerry DTEK50, but with higher specs. If physical keyboards are a must-have for you, or you are looking for a good backup phone at a cheap price, you won't want to miss out on this deal.

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1 week ago

2016 Nexus: First live photos leak as Nougat release approaches

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Nexus

First live photos of smaller 5-inch Nexus reveal metal design with large glass section on the back.

This year's Google-designed (and likely HTC-built) Nexus phones might not be arriving alongside Android 7.0 Nougat, but it's looking like we won't have to wait too much longer to wait for the new handsets to arrive. Shots surfacing on Android Police today claim to reveal (in heavily cropped form) the smaller of the two phones, known by its codename "Sailfish."

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1 week ago

Will you be upgrading to the Galaxy Note 7?

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Will you be upgrading to the Galaxy Note 7?

Samsung's latest flagship comes out on August 19, and the Galaxy Note 7 is shaping up to be one of the company's best phones ever — and possibly one of the best Android phones ever.

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2 weeks ago

Motorola talks redesigning its phones, building Moto Mods and more

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Motorola has been working on Moto Mods and Moto Z for more than two years, and the company now explains some of the processes that took place behind the scenes. Building a phone that had good battery life and was more durable and thinner than previous phones was quite a task for the company to conquer. Between developing a liquid cooling system and using aircraft-grade stainless steel, Motorola was able to keep the phone super thin while not compromising on quality.

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2 weeks ago

ASUS video showcases ZenFone 3 Laser's insanely fast laser autofocus

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ASUS has posted a new video which showcases the insane speeds of the laser autofocus in the ZenFone 3 Laser. Much like on the ZenFone 2 line, ASUS makes the Laser line stand out with its lightning-fast auto-focus to improve the quality of the pictures that you can capture with the phone. The ZenFone 3 line was first debuted back at Computex, and not much has been said about them since.

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2 weeks ago

The LG V20 will be the first phone with a 32 bit Quad DAC

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The LG V20 not only will be the first phone to run Android 7.0, but news from Seoul tells us it will also be the first smartphone to feature a Quad DAC.

While the actual model isn't yet revealed, we do know LG is once again partnering with ESS to bring premium audio to the V20. ESS also provided the excellent 32bit DAC in the V10, which received pretty rave reviews for its audio performance.

Higher quality audio is simply the natural evolution of the smartphone, as the industry moves toward a more holistic multimedia consumption experience. — Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics and Mobile Communications Company.

LG says that they know users are now looking for more than a fast processor and a big display when they buy a high-end phone, and they aim to provide it with the V20. We'll know more — and hopefully get to put our hands on a V20 — on September 6 when LG unveils the whole package in San Francisco. In the meantime, we can read the press releases. This one is below.

LG V20, WORLD'S FIRST SMARTPHONE WITH QUAD DAC FOR BEST IN CLASS AUDIO

LG and ESS Technology Collaborate to Deliver One-of-a-Kind Audio Experience

SEOUL, Aug. 11, 2016 ― LG Electronics (LG) announced that its forthcoming flagship smartphone, LG V20, will be the first smartphone in the industry to feature 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (digital to analog converter) capabilities, bringing a superior audio experience to mobile for the very first time.

A Quad DAC delivers a crisp and clear sound that comes closest to a live performance when using compatible wired headphones. The sound is superior to that produced by a traditional DAC as it can reduce up to 50 percent of ambient noise levels. Videos taken with the V20 are accompanied by a soundtrack that can capture the roaring sound of waves crashing on a beach or conversations among two individuals at a noisy party.

LG worked closely with ESS Technology, a leader in high-performance analog and audio devices, to ensure that the Quad DAC, delivered the best audio experience for owners of the LG V20. The Quad DAC is the lynchpin of the many cutting-edge multimedia features included in the LG V20. ESS Technology previously provided its 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC in the V10, LG V20's predecessor.

"As smartphones mature, we're seeing more and more customers looking beyond just fast processors and big displays in their devices," said Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics and Mobile Communications Company. "Higher quality audio is simply the natural evolution of the smartphone, as the industry moves toward a more holistic multimedia consumption experience. We're pleased to continue this long-term partnership with ESS and bring best in class audio to LG V20 users."

"We are extremely excited that our Quad DAC technology will be featured in the V20, LG's latest flagship smartphone for consumers who demand the best media experience," said Robert Blair, president and chief executive officer of ESS Technology. "As a technology more typically available in high-end audio equipment, Quad DAC on the V20 will make users feel as if they are carrying around a professional home-audio system on their smartphone."

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2 weeks ago

Coolpad unveils Coolpad Mega, a nicely designed budget smartphone for India

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Coolpad has unveiled the Coolpad Mega, its latest budget smartphone for India.

In a press conference in New Delhi today, Coolpad unveiled the Coolpad Mega, a lightweight, nicely designed affordable smartphone. Powered by the latest CoolUI 8.0 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Coolpad Mega supports dual SIM dual standby with VoLTE support and offers 4G LTE network.

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