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1 day ago

How to take better photos with your Android phone

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How to take better photos with your Android phone

Take your Android photography to the next level with these tips and tricks for capturing masterpieces with your smartphone.

Many Android phones come with a high-quality camera designed to capture your subject's tiniest details and features, and while they're not technically on the same level as a DSLR camera, you can still take the perfect picture with just your phone if you know how to use it. Even if you're a beginner, you can quickly learn how to capture amazing photos with your Android phone (and if you actually are a beginner, be sure to check out our top 10 Android photography tips for beginners!)

Here are some helpful tricks to help you take better photos with your Android device!

Explore your camera settings

Get acquainted with your phone and all the camera settings before you start shooting, and you'll feel a lot more comfortable capturing your shots!

While shooting from your phone's stock camera is great for 99.9% of pictures — especially if you've got a recent Samsung, LG or HTC phone — playing around with the various modes and settings can really allow you to experiment and get creative.

Make sure your lens is clean

While this may seem like an obvious one, cleaning your phone lens can be a lot harder to remember than cleaning your DSLR lens. After all, there's no lens cap protecting your Android phone's camera from dirt and scratches like professional cameras have.

Carrying around a small lens cleaning cloth, or even having small micro fiber lens cleaning patches stitched to the inside of your purse or your jacket are simple ways to remind you to clean your phone lens and screen, so you're always ready to take the clearest shots with your phone.

Or just use your shirt.

Don't forget to clean your front lens, too! We break down how important cleaning your lenses can be in our top 8 tips to make you an Android photography expert.

Forget the flash: use external lighting

When it's dark outside, it's a knee-jerk reaction to turn on the flash to light up your photos, but it's not always the best for picture quality. In fact, we'll go one further: Don't bother using your flash. Nearly ever.

Always try to find a natural light source when you're shooting your photos. If you're at a restaurant and want to snap a picture of your meal, try to get a seat by a window, so you can capture all the meal's details with the perfect lighting. If you're looking to take a selfie, try posing in front of a big window. This won't only make your face and features light up – even on a cloudy day – but it will darken the background and make you the center of attention.

If it's absolutely impossible to capture your picture without natural lighting (and sometimes that's the case), try your best to find another external light source, like a lamp or even a candle. While it may seem silly, almost any other lighting will look better than the flash, especially since you then have more control of what you choose to light and highlight in your photographs.

Crop, don't zoom

Just like your Android phone's flash, zoom is another readily available option for phoneographers that should be avoided like the photographic plague.

Zoom can lower the quality of your pictures, and you might actually be cutting out something you didn't notice in the photo that you may find amazing when you glance at the picture during editing.

It's hard to remember when you're shooting, but your Android device is not the same as a DSLR camera: you can't just zoom in on something and have the quality stay virtually the same. A lot of professional photographers avoid the zoom altogether and prefer to crop strategically in the editing process afterwards, so they don't miss out on anything they captured in the picture.

If you really need to get in close with your subject, pick yourself up and physically move closer to it rather than using your zoom. This is the best way to get creative control over your photo subject without using zoom to mess up the picture's overall quality.

Burst first, ask questions later

Bursting may seem like a lazy way to take pictures, but it's probably the most efficient way to capture your perfect shot!

Whether it be selfies, landscapes, or a masterpiece of a meal, using burst is a great way to take a bunch of photos without stress: just hold down the shutter button and your phone will take rapid-fire shots that you can browse through later to find the perfect one.

While a bunch of the pictures you take with burst will be terrible and totally unusable, there are bound to be a few gems hiding in there. Take the time to go through your burst shots and pick out the best ones, and always remember to delete the bad burst photos so they don't take up space on your phone.

Find a favorite photography editing app

After you're done shooting, you're going to want to up your photo game by editing your pictures with your favorite editing app.

There are plenty of photo editing apps to choose from out there, and all of them do their own unique things like overlay certain filters, allow you to edit brightness and contrast, and even add text or stickers to your photos.

Photo editing apps are also a great tool to have if you're not confident with the photos you've taken. You can even salvage some photographs through a little bit of editing and tweaking if you're worried about quality.

Follow your favorite photographers on social media

Sometimes taking the best pictures with your Android phone doesn't start with your camera app; it starts with a quick visit to social media to get motivated from Android phone photographers who are already taking beautiful pictures!

Following some of your favorite photographers on social media is an amazing way to get ideas, see what kind of art other people are creating, and get motivated to go out and start shooting. Some may even respond in the comments if you ask them how they shot a certain subject in a certain style or how they managed to edit a specific photograph to look a certain way.

Creep around the discover page on Instagram and see what other Android phone photographers have shot. Start by mimicking a style you're fond of, and it will eventually evolve into your own.

Some photographers on social media even share their own tips and tricks for shooting, so be sure to check out a bunch of different profiles for inspiration.

Your turn

Are there any tips and tricks for shooting amazing photos with your Android phone that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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1 day ago

SwiftKey says sync errors fixed in latest update

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The now Microsoft-owned keyboard app for Android is still going through some growing pains.

SwiftKey had an issue arise in July with some users getting the predictions of other people, including names and email addresses. Today, SwiftKey has pushed out an update claiming the "sync service is fixed."

SwiftKey disabled a number of syncing and prediction features in late July while they worked to fix the issue. While some features appear to be working again with the most recent update, it appears the sync service is still throwing errors at the moment. SwiftKey also acknowledges in the change log that email and number predictions are still turned off, so we're not out of the woods just yet.

But we're another step closer. If you account was affected, are you seeing your old library yet? Are you still seeing any extra languages? Tell us in the comments below!

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1 day ago

Your phone may never get Android 7.0, but does it really matter?

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Unless you bought a phone from Google, it's going to take a while to see Nougat — if you ever see it at all. But that doesn't matter as much as you might think.

Android and updates seem like a mystery to many of us. If you're not familiar with the way a big open-source software distribution works, it can get a little confusing trying to sort out who gets what version and when. Reading the things you see online often make it worse, too — we're all talking about how Android 7.0 is here, and when phones will be updated, or if they will be at all. Then the obligatory comparisons to Apple's iOS or Microsoft Windows (which are both a thing that is built and distributed as a whole) start and more confusion just happens. It's nobody's fault: most of us think about Android as a thing on its own, but it's not. Since it's the time of year for a whole new version, we get to start the process all over again.

Free as in beer

Nobody "owns" Android, and that's why everything is so different. Android is, for all intents and purposes, a Linux distribution like Ubuntu. Google maintains the source code but they don't turn it into a piece of software and hand it out. They get patches and additions from a bunch of qualified folks and make sure everything works as intended, then let anyone and everyone take it to do whatever they like with it. It's important to understand what Android is, and how it gets distributed, when we think about the software on our phones.

You have two choices when it comes to operating system version updates — buy phones direct from Google, or waiting.

Two kinds of updates

Updates are important, but so is understanding how they work for Android. The important updates aren't the ones you hear about on a stage somewhere, no matter what someone else wants you to believe. The ones that get put out every month by the Android team at Google or the Knox team at Samsung or whoever is in control of releasing maintenance and security patches for the Android distribution they custom-built for your phone are the important ones. These are the patches that make sure your phone does exactly what it was promised to do when you bought it and does it securely.

The small monthly updates are the important ones.

Google does a pretty good job and keeping Android versions up to date. They may do a lot of other things poorly, but they are still pumping out software fixes as far back as Ice Cream Sandwich. They also make it easy to see what was patched, and how, in case you want to build it yourself on your customized version. That's where the folks who make your phone come into the picture.

Google takes these patches and puts them into the version of Android they make for their own phones. Remember, even phones like the Nexus 6P need their own version of Android built. Samsung and HTC and Huawei and everyone else is free to do the same and build a small patch for the phone in your hands. Carriers can and will try to ruin the process, but with them out of the picture it really is this simple. Once you get it, you install it and there is absolutely nothing wrong with your Lollipop phone, or even with your KitKat phone. It works as advertised, and you're generally safe from the nasty things you hear about malware unless you do something silly like trust people you shouldn't when installing software from outside of Google Play.

New features

The other kind of update gets all the press and all the attention. They usually bring new features or change how things work, and people like me take the time to write about them. They are great updates (once they work the way they should) and they're worth talking about. But those low-key monthly updates are far more important. You don't buy a refrigerator or a golf cart because of the great things that will come next year, so you shouldn't buy a phone for the great things that come next year. The things it does this year need to still work.

Because of the way Android is distributed, Google knows that 100 different phones may be running 100 different operating systems, but they all will be fully Android compatible — running Android at the core if you want to think of it that way. That means they can all run the same apps and access the same services, and if they use Google Play they are even more compatible with Android apps and services. While Google builds a custom version for their own phones, they also focus on making apps run better and do more of the things we usually think of as system features. Android is and always has been about apps and online services. It always will be.

You have two choices when it comes to Android version updates — phones direct from Google or waiting.

Enter Google Play Services. It's a horrible solution for keeping more versions of Android compatible with each other when it comes to running apps, but it's also the best solution. Google can not force any company to update a phone they built — Android is free to use, and as long as the phone met the standards required to run Google Play when it was built, it can run Google Play. Thinking Google can (or even wants to) yank permission to use their apps and store away from a manufacturer is silly. Stop thinking it. Instead, Google Play Services handles much of the behind-the-scenes stuff an app needs to run. Things like location services or security. Google can do whatever it takes to make Play Services compatible with most versions and update it independently from the operating system, and that's exactly what they do. When you see Play Services eating up your battery, that's because so many apps are using it.

Te reiterate — if your phone runs Lollipop and has the latest version of Play Services (and you would know if it doesn't because you changed it yourself) do you really need Nougat? Your phone still does all the things it was supposed to do and can run almost every app available. Most app-based security is handled by Play Services as well. Combined with the latest Security Patch for the core system itself, your phone is fine and you should be happy using it.

Is Android N important?

Yep. Android 7.0 Nougat is a major update, even if the user-facing features don't reflect it. Changes to the ways apps can run in the background, changes to the way updates are handled and changes to the overall security model are a major shift from what we have with Lollipop. Eventually, these changes will be required to run apps and use Google's services. Think of it as Android's Windows 7 moment — things look familiar, but everything you can't see has been improved.

I want Nougat. That's why I have a Nexus 6P. But I also know that any other phone on my desk that is current for its version of Android is still a fine phone and does what I need it to do. I'm fine waiting on Nougat for phones like my HTC 10 or my Galaxy S7 edge, as long as the monthly patches — the important updates — keep coming.

Android 7.0 Nougat

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1 day ago

Best OBD2 car readers for Android

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Best OBD2 car readers for Android

What's the best OBDII reader for Android? Here's a few to get you started!

Car repair can be costly (DUH) and that Check Engine light could mean myriad issues with your car. Or, it could be a simple fix that you could do yourself – so why take it to your dealer or mechanic without knowing the problem first? Some places will charge you $100 or more just for the scan.

Don't get swindled again. Get yourself your very own Bluetooth OBDII reader/scanner and figure out what's wrong with your car, right on your phone or tablet!

BAFX Products 34t5

BAFX Product 34t5

The BAFX Products 34t5 claims to work on all vehicles in the U.S. from 1996 or later, so chances are that if you're driving, this will work with your vehicle. All you need is a third-party app (which range from free to rather expensive paid apps), and you can connect the 34t5 to your Android phone or tablet to read out diagnostic information.

While reading out diagnostic codes, you can even clear them out at will, thus turning off your check engine light – even for manufacturer-specific codes!

Depending on the third-party app your choose, you can get real-time sensor information right on your phone, life speed, balance rates, RPM, O2 readings, and lots more.

If you feel the need for speed, this reader will even send you ⅛, ¼, ½, and 1 mile times.

Don't spend $100 just for someone to scan your car; spend about $22, read it yourself, and maybe you'll even be able to fix it on your own!

See at Amazon

Panlong Car Diagnostic scanner

Panlong

Panlong's small OBDII scanner is perfect for the do-it-yourselfer on a budget – you can find these on Amazon for around $13.

This reader will work on any car sold in the U.S. from 1996 or later – it just might not work with some hybrids. All you need is a third-party app, like Torque or DashCommand and you'll be able to read and clear trouble codes, while receiving real-time data readings – and you'll be able to turn off that damn Check Engine light!

If inexpensively is the way you like to maintain your vehicle (who doesn't?), then opt for the Veepeak Mini scanner.

See at Amazon

ScanTool OBDLink LX

OBDLink LX

The ScanTool OBDLink LX is a professional-grade OBDII reader that features its own app, which allows you to scan, read, and clear trouble codes in all cars sold in the U.S. since 1996 (except hybrid or electric vehicles).

All you have to do is plug it in, pair it with your phone, open the app, and you'll see real-time diagnostic data, as well as information about performance.

You can even use your Windows PC to access and compile your information without ever having to see a mechanic. Fix the stuff you can fix yourself and only take it in when absolutely necessary.

Being a professional tool, the OBDLink LX claims to service a wider range of vehicles, given more complex algorithms, and the Amazon reviews seem to agree.

It may be about $50, but if you love your car and worry that the cheaper readers might not actually do the trick, then check out the OBDLink LX. $50 is better than the $100 the dealers will charge you!

See at Amazon

iSaddle Super Mini

iSaddle

The iSaddle Super Mini supports all OBDII protocols and works on just about every car sold in the U.S. since 1996 (except hybrid and electric), allowing you to diagnose what ails your vehicle to help determine whether or not it really needs a trip to the shop.

For Android users, iSaddle works exclusively with the Torque app feeding you diagnostics and performance data via Bluetooth.

If you're unsure about the DYI approach to car repair, the iSaddle's only about $12, so you really have nothing to lose if you want to try it out yourself. If you can fix the problem yourself, go for it, but you still have the option of taking it to your dealer or mechanic if you're out of your element.

See at Amazon

What do you use?

Do you read your car or truck's trouble codes with another scanner that we didn't mention? Do you read your own codes or just take your car to the shop whenever the Check Engine light comes on?

Let us know in the comments below!

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1 day ago

Where to buy the Honor 8 in the UK

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Honor 8

A whole lot of phone for £369.

It's official: the Honor 8 is coming to the UK, with a £369.99 SIM-free price tag. It's launching first, unlocked and SIM-free, on Amazon, as well as Huawei's vMall platform, along with free bundled goodies.

As for other retailers and carriers, we've got the first details on UK availability down below. It's worth noting that for now, the only model available in the UK is the 32GB Honor 8, as opposed to the more expensive 64GB variant.

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1 day ago

Samsung launches 'Pink Gold' Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, exclusive to Best Buy in the U.S.

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You're sure to stand out if you go with this color.

Update: Samsung has confirmed that T-Mobile will not be a carrier option for the Pink Gold Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

Original story: Looking for a little bump in sales as the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge have been out for several months now, Samsung has partnered up with Best Buy in the U.S. to launch an exclusive new "Pink Gold" color option of the phones. The new color will be available for Verizon, Sprint and AT&T.

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1 day ago

Save $40 on this Chromebook that will soon run Android apps

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Amazon is currently offering the 11.6-inch ASUS C201 Chromebook for just $160, a savings of $40. The C201 is on the list of Chromebooks that will support Android apps when Google releases the update later this year. Featuring 4GB of RAM, 16GB SSD and a Rockchip 1.8 GHz processor to offer solid performance. Chromebooks are a great portable option for those who need something to browse the web, create documents, listen to streaming music and more.

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1 day ago

WhatsApp will start sharing your phone number with Facebook, but you can opt out

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Get ready to see more targeted ads on Facebook.

WhatsApp has announced that it will start sharing your phone number with Facebook, its parent company. The messaging service has updated its privacy policy to indicate the changes as well as other additions to the platform, such as WhatsApp Web, desktop clients, end-to-end encryption, and voice call service.

That doesn't mean that you'll start seeing ads on WhatsApp. The messaging service is sticking to its promise of never offering ads on its platform. The data will instead be leveraged to show you targeted ads on Facebook, offer better friend suggestions, and fight spam. And if you don't want the service to share your data with Facebook, you can opt out.

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1 day ago

How to set up your fingerprint on Galaxy Note 7

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How to set up your fingerprint on Galaxy Note 7

How can I use my fingerprint to unlock my Galaxy Note 7?

The Galaxy Note 7 features a lightning-quick fingerprint scanner which lets you unlock your device with just a touch of the Home key. If you decided not to add your fingerprints during the initial setup, you'll be happy to know it's easy to add a fingerprint — or two, or three.

How to add a fingerprint on your Galaxy Note 7

  1. Tap to open Settings from the home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap Lock screen and security.
  3. Tap Fingerprints.

    Launch **Settings** from the home screen or app drawer, tap Lock screen and security, tap Fingerprints.

  4. Unlock your phone with your unlock pattern or whatever method you've set up. This is a security check to make sure no one else is able to add their own fingerprint your phone.
  5. Next, you'll be prompted to place your finger on the home key, then lift it off.
  6. Keep placing your finger on the home key in different orientations until the meter reaches 100%. The more different parts of your fingerprint that your phone can scan, the quicker it will be to unlock your phone.

    Unlock your phone with your unlock pattern, next, you'll be prompted to place your finger on the home key, then lift it off. Keep placing your finger on the home key in different orientations until the meter reaches 100%.

  7. Tap Enable to allow your fingerprint to unlock your phone.
  8. Touch the Home key to confirm, or tap Close.
  9. Tap Add fingerprint if you want to enable another fingerprint to unlock your phone.

    Tap Enable to allow your fingerprint to unlock your phone, then Touch the Home key to confirm, or tap Close. Tap Add fingerprint if you want to enable another fingerprint to unlock your phone.

Adding additional fingerprints will let you unlock your phone regardless of which hand you're holding it in, or make it easier to unlock your phone if it's laying on a table.

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 day ago

Here's why you should buy the Galaxy Note 7 over the S7 edge in India

18

The Galaxy S7 edge recently received a significant price cut, but that doesn't mean you should discount the Note 7 altogether.

The Galaxy Note 7 is now up for pre-order in India. The phone will be available in store shelves from September 2 for ₹59,990 ($895), or ₹3,000 more than the launch price of the S7 edge. But the S7 edge has seen a price cut to ₹50,900 ($745), making it a much more alluring option.

For years now, Galaxy Note phones featured the best hardware that Samsung has to offer. The large screen and S Pen differentiated the Note lineup from the more mainstream Galaxy S phones, but this year Samsung is unifying its product lines. As such, we're looking at largely unchanged hardware from the S7 and S7 edge, and near-identical designs.

Samsung may not have the most spec-intensive phone in the Galaxy Note 7, but it offers several new features that make it worth your money.

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2 days ago

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 now official with Helio X20, 4100mAh battery, and MIUI 8 for just $135

44

The successor to Xiaomi's best-selling phone of the year is here.

Xiaomi has unveiled the Redmi Note 4, the first phone to offer MIUI 8 out of the box. The phone retains the 5.5-inch Full HD display as the Redmi Note 3, but we're now looking at a metal unibody design with chamfered edges and much-needed 2.5D glass at the front.

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2 days ago

Latest look at the LG V20 confirms secondary display ticker

122

What does the LG V20 look like? Kind of like a BlackBerry Z30.

We already know a fair bit about the LG V20, since the Korean company enjoys, in the run-up to its phone announcements, what we in the industry consider a "trollout." Based on LG's official word, it will be the first phone outside of Google's own Nexus line to run Android 7.0 Nougat. And thanks to a few choice leaks over the past few weeks, we suspect that it may have the same modular bones of the G5, which was unveiled earlier this year.

Now, thanks to prolific leaker, Evan Blass, we have a front view of the upcoming phone, which is set to be officially unveiled on September 6. While the headpiece bears a close resemblance to that of the BlackBerry Z30, the phone appears to retain its secondary display, which arrived on the V10 to a mixed response.

Our own Phil Nickinson noted in his V10 review that "the Second Screen is nicely implemented, but [he] just didn't find it all that useful." Not a great endorsement, and one largely shared throughout the industry.

On the software side, the render — together with what Google teased of the V20 with the Nougat launch — all but confirms that LG will ship the V20 with an overlay largely identical to its Marshmallow-based G5 skin, which eschews the traditional app drawer in favor of a horizontal pane. Of course, like that phone, the V20 will probably have an option to enable the app drawer. You know, for the purists.

Finally, get already knew that the V20 would have the world's first 32-bit Quad DAC, but this week LG also shared that the V20 will "feature best-in-class audio functions developed in partnership with B&O PLAY." You'll recall that one of the "Friends" meant to ship with the G5 earlier this year was a B&O-powered plug-in DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) that promised to give the modular phone a superior sound experience through headphones. While LG didn't hint that a similar module would be arriving with the V20, it did note:

LG and B&O PLAY worked closely together to bring the best sound to users by optimizing the audio capabilities of the V20 smartphone. Acoustic engineers collaborated to achieve B&O PLAY's philosophy of delivering a natural and balanced sound in a portable package. To enhance the total experience, the V20 set will include a special pair of B&O PLAY earphones and a set of wallpapers designed for the V20 which includes the official logo of B&O PLAY, as a certification of B&O PLAY premium audio.

We'll know lots more about the V20 when it debuts on September 6. In the meantime, let us know what you think of how the V20 is shaping up!

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2 days ago

HTC reverses course, starts displaying Android Security Patch date on HTC 10

23

Making sure your HTC 10 is up to date is now a little easier.

We were admittedly disappointed when we noticed that the HTC 10 was missing the line in the settings to let you know which Android Security Patch was installed. It didn't make the phone any different, and the good things about the 10 were still the same good things (and likewise with the not-so-good) but it just feels like that's one of the things we all should be able to see and check. Having the patch date displayed didn't make anything better, but it did let us know when the last update was and if we needed a new one.

HTC has changed that policy, and you can see when your HTC 10 was last updated with the latest patch.

While it's tempting to get silly and make light of this, we shouldn't. Whether or not you take the security of your private data seriously enough to make sure you have the latest patches for your phone, we do. It's our job to care. There are other easy ways we can check when the phone was last updated, but having it displayed with the rest of the software information makes it easy for the average user. Google designed it this way — they want you to be able to tell if you have the latest security "fixes" they provide. Hiding that means most people weren't likely to know.

We're not sure why HTC originally decided to not display the patch date, but it's no longer an issue, at least on the 10. Thanks for that, HTC. Little things mean a lot.

HTC 10

HTC Best Buy Verizon Sprint

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2 days ago

Your Nexus phone will soon automatically connect to open Wi-Fi networks

59

Google's Nexus phones get yet another great exclusive value-added feature.

Google's awesome Wi-Fi Assistant, which was previously available only to Project Fi phones, will be opening up to all Nexus phones in the coming weeks. The feature lets your Nexus — with your permission — connect to all open Wi-Fi networks that it finds, offloading data usage that would otherwise end up costing you on a limited mobile data plan.

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2 days ago

HTC 10 review: The best Android phone you're not buying

137

The HTC 10 is a stellar smartphone from the company that brought you the aluminum unibody. Unfortunately, it's not quite the Perfect Ten its name implies – a reality reinforced by T-Mobile's decision to drop the phone from store shelves amid rumors of sluggish sales.

Still, it's hard to escape the conclusion that the HTC 10's shortcomings would be totally forgivable ones ... if only the price were a little lower. The HTC 10 has been on the market for months, MrMobile has used it for much of that time, and you wouldn't stop asking for a review in the comments – so settle in for Michael Fisher's HTC 10 review to learn why it's the best Android phone you're not buying!

Go forth and be social!

HTC 10

HTC Best Buy Verizon Sprint

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