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2 weeks ago

Moto Z Droid Edition + Moto Z Force Droid Edition specs

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Full hardware specs for Moto and Verizon's latest Droids.

Moto and Verizon have taken the wraps off their latest round of Droid handsets, bringing two new models to market on the U.S.'s biggest network. Both Droids bring top-level internals to the table, but there are a few significant differences to note. The regular Moto Z Droid Edition packs a 13-megapixel OIS camera and a 2,600mAh battery, while the Moto Z Force Droid Edition (gasp) ups the camera to 21 megapixels and the battery to an ample 3,500mAh. And as the name suggests, Force owners will also benefit from Moto's ShatterShield technology to protect from drops and scrapes.

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2 weeks ago

This is the Moto Z, Lenovo's next flagship Android phone


During Lenovo's Tech World keynote, Motorola announced the Moto Z, its latest global flagship.

While the device is notably thinner and lighter than any previous Moto X flagship, featuring a combination of aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel, it features some powerful hardware.

On the outside, a 5.5-inch Quad HD (2560x1440 pixel) display has thin bezels that are surrounded by a body that looks like a combination of the new Moto G and last year's Moto X Pure Edition. Below the display, a square fingerprint sensor makes unlocking the phone much faster, the first on a Moto flagship (and the second after the new Moto G line); on top, a 5MP front-facing shooter with LED flash, something the company maintained from the Pure Edition, too.

Around back, Lenovo has kept with the industry trend by lowering the sensor size to 13MP from last year's 21MP shooter, along with a dual-LED flash in a module that pays homage to the "flat tire" of the Moto 360 smartwatch.

Inside, a Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM, along with 32GB of internal storage and room for expansion through microSD, keep things along a relatively sure path when it comes to 2016 flagships. However, Lenovo saw fit to update the phone's connector to USB Type-C, replete with Turbo Charging capabilities that boosts the 2,600mAh cell with eight hours of power in 15 minutes.

The phone runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with the requisite "soft" Moto skin, featuring namestays like Moto Display and Moto Voice.

Of course, the pièce de résistance of the Moto Z line is its modular future, with snap-in accessories called Moto Mods. From a speaker-battery combination to a pico projector, Moto Mods are ambitious and, in this market, perhaps foolhardy, but the feature is a natural extension of Lenovo's experimental legacy. More mods will come through partnerships with other brands, along with a pending Moto Mod Development Kit (MDK).

We'll have more on the Moto Z's pricing and availability as they become available.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Motorola Best Buy Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Lenovo PHAB 2 Pro will be available nationwide at Lowe's later this year


Lowe's has announced that it will be selling Lenovo's PHAB 2 Pro nationwide in its retail stores later this year. In addition, the home improvement chain will be releasing a Tango app to Google Play to make redesigning rooms even easier. That's right, you'll be able to purchase the unlocked version of the PHAB 2 Pro right from your local Lowes store this holiday season.

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2 weeks ago

Lenovo PHAB 2 Pro Tango preview: Consider our minds blown


Tango on your phone?! It's less crazy than it sounds.

We know exactly two things about Google's Tango (which recently dropped "Project" from its name) — that it is incredibly cool and that we have no idea how most folks would find day-to-day use in the technology. While having the ultimate Augmented Reality tablet is amazing, and the ideas Google has developed for using the tech is phenomenal, a tablet or phone with computer vision and spatial awareness isn't yet a daily necessity for much of anyone. Lenovo is the first of what Google is hoping will be several partners over the next year releasing hardware to change that.

The most impressive of the three new Lenovo PHAB phones headed to the U.S. this year, the PHAB 2 Pro, is equipped with everything you'd find in the Tango developer tablet, plus a few extras. We sat down recently with a mostly finished version of the PHAB 2 Pro to get a feel for what Tango is all about on a phone, and walked away more than a little impressed.

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2 weeks ago

Lenovo PHAB 2 family specs


Wondering what the difference between the various PHAB 2 models are that Lenovo recently announced? All of the models come with a rather massive 6.4-inch display, but internally there are some differences that set them apart. Each screen has a different number of pixels per inch, each gains more memory as you move up the line, and much more.

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2 weeks ago

Lenovo announces the PHAB 2 family of phones


Lenovo has announced the PHAB 2 family of phones, which consists of three different models for you to decide between. The entry model is the PHAB 2, which comes with a 6.4-inch IPS display, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. With the PHAB 2 Plus the memory bumps up to 3GB, and an 8MP front-facing camera instead of 5MP in the base model.

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2 weeks ago

Lenovo shows off insanely flexible phone and tablet concepts


On stage at Lenovo Tech World today, Lenovo gave a quick demonstration of some prototype flexible tech that it is working on.

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2 weeks ago

How to buy an unlocked Android phone in Canada

Moto G4 Plus

There are many reasons to buy an unlocked smartphone, and some reasons not to.

Unlocked phones are all the rage, but what does the term mean, and when is the right time to make the investment?

What is an unlocked phone?

An unlocked phone is one that has no restrictions on which carrier it can be used. Most Canadian carriers, in exchange for providing a handsome subsidy, sell handsets that are locked to their networks, making it more likely that you will purchase, and continue using, their service. Popping a SIM card from, say, Bell into a Rogers-locked device will throw an error and won't connect. Put a Rogers SIM card back in that phone, and it starts working again.

When a phone is unlocked, you are free to shop around for the best monthly plan — one that is not tied to the sale of a handset. Most carriers, in fact, offer monthly discounts for bringing an unlocked phone to their network, since they don't have to sell a subsidized phone — money that comes out of their bottom line — to sell a service plan.

Should you buy an unlocked phone?

These days, you hear a lot about "buying unlocked" and how it's so much better. But, like all things, it's not that simple. Whether you should buy an unlocked depends on a lot of things, but thankfully it's easier than ever to make that decision; the number of ways to obtain one has risen dramatically over the past few years.

But should you? There are several reasons to buy an unlocked phone:

  • Carriers often give meaningful discounts to customers who buy an unlocked phone beforehand and purchase service.
  • Unlocked phones are often less encumbered with carrier-related software, often known as bloatware.
  • Unlocked devices can be used on any carrier whose wireless bands are supported on the handset. These days, most unlocked phones sold throughout the world work on the major Canadian carriers.
  • Unlocked devices can be used internationally, with local SIM cards, that avoid often-expensive roaming plans.
  • Unlocked phones are not beholden to carriers' often-slow update schedules. They are usually updated directly from the manufacturer, which means they arrive more often and more quickly.

Are there any downsides to buying an unlocked phone?

They are typically more expensive, since they are purchased at their full retail price, with no carrier subsidy. Fortunately, there are dozens of unlocked Android smartphones in the $200 to $500 price range that are worth considering. Devices like the Moto G4 Plus, ZTE Axon 7, OnePlus 3, and many others, are primarily sold unlocked, and rival many hero devices like the HTC 10 that are nearly double the cost.

Where to get one?

Many Canadian retailers, both land and virtual, sell unlocked phones, namely Staples, Newegg, Canada Computers, NCIX, London Drugs, and many others.

Some Android OEMs sell their devices directly to consumers, too: HTC sells the One A9 and HTC 10 from its web store; Alcatel sells the Idol 3 4.7" (and soon its successor, the Idol 4 and 4S) on its website; and Google sells the Nexus 5X and 6P from the Google Store.

If you're looking to buy a second-hand unlocked phone, make sure that its IMEI — a unique identifier that differentiates one phone for another — has not been blacklisted by the CWTA. Before buying a used phone, make sure to ask the seller the IMEI and run the number through the database, which is shared with other agencies throughout the world. If the IMEI is blacklisted, the phone may be stolen, and will likely not work on any Canadian carrier.

Unlocking an existing phone

It's fairly easy to unlock an existing phone, if you want to go that route. To do so, you'll need to come at the problem in one of two ways:

  • If you purchased it directly from your carrier, call them and pay a fee for them to unlock it. That fee is usually $35 to $50, depending on the provider, and may only be possible when the device is fully paid off, or the account is in good standing.
  • If you purchased it from someone else (who presumably got it from a carrier), websites like have proven reliable and inexpensive.

Will an unlocked phone work on your carrier?

I can't answer that for you specifically, but chances are, yes. Handsets sold in the last couple of years usually have some, if not all, the requisite hardware to support most Canadian carriers.

If you're looking to purchase an unlocked phone, make sure it has at least one of the following compatible LTE bands. (Not sure what a "band" is? Read up on our Guide to LTE in Canada.)

  • Band 4 (All carriers)
  • Band 7 (Bell / Rogers)
  • Band 12/17 (All carriers)
  • Band 13 (All carriers)
  • Band 2 (Bell / Telus)
  • Band 5 (Bell / Telus)

More: The best unlocked Android phones in Canada

Was there anything we forgot? Let us know in the comments.

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2 weeks ago

Best Verizon prepaid phones

Best Verizon prepaid phones

Not one for contracts? Go prepaid with Verizon and pick the right phone.

If you're going prepaid, you can certainly try to bring your own device to Verizon, but it's pretty strict about which phones it'll allow (many unlocked phones aren't even compatible with the network).

Otherwise, Verizon has a selection of prepaid phones that you can purchase directly, which may make for less of a headache in the long run. Here are a few that you should consider first.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is Verizon's best prepaid option. You have the option of 32GB for $696 or 64GB for $792. In the Note 5 you have a BIG phone that's easy to hold, thanks to its curved edges, and its glass and metal design is both functional and gorgeous.

If you yearn for the days when hand-writing was a thing, then you'll find solace in the Note 5's S Pen, which lets you write notes by hand and converts them to text for you, a feature made sweeter by a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screen that offers a resolution of 2560x1440.

You've also got the Exynos 7420 octa-core processor, which makes for a phone that's nimble and responsive and quite powerful for a prepaid option. The battery is a whopping 3,000 mAh, which will probably last you at least a full day, depending on your habits.

If your battery is running low, you have the advantage of wireless fast-charging, which can bring your phone from 0 to 100% up to 50 minutes faster than standard charging. Verizon's Note 5 comes only in Black Sapphire, but it will pair well with any case you choose!

The one downside is the Note 5 lacks a microSD card slot, so you're limited to the 32GB or 64GB.

This is definitely the best prepaid phone you can get from Verizon, so if you can afford it, do it up.

For more information on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, you can check out our review!

See at Verizon

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

In Silver Gold, the HTC One M9 isn't just a pretty face. You've got a 5-inch 1920x1080 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 under the hood, 32GB of storage, and a microSD card that allows for up to 128GB of expansion.

If you're someone who likes to fill their phone with photos and videos, then expandable storage is a godsend, especially since you'll be using the M9's camera all the time.

The front-facing camera is 4MP, while the rear-facing camera offers a whopping 20MP and the ability to shoot 4K video. The HTC One M9's rear-facing camera using HTC's "Ultrapixel" technology, which is a five dollar term for larger pixels. That does mean, however, that each pixel is able to let in more light, making for more vivid and accurate photos.

Quick-charge 2.0 will have your 2,840 mAh battery up and running in no time, and it'll probably last you all day, depending on your usage. You can customize your Home screen with tons of great themes, so your HTC One experience can be truly unique.

Keep in mind that this phone is a generation old at this point, and the newer HTC 10 is a massive improvement, but if you're stuck with prepaid, then the M9 will do fine.

Check out our review for more!

See at Verizon



LG's 2015 flagship redefined LG smartphones and brought together a beautiful, 5.5-inch Quad HD display, a large, 3,000 mAh battery, and a great camera, which made it one of the best Android phones of 2015. You almost can't do better for a prepaid phone, and LG G4 is well-worth the $456 from Verizon.

Unfortunately, you don't get the beautiful leather-backed edition from Verizon, so you will have to settle for a Metallic Gray plastic back. This phone isn't much to look at, but it more than makes up for it in performance.

32GB of internal storage is expandable, thanks to the G4's microSD slot, which allows for up to 2TB (even though the biggest microSD card on the market is only 200GB). You can fill this puppy up with photos, videos, apps, and more without worrying about running out of space any time soon.

If you're after a powerful phone with a great camera and virtually endless expandable storage, then pick up the LG G4 for your prepaid plan.

Though the G4 is a generation old and nowhere near the phone that the LG G5 is, it'll do just nicely is Verizon prepaid is your only option.

Check out our review for more!

See at Verizon

iPhone SE

iPhone SE

Of course, you can always go the iPhone route with Verizon's prepaid plans, and you can actually get the newest iPhone, the SE. At 16GB and with no expandable memory, this is for those of you that want a simple iPhone to be used for no more than making calls and texts, playing games, and taking the odd photo. Otherwise, you'll have to be backing your photos up constantly, since 16GB fills up quite rapidly.

That being said, the iPhone SE offers the same A9 processor that's available in the 6s, but in a compact 4-inch package. Yup, 4 inches. Remember when phones were that small 2 years ago? Me neither.

Along with that rockin' processor, you still have Apple's great fingerprint sensor, which allows you to easily secure your iPhone SE and truly personalize it. Verizon's also generous in terms of look for the SE, since the Space Gray, Rose Gold, and silver options are all available to you, for $400 each.

Running on the latest version of iOS also means you'll be up-to-date, so all of your Apple devices will work together in perfect harmony.

If you want a phone that's compact and easy to use on the go, then consider the iPhone SE. It may be small, but it's powerful and more than capable to handle your day-to-day.

Check out iMore's review for more!

See at Verizon

Bring your own device

Verizon does have a fairly limited selection of phones that you can bring to the prepaid fold, but there are a couple rules:

  1. The phone must be a Verizon phone.
  2. The phone must be compatible. You can check compatibility here.

If it's compatible, you can just order the SIM activation kit and away you go.

If you do not find your Verizon phone in the list, then you may want to give them a call and they'll tell you whether or not you can use it with their prepaid plans.

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2 weeks ago

Grab a 32GB Nexus 5X for just $270 at DailySteals


DailySteals is currently selling the black 32GB version of Google's Nexus 5X for just $269.99, well below its normal price of $399.

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2 weeks ago

Batman-themed Galaxy S7 edge goes up for pre-order in Indonesia


Samsung's Batman-themed limited edition Galaxy S7 edge has made its way to Indonesia, where it is currently up for pre-order. The Injustice Edition of the handset, comes with a custom black paint job with gold accents and a Batman logo at the back, an all-black Gear VR, a special-edition back cover (which also has the Batman logo), and a gold-colored Batarang collectible.

The price? A cool IDR 14.999 million, which comes out to the equivalent of $1,135. The pre-order window is live until June 19, with deliveries going out starting June 24.

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2 weeks ago

Nextbit Robin update now rolling out with June security patch, speaker volume fix


If you happen to be using a Nextbit Robin, it's time to check for a software update. A new update is now rolling out to the smartphone, bringing along the latest Android platform security patch, along with a fix for a speaker volume bug and more.

Here's the full log of what's new, from Nextbit:

  • Speaker volume: We have totally revamped the speaker volume after the audio enhancements last month. The minimum volume is much softer and as you increase the volume, it follows a nice linear progression.
  • Camera: Primarily a fix to improve stability when sharing pictures to the Line app.
  • Custom ringtones: We've included the custom ringtones - Patricia by Lauren Loh Sung and Breeze by Giraffage - in the ringtone pack. You no longer need to sideload them.
  • Security: As a bonus, the Android Security Patch is now updated to June 1.

The just started rolling out, so you should be able to pull it down to your phone in short order. Once you've updated, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments and on our forums!

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3 weeks ago

Verizon will start selling the LG K8 V on June 9 for $144 without a contract


Verizon Wireless will begin selling the 5-inch LG K8 V on Thursday, June 9 for $144 without a contract. It will also offer the smartphone with a payment plan of $6 per month for 24 months.

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3 weeks ago

Marshmallow update now available for unlocked Alcatel Idol 3 phones


If you have been patiently waiting for your Idol 3 to get its Marshmallow update, you'll be thrilled to learn the wait is over. That's right, if you've got an unlocked version of the phone you can download the update right now. With the update, you'll gain Doze, enhanced permission controls and much more.

Don't worry if you haven't been notified to grab the update yet. All you have to do is head into your Settings, then About phone and check manually for the update. You'll want to make sure your phone has a full charge and you are on a strong Wi-Fi signal before starting the update.

Once you get it updated, be sure to let us know how it works out for you.

Discuss the update in the forums

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3 weeks ago

Best Sprint prepaid phones

Best Sprint prepaid phones

If you absolutely have to go with Sprint prepaid, then do so. Otherwise, consider Boost Mobile.

You can't bring your own phone to use on a Sprint prepaid plans, which makes things pretty difficult since Sprint's selection of prepaid phones is subpar (and that's putting it very nicely).

If Sprint prepaid is your only option, then we're able to begrudgingly recommend a couple of their phones to you in the Moto E and the iPhone 5s.

If these choices seem dismal, you're right. However, Boost Mobile, which is owned by Sprint and runs on Sprint's network, is a prepaid carrier that offers a much larger selection of phones where you can find current models like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 6s Plus.

So, check out Boost Mobile if you're tied to Sprint's network but not necessarily Sprint. Otherwise, we've picked out the only two phones that are worth a mention from Sprint's prepaid phones selection.

Moto E

Moto E

Motorola actually did a great job of changing the low-cost phone game – they made phones you'd actually want to use. The Moto E may be two steps down from the Moto X, but it still has something to offer those of you that are on a budget.

Running on Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Moto E offers up to 21 hours of talk time, thanks to its decently sized 2,340 mAh battery. It only comes with 4GB of storage, but that can be expanded an extra 32GB with a microSD.

Running Lollipop means you do have access to every app in the Google Play Store; you'll just have a hard time fitting much on the phone itself.

It's a great value; it's just 2 years old at this point and way behind the super phones of today. However, if you must go Sprint prepaid, this is the Android phone to go with.

See at Sprint

iPhone 5s

iPhone 5s

The only other phone that we can deign to recommend is the iPhone 5s, and that's only because some folks would rather go the Apple route if they have to go with Sprint.

The 5s offered from Sprint is as bottom-of-the-barrel as it gets, coming only in the 16GB gray version. iPhones have no expandable memory, so be prepared to constantly back up photos and other precious memories because 16GB fills up quickly.

That being said, it does have a few more bells and whistles than the Moto E, with its A7 processor and fingerprint scanner. The camera is also 8MP, which isn't too shabby for a budget phone (even though it was once Apple's flagship).

The added benefit of Siri is another boon to the iPhone 5s, since you can make calls and send texts virtually hands-free.

If you have to go with Sprint and you have to go with an iPhone, then this is your best (and only) option.

See at Sprint

Go with Boost!

Once again, if you absolutely have to go with Sprint and prepaid is your only option, then consider Boost Mobile, which is owned by Sprint and runs on their network. Their selection of phones is much more favorable and you may end up spending less too!

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