2 weeks ago

Save £30 on the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet at Amazon


Should you be on the hunt for a new tablet, Amazon really wants you to purchase the Fire HD 8. The online retailer has taken £30 off the original listing price, which applies to both the 8GB and 16GB variants.

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2 weeks ago

Cyanogen in 2016: Extensibility, good cheap phones and a new 'flagship'


... Oh, and maybe a stable CM 13 release in time for the holidays.

During his keynote address at the Big Android BBQ Europe in Amsterdam this morning, Cyanogen co-founder and CTO Steve Kondik gave attendees an update on "what's up with CyanogenMod," and what fans can expect from Cyanogen, Inc. in the coming year. Kondik laid out plans to make both the open-source CyanogenMod and the commercial CyanogenOS more extensible through APIs, while also dropping hints about the future direction of Cyanogen hardware.

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2 weeks ago

Live from the Big Android BBQ Europe Keynote


Liveblogging the first BABBQ Europe keynote.

We're live from the Big Android BBQ in Amsterdam for the keynote presentation by Cyanogen's Steve Kondik. Steve will be discussing the the evolution and direction of current mobile platforms, and the importance of software and user experience within these platforms.

We'll be covering the whole thing live, and the action kicks off at 9.30 a.m. CET. (That's 3.30 a.m. EST, or 8.30 a.m. in London.) Follow along with our liveblog down below!

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2 weeks ago

It turns out T-Mobile's Un-carrier X announcement came with an unlimited data price hike, too


T-Mobile rolled out its new Un-carrier X announcements this week to plenty of fanfare, but there's more to these changes than just free video streaming and matched data for family plans. T-Mobile also notably shifted its pricing for its most commonly-selected Simple Choice plans, reducing the price per gigabyte but increasing the total plan prices on all but the base plan.

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2 weeks ago

Google makes Android Wear cellular support official


Just after LG announced that the first Android Wear smartwatch to sport LTE, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, will begin shipping this month, Google has made cellular support in Android Wear official.

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2 weeks ago

LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE to begin shipping this month; Verizon announces preorders


LG has announced that its latest wearable, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, will begin shipping to a few markets around the world starting this month. On deck for this initial batch of launch countries are the U.S. and Korea. LG says that other markets in Europe, Asian, and the Commonwealth of Independent States will see launches in the coming months.

LG doesn't mention any specific dates or pricing information outside of "this month," simply stating that pricing and release date information will be announced locally. However, for those of us in the U.S., we already know that the first Android Wear smartwatch to sport LTE will be coming to AT&T on November 13 for $15 per month for 20 months, or $199.99 on a 2-year contract.

Likewise, Verizon has just announced that it will begin preorders for the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE starting tomorrow, November 12, for $499.99 outright or $449.99 with a new two year activation.

Check out our hands-on with the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition

Press Release:


First Android Wear Smartwatch with Cellular Connectivity for Active Individuals

SEOUL, Nov. 12, 2015 ― The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, the first Android Wear smartwatch to feature cellular connectivity, will begin rolling out to customers worldwide starting this month in the United States and Korea with key markets in Europe, Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States to follow in the months ahead.

Compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones*, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition allows users to answer calls and check messages without the assistance of a tethered smartphone. So wearers can feel confident knowing that they won't miss any important information when out for their morning run or on the tennis court.

The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition features a classic timepiece design consisting of a hairline-etched stainless steel body and a full-circle 348ppi P-OLED display. The three buttons on the right side provide quick access to shortcut settings, LG Health and apps. Moreover, its high-capacity 570mAH battery and Power Saving Mode enables the smartwatch to last throughout the day with power to spare.

"Keeping people connected to the world is our business and the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition was designed specifically to meet the needs of customers who want to communicate anytime, anywhere," said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "The wearable category is still in its infancy and we plan to continue introducing exciting devices that appeal to a diverse audience."

Price and purchase details will be announced locally at the time of availability.

  • Cellular enabled features will vary across Android and iOS.

About LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company is a global leader and trend setter in the mobile and wearable industry with breakthrough technologies and innovative designs. By continually developing highly competitive core technologies in the areas of display, battery, camera optics and LTE technology, LG creates handsets and wearables that fit the lifestyles of a wide range of people all over the world. While helping to enhance the mobile user experience by incorporating unique, sophisticated designs and intuitive UX features, LG is also committed to guiding consumers into the era of convergence and Internet of Things, maximizing inter-device connectivity between a wide range of smartphones, tablets, wearables, home and portable electronics products. For more information, please visit www.LG.com.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung unveils 64-bit Exynos 8 Octa processor based on ARMv8 architecture


Samsung today unveiled the latest entry into its Exynos line of processors, the Exynos 8 Octa.

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2 weeks ago

BlackBerry Vienna — the second Android BB — is a candybar with more physical buttons?


You didn't think BlackBerry wasn't working on something old-school, did you? The Priv is all the rage among those who live and die smartphones for a living (though whether anyone's actually buying it remains to be seen, especially since BlackBerry is taking its sweet time shipping it) — and so it makes perfect sense that we'd start seeing an old-school candybar-style phone making the rounds at some point.

Enter the BlackBerry Vienna. That's likely a code name, and what you see here might well not be finished product. (We're hearing that a more squarish display might be in the cards, and we can't caution BlackBerry enough against physical buttons.) But these renders — which take us all the way back to the days of the Motorola Charm (yikes) — do show one interesting feature: Several textures.

Plus, ya know, that keyboard.

So it's early days yet. Maybe this'll be a thing, and maybe it won't. But for sure it'll get those excited to see BlackBerry back in the game talking again. The question may be whether a return to the form factor that pretty much everyone left behind years ago can make a resurgence.

Source: Crackberry

For more, hit up our BlackBerry Vienna forum!

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2 weeks ago

BlackBerry Priv cases are now available at ShopAndroid


Shield your new BlackBerry Priv with any of these durable OEM cases that range from the leather holster or hard case to flip cases and pocket pouches.

If rocking your BlackBerry Priv without any kind of protection is too risky for your tastes there are some sweet cases up for grabs that will certainly handle a drop. As we've seen with previous devices, BlackBerry manufactures high quality leather cases that look and feel great. Keeping an ideal slim form are their hard shell cases that add extra grip without bulking up the device. Take a look at the complete lineup of Priv cases available right now and for pre-order here at ShopAndroid.

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2 weeks ago

How to take a screenshot on the LG V10


If you picked up a shiny new LG V10, eventually you're going to want to capture what you see on the screen. Maybe you'll even want to share what you captured with someone else, or maybe you'll just want to put a copy of your backup Battlenet Authenticator codes in your Dropbox. Either reason is valid.

The good news is that there are two pretty easy ways to grab what you see on the screen and convert it into a nifty little image you can then share or deposit anywhere you like.

Let's have a look at both.

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2 weeks ago

Nexus Protect now available in Canada


Google announced today that Nexus Protect, its additional bit of insurance for the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, is now available in Canada.

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2 weeks ago

Acer Predator 8 gaming tablet pre-orders go live for $300


As promised earlier this year, Acer is now taking pre-orders for its Predator 8 Android gaming tablet. The price for the Intel-based 8-inch tablet is $299.99.

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2 weeks ago

Quick comparison: BlackBerry Priv versus Galaxy Note 5


There are several fantastic Android phones available this year, and choosing between them is all about your personal needs.

While there's a large group of Android users in full support of price being the biggest factor in what phone you get, there are some high-end phones absolutely worth considering. Samsung's phones this year are unparalleled in display quality and offer a quality experience with features no one else is offering right now, and the popularity of the new Note 5 reflects a desire to enjoy that experience. BlackBerry is another manufacturer to offer a quality high-end experience with unique features, not the least of which is a physical keyboard on a vertical slider with their new Priv.

If you sit these two experiences side-by-side, you'll see there's no shortage of differences between Samsung and BlackBerry's approach to building a high-end phone. We know, because we did, and now you can see just how different they are.

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2 weeks ago

Google's About Me page lets you easily control the privacy of your personal information


Google has introduced a new online tool that allows you to easily control which bits of your personal information are publicly available across Google's services.

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2 weeks ago

Nexus 5X versus the original Nexus 5


With two years separating these LG-built Nexuses, does the new one match the legendary original?

At the time of its launch back at the end of 2013, the first Nexus 5 was a bit of a revelation. Following up on the inexpensive wonderment of the Nexus 4, LG cranked out another budget-friendly phone in partnership with Google that ended up being quite a hit with both average consumers and hardcore Android enthusiasts alike.

Two years later, we have the Nexus 5X, once again coming from a partnership of LG and Google, with naming and design clearly harkening back to the somewhat-inexplicable nostalgia toward the original Nexus 5. Understated design, simple materials and a "value greater than the sum of its parts" mindset have all carried over to this phone from its predecessor.

Have these two companies paired up to make a worthy successor to arguably the best-received Nexus of all time? We're going to explore just that.

Nostalgic hardware

"LG's second Ne​xus is the best phone you can buy for $350," said our review of the Nexus 5 back in 2013, and those are some big shoes to fill. Of course anyone who owned or used a Nexus 5 will know that that value didn't come from its outstanding hardware chops — far from it, as the Nexus 5 was squarely in the "passable" arena of external build quality. And really, it's the same story all over again on the Nexus 5X.

The hardware can be described as nostalgic ... or just dated.

The phones are nearly identical in materials and build, with soft touch coatings layered on completely plastic exteriors, dotted with buttons and ports where necessary. The only real identifiable differences are the symmetrical speaker grilles on the front, and change in camera design on the back, of the Nexus 5X. To be fair to the newer model the Nexus 5X does seem to exhibit a bit better fit-and-finish, though the improvement isn't dramatic — it's still just serviceable hardware, and it's expected to simply fade away and let you experience the software.

Perhaps one of the reasons we were all so willing to put up with the less-than-stellar build on the Nexus 5 was its size — even in 2013 and '14 a 5-inch display felt compact compared to the growing average screen size, and the Nexus 5 was very small even for its screen size. The Nexus 5X is compact for its day as well at 5.2-inches, though symmetrical bezels on the top and bottom have boosted its overall footprint a bit. It's still super easy to slip into a pants pocket or grasp in one hand, and that's important to a lot of people still.

Simply adding a little bit of physical size to the screen isn't the only thing that's changed here, though. Display technology has advanced notably in the past two years, and the LCD panel in place on the Nexus 5X is considerably nicer than the Nexus 5. Though both phones are the same 1920x1080 resolution the Nexus 5X is brighter and has more accurate colors, and doesn't exhibit the light bleeding from the edges of the screen often found on the Nexus 5.

Additions like the fingerprint sensor, USB-C and an improved display shouldn't be overlooked.

Internally, things have made a pretty predictable progression. The Nexus 5X has a Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor, a step above the Snapdragon 800 quad-core in the 5, along with the expected bumps in things like radios and sensors. The questionable choices? RAM and base storage, which stick at 2GB and 16GB, respectively, two years later. We've also lost Qi wireless charging, which is a hard-to-explain loss. (If we had to guess, we'd blame thinness.)

The Nexus 5X has also taken a few more steps forward in the hardware department, namely with its absolutely wonderful fingerprint sensor, an improved speaker and jump to a USB-C port. Each add something extra to the hardware experience, and remind you that this is a modern phone when you set it alongside the Nexus 5.

Software and performance

When you set the two phones next to each other, both running Marshmallow of course, you actually can't immediately find a speed increase on the Nexus 5X over the Nexus 5 when just launching and thumbing through various apps. That's really a credit to the Nexus 5, which runs Android 6.0 at quite an amazing pace. Sure apps launch just a hair faster on the 5X, but it isn't something that'd be noticeable if you weren't running a side-by-side comparison.

Performance has only slightly improved, but battery life took a solid jump.

The Nexus 5X starts to pull away when it comes to multi-core performance, such as gaming or scrolling and interacting with heavy web pages and apps with lots of content. That's really what the newer generation of processor is going to give you by default, and in typical Nexus fashion we'd expect the Nexus 5X to only get faster in subsequent updates.

Where the differences really come out is in battery life. The Nexus 5X's 2700 mAh battery is over 15 percent larger than the Nexus 5's, but you're getting far more than that amount of longevity. Even a brand new Nexus 5 (i.e. one not run into the ground over two years) doesn't stand up to the full-day battery life available on the Nexus 5X, and if you've ever owned a Nexus 5 you know this is one of that phone's critical issues.

Now one of the main reasons why you may have had a Nexus 5 in the first place is software updates. Google (generally) does a pretty great job keeping its Nexus phones up to date for years after their release, but that well has to run dry at some point. We venture to guess the Nexus 5 is in for one more major release of Android — that'd be the N release, presumably — before being cut off, as we've just seen with the Nexus 4 only making it to Lollipop. Of course the Nexus 5X is two years further down the road and slated for multiple big Android releases in the future.

Camera prowess

For all of the similarities you can draw between the Nexus 5X and 5, the camera has taken a large jump in quality. Despite losing OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) on the Nexus 5X, we've gained resolution — 12.3MP up from 8MP — along with larger individual pixels and improved image processing. The end result is and important jump in camera quality, with the Nexus 5X being able to take better photos in a variety of situations.

You can't deny the solid improvement in camera quality, even though it's still a tad slow.

While the Nexus 5 pretty much required the use of HDR+ processing to get a good shot — and in the end could definitely take some great ones — that's no longer the case on the 5X, and your average non-HDR+ snapshot is pretty solid as well.

Much like the rest of the software experience the Nexus 5X hasn't dramatically improved the speed at which it captures photos, with HDR+ images still taking a while to process and general camera performance being simply good and not exceptional. But the bump in image quality can't be understated here, and while we wish OIS was still incorporated like on the Nexus 5 there can't be many complaints here — it's clear that Google has finally taken cameras seriously with the Nexus 5X (and Nexus 6P).

A steady (albeit unspectacular) progression

With two years separating the release of these phones, it's somewhat tough to evaluate how well they stack up against one another. The Nexus 5 was a standout offering for the end of 2013 (and through 2014 as well), and anyone who owned one is likely to agree. The Nexus 5X has improved solidly over its predecessor with a better screen, longer battery life, new hardware features and a markedly better camera, though we wouldn't blame you for expecting a larger progression in terms of build quality and overall performance.

And in the end, it's worth noting that the Nexus 5X retails for only $379 unlocked, just $30 more than the Nexus 5 debuted at when it was released. Keeping that it mind the rate of improvement seems understandable, though the Nexus 5X is at a bit of a disadvantage here as it has stiff competition of great inexpensive unlocked phones that the Nexus 5 never had to face. The 5X is also being pitted against another Nexus, the 6P, launched at the exact same time starting at just $120 more, which also raises our expectations for what it should be.

It's true, the Nexus 5X may not be the low-cost wonder that's a dead easy buying decision like the Nexus 5 was. But in attempting to fill the undeniably-large shoes of its predecessor, the 5X has done a pretty good job overall. This is a solid second take on a great original device, even if it falls short of being spectacular in itself.

Nexus 5X

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