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1 week ago

Fitbit acquires Coin's payment platform; no more Coin smart cards coming

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Fitbit has announced it has acquired both the payment platform and key personnel from the "smart card" company Coin. The specific financial terms of the deal, which was completed on May 12, were not disclosed.

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1 week ago

Tronsmart Vega S95 Telos is a pretty neat, albeit imperfect, Android media player

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The Quick Take

The Tronsmart Vega S95 is an Android powered 4K media player that comes in three flavors: Pro, Meta, and Telos with more RAM and better networking capabilities as you go up the range.

I've been using the Telos variant for a month, and while it's a pretty good device, it could've been much better with just a few small improvements. It works well for the most part, and you wonder why Tronsmart didn't go the extra little bit to make it truly compelling.

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1 week ago

Samsung Pay now supports loyalty and membership cards

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Samsung has announced official support for membership and loyalty cards in Samsung Pay. According to Samsung, the average American household carries almost 30 loyalty cards to different places, and this causes lots of clutter. How many times have you been shopping, only to find out that you can't find your discount card or membership to make the purchase you want to make?

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1 week ago

You'll be able to watch tonight's Europa League Final live on YouTube

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Football fans looking to watch the upcoming Europa League Final will have another option to do so tonight. While the match will air on television and on BTSport.com, anyone will be able to watch Liverpool take on Sevilla it for free on YouTube.

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1 week ago

Spigen Liquid Crystal case for Galaxy S7 edge

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Spigen Liquid Crystal case for Galaxy S7 edge

Your Galaxy S7 edge has a beautiful screen just waiting to crack. You want protection against everyday wear and drops, but don't want to create a behemoth that doesn't fit in your pocket. Is this the case for you?

Let's take a look at the case in terms of style, features, and design.

Style

Spigen Liquid Crystal case for Galaxy S7 edge

The Liquid Crystal case is a one-piece, flexible TPU sleeve that slips easily over your S7 edge. You might have already guessed by the name, but the case is completely clear. This case does not offer a lot of grip other than the raised button covers, but you will notice a difference between not having a case at all.

Note that the clear TPU cases are known to yellow as they age.

Features

Spigen Liquid Crystal case for Galaxy S7 edge

This case allows your phone to charge wirelessly at full speed — ideal for those of you concerned about leaving your phone unprotected while it sits on the shelf.

Due to the case's simple design there is no built-in kickstand. The back of the case is, however, flat, and will easily take on a separate kickstand. Spigen sells their own great product called a Style Ring that is compatible with this case.

Design

The S7 edge screen is particularly prone to webbed cracking when dropped on its corner. Spigen's solution is to make the case a bit thicker on the corners without adding too much bulk. Keep in mind that some Spigen cases feature air-cushion technology on corners, whereas the Liquid Crystal does not.

There is a raised bevel along the top and bottom of the case, meaning you can set your phone face-down without any damage to your screen. Because the edge's screen wraps down the side of the phone, the case cannot offer protection without compromising the phone's use. Dropping the phone on its side or on an edge could result in damage.

All side buttons are covered and remain functional. The bottom ports and speaker are not covered, nor is the entirety of the S7 edge screen. The case is very thin; a quick glance might miss that it's even on your phone.

The bottom line

Spigen Liquid Crystal case for Galaxy S7 edge

If you'd like to show off your phone in all its glory without skimping on protection, this case might be the one for you.

If this type of case isn't your thing, check out the best clear cases or best overall cases for your Galaxy S7 edge.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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1 week ago

HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy J7 and LG K10 are now available at T-Mobile

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T-Mobile has announced that the HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy J7 and LG K10 are now available for purchase on the U.S. Un-carrier. The highlight is HTC's latest flagship smartphone, which is available on T-Mobile for $0 down and $28.34 for 24 months. Should you pick up the HTC 10 before May 24 and T-Mobile will bundle an HTC Rapid Charger and Ice View case (worth $85 total) for free.

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1 week ago

Fido customers can now roam worry free in the U.S. and other international destinations

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Update: These plans are now available, so if you will be traveling in the near future be sure to give Fido a ring and add them to avoid other hefty fees.

Fido has introduced Fido Roam to its Pulse plans, which allows customers to roam in the U.S. and other international destinations without worrying about the cost. For the U.S. it is a flat $5 per day, and other destinations are $10 per day. Previously, when you were roaming you were charged for whatever you used, and things could get really pricey when using your phone outside of Canada.

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1 week ago

Google's Pixel C carefully pulled apart to reveal its tablet insides

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Google's Pixel C is a tablet that has a resolution of 2560x1800, runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor and 3GB of RAM, but what does it look like on the inside?

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1 week ago

Google I/O 2016 keynote liveblog — live at 10 a.m. PT today!

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Google I/O 2016

The biggest Google event of the year kicks off in spectacular fashion — and we're there for it.

Google has had some pretty memorable announcements at its I/O keynotes, and the 2016 edition should be no different. Starting off, the event is being held at the Shoreline Amphitheater — yes, outdoors — and that opens up plenty of possibilities right away. Then there's the big news and announcements that are sure to drop on us: Android, Chrome, VR, apps ... everything you can imagine.

And no matter what happens, we'll be right there ready to cover it all — on the ground (literally) at Google I/O 2016. The keynote kicks off today at 10 a.m. PT — that's 1 p.m. in New York and 6 p.m. in London — and we're looking forward to seeing you back here for it!

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1 week ago

Canadians, it's time to take advantage of share plans to save money

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Share your plan to save your money

If you feel the Canadian wireless market doesn't treat customers fairly, that's understandable. To get a good experience, you have to pay more than practically any country in the developed market.

But there is one way to save money on your mobile plan, and it doesn't involve switching carriers, or even overhauling what you currently have. It involves utilizing a tool many of the major carriers themselves offer and encourage families and friends to take advantage of. It's called the share plan.

A history of the share plan

Back in 2013, when the Wireless Code of Conduct came into effect across Canada, three-year plans were all but abolished. Replaced with two-year plans—which was the norm in the U.S.—carriers were forced to increased airtime prices to make up for the displacement of 12 months of extra revenue.

Share plans, already in place at Verizon and AT&T in the U.S., were quickly adopted by Rogers, Telus, and Bell. That changed a number of things about the Canadian wireless market:

  • It simplified billing by using a flat monthly rate for a combination of unlimited calls and texts, as well as voicemail and call display
  • It required customers to add a single pool of data to their call and text bundle that would be shared between users on an account
  • It increased the upfront cost of an average bill, since calls, texts, and add-ons were now bundled standard

For example, a typical plan looked like this:

  • $60 for unlimited nationwide calls, texts and add-ons
  • $50 for 4GB of shared data

The total for the sole user on the account: $110 per month.

But providers offering share plans offered considerably higher pools of data at a non-linear scale. $65 would get you 6GB of data; $80 would get you 10GB; $100, 15GB.

Splitting those costs between family members or friends became one of the only ways to lower the average monthly cost per user.

Tiers for fears

While the cost of data has risen slightly since those early days of share plans, the idea is the same today as it was in 2013. It's just a little more complicated.

All three carriers still offer unlimited nationwide calls and texts, but they all now offer a lower tier. For $5 less you get unlimited local calls and nationwide texts. Telus even offers a tier for another $5 less with 300 local minutes and unlimited nationwide texts.

On top of that, all three carriers divide their service plans into handset tiers, amounting to premium, mid-range, and bring-your-own-device (BYOD). Now stay with me here, because it's not actually that complicated:

  • An expensive handset, such as an iPhone or Galaxy, demands a higher base monthly cost for calls and texts, usually between $50 and $65.
  • Mid-range Android products usually demand $5 to $10 less
  • Bringing your own handset also fetches a monthly discount of $5 or $10

Saving by pooling

The real costs savings comes not in bringing your own device—a $10 per month discount over 24 months only retains $240 overall, which is considerably lower than the $400 to $700 subsidy offered at most carriers—but by pooling data with friends and family.

Say you decide to buy a Galaxy S7. In addition to the upfront cost of around $400, you have to pay $65 per month for unlimited nationwide calls and texts. Were you to go with 5GB of data for $50, your monthly cost would be $115.

Were you instead to go with a 15GB data pool, which alone costs $100, split with two other people—each purchasing their own devices at $60 per month (a $5 discount for subsequent devices)—your individual monthly costs lowers to $95 for the same 5GB of data.

A 30GB plan, which is offered at Rogers, split between six people, lowers that monthly cost to $87.50.

Devil in the details

Yes, a shared data plan is not always the right answer: 15GB sounds like a lot, and it is, but there is nothing preventing your brother, say, from using 14GB and leaving you and your mom with 1GB to spare.

There's also the wrangling of fees involved: most carriers don't make it easy to split the cost of a monthly plan more than one way, so as the primary account holder you'll be responsible for collecting that money every month.

That's why shared plans are better for families where a single point of contact can be responsible for handling the administrative task. Parents may also want to limit monthly bandwidth using a number of app- or system-based tools (depending on the platform) so one child can't use use up all the data.

Is it cheaper than the flanker brands?

That's the big question. At Koodo, for example, a 5GB monthly plan costs $90, but that doesn't include any phone subsidy, only a $360 allotment for device financing, which is added to your plan at the end of the month. While alone the Koodo option is cheaper, splitting the costs between three people, as mentioned above, not only provides a modicum of leeway should one person consume more data than the others, but some of the carriers, such as Rogers, include benefits like two years of free Spotify or access to NHL GameCentre.

Worth your time

Share plans appear complicated to figure out and administrate, which is why so few Canadians actually take advantage of them. But in a market where lower costs are hard to come by, they are the best way to save money on a two-year plan, month after month.

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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.

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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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