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1 week ago

LG G6 coming to T-Mobile April 7 for $650

35

T-Mobile is the first U.S. carrier to officially announce its plans for the LG G6, and they're in line with expectations.

T-Mobile is first out of the gate for announcing the pricing and release date of the LG G6, which will be April 7, as we reported.

The company is rolling out the proverbial red carpet for the new flagship, pricing it at $650 outright, or 24 payments of $26 after $26 down — a hair cheaper than Verizon's price, and in line with expectations for most high-end smartphones.

T-Mobile also says that the G6 will, like Verizon, be bundled with a Google Home if the device is ordered before April 30 — a nice bonus for anyone purchasing the phone in the U.S. The Google Home itself is being provided by LG, so this is not a T-Mobile-specific deal (it appears that all carriers offering the device will be offering it) but it's one more great incentive for users to go with the G6 rather than wait for the Galaxy S8. That April 30 date is likely no accident, either — the Galaxy S8 is expected to be released in the U.S on April 28.

It's unclear if, like Verizon, pre-orders will begin on Friday, March 17, but we'll have to wait and see.

See at T-Mobile

LG G6

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1 week ago

Xiaomi Mi 6 launching with Snapdragon 821, SD835 variant to debut later

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Snapdragon 835 shortages force Xiaomi to rethink its strategy with the Mi 6.

It looks like the Snapdragon 835 shortage will continue for at least two more months, as the latest rumor regarding Xiaomi's upcoming Mi 6 flagship suggests the phone will launch with a Snapdragon 821 initially. The Weibo leak says that Xiaomi will launch the model with the Snapdragon 821 first, with the Snapdragon 835 variant making its debut at a later date.

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1 week ago

Honor 6X vs. Moto G4 Plus: Challenging the status quo

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Honor 6X vs. Moto G4

Find out how Honor's latest budget phone fares next to one of the best-selling devices in this segment.

Huawei has seen a meteoric rise in its smartphone business over the last two years. The company is now the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, and is making inroads into European and North American markets, as well as India. Its online-only sub-brand Honor has been a major contributor to its growth, offering devices with compelling features like the Honor 8 with its dual camera setup or the more recent AI-focused Honor Magic.

The Honor 5X did remarkably well in 2016 on the back of affordable pricing and alluring specs. With the Honor 6X, Huawei is looking to build on that momentum by adding a dual camera at the back, and tweaking the overall design of the phone.

Meanwhile, Lenovo has seen its market share fall in China and global markets. The brand is increasingly turning to Motorola's devices for future growth, a move that makes a lot of sense considering the Moto G series is still one of the best-selling product lines in this segment. Although the Moto G5 is on the horizon and offering several key upgrades for 2017, the Moto G4 Plus will continue to contribute to Motorola's bottom line this year, and it'll likely do well thanks to the inevitable price cut. Read on to find out if Huawei's latest can take on the Moto G4 Plus.

Design and hardware

Honor 6X vs. Moto G4

With earlier models in the Moto G series, Motorola focused on getting the basics right, and the result was a series of handsets that offered a great overall experience in spite of not featuring the best specs available. The same was true on the design front as well — although the phones were made out of plastic, they had great build quality that made them stand out from the hundreds of other handsets in this segment.

All that changed with the Moto G4 Plus, with Motorola shifting its focus to offering better specs to be more competitive in this category. The phone comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD display, and the increase in size has led to an abandonment of any form of design flair from the handset. Gone is Motorola's personality, and in its stead we now get a phone with a plastic back that creaks if you hold it too tight.

In contrast, the Honor 6X has great build quality, and the aluminum chassis gives it an upmarket feel. The 6X also lacks any differentiating features that make it stand out, with its overall design language identical to that of its Chinese rivals Xiaomi, LeEco, and Lenovo. That said, the 6X does look much better than the Moto G4 Plus, and although both phones sport 5.5-inch panels, the Moto G4 Plus is wider, taller, and thicker than the 6X.

As was the case with the Redmi Note 4, that doesn't translate to a larger battery. The Moto G4 Plus has a 3000mAh battery and an overall thickness of 9.8mm, while the Honor 6X comes with a 3340mAh battery in a chassis that's 8.2mm thick.

Motorola also got rid of the IPX7 water resistance, but it has retained dual SIM card slots and a dedicated microSD slot. The Honor 6X also lets you use two SIM card slots, but the second slot doubles up as a microSD slot as well. If you want to extend the storage, you'll have to resort to using a single SIM card.

Category Honor 6X Motorola Moto G4 Plus Operating System EMUI 4.1 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow Android 7.0 Nougat Display 5.5-inch 1080p (1920x1080) IPS LCD panel
401ppi pixel density 5.5-inch 1080p (1920x1080) IPS LCD panel
401ppi pixel density SoC Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 655
Four Cortex A53 cores at 2.1GHz
Four Cortex A53 cores at 1.7GHz
16nm Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617
Four Cortex A53 cores at 1.5GHz
Four Cortex A53 cores at 1.2GHz
28nm GPU Mali-T830MP2 Adreno 405 RAM 3GB/4GB RAM 2GB/3GB RAM Storage 32GB/64GB storage
microSD slot up to 256GB 16GB/32GB storage
microSD slot up to 256GB Rear camera 12MP + 2MP
dual LED flash
PDAF 16MP
dual LED flash
PDAF Front shooter 8MP
1080p video recording 5MP
1080p video recording Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 (A2DP), GPS,
microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 (A2DP), GPS,
microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack Battery 3340mAh battery 3000mAh battery Fingerprint Rear fingerprint sensor Front fingerprint sensor Dimensions 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2mm 153 x 76.6 x 9.8mm Weight 162g 155g Colors Gray, Gold, Silver Black, White


Honor 6X vs. Moto G4

On the hardware front, the Moto G4 Plus is running the Snapdragon 617, and the Honor 6X is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 655. Motorola managed to eke the most out of the Snapdragon 617, but you will get the feeling that the phone is underpowered at times. That isn't the case on the Honor 6X, and although it has the same cores as those used in the Snapdragon 617, they're clocked higher. Furthermore, the Mali-T830MP2 GPU on the Honor 6X pulls slightly ahead of the Adreno 405 on the Moto G4 Plus, making the former a better handset for gaming.

Then there's the fingerprint sensor: the Moto G4 Plus has one at the front, and while it does a good job of authenticating, the placement feels like an afterthought. With the Nougat update, Motorola added the ability to lock and unlock the phone with the fingerprint sensor, a much-needed addition that boosts its functionality. The Honor 6X has its fingerprint sensor located at the rear, and the minor indent allows you to easily find the scanner with your finger.

Both phones are sold unlocked on Amazon in the U.S., but the Honor 6X isn't compatible with Sprint or Verizon. The Moto G4 Plus, meanwhile, works on all four major carriers.

Software

Honor 6X vs. Moto G4

One of the major areas of focus for Huawei in 2016 has been on the software front, with the Nougat-based EMUI 5.0 no longer resembling a trainwreck. That said, the Honor 6X comes with the older EMUI 4.1 out of the box, and although Honor has started beta testing the Nougat update in the U.S., a stable update is still a month away.

As the phone is sold globally, timelines for the Nougat update vary based on region-specific requirements. In India, Huawei has mentioned that the update will be rolled out in the month of April, with the delay owing to the lack of Indic language support.

EMUI 4.1 has a lot to offer in the way of customization, but there's a high learning curve involved.

The Moto G4 Plus does not suffer from any such limitations. The phone was first the outside of the Nexus lineup and the Pixels to receive the Nougat update, and Motorola has rolled out the update initially in India — its largest market. Although the update landed in India over two months ago, there's little in the way of information regarding its rollout in other regions.

With Nougat, Motorola continues to offer a user interface that doesn't stray far from Google's Material Design guidelines, and the software experience is without a doubt the highlight of the phone. There are hundreds of phones sold in this segment, but none come close to the clean interface sported by the Moto G4 Plus.

Camera

Honor 6X vs. Moto G4

The dual camera setup on the Honor 6X is certainly its differentiating feature, with the secondary 2MP lens acting as a depth sensor. When used in conjunction with the primary 12MP shooter, it results in creating a bokeh effect in certain shooting scenarios. That said, the secondary sensor is off by default — you'll be able to take an image just fine even if you cover up the 2MP sensor — and it only kicks in when taking wide-aperture shots.

The camera app on the 6X makes it incredibly easy to shoot images, and you have quick access to various shooting modes, filters, toggles, and settings. There are plenty of modes to choose from, including one for food, time lapse, light painting, panoramas, and more. You also get a full-featured manual mode for both images and video.

In comparison, the camera app on the Moto G4 Plus is sparse. You get toggles for HDR, flash, timer, and the ability to choose the shooting modes — slow motion, manual, and panorama. It certainly misses out on the accouterments, but it doesn't fall short when it comes to the image quality.

Honor 6X camera sampleMoto G4 Plus camera sample

Honor 6X on the left, Moto G4 Plus on the right.

Honor 6X camera sampleMoto G4 Plus camera sample

Honor 6X camera sampleMoto G4 Plus camera sample

Honor 6X camera sampleMoto G4 Plus camera sample

The Honor 6X takes detailed images in bright conditions, but it struggles when it comes to low-light scenarios — colors look washed out, and the camera fails to capture adequate detail.

That isn't the case with the 16MP camera on the Moto G4 Plus. The Moto G series went from having one of the worst cameras in this segment to one of the best, and it looks like that tradition has continued with the Moto G5. Ten months after its release, the phone is still the one to beat in this segment when it comes to camera quality.

Battery life

Honor 6X vs. Moto G4

The Honor 6X has a larger 3340mAh battery against the Moto G4 Plus' 3000mAh battery, allowing the phone to last a day on a full charge. The larger battery combined with the more efficient SoC allows the 6X to take the lead when it comes to battery life, but the phone loses out when it comes to fast charging.

You get a 5V/2A charger in the box, which takes just over two hours to fully charge the phone. In this regard, Motorola's TurboPower 15W charger fares slightly better, charging the phone in an hour and 45 minutes. The charger comes in handy when you need to quickly top off the phone in the middle of the day.

Which should you buy? Honor 6X

Honor 6X vs. Moto G4

The Honor 6X offers a lot of hardware for its price, and although the current software situation isn't ideal, Honor is poised to roll out the Nougat update shortly to the device.

The Moto G4 Plus isn't far behind either, particularly when it comes to the camera, but it falls short in other areas. The design is underwhelming, and the phone lags behind the Honor 6X when it comes to the overall performance. Given Motorola's stance with updates to older phones and the fact that the Nougat update isn't widely available yet, you're better off steering clear.

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

Black Galaxy S8 shows up once again in new leak

39

Black is increasingly looking like the best color option for the Galaxy S8.

A leak from earlier this week showcased the various color options that the Galaxy S8 will be available in, and now we're getting a detailed look at the black color variant. As we've seen before, the black variant masks the various cutouts at the front of the phone, allowing them to blend into the background.

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1 week ago

Huawei P10 up for pre-order at Vodafone UK

1
Huawei P10

On-contract prices start at £28 per month for Huawei's latest flagship.

Vodafone is the first UK network operator to open up pre-orders for the new Huawei P10. The Chinese company's latest flagship is available to pre-order in white or black (sadly not the eye-catching "dazzling blue" we've been using lately), with on-contract prices starting at £28 per month. (That's for 500MB, with a £200 upfront fee.)

Vodafone has a wide range of plans going all the way up to 30GB at the high end, which will set you back £48 per month, with a £10 upfront charge for the phone. That's bundled with unlimited calls and texts, 4GB of roaming data, and a free Spotify, Sky Sports Mobile or NowTV subscription. A similar deal at £42 gets you all of the above, but with 24GB of UK data and 2GB roaming.

Right now Vodafone doesn't appear to be offering the P10 on PAYG.

In our recent review, we found the P10 to be a solid flagship phone, with one outstanding weakness:

Huawei's mainstream flagships for 2017 don't necessarily look flashy — unless you opt for the exclusive "dazzling" color options — but they do deliver just about everything you could ask for in a modern Android phone. There's one big catch, though. The lack of oleophobic coating on the display may be a reason for discerning buyers to skip this round of Huawei phones.

Were it not for my reservations over the screen, the P10 would certainly qualify as one of the best Android phones out there. And the P10 Plus comes with that extra bit of icing on the cake — a brighter lens for some amazing low-light captures, and the option to spec it out with oodles of RAM and storage.

More: Huawei P10 review

See at Vodafone

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1 week ago

Nexus 6 owners facing Android 7.1.1 to 7.0 downgrade

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Nexus 6

Downgrade required 'to guarantee future OTA updates.'

The Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for the Nexus 6 hasn't gone entirely smoothly so far, with the most recent March 2017 security patch breaking Android Pay on the device. And now in another bizarre development, Nexus 6 owners who updated to 7.1.1 are seeing an over-the-air update back to Android 7.0. Worse still, some are reporting that the downgrade back to 7.0 has caused issues with apps upon completion.

Over on Reddit, a Nexus community manager — listed a verified Googler on the side — said that the move was made "to guarantee future OTA updates."

There was a recent OTA update for Android 7.0 that is causing confusion for some Nexus 6 users. For those of you that want to guarantee future OTA updates, you will need to get back on the 7.0 supported track. If you are experiencing issues after accepting the 7.0 update, please factory reset your device to help resolve any problems.

For any Nexus 6 users that want to continue flashing/sideloading future builds, you can stay on 7.1.1 and continue to do so.

It's not clear whether this means all updates for the N6 will be based on Android 7.0 from here onwards, or whether there'll be another 7.1.1 push at some point in the future. The second paragraph suggests more 7.1.1 builds will be forthcoming, though perhaps only available via sideload. It's also not clear why the OS downgrade itself is necessary, but it's possible it has to do with the March 2017 OTA breaking Android's SafetyNet functionality, which was the root cause of the problems with Android Pay in that build.

The Motorola-built Nexus 6, released in late 2014, is no longer supported for OS updates beyond 7.1.1, and so future builds (whichever number they carry) will just include new security patch levels.

In the meantime, Nexus 6 owners are left in the unenviable position of having to decide whether to take an OTA which not only downgrades them to an older OS, but which may also break some apps when it's done.

Android Nougat

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1 week ago

ZTE Axon 7 becomes one of the first non-Google phones to get Android 7.1.1

30

A nice surprise from a company not known for its speedy software updates.

ZTE isn't the first company you think of when considering fast software updates. (Come to think of it, are there any these days?) The Chinese firm, which released its excellent Axon 7 flagship last summer, spent a good chunk of the latter part of 2016 testing Android 7.0 Nougat, delaying the upgrade well into this year.

When I asked a representative from ZTE, he said it was because the engineers needed to get Daydream support correct, and didn't want to release the software with a compromised VR experience.

Well, just over a month after that fateful day, the Axon 7 is getting yet another update — to Android 7.1.1. Available starting March 16, this marks, along with the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, one of the only devices outside of Google's own Pixel and Nexus lines to be updated to the latest version of Android.

The change log is fairly modest compared to the bump from Marshmallow to Nougat, but here are the highlights:

  • T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling support: T-Mobile Axon 7 users will now be able to send and receive both calls and text messages over Wi-Fi. Don't have service in a certain area? Don't miss a beat by connecting to a wireless network to continue talking and texting.
  • More ways to communicate: With 7.1.1, Google made all its emojis gender-equal, representing a wider range of professions for both men and women – so now you can be the astronaut you always wanted. Plus, you gain the ability to send gifs directly from your keyboard on supported apps. Go ahead, express yourself!
  • Daydream update & optimization: One of our favorite 2017 announcements was that the Axon 7 was finally Daydream-ready! With -- Android 7.1.1, we're making your virtual reality even better by updating and optimizing your experience.
  • Google security patches updates through Feb 2017 – Speaking of security, Google fixed all of its known vulnerabilities with 7.1.1. Sound boring? You may be right, but these patches are critical in keeping your information even more safe while sending emails, browsing the website, texting, or processing media files.

T-Mobile users will be happy to know that ZTE worked with the carrier to roll out Wi-Fi Calling, and it's really good to know that Daydream support will be optimized. Of course, the update brings native 7.1.1 features from Google, including a larger set of emojis, support for image keyboards, rounded icon support in the launcher, and more.

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1 week ago

LG is offering a free Google Home with the purchase of its new flagship

31

Already considering an LG G6? Then you might as well consider adding on a Google Home for free.

The LG G6 isn't out yet, but if you're considering one, you'll probably want to take advantage of this deal. LG is offering a Google Home in tow with the pre-order of its new flagship. All you have to do is buy yours before April 30.

For the full price of the smartphone — which has yet to be announced — LG will sell you the G6 flagship along with a $129 device that is really quite something. I certainly don't regret the purchase of my personal Google Home. And if you're interested in the G6 because of its native integration with Google Assistant, then you might as well pair it with a helpful home accessory that also doubles as a speaker in a pinch.

The G6 is scheduled to launch April 7 in the U.S. and Canada. If you're interested, you can get more details by signing up here.

LG G6

Verizon Sprint T-Mobile AT&T B&H

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1 week ago

How to make sure your phone works on a prepaid alternative carrier

11

Here's how to make sure your unlocked or pre-owned phone will work with an alternative carrier.

There are a number of things to consider before moving to an alternative carrier. How much data do I really need? Am I looking for better service, or just cheaper service? And if I already have a phone, will it work on the carrier that I choose?

We're going to delve into this topic, but there are a couple of things we should get out of the way beforehand.

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An introduction

Before we talk about whether your phone will work on a particular alternative carrier, we should direct you to a few introductory posts about what exactly these companies offer, and why you should think about switching over.

Once you've read through those, there are a few more things you need to know. In the U.S., there are four major carriers with nationwide networks — AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. All four of them use generally the same technology, but there are some major differences worth noting.

  • Sprint and Verizon have 3G networks that use aging (and disappearing) CDMA technology. All phones that run on their networks must have special radios that support CDMA. Thankfully, most phones these days have some sort of CDMA support.
  • T-Mobile and AT&T use a more common HSPA+ technology for 3G service. Practically every phone you can buy today — even those designed for Verizon and Sprint — will likely work on AT&T and T-Mobile, as long as the SIM card is unlocked.

Thankfully, the days of poor interoperability between carriers are behind us, but there are some lingering issues. Even though all the major U.S. carriers have adopted what amounts to the same LTE standard as their high-speed mobile internet offering, they all use different wireless spectrum — also known as wireless bands, or frequencies — to deliver calls, text and, most importantly, data, over the air.

Unlocking the phone

Even if your phone is technically compatible with a particular network, the SIM slot still needs to be unlocked to be able to work on carriers both in the U.S. and abroad.

In the U.S., unlocking services are free as long as your account is in good standing and your phone hasn't been reported lost, stolen or involved in illegal activity. All the Big Four carriers are obligated to unlock your phone, though the process differs between them. All recent Verizon phones are unlocked out of the box.

The carriers

Let's discuss the individual carriers themselves, and why your phone — perhaps one you bought through your old carrier, or purchased unlocked from, say, Amazon — may or may not work on the network.

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Alternative carriers powered by Verizon

There aren't that many Verizon-powered alternative carriers, or MVNOs, in the U.S., so we'll start with the easy one. Companies like Total Wireless or Straight Talk, which are powered by Verizon's network, make it pretty easy to bring your own phone. They ask that you make sure your phone supports CDMA service, and offer network checkers to help you verify that your phone will indeed work on their network.

Quick trick: Open your phone's dialler and type *#06# to get its MEID number.

As we said above to work on a Verizon-based alternative carrier, your phone needs to support the following frequencies:

  • 3G: 800Mhz (BC0), 1900Mhz (BC1) 1
  • LTE: 700Mhz (Band 13), 1700/2100Mhz (Band 4), 1900Mhz (Band 2)

1 Phone must support bands on CDMA.

Many popular phones today, from the Samsung Galaxy S7 to the Google Pixel to cheaper devices like the OnePlus 3T and Moto G5 Plus, support Verizon's 3G and LTE networks. As long as you do your homework beforehand, you should be able to bring your phone over to any alternative carrier that runs on Verizon's network.

Here are the most popular alternative carriers that run on the Verizon network:

Alternative carriers powered by Sprint

Sprint is, like Verizon, a combination of CDMA-based 3G and modern LTE — though it uses different wireless frequencies. The upside is the same, though: your phone will need to support CDMA service on 3G in order to make calls and texts, and likely to register on the network entirely. Even if your phone supports Sprint's LTE bands, it won't be able to connect to Sprint's core network.

There are many alternative or prepaid carriers in the U.S. that rely on Sprint's network, including Ting, Straight Talk, and Boost Mobile. Most of these alternative carriers have online services to allow you to check whether your unlocked phone is compatible with its host network, though some — like Sprint-owned Boost Mobile — have explicit restrictions. For example, Boost Mobile customers cannot bring a Sprint-branded or Virgin-branded phone over to its network.

To use a phone on an alternative carrier that connects to the Sprint network, your phone needs to support the following frequencies:

  • 3G: 800Mhz (BC10), 1900Mhz (BC1) 1
  • LTE: 850Mhz (Band 26), 1900Mhz (Band 25), 2500Mhz (Band 41)

1 Phone must support bands on CDMA.

These are the most popular alternative carriers that run on the Sprint network:

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Alternative carriers powered by T-Mobile

Like Sprint, there are many prepaid and alternative carriers that rely on T-Mobile's network, including Mint SIM, MetroPCS and others.

The good news for those bringing their own phones to one of these networks is that there's a good chance, if it was bought in the past couple of years, that it will just work. All that you need is a SIM card and service from the new provider and you should be good to go.

That's because T-Mobile uses a combination of 3G and 4G LTE technologies that have been widely adopted throughout the world, and most phones today, from the Google Pixel to the Galaxy S7, OnePlus 3T and many others, will just work on an MVNO that runs on the T-Mobile network.

To make sure it will work, though, you have to verify your phone supports the following bands:

  • 3G: 1700/2100Mhz (Band 4), 1900Mhz (Band 2)
  • LTE: 700Mhz (Band 12), 1700/2100Mhz (Band 66), 1900Mhz (Band 2)

These are the most popular alternative carriers that run on the T-Mobile network:

Alternative carriers powered by AT&T

Like Verizon, AT&T doesn't power many smaller prepaid or alternative carriers, but it does own one: Cricket Wireless. And like T-Mobile, bringing a phone to an AT&T-powered MVNO is usually no big deal: most phones sold in the past couple of years work with AT&T. Indeed, AT&T's adoption of the worldwide HSPA+ standard for 3G, plus its standard LTE capabilities, means that even phones purchased overseas should work with Ma Bell.

After you've verified that a phone is SIM unlocked, you need to make sure that your phone has the following bands to work with an AT&T-powered alternative carrier:

  • 3G: 850Mhz (Band 5), 1900Mhz (Band 2)
  • LTE: 700Mhz (Band 12), 1700/2100Mhz (Band 4), 1900Mhz (Band 2)

These are the most popular alternative carriers that run on the AT&T network:

Alternative carriers with multiple networks

The final piece of the puzzle is a bit complicated, but let's talk it out. Some of the above providers, like Project Fi, rely on more than one host network to function properly. Others, like Consumer Cellular, connect to either AT&T or T-Mobile. This usually means that the SIM card inside your phone will choose between T-Mobile and Sprint depending on your location and signal strength. You as a user don't have to make any decisions, but your choice of phone could impact the quality of service.

As long as everything is working properly — your phone supports both networks, and you are in an area that has good coverage on at least one of them — then you don't need to think about it at all. But it's a good thing to know, since these kinds of carriers can be to your advantage if you happen to be in an area where both the host networks are strong.

Questions?

Some of this stuff is stupidly complicated, and we'd love to help. If you're having issues figuring out whether your phone will work on a particular prepaid or alternative carrier, let us know in the comments below!

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1 week ago

HTC is teasing a March 20 announcement, but don't get your hopes up

35

This is almost certainly not the HTC 11 you're looking for.

HTC is teasing an announcement on its Taiwanese Facebook page for a March 20 announcement, coinciding with the spring equinox.

2017.03.20

HTC will give you an unexpected surprise

While it's possible that the announcement will be a phone, there's almost no chance that it will be a worldwide release, and it's definitely not the rumored HTC 10 successor that is expected to be announced and released sometime in the second quarter.

What's more likely is that it is the successor to the HTC One X9, rumored to be called the One X10. We've already seen leaked photos of the Europe and Asia-only device, and its announcement is already overdue: it was expected in January or February.

The phone will sport a modest spec sheet, including a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a MediaTek P10 processor.

In the meantime, HTC's follow-up to the HTC 10 is expected to rock this year's latest spec sheet, including a Snapdragon 835, which may end up delaying its announcement and release until sometime in May or June.

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1 week ago

Best racing games for Android

37

Speed your way past the competition in these outstanding racers for Android!

Update March 2017: These are still the best racing games to play on Android. Added another classic, Colin McRae Rally, to the list.

We've rounded up the best racing games to be found in the Google Play Store. With so many options to choose from, we've compiled a list that covers a whole slew of sub-genres — from stylized arcade racing to highly realistic racing sims — so no matter your preference, you should find an outstanding game that's right for you. Let's hit the road!

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1 week ago

Best Android Phones of 2017

Update, March 2017: The Google Pixel is still our top pick, but we've replaced the Mate 9 with the LG G6 and shuffled the ordering to reflect the new entry.

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel does almost everything right. Its metal body is well-built and easy to grip — in either the 5-inch or 5.5-inch size — and its spec sheet is top-notch, featuring a Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM.

But Google's Pixel, available in two sizes and screen resolutions, really makes the case for Google owning the hardware and the software. Android has come a long way, but even the best manufacturers can't achieve what Google has with its first-party powerhouse.

Android 7.1 flies through every task, and the small software additions add up to something larger. Then there's the camera, which is one of the best in the business, helped along by Google's exemplary electronic stabilization schemes.

Bottom line: It may cost more than the Nexus line, but Google handily competes with Samsung's best.

One more thing: The Pixel is available unlocked through Google's store in most countries, but if you're in the U.S. may we suggest getting it through Google Fi.

Why the Google Pixel is the best

Google could have built another Nexus phone with a partner like Huawei, LG or even HTC, but with the Pixel it decided to go it mostly alone. Tapping HTC for the manufacturing, Google's first "real" Android phone hits all the right marks.

In either size, the design is familiar but striking, with a plain front in either black or white and a dual-toned rear finish in silver/white, silver/black, or blue/blue. The larger of the two models, the Pixel XL, is the true enthusiast phone, boasting a large 3,450mAh battery and 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display, but both devices have largely the same internals and camera setup.

To that end, the Pixel flies: Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 chip, coupled with Google's own take on Android 7.1 Nougat, is the fastest Android experience we've had to date.

Alex Dobie, in his review, explained it this way:

The chassis is attractive, though some may say it's not as bold as Samsung's glass and metal designs. The software is fast and mostly good-looking. It's always going to be up-to-date with the latest Android software, and exclusive tricks from a new and highly ambitious AI-focused Google. The battery easily lasts a day, and charges quickly. The camera matches the Galaxy S7.

While the phone lacks waterproofing and expandable storage, Samsung's Galaxy S7, our former recommendation, is still two major Android revisions behind, and its software can't match the effortless polish of the Pixel.

And then there's the camera. The cornerstone of any flagship, if the Pixel's camera wasn't as good as the S7's, it probably wouldn't have topped our list — but it is. Despite lacking optical image stabilization, the Pixel's camera takes amazing photos in almost every condition.

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Best upcoming

LG G6

LG G6

See at Verizon See at AT&T See at T-Mobile See at B&H

The new LG G6 uses a tall 18:9 display and tiny bezels to give you a larger screen in a smaller body. The all-new metal-and-glass design may not be totally inspired, but it's built amazingly well and incorporates lots of little features — like waterproofing — to help it hold up over time.

All of the internal specs you expect are here, even though the battery isn't removable like its predecessors. The one downside here is regional differences: the higher-quality Quad DAC is exclusive to Asia, while wireless charging is only for the U.S. market.

LG's dual camera setup has returned but with a refined emphasis on the wide-angle camera so it packs the same sensor as the standard camera. The main camera takes fantastic photos to go toe-to-toe with the best of them, and the wide-angle shooter adds in something that no other phone offers.

Bottom line: This is LG's best flagship phone to date, and going a step further it's one that can take on the competition in 2017 in so many ways.

One more thing: Take a look at launch deals and which retailer/carrier offers you the best price — prices do vary around the U.S.

Best for features

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

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

The Galaxy S7 rocks a beautiful metal-and-glass design that's also holding a solid battery, top-end internals and a microSD card expansion slot. Around front you'll find an industry-leading 5.1-inch QHD SuperAMOLED display that's beautiful in every situation, and around back you can capture fantastic photos with the 12MP camera. It's also rated IP68 water resistant, which is helpful in many situations, unforeseen and otherwise.

The software may take some getting used to if you haven't used a Samsung phone before, and that's perhaps its only downside, but that's hardly a reason to look away from all of the fantastic features that the Galaxy S7 has to offer. It's compact, powerful, easy to use and takes wonderful photos — it really is one of the most complete packages in the Android world.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S7 has the best hardware in Android, but its software keeps it behind the Pixel.

One more thing: With the Galaxy S8 on the horizon, the Galaxy S7 can be had at a solid discount — just know that if you buy the GS7 now you're getting a nearly year-old phone.

Best for a budget

OnePlus 3T

See at OnePlus See at Amazon

OnePlus took an interesting approach in 2016, choosing to bump the internal specs of its flagship OnePlus 3 and make a new model the OnePlus 3T. The new version has a slightly faster Snapdragon 821 processor, optional 128GB of storage, a larger 3400 mAh battery and new front-facing camera.

The update keeps the OnePlus 3T relevant for that much longer, and it still stands as an excellent option that competes with the rest of the flagships at a much lower price — even though it is a tad more expensive than the original, at $439. The hardware, camera and software can all stand up to the competition that retails for $200 more.

Bottom-line: Though it doesn't have some of the fringe features you'll find elsewhere, the OnePlus 3T offers the best value in a high-end Android phone today.

One more thing: The OnePlus 3's Dash Charge fast charging solution isn't compatible with any other quick charging standards, so you'll need to invest in new chargers if you want to top up quickly.

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Conclusion

The best overall Android experience right now can be obtained by either the Google Pixel or Pixel XL. Regardless of which size Pixel, you're getting a great design, excellent build quality, incredible performance, and one of the best cameras on the market. That, combined with Google's simple-but-beautiful interpretation of Android 7.1 Nougat, and always-first updates, makes the Pixel the best option for most people right now.

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel does almost everything right. Its metal body is well-built and easy to grip — in either the 5-inch or 5.5-inch size — and its spec sheet is top-notch, featuring a Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM.

But Google's Pixel, available in two sizes and screen resolutions, really makes the case for Google owning the hardware and the software. Android has come a long way, but even the best manufacturers can't achieve what Google has with its first-party powerhouse.

Android 7.1 flies through every task, and the small software additions add up to something larger. Then there's the camera, which is one of the best in the business, helped along by Google's exemplary electronic stabilization schemes.

Bottom line: It may cost more than the Nexus line, but Google handily competes with Samsung's best.

One more thing: The Pixel is available unlocked through Google's store in most countries, but if you're in the U.S. may we suggest getting it through Google Fi.

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1 week ago

Huawei P10 + P10 Plus review: Great phones, with one fatal flaw

50
Huawei P10 + P10 Plus

Huawei puts in a strong showing in two different form factors — but the P10 and P10 Plus are diminished by a couple of baffling design decisions.

The quick take

Huawei's mainstream flagships for 2017 don't necessarily look flashy — unless you opt for the exclusive "dazzling" color options — but they do deliver just about everything you could ask for in a modern Android phone. There's one big catch, though. The lack of oleophobic coating on the display may be a reason for discerning buyers to skip this round of Huawei phones.

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1 week ago

Galaxy S8 could have pressure-sensitive on-screen keys

33

Report from Korea suggests GS8's virtual home key will be pressure-sensitive — and the Note 8 may take things even further.

Tucked away in an iPhone-related report from Korean outlet The Investor are a few interesting details about how Samsung will handle the transition from physical buttons to virtual keys in its own upcoming flagship. The site reports that, as the sole supplier of OLED panels for the iPhone 8, Samsung Display is working on integrating a sensor for 3D Touch into the panel. That's not unexpected, nor would pressure sensitivity in an OLED phone screen be a new thing — Huawei has been doing that since 2015's Mate S.

But the article also lets slip that Samsung's mobile arm may be implementing a similar technology in a part of the Galaxy S8's display — specifically the portion around the home screen.

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1 week ago

Moto G5 Plus launches in India for ₹16,999

1

Moto G5 Plus will be up for sale later today in India.

At a media event in New Delhi, Motorola launched the Moto G5 Plus in the Indian market. The Plus variant of the phone is making its debut today, and the standard version is set to launch at a later date in the country.

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