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2 weeks ago

ASUS' upcoming ZenFone will be powered by the Snapdragon 835, launching at CES


ASUS' upcoming phone will feature the Snapdragon 835 and dual cameras.

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Ahead of CES, ASUS is teasing an upcoming phone in the ZenFone series that will be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 SoC. In a tweet, the company revealed that it will unveil a phone powered by the 10nm SoC later this week.

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2 weeks ago

Vivo's upcoming phone in India will offer dual front cameras


Get ready to raise your selfie game.

Vivo launched the V5 in India late last year, and the company is now getting ready to introduce the V5 Plus in the country on January 23. The invite sent out to the media contains the tagline, "Block your date for the biggest selfie camera revolution," and an accompanying image suggests we'll see a dual camera setup at the front.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung unveils Galaxy A 2017 series, adds water resistance and 16MP cameras


New models bring a slew of new features to Samsung's mid-range series.

Samsung has unveiled the 2017 refresh of the Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A3 2017, A5 2017, and A7 2017 will be up for sale in Russia and select Asian markets starting later this month, followed by availability in Europe in February. There are a lot of interesting additions in this year's refresh, but three features stand out: IP68 water resistance, USB-C connectivity, and 16MP front and rear cameras.

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2 weeks ago

Best Xiaomi Phones

The manufacturer you may have rarely heard of is making some great devices.

Xiaomi is a smartphone manufacturer that is growing in stature day-by-day, despite having virtually no physical presence outside of Asia. Sales of its phones in territories including India and its native China have propelled the relatively young company into the top five smartphone manufacturers in the world. Impressive, certainly, and it seems Xiaomi is set to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Apple and Samsung in the higher reaches of the smartphone market.

And yet while so many may have heard the name, the phones are still relatively alien to many in the West. Xiaomi has a reputation for building devices that are an extremely good value without cutting corners in the process. If you're interested in picking up a Xiaomi phone or just interested in the brand, these are the phones you'll need to know about.

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2 weeks ago

Play Store carrier billing is now live for Airtel and Vodafone customers in India


You can now buy digital content on the Play Store with your carrier account.

In a bid to make it easier for customers to purchase digital content in India on the Play Store, Google has rolled out carrier billing to Airtel and Vodafone customers in the country. The company tested the waters with Idea last year, and now Airtel and Vodafone subscribers can buy apps, games, movies, and ebooks on the Play Store and bill it to their prepaid or postpaid accounts.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung concludes Note 7 investigation, will share its findings this month


We'll finally get to know why the Note 7 blew up.

Shortly after discontinuing the Note 7 in October, Samsung launched an investigation to identify the root cause behind the fires. Samsung initially thought the battery was at fault, which is why it recalled the initial batch of Note 7 units and restarted sales with batteries from another supplier. When those phones also started to explode, the company had to discontinue the device altogether.

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2 weeks ago

Best External Drive for your Chromebox


Chrome doesn't only run on laptops.

Chromeboxes make great computers for plenty of people. In households where there are kids, they're the perfect desktop computer for homework, and attached to your TV they bring the internet and everything that comes with it to your big screen. But you might need more storage to get the most from one.

Chromeboxes aren't laptops. Chances are you're not tossing one into a backpack and setting it up at Starbucks; instead, it sits quietly behind a screen of some sort and is always ready. That means there is no reason to try and get by with 16 or 32 GB of storage. Most models are easy to take apart and upgrade if you're the DIY type, but adding more storage for your stuff is as easy as plugging in a cable.

While any USB powered hard drive will work, we like these options.

Western Digital My Passport

Simple and cheap is what plenty of people are looking for when it comes to file storage. I'll add in dependable and say the WD My Passport is the best bargain external hard drive you can buy. It's a spinning disk drive so you won't be breaking any read speed records, but it's perfect for storing photos or music or video. If you plan to install Plex on your Chromebox this is your cheap storage option.

It's available in 1TB to 4TB options and starts around $60. They also come in a handful of different colors if it's sitting somewhere it will be seen. You'll be able to store plenty of stuff on the cheap with this one.

See at Amazon

Samsung T3

This is the other end of the spectrum. High-capacity and fast SSD drives are not cheap.

If you need a big boost in storage for your Chromebox but need to have SSD speeds, the Samsung T3 drive is one of the best ways to make it happen. They use Samsung's own 3D V-NAND to bring read/write speeds of up to 450MB/s over a USB 3.1 connection, are future-proof with a USB-C port, and aren't much bigger than a credit card. You can store and retrieve all of your stuff really fast if that's what you need.

All this comes at a price. The 250GB model starts about $120, and as size climbs higher so does the price tag until you get to the $700+ 2TB option.

See at Amazon

Anker 2.5 Inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure

This enclosure from Anker will let you use almost any 2.5-inch drive as a USB 3.0 device that can plug right into your Chromebox.

Slide it open and drop any 7.5 or 9mm 2.5-inch drive inside, slide it shut and you're ready to plug it in. You don't need any tools and it only takes a few minutes — there is no need to have anxiety about building "computer stuff" because it really is this easy.

For less than $20 you can use one of your old hard drives or something like this 500GB Samsung 850 EVO to have those fast speeds without such a high price.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Best external battery packs for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge

Galaxy S7 battery

Give your GS7 and GS7 edge a second life with a battery pack.

I know, camping is supposed to be a way to get away from society for a while. But some of us just can't fall asleep without crushing some candy before beddy-byes. If you're going to be on the go for a day or two and simply don't have any time to waste near a wall socket, then you should consider an external battery pack or power bank.

They're entirely portable, relatively inexpensive, and could keep your phone going when you need it most.

We've rounded up the best battery packs for your Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge — and for your lifestyle.

Updated December 2016: These are still solid options for any Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge users out there.

Aukey Portable Power Bank (10,400 mAh)


The Aukey Portable Power Bank will charge your Galaxy S7 twice over with a little bit of gas left in the tank, just in case. It offers over-current and short circuit protection, and it won't overheat or become overcharged itself.

As a portable bank, it's a little on the thick side, at nearly two inches, but it is relatively inexpensive, often starting around $20.

This one's for those of you who just want a basic fast-charing battery pack and only need it for a day at a time. If you're having to go days without seeing a wall socket, then you'll want to consider one of the bigger battery packs below.

See at Amazon

EasyAcc Monster (20,000 mAh)


Charge your Galaxy S7 and up to three other devices at the same time with the EasyAcc Monster. They're not kidding about the name. This baby has enough juice to charge your GS7 around six times over, which makes it great if you're headed out of town for a few days and aren't sure if you'll see a wall socket any time soon.

It's got a built-in flashlight and can auto-detect components and adjust the maximum output accordingly, which makes it great if you've got multiple devices on the go. Does the whole family have Galaxy S7s? Charge them all at the same time.

No need to worry about overcharging and shorting, since the EasyAcc has a built-in surge protector, which is ideal since you'll have to wait 6 hours for this one to charge fully.

See at Amazon

KMASHI (20,000 mAh)


KMASHI's external battery bank can charge two devices simultaneously, making this ideal for anyone who's carrying around the Galaxy S7 and tablet (because if both die on you, that's one long bus ride home from work or school). It's got one regular USB charging port, and another Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 port.

At 20,000 mAh, this bank has enough juice to charge your Galaxy S7 around 6 times, so you could go for days without seeing a wall socket and be just fine.

This battery pack comes with a flashlight for emergency situations and offers a sleek, somewhat rugged design, which means you can take it more or less anywhere with you. Size-wise, it's about average for an external battery pack of the capacity, at around 6 inches by 4 inches.

See at Amazon

Samsung Fast Charge Battery Pack (5,200 mAh)

Samsung Fast Charge Battery Pack (5,200 mAh)

If you're brand-conscious when it comes to accessories and also want a reliable battery pack, then consider the Samsung Fast Charge Battery Pack. At 5,200 mAh, it'll give you at least one full charge nice and quickly.

Samsung claims that their battery pack will take you from 0 percent to 50 in about half an hour, thanks to its Quick Charge 2.0 support. Best of all, it's sleek enough to fit in a pocket, being around the same size as a Galaxy S7 edge.

You can also match your GS7 or GS7 edge with your battery pack, since it comes in gold and silver.

See at Amazon See at ShopAndroid

Unifun 10,400 mAh Waterproof Power Bank

Unifun 10,400 mAh Waterproof Power Bank

Calling all campers! Unifun's power bank is rugged and waterproof, so you can charge your Galaxy S7 or S7 edge when you're really on the go. It's rated IP66 for water and dust resistance, while also having anti-shock and anti-skid protection.

This pack even has a strap hole, so you can attach to a belt loop or clip, which is great if you're working outside all day or constantly on the go; just run a cord to your pocket and away you go.

It's a little bulky, at 6 inches, by almost 3 inches, but you'd expect something so rugged to be a little on the bulky side.

See at Amazon

What's your favorite?

Which battery packs are you using to charge your Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge? Sound off in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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2 weeks ago

Best VR apps for exercise

It doesn't have to look like exercise, it can look like fun!

Sometimes you need motivation to work out, and there's no problem with that. All it takes is a distraction to make exercise feel less like work and more like fun, and VR can be perfect for those distractions. All you really need is an exercise routine you're comfortable with repeating, and you're good to go!

We've got a couple of ideas for how you can use VR to make that exercise routine either more engaging or less like work. Pick the one that works best for you and give it a shot!

Read more at VR Heads!

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2 weeks ago

Welcome to leak season


Welcome to leak season. Enjoy the ride.

It's the end of the year, which means cold weather in North America, hangovers for the festivity-goers, and beginning of what we inside the baseball diamond refer to as "leak season." It's slippery during leak season, so bring some salt.

There's a cycle in tech media that resolves in an arc: the early inklings of a story that, initially vapor, builds and eventually coalesces into something tangible. We hear rumors that begin in an ephemeral state, eventually casting themselves in prescient rays of light that you can see but not touch. Over the months, the light hardens and becomes more coherent — photos, videos, specs — as the thing's release date approaches.

The early inklings of a story that, initially vapor, builds and eventually coalesces into something tangible.

Given that CES begins in just a few days, it's the perfect time to remind you that leak season is in full swing and, like snowfalls in the northern hemisphere, the severity ebbs and flows as we approach spring. Over the past few days, we've seen (and reported on) various aspects of phones that will likely be released in 2017: the Galaxy S8, the LG G6, the HTC whatever. We take leaks seriously, and, internally, debate the credulity of each one before reporting. We also judge the reliability of the source, too, the past success of which also dictates whether we follow the story down the proverbial rabbit hole.

At the same time, we also receive leaks, and have to decide whether or not, in the interest of protecting our sources, we publish the information. Of course, there's a business benefit to posting leaks, since the intensity of public interest in pre-release hardware often outweighs (at times dramatically) the equivalent once it has been announced. This is doubly true of devices from manufacturers like Motorola, HTC, Sony and others that have small, loyal followings: the discourse is often hopeful and the communities disproportionately loud, which tends to die down in the weeks and months following availability.

The main issue I see around leaks today is that there are no consequences for getting it wrong. Many publications weave snippets or glances of an outer casing or a spec sheet into a cohesive narrative, large swaths of which is incorrect. But once the product is announced, and gets into people's hands, all is forgiven and forgotten, and we move onto the next cycle. This is nothing new, but it's worth keeping these points in mind as we move into leak season in earnest.

Be skeptical of what you see. Much of what you see out there is either partially or entirely incorrect, and while we're not going to point at individual leaks or sources, I'd encourage you to maintain a healthy amount of skepticism while you enjoy what should be, for all intents and purposes, a piece of entertainment.

Have a happy and healthy new year, and we'll see you in 2017!

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2 weeks ago

Keep your phone safe in the car with this $10 magnetic car mount!


One of your resolutions for 2017 should definitely be to keep your phone out of your hands when you are driving, and this awesome magnetic car mount makes that so much easier. Anker's magnetic car mount is a simple way to keep your phone out of your hands but still in view so you can use it for navigation, music streaming and more. The strong magnet allows it to work universally with just about any phone, so it won't matter how often you switch you can use it with any device you have with you that day.

This $20 discount isn't likely to last very long, so you're going to want to pick one up sooner than later. Something like this makes for a great investment for each car you own, so be sure to grab a couple to keep your loved ones safe on the road.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

How to celebrate New Year's in VR

Celebrate the new year from inside VR!

The end of 2016 is upon us, which means parties full of friends, watching the ball drop, and washing your hands of this year in preparation for 2017. If you don't yet have plans for the big night, then don't worry! There are a few awesome ways that you can experience the New Year's party in London, or New York City, all with the aid of your VR headset. Whether you're hoping to enjoy the feel of NYC from the relative comfort of your couch, or you couldn't get tickets to see the fireworks over London, we've got you totally covered.

Read More at VRHeads

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2 weeks ago

Best PlayStation 4 Games

Want to know what to get for your PlayStation 4? Start with these, the best games you can buy!

The PS4 has a ton of great titles available, but we all have a limited amount of time (and money) so we can't just aimlessly pick games. That's why we have a list of fantastic choices for you to check out if you're looking for something new to play on your PlayStation 4.

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2 weeks ago

The best virtual reality apps for meditation

"Om" your way through life with the help of these meditation apps.

There's no hippie mumbo jumbo here. Meditation is often encouraged by medical professionals as a way to decompress when life might be moving too quickly for you to catch up. On a physical level, meditation can be particularly helpful with lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety attacks, helping insomnia, increasing serotonin production, and simply gaining clarity and peace of mind.

I've personally reaped the benefits of consistent meditation throughout my life. I practice yoga, so meditation is a part of it, but sometimes I don't have the room or the time to get into a physical flow. So what do I do? I pop on a pair of headphones and the Daydream View to get going. I've found this method to be particularly effective in helping me drown out the noise around me, whether that's my inner voice crowding around everything else I'm worrying about, or the cat yowling for a bowl of food. Virtual reality has helped me efficiently reach that state of "nothingness." Here are some of the apps that I've found to be particularly effective in aiding my own meditative practice.

Read more at VR Heads!

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2 weeks ago

Android Central Offers is giving away a Pixel XL, and it could be yours!

Update: This is your last chance to enter! One lucky reader will score themselves a brand new Google Pixel XL, and it could be you!

Looking to get your hands on a Google Pixel XL but don't have the money available to purchase one for yourself right now? Well, Android Central Offers is hooking up one lucky person with a Pixel XL, and it could be you. All you have to do is sign up for the offer, which is completely free, to be entered for a chance to win it.

Sounds simple, right? That's because it is, and there is very little reason you shouldn't click through and enter for your chance now. The only way to know you won't win is not to enter, so don't do that to yourself.

See at Android Central Offers

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