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2 weeks ago

Australian airlines ban Galaxy Note 7 use as FAA considers options

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Galaxy Note 7

Note 7 may not be used or charged onboard Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia flights following battery fires.

The latest development in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall saga: Three Australian airlines have banned the use of Note 7 handsets onboard their aircraft, citing safety concerns after at least 35 devices suffered battery fires or explosions. Meanwhile the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority says it's considering its options.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung giving free Gear VR to Note 7 customers in India following global recall

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Customers that have pre-ordered the Galaxy Note 7 in India will have to wait to get their hands on the phone.

Samsung was yet to commence deliveries of the Note 7 in India when the company issued a global recall of the phone over battery cell issues. The South Korean manufacturer has now clarified in a statement that all customers that have pre-ordered the device will receive a Gear VR for free as well as a ₹3,500 ($50) content voucher redeemable on the Oculus store.

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2 weeks ago

PlayStation 4 Pro already available to pre-order!

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Pre-order your PlayStation 4 Pro.

Sony's PlayStation Meeting in NYC today turned out to be a lot more exciting than a lot of folks initially suspected. On top of a new, slim PlayStation 4 we got a ton of details surrounding the PlayStation 4 Pro. It's going to be great for those interested in 4K and HDR gaming, and PlayStation VR gamers will find an even better experience inside the headset. As first impressions go, PS4 Pro looks to be well worth the $399 asking price.

Best of all, it's available to pre-order now! Amazon currently has delivery listed at December 29th, 2017, but since there's also no image for the listing at the time of this writing it's pretty clear the order page hasn't been fully realized just yet. Sony is planning to make PS4 Pro available on November 10th, and if history is any indicator Amazon will ship to ensure these matte black consoles arrive on that day.

See on Amazon

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2 weeks ago

SanDisk's 200GB card is back to its lowest price for today only!

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Amazon's Deal of the Day can once again score you SanDisk's 200GB microSD card for just $60, a savings of $20 from its regular price. We've seen a number of deals over the past few months on this card, with this being the lowest price that the card has hit. Whether you need some additional storage for your phone, tablet, camera or other electronic devices, you won't want to miss out on this deal.

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2 weeks ago

The PlayStation 4 Pro is official!

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The 'Neo' is real and it has a name. Say hello to PlayStation 4 Pro.

The much rumored, now official, beefed up PlayStation 4 is now official; The PlayStation 4 Pro is inbound! Alongside the new, heavily leaked PS4 Slim, Sony made the announcement at its New York City event while unveiling the first true details on the console.

And naturally, PlayStation VR will be right there with it.

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2 weeks ago

Android Pay's biggest expansion yet adds Chase, kicks off mobile web purchases

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Google is determined to not let Android Pay whither on the vine.

Confident in keeping its expansion going, Google has announced several important updates to the Android Pay experience this week. At the root of it all is adding more banks, with Chase now on board in the U.S. for its most popular cards (Freedom, Slate, Sapphire, etc.), and both Santander and TSB coming on board in the UK. Dozens of banks are now supported, from the big names down to small credit unions.

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3 weeks ago

LG V20 Hands-On: The phone for the A/V geek

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LG hasn't had the best year when it comes to smartphones, but the LG V20 has a few tricks under its unassuming outer shell. At IFA 2016 in Berlin, the company gave me a quick peek at the successor to last year's LG V10... and if you're the kind of kid who hung out in the A/V studio in high school, you're gonna love it.

From high-decibel microphones to high-resolution cameras, the LG V20 comes packing — but does it bring enough heat to overcome the wet blanket that was the LG G5? Find out in MrMobile's LG V20 hands-on!

Go forth and be social!

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3 weeks ago

BlackBerry DTEK50 review: The phone with no name

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The DTEK50 finds BlackBerry at its most versatile — because it has nothing to lose.

Quick take

The BlackBerry DTEK50 is a solid entry-level Android phone that puts security front and center without overshadowing the core Android experience. What it lacks in power it makes up for in a vibrant set of BlackBerry-branded apps that enhance and almost singlehandedly justify its purchase to the average consumer.

What's a BlackBerry with no keyboard, designed and built by another company, running Android? It's the DTEK50, a $299 phone that makes the argument for keeping the Waterloo company's handset division open by offloading as much as possible the work of actually making a phone.

The Priv this isn't. That phone, for all its quirks, is still one of our favourite Android phones, and proves that, in 2016, there's still a place in the market for a hardware keyboard. The DTEK50 is... well, I'm not quite sure. After using it for a couple of weeks, I know enough to say it is a solid phone that, despite its security focus, may be a bit expensive for a budget user, and too slow for a power user. But that doesn't take away from its promise, nor my recommendation.

Width Height Thickness 5.79 in
147mm
2.85 in
72.5mm
0.29 in
7.4mm
  • Display:
    • 5.2-Inch FHD display
    • 1920x1080 (424ppi)
  • Camera:
    • 13MP rear camera
    • ƒ/2.0, Phase Detect Auto Focus, Dual-LED flash
    • 1080p 60fps video
    • 8MP ƒ/2.2 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 2610mAh fixed battery
    • Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 617 Octa-Core 64-bit processor
    • Adreno 405 GPU
    • 3GB RAM
    • 16GB internal storage
    • microSD expansion
  • Software:
    • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • Keyboard:
    • On-screen BlackBerry keyboard
    • Contextual auto-correct, word prediction, and learning engine
    • Touch-sensitive gesture control
*/

BlackBerry DTEK50 Hardware

Over the month I've spent with BlackBerry's latest smartphone I've vacillated between hearty recommendation and near despair for the company that almost singlehandedly began my adventures in smartphone journalism. When I upgraded from an LG Shine to a BlackBerry Pearl in the heady days of early 2008 I recognized in the company an overly confident tech giant operating at its peak, one that commanded the attention of consumers and professionals alike in a way that no company has been able to do since. (That the industry has ballooned to 10 times its size since then is the primary cause for that irretrievable status quo.)

The BlackBerry of today is not that company. First, it is not a hardware company, and builds handsets only to further its software business. Second, it is run by people who understand that the consumer market is no longer friendly to newcomers, especially those commanding high prices.

And yet it is my mandate to review this handset from the perspective of a consumer hardware enthusiast, an inauspicious job that will leave people inevitably disappointed with my ambivalence.

At its core, the DTEK50 is, as many others have stated, a repurposed Alcatel Idol 4, built by the relatively unknown but masterful white label pros at TCL. But it is also a capitulation, BlackBerry's first truly mercurial smartphone; it can and will be anything you or your company wants it to be. Even unassuming products like the Leap, by virtue of running BlackBerry 10, called attention to itself. And the Priv, with its imperious frame and almost decadent keyboard, attempted to justify its existence with gleeful nods to the company's past successes.

The DTEK50 is as much a clean slate as the company has ever been awarded. Buoyed by the warm reception of its app suite's transition to Android, BlackBerry is positioning its latest phone as the cheap phone that does the fewest things badly. And to that end, it is wholly successful.

The first thing you'll notice is that this thing is light. It is so light, in fact, that it often got forgotten in my pocket until the damn thing buzzed like BlackBerrys are wont to do. It's also thin, at 7.4mm, and compact for a 5.2-inch phone. These are all good things. Despite the odd placement of its power button, on the top left of the plastic frame, I grew to appreciate its usability over the month I spent with it.

You may have heard about the phone's Convenience key, a button on the right side you'd be forgiven for thinking was its power toggle, and that it opens any app of your choosing. Yes, it's convenient. Yes, I, in my addition to my job, made it a Slack button. You're welcome.

But other than that there isn't much to say about this phone's hardware. The backing takes a turn from its Idol forebear with a soft, rubberized grip that reminds me of a soft-bristle toothbrush — in a good way. I also find it amusing that even as BlackBerry slowly retreats from hardware it continues to spend time crafting rear covers that at once impress and confound.

The DTEK50 is as much a clean slate as the company has ever been awarded.

I feel like I should reiterate, for the first of likely a few times, that I like this phone. It's become a well-worn Canadian refrain to feel the need to reinforce this fact, lest I be accused of an innate bias against my country's former tech darling. (At this point, it should be safe to bring up the fact that BlackBerry's internal structure these days is as Canadian as Tim Horton's and The Hudson's Bay Company.)

What about using the phone? Well, the screen has ample sharpness and gets bright enough in most use cases, except for under Waterloo's imposing summer sunshine, where it seems to fall short. And its battery life, given the power-sipping nature of the Snapdragon 617 chip, is sufficient to last an entire day of emails and BBM (bless the continued existence of that red LED, the North Star of smartphone addiction).

But — getting serious for a moment — it is that Snapdragon chip that is this phone's biggest source of disappointment. BlackBerry is good at eking out its best nature, but a Sisyphean battle this is — for anyone using this chip. We've seen considerably better results from the newer, more power-efficient Snapdragon 625 in devices like the Moto Z Play, and though its presence likely would have pushed the cost to $349, the tradeoff would have been worth it.

That's not to say the DTEK50 (that name!) disappoints like the 2015 Blue Jays' playoff performance against the Royals, but it does manage to hit a few too many foul balls (just to burn that metaphor right into the ground). Even the ample 3GB of RAM cannot save it.

One area in which the phone does excel is in call quality. Like all BlackBerry devices, the tuning here is superb (though the company's Paratek IP appears to be missing from the spec sheet) and I thoroughly enjoyed the call-making experience. That counts for something these days, doesn't it? (Doesn't it?)

Finally, the camera. BlackBerry has fashioned a pretty great camera app, all things considered, and the DTEK50 inherits the Idol 4's consummate imaging chops. The Galaxy S7 this isn't, but it's almost the next best thing: a $299 phone that can take the kinds of colorful, sharp, well-exposed photos you'd expect from a $499 a year ago, or a $699 phone two years ago.

BlackBerry DTEK50 Software

If you spent any time at all with the Priv, you know what you're getting here: an Android 6.0.1 experience that largely resembles what you'd get on a Nexus device — if Google decided to replace all of its own apps with ones designed by HTC. That's a compliment, by the way.

BlackBerry has somehow, in just under a year, managed to fashion a suite of Android apps that people will actually be happy using, from the everything-in-one-place consolidation of the Hub to calendar and note-taking apps I actively seek out when I use other phones. (That you can now actually download many of those apps at once undermines and reinforces the attractiveness of using a device like the DTEK50. Weird, right?)

So if you can recreate those experiences on other phones, what's the big selling feature here? It's in the phone's very name: DTEK. BlackBerry's masterful combination of hardware and software security has, since the day it announced the Priv, been at once its linchpin and curse. Google can't come outright and say that BlackBerry's hardware is more secure than its own, nor can Samsung, a vibrant BlackBerry partner in the enterprise, suggest someone buy a DTEK50 over a Grand Prime.

BlackBerry has somehow, in just over a year, managed to fashion a suite of Android apps that people will actually be happy using.

And while the company's critics claim that processes like kernel hardening and hardware root of trust are merely gloss on top of a fortress, Android has been subject to disruptive and potentially dangerous vulnerabilities that, whether due to foresight or oversight, BlackBerry has jumped in front of. One can make the claim that it is better in that scenario to be safe than sorry, and along with the Priv the DTEK50 is that safety blanket.

To the average consumer merely looking for a good cheap smartphone, the promise of a "hardened kernel," among other flashy rhetoric, may be enough to move them in the direction of the DTEK50 — or at least that's BlackBerry's hope. In lieu of that, the company has its software business to increasingly fall back on, though at this point it is less of a cushion than a bed of blunt nails.

BlackBerry DTEK50 Bottom line

No, this isn't the definitive review of the DTEK50. For that, check out CrackBerry's far more thorough, far less evasive attempt to figure out this phone. I am just happy to have come out of this experience with a renewed appreciation for BlackBerry's stubborn perseverance.

The DTEK50 isn't a great phone, but it's not a bad one, either. Despite my ambivalence I recommend you at least seek one out, if only to disavow yourself of the idea that BlackBerry circa 2016 in any way resembles the hardware giant you have been defending or raging against for the past seven years. Under John Chen's reign, success looks very different — it looks like a phone designed and built by another company, utterly unremarkable and free of affect.

And its best chance at success in some time.

See at BlackBerry

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3 weeks ago

Save $70 on the ASUS OnHub router for a limited time!

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Amazon is offering a $70 savings on the ASUS OnHub router for a limited time, bringing the price down to just $130. If you've been eyeing this router, you won't want to wait long to place your order since this deal is only good for today, September 7.

Using the Google On app, you can easily set this router up right from your phone, and its high-performance internal antennas will make sure that you have a wide range of wireless coverage in all directions. The firmware will automatically update, keeping your router up to date and as secure as possible at all times.

Whether you need a new router or have been looking to try something different, you won't want to miss this deal. At just $130 this router packs quite a value, so you won't want to pass up these $70 worth of savings.

See at Amazon

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3 weeks ago

Where to buy the LG V20 in the U.S.

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Where to buy the LG V20 in the U.S.

The LG V20 is coming to carriers in the U.S. — here are all the details.

After seeing the V10 come to AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile in the U.S. last year, LG has worked with more carriers this time around with the V20. At the same time, it added B&H and Best Buy to the list of retailers that will be selling the phone as well. Together with the design and features of the V20 that are more widely appealing, it's important that the phone is also more widely available.

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3 weeks ago

How to exchange your recalled Galaxy Note 7 in Canada

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Following the global Note 7 recall that started last week, Canadians now have an official route from Samsung to replace their phone.

If you have a Galaxy Note 7 in your possession, you'll want to get it exchanged for a new unit. Regardless of whether you purchased the phone through your carrier or another retailer, Samsung Canada has made it clear how you'll be able to swap it out with a brand new unit free of charge.

Paul Brannen, Executive Vice President, Mobile Solutions, Samsung Electronics Canada said:

"Samsung holds safety and consumer satisfaction as a top priority. While there have been no confirmed incidents in Canada, Samsung is taking a proactive approach to address customer needs around the Note7 and immediately addressing any consumer concerns."

In Canada, customers will have the option of exchanging their recalled Galaxy Note 7 it for a new Note 7, or instead opting for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge through the carrier or retail outlet where they purchased their device. You can register your Galaxy Note 7 here for the recall right now.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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3 weeks ago

Company to announce new telephones

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iPhone 7 event

Incredible, amazing, magical, groundbreaking, our best yet, and we think you're going to love it.

Hold onto your butts: It's time for another iPhone launch event.

The iPhone 7 (and 7 Plus) will be the tenth major refresh of Apple's smartphone, and if the rumors are to be believed, the third generation to use the same basic design as the iPhone 6. But there's still plenty of new things to get excited about. Stuff like:

As well as things Android phones have been doing for years, there'll be room for some surprises: Hitherto unknown software features, a new Apple Watch, colorful shirts and great hair — and probably the odd jab at exploding batteries.

Our pals at iMore will have all the live coverage you need in the run-up to the arrival of the feverishly anticipated telephone — so that's your destination for (non-sarcastic) commentary from the top Apple experts out there. The excitement begins at 10 a.m. Pacific time — that's 1 p.m. on the East coast.

You can also bet your favorite AC editors will have insightful snarktweets to offer throughout the entire presentation. The best tweets you've ever seen. They'll be big, bold, game-changing and industry-leading.

And we think you're going to love them.

Check out real, actual iPhone 7 coverage at iMore

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3 weeks ago

Best replacement watch bands for Samsung Gear S3

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Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic

What are the best third-party watch bands for Samsung Gear S3?

The Samsung Gear S3 was just recently announced, but its official release won't be until later this year in 2016.

Thankfully, if you're like us, you're probably already pretty excited for the new smartwatch, and are eager to customize the new gadget with some sleek and stylish, functional watch bands. The Gear S3 supports standard 22mm watch bands, making it really easy to upgrade with something new.

Here are a few of the best third-party watch bands to consider once you pick up your brand new Samsung Gear S3!

Rerii leather band

Rerii leather band

There's nothing more simple and stylish than a classic leather watch band, and Rerii nails it with their affordable 22mm leather band that the Samsung Gear S3!

Made from a high quality and sturdy yet lightweight and soft leather, the Rerii watch band comes with an easy-to-buckle stainless steel clasp, making it the perfect day-to-day band. Unlike some other watch straps, the Rerii's design is super simple and void of all logos, so it's perfect for people who want a classic-looking smartwatch accessory.

The Rerii leather band also comes in a number of vibrant, eye-catching colors, like black, brown, coffee, black with white stitching, brown with white stitching, or coffee with white stitching.

See at Amazon

TRUMiRR Milanese stainless steel band

TRUMiRR Milanese stainless steel band

The Milanese look has been a staple with traditional watch designs for decades, so incorporating the TRUMiRR Milanese stainless steel band might be the perfect fit if that's the particular style you're after.

This 22mm watch band is designed with a mesh, woven, stainless steel wire, and is adjustable for a variety of wrist sizes, so you never have to be uncomfortable while sporting your Samsung Gear S3.

To attach and detach your watch band, all you need to do is release a small spring bar, minimizing annoying tools. The TRUMiRR may not come in a ton of colors, but it does come in a shiny silver or a clean, classic black design.

See at Amazon

Barton silicone band

Barton silicone band

After garnishing its fair share of positive reviews online (nearly 522 five-star reviews, to be exact!) and coupled with an easy-release design, vibrant colors, comfortable feel, and much more, the Barton silicone band is a great option to check out while you're customizing your Samsung Gear S3.

The Barton silicone watch band is designed with a textured back, making the slipping and sliding of most smooth silicone bands a thing of the past. The silicone design also makes it a great tool for working out, as you can easily remove and wash it if it starts to look dirty or stink. To change your watch band, simply turn the band over and flip the switch – no tools are required!

You can pick your Barton band from a number of vibrant colors, including black, white, turquoise, forest green, brown, gray, burgundy, yellow, navy blue, orange, peach, dark gray, and baby blue.

See at Amazon

Ritche stainless steel watch band

Ritche stainless steel watch band

The Ritche 22mm stainless steel watch band is an affordable, high quality strap that keeps your Samsung Gear S3 looking classic and clean without any clutter or useless accents of other watch bands.

Unlike some other straps, the Ritche cannot be adjusted to fit individual wrists with a simple tightening system; rather, users will have to remove the links near the band's clasps in order to make the stainless steel Samsung Gear S3 accessory smaller.

To remove the Ritche, you will have to use a small tool which comes with the band. The Ritche only comes in one color, silver, but if you're looking for a watch with a similar style in a different color, then we suggest taking a peek at the Vetoo.

See at Amazon

ArtStyle nylon strap

ArtStyle nylon strap

Keep things simple, fun, and functional with the ArtStyle watch band made from a sturdy nylon material and a durable metal buckle!

The ArtStyle nylon strap is easily adjustable and is hypoallergenic, making it the perfect band to wear if you have sensitive skin. The material is also breathable and waterproof on top of being extremely comfortable to wear day-to-day.

On top of the ArtStyle's practical design, the watch strap comes in a ton of different, bright colors, including red, blue/yellow, black, black/gray, navy blue, gray, khaki, orange, army green, black/blue, black/green/red, black/gray/blue, black/gray/orange, black/gray/green, black/red.

See at Amazon

What's your pick?

Is there a third-party watch band that you think would be perfect for the Samsung Gear S3? Let us know in the comments below and we'll be sure to check it out!

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3 weeks ago

Amazon is offering the Moto G4 Play with ads for just $100

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Amazon recently announced that it would be offering discounts on select phones to load them with lock screen ads, and the Moto G4 Play is the latest addition to that collection.

If you don't mind seeing some ads, you can pick up one of Motorola's latest phones for just $99, which is a $50 savings. Featuring a 5-inch display, the Moto G4 Play has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage with the ability to add a microSD card if you need more. The unlocked phone is compatible with all four major U.S. carriers, so you can simply pop your existing SIM card in it and get started.

Right now you can pre-order the phone, and it will be officially available starting September 15. If you don't want the ads, you can always pay the full $150 price tag. Otherwise, save some money and deal with the occasional ad by picking yours up for just $100. Will you be ordering one as a backup or to use daily? Let us know in the comments!

See at Amazon

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3 weeks ago

Xiaomi may launch the 4K Mi Box in the U.S. in October

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Xiaomi's global VP Hugo Barra revealed that the company will make its way to the U.S. market in the near future, but it's going to be a while before we see the brand's stellar phones. That said, Xiaomi is all set to launch the Mi Box, a set-top box running Android TV that supports 4K playback. According to TechCrunch, the Mi Box will make its debut in October for under $100.

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