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1 day ago

Best Leather Cases for Google Pixel

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What are the best leather cases for my Google Pixel?

Slapping a case on your Google Pixel is always a smart idea to protect it from general wear as well as any accidental drops. But not everyone likes the plastic brick look that most cases offer.

Fortunately, you do have more stylish options. Whether you're looking for a functional wallet case or just prefer a more premium look for your phone, check out these great leather cases for your phone.

BELK Retro Slim Wallet Case

This stylish folio case lets you keep your phone, cards, and cash all in one place making it ideal for a night on the town or travelling. Your phone is kept secure and protected by the flexible TPU sleeve built into the interior of the phone, and stitched into the faux leather exterior.

There's ample cutouts for the ports, speaker and fingerprint scanner, although the cutout around the camera seems slightly too small and might make an appearance in your photos or videos. This might be a deal breaker for some. There's a magnetic clasp that keeps the front flap closed when in your pocket, which also folds over to double as a kickstand for hands-free media viewing. There are six different color options available, so you can find the case that best fits your style.

See at Amazon

LK Luxury PU Leather Wallet Case

This wallet case option features a front cover with three card slots (including a see-through slot for your ID) as well as a pocket for some cash. It's not real leather — if the budget price wasn't a dead giveaway — but it does come in four bold color options to choose from.

This case also might be susceptible to the same flaw for photography as the BELK case — which seems to be a common issue with wallet cases for the Pixel in general. Other than that, you'll get a secure fit for your phone and ample cutouts for your phone's ports and the fingerprint scanner on the back.

See at Amazon

X-Level PU Leather Luxury Back Cover

For a case that has all the look and feel of a leather case for a budget price, check out the X-Level Vintage Series PU Leather case. This bumper case provides adequate protection, though it does leave the bottom of your phone wide open. It's available in black, brown or pink-colored synthetic leather.

It's a very sleek option that keeps your Pixel's profile slim while providing a premium leather look and feel.

See at Amazon

Abacus 24-7 Slim Wallet Bumper Cover

If you're looking for a more minimalistic option with leather accents, you might want to consider this case. It's a simple wallet case that offers a card slot on the back panel which you might be able to squeeze two cards into if you try really hard. It's an unobtrusive bumper case that incorporates some leather for a classy and functional addition.

It's available in four color options, with the black case featuring stylish red stitching.

See at Amazon

DavisCase Genuine Leather Case

If your leather case just has to be genuine leather, prepare to pay for the premium materials. DavisCase makes a collection of great wallet-style leather cases for your Google Pixel. Handmade with oiled vintage leather, this is truly the real deal and features four card slots including one with a clear window for your ID. You'll also be able to fit some folded bills into the cash pocket.

You can browse through the varieties available on Amazon and take advantage of Amazon Prime shipping.

See at Amazon

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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1 day ago

Google I/O 2017 confirmation emails are now going out!

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Google IO

I/O confirmations are hitting inboxes, so check your email!

As promised, Google has begun sending successful Google I/O 2017 applicants emails confirming their place at the event. The conference kicks off at Shoreline Amphitheater in Google's hometown of Mountain View, Calif. from May 17, with tickets prices having increased to $1150 for general attendees, and $375 for students.

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1 day ago

The best storage options for Gear VR

When it comes to storage, you have a few options.

Your phone only comes with a finite amount of space to hold all of your information from photos to contacts. So, you might find that you quickly start to fill it up as you download all of those awesome new VR games for your Gear VR. When that starts to happen, or if it's already happened, you might be trying to figure out how to get more storage out of your phone.

Well, we've got all the details for you below.

Read more at VR Heads

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1 day ago

All the phones we saw at Mobile World Congress 2017

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There's a long list of new phones to be excited about.

Mobile World Congress has always been a fantastic place to get an early look at many different phones that aren't quite here to buy yet. Every year is a little different, but the general theme is the same. Our team on the ground has run from meeting to meeting in search of all the great new phones to share with you, and this year that list is pretty great.

Take a look at all of the phones we've spent time with so far!

BlackBerry KEYone

BlackBerry is dead. Long live BlackBerry Mobile! The new brand has made a big splash by focusing on the things that everyone remembers BlackBerry phones being great at, while remaining modern and interesting. This is the phone we saw back at CES codenamed Mercury, and now we have a lot more information and some real time to get to know the new KEYone.

Check out our hands-on with the BlackBerry Mobile KEYone!

LG G6

As the big brand on campus this year, and after such a problematic launch last year, LG's G lineup badly needed a hit. The new G6 has kicked the modular habit, ditched its Friends, and is really just focusing on itself right now. It's the first phone from LG in a long time to rock glass on both sides, and rocks an unusually tall display to pack in more information and look pretty slick in the process.

Read our LG G6 initial review!

Sony Xperia XZ Premium and XZs

There are no other phones out there right now that look quite like a Sony phone. The Xperia lineup has always had a unique thinness and style to it, but the new XZ Premium and XZs continue the trend of mirrored finishes, anodized aluminum and ridiculously high resolution displays. They are both exciting phones, but U.S. buyers will continue to be disappointed by the lack of a fingerprint sensor.

Take a look at our hands-on with Sony's new Xperia phones

Moto G5 + Moto G5 Plus

Lenovo is keeping its promises and the Moto brand remains alive and well. On top of a look at some [great Moto Mods](http://www.androidcentral.com/motorola-launching-alexa-powered-speaker-moto-mod-amazon in development and in funding stages, we also got an extended look at the new Moto G5. The budget Moto phones have always been great for pushing the envelope on quality for the price, and this new version continues to uphold that standard. It's an early breakaway for the top spot for best budget phone this year, and it's only February!

Our Moto G5 hands-on lives right here!

Alcatel A5

You can always count on Alcatel to bust out something quirky that no other company would dare do. Last year, that thing was making the box to its phone a VR headset. This year, Alcatel is taking modularity to the budget space with replaceable backs that offer all sorts of new features. It's not clear just how useful some of these replaceable backs are just yet, but the phone still manages to look great no matter what is connected to it.

This Alcatel A5 looks like it is on fire

Nokia 3, 5, and 6

That's right, we get a new BlackBerry and new Nokia phones this year. And they run Android! Neither of the three phones have particularly clever names, but the numbers are easy enough to remember. The Nokia 3 is a 5-inch low-end phone, the Nokia 5 is a 5.2-inch budget phone, and the 5.5-inch Nokia 6 looks like a decent mid-range experience. See, not confusing at all!

Check out the Nokia 3, 5, and 6 hands-on all together

Huawei P10 and P10+

Last, but in no way least, the Huawei P10 showed up and was shown off as a great mid-range experience while the P10+ is clearly built for people who want everything in a phone. The Kirin 960 internals are exciting, but Huawei is grabbing everyone's attention with a huge array of color options for the body. This phone comes in many different variants, and will not be headed to the U.S. at all, so take a moment and be thoroughly jealous at how spoiled for choice everyone else is with this phone.

Read more for details on the Huawei P10 and P10+

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1 day ago

Oppo's 5x optical zoom camera is like a periscope inside your phone

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ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

We live in a glorious age of dual-camera smartphones. Huawei uses a color sensor plus a monochrome sensor to enhance detail and contrast. LG has a standard angle camera plus an ultra-wide-angle one. Apple uses a pair of cameras to offer a 2x optical zoom.

Oppo is jumping into the dual camera age with their own take at MWC 2017: a two-sensor system that combines a standard angle camera with a telephoto zoom, but taking it all the way to 3x optical zoom with a system that uses a prism in a periscope arrangement. At first that might seem similar to the original ASUS ZenFone Zoom, and in a way it is, but for moving between the two zoom settings (and beyond), Oppo's opted for digitally melding information from the two sensors instead of ASUS's mechanical zoom that actually moved lenses inside the phone.

Turning the telephoto camera sensor so that it's pointing across the back of the phone and through a prism to see out gave Oppo more space to construct their lenses. This arrangement both reduces the intrinsic engineering challenges and cost challenges of having to miniaturize components and use expensive high-index lenses.

The downside is in size — the periscope arrangement takes up precious horizontal space to array its lenses and is 5.7mm thick. It's small, yes, but space in smartphones is becoming increasingly precious. Oppo's demonstration device (not a production bit of hardware by any means) sported an enormous top bezel to give the camera module space.

While the camera module itself is capable of 3x optical zoom, Oppo's touting this as a "lossless" 5x camera. They're doing some fancy image merging trickery, using data from both cameras to add detail to an otherwise digitally zoomed image. It's not that different from what Huawei is doing with the P10, where data from the dual cameras is combined to improve detail and contrast. While we can't yet verify the claims of "lossless" digital zoom, my brief time with the camera was encouraging. Oppo's demo devices actually zoomed to 10x digital with a surprising amount of detail and steadiness. And, yes, the demo software here is a blatant knock-off of Apple's camera app; hopefully the production hardware will come with different software.

Oppo's being tight-lipped about when we should expect their first phone using this tech, but we wouldn't be surprised if it comes later this year with a big focus on photography.

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1 day ago

Watch our LG G6 review video!

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The LG G6 is upon us, bringing an extra-tall 18:9 display, a classy new metal and glass design and an impressive dual camera setup with wide-angle capabilities. We've been using the G6 in Barcelona for the past several days, and we've condensed our thoughts on the phone into seven minutes of video goodness covering every aspect of the phone. LG's best-looking phone yet is also its most capable, with speedy software, water resistance and the promise of greater reliability.

Only time will tell whether the G6 will be able to compete with coming flagships like the Galaxy S8. But for the here and now, it's an excellent device.

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1 day ago

How the LG G6 was made

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LG G6

Over a year of development and testing went into the most substantial update to the G series since its inception.

With the amazing amount of coverage and information out there surrounding every smartphone launch today, everyone is quick to over-analyze and jump to conclusions about every minute aspect of a device. It has always been the purpose of our reviews to give context to all of the parts of a smartphone and how they all influence one another, but it's a rarity that we can tell a deeper story about the chain of thought that went into creating a new top-end phone came to be. The decisions before the decisions, if you will.

In mid-February, Alex Dobie and I had the unique opportunity of meeting several of the people deeply involved with the design, development and creation of the LG G6, including specialists in hardware, design, cameras, software and testing. Naturally the discussion centered around the latest top-end device from LG, giving us insights into the thought process and development of a complex smartphone, but the discussions also gave us great insight into just what it takes to design, build and launch a smartphone today.

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1 day ago

Android Wear 2.0 updates will start rolling out in March, according to Fossil

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Android Wear 2.0 is only a couple of weeks away.

While it's true you could get your hands on the latest and greatest from Android Wear if you were willing to drop some money on a shiny new LG Watch Sport or Style, those still happy with their existing watch had some waiting to do. It has been clear for a while that a lot of Android Wear watches would be updated, but what wasn't entirely clear was how long that wait would be.

Fortunately, a friendly reply from Fossil on Twitter has offered something resembling a timeline and an explanation.

One of the big features in Android Wear 2.0 is Google Assistant on your wrist, and when conducting the initial review of the OS it wasn't entirely clear how this would work if your phone didn't already have Assistant. Google has built Wear 2.0 to run apps natively on the watch, but step on in enabling Google Assistant on your wrist is granting access to that feature from your phone.

Now that Google has announced Assistant will be rolling out to anything running Android 6.0 or higher in the form of a Google Search update, the delay in shipping Android Wear 2.0 to the most popular Android Wear watches starts to make sense.

When can you expect Android Wear 2.0 on your watch? According to Fossil, updates for its entire lineup are going to begin in the middle of March. While Fossil is the only manufacturer to have confirmed so far, remember that Google has a great deal more control over Android in watch form than it does other forms of Android pushed out to phones. There's little opportunity for watch manufacturers to add extra features, and almost every watch is using the same internal hardware, so it's safe to assume the other watches will either be updating at roughly the same time or in rapid succession.

Android Wear

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1 day ago

Hands-on with Samsung's new Gear VR Controller: So much better than a touch pad

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Samsung Gear VR touch controller

Adding a controller to the Gear VR was a necessary addition to keep up with the times.

Samsung is adding a much-needed improvement to its Gear VR with the introduction of a new wireless touch and gesture Gear VR Controller developed in partnership with Oculus. The Controller will be included with the Gear VR headset as soon as it is launched, but will also be available as a separate purchase for those who already have a headset.

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1 day ago

Samsung Galaxy S8 rumor roundup

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Samsung phones sign

After the catastrophe of the Galaxy Note 7, what can fans look forward to in the next Samsung flagship?

2016 started as a promising year for Samsung, with the Galaxy S7 series earning critical acclaim and commercial success. But the contrast with where we are now couldn't be starker. Battery fires and a bungled recall process led to the cancellation of the Galaxy Note 7, making it the most calamitous smartphone launch ever, by a wide margin.

Samsung will already be looking ahead to its next flagship, the Galaxy S8, to pull it out of this quagmire and rebuild consumer trust. So what can we expect from such a crucial product? Let's take a look at what we know so far.

Update, February 27: Samsung is headed to NYC on March 29th for the announcement! A big, tall phone in two sizes, no home button and a rear fingerprint sensor. We have all the latest on the Samsung Galaxy S8!

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1 day ago

Yes, Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge won an award at MWC 2017 one year after launch

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Industry event awards don't always translate well to the consumer news cycle.

Reading the title of Samsung's latest press release, "Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Named Best Smartphone at MWC 2017," you may have done a bit of a double take — didn't Samsung release this phone coinciding with last year's MWC? Yes, but that doesn't mean Samsung is doing anything shady here.

The Galaxy S7 edge did indeed win at the MWC Global Mobile Awards 2017 — the same show it teased the Galaxy S8 while confirming its launch date. But you need to remember that this is an industry event that's actually rewarding companies for their products released in 2016. Indeed, the Galaxy S7 edge won the "best smartphone of 2016" category this year.

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1 day ago

Samsung is bringing RCS messaging to its phones following NewNet acquisition

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All Galaxy phones running Marshmallow and above will get RCS messaging.

Samsung acquired RCS operator NewNet Canada back in November, and the South Korean manufacturer is now integrating NewNet's technologies into its phones. To that effect, the company is expanding RCS services to include "RCS-enabled devices, native/downloadable device clients, cloud-based RCS application servers, an interconnectivity hub among operators and a third-party monetization platform." The company's RCS solution will be available on all Galaxy phones running Marshmallow and above.

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1 day ago

Raspberry Pi's fifth birthday surprise is a Wi-Fi enabled Zero

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It's the fifth birthday of everyone's favorite little circuit board computer and as a special surprise there's a new Raspberry Pi Zero in town. The price has gone up, a little, but it's adding two very important pieces of hardware to the board: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

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1 day ago

Google Home is coming to the UK in Q2 2017

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Google Home

Google Home makes its international debut this spring.

Google Home will soon be expanding outside the United States. The smart home assistant, which arrived in the U.S. late last year, is set to reach UK shores sometime in the second quarter of the year, according to the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones, who cites a conversation with Google hardware boss Rick Osterloh.

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1 day ago

Android Pay deal lets you subscribe to The Washington Post for 8 weeks for just $1

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Access award-winning journalism for just $1.

If you're an Android Pay customer looking to access high-quality journalism, you'll want to take a look at the latest promotion. For a limited time, you'll be able to pick up an 8-week subscription to The Washington Post for just $1 when paying with Android Pay. After the promotional period runs out, a monthly subscription will run you $5.99, down from its usual cost of $9.99.

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