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3 weeks ago

Score a free Samsung phone from T-Mobile with the purchase of another on August 6

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T-Mobile has announced that it will be running a promotion this Saturday, August 6, that will score you a free Samsung phone with the purchase of another. That's right, if you purchase a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, any of the Galaxy S6 line or a Galaxy Note 5 you can get another for free with the addition of a new line to the account. If you have a few lines that need upgrading, this is a great way to get more for your money.

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3 weeks ago

Galaxy Note 7: The 7 new features you need to know about!

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Why should you buy the Galaxy Note 7? Here are seven reasons.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is going to be out on August 19, which means that millions of people are mulling whether to sink their hard-earned dollars into what is likely Samsung's best, and most expensive, phone to date.

While the Korean giant didn't elaborate on many of the software changes found in the Note 7 during the keynote, we were able to uncover some unique and interesting additions that will take your Note-ing to a new level.

The camera app is all new

Samsung's camera app has come a long way since the admittedly dreadful experience of the Note 3 era. Things started improving with the Note 4 and S5, but even today there are things that could stand to be improved.

Starting with the Note 7, Samsung has taken a gesture-friendly approach to the camera app, letting you switch between modes like Pro and Video using a vertical swipe, as well as filters and other settings using a horizontal swipe.

The UI has also been cleaned up, with a much clearer delineation between the viewfinder and the buttons, all of which have been simplified, too. I got to use the new app briefly during my time with it, and have to say it's a big jump from Samsung's previous efforts, and will at the very least make switching between back and front cameras considerably easier.

Power-saving mode actually lowers your resolution

Like most phones today, the Note 7 has a great power-saving mode. But unlike most phones, turning it on actually lowers the resolution of the phone to make the screen use less power.

That's right: when you first enable the medium power saving mode on the Note 7, your QHD resolution screen drops to 1080p, in addition to the standard toggles like lowering CPU speed and adjusting background processes. The maximum power saving mode lowers the resolution even further — to 720p.

This is certainly the first time we've seen something like this, and it's unclear how much battery this will save in the long run, but it's a very interesting idea.

The S Pen doubles as a magnifying glass

There are a lot of very cool new features in the Note 7's S Pen, but one of the coolest is its Magnifying feature. Yes, it's mainly for accessibility, but that makes it especially important, since it's one of the easiest ways for someone with less-than-perfect vision to see the finer details of an on-screen object.

The feature allows for up to 300% magnification, and the great thing is that even at that level the screen doesn't appear pixelated, thanks to the high-density QHD display.

The S Pen at a glance

Here's another unique use case for the S Pen: Glance, which generates a small thumbnail of an app that can be maximized when the stylus hovers over it.

Think of the possibilities, especially for apps that don't support Multi Window: you need to refer to an email or text message but don't want to constantly switch back and forth between apps, so you minimize the client and hover over it when you need it. Very cool idea, and one that I think I'm going to use a lot.

There's a blue light filter to save your eyes

Blue light filters are certainly not new to smartphones, but Samsung's implementation in the Note 7 is not only good, it's customizable.

It can scheduled to turn on at sunset — or any time you want — to save your eyes the indignity of all that sleep-affecting blue light. It's also possible to adjust the intensity of the filter, so you can find just the right level to suit your late-night reading needs.

Samsung's browser has extensions

While many browsers have extensions support, Samsung's bundled version comes with two pre-loaded ones that hope to entice you away from Chrome. The first is a QR code reader, which is useful in a pinch.

The second is a video assistant, which perfects the color and sound of a web-based video. Not necessarily the most exciting add-ons, but the fact that Samsung has created a single place for all it's extensions means that it is doubling down on its homegrown browser, which runs counter to the majority of other manufacturers in the industry that have accepted Chrome as their default.

You can turn off those awful icon frames

For some reason, the Note 7 burdens the natural beauty of Android's app icons with white "frames", something we've bemoaned from the likes of Huawei for years. While many of Samsung's redesigned icons have been designed to look good encased in white, the vast majority of others do not.

Thankfully, Samsung offers a toggle to return back to the blissful simplicity of the status quo. Because some things shouldn't be changed.

Your turn

What's your favorite feature of the Note 7, hardware or software? Does the iris scanner interest you, or is it the updated software experience that is getting your attention? Let us know in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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3 weeks ago

You can save $190 on an unlocked LG G5 right now!

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Right now you can score an LG G5 for just $410 at eBay, which is a savings of $190. The unlocked phone is available in gold, silver and titan currently, and the listing is for a brand new unit, so you won't be dealing with refurbs here. Between the 5.3-inch display, the 32GB of internal storage and the ability to swap different modules, this savings makes for a pretty sweet deal.

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3 weeks ago

Should you upgrade to the Galaxy Note 7 from the Galaxy Note 4?

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The big question a lot of people are asking.

Though traditional two-year contracts are all but gone now, the 24-month cycle of upgrading to a new phone is still very much in play. So when we see a huge phone release like the Galaxy Note 7, there are millions using a Galaxy Note 4 who perk up and take notice.

With more powerful internals, an improved camera, better screen, new S Pen features and an amazing leap in design, the Galaxy Note 7 definitely has a lot going for it ... but is it enough to give up a Note 4, which likely still works very well two years on? We're going to tell you all you need to know about this upgrade.

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3 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs. iPhone 6s Plus: First impressions

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Note 7 vs iPhone 6s plus

The latest pairing in an age-old rivalry: Our first impressions of two phones a world apart.

It's been a while since you could reasonably say Samsung was straight up copying Apple in its smartphone designs. In the market of 2016, the two camps are very clearly differentiated: Samsung with its glass-backed designs, curved panels, super-slim bezels, big batteries and wireless charging. And Apple arguably doing more with less: shipping super-slim metal handsets with its own tightly controlled hardware and software, where performance and ease of use is king.

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3 weeks ago

Welcome back to Europe, Galaxy Note ♥

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Congrats, Euros. You're allowed to buy the Samsung Galaxy Note this year.

A little under a year ago, there was a nasty surprise for anyone in Europe wanting to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Other territories would get to choose between the GS6 edge+ and Note 5, but in Europe Samsung had made that choice for you. But forget all that — the Galaxy Note brand is back with a vengeance, and the latest Note 7 will land on European shores in early September.

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3 weeks ago

What color Galaxy Note 7 should you get: Black, blue coral, silver or gold?

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 Black, blue coral, silver or gold?

Things to consider when choosing a Galaxy Note 7 color to buy.

Since moving to a new metal-and-glass design with its modern phones, Samsung has done some very interesting things with colors. For the Galaxy Note 7, we're looking at four different color schemes, with each one having its own draws. While we know that a large portion of the decision of what color to get is simply personal preference about style, we wanted to give you a few tips and things to consider when making your decision.

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3 weeks ago

Galaxy Note 7 ships with Marshmallow, not Nougat — but maybe that's not a huge deal

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Galaxy Note 7 Marshmallow

The Note 7 runs Android 6.0.1 out of the box — which, for the time being, is still the latest stable version of the OS. But even without Nougat, Note owners aren't missing out on that much.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 lands at a precarious time on the Android calendar. We're just reaching the end of the Marshmallow era, with final Android 7.0 Nougat code likely to be released in a matter of weeks. By the time the Note 7 hits store shelves in some countries, it could already be running an "old" version of the OS. That's sure to provide ammunition for Samsung's rivals (like a certain Cupertino-based company with a phone launch coming up in September). But are regular consumers really missing out on all that much? Well, yes and no.

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3 weeks ago

The LG V20 is coming to Canada — with Android 7.0 Nougat

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LG announced this week that the V20, its latest flagship and successor to the V10, will come to Canada. Moreover, it will be the first device to ship with Android 7.0 Nougat.

According to LG:

The LG V20 builds upon the premium and rich multimedia smartphone experience of last year's LG V10. It will be tuned to take advantage of many of the best features of Nougat, including Vulkan-supported graphics for more immersive gaming while also delivering better battery performance with Doze. Consumers will also enjoy new productivity features such as Direct Reply, which lets users respond quickly to text messages or update tasks using the notification interface.

We don't know a lot about the V20 at the moment, but Canadians can at least look forward to it coming out at all — we didn't get the oversized, unique V10 when it debuted last year (much to my chagrin). And with the LG G5 not knocking people's socks off (though I really liked it), I think LG could have a big hit on its hands with the V20. All will go down in September, when the V20 is announced.

More: LG V10 review

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3 weeks ago

OnePlus 3 will be temporarily unavailable in many European countries starting Aug 9

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OnePlus has announced some changes that will be taking place on the OnePlus 3 availability in parts of Europe, and the news is not what you want to hear. From August 9 to September 12, OnePlus will temporarily pause availability in various countries like France, Greece, Ireland, Italy and others. The company says it needs to take this course of action because of an overwhelming response and the lack of invites to control it this time around.

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3 weeks ago

First comparison: Galaxy Note 7 vs. Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge

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What's the difference between the Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy S7?

The Galaxy Note 7 isn't part of the Galaxy S series in name, but it sure is in spirit. The latest Note has a ton of high-end specs and features, but most of them can be found in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge that were announced some six months earlier.

The specs are nearly identical, the cameras are the same and most features are shared — so where are the actual differences between these three phones? Let us explain.

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3 weeks ago

Should you upgrade to the Galaxy Note 7 from the Galaxy S6 edge+? A comparison

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Galaxy Note 7 vs Galaxy S6 edge+

Turns out the Galaxy S6 edge+ has aged really well. Nevertheless, the march of smartphone progress continues, and twelve months on it's about to be replaced by the Note 7.

The Galaxy Note 7 is the successor to not only the Note 5, but also the S6 edge+. There's no Galaxy S7 edge+ this year, as the Note line incorporates the best of both 2015 models. So if you're rocking Samsung's last edgy phablet, is this new one worth the upgrade? Read on for our first impressions.

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3 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 now available for pre-order in the U.S.

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Galaxy Note 7

You can now pre-order Samsung's latest handset from the major U.S. mobile operators!

Itching to secure your Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Buyers in the United States can now pre-order the phone ahead of the Aug. 19 street date. The Note 7 is available to pre-order on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, with U.S. Cellular following on Aug. 4.

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3 weeks ago

OPPO F1s review: Great hardware, inexcusably old software

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OPPO's latest Android phone looks a lot like its last one. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Following the F1 and the F1 Plus, we now have the F1s from OPPO, completing the trilogy of photography-oriented phones. Where the F1 Plus was a noticeable leap ahead of the F1, the F1s' position is somewhere in the middle. On the face of it, it's hard to tell it apart from the F1 Plus.

Indeed, with both the F1s and Plus on my desk side by side, it's impossible to know which is which except if you're looking at specific things — not necessarily a bad thing, since the F1 Plus is a nice piece of hardware. The new F1s is a little larger, a little less powerful, and is making its debut in India for ₹17,999 ($270).

OPPO (the parent company of OnePlus) has suddenly become one of the world's top five smartphone vendors, so it's very much a company to follow. The F1s isn't particularly different from its predecessors, which means it has the same good and bad points that we've come across before.

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3 weeks ago

The Galaxy Note 7 can make GIFs out of just about anything

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GIF recorder

The Note 7 isn't a smartphone. It's an $800 GIF machine.

However you pronounce it, you can't avoid GIFs on the Internet. But as universal as they've become, making them is still hard — unless you own a Galaxy Note 7. Yes, buying a Note 7 will surely make your wallet significantly lighter, but at least you'll be able to turn just about anything into a GIF, ready to fire out at admiring followers on your social network of choice.

Note 7 GIF recorder

Getting there is simple — pull out the Note 7's S Pen, hit "Smart Select," then tap the "Animation." You'll then see a grid outline which you can align over the thing you want to record — for example, a YouTube video (DRM-protected videos won't work, we're told). Then tweak the recording quality if you like, and tap "record." Once you're done, stop recording and it's saved to your gallery. From there it can be trimmed further, even allowing you to cut out specific frames if needed.

Whether you need a $800+ smartphone to help you make GIFs on the go is debatable — as is whether you really need an S Pen for a feature like this. (Surely a finger would work just as well?)

But hey. GIFs!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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