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2 weeks ago

How to download and install Android 7.1.1 Nougat on your Nexus or Pixel right now

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How do I get Android 7.1.1 Nougat on your Nexus phone right now?

Android 7.1.1 Nougat is officially available for the Pixel, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Pixel C, but your phone may not get the OTA (over-the-air) update for another couple of weeks. If you don't have a Nexus, you can get a feel for when (or if) your phone will get Nougat based on our expectations.

If you know your way around a command line, you can skip the waiting game by downloading the factory image for your particular device and flashing it on top of your software. But there are some caveats you need to know about when flashing a factory image, so read on to find out what you need to know.

Updated on December 5th with new information and latest links to OTA files.

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2 weeks ago

Snapdragon 835 vs. Snapdragon 821: How much of an upgrade is it?

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The shift to 10nm with the Snapdragon 835 represents a huge leap in performance.

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Qualcomm formally detailed the Snapdragon 835 during its CES keynote, serving up a look at what's new in this year's flagship SoC. The Snapdragon 835 offers improvements across the board, and Qualcomm has incorporated a slew of new features, including Bluetooth 5, gigabit LTE, 802.11ad Wi-Fi, and much more.

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2 weeks ago

Honor 6X hands-on preview: Great hardware desperately waiting for a software update

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Honor is still attempting to make strides in the U.S., but is the 6X compelling enough?

You really have to hand it to Honor. Huawei's millennial-focused offshoot is still spitting out smartphones despite the relatively tepid reception of its previous two devices in the U.S. Remember, Honor has no carrier backing stateside, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the brood. It's unlikely that the launch of the Honor 6X, the smartphone announced at this year's CES, will do much to move the needle either.

Regardless, that's not a reason to write it off. The Honor 6X is a compelling device, even though it's not as sparkly and showy as its flagship sibling, the Honor 8. Pricing has yet to be finalized, but what we've previewed of the Honor 6X is a fair reminder of what Huawei's capable of when it throws a device into the ring — and that's offering major bang for your buck. This midrange device may run on middle-of-the-road hardware, but it really does offer more than the average smartphone in its price point (sub-$250). Now, if it only the company had the marketing to get that point across.

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2 weeks ago

Honor 6X vs. Honor 5X vs. Honor 8: What's the difference?

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Honor 6X vs. Honor 8

A new budget offering takes a step up from the Honor 5X, but slots comfortably underneath the Honor 8.

Honor carved out a nice little niche for itself when it came to the U.S. officially with the Honor 5X, and then followed it up with a much higher-end device in the Honor 8. Now a full year on from the Honor 5X launch we have a proper successor, the Honor 6X. So how does the new Honor 6X compare to both its predecessor the 5X and the mid-range anchor the 8? Here's a quick breakdown.

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2 weeks ago

Honor 6X specs: Kirin 655 processor, 3GB RAM and 5.5-inch display

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The Honor 6X definitely isn't a powerhouse.

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As you'd expect for an inexpensive unlocked phone — starting at just $249 — the Honor 6X doesn't exactly push the envelope with its internal specs. Just like the Honor 5X that came before it you get a mix of newer mid-range chips and a few older components, which overall line up to get the job done but won't wow you.

That means you get a mid-range processor, just a 1080p display, Micro-USB for charging and no extra bells and whistles, but in exchange you get an ample 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, as well as a fingerprint sensor and a large 3340 mAh battery. Read on for the full list of Honor 6X specs.

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2 weeks ago

The Honor 6X is official: Metal body, fingerprint sensor and dual cameras for $249

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Honor 6X

This is the sort of phone that won't grab many headlines, but fills a large market segment.

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A year on from the Honor 5X, Huawei has taken to CES once again to unveil its successor the Honor 6X. Keeping in the tradition of this line, the 6X comes in at a budget-friendly price of $249 — and though it has the sort of mid-range specs you'd expect, there are a few neat bonuses here you don't always find on a phone of this price.

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2 weeks ago

Snapdragon 835 debuts with Kryo 280 CPU, Bluetooth 5, Gigabit LTE, and much more

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Qualcomm raises the bar with the Snapdragon 835.

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Qualcomm offered up a quick look at the Snapdragon 835 back in November, announcing that it would be the company's first SoC to be built on a 10nm node. At CES, we're getting a detailed look at what's on offer with this year's high-end SoC.

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2 weeks ago

5 essential apps to take Android theming beyond the launcher

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I love to theme my launcher.

Most of the theming we talk about here on Android Central takes place on the home screen, so theming the launcher is important. It is not, however, the only area of your phone you can theme. Even without system-wide themes on TouchWiz, Sense UI and the like, it's possible — nay, easy — to theme many parts of your phone.

So, let's get our theme on!

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2 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 is pretty new, and hasn't been available for very long. Thankfully, there are already some great sleek and stylish, functional watch bands to replace the one that comes in the box. 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!

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

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 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

Your pick?

Is there a third-party watch band that you think would be perfect for the Samsung Gear S3? Drop a link in the comments with a brief description of why you like it so that others can check it out as well!

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2 weeks ago

The latest ASUS Chromebook Flip is $500 and all USB-C

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A convertible with a big price tag.

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ASUS has announced the latest in its popular line of Chromebooks, the Flip C302, with a $500 price tag and all USB-C ports. Like Apple and, increasingly, the competition, ASUS has decided to do away with full-sized USB-A ports in favor of the smaller, more versatile USB-C standard.

The Flip C302 features a hinge that allows the 12.5-inch screen to fold all the way back into a tablet form, while the 1080p touchscreen should be great for Android apps on the go. Inside, a last-gen Intel Core m3 chip, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage power the two USB-C ports, 3.5mm headphone jack and, thankfully, microSD card slot.

While certainly not the most beastly of Chromebooks, the Flip has earned its place as the most versatile, and with this new spec sheet, one of the most future-proof. No word on battery life, but it should last upwards of 10 hours on a charge with its 39 Whr battery. And at 2.65lbs, it's not a lot of extra weight to carry around.

The Chromebook Flip C302 is available today in the U.S. for $499. Who's biting?

See at Asus

Chromebooks

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2 weeks ago

WeMo's new smart dimmer solves the problem of LED light flickering

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Belkin's WeMo is back with a couple more smart home gadgets to make your life easier.

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As it has every year for as long as we can remember, Belkin's WeMo brand is launching a couple of neat new smart home products at CES, set to be released in the next few months.

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2 weeks ago

Dish's AirTV set-top box is now official with Sling TV, OTA, and 4K streaming

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OTA and streaming TV mash it up.

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After initially leaking on its website in December, Dish has made its first standalone set-top box is now official (via Engadget). Called AirTV Player, the box is based on Android TV and mashes up Sling TV's streaming cable offering with apps available on Google Play and over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts.

AirTV comes packed with a Bluetooth remote that features convenient shortcut buttons to popular services like Netflix, YouTube, and, of course, Sling. A microphone is also on board for easy voice control when you need it.

The box also supports 4K streaming, so if you've got the it hooked up to a compatible TV, you can start streaming UHD content from sources that support it. Perhaps most interestingly is the AirTV's support for OTA broadcasts when hooked up to an antenna. Any channels you pick up will then be integrated into Sling's own channel guide, which is pretty convenient if you're already a subscriber.

Dish, Sling TV's parent company, is already selling the AirTV in two different variants on a dedicated AirTV website. If you plan on using an OTA antenna, the $129.99 configuration includes a necessary OTA adapter kit. Otherwise, you can pick up a $99.99 version that only works with Sling and other streaming apps. The OTA adapter will be available separately for $39.99 if you change your mind later.

Of course, Sling TV is available on a number of streaming boxes already, so it may be difficult for some to justify slotting AirTV into their setup. That said, the inclusion of OTA support may just be appealing enough for some to warrant moving to on all-encompassing set-top box for their entertainment needs.

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2 weeks ago

LeEco wants you to ride its Android-powered smart bicycles

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LeEco, the Chinese company whose recent push into the U.S. has been met with excitement, trepidation and more than a little skepticism, is launching a pair of smart bicycles at CES 2017, powered by the company's own Android 6.0-based BikeOS.

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2 weeks ago

Acer announces education-focused Chromebook 11 N7 with rugged body, $229 starting price

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As Chromebooks continue to dominate the education market, Acer keeps its line fresh.

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This one won't necessarily get the Chromebook enthusiasts excited, but Acer has another education-focused Chromebook hitting the budget segment with a rugged body. The Chromebook 11 N7 (or model C731) is an 11-inch offering made to take a beating without also looking too tough, so it still has a tad bit of design appeal while also being sturdy for the expected rigors of many months being passed around in the classroom.

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2 weeks ago

Feel great in 2017: Get fit with MrMobile

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It's that special time of year! The time we all say "heck no, I'm not going to keep all this holiday weight!" and trundle off to the gym... for about a week. But not this year! You know it's going to be different, and you want some apps to help you keep to that goal.

MrMobile and his friends Jon Rettinger of TechnoBuffalo, Serenity Caldwell at iMore, Marques Brownlee at MKBHD, Krystal Key, Joshua Vergara at Android Authority, Safwan Ahmedmia at SuperSaf, and Jaime Rivera at PocketNow suggest their favorite apps to keep you getting healthy this 2017. Let us and them know which ones work for you!

Stay social, my friends

And thanks to all our friends who collaborated on this video:

Jon Rettinger [TechnoBuffalo]

Serenity Caldwell [iMore]

Marques Brownlee [MKBHD]

Krystal Key

Joshua Vergara

Safwan Ahmedmia [SuperSaf]

Jaime Rivera [Pocketnow]

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