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1 week ago

Join the Honor 8 incentive program to earn prizes, discounts and more!

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Thanks to Honor, Android Central is offering a great way for our members to earn incredible prizes, including its latest phone, the Honor 8.

Entering is easy! Simply jump into our Honor forums and contribute your expertise, knowledge, and interest in smartphones. For your efforts, you'll have an opportunity to earn discounts, free products did we mention the brand new Honor 8, and maybe even a trip to an Honor event later this fall! Excited? Here's how you can started earning valuable prizes!

Start a thread in Honor 8 forum!

  • Everyone that starts a new thread in the Honor 8 forum prior to September 30th, 2016, will receive a coupon code for $50 off Honor products on Hihonor.com/us! Offer is limited to one coupon per user, cannot be combined and must be used by October 3rd, 2016.

Post regularly in the Honor forums

  • The member with the most posts (total) across all Honor forums on Android Central each week, will receive a free Honor selfie stick on Honor products. Offer is limited to one coupon per user. Gifts will be shipped to winners every month.Promotion valid through December 16th, 2016

Post quality and helpful answers to questions

  • The member with the most 'best answers' to questions across all Honor forums on Android Central during each calendar month will receive a coupon for one pair of Honor Engine earphones! Offer valid through December 16th, 2016

Kick up great discussions

  • If you start the most talked about thread (most replies to a thread you start during any ), you will receive a free Honor Band Z1! Offer valid through December 16th, 2016

Write clever and appreciated posts

  • Every month, the member with the most 'likes' within the Honor forums on Android Central will receive a free Honor hybrid earphones! Offer valid through December 16th, 2016

Post consistently

  • Every month, the member with the most days-in-a-row with at least 1 post in any Honor forum on Android Central will receive a free Honor 5X. Offer valid through December 16th, 2016

Get active in the Honor forums

  • Six (6) of the most active members in the Honor Forums will be chosen by Android Central to participate in a review panel. The panel will receive a free Honor 8 device! The member with the most activity (most threads and posts) in the Honor forums over the next five months (ending December 16th, 2016) will have the opportunity to attend an Honor event in person! This includes a ticket to event, airfare and accommodations.

In all cases above, ties will be broken by member post count, and like count if needed.

Yes, you've read this correctly. We're going to give you free stuff just for taking part in the world's best Android forum! Head over to the Honor forums and start earning great prizes today!

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1 week ago

Best Verizon phones

Best Verizon Phones

Want a new Verizon phone? See the best the largest operator in the United States has to offer.

Whether you're an existing Verizon subscriber looking to upgrade, or you're thinking of switching over to Verizon and want to know what phones they offer; we're here to help.

We have put together our list of the best phones Verizon has to offer. We encourage you to read our reviews to learn more about each device we have featured, but if you are ready to pull the trigger, we have also included links to buy directly from Verizon.

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1 week ago

Get in on Google's Chromecast 'Preview Program' for early access to updates

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Want to be the first to see new Google Cast features? Of course you do.

Google announced a new "Preview Program" for all versions of the Chromecast that lets those of us who are eager to see new features in on the latest software updates before they're broadly released. While this explicitly isn't a "beta" program that will give you potentially unstable updates, it will give you access to the latest Google Cast features before everyone else.

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1 week ago

Go Time! Episode 9: Walk your Magikarp

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Don't miss out on Episode 9 of Go Time!

Episode 9 of Go Time has arrived, with Russell, Erin, and James representing their respective teams.

This week we were joined by the wonderful James Bricknell from 3D4Geeks repping Team Valor. We got to chat about the type of Pokémon you find when you live in the desert, and the awesome new buddy system that Niantic has started rolling out. Of course we had to mention that Pokémon Go now has Apple Watch support, and then Erin detailed how she plans on spending $100 in PokeCoins.

We're still just getting started! Be sure not to miss an episode of our fun with Pokémon Go!

You can also join our Facebook page to keep up on all things Pokémon Go. See you in the world!

Pokémon Go

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1 week ago

Google's fancy new Wallpaper app is the best thing about its leaked 'Pixel launcher'

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Pixel launcher

The launcher for Google's upcoming smartphones has leaked — but that's not even the most interesting part about it.

In the past day notorious HTC leaker @LlabTooFeR has leaked the latest version of Google's "Pixel launcher" — the home screen app that'll be preloaded on the two upcoming HTC-built Pixel phones (neé Nexus). Obviously it's important that this is branded as the Pixel launcher — removing any doubt that that's what this year's Google phones will be called. Also big: No more Google search bar, instead a Google "tab" icon you can drag out to get to Google Now. And the app drawer has changed significantly, almost moving back to the Android 2.x days where the drawer was a literal drawer that you'd pull up to see your apps.

All of that is important a neat, but what's way cooler is what Google's now doing with wallpapers.

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1 week ago

Save $50 on this Chromebook that will soon run Android apps!

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Right now you can pick up a Samsung Chromebook 3 for just $180 at Amazon, a savings of $50. The 11.6-inch Chromebook offers 4GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD, an Intel Celeron N3050 processor to help it run Google's Chrome OS with ease. Samsung's Chromebook 3 offers 11 hours of battery life, which should get most people through an entire day's use without plugging it in.

If you've been looking to check out a Chromebook, or want to be prepared for when they can run Android apps, Samsung's offering is one you will want to check out. This deal won't last long, so be sure to get your order in quickly if you are interested. Will you be picking one up? Let us know in the comments.

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

Turns out a Galaxy Note 7 did not explode in a child's hands

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About that Note 7 exploding while a kid was using it...

The general consensus amidst hours of conversation here at Android Central was that as long as a Note 7 didn't actually harm a human being during the recall process, there was a chance the Note brand could eventually recover from this exploding battery problem. Then the NY Post published a story claiming a 6-year old from Brooklyn was using his grandfather's Note 7 when the worst happened.

Anger toward the grandfather for recklessly continuing to not only use the phone but share it with a child filled our forums and comment threads. Speculation as to whether this would have happened if the battery were removable grew, and a constant wave of speculation as to how Samsung and their partners could have better handled this situation has filled the internet.

There's just one small problem here — that phone wasn't a Galaxy Note 7. NBC New York identified it as a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime, released in 2014. This detail still isn't good news for Samsung, and this detail certainly doesn't make the suffering Kadim Lewis or his family feel any better, but it's significant all the same. The Galaxy Core Prime is a phone with a removable battery that has no history of battery problems. The reasons for the explosion are still being investigated, but at the moment there is no reason to believe it is directly related to the ongoing Note 7 battery flaw. It hasn't even been confirmed that this Galaxy Core was using the original Samsung-provided battery, and when you consider how many shady "cell phone parts" stores and carts exist in NYC it's not impossible for this battery to have been third-party.

It's still a mess, and still unfortunate for a child to go through all of this, but it's important to recognize there's no reason to assume this is Note 7 related. No reason to blame the parents and grandparents, and certainly no reason to call for all Samsung phone sales to be halted until a full investigation is completed. And yes, you should still absolutely, unquestionably power off your Note 7 and go exchange or return it immediately.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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1 week ago

Best cases for Moto G4 Play

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What are the best cases you can buy today for the Moto G4 Play?

The Moto G4 Play is barely out of the gate, but if you're aching to equip it with some stylish protection, here are a few worthy considerations.

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1 week ago

SteamVR through Google Cardboard is weird and kinda great!

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You can play SteamVR games with Google Cardboard, but be careful.

Trying VR is the first and best way to get someone excited about VR, but that raises some interesting challenges. The HTC Vive isn't exactly what you'd call portable, and carting around the $600 Oculus Rift alongside your very expensive PC still isn't a great option. If you find yourself without a VR headset, yet still curious about the experience, there's a DIY project in your future! With Google Cardboard and a couple of apps, you can peer into the world of Oculus and SteamVR to get a decent idea of what makes these things so much fun.

Read more on VR Heads!

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1 week ago

What makes a phone battery explode?

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We're all a little curious about why a battery might explode, so let's talk about it.

Exploding battery talk is something you can't escape right now, thanks to a problem with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. It's good discussion to have: the more people talk about it, the less likely it is for a child to get hurt from a battery failure. As much as we hate to see a product we like experience safety issues, we hate seeing people get hurt far more.

But the Note 7 isn't the first phone to ever go through battery problems, and it won't be the last. There will always be isolated incidents of batteries failing as long as we use phones with lithium-ion cells, and the Note 7 isn't the first phone whose battery needed a widespread recall because something is wrong under the hood — as long-time Nokia fans know too well. It happens. It's never a good thing, but it's a thing. Let's talk about why it can happen.

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1 week ago

Samsung phone explodes in New York, injures 6-year-old boy [Updated]

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Update: As it turns out, the phone in question wasn't a Note 7, but the Galaxy Core. The reason for the explosion is still being investigated, but at the moment there is no reason to believe it is directly related to the ongoing Note 7 battery flaw. Apologies for the confusion.

Original story: A 6-year-old Brooklyn boy was watching videos on a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Saturday evening when it burst into flames as he was holding it. The young boy's grandmother, Linda Lewis, told the New York Post that the resulting fire was enough to set off alarms in her house, and her grandson was taken to Downstate Medical Center to treat burns on his body but was later released.

Lewis told the Post "he doesn't want to see or go near any phones. He's been crying to his mother." Lewis says the family has been in contact with Samsung but declined further comment.

Late last week the phone maker advised all Note 7 owners to return their handsets under the official recall program, working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

If you are holding on to your Note 7 after Samsung advised you to power it off and return it, this is the risk you're taking. The folks saying "it probably won't happen to me" — including popular media personalities, are right. It probably won't. I'm sure Ms. Lewis didn't think it would happen to her grandchild, either.

Return your Note 7 under the recall. Nobody wants to see this type of story.

We wish the young man and his family the best and hope for a speedy recovery and resolution.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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1 week ago

Samsung to limit recalled Note 7s to 60% battery in Korea as report blames 'production error'

51
Galax Note 7

OTA will mitigate the risk of explosions by limiting battery charge. Meanwhile a preliminary report to Korean regulators blames production error which "placed pressure on plates" in battery cells.

While Samsung won't be remotely disabling recalled Galaxy Note 7s anytime soon, it seems the company has a plan to mitigate the risk of further battery explosions — at least in its home market of Korea.

The Associated Press reports that Samsung will issue a software update to recalled Korean Note 7s still in use to stop them charging past 60% capacity. According to the report, Samsung took out a front-page ad in the Seoul Shinmun newspaper to inform customers.

We don't yet know if or when Note 7s outside of Korea will get the battery-limiting update.

The over-the-air update will begin at 2 a.m. KST on September 20 for any recalled Note 7 handsets still in the wild; there's no suggestion that the OTA will affect safe replacement units. We've reached out to Samsung for details on whether recalled Notes in other regions will get a similar OTA.

While limiting battery charge levels may reduce the likelihood of further fires or explosions in unsafe Note 7s, it's unclear what the side effects of actually applying the OTA will be. Android 6.0 phones like the Note 7 must recompile (or "optimize") installed apps after most software updates — a CPU-intensive process which produces a fair amount of heat. Introducing extra heat to a possibly defective battery could cause its own problems.

Meanwhile Bloomberg has news of a previously unpublished preliminary report to Korean regulators on the cause of the Note 7's battery issues. The report to the Korea Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) body draws some early conclusions, but says more time is needed to pinpoint exactly what's going on.

Initial conclusions indicate an error in production that placed pressure on plates contained within battery cells. That in turn brought negative and positive poles into contact, triggering excessive heat. Samsung however stressed that it needed to carry out a more thorough analysis to determine "the exact cause" of battery damage.

Samsung has publicly stated that a "battery cell issue" was responsible for incidents of fires and explosions — of which 70 have now been reported in the U.S. alone — however this is the first we're hearing on the specific fault. Bloomberg echoes earlier reports that Samsung SDI, the group's energy and battery company, was responsible for making most of the affected cells.

Update: Reuters now reports that Chinese firm ATL will become the main battery supplier for the Note 7 from now on.

Samsung will soon launch an online tool to let Note 7 owners check if their handset is affected, based on their phone's unique IMEI number. The firm's advice remains that if your Note 7 is affected, you should switch it off and return it under the recall program.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 week ago

Morning news briefing: September 13, 2016

11
Android Central

The Note 7 recall saga continues, HTC teases its next Desire, and Google opens an online gallery.

The big news of the morning is that there are now 70 confirmed cases of Note 7s catching fire or exploding in the U.S. alone, as Samsung launches its own IMEI checker to reassure Note owners. It's the latest development in a dire couple of weeks for Samsung, as replacement Notes start to trickle out to customers.

Meanwhile it's looking like we'll see the HTC Desire 10 for the first time next week, with a virtual launch event on September 20 welcoming the new mid-ranger into the world. Kick off your Tuesday with the latest Android news from around the web, curated by the AC team!

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1 week ago

Honor 8: Challenges and opportunities ahead as sales pass 1.5 million

14
Honor 8

Honor's relationship with Huawei will soon bring huge software benefits — but it's unclear how a more fleshed-out Honor lineup might coexist with the parent brand.

At a recent event in China, Honor Vice President George Zhao announced that the Honor 8 had passed 1.5 million units sold in just two months. The phone went on sale first in China in July, before arriving in the West less than a month ago. Underscoring the rapid growth of Huawei's online-centric brand, Zhao also revealed that 100 million Honor phones had been sold in total throughout the brand's 999-day history.

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1 week ago

New Samsung site tells you if your Galaxy Note 7 is safe [Update: Taken down]

38
Galaxy Note 7s

Update: Samsung has now disabled the link, which currently redirects you to your local Samsung support site. It's likely the tool will be relaunched in the near future.

Original story: As promised a few days back, Samsung has launched a new online tool to let Galaxy Note 7 owners check if their phone is affected by the battery issue causing some units to catch fire or explode.

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