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1 week ago

Here's which UK banks support Android Pay

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Android Pay finally hits the UK, and here's the banks that support it.

Besides having a phone to use it on, the biggest caveat to using Android Pay now that it's live in the UK is that your bank actually supports it. There's a healthy list of major financial houses that are on board for launch, but there are some notable absentees.

So, here's which ones currently support it. As more come online you can be sure we'll let you know as soon as we do.

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1 week ago

LG G5 UK review: Different to a fault

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LG G5

Modular distractions aside, LG's latest phone gets a lot of things right. But this is a handset which often chooses 'different' over 'better.'

The quick take

The LG G5 is tailor-made to stand out in an increasingly homogenous smartphone world. The wacky modular design, removable battery and impressive dual camera setup are things only LG is doing right now. Aside from that all that, it's also a solid high-end phone across the board, with the cameras standing out as a major highlight. But the G5 focuses so much on being unique that it differentiates at the expense of quality in some areas.

The Good

  • Lightning-fast performance
  • Phenomenal cameras
  • Removable battery + storage
  • Quick Charge 3.0 support

The Bad

  • Inconsistent daylight visibility
  • LG still lags behind on software design
  • Whatever LG wants to call this finish, it still feels like plastic

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1 week ago

Nekteck's 16800mAh jump start battery pack is $20 off at Amazon with coupon

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Nekteck is currently offering $20 off its 16800mAh jump start power pack at Amazon with coupon code DU8TUNFS, dropping the price to just $50. This will not only get your car started but also charge your tablet or phone should you find yourself low on power and in need of some. Thanks to its 600 amps of power output, you should be able to get your dead car battery started around 15 times, allowing you to get back on the road quickly.

Additionally, it has a built-in LED flashlight in case you find yourself stranded at night and need to see what is around. This makes a great addition to any car. You wouldn't want your loved ones stranded because they don't have one, right? Remember, you'll need coupon code DU8TUNFS for the savings.

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

Flipkart's 'Mobiles Mania' serves up discounts on Moto X Style, Play, and more

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Hot on the heels of the launch of the Moto G4 Plus in the country, the Moto X Style and Moto X Play are receiving a discount. Flipkart is selling the 16GB Moto X Style for ₹20,999, and the X Play is down to ₹17,499.

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1 week ago

We're finally about to get the Nokia Android phone we've always wanted

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Nokia is getting back into the world of phones and tablets. The Finnish vendor has licensed its name and IP to HMD, a newly-minted entity tasked with creating a portfolio of devices running Android that carry Nokia's iconic name. HMD and Nokia have also partnered with FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn that just acquired Microsoft's feature phone business for $350 million, including manufacturing, sales and distribution.

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1 week ago

Android Pay brings contactless payments to smartphones in the UK

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The UK is the second market Google has launched Android Pay in, with the app being updated to facilitate transactions on the mainland. Should you be with a supported bank, you'll now be able to attach and use a card on your phone. All you need to do is setup Android Pay with a Google Account, add compatible Visa and Mastercard cards and you're good to go.

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1 week ago

In pictures: The Moto G4 Plus

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Want to see the Moto G4 Plus in all its glory? We have you covered.

The Moto G4 and G4 Plus are now available in India, and will be making their way to Western markets shortly. The phones received a sizeable upgrade from last year's Moto G 2015, with the most noticeable change being the 5.5-inch Full HD display. There's also a fingerprint sensor at the front on the G4 Plus, along with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage.

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1 week ago

Yahoo launches open beta program for its Mail app on Android

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If Yahoo Mail is your email app of choice on Android, take note: you can now test out upcoming features with the newly launched open beta.

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1 week ago

Sony Xperia XA Ultra hands-on

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Xperia XA Ultra

Six inches of Sony, and MediaTek — along with some serious camera action — could be the start of another big thing for the Japanese manufacturer's reboot of the Xperia line.

After unveiling the next chapter of its mobile story at Mobile World Congress in the form of the Xperia X series, Sony has today added another member to its Xperia family. The Xperia XA Ultra takes the basis of the XA and upscales it to an enormous 6-inch form factor.

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1 week ago

Best leather cases for the Galaxy S7

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Galaxy S7

The Galaxy S7 is a sophisticated phone. It demands a sophisticated case.

Many cases that are meant purely for protection aren't necessarily the prettiest. Leather cases are a great and durable way to protect your Galaxy S7 while maintaining a sense of upscale style and really making your phone stand out.

We've rounded up the best (and sexiest) leather cases we could find, just for you.

Piel Frama FramaSlim

Piel Frama FramaSlim

Piel Frama's line of FramaSlim leather cases for the Galaxy S7 are the epitome of haute couture. The height of fashion also means top price, with these cases starting at 60€ (around $70 US).

That being said, you get what you pay for, which is one of five types of handcrafted genuine leather cases made in Spain. You have your choice of cowskin, cowskin-crocodile, iForte Style (a more rugged cowskin), lizard, and stingray. These are all blends of calfskin and other material that add a truly personal touch to your S7. "Oh, your case is from Best Buy? Mine was hand-made by an old man in rural Spain."

Piel Frama has been making leather cases for cell phones since 1984, so if anyone knows how to craft a case that fits your phone perfectly, offering a bit of protection and maximum style, it's Frama. Form meets function, in that there is no need to open your case when you want to talk, so that you don't have the cover awkwardly flapping away.

Something to note is that your phone doesn't actually sit in these cases, rather it sits on them via an adhesive pad. This pad, however, has deep "craters" in it so that no residue is left on your S7.

See at Piel Frama

Leather wallet case by Sarac Leather

Sarac Leather

We mined Etsy for leather cases because some of the finest craftspeople in the world sell their good there. This leather wallet case by Sarac Leather is a gorgeous and stylish cover that offers your S7 some solid protection, while accenting it with personal style.

Hand-made of genuine leather, this unit comes in either brown or purple suede and has two slots on the inside for debit or credit cards. The cover also flips back and folds to provide a handy stand for hands-free video watching or calling.

Since these are hand-made items, no two are alike, so if you want a case that's truly unique to you and your S7, then consider Sarac Leather's offer.

See at Etsy

Leather wallet case by Jinapple

Jinapple

Jinapple's handmade leather case for your GS7 is one of rustic beauty and somewhat rugged protection. It's made of the type of leather that you're not worried about scuffing up, since that would just add to its appeal.

The leather comes in a few different shades of brown and then you have your choice of brown for the thread. You can make everything uniform or your can make the thread pop by choosing a dark leather and light thread. There are many combinations, meaning your case will truly be yours. For an extra five bucks you can even have your initials etched into it.

There are three slots for cards on the inside and a larger cash slot that can fit cash. The thin leather won't add a ton of bulk to your S7 and you won't be able to fill it with credit cards so no worry of bulk there either.

If you want a splash of rugged style and like the feel of leather but don't want a case that you have to preen over and worry about scratching, then give Jinapple's offer a look.

See at Etsy

Leather wallet case by Istanbul Leather Shop

Istanbul Leather Shop

This is the type of leather case that you'd associate with a glass of 12 year old scotch and a deep leather chair, with a roaring fire next to it and a portrait of Ron Swanson on the mantle – refined.

This elegantly designed case has three slots inside for credit and debit cards, with a little more room that some of the other cases in this roundup. So, the front cover is a little bulkier, but it'll still fit comfortably in your pocket.

There are speaker holes on the front so that you can talk with the cover closed. You can also fold the cover back to create a stand for hands-free video watching.

There is only one choice for color, but it's a deep and rich brown that will suit any Galaxy S7 color.

See at Etsy

Leather wallet pouch by Benittorre

Benittorre

This case is a little different from the others in this roundup in that it's a pouch rather than a folio. Your S7 easily slide in and out of this handsomely crafted pouch without being scratched up, since the inside is made of soft microfiber. Heck, it might even clean your screen as you slide it out.

The front pocket is only really designed to fit one card, but you might sneak two in if you don't mind a bit of stretch. You have the choice of a bare case, one with the Benittorre logo, or a monogrammed case, which makes this one an excellent and personalizable gift idea for someone special.

This is the best-reviewed case in our roundup, so Benittorre is clearly doing something right. If you're looking for a case that easily flips open and stands when you want to watch videos, this isn't for you. However, if you're wanting more of a sheath to protect your S7 while it's in your pocket or purse, then this pouch is beautifully ideal.

See at Etsy

Samsung leather cover

Samsung leather cover

It's not available yet, but Samsung's leather cover for the Galaxy S7 looks to be a new take on the leather phone case. Looking more like a textured bumper case, it looks like Samsung is joining form with function in a sophisticated-looking package.

See at Samsung


If leather cases just aren't doing it for you, check out our roundup of the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S7.


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1 week ago

'Google Home' may be the name of Google's bid to take on Amazon Echo

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Google has been reported to be working a competitor of sorts to the Amazon Echo, and now that device may have a name: Google Home.

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1 week ago

Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S7

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Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S7

Spigen Rugged Armor is a flexible, one-piece case designed for sleek protection.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is beautifully designed, but the edge-to-edge screen and glass on the back need to be protected. Spigen's Rugged Armor case provides adequate protection while maintaining a low-profile and avoiding too much added bulk.

We'll provide a hands-on review of the case's look and feel in your hand, the patented features Spigen built into the case, as well as the overall design and build so you can make an informed decision.

Style

Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S7

Spigen did everything they could to keep the Rugged Armor slim and flexible, while maximizing its durability and resilience. Carbon fiber accents along both the top and bottom of the case look great, while providing much-needed texture when the phone is in your hand.

Made with industry-standard TPU materials, this one-piece case is flexible with precise cutouts that accommodate even third-party cables. The raised buttons are easy to find without looking and are responsive and reliable. All things considered, style-wise, this case provides a good layer of protection for your phone, while keeping the slim profile intact.

Features

Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S7

The Spigen Rugged Armor cases are are certified military grade, having been drop-tested by a third-party. They feature Spigen's patented Air Cushion Technology, meaning if your phone falls and it lands on its corner — typically the worst case scenario for the S7 — the case provides a buffer to prevent the phone from taking the brunt of the impact.

On the inside of the case, you'll see a web of cut-in lines.They offer added impact absorption that disperses the initial shock throughout the entire case.

Design

Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S7

The flexible one-piece design makes it easy to put on, but creates a potential issue along the bottom edge. We've found the phone can too-easily slip out from the bottom of the case with little required force, which makes us question how much protection would be provided if the phone falls screen-down, corner first — a nightmare scenario when you really need your case to do its job.

Despite that potential design flaw, the Rugged Armor otherwise has all the features you'd want in a case in this class, including raised bezels to provide a gap between your screen or camera when you put your phone down. And, with a thickness of around 2 millimeters, there's not too much added bulk to deal with.

The bottom line

Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S7

If you find two-piece cases too cumbersome to put on and take off, then the Rugged Armor case should provide the flexibility and protection you desire.

However, if overall protection is what you're after, we'd have to recommend the Spigen Tough Armor case over the Rugged Armor, simply due to the added protection from the polycarbonate backing and the rigidness around the bottom screen bezel.

See at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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1 week ago

Nest thermostat now plays nicely with Belkin's WeMo switches

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If you happen to own a Nest and some of Belkin's WeMo switches, you'll be delighted to know the two now play nicely together.

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1 week ago

Best universal car mounts

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Best universal car mounts

Keep your phone safely in sight and secure with a car mount.

When you're on the go, your phone is more than just a tool for keeping in touch. It's your road trip playlist and your GPS, too. For safety's sake, mounting your phone to your dashboard, windshield, or air vents is the best way to keep it in view while keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. We've gathered up a list of some excellent options for universal car mounts, and trust us, there's no shortage of choices out there.

iDoo Qi Car Charger Mount

iDoo Qi car charger mount

The car mount from iDoo is one fantastic multi-tasker. It offers wireless charging for your Qi-enabled phone, or space for a charging cable if you need to plug in.

You have three installation options: dashboard mount, air vent clips, or windshield mount. Take the time to experiment a little with the best sightlines for your phone when you're ready to get set up so you'll know which variation works for you. The cradle arm is completely adjustable, so you can avoid glare, and the frame rotates 360 degrees. No matter where you put it, the mount will be an essential part of your commute.

See at Amazon

Affordable Universal Car Mount

Affordable universal car mount

This offering from Affordable is as minimalist as they come, and you know what that means: no obstructed view. It's ideal for dashboard or windshield installation.

It's simple to install and remove when you're switching vehicles. Bonus points are also awarded to this mount for living up to the name Affordable. It's also been favorably reviewed for some time now; it won't drop your phone when you're travelling bumpy roads, and potholes won't shake it's grip.

See at Amazon

Koomus CD-Eco Car Mount

Koomus CD dash mount

Remember when you kept stacks of CDs in the backseat so that you'd always have your favorite tunes close by? Well, your phone takes care of the songs these days, but your CD player can still be put to good use. The Koomus mount uses it to hold your phone in a very convenient place.

The low-profile mount is easy to install, and your CD player won't be damaged or even recognize that it's in use. The flexible clamps hold your phone securely with or without its case. You can also rotate your phone 360 degrees for easier viewing.

See at Amazon

iOttie Easy One Touch XL Car Mount

iOttie One Touch XL car mount

iOttie's car mount is available in a few different versions, but we're going to spotlight the XL. The suction cup is tough, and won't budge from your dashboard or windshield. If you favor dashboard mounts, you can choose to add their Sticky Gel Pad for some extra grip, although most users say they don't need it. The windshield mount won't obstruct your view, either.

The XL is an especially solid choice if your phone case adds a little extra bulk, since the cradle is designed to hold larger phones to begin with. Your phone can rotate 360 degrees, and if you need to remove the mount and put it in a different vehicle, a quick rinse and dry of the suction cup makes it good as new again.

See at Amazon

New Trent Arcadia Magnetic Mount

New Trent Arcadia car mount

For something completely different, check out the mount from New Trent. It holds your phone with a strong magnet, and installs onto your air vents. You don't have to worry about snapping your phone into a cradle, just stick it to the magnetic pad and you're on your way.

The base mount is available in black or blue, and comes with two magnetic plates you can stick to the back of two devices, especially handy if you share your car with other family members. The magnetic plates are thin enough to fit into your phone's case, and strong enough to adhere to the base without having to constantly removing the case every time you get in the car.

See at Amazon

WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Mount

WizGear universal car mount

Wizgear produces another magnetic car mount we're a fan of.. The magnet is strong on this one, and if you take the mount out of the car, it doubles as a kickstand for your phone. The magnet can be concealed inside most phone cases, so you won't have to constantly remove the case before sticking your phone to the mount.

The air vent clips keep your phone highly visible without obstructing your view. The base swivels your phone into your preferred position and promises to keep it there until you move it, even when going over rougher terrain. It's perfect if you just need to jump in the car and go with your phone at the ready.

See at Amazon

Spigen Style Ring

Spigen Style Ring

An inexpensive alternative for car mounts is the Style Ring. The mount is a tiny black hook that sticks to your dashboard, and the ring sticks to the back of your phone. If you're not wild about sticking things to your car or device, this may not be the right choice for you, but it's convenient.

The ring that attaches to your phone doubles as a kickstand in both portrait or landscape. It hooks to just about anything, so you might find yourself hanging your phone from a variety of places. Positioning the car mount might take some patience to get it just where you'd like it to stay, but it works well for hands-free calling and accessing music. Your phone snaps into place and swivels 360 degrees. It's the smallest car mount you can find, so if space on your dashboard is at a premium, the Style Ring is a solid option.

See at Amazon

The bottom line

First and foremost, you need to know the details of your local laws, in terms of whether or not you are allowed to mount anything on your windshield. Next, you need consider how often you'll use a car mount and where in your vehicle it's going to be. Each of these car mounts have distinct advantages all their own, but we think that versatility and durability are the most important qualities to look for.

Which universal car mount are you using these days? Tell us about it in the comments!

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1 week ago

YouTube Red expands beyond the U.S. to include Australia and New Zealand

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Google has quietly expanded the reach of its YouTube Red subscription service beyond the U.S. for the first time. It is now available in Australia and New Zealand.

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