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2 weeks ago

Sony Xperia XZ Premium tipped for June release at £649

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We'll have to wait a while and pay a lot for Sony's latest.

According to a listing at Amazon UK that has since been removed, Sony's new top-end phone, the Xperia XZ Premium, will release on June 1 at a price of £649. Though the Xperia XZ Premium was launched back at MWC 2017 at the end of February, Sony wasn't willing to give any sort of tips about pricing or availability — save for one mention of the phone coming "in the second quarter".

The June time frame makes sense, as its new Snapdragon 835 processor won't be available at volume for some time if the rumors are correct that Samsung is putting the new chip in its upcoming Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus — taking up most of Qualcomm's supply.

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2 weeks ago

Huawei Watch 2 review: No time for this half-baked sequel

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Huawei Watch 2

Huawei built up a lot of good will over the past two years, only to let it slide in 2017.

The original Huawei Watch was a go-to choice for those who wanted an Android Wear watch that was a bit sleeker and better built than most other choices throughout 2016. It was a bit on the expensive side, and yes it was thick, but it had a slick exterior and lugs that could adapt to just about any sort of band you wanted to put on it. When Android Wear 2.0 was readying for launch, fans awaited a refresh of the Huawei Watch for 2017 that could carry on that good will.

And then, we got this: the Huawei Watch 2. A watch so clearly not designed in any way to be a successor to the original Huawei Watch, and unfortunately also not built to the same hardware standards. The Huawei Watch 2 actually had a last-minute branding change from "Huawei Watch 2 Sport," and had Huawei kept that name it would have made a bit more sense overall — but still, the more classically built Huawei Watch 2 Classic doesn't exactly follow the original Huawei Watch's design or quality, either.

This is a clean break from the original Huawei Watch in terms of everything but branding. This is a big, feature-packed watch, but unfortunately one that takes a different direction in quality while retaining a high price. Does it have enough to stand out from what is already a growing crowd of 2017 Android Wear 2.0 watches? Our full review covers all the bases.

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2 weeks ago

Take your pick of 3 popular iOttie car mounts for $13 today only at Amazon

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time scoring you big discounts on popular iOttie car mounts!

It's no secret that you shouldn't be driving and using your phone in your hand, but people still do it. Instead of putting your life at risk to view an incoming email or driving directions, head over to Amazon and buy an iOttie smartphone car mount for less than $13. There are 3 different styles to choose from so you're bound to find one that works for you. As a price comparison, you'd normally pay about $20 per mount.

These universal mounts will accommodate nearly any size smartphone, with or without a case. iOttie makes the best car mounts on the market, period. Its Easy One Touch 2 (on sale for $12.77 today) is rated 4.3 out of 5 stars from more than 27,500 Amazon reviewers.

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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2 weeks ago

Best Chromebox

Update, March 2017: This post has been updated with new formatting. All the choices have remained the same.

Best overall

ASUS Chromebox M004U

See at Amazon

Don't let the name fool you. The ASUS Chromebox M004U (generally known as the ASUS Chromebox though there are others from ASUS being sold) is dead simple to set up and use. Attach a monitor or television, a keyboard, and a mouse then turn it on. You'll be on the internet in just a few minutes.

The Haswell Intel Celeron 2955U CPU offers remarkable performance for the price, is energy efficient, and an industry staple in countless computers. Paired with a fast 16GB storage drive and 4GB of memory, you'll be able to enjoy everything Chrome has to offer, whether that means Facebook or a spreadsheet.

You also have the option to upgrade the ASUS Chromebox. Adding a larger storage drive or more memory is simple and well-documented. The ASUS Chromebox also makes an excellent HTPC as-is and can be an all-in-one media server with software like Plex.

Bottom line: The ASUS Chromebox M004U is powerful and capable. Chrome and everything you do present no challenges. If you want to explore other software options, upgrades are easy and inexpensive.

Why the ASUS Chromebox is the best

The ASUS Chromebox is the total package.

Chrome is a very lightweight and efficient, yet powerful, computing platform. On a computer like the ASUS Chromebox, you'll be able to experience everything there is to offer with nary a stutter once paired with good broadband internet service. Put the ASUS Chromebox under your TV for watching YouTube or Netflix, or use it at your desk to communicate or work from home. You can have confidence that this Chromebox can do it all.

If you're looking for more, you can upgrade the storage drive and RAM on the ASUS Chromebox using affordable and widely available off-the-shelf components without any complicated disassembly. If you are looking to install software like Kodi to build your own network streaming server, the ASUS Chromebox is widely recognized as the best value and is fully supported.

Best all-in-one

Acer Chromebox CX12-4GKM

See at Amazon

If you're looking for a complete setup and aren't interested in upgrading anything or installing any alternative software, the Acer Chromebox is a solid choice.

It offers a Broadwell 1.5GHz Intel Celeron CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 16GB solid state drive in a vertical standing enclosure that's not going to need a lot of real estate. The Acer Chromebox also comes with its own mouse and keyboard.

The Acer is a powerful package that won't crowd your desk or TV stand and is an excellent choice if you're OK with spending a little more and not tearing apart the case.

Bottom line: The Broadwell CPU is futureproofed and plenty powerful for everything you want your Chromebox to do, and many will find the included mouse and keyboard a useful addition

Best value

Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox

See at Amazon

The lowest priced Chromebox on our list is also a great combo package.

The Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox is another Broadwell 15 watt Celeron CPU offering, and it too comes with 4GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The bundled mouse and keyboard will help you get up and running faster, and the ThinkCentre can be positioned either horizontally or vertically.

As the newest entry on our list, the ThinkCentre hasn't yet been proven to become our top pick, but the initial response looks great.

Bottom line: Great specifications, a bundled mouse and keyboard, and an attractive price makes the Lenovo ThinkCentre a compelling choice. If it stands the test of time, it has the potential to be our favorite.

Conclusion

Any of your choices for the best Chromebox are good ones. We had to consider what was the differentiator between and think long and hard about saying one was better than the others. In the end, the tried-and-true ASUS Chromebox won us over with its excellent support for advanced users and easy upgradeability. While all these Chromeboxes are worth considering, the ASUS is the best all around from features versus price point of view.

Best overall

ASUS Chromebox M004U

See at Amazon

Don't let the name fool you. The ASUS Chromebox M004U (generally known as the ASUS Chromebox though there are others from ASUS being sold) is dead simple to set up and use. Attach a monitor or television, a keyboard, and a mouse then turn it on. You'll be on the internet in just a few minutes.

The Haswell Intel Celeron 2955U CPU offers remarkable performance for the price, is energy efficient, and an industry staple in countless computers. Paired with a fast 16GB storage drive and 4GB of memory, you'll be able to enjoy everything Chrome has to offer, whether that means Facebook or a spreadsheet.

You also have the option to upgrade the ASUS Chromebox. Adding a larger storage drive or more memory is simple and well-documented. The ASUS Chromebox also makes an excellent HTPC as-is and can be an all-in-one media server with software like Plex.

Bottom line: The ASUS Chromebox M004U is powerful and capable. Chrome and everything you do present no challenges. If you want to explore other software options, upgrades are easy and inexpensive.

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2 weeks ago

PlayStation VR's Cinematic Mode received an update and it's better than ever

PlayStation VR's Cinematic Mode received an update and it's better than ever

Did the PlayStation 4.50 patch change PSVR?

PlayStation patch 4.50 is here, and with it comes a bunch of significant changes to the PS4, as well as a few changes to PlayStation VR. Cinematic mode and the Social Screen received notable upgrades, and you can now also watch 3D Blu-Rays within your headset. Let's take a deeper look at exactly what the changes bring and what they mean for PSVR.

Read more at VR Heads!

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2 weeks ago

Keep your internet browsing encrypted with VPNSecure, now 91% off

Banking information. Mortgage payment history. Your important documents. Nearly all of your life is online these days, and, while convenient, that can be scary. There are many people out there looking to act maliciously, and we need to be sure that is in the back of our brains at all times. While you can't avoid using the internet (in most cases), you can ensure that it is a secure connection when you do use it.

Secure your browsing sessions for less! Learn More

VPNs have become more and more popular as the time passes because people want to make sure that the information they are transmitting is getting to the right places. VPNSecure is a great option, and right now you can score a sweet deal on a lifetime subscription to the service. With it you'll be able to connect up to five devices at the same time, use unlimited bandwidth and more.

Some of the key features include:

  • Allows you to bypass geolocation blocks on your favorite streaming networks
  • Encrypts your traffic so hackers can't access your data
  • Hides your location & IP address
  • Supports torrents
  • Allows you to connect five devices simultaneously
  • Grants you the ability to choose Data Cipher
  • Uses Stealth VPN to render your VPN traffic unrecognizable
  • Delivers unlimited bandwidth
  • Does not keep any logs of your activity
  • Includes servers in 46+ countries & counting
  • Protects against DNS leak fixes, kill switches & more

Secure your browsing sessions for less! Learn More

You are getting a whole lot for your money here. VPNSecure normally costs $450 for the lifetime subscription, but right now you can pick one up for only $39. You'll want to hurry though, because this price won't last long.

Browsing the web can get you in loads of trouble if you aren't careful, so be sure to grab this at its 91% discount to secure your browsing sessions.

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2 weeks ago

This $7 car charger will look like it is built into your car

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again with another great deal, this time saving you big on a 2-port car charger!

Update: This popular deal is back again with a new coupon code. Be sure to use code AUKEYCAR at checkout for the savings!

Right now you can pick up Aukey's 2-port USB car charger for just $7 with coupon code AUKEYCAR. This car charger, unlike many others, sits pretty flush with most of the cigarette adapters, so you won't really even notice that it is there. Being relatively flush, there is less of a chance that you'll knock it out or bang it around by accident while moving in your car, and being able to charge two devices at the same time is a great feature.

Remember, you need coupon code AUKEYCAR to get the discount here. Odds are it won't last long at this price, so be sure to act quickly if you want one!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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2 weeks ago

Here's what to do when your Daydream controller won't charge

Dealing with a remote that won't charge is frustrating, but there is an easy way to deal with it.

Daydream View has taken mobile VR a leap forward by implementing a remote that allows you to interface with apps and experiences. This remote is necessary to do much of anything in a Daydream app, and it adds layers to the types of games that you can play. However, if your remote won't charge then you're in a rotten situation. Thankfully while this problem is extremely frustrating, there is a pretty simple way to troubleshoot the issue.

Read more at VR Heads!

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2 weeks ago

Android Central 327: Cutting the cord

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Audio-only stream below

It's becoming easier and easier to cut the cord, and Modern Dad is here to teach us how to do it.

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2 weeks ago

These are the watches that support Android Pay

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Android Pay on your watch makes paying easier than ever.

Android Pay has been making payments easier on all of us for a while by linking your bank card to your smartphone. Things have just gotten even easier though, because it has been added to the Android Wear ecosystem. Using your watch to pay means that you don't even need to take anything out of your pocket when it comes time to pay for your purchases, but to use Android Pay on your watch there are a few requirements.

Note: This list will be updated as new devices are released with Android Wear support.

What is necessary for Android Pay to work?

While Android Pay is brand new to the Android Wear ecosystem, it does have a few requirements to work correctly on your watch.

Namely, you'll need to make sure that your watch is running Android Wear 2.0, and includes NFC. While there are a number of watches that will be getting the update to Android Wear 2.0, the second part is a bit trickier. That's because most watches don't include NFC, so you may need to pick up a new watch if you're hoping to use Android Pay as soon as possible.

Which watches support Android Pay?

Since Android Wear 2.0 is brand new, the list of supported watches is extremely short. At the time of writing, it's limited to just three models. This list is sure to expand as more watches are released that include NFC specifically to support Android Pay. The list of compatible watches is as follows:

Android Wear

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2 weeks ago

Galaxy S8 colors: Our first look at most of the colors together

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More colors of the Galaxy S8, all in one place.

The Galaxy S8 has been leaking hot and heavy over the past week in the run-up to the phone's big reveal on March 29 in New York City.

Most of the leaks have been focused on what appears to be the Black Pearl model, which was introduced with the Note 7 and trickled down to the Galaxy S7 later on. We've also seen the gold model, which will certainly be popular in many regions.

Thanks to TechDroider on Twitter, we know have the front plates for what appears to be six distinct Galaxy S8 colors: Black Pearl, white, Blue Coral, silver, gold, and black. We've also heard that there may be pink and 'orchid' models introduced later on for specific markets.

Galaxy S8: Everything you need to know

Of course, color choice is an incredibly important decision for many people, and with the Galaxy S8 potentially expanding its lineup, it may be worth spending a bit more time on it. What color are you leaning towards?

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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2 weeks ago

Luxury phone maker Vertu is now owned by a Turkish businessman

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Vertu's Chinese owners sell the company for £50 million.

Luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu is once again switching hands, with the erstwhile Nokia brand now owned by an exiled Turkish businessman. According to The Telegraph, Vertu's owners have sold the company to an investment fund headed up by Hakan Uzan for £50 million.

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2 weeks ago

In an 18:9 world, we need a new way to quantify screen size

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HTC U Ultra + LG G6

As the aspect ratio of phone screens changes this year, trusted diagonal measurements are becoming misleading.

With the arrival of the 5.7-inch LG G6, we have entered the era of 18:9 smartphones. Taller displays are set to become a major trend in phones in 2017, with Samsung rumored to use an even taller "18.5:9" configuration in its upcoming Galaxy S8, which looks set to come in 5.8- and 6.2-inch flavors. Apple, too, may switch to a taller display with on-screen controls for its upcoming iPhones, which have also been rumored to use 5.8-inch panels.

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2 weeks ago

Gold Galaxy S8 Plus surfaces in latest leaked image

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Latest Galaxy S8 Plus live leak shows off curved display and dialer.

The Galaxy S8 leaks are coming in thick and fast now, and the latest live photo shows off the gold color option of the Galaxy S8 Plus. We get a good look at the dialer, the on-screen navigation buttons, and the general curvature of the display.

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2 weeks ago

How to create and share lists in Google Maps

0

Google Maps lets you easily create and share lists of your favorite places.

The ability to create lists is the newest feature addition to Google Maps, and it continues the platform's evolution from being just a navigation service to an all-in-one travel utility. Maps now shows nearby points of interest, real-time traffic information, and gives you quick access shortcuts to your home and work addresses, making it easier for you to plan your day.

With lists, you can easily create and share lists of your favorite restaurants, or make an easy-to-follow list of places to visit when traveling to a new city. There's also a follow option, through which you can follow lists curated by others on the service.

By default, Maps offers three lists — "Favorites," "Starred Places," and "Want to Go," and you have the option of creating custom lists that are public (viewable by all) or private. You can also create lists and share them via a link.

The feature itself has been available for some time now for Local Guides — contributors and power users on Google Maps — and is now available for all users on the platform. Your lists are also available offline, and if you downloaded the particular area that covers your places, you can browse them entirely offline.

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