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2 weeks ago

Wileyfox Spark review: Highly affordable, cripplingly slow

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Wileyfox Spark

Wileyfox wins the race to the bottom, but it's a hollow victory. The true price of an £80 smartphone is a device that runs like molasses.

Ever since the original Moto G shook things up in 2013, there've been a few shining examples of smartphones able to deliver a great user experience at a remarkably low cost. In marketing jargon this is called democratization — taking the really important parts of more expensive products and making them attainable to the masses. It's this that British startup Wileyfox achieved with last year's Swift — a phone that's still on sale, and regularly discounted to around £99.

If devices like the Moto G and Wileyfox Swift are the gold standard for democratization in smartphones, the Spark is an example of how it can all go horribly wrong. It turns out when you're constrained by a £79.99 price point, there's just not enough hardware to go around. And that undermines what could otherwise have been a decent budget phone, making it so painfully slow it's practically unusable.

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3 weeks ago

OnePlus 3 vs. HTC 10: Mettle and glass

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HTC 10 vs OnePlus 3

How does the OnePlus 3 compare to the HTC 10?

Every year, phones get better and cheaper, and usually bigger. Latency decreases; network speeds double. Metal eschews plastic; wireless replaces wired; timeless overcomes flashy.

The commodification of our gadgets is a known quantity by now, but no single category of product has so profoundly affected our lives as the smartphone. So it is strange when we dismiss them as boring, stifled from years of small improvements.

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3 weeks ago

Where to buy the Sony Xperia X in Canada

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Sony may be putting its faith behind the more powerful, more expensive Xperia X Performance, but a couple of Canadian carriers are also selling the Xperia X. If you're looking for the cheaper option in Sony's new X lineup, here's where you can find it.

Buy the Sony Xperia X from Videotron

Videotron is selling the Xperia X for:

  • $0 on a 2-year term with a 3GB plan
  • $99.95 on a 2-year term with a 2GB plan
  • $549.95 on a month-to-month plan

See at Videotron

Buy the Sony Xperia X from Wind Mobile

The Sony Xperia X will be available from Wind Mobile starting July 14.

More: Where to buy the Sony Xperia X Performance in Canada

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3 weeks ago

LG's latest phone will get two full days of battery life

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After announcing a series of new X-branded devices earlier this week, LG Canada has announced that the X power, a mid-range handset with an enormous 4,100mAh battery, is now available in Canada.

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3 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active finally receiving its Marshmallow update from AT&T

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Active owners will be thrilled to hear that AT&T is finally pushing out the Marshmallow update. After waiting for quite some time, the update is finally ready to be downloaded over-the-air on your phone. Following the update, you'll be able to take advantage of the great new features, like Doze, enhanced permission controls and more.

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3 weeks ago

The BLU Energy XL offers 3 days of battery life for $299

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BLU has launched its latest Android smartphone, the Energy XL. The 6-inch device includes a 5000mAh battery that BLU claims will last up to 3 days with standard usage. It is available unlocked from Amazon for $299.

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3 weeks ago

These are the top Motorola phones you need to know

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Motorola phones

Motorola continues to make compelling phones in a few different categories

Whether you're looking for a value-conscious choice that offers a great experience, a high-end device with the top bells and whistles, or an over-the-top carrier-specific model on Verizon, Motorola has you covered here. Even though it is now owned by Lenovo there isn't any shortage of innovation — the Moto G line is still a great choice at a lower price, the Moto Z line looks very promising and the last couple years of Droids have been solid for those on Verizon as well.

And here's where we gather up all of the models from Motorola that require the most attention — the top Motorola phones you should know about, whether you're in the market to buy right now or just need to know a bit more about them.

Article updated July 2016 to keep up with the new models.

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3 weeks ago

Android flagships in 2017: Where next for high-end phones?

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Are smartphones becoming boring? Diminishing returns at the high end? Plateauing hardware? Not so fast ...

It's true that mid-priced Android phones are better than ever right now, with handsets like the OnePlus 3 making top-tier performance and build to more attainable than ever. And as a result, the gap between a $400 phone and a $700 device has never been narrower.

But that doesn't mean the days of traditional flagship phones are over. There are still many valid reasons to spend top dollar on a phone in late 2016 or early 2017. Even as the majority of cheaper smartphones become basically good enough, mobile innovation hasn't completely stalled.

Let's take a look at how phones can still be exciting in the future, and why you still might want to buy one of the very best Androids out there.

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3 weeks ago

OxygenOS 3.2.0 now available for the OnePlus 3 with RAM management fixes and more [Update]

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Update: OnePlus has halted the update for the OnePlus 3. The company is citing reports of issues while upgrading, so the update will not be available while it investigates. We will provide additional details as they become available.

OnePlus has announced that the OxygenOS 3.2.0 update for the OnePlus 3 will begin rolling out now. The update brings a number of big fixes to the phone, like sRGB mode in developer options, enhanced RAM management, camera quality fixes and more. Plans for the update were previously revealed following some drama surrounding how OnePlus was managing the 6GB of RAM inside the phone.

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3 weeks ago

Galaxy J2 2016 render shows off Samsung's Smart Glow notification feature

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Samsung is said to be working on an alternative to the notification LED that includes an illuminated ring that around the camera sensor at the back. Called Smart Glow, the ring will light up for incoming calls and notifications, with users getting the ability to customize alerts based on colors. The feature will also allow you to take selfies using the rear camera. Smart Glow is likely to make its debut on the Galaxy J2 2016, based on leaked renders of the handset.

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3 weeks ago

LG's mid-range X5 and X skin are now official in South Korea

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LG has added two new models to its mid-range X series in South Korea, the X5 and the X skin. The phones join the X power and the X cam as well as the X screen, which made their debut earlier this year.

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3 weeks ago

These are the top Samsung phones you need to know

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These are the top Samsung phones you need to know

In the world of smartphones, it's impossible to ignore the influence of Samsung.

Since its explosion into Android with the launch of the Galaxy S2 globally, Samsung has firmly held on to the top spot in Android devices sold — and though the playing field has leveled off some in recent years the Korean manufacturer still has one of the most recognizable lines of phones out there today.

The "Galaxy" name gets spread around to its entire lineup of Android phones (and beyond), but when it really comes down to it there are just a handful of Samsung's high-end devices that you need to know about. Let us introduce you to the top phones from Samsung.

This article is updated periodically with the latest information. The latest update was made in June 2016.

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3 weeks ago

Panasonic unveils the Eluga Note in India for ₹13,290

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Panasonic's latest phone in the Indian market is the Eluga Note. The phone will retail for ₹13,290, and will be available via offline retailers. Aimed at a younger audience, the phone sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display, octa-core CPU clocked at 1.3GHz, 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage along with a microSD card slot.

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3 weeks ago

Xiaomi's teaser hints at successor to the Mi Note

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Xiaomi has started rolling out teasers for the successor to the 2015 Mi Note, with the company suggesting that its upcoming phone will be more powerful than the Mi 5. The teaser features a football pitch with 2 > 5 in the foreground, and early rumors regarding the phone hint at a possible QHD display, which will be a first for the manufacturer.

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3 weeks ago

Where to buy a U.S. unlocked Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge

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U.S. unlocked Galaxy S7

Samsung is finally offering a SIM-unlocked Galaxy S7 (and GS7 edge) in the United States. That means a few things.

The unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are able to work on pretty much any operator here in the U.S. While most folks out there don't hop from one to the next too often, it's still a very nice ability to have. These versions also aren't bloated up by carrier software. And as we noted when the GS7 was released, the operators can make a pretty big mess of things. These should also theoretically get software updates faster. (We'll just have to see on that one.)

But the big question: Where will you be able to buy an unlocked Galaxy S7? Turns out there a number of choices. Samsung has committed to having the phones available from several different retailers, but not all have put them on sale right at the same time. Here's the current list, and we'll be updating it as more join in.

U.S. unlocked Galaxy S7

See at B&H Photo See at Samsung See at BestBuy See at Amazon

U.S. unlocked Galaxy S7 edge

See at B&H Photo See at Samsung See at BestBuy

These direct links will take you to the proper pages for the U.S. unlocked phones ... make sure when searching elsewhere for the phones that you aren't confused by other "unlocked" models — those could possibly not have the correct network bands for the U.S.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Unlocked AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon

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