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1 day ago

Xperia X Ultra: After a disappointing start to 2016, I'm hoping for the best Sony phone in years

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Sony logo

Sony's Xperia X phones have been boring, overpriced and underwhelming. But there's reason for cautious optimism.

Sony, and before it Sony Ericsson, has been part of the Android ecosystem almost since the very beginning. Along the way, despite tumultuous conditions elsewhere in the company and a hit-and-miss biannual release cycle, Sony has managed to turn out some genuinely great handsets. The Xperia Z3 stands out as the zenith of that series — the last Sony phone that was really worth a spot next to the Galaxy phones and iPhones of the time. (And a model that holds up so well two years on that it's the only Sony phone currently involved in the Android 7.0 developer preview program.)

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1 day ago

MrMobile's Moto Z review: A smartphone like no other

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With an aluminum frame barely 5mm thick and slap-on "mods" that give it crazy capabilities, the Moto Z is unlike any smartphone you can buy today. It's also the latest installment in one of the most inconsistent product families in mobile technology.

In 2013, Motorola introduced a small, modest mobile that tried to redefine what a smartphone should be, and it called it the "Moto X." The next two years would see the company gradually abandon most of the principles it laid down with that first phone, making the X bigger and brawnier to better battle the Galaxy-class competition from Samsung.

For 2016, Motorola (now a Lenovo sub-brand called simply "Moto") has taken its flagship smartphone so far afield of its origins that it isn't even an "X" anymore. The result is a smartphone that I like very much – one I'll probably buy when the unlocked edition arrives in the fall – but one I'm not sure I'd recommend to many people. Join me for the Moto Z Droid Edition review by MrMobile!

About this review

MrMobile's Moto Z Review was based on six days' trial of a Moto Z Droid Edition review device on loan from Motorola/Verizon Wireless. The Moto Z Droid Edition was not paired to a wearable for this review. Test areas included the North Fork of Long Island, New York; Amtrak's CT/NH/MA Northeast Corridor; and Greater Boston, Massachusetts.

Socialize!

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1 day ago

Police look to unlock smartphone using 3D-printed fingerprints

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A law enforcement agency has turned to a researcher at the University of Michigan for help in creating 3D replicas of a victim's fingerprints in order to gain access his phone. The technique, demonstrated earlier this year by Anil Jain, could help law enforcement unlock a device equipped with a fingerprint scanner.

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1 day ago

Acer Chromebook R11 review: Solid laptop, mediocre convertible

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Acer Chromebook R11

Acer Chromebook R11 Full review

As we head toward the future of Android apps being available on Chrome OS, the idea of a small, convertible touchscreen Chromebook makes a little more sense. Before that announcement at Google I/O 2016, a Chromebook that could fold back into a touch-only device didn't really have much appeal. Chrome apps weren't ready for touch, and the OS as a whole still preferred a mouse and keyboard.

The Acer Chromebook R11 is one of these convertible Chromebooks that launched a bit ahead of its time, being ready for the touchscreen convertible future before Android app support came to the OS. And even at this point, though we know Android apps are coming, they won't be here for everyone for several months. There's little reason to buy a Chromebook for what it could do in the future — what it can do right now is far more important.

Acer knows the Chromebook world, and has the sales numbers from the past few years to prove it. But does the Chromebook R11 continue the company's history of making great Chromebooks with this convertible-style laptop? Our full review will tell you just that.

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1 day ago

Dots & Co brings more companions and challenges to the mental oasis

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Dots, the developer behind Dots and TwoDots, has just released a new mobile title called Dots & Co. This latest instalment in the series is now available for iOS and Android, adding an enhanced visual palette, more companions with new powers, all bringing additional layers to the original and much-loved gameplay.

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1 day ago

Razer's new location-based platform lets you chat with other Pokémon Go trainers

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There's no chat system in Pokémon Go and while many would consider that a blessing, there are times when you simply wish to see who's out and about to pool resources or to inform others of a rare find nearby. Cue Razer. The company has unveiled a new web-based chat platform with iOS and Android apps set to be released soon.

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1 day ago

Samsung sues Huawei in China over patent infringement

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Samsung has sued Huawei for allegedly infringing on six of its patents, seeking damages of ¥161 million ($24.1 million) and pushing for Huawei to end production and sales of the Mate 8 and select Honor phones. The lawsuit is the latest in an ongoing battle between the two companies in China.

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1 day ago

The Galaxy Note 7 is already up for pre-order in Dubai

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We're still two weeks out from the official unveil of the Galaxy Note 7, but the phone is already up for pre-order in Dubai. Customers interested in getting their hands on Samsung's upcoming flagship can deposit AED 500 ($130) to book the phone.

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1 day ago

Pokémon Go launches in Japan with sponsored gyms

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Pokémon Go has made its debut in Japan, and the game is seeing its first commercial tie-in. Over 3,000 McDonald's outlets spread across the country have been turned into gyms, allowing players to battle and take control of the real-world locations for their teams.

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1 day ago

Here's our best look yet at the Galaxy Note 7

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We're less than two weeks away from the launch of the Galaxy Note 7, with Samsung all set to unveil its next flagship in New York on August 2. Following several leaks of the phone over the course of the month, we're now treated to official renders of the phone in gold, blue, and silver.

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1 day ago

Amazon's Moto G4 with lock screen ads has a locked bootloader

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Amazon is selling a variant of the Moto G4 exclusively for Prime members for $149, a discount of $50 on the phone's retail price. The caveat is that the phone comes loaded with lock screen ads delivered by Amazon, and according to a Motorola support document, a locked bootloader.

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1 day ago

The Superbook turns your Android phone into a laptop, now available for $99

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If you have dreams of running Android on a laptop, a product that's in the works called Superbook is worth a look.

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2 days ago

Confirmed: The Moto Z *will* receive security patches

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There's been much speculation today that the Moto Z and Moto Z Force would not regular security updates. Moto has confirmed to Android Central that such information in not correct, and that they will receive security patches.

While Moto left a little wiggle room — neglecting to say if they'd receive patches monthly, as Google pushes them, or on some other schedule — that's a far cry from the implication that its newest flagships would be left out to dry at launch.

In addition, Moto tells us that the phones — which shipped to reviewers with the May security patch — will be updated shortly after the July 28 launch.

The confusion stemmed from the Ars Technica review of the Moto Z, in which they erroneously claimed that the phone would not be receiving regular updates:

The new Motorola has a terrible policy when it comes to software updates. Motorola has stated the Moto Z will not be receiving Android's monthly security updates. Since the shipping version only contains the May security patch, Motorola will be shipping an insecure phone right off the bat. There's a whole list of known vulnerabilities for June and July, most of which the Moto Z will be susceptible to. This is completely unacceptable for devices costing $600 and $700.

Here's the full statement from Moto:

Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be supported with patches from Android Security Bulletins. They will receive an update shortly after launch with additional patches.

So there you have it, the Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be getting security patches, just like any other Android phone worth buying.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Motorola Verizon

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2 days ago

AT&T reports Q2 2016 earnings with $40.5 billion in revenue, 2.1 million wireless net adds

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AT&T has reported its earnings for the second quarter of 2016, noting a solid bump in both consolidated revenues and wireless net adds over this time a year ago.

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2 days ago

Action Launcher 3.8 brings Google Now integration for rooted users

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Action Launcher is being updated to version 3.8 which brings a number of big changes along with it. Google Now integration has been added for those who are rooted, the base code has been updated to ensure better performance and much more.

This is the first time that the popular launcher has added a root-only feature, and the reason behind it is that Google does not offer an API for developers to use to access Google Now.

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