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2 weeks ago

Should you upgrade to the HTC 10 from the HTC One M9?

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HTC 10 vs HTC One M9

A lot has changed for HTC in the past twelve months, and that's reflected in a radically different flagship for 2016.

This year's HTC flagship, the HTC 10, lands on store shelves a little later than in previous release cycles. As such, we'd already seen high-end offerings from Samsung and LG before HTC had tipped its hand. And owners of the HTC One M9, last year's decent (if unspectacular) flagship will have had ample opportunity to be tempted away from team HTC over the past few months.

But HTC fans can be a notoriously loyal bunch, and many will have been waiting on the next big thing from the Taiwanese firm. And to be sure, there's plenty to like about the new HTC 10. But is it worth the upgrade from an M9 after a year of use?

Read on to find out.

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2 weeks ago

Best heavy duty cases for the LG G5

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Best heavy duty cases for the LG G5

Get a case designed to handle wear and tear, so your LG G5 doesn't have to.

No matter how careful you are with your phone, sooner or later you're gonna drop it or it's gonna fall. When the inevitable happens, you want to make sure it's protected from getting scuffed, scratched, cracked, and smashed.

Not all cases are built equal. If you're an outdoorsy type, you'll want some added protection and only the most rugged cases can stand up to everything Mother Nature throws your way. Let's dive right in.

Otterbox Commuter series

Otterbox Commuter series

Otterbox is well-known for making tough cases that can take a beating. Their Commuter series cases are no exception.

We tried this case out on our G5 and found that it fit perfectly. When on the device, the case forms a lip around it that protects the vulnerable corners from shattering. It also protects the LCD screen from getting scratched when the device is lying facedown.

For an Otterbox case, the Commuter feels quite light. It's comprised of two pieces: a hard polycarbonate outer shell and an inner silicone liner. The hard plastic shell protects the phone from scratches and dents while the softer inner lining absorbs impacts. The inner lining also has flaps that cover the charging port and audio jack so that dust and debris cannot get in.

You won't have to fiddle with removing the case to access important features of your device — the case has a triangular cutout in the back for the camera and the fingerprint scanner, cutouts along the bottom edge for the speaker and microphone, and along the top for the microSD card slot.

While not the heaviest-duty case around, the Commuter series is rugged enough to protect your LG G5 from damage from most everyday situations. If you're taking your phone with you while skydiving, well, maybe this isn't the case for you.

See at Amazon

Supcase Rugged Unicorn Beetle Pro Combo

If you want a strong combination of solid protection and sporty design, this is the case for you. The Supcase Rugged Unicorn Beetle Pro Combo includes a built-in screen protector and a swiveling belt clip holster so your phone is secure and protected, yet easily accessible if you're out hiking in the wilderness. With a dual-layer back cover offering shock absorption and port covers to keep dust and debris out, your phone is protected 360 degrees.

It's available in three distinct colors and, according to one reviewer, is even better when paired with a tempered glass screen protector, in lieu of the one the case provides. It's worth considering if you trust the protection that tempered glass provides.

See at Amazon

Spigen Rugged Armor Case

This offering from Spigen is sleek and elegant, with a carbon fiber texture that offers a better grip in your hand. Made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU for short), it's flexible enough to be easy to install your LG G5, while still providing fantastic protection, thanks to military-grade certified air cushion technology to protect when your phone falls and lands on its corner.

When you put your G5 down, your screen and camera is always protected with a 1.2 millimeter lip around the display and 1.5 millimeter of space between your camera lens and the table or ground if you drop it. And, for all the protection Spigen provides, you'll also retain easy access to all the buttons, ports, and speakers.

See at Amazon

Poetic Affinity Series Case

If you want full-protection but also want to show off the LG G5 design, this is the case for you. Made of clear polycarbonate with TPU accents around the corners, this case is slim and stylish with extra protection provided for those detrimental impact areas. If you've found other cases to be slippery and hard to hold, you're going to love the side grip pattern they've included. The extra texture will make your phone easier to hold without adding unnecessary bulk.

The X-form strips of black TPU running down the back aren't just there for looks — they also provide shock dissipation without sacrificing the thin form factor. With raised bezel protecting your display and the same level of protection for the camera lenses on the back, it's perfect for protecting your new phone while still allowing you to show off its design.

See at Amazon

Lifeproof FRE for LG G5

If you've had a Lifeproof case before, you know what you're getting here. This case is waterproof, dirt-proof, drop-proof and even snow-proof, making it arguably the best full-protection case you can buy. This is the case for you if you're constantly out exploring in the wilderness and want to make sure your phone is protected from the elements.

It has received the highest ratings on the Ingress Protection scale, meaning it's guaranteed for full immersion in up to 6 feet of water for an hour. It also meets the U.S. Military Standard for drop and shock protection. Also included is a headphone adapter, so you can enjoy your music while surfing or snowboarding without worrying about compromising the waterproofness of the phone. All in all, if you never want to worry about your phone being damaged by the elements or drops, this is the case for you.

See at Lifeproof

i-Blason Prime

Combining rugged protection with stylish design, the i-Blason Prime features a dual-layer back cover that includes a convenient kickstand built right in. Featuring a polycarbonate hard shell with carbon fiber patterns on the inlay coupled with a shock absorbing silicone sleeve, your G5 will get a snug fit with maximum protection. And, all the ports are precision-cut with ample space for all your cables and headphones.

It also comes with a side-mount holster that clips onto your belt, and the raised bevel around the display won't affect your ability to install a screen protector.

See at Amazon

How 'bout you?

Not finding what you're looking for here? Check out our guide to the best cases for the LG G5. Or, do you have a favorite rugged case for your LG G5 that isn't on the list? Drop us a line below in the comments!

LG G5

AT&T Unlocked Sprint T-Mobile

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2 weeks ago

The best cheap Android phones

There's never been a better time to buy a cheap Android phone and still get a top quality experience.

It used to be the norm that to get a good phone you'd have to spend a good chunk of change. But while the high end continues to progress at a predictable rate, the mid-tiers have suddenly become where the action is at. It's easier than ever to get a quality Android smartphone without paying too much for it. We daresay you can call it a "cheap" Android smartphone at this point and not feel bad about it.

For around $250 it's now possible to get a good phone by any standard. Here's our roundup of the best you can get right now.

For May 2016 there are no new additions to the list, but we have had a re-think on the order.

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2 weeks ago

Verizon's Galaxy S7 and S7 edge update makes it easier to tell if your SIM tray isn't closed and more

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Verizon is now pushing out an update for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge which brings a number of new features to the phones. To ensure that the phone remains waterproof at all times, Verizon now displays a pop-up when the SIM tray is not fully closed. Additionally, there are some improvements to managing memory use of individual apps and more.

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2 weeks ago

Teardown reveals Huawei P9 dual-camera module is smaller than that of the iPhone 6s

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The team at iFixit is back again, this time showing us what makes up the insides of the Huawei P9. Once opened, it is immediately obvious that the battery is the biggest component in there. This left Huawei with very little room to pack all the rest of the components, but thanks to some creative designing, the company still managed to pack this thing full of great features.

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2 weeks ago

Galaxy S7 Active breaks cover with AT&T branding

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Samsung's Level app hinted at a Galaxy S7 Active variant last month, and we're now getting a first look at the upcoming handset in the form of leaked images. Based on the photos, the phone eschews the metal and glass finish of the Galaxy S7, instead featuring a rugged exterior made up of polycarbonate and rubber.

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2 weeks ago

HTC 10 now available in the UK: Here's everything you need to know

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HTC 10 in gold

HTC's 2016 flagship hits British store shelves from today, and we've got all the details.

Today marks the first day of official availability for the HTC 10. The Taiwanese company's new flagship phone has been described as a "return to form" for the manufacturer, with a premium metal design, serious audio credentials and a camera to rival the Galaxy S7. If you're thinking of dropping some cash on an HTC 10 today, we've got all the information you need down below.

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3 weeks ago

Pre-ordered the HTC 10? You'll receive a 'small token of appreciation' from HTC shortly

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HTC is sending out emails to customers that have pre-ordered the HTC 10, stating that they will receive a "small token of appreciation" from the company for purchasing the handset.

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3 weeks ago

Get the Samsung Galaxy J3 2016 from Verizon for $110 without a contract

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Verizon Wireless is now selling the 2016 edition of the Samsung Galaxy J3 for $109.99 if customers sign up for one of the carrier's pre-paid plans.

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3 weeks ago

Best tempered glass screen protectors for the HTC 10 (so far)

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HTC 10

Scratches, and pits, and chips, oh my! Get a screen protector!

Tempered glass is about four times stronger than regular (annealed) glass, making it an ideal choice for screen protectors. Rather than shattering into jagged and potentially harmful shards, it breaks into small, relatively harmless bits. So, if you have a tempered glass screen protector on your HTC 10 and, for whatever reason, it breaks, the bits won't scratch up your screen.

It can be difficult to figure out which screen protector is the right one for your HTC 10, which is why we've rounded up some of the best available.

HotCool

HotCool's tempered glass screen protector is tough to withstand big time abrasion without getting scratched, scuffed, or pitted, while maintaining all of the HTC 10's screen sensitivity. It cuts down the glare on your screen, giving the impression of sharper images and clearer text, since light isn't messing with your view.

There is a rounded design so that it doesn't block the front camera and other important sensors on the front of your phone, so keep in mind that all of the glass on your screen isn't covered, though those spots are minimal and shouldn't really affect the overall protection.

See at Amazon

Safodo

Safodo's protector is right up there with HotCool's and offers a lifetime replacement warranty, so that if your protector starts to peel off your HTC 10 (as it inevitably will), they'll replace it for free.

These ones come in a two-pack and are incredibly clear, which means you'll sometimes look at screen and wonder if you actually put one on or not. That means that there isn't much of an anti-glare factor involved, so if you like the look of your HTC 10 the way it is, then you'll like this screen protector.

The cutouts for the light sensor, front camera, and home button are all precise, so the only issue will be putting it on correctly the first time!

See at Amazon

Mr. Shield

Mr. Shield, that's his name. That name again is Mr. Shield. Offering a lifetime replacement warranty and two to a pack, Mr. Shield throws ultra-thin into the mix as well. These tempered glass screen protectors are 0.3 millimeters thick, which means you'll have optimum sensitivity and high definition at all times.

Again, the cutouts are all accurate and the rounded edges means you won't slice your thumbs on the edges where your protector ends.

See at Amazon

Supershieldz

With so many phones now having curved screens, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find a screen protector that doesn't suffer from the "halo effect" where it starts to peel up all around the edges of your phone.

Supershieldz, like other screen protector manufacturers, makes their protector a little smaller than the actual screen size, so that you're not getting that ugly lifting at the edge — your protector actually stays on your phone (apparently a key factor in screen protection–who knew?!).

Just like the other tempered glass screen protectors in our roundup, Supershieldz maintains and slightly enhances the high definition of your HTC 10's screen, while also maintaining all of the touch sensitivity.

See at Amazon

Omoton

Omoton claims to have the thinnest tempered glass screen protector in the world, at 0.26 millimeters thick. That's a whole 0.04 of a millimeter thinner than the rest!

All that means is that Omoton offers a crystal clear protector that won't hinder any of your HTC 10's sensitivity and won't affect the resolution of your screen in the slightest. It also claims to be fingerprint-resistant and uses an adhesive that promises not to leave any bubbles during installation.

See at Amazon

G-Color

G-Color provides another great oleophobic option, which means you shouldn't have to deal with smudges or fingerprints with the screen protector applied. As with all the other tempered glass screen protectors, you'll get great scratch protection for your HTC 10, and should be a quick and easy bubble-free installation.

It's all backed by G-Color's no-hassle lifetime replacement warranty, so you can buy with confidence.

See at Amazon

Keep in mind

Most tempered glass screen protector manufacturers will claim that their products are rated "9H" on the pencil hardness scale, which is a way of measuring the durability of a particular coating. "9H" refers to how hard the pencil lead (graphite) is. Something that is rated 9H means that the hardest pencil lead out there won't leave a permanent mark. That doesn't say much about the material's resistance to dents or pits.

Tl;dr? Don't pay any attention to this 9H rating; it's virtually meaningless.

HTC 10

HTC Verizon

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3 weeks ago

Xiaomi Mi Max shows up at TENAA with 6.4-inch FHD display, 4000mAh battery

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The Xiaomi Mi Max is all set to make its debut on May 10, and after an image of the phone leaked earlier this week, we're now treated to a TENAA listing that gives us an idea as to what to expect when it comes to the specs.

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3 weeks ago

Best cases for the HTC 10 (so far)

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HTC 10 Ice View

HTC's new flagship is handsomely designed. Protect it from bumps and scratches.

Like any responsible phone owner, you're probably considering a case for your HTC 10. It's a brand new phone and you want to keep it as pristine as possible for as long as possible.

With a new phone, it can be hard to find a good case because not everyone is jumping onboard the new phone train, so reviews are limited. For the most part, we're seeing TPU cases galore, but there are a few rubber and wallet cases and there'll likely be many more to come upon the phone's release.

We've rounded up the best cases (so far) for your gorgeous new HTC 10 that'll hopefully keep it looking like new until the HTC 11 comes out!

HTC Ice View

HTC Ice View

We'll start with the coolest case you can buy for your HTC 10, which is HTC's own Ice View. With the One M9, HTC had the Dot View to give us a peek at what's happening on the phone. Ice View adds more detail to match the 10's cleaned-up design.

The flip cover allows you to interact with your phone in so many ways that some people might not even need to lift it. You can take photos, read texts, control volume and music, turn on the flashlight, and tons more. Plus, the Ice View supports third party notifications like Instagram, Google+, and more.

If you struggle with covering up such a pretty phone but still want it protected, you might as well cover it up with a case that's super cool and offer a ton of functionality on top of that protection.

See at HTC


Cimo Premium Slim Fit

Cimo Premium Slim Fit

A great standard for anyone who want a simple, minimal case that offers solid protection without breaking the bank, Cimo does it again. It's got a tactile, satisfying grippy feeling and leaves all the essential ports and buttons open.

The beveled front edge leaves you worry free when leaving your HTC 10 facedown and the slim design means no unnecessary bulk in your pocket. If you're looking for a case just because you know it's the right thing to do, then Cimo is a solid place to start.

See at Amazon


Tauri Premium Ultra Slim

Tauri Premium Ultra Slim

Tauri is all about the TPU case and they do it quite well. This is yet another offer that won't add much bulk to your HTC 10, but will help it feel solid and protected. A soft shell like this is shock absorbent and won't slip out of your hands. Tauri offers the Ultra Slim in a few different colors, so you can grab one to match your style, while remaining minimal.

The Premium Ultra Slim is quite flexible, so putting it on and taking it off your HTC 10 will be easy peasy, but try not to take it off too much because it could be come a little loose due to stretching. Also consider that, when buying the lighter gray case, you may notice a little bit of yellowing over time, since that's what happens to TPU when it absorbs sunlight.

See at Amazon


Vinve Folio

Vinve Folio

Looking for a folio case that doubles as a stand for your HTC 10? Check out Vinve's Folio case made of PU leather. It's simple, but offers a cover for your screen without having to fiddle with a finicky screen protector (which don't fit many new phones due to their curved screens).

The flip cover folds back on the spine to become a handy stand for hands-free video-watching, reading, or video-calling. The case is cut well, so that all the important buttons and ports are available without feeling like you're leaving your phone open to damage. The leather texture also feels great and won't slip.

See at Amazon


Love Ying Crystal Clear Ultra

Love Ying Crystal Clear Ultra

Another great TPU cover that offers minimal bulk with cushioned shock absorbency is the Love Ying Crystal Clear. Like Tauri, Love Ying offers as view different colors to match your style; theirs are a little more vibrant and playful.

The cover is raised both on the front and the back, so you're not putting your HTC 10 down right on its screen or right on the camera lens, which is a nice feature if you happen to drop it flat. It's dust and scratch resistant and fits like a glove.

As with other TPU cases, just be aware that your case may yellow over time thanks to the Sun. Also be careful putting it on your HTC 10 and taking it off too much, since it might stretch and stop fitting so well. Other than that, it's a great way to protect your phone without adding a ton of bulk or breaking the bank.

See at Amazon

What do you think?

When you get your HTC 10, let us know which case is your favorite by sounding off in the comments below!

HTC 10

HTC Verizon

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