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1 week ago

Moto Z getting Daydream support with Nougat update starting this week

26

Nougat is starting to roll out to the Moto Z this week!

It appears the rumors were true: the Moto Z and Moto Z Force on Verizon are the first of the company's newest phones to receive updates to Android 7.0 Nougat, and with it, the first non-Google phones to receive support for Daydream VR.

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1 week ago

Wind Mobile rebrands Freedom Mobile, launches LTE network in Toronto, Vancouver

10

It's Freedom Mobile time!

Canada's Wind Mobile has rebranded Freedom Mobile as it looks to move into a new phase of maturity under new owner, Shaw Communications.

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1 week ago

HTC offering $200 off in Black Friday savings on the HTC 10

24

Get the HTC 10 for less ahead of Black Friday.

HTC is already getting into the spirit of Black Friday, hoping to attract consumers before the biggest shopping day of the year. They're offering a $200 discount on the HTC 10 from now until November 29, which brings the price down to a very attractive $499.

You can choose between carrier-locked versions for T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint, or go with the unlocked option that's compatible with AT&T's and T-Mobile's networks. You'll also get to choose between a few HTC-exclusive color options — Camellia Red, Topaz Gold, Carbon Gray. The red, in particular, really stands out from the rest.

The HTC 10 runs on Snapdragon 820 with 4GB of Ram and features a 12MP rear UltraPixel 2 camera with front and back OIS, HiFi audio, expandable memory via microSD and a 3,000mAh battery that recharges up to 50% in 30 minutes using Quick Charge 3.0.

This deal is only available until November 29 and only while supplies last, so if you've been considering the HTC 10, now is the time to act!

See at HTC

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1 week ago

Carphone Warehouse slashes Google Pixel + Galaxy S7 prices in 'black tag' sale

4

Don't call it Black Friday.

In the run up to Black Friday, UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has launched four days of "black tag" sales, with substantial discounts on some high-end phones — as well as some older models — both on contract and SIM-free.

A few highlights include:

The deals expire at midnight UK time on Thursday (as in 12 a.m. Friday morning), so hit up the link below to check 'em out.

See at Carphone Warehouse

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Unlocked AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 week ago

New Limited Edition ZTE Axon 7 has Force Touch, 6GB RAM and 128GB storage

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ZTE Axon 7

Updated model lands today for just under $500.

Mid-cycle refreshes are apparently all the rage this year. Just as OnePlus bumps up to the OnePlus 3T, rival ZTE is today rolling out a new limited edition Axon 7 with upgraded specs. The new model will sell for $499.98 through the company's online store, and boasts 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (compared to the original's 4GB/64GB), along with a pressure-sensitive Force Touch display.

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1 week ago

Best Front-facing Camera

Snap a selfie perfectly each time with one of these smartphones.

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy S7

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

Samsung has got the selfie all figured out. The Galaxy S7's 5-megapixel front-facing camera may seem like it's too low resolution for your beauty shots compared to other smartphones out there, but it's a fine performer. The phone also offers a variety of selfie-shooting modes you'll find useful, including filter effects, a robust beautify feature that works like Instant Photoshop, and even a Wide selfie mode, which transforms the Galaxy S7's front-facing camera into an wide-angle camera lens, so you can fit more people into the shot.

Bottom line: You'll win at narcissism with the Galaxy S7's fine front-facing hardware.

One more thing: The Galaxy S7 is available in a more ruggedized form if you're an AT&T subscriber. Just look up the Galaxy S7 Active. Or, if you're looking for a bigger smartphone, the phablet-sized Galaxy S7 Edge also shares the same hardware.

Why the Galaxy S7 is the best

Let's riff on the Galaxy S7's specifications for just a second. This phone is equipped with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, which shoots at an f/1.7 aperture and feature auto HDR capabilities. The Galaxy S7 also comes equipped with a double-press shortcut, which lets you press the Home button twice to quickly launch the camera app whenever you need. And, if you're aching to be the next YouTube star, you can use the Galaxy S7's Live broadcast feature to stream you and your friends making silly faces at one another.

Best Non-Samsung

Google Pixel/Pixel XL

See at Verizon See at Google

I've been using the Pixel and Pixel XL to take snaps of me and my pals for the past few weeks. Its 8-megapixel front-facing camera is a phenomenal performer, though it only shoots at an aperture of f/2.4. It also doesn't have as many extra feature offerings as Samsung's smartphones, though you can download a third-party app like the BestMe Selfie Camera to have some fun with your friends.

Bottom line: If you'd rather go Google because software updates matter more to you than an abundance of camera features, the Pixel is a bona fide selfie shooter.

One more thing: The Pixel also utilizes the helpful double-press-to-launch shortcut like the Galaxy S7.

Best Budget

Honor 8

See at Amazon

Huawei is particularly keen on boasting about its selfie capabilities — and for good reason. The Honor 8 is an entry-level smartphone with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It shoots at an aperture of f/2.4 and comes bundled with features like the "Perfect selfie," which stores your customized beauty settings.

Bottom line: If you don't want to pay full price for a premium phone, but you still want a worthy selfie-snapping sensor, the Honor 8 is a worth considering.

One more thing: The Honor 8 also has dual 12-megapixel rear-facing cameras on the back, so you won't be compromising your main camera performance either.

Conclusion

Samsung knows selfies. It's been attempting to perfect them since the Galaxy S III, likely because it's a major selling point. Don't be deterred by the lower resolution of its front-facing camera, however. There's plenty of fun to be had with Samsung's flagship, including tktk, tktkt, and tktktk. Best of all, you can use the spotlight effect to add a little more glow to your headshots.

For the most part, the best smartphone for selfies is the one you already have your hand. So get to snappin'!

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy S7

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

Samsung has got the selfie all figured out. The Galaxy S7's 5-megapixel front-facing camera may seem like it's too low resolution for your beauty shots compared to other smartphones out there, but it's a fine performer. The phone also offers a variety of selfie-shooting modes you'll find useful, including filter effects, a robust beautify feature that works like Instant Photoshop, and even a Wide selfie mode, which transforms the Galaxy S7's front-facing camera into an wide-angle camera lens, so you can fit more people into the shot.

Bottom line: You'll win at narcissism with the Galaxy S7's fine front-facing hardware.

One more thing: The Galaxy S7 is available in a more ruggedized form if you're an AT&T subscriber. Just look up the Galaxy S7 Active. Or, if you're looking for a bigger smartphone, the phablet-sized Galaxy S7 Edge also shares the same hardware.

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1 week ago

Verizon Moto Z and Z Force reportedly receiving Nougat update

62

Good news for people who love sweet updates.

Verizon subscribers will be the world's first Moto Z users to experience Android 7.0 Nougat, according to several Reddit users reportedly receiving the long-awaited update.

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2 weeks ago

HTC Bolt review: Wait for act two

102
HTC Bolt

The Bolt is a fine phone that should have attempted to fly on its own — without buckling to a carrier's demands.

The bottom line

In the HTC Bolt you get a stylish smartphone and a solid performer with the latest software. But with its aging spec offerings and a couple odd decisions, it costs just a little too much to consider adopting "Sprint's fastest smartphone ever."

The Good

  • Stylish, aluminum build is IP57 rated
  • Runs Android 7.0 Nougat right out of the box
  • Capable set of camera specs

The Bad

  • You'll have to spend time undoing Sprint's tweaks to the interface
  • There is no headphone jack, nor is there a dongle
  • The processor is too old for this price-point

I'm not going to start off this review with any puns related to lightning bolts, nor am I going to delve into the history of HTC's gradual disappearance from the smartphone players marquee. Instead, I'd like to launch off the simple fact that the HTC Bolt is a great smartphone.

Admittedly, it was difficult for me to feel that way at first, and that's partly Sprint's fault. The Bolt is a Sprint-exclusive release, but its sole purpose appears to be to help raise awareness of the carrier's 3x CA (carrier aggregation) LTE network, hence the tagline, "Sprint's fastest smartphone ever." That doesn't seem fair for HTC, considering it had to make hardware decisions to fit that marketing narrative, but the Taiwan-based company doesn't have much choice at this point. It needs the visibility boost in the U.S.

The Bolt likely won't be a heavy player for HTC. If anything, it should be considered a glimpse at what's to come. Its sole existence, besides propagating Sprint's LTE Advanced network, appears to be to test what works in the market. And if the Bolt is any indication of where HTC is headed in terms of making smartphones, it may finally turn things around.

About this review

I (Florence Ion) am reviewing the HTC Bolt after spending six days with it on Sprint's network in the San Francisco Bay Area. The phone is running Android 7.0 Nougat under HTC's Sense UI. It did not receive software updates during my testing period. The phone was provided to Android Central for review by HTC.

That Sprint-made Home screen.

HTC Bolt Hardware

I like the trend of matte, aluminum-bodied smartphones and the Bolt in particular sports a futuristic coolness about it that you don't typically see with a glossy, glass-covered device like the Galaxy S7, or even the Pixel. I'm also digging the Bolt's minimalist design and I like that the back panel isn't crowded by giant camera lenses and LED flash bulbs. Just remember that matte doesn't necessarily mean scuff-free, however. The metal that covers most of the surface held up well, but there's still vulnerable glass on the front — after a week it was already sporting nicks on the display from being inside my purse.

The Bolt is pretty big. It's about the size of the Pixel XL, but it's actually wider — and what makes it particularly hefty is its overall density. I got tired of holding it one-handed, so I found myself curling up with it a bit more and using two hands just to navigate the interface. The one time I didn't want to be holding it at all was when it's charging — it's almost too warm to hold when plugged in.

The Bolt gets really warm when it's charging — almost too warm to hold.

I know what you're probably thinking. No, the Bolt's propensity for being a hot potato is not directly correlated to the Snapdragon 810 powering it, despite its reputation for overheating. The giant metal frame dissipates all sorts of heat, not just the processor's. This processor's only folly is that it's too old for a smartphone offered at this price point and in late 2016. I actually no issues while I was using it, and the Bolt benchmarked like the Nexus 6P in PCMark. Anyway, this is all moot because HTC had to stick with the nearly two-year-old processor since it's one of the few chips that supports Sprint's new LTE network.

HTC Bolt USB-C port

The Bolt's battery life seemed impressive at first. I left the phone off the charger for about three days and on the morning of the fourth day, I found it hanging on at one percent. I thought to myself, "Man, that last few minutes of usage could really come in handy." I thought it was a good sign that the Bolt could manage to hold on like that.

Width Height Thickness 6.05
147.5 mm
3.04 in
77.3mm
0.32 in
8.1mm
  • Display:
    • 5.5-inch QuadHD
    • Super LCD3 Display
    • 2560x1440 resolution (534ppi)
  • Camera:
    • 16MP, ƒ/2.0 lens, OIS, Dual LED flash
    • 8MP front camera, 1080p
  • Battery:
    • 3200 mAh capacity
    • Quick Charge 2.0
  • Chips:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
    • Octa-core 1.5GHz
    • 3GB RAM
    • 32GB internal storage
    • microSD slot with adoptable storage

And then I performed my battery benchmark. The Bolt did not perform on par with the other smartphones I've tested with the same battery size and QuadHD display combination. It managed only five hours and 24 minutes of on-screen usage in the PCMark battery rundown test, and that's with Nougat's renovated Doze mode. What's even more annoying is that when you're ready to charge it up, you'll have to wait around for a bit. The Bolt is only compatible with QuickCharge 2.0. It takes more than an hour and a half to fully replenish the Bolt's 3200mAh battery.

American pride shot with the Bolt.

HTC Bolt Cameras

The HTC Bolt's 16-megapixel rear-facing camera shoots at an aperture of f/2.0 and comes equipped with optical image stabilization. Normally, I'd complain about how much smaller the aperture is compared to its flagship, the HTC 10 which shoots with an aperture of f/1.8, but the inclusion of the RAW and manual shooting mode makes that less of a limitation to fret about. If you want, you can use that mode to keep the shutter open for up to 16-seconds. The low-light limitation only becomes an issue when you're using a third-party camera app, like Snapchat, in an attempt to make the next social media masterpiece.

I was impressed by the Bolt's imaging capabilities. I liked the way the photos were composed in ample lighting and I liked that the post-processing engine didn't blow out or overly contrast the end result. Overall, the camera resolution is fine for a second-tier smartphone, but I hope we see more of the HTC 10's camera sensor in the next flagship.

Keep it simple.These filters are really good.

My favorite thing about HTC phones is the native camera app. It used to be one of the easiest camera apps to use, years before Samsung and LG simplified their feature-heavy menus. The Bolt is well-equipped with its own library of camera features, too, but the options aren't all crowding the screen when you tap into that particular menu mode. Instead, you can simply scroll through the different options available to you, all of which are self-explanatory. It's the least overwhelming camera app, sans the stock Google camera app, and I like that you can even change the camera resolution without tapping into another Settings menu.

BlinkFeed. Blah.

HTC Bolt Software

The Bolt runs HTC Sense on top of Android 7.0 Nougat. This is one of the better versions of Android as translated by a manufacturer floating around out there. It includes a theming engine, if you don't like the color scheme, and a notifications shade that's similar to what you'll find on the Pixel. The BlinkFeed is still a thing, too, but you can disable it if News Republic and all the sources you've selected become too much for you. BlinkFeed feels too noisy sometimes. Isn't life busy enough?

Lock screen.Home screen.App drawer.

HTC optimized the software on the Bolt so that even though this is Android 7.0 running on subpar specifications, you'll hardly notice it with day-to-day usage. Even Snapchat ran without a hitch and I have issues with the app even when using it with the latest hardware. But while HTC left Nougat relatively unscathed by redundant apps, Sprint went rampant bundling in its own. The Bolt is not only preloaded with about 20 apps, but you can only delete about half of them. The interface also comes pre-skinned in Sprint's themed icon pack, which is as gaudy as it sounds, and a Sprint wallpaper, which is the default background for the app drawer. Thankfully, the Android interface is customizable as long as you're willing to put in the time.

Buds.

HTC Bolt Odds and Ends

They keep taking away our headphone jacks to make smartphones thinner, but that's what's in style now, and it looks like we may have to accept the inevitable. For its part, it appears HTC is attempting something with the one-port-to-rule-them-all motif before its flagship next year. It included a pair of USB Type-C earphones that work with the Bolt and take advantage of its adaptive audio capabilities, which adjust to ambient noise and your ears to offer the best sound. But there's no included dongle for any other old school earbuds and headphones you might have around the house. That's a bummer.

Believe it or not, the Bolt is HTC's first water resistant phone, and has almost the same dust and water resistance standard as Samsung's latest phone. The Bolt's IP57 rating will keep the device safe in three feet of water for up to half an hour, but you're better off just keeping the phone away from large bodies of liquid in any case.

HTC Bolt

HTC Bolt The bottom line

I can't help but feel like the Bolt would have been a better device if it weren't beholden to another company. I'm assuming that in exchange for exclusivity and front-and-center marketing mojo, HTC had to compromise on the Bolt's performance so that its hardware could accommodate Sprint's LTE network. That's a hell of a compromise to make for the fourth largest carrier in the U.S., but in the end, having any sort of carrier backing is better than not having any presence at all — which the HTC 10 does not.

The Bolt is a definite look at what HTC has in store for us next year. I'm expecting a super cool aluminum smartphone with top-of-the-line hardware and a rear-facing camera that can better capture low light. For now, consider the Bolt a mere test run that shows off Sprint's network — and one that isn't likely worth $600 to you.

See at Sprint

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2 weeks ago

Best Google Pixel Deals, November 2016

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What is the best deal you can get on a Google Pixel?

When shopping for a new gadget, like the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, you should be looking for the best possible deal available. But hunting them down can be difficult since most retailers change them weekly — but don't worry, we've got you covered. Whether you are looking to save finance your purchase, get some freebies with it, or try and save some money on the purchase there are a few places to check out.

Let's take a look at some of the best deals on Google's Pixel and Pixel XL that are available right now.

Refresh often! This page is constantly being updated as we discover new Pixel deals. Check back soon!

Google Pixel

Want to pick up the smaller of the two Pixels but avoid paying full price? Retailers are offering a variety of deals on these phones as Google continues its marketing push, and some will offer discounts in the future and others will include some extras at no cost. If you want to check out the best deals, these are the ones you want to look at.

Google Pixel XL

If you are looking for the larger version, you'll want to check out the deals on the Pixel XL. Odds are that most of the times retailers will offer the same deals on the Pixel and Pixel XL in terms of discounts or freebies, but there may be some specific sales that offer incentives to go bigger. Here are some of the best deals that you can find right now on the Pixel XL.

Other deals

As time passes you'll start to see these appear on other sites like eBay and Swappa, offering great deals on second-hand units. Some people may turn around and sell theirs at launch for a profit, but if you are looking to save you'll have to wait a bit longer.

Have you noticed any other deals on the Pixel or Pixel XL? If so, be sure to drop a line in the comments letting us know where the deal is and why other people may be interested.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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2 weeks ago

If you buy a Pixel to resell it, you may get your Google account banned

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A cautionary tale for those wanting to make a profit on their Google Pixel.

Be careful where you buy your Google Pixel. That's the message coming out of a series of banned accounts from people who bought Pixels in order to resell them, as first reported by Dan's Deals.

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2 weeks ago

Google Pixel vs. Galaxy S7 video stabilization test: Does OIS make a difference?

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Pixel XL vs GS7 edge

How does the Pixel's crazy gyro-based stabilization compare to the Galaxy S7's OIS?

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Google Pixel take radically different approaches to stabilizing your videos. On the GS7, you've got traditional optical image stabilization — a hardware feature that cushions the camera module to make video more stable, while also helping out with still shots in darker conditions. In addition, there's traditional software-based video stabilization available in the Settings menu.

On the Pixel, there's no physical stabilization — instead, Google's digital stabilization works with the phone's gyroscope to stabilize footage, with surprisingly great results.

So how do these differing approaches compare? Let's take a look.

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2 weeks ago

How to fix Galaxy S7 battery life problems

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The Galaxy S7's battery is bigger than before, but you still don't want to waste what you have.

The eternal quest for longer battery life in smartphones continues on, as evermore efficient chips and bigger batteries are in a battle with new software, apps, features and big screens. You want your phone to do everything, but also do it for a very long time — and those things are at odds, especially if you don't want to be chasing around a wall outlet everywhere you go.

The Galaxy S7's 3000 mAh battery is bigger than last year's Galaxy S6 and offers really solid battery life, actually, but if you consistently find your GS7 coming up short at the end of the day we have a handful of tips for you to get the most out of what battery you have.

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2 weeks ago

Download the OnePlus 3T wallpapers straight from the artist who made them

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OnePlus 3T wallpapers

Illustrator tells the story of how OnePlus's latest backdrops came to life.

OnePlus has become known for its unique and stylish wallpapers, thanks to the work of artist Hampus Olsson. For the upcoming OnePlus 3T, the company once again teamed up with the Swedish illustrator to bring to life four striking new abstract backgrounds.

And although the phone isn't out yet, you can already download all of them, in full 1080p resolution, from Olsson's personal site.

In today's blog post, Olsson tells how a summer traveling in Europe inspired his latest work for OnePlus:

I went around town looking for inspiration at various art galleries. On the way, I found a great art supply store where I bought myself lots of ink, acrylics, mediums, brushes and papers. It was incredibly fun, they had everything I needed! I then rented an apartment for a couple of days, where I experimented and used up all the materials I had bought, leaving the apartment filled with art, covering the whole floor so that I had to jump over the artworks to be able to navigate around.

Check out the full story, along with the wallpapers themselves, over on the artist's blog.

OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

OnePlus

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2 weeks ago

Samsung updates Galaxy S7 Nougat beta with Facebook fix

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Galaxy S7 Nougat beta

No other changes in this build, Samsung says, but more beta updates will follow.

Samsung is starting to roll out an update for Galaxy S7 and S7 edge Android 7.0 beta participants, fixing an issue which caused the Facebook app to crash. The 92MB over-the-air update is going out now to European Galaxy S7 edge (SM-G935F) owners, and other models are likely to follow soon.

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2 weeks ago

Best Unlocked Phone

Best Unlocked Android Phones

When buying unlocked, our top pick doesn't change — the Google Pixel is the best phone you can buy.

Andrew Martonik Andrew has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at Android Central since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at andrew.martonik@androidcentral.com or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.

*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

When you're buying an unlocked phone, our recommendation is unchanged from our overall best Android phone pick: it's the Google Pixel. Google's first own-branded phone is absolutely hit in just about every way, from its understated hardware design to its lightning fast performance, full-day battery life and of course its top-of-the-line camera.

The Pixel does everything simply faster than the competition, and does so while integrating with all of Google's excellent services. It's also going to be the most up-to-date in terms of software, getting monthly security updates and also being at the front of the line for big platform jumps.

You'll pay for the privilege, but if you want the slickest and cleanest Android phone that you can buy unlocked and pick your carrier(s) later, the Pixel is the way to go.

Bottom line: For the fastest, simplest and best-supported experience, you can't go wrong with Google's own phone.

One more thing: You can opt for the 5.5-inch Pixel XL if you want more screen to work with and longer battery life.

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