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6 hours ago

MrMobile on the Sennheiser PXC 550: Better than Bose?

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The Sennheiser PXC 550 can keep your ears closed off to the rest of the world. A must-have for those of you with long holiday travels and long holidays with family. They're good-looking and long-lasting, just like everything you'd want in a ... pair of noise-reducing headphones. With the added luxury of a touch-sensitive panel to help control what you're listening to, you'll really drive your ... headphones wild.

MrMobile, in his infinite wisdom, will help you decide if these cans are what your ears have been looking (listening?) for, or if you're better off with the Bose QC35. Take Michael Fisher's advice, and you'll be ready for all that December has to offer.

Stay social, my friends

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8 hours ago

Great Holiday Gadget Gifts at $50, $100, and $200

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Get your tech-centric pal or loved one something new to play with.

Life is full of little gadgets that make life more interesting, so why not help out a friend or family member? We put together a list of neat tech that quickly automates your home or adds a bit of flair to your smartphone. There are great choices at $50, $100, and $200 price points!

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8 hours ago

Save $120 on Lenovo's touchscreen Chromebook right now!

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Amazon is currently offering Lenovo's 11.6-inch touchscreen Chromebook for just $180, a savings of $120. That's right, you can save a big chunk of change on this Chromebook that will run Android apps when Google releases the feature. You should be able to get up to 10 hours per charge, and some great performance while using it thanks to the 4GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

Unlike some other Chromebook offerings, the Chromebook N22 is quite durable with is reinforced ports, anti-peel keys, waterproof keyboard, a sealed touchpad and more. Odds are that this won't last long at the $180 price, so if you are interested be sure to grab one now!

See at Amazon

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10 hours ago

Samsung is permanently crippling the Note 7 in the U.S. [Update: Verizon says nope]

112

It's been... real.

Samsung has encouraged the return of 93% of the 1.9 million recalled Galaxy Note 7s since the second recall was issued on October 13. That's a lot of phones, but that still means there are over 130,000 units still to be recovered, many of which could have defective batteries.

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10 hours ago

ZTE welcomes Axon 7 community members to Nougat preview

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The Axon 7 is getting Nougat soon, and they want you to test it!

ZTE is preparing Nougat for release on the Axon 7 and is looking for some enterprising Axon 7 users from the Z-Community to preview and evaluate the build before it pushes out to everyone. If you're itching to get split-screen on your 5.5" beauty, your chance has finally come!

Users looking to sign up for the preview must be members of ZTE's Z-Community forums in order to provide feedback. You can sign up for the Axon 7 Nougat Preview here by providing your Z-community username, email and IMEI.

Keep in mind that previews like these are not always stable, so if your Axon 7 is your primary phone, you might want to wait for the stable release, but Nougat's many features like split-screen and improved Doze functionality are tempting. One can only hope that the software gimmicks we noted in our experience with the Axon 7 have been toned down in 7.0, but we'll see how ZTE's take on Nougat fares.

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10 hours ago

Do I really need a mesh network?

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This mesh networking stuff is cool, but it's also expensive. Let's try and sort out who needs what.

Wireless mesh networking has become something that's ready for you and me to buy and put in our houses. The technology and hardware that powers it is no longer too expensive or too complicated, and companies like Google with their Google Wifi setup want in on it.

But do you — yes, you personally — really need a mesh network setup? The answer (as usual) is maybe.

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11 hours ago

Best Gifts to Experience Virtual Reality

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Invite someone to step into a new reality for a while.

There's nothing wrong with a good old fashioned escape. Some people use books, some binge watch all of Westworld in an afternoon, and of course we all know someone who gets sucked into a game for a while. The key to any good escape is feeling immersed in the world you're gazing into, and that's one of the things you'll find is much easier to do inside virtual reality.

This past year has been filled with all sorts of VR headsets, and choosing which headset is right for you has become a challenge. It's even more complicated if you're interested in giving VR as a gift. This guide will make that a little easier, ultimately making it so you can give the best possible gift this year!

Samsung Gear VR — For the Samsung Fan

Do you have someone in your life who is always ready to jump on the next Samsung phone? Someone who sees Lil' Jon pouring champagne on his phone and says "Why not me?" while checking to see how long they have to wait for their next upgrade? There's a good chance you'd make their whole year with a Gear VR headset.

Check out our Samsung Gear VR Review!

This VR headset was built specifically for top-of-the-line Samsung phones. When the phone is snapped into the headset, it turns into a full VR experience. You'll find a great assortment of games, apps, and tons of video to watch. It's like taking your living room with you everywhere, and when it's paired with the right gamepad that headset turns into a killer gaming experience.

See on Amazon

Google Daydream — For anyone who loves to share

Not all VR headsets require complicated PC setups. In fact, if you know someone with a Google Pixel or a Moto Z, they already have almost everything they need to have a great VR experience that travels with them! The only thing missing is Google's Daydream View headset, which also happens to make a fantastic gift.

Check out our Google Daydream Review!

Daydream View comes in three great colors, and includes a controller that makes every VR experience feel totally unique. It allows the user to move their hand around in the real world and see that controller move in VR, so they can solve puzzles and move around with surprising realism. Just don't let anyone accidentally walk into any walls, and it's a great time that can easily be shared with friends no matter where you are!

See on the Google Store

PlayStation VR — For the gamers

Know someone with a PlayStation 4? There's a good change you'd make their year by adding a PlayStation 4 to their gaming experience. Sony made this VR headset just for feeling like you are actually in the game, and there's a ton of amazing games ready for the gamer in your life to dive into.

Check out our PlayStation VR Review!

PlayStation VR requires you to have a little bit of space to move around in, so make sure whoever you're gifting to has a Living Room or game space that will let them dodge flying objects in VR without accidentally taking out the corner lamp. Otherwise, sit back and watch as your gift becomes a whole new way to experience games!

See at Best Buy

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11 hours ago

Samsung may finally be disabling the Note 7 for good

205

Say goodnight, Gracie.

Apparently, the Verge received an image from a Galaxy Note 7 user on US Cellular today about the fate of the now-deceased Note 7 line. In the photo, a message saying it was from US Cellular states: "AS OF DEC. 15, SAMSUNG WILL MODIFY THE SOFTWARE TO PREVENT THE GALAXY NOTE7 FROM CHARGING. THE PHONE WILL NO LONGER WORK." The message, in all caps so you know they mean business, spells out what many have said would happen — the end of the Note 7.

Having Note 7 phones still in the wild is a liability issue for Samsung and carriers in the US.

While there is no way to determine the validity of the information provided to the Verge, it wouldn't be surprising to see Samsung take more drastic measures to get the last remaining phones out of the hands of the knuckleheads diehards still clinging to it. New Zealand and Canada have said that they were killing functions up to and including disabling the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios and banning the phone's use on cellular networks. Samsung has also sent out updates across the world to limit battery capacity. These companies are serious and want people to stop using the phone.

We all know how the saga went down. Some Note 7 batteries ruptured and exploded and caused fires. The phone was recalled in September of 2016, and replacements had just started filtering out — and subsequently doing the same thing and burning more stuff — in October. Samsung finally pulled the plug and ate the loss. Most phones have been returned, but Samsung and the people who actually sold them are determined to get them all back or in a landfill somewhere in New Jersey. They know people intransigent enough to keep using a Note 7 would also be the same people who would hold others liable when things take a turn for the worse.

If you're still holding onto a Note 7, for God's sake just turn the damn thing in already.

Everything you need to know about the Galaxy Note 7 recall

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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12 hours ago

Focus your mind with a lifetime subscription to Brain.fm's audio library, now 80% off

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Life is busy and relaxing can be hard. Avoiding distractions isn't easy, they are literally everywhere. Whether you need to avoid them to get some studying done or need help getting yourself to sleep, it can be a struggle to get it done. There are a number of different programs and options out there to tune out these distractions, but unfortunately they aren't all cheap.

Luckily, Brain.fm is a great way to tune them out at an affordable cost. For just $39 you can grab a lifetime subscription that will help you boost your productivity and get that to-do list accomplished.

With this lifetime subscription you'll be able to:

  • Choose whether you're trying to work, relax, or sleep, & experience an original composition specially generated for that scenario
  • Adjust the stream to play for 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, or indefinitely until you turn it off
  • Explore different recordings & audio tracks for each category on your own
  • Access premium-only content & track your work progress

This huge 80% savings that brings the price to just $39 won't last too long, so you'll want to act quickly. Whether you need to buckle down and study for that upcoming exam or just need to relax after a long day of work, Brain.fm is the perfect option for you.

Don't wait for the price to jump back up to $200 and instead grab this lifetime subscription for yourself right now.

See at Android Central Digital Offers

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13 hours ago

Best shooter games for Android

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Spill some blood with the best Android shooters currently on the market.

We've rounded up some of the best shooting games across Android for those who always need a target. We have the full gamut here, ranging from simple, single-tap games to full-blown first-person shooters that nearly bring the console experience to your phone and tablet.

Last updated December 9, 2016: Added Modern Strike Online to the list!

Modern Strike Online

Modern Strike OnlineModern Strike Online

Not interested in anything other than the thrill of online multiplayer? Modern Strike Online offers just that: a pure online FPS experience packed with features and game modes we've come to expect from the genre. Once you've levelled up some you unlock all six game modes, which include the standard fare you'd expect — free-for-all, team deathmatch, seek and destroy, and a hardcore mode. In-game currency can be bought via in-app purchases or earned via daily rewards, crates and generally kicking ass. Spend your gold and credits on new weapons, armor and accessories for your character. There's a decent amount of customization available for kitting, with over 30 types of weapons available to rent or buy.

It's as complete a FPS as you'll find on Android. You'll want to head into the settings first to customize your controls and screen layout, and tweak the graphics quality to optimize gameplay on your device. By default, your gun will auto-fire as soon as an enemy enters your crosshairs — you can switch this off in the settings, but it's actually a pretty handy feature to have when you're already using your thumbs to move and look around. Yes, there's the occasional in-game ad and constant pressure to invest real cash, as is the case with most mobile games these days, but it's not terribly invasive and there's plenty of fun and loot to be had relying on the free crates and daily rewards.

Download: Modern Strike Online (Free)

N.O.V.A. 3: Freedom Edition

 Freedom Edition Freedom Edition

N.O.V.A. 3 picks up the story of former N.O.V.A. commander Kal Wardin as he crash lands in San Francisco amid an ongoing battle. Gameplay is mixed with cutscenes that tell the fairly in-depth story — it might in fact be the reason you keep coming back to N.O.V.A. 3.

Play against enemy A.I. units or play multiplayer over local Wi-Fi or internet. Gameloft implements some measures against cheaters and boosters, namely encouraging players to record or document the actions of said cheaters.

Controls are responsive and targeting is aided by tapping a button to aim down sights, a nice feature for those with big fingers. There are some ads displayed on the menu screens and a popup once in awhile when you die, but nothing the experienced mobile gamer can't handle.

Download: N.O.V.A. 3 (Free)

Hitman: Sniper

 Sniper Sniper

Hitman: Sniper finds you, Agent 47, stationed with a sniper rifle outside an estate filled with rich people, bodyguards, and a certain high-priority target. Your job is to take your time, plan a course of action, and begin removing enemies any way you see fit (as long as it's through a scope). Each mission has different objectives you can complete for extra money, which you can then spend on weapon upgrades and new sniper rifles. If you're especially proud of a mission, use the Share Replay function to share gameplay footage with your friends.

This game has nice graphics and great mechanics: you must lead enemies who are on the move, and must account for their sometimes unforeseen actions. They will not shoot back, but will take cover and move around the map attempting to help your prime target escape. Controls are easy and responsive, meaning you won't have too much trouble lining up the shot. The music is great, especially when you miss a couple of shots and set off some alarms, and the voice acting is also above par for mobile games. Get your heart beating with this great shooter, and enjoy no ads or in-app purchases.

Download: Hitman: Sniper ($0.99)

Modern Combat 5: Blackout

Modern Combat 5Modern Combat 5

Did someone replace my phone with a console? Modern Combat 5: Blackout is a first-person military shooter that gives you a real video game experience from the palm of your hand. Beginning with an escape mission in Venice, the campaign follows Caydan Phoenix as he travels the world battling Raiders and the World Liberation Army. Customize your soldier's loadout and special abilities to best suit your playstyle — more options are unlocked as you rank up.

Gameplay is smooth and the controls are easier to manage than most shooters, likely due to the fact you can modify all settings, including audio, control, and HUD. Modern Combat 5 has beautiful graphics for a mobile game, and runs without hiccups on an LG G4.

New to Modern Combat 5 is a PvP multiplayer mode that has five game modes: Free for all, VIP, Squad battle, Capture the flag, Zone control, and Team battle. Test your skills against players around the world and work your way up the global leaderboard. This game has minimal ads, though it does have some micro-transactions.

Download: Modern Combat 5: Blackout (Free)

Overkill 3

Overkill 3Overkill 3

Overkill 3 is a third-person shooter that guides you through the level, also known as being on rails. Your job is to aim and shoot bad guys. Sounds easy? Overkill lets you choose a difficulty before each boss fight, meaning your recent disposal of entry-position bad guys has no bearing over what is to come.

Choose a loadout from the armory before each mission and unlock new weapons and gear as you progress through the game. You must collect stars by completing specific objectives during each mission — the stars are used to unlock more missions. A tally at the end of each level keeps track of your progress, so you'll never be unsure of where you stand.

Graphics are not as great as other shooters, but Overkill 3 features a co-op mode that lets you team up with a friend or random player to crush the enemy. Ads are few and far between, but there are many in-app purchases.

Download: Overkill 3 (Free)

Unkilled

UnkilledUnkilled

Unkilled takes you on a wild, zombie-killing ride with a variety of enemies for you to slay using a variety of weapons. Some missions require different weapons and gadgets, meaning you must enter your armory to upgrade current weapons and purchase new ones. There are plenty of upgrades and weapons rewarded to you for free as you move through the ranks, and you will feel like you're achieving something each step of the way.

The controls are easy to use and sensitivities are adjustable. Your weapons will shoot automatically when you are aiming at a zombie except when you're in a static mission; here you will aim and shoot using both thumbs.

There are two play modes available now — campaign and skirmish ops — with multiplayer apparently coming soon. Skirmish ops pits you and your base against other players and zombies. Defend yourself or go on the offensive; either way you will find yourself moving up the leaderboard as you expend bullets and bash brains.

Ads are infrequent but in-app purchases are everywhere.

Download: Unkilled (Free)

Dead Trigger 2

Dead Trigger 2Dead Trigger 2

Dead Trigger 2 continues to be the quintessential zombie-shooting experience on mobile. The graphics are amazing, though the game hardly takes itself seriously — there are lots of tongue-in-cheek references and over-the-top baddies to mow down. This version is a little different in that players now have their own hideout and a crew that can build stuff for them. The controls have also been streamlined for touch; all you have to do is move the crosshairs over a zombie, and if you're in range, you'll automatically start shooting.

There are tons of missions to enjoy, and the in-app purchases have been scaled back with the removal of the premium currency — now you can buy and build everything yourself without spending a cent.

Download: Dead Trigger 2 (Free)

Major Mayhem

Major MayhemMajor Mayhem

Major Mayhem is a fast, simple run-and-gun side-scroller. Players simply tap on ninjas, secret agents, or whoever else the president has commanded you to wipe out. There's some kind of storyline in there about a girlfriend or something, but really, you just tap your targets as the pop out from behind cover.

It sounds simplistic, but the great cartoon feel, over-the-top storyline, and wide range of unlockables provide excellent, bite-sized gameplay.

Download: Major Mayhem (Free)

Pew Pew 2

Pew Pew 2Pew Pew 2

Pew Pew 2 is a classic top-down shooter game with a funky, retro art style. Don't let the wireframe graphics fool you, though — there are some great visual effects thrown in here to make this game as gorgeous as it is frantic. New in Pew Pew 2 is a single player campaign where players dig through labyrinthine stages, but the real fun is found in the various infinite play modes. You can unlock new ships and game modes as you progress, too.

There aren't any in-app purchases or ads to be seen here, which will be refreshing for many gamers.

Download: Pew Pew 2 ($2.57)

Ready Steady Bang

Ready Steady BangReady Steady BangReady Steady Bang

Sometimes less is more. Ready Steady Bang is a simple, stylized dueling game where players have to tap their side of the screen as soon as the countdown is finished. The "bang" kicks in at random intervals though, making the wait sometimes too much to bear. There's no aiming; just pure speed and reflex. It's got an old-timey Western theme with a modern, minimalist aesthetic. Players can work their way through a roster of increasingly skilled AI gunslingers and earn new and entertaining death animations in the process, or go head-to-head with a friend in local multiplayer.

On top of its simple and suspenseful gameplay, you won't have to deal with in-app purchase prompts, or fork over a giant list of device permissions when installing.

Download: Ready Steady Bang (Free)

Zombiewood

ZombiewoodZombiewood

Zombiewood is a goofy dual-stick shooter where players take control of an overly ambitious stuntman in zombie-infested Hollywood. A perverse director guides you through scenes that make ample use of costumed undead. Players work their way through ridiculous movie tropes while laying down withering fire on the undead.

Over-the-top power-ups, weapons, and upgrades all add up to a pretty wild experience. I found the animation particularly smooth to boot.

Download: Zombiewood (Free)

Gunman Clive

Gunman CliveGunman Clive

Gunman Clive is a throwback to early 2D platformers — we're talking NES difficulty and mechanics. Run, jump, and shoot as Clive makes his way through traps, puzzles, and enemy gunmen. The control design reminded me a lot of NES with its directional pad and two button interface — responsive and easy to control.

In an arena of mostly flashy, cutting edge graphics, the monochromatic visual art design might be enough to cause you to overlook this dusty gem. This game isn't about great graphics — it's about challenging gameplay and a soothing soundtrack. Be prepared to lose track of time as you try just one more time to reach the end of the stage.

Adding to the retro feel and offering a nice change to the norm, Gunman Clive does not require any device permissions, does not have any in-app purchases, and does not display any ads.

Download: Gunman Clive ($1.99)

Did we miss any?

Let us know in the comments below your favorite shooter available for Android. If none of these games put the ammo in your clip, check out our roundup of the best Android games.

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13 hours ago

This $4 Quick Charge 2.0 charger should be in every car you own

5

Right now you can grab Aukey's Quick Charge 2.0 car charger for just $4 at Amazon with coupon code THQGUXM2. With having Quick Charge 2.0, you'll be able to charge a compatible phone up to 75% faster while in the car, meaning your short commute still gives you plenty of power for your night out on the town or your next meeting. It has built-in safeguards to protect phones and tablets against excessive heat, overcharging and too much current.

Remember, you'll need coupon code THQGUXM2 for the full savings. At $4, odds are this deal won't last long, so be sure to act quick if you want to pick one up for yourself.

See at Amazon

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13 hours ago

Huawei Watch disappears from the Google Store, Michael Kors Access Bradshaw takes its place

10

One smartwatch goes away, another one makes its debut.

The Huawei Watch is no longer listed on the Google Store. Its page is still accessible via a direct link, but the watch itself shows as "unavailable." There's no telling if it'll be back in stock, but for now, you'll have to head to Best Buy if you're interested in getting your hands on the watch.

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14 hours ago

Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus is once again down to £149 in the UK

0

Swift 2 Plus will be on sale for £149 for the duration of the holiday season.

Wileyfox's Swift 2 Plus is once again discounted to £149 on Amazon UK, making it an enticing option if you're in the market for a budget phone that offers great value for money. The £70 discount is valid until the end of the year, and Wileyfox is bundling a free one-time screen replacement service and a hard case for the phone.

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15 hours ago

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is finally picking up the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update in India

1

Latest MIUI 8 build brings Marshmallow.

Xiaomi sold over 2.5 million units of the Redmi Note 3 in India, and the manufacturer is finally starting to roll out the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update to the phone, albeit in beta form. The phone was updated to MIUI 8 — the latest iteration of Xiaomi's custom ROM — earlier this year, but the base kernel was still Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

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15 hours ago

Here's everything Google Assistant can do on the Pixel

55

OK Google, let's see what you can do.

While currently in its infancy, Google Assistant is still capable of doing a lot of pretty cool things to make life that much easier.

From helping to book reservations and find transportation for your night out to setting your morning alarm without having to stare at a bright screen in a dark room, here's just some of the ways to use Google Assistant throughout your day. And it all starts by saying "OK Google".

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