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1 week ago

OnePlus 2 starts receiving OTA with Stagefright patch

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OnePlus is now rolling out the first OTA update for the OnePlus 2, issuing a patch for the Stagefright exploit. OxygenOS 2.0.1 contains numerous bug fixes as well, along with improvements to battery life:

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1 week ago

Samsung offering iPhone owners a Galaxy Note 5 to 'Test Drive' for 30 days [update]

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Update: Due to "overwhelming" demand, Samsung has run out of Test Drive phones to loan out. The company is now working to have more available for trial. A Samsung spokesperson had this to say:

The response to Samsung's Ultimate Test Drive has been overwhelming and exceeded our expectations. We are excited to see how many people are eager to try something new. In just a few hours, all of the kits earmarked for this program were reserved by customers looking to try our latest and greatest devices. We're now working quickly on how to make the Ultimate Test Drive available to even more people.

Original story: With in-store sales of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ kicking off, Samsung has launched a new promotion called the "Ultimate Test Drive" aimed at getting iPhone owners to switch over to a Galaxy phone. Through this promotion — limited to U.S. residents — Samsung will be giving out a Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+ or Galaxy S6 edge (sorry, no standard GS6) to use completely free, including cellular service, for 30 days. (Sound familiar?)

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1 week ago

OnePlus 2 tips and tricks

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Despite it's Nexus-ish outer appearance, the OnePlus 2 experience is fairly unique. There's some interesting hardware and software here, and when you really dig into OxygenOS and start poking around at the settings you'll find new ways to use this phone.

To save you some time, we've assembled this quick guide for things that are lurking in OxygenOS on the OnePlus 2 you might be interested in.

Take me to the guide!

Map your whole fingerprint for better accuracy

OnePlus did a great job with the fingerprint sensor on their latest phone, but not so much with the instruction manual for recording your fingerprint. To get the most accurate setup, make sure you are mapping as much of your finger as possible. That means move all across your thumb when pressing it to the sensor during the capture process. The sensor records 15 different imprints of your thumb during this process, so the more of your thumb it can record the greater your chances of success will be when unlocking your phone.

It's a simple thing, but the difference it makes is huge.

Edit your LED colors to fit your needs

OxygenOS is all about personalization, right down to the color of the LED on the front of your phone. You can set a special color for nearly dead, charging, fully charged, and of course notifications. The menu for this is tucked away with the Dark/Light theme settings, and adds a tiny bit of personal flair to the outside of your phone.

Head to Settings> Customization> LED notifications and you'll be able to select a color out of the available grid for each option.

You can use the hardware home sensor with software buttons

Like its predecessor, the OnePlus 2 lets you choose between soft buttons on the glass and software buttons on the display. It's a nice feature to have, but this time around there's a fingerprint sensor where that home button goes. Since a lot of folks are already bringing their thumb down to that hardware home sensor anyway, OnePlus included a setting that lets you have software buttons and the hardware home sensor on at the same time.

It may seem a little counter-intuitive to have a pair of home buttons on the phone, but the setup quickly becomes comfortable if you're already using the fingerprint sensor. If it ends up not being your thing, the setting is just as easy to disable.

Pay attention to your SIM card position

If you've never used a dual-SIM phone before, the OnePlus 2 is going to seem a little strange. If you live in the US and you think you'll just take the phone to your local carrier store and they'll help you set it up, you're only half right. Carrier stores will try to help, but with no instruction manual things can get strange.

To make things easy, remember to always have your primary SIM in Slot 1, which on the OnePlus 2 is the card that goes deepest into the phone. You don't have to have anything in Slot 2 if you don't want to, but remember if you do there's an entirely different set of settings for controlling and monitoring that second SIM.

Check out Double Tap Actions for more launch options

OxygenOS on the OnePlus 2 includes this feature called Double Tap Actions, which basically lets you set additional commands to the back and multitask buttons on this phone. There's a huge list of options available to you here, including the ability to launch the camera with a double tap which can be pretty useful.

Like any soft touch or software key setting, if the phone wakes in your pocket you run the risk of accidentally launching things. Avoiding this is fairly easy with a lock screen, but it's important to keep in mind.

OnePlus 2

OnePlus

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1 week ago

International variant of the ZUK Z1 will come preloaded with Cyanogen OS

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Cyanogen has struck another deal with a phone manufacturer, this time landing its OS on the upcoming ZUK Z1 smartphone. The international variant of the phone will feature Cyanogen OS 12.1 at launch, and will be ZUK's first phone to come preloaded with the software. ZUK, the Lenovo-backed company, recently announced its Z1, which will feature USB Type-C, a 4,100mAh battery, along with a Snapdragon 801 and 3GB of RAM.

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1 week ago

Honor 7i with 13MP flip camera, Snapdragon 616 now official in China

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The latest offering from Huawei's sub-brand is the Honor 7i, which features a 13MP flip camera that can rotate 180 degrees. The rotatable nature of the camera means that you can use it as a front-facing shooter to take selfies as well. Another interesting feature on the phone is a fingerprint sensor on the side, marking a departure from the more conventional use cases we've seen thus far.

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1 week ago

Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 and S6 edge+ head to South Korea

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Samsung has launched the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ in South Korea, with the launch coinciding with the debut of Samsung Pay in the country. The Galaxy Note 5 will be sold in White Pearl, Black Sapphire and Gold Platinum color variants, while the Galaxy S6 edge+ will be available in Black Sapphire and Gold Platinum options.

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1 week ago

How to take a screenshot on the Galaxy Note 5

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Taking a screenshot on your phone is one of its most basic functions, but the Galaxy Note 5 has a trick up its sleeve that helps it go well beyond a standard one-screen capture. Though you still have two simple ways to take a regular full-screen screenshot to share or keep for yourself, there's also a new option called "scrolling capture" that lets you automatically stitch together multiple screenshots into a full scrollable and editable image.

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1 week ago

Analysis claims the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has the best smartphone display yet

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Research firm DisplayMate, which regularly offers its opinions on the quality of smartphone and tablet displays, has conducted its usual, and extensive, series of tests on the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Note 5. The final result of those tests has the firm declaring that the display on Samsung's latest phone is the best one made for any smartphone yet.

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1 week ago

HTC One M9 on Verizon to receive Android 5.1 update beginning August 20

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Verizon will finally begin pushing the Android 5.1 update out for the HTC One M9 beginning on August 20. According to HTC's Mo Versi, HTC has received approval from Verizon to push the update, which will bring several other fixes in addition to Android 5.1.

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1 week ago

Project Ara's delay may be due to phones failing drop tests [Update: Not failing after all]

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Update: Apparently that whole thing about the phone failing the drop test was a joke, according to Project Ara's later Twitter post, but apparently they are still using a new way to connect the modules together and ditching their electropermanent magnet idea.

Original story: Google confirmed earlier this week that the first market pilot for its Project Ara modular smartphone would be pushed back from late 2015 to sometime in 2016. Now a new message on the project's official Twitter account may have revealed that the reason for the delay was due in part to those smartphones failing drop tests.

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1 week ago

Xiaomi Mi 4i Limited Edition with new color options launching in India on August 25

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At the global launch of MIUI 7, Xiaomi announced that it will launch a limited edition Mi 4i in several colors, including blue, pink and yellow. With the white and black options already available, the phone will be available in a total of five color combinations.

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1 week ago

Quick hits on the Verizon Note 5

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Verizon Galaxy Note 5

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is shipping a little earlier than the Aug. 21 date we were given last week, and that's just fine with us. We've been using an international model for a few days and now have Verizon's Note 5 in our hot little hands. And because this is Verizon we're talking about here, that means there are going to be some ... peculiarities compared to other models.

And, lo and behold, that's the case.

Here's what we've seen so far:

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1 week ago

Moto X Play coming to Canadian retail stores on Aug. 21

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If you happen to call Canada your home and want to get in on Motorola's latest smartphone offerings, you're in luck this week. Motorola Canada has announced that the Moto X Play will be headed to retail stores in the great white north starting this Friday, August 21.

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1 week ago

Google+ isn't preloaded on the Galaxy Note 5

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Here's some fodder for the "Google+ is dead" crowd. We've used two models of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 that don't have Google's own social networking app installed by default. (And that's saying something given all the crapware that's on Verizon's model.)

Google has begun walking back Google+ integration of late, first splitting out Photos and later saying it'd no longer be a requirement for commenting on YouTube videos.

Google Photos, however, is preloaded on the Note 5.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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1 week ago

8 things to know about the Galaxy S6 edge+

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Galaxy S6 edge+

Though it's a bit overshadowed by the Note 5, the Galaxy S6 edge+ just launched, too.

Perhaps the Galaxy Note 5 has picked up more attention because it's changed so much from the Note 4, while the Galaxy S6 edge+ is a relatively known quantity, but it still deserves some attention. Sure it's just a scaled-up version of the Galaxy S6 edge that launched months ago, but it also packs the new specs and features that came with the Note 5 — which definitely gives something to be excited about. Here's what you need to know about the Galaxy S6 edge+

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