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2 weeks ago

Best Wireless Charging Pads For Galaxy S7

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Don't fumble around with charging cables anymore — get a wireless charging pad instead!

So you just got the Galaxy S7 and now you want to charge it without having to plug it in each time? Samsung has once again opted to include multiple wireless charging standards on their latest phone, so you will have a variety of options available to purchase. Qi and Powermat have some differences, and not everyone will have the same needs in their chargers.

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2 weeks ago

The new 360fly camera is a little ball of 4K fun

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The new 360fly camera shoots 360-degree video in 4K that's VR-ready and easy to share.

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360-degree videos are really cool, and so is watching them in VR. The new 360fly camera does both and makes it easy to import and share them everywhere. And it looks pretty neat, too.

What is this peculiar little sphere? 🤔 Why, it's the @360fly camera! 📷 This little guy looks tiny, but BOY is it powerful: you get seamless 360 video, you can use it with your #smartwatch, and it's even #virtualreality ready! #CES2017 #360Fly

A photo posted by Android Central (@androidcentral) on Jan 5, 2017 at 11:17am PST

Taking 360 videos doesn't have to be hard, even when you're shooting them in 4K. The way it used to be done involved multiple cameras at multiple angles all feeding into expensive software on a really high-end computer plus a lot of editing time. With the new 360fly, now all you do is set it in place, start recording and use your phone or computer to look at and share the finished video — which is preassembled with all the metadata needed to watch through a VR headset.

We really like the way 360fly is going about it here. We've seen 360 4K cameras from other companies, but the small size of the 360fly and fun shape — it's a magic golf ball with one eye — draw us to it. We felt the same way with the Samsung Gear 360. A camera that takes spherical video should look like a sphere, right?

The easier a thing is to use, the more you'll be using it.

A camera built for the consumer also needs to be easy to use. Complicated extra features are always cool and welcomed by many, but you need to be able to set it in place, hit a button and then walk away while it does its thing. The 360fly nails it, and we spent enough time using the previous model to know that making 360 video easy means you'll use it more.

While we're not sure what Samsung's plans are for a Gear 360 update yet, but for now, the 360fly takes the cake. It's easy to use, can fit almost anywhere and shoots VR ready video in 4K without any file editing.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

OnePlus 3T + Nougat video review!

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I have a confession to make: I've had the OnePlus 3T for the past month or so, since its launch in late November. But for most of that time I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to it — instead my time has been dominated by Nougat phones like the Pixel and Mate 9. The 3T arrived running Marshmallow which just felt old and a sludgy after using the new version.

No more! Within hours of its end-of-year deadline, OnePlus delivered Android 7.0 (and OxygenOS 4.0) for both the 3T and its predecessor, the OnePlus 3T. It's a huge upgrade that makes the new device feel like legit Pixel competitor in all but a couple of areas. Check out our video review to find out more!

Check out our video review below, and be sure to hit up our OnePlus 3T Nougat write-up for more on the new flagship.

More from Android Central

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2 weeks ago

Hands-on with the awesome ASUS Chromebook Flip C302

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ASUS has a brand new Chromebook Flip, and it's one of the best, and best-looking, Chromebooks we've seen to date.

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The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 may cost more than the average Chrome OS device, but that's because the Taiwanese company has gone all-in on the future, including a powerful Intel Core chip, up to 8GB of RAM, and USB-C ports.

We've gone hands-on with this new metal marvel, and we're excited to get it in our hands to try it out. What do you think? Is this $499 laptop a must-buy or a no way?

See at ASUS

Chromebooks

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2 weeks ago

Fitbit's personal fitness and goal-setting features just got a lot more useful

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At CES 2017, Fitbit has announced a load of new features coming to its app in the next few months that should make using its trackers a much more personal experience.

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2 weeks ago

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says smartphones need to cost as little as $30 in India

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Google CEO wants entry-level smartphones to be available for as low as $30.

During a visit to India, Google CEO Sundar Pichai paid a visit to his alma mater, IIT Kharagpur, where he addressed a congregation of over 3,500 students. Speaking at the event, Pichai said that the cost of entry-level smartphones needs to come down to ₹2,000 ($30) to boost adoption in India:

I would love to see cheaper smartphones, entry-level smartphones. I think to really we need to bring the prices down even more, maybe at $30 level (about Rs. 2,000) for India for entry level smartphones.

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2 weeks ago

Kyocera's DuraForce Pro may be the best affordable rugged phone at Verizon

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Kyocera's latest rugged phone has a built-in action camera.

Kyocera unveiled the DuraForce Pro back in August, and the phone is now up for sale at Verizon for $408 outright or $17 per month for 24 months.

The latest in Kyocera's range of rugged phones, the DuraForce Pro offers a wide-angle view action camera that shoots at 1080p. The body itself is shockproof, drop-proof, and dustproof, and can withstand being submerged in water up to two meters for 30 minutes. It also has the MIL-STD-810 rating for protection against dust, shock, extreme temperatures, vibration, humidity, and more.

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2 weeks ago

Verizon rolls out Note 7 update that stops phone from charging

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It's the end of the line for Note 7 holdouts on Verizon.

Verizon is pushing out its update for the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which effectively bricks the phone for conventional by preventing the device's battery from being recharged. Once the battery reaches 0%, the phone will only be able to be powered on when plugged into a wall outlet or external charger.

The fact that there are still people clinging to their Note 7s despite Samsung's failed attempt to fix the problem with a recall and exchange program, and its eventual cancellation, is a real head-scratcher. T-Mobile was the first US carrier to issue an update to kill the Note 7, and the other two carriers — AT&T and Sprint — are expected to release similar updates this week.

It's somewhat cheeky that Verizon kept its typical copy in place for this update, stating that it "has been tested to optimize device performance, resolve known issues and apply the latest security patches." I suppose the 'known issue' being addressed here being is the continued reluctance of some to power down and return this discontinued and dead phone.

If you happen to be one of those Galaxy Note 7 holdouts on Verizon, you can read more about the carrier's recall and exchange program here.

More: Galaxy Note 7 recall, fires and dumpsters

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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2 weeks ago

Amazon set to expand brick-and-mortar bookstore business into New York

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World's largest online bookseller to open Manhattan bookstore this spring.

At a time when traditional bookstore chains are shuttering locations around the country, Amazon is planning continued expansion of Amazon Books, announcing plans for a new 4,000-square-foot brick-and-mortar store in New York City. The store will take up prime real estate in the Time Warner Center within Manhattan's Shops at Columbus Circle.

Opening this spring, this will be Amazon's first bookstore on the East Coast and their sixth store to open since 2015, with stores already operating in Seattle, Portland and San Diego and new locations set to open in Chicago and Dedham, Massachusetts. The online retailer is the leading booksellers, and that's without even factoring in Amazon's bustling ebook business via the Amazon Kindle.

Amazon is leveraging the strength of its online presence in its physical stores, organizing displays based on, pre-order popularity, sales, and customer ratings, even including customer reviews for the most popular books right on the shelves. The stores are also a place where folks can come in and test out Amazon's devices, such as the Echo, Kindle, Fire Tablets and Fire TV. Customers can buy books or devices in store, or have them shipped to their homes, with Amazon Prime customers receiving applicable discounts and free shipping.

This is but the latest news in Amazon's push from the online shopping space into the physical. The company made waves with its Amazon GO concept video, which showcased its vision for a frictionless shopping experience of the future. Given how successful Amazon has been at dominating the online retailing sector, it will come as no surprise to us if more physical Amazon stores continue popping up everywhere in upcoming years.

Amazon Prime

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2 weeks ago

Here's how HTC's new Vive Tracker works!

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HTC announced a new wave of accessories headed to Vive owners later this year, but the one that stands above the crowd is the new Vive Tracker. HTC has built a small Vive controller with a data port on the bottom that third-party accessory manufacturers can add to just about anything, making it possible to then add that physical object to the virtual world you're playing in.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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2 weeks ago

There's now a smart band specifically for Ingress addicts

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Take your Ingress further with the Ingress Mod Band based on the new Nex Evolution smart wearable.

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If you're into Ingress — the smartphone-based AR game that formed the basis for Pokémon Go — you'll be happy to know that there is now a wearable that works alongside it.

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2 weeks ago

Chromebooks are making a huge comeback in 2017

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And they both look fabulous.

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We've seen very high-end Chromebooks before. The HP Chromebook 13 G1 or the Dell Chromebook 13 could be configured with the best hardware available, and we can't forget the Google Chromebook Pixel. They were really good laptops and using any of them let you know they were premium products. But what we've seen from CES 2017 (so far) is what happens when companies get serious and deliver specs that we need for the best experience.

Chrome is a little different that a traditional operating system. Windows and MacOS — both really good "desktop" operating systems that plenty of people are using — have different needs than Chrome. Extras like huge amounts of RAM or super-CPU configurations are wasted on Chrome, while features that make Chrome better and storage space have been mostly ignored. In 2017, ASUS and Samsung seem to get it, and their new offerings look pretty awesome.

Samsung is the undisputed king of adding features to almost everything they make. The things they do with Android phones put them in their own class and really shouldn't be compared to anything else out there. Their new Chromebook Plus and Chromebook Pro bring one of Samsung's best features to Chrome — the Digitizer Pen.

When you make a Chromebook that folds over on itself and becomes a tablet, you need to consider the different ways people can use it. Software and specific features become more important, and having a stylus that's integrated into the OS is something people have found useful — just ask anyone who loves their Microsoft Surface. Chrome needed an injection of Samsung here, and that's what we get.

You have the premium Chromebook hardware that you expect from a pricey model — the Pro comes with a 2.2GHz Intel Core M3 6Y30 and a 12.3-inch 2400x1600 LED touch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio — and software to make it great with the Pen. Notes, spreadsheets and other work "stuff" will benefit from having a better input device and app developers will find new ways to make good use of the hardware and fancy intelligent machine-learning software that drives the Pen. This will be very useful and very cool.

ASUS addresses the biggest issue with every other Chromebook available: they offer 128GB of storage on their new high-end Flip.

The rest of the specs are no slouch — a core M3 or core M7 CPU, 4GB or 8GB of RAM and a 12.5-inch FHD (1920x1080) 60Hz display — but all that means nothing when you run out of space because your expensive Chromebook only came with 16GB of storage. Add Android into the mix (the new Flip runs Android apps out of the box) and storage becomes even more important. In the near future we'll be saying 128GB isn't enough, but right now the Chromebook Flip 302 is the champ when you need room for all of your stuff.

One thing both of these products have in common is a price tag that is a good bit higher than most every other Chromebook out there. Neither Samsung or ASUS has offered complete details on pricing at the time this was written, but we know the base configurations start around $450 for Samsung's lower-tier Chromebook Plus and $499 for the base model ASUS Chromebook Flip 302. When you're used to seeing Chromebooks cost a few hundred dollars less this can be a bit of a shocker.

One thing both of these new Chromebooks have in common is a big price tag.

We can't argue. Chrome runs well on a $250 Chromebook Flip and the Acer Chromebook 14 is able to offer that "premium" feel with a price tag under $300. Not everyone needs a $500 Chromebook and even fewer people will want to pay the price that will come with the Chromebook Pro or full-spec Asus Flip 302 (think close to a grand in both cases and you won't be shocked when you see it). But this hardware is expensive.

The base model of either the ASUS Chromebook Flip 302 or the Samsung Chromebook Plus has a processor that costs $281 per unit when you buy in bulk. That's about 20 bucks more than the smaller Chromebook Flip C100 costs. Big and beautiful touch-enabled displays aren't cheap either. Add in the costs to build the aluminum body and special hinges and memory and storage and everything else and you'll find that the price doesn't come from an insane markup from the people making them. It's mostly because the parts being used are just really expensive. People who want or need this kind of hardware won't find it any cheaper no matter what operating system is running on it.

2017 has just begun and we'll see more Chromebooks from more companies throughout the year. So far, we like what we see because it means that companies are more serious about selling Chromebooks for people who want to buy one as a luxury purchase or for a better machine to work from.

Chromebooks

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2 weeks ago

Amazon Fire Tablet 7 vs Fire Tablet Kids Edition: Which should I buy?

10

You want to get your youngsters an Amazon Fire Tablet, but which version is right for you?

The Amazon Fire Tablet 7 is a great buy at $50, especially for the kids. It's capable enough to keep them entertained while not costing enough to pull your hair out if it gets accidentally destroyed. You can also get all the (non-Google) major content services on there as well as a dedicated kids mode to keep those little fingers from buying a new laptop on your Amazon account.

But, when you go to buy, there's both a 'regular' 7-inch and a Kids Edition. Underneath they're both the same, 7-inch Amazon Fire tablet with the same hardware specs and the same software. So what's the difference and which should you buy?

Let's break it down.

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2 weeks ago

5 fitness apps that you'll actually use for New Year's resolutions

22

Get fit with a little help from your phone!

Fitness doesn't have to mean going to the gym anymore, and that's because of the great fitness apps available on our phones. Now you can bring the feel of the gym to wherever you are, which means more easily fitting it into an over burdened schedule. We've found some of the best fitness apps out there, and we've collected them for you. Whether you are looking to track your progress, or find the perfect workout, we've got 5 apps that are worth checking out.

Pocket Yoga

Yoga has been around for centuries, and it's health benefits are no joke — yoga can help with flexibility, muscle strength, posture, and much, much more. Not everyone has the time or money to make it to classes at a yoga studio though, and that's where this app comes in. There are five sets of workouts, each one in a different background, which they call "environments". You choose the duration, your difficulty level, and your environment. During each workout there is a running animation showing you proper posture, along with audio instructions as though there were a yoga instructor there with you. If you want to practice specific poses, there is a massive list to choose from. Each pose includes an infographic listing off category, difficulty, description and benefits. For every 15 minutes worth of practice, you'll earn a Karma point. These points are used to buy new environments, each for between 3 and 27 Karma points.

Finding a few minutes to be with yourself and concentrate on your health and fitness can be difficult. More to the point, not everyone is in a place where working out in a gym is feasible. Spending some time working on yoga poses each day has measurable health results without being high impact or stressful on your body like some workouts. You also get the added benefit of a little slice of peace of mind while you go. This app runs in at $2.99, and is definitely worth taking a look at.

Pocket Yoga ($2.99)

Progression Fitness Tracker

The gym isn't a scary place for everyone, and for those who like to keep track of all their workouts, Progression Fitness Tracker is a great tool. Build customized workouts for from hundreds of exercises, which can be filtered alphabetically, by equipment required, or by muscle group targeted. There are also pre-built workouts if you don't want to build your own from scratch. Each exercise has an infographic page which includes instructions on proper form, equipment required, links to videos on YouTube of the exercise performed correctly, and the muscles targeted. The app is certainly meant to be used during your workout, since it tracks how long it take you to complete each rep. It also clocks in your full workout duration, and your calories burned and can be synced up with Google Fit.

This app definitely seems developed for people who already have some idea of what they are doing at the gym, especially with their emphasis on including equipment heavy exercises. However, with the instructions and links to videos it's still friendly to novices. If you're going the gym route then Progression is a fantastic choice. Progression Fitness Tracker comes in two forms. We've been talking about the free version today, but for $3.99 you can go pro. The Pro version lets you see stats from every workout session you've ever input, all of your statistics, the ability to import and export data, and the knowledge that you will have a pro membership forever. If you've been looking for a good tracking app for your workouts, Progression is a fantastic app to take a look at.

Progression Fitness Tracker (Free)

Calorie Counter-MyFitnessPal

Whether you're trying to lose weight, gain weight, or just maintain where you are at currently, tracking your calories is definitely advantageous. You could be working out like a beast 6 days a week, but if you don't know what kind of calories you're eating each day, you're probably not going to hit your goals — which is where the Calorie Counter from MyFitnessPal comes in. When using the app, it'll ask you to sign up or log in to my fitness pal, and then gets your height, weight, and activity level. From what you input about your fitness goals, the app will come up with a calorie goal for you to try and hit each day.

You can log all your meals, as well as snacks, and can get the app to remind you about logging your meals each day. You can add your favorite foods or recipes so you can add them to your daily count. If you aren't motivated enough to input your own recipes, there are hundreds upon hundreds of foods, each with a breakdown of it's nutritional information for you. There is even a tracking tool to help keep you on track for your weight and measurement goals.

This Calorie Counter also connects with plenty of other fitness-related apps like Fitbit Tracker, and RunKeeper, as well as Misfit devices. We're not sure anybody ever has fun tracking their calories each day, but this app definitely makes it simple and easy to do. No charts necessary here, just find your food, add it to your meals for the day and you're done. Counting calories can definitely help to keep you on track to meet your fitness goals, and Calorie Counter from MyFitnessPal does an excellent job of it. The app is absolutely free, but you can upgrade to a pro membership for $9.99 a month or $49.99 a year.

Calorie Counter-MyFitnessPal (Free)

Fitnet Personal Fitness Video

Fitnet Personal Fitness Video aims to bring the gym — and it's trainers — to you. This app is built around videos you use to work out, and each of them includes a trainer talking directly to you just like they would if they were running a class in a gym somewhere. The videos fall into one of three categories — Cardio, Strength, or Mind and Body. You also choose between light, moderate or intense difficulty levels.

Each video is part of a larger series with multiple videos in each series, and each individual video comes in at between 4 and 6 minutes long. You can use the app to make and schedule a fitness plan with sets of the videos, set goals for your length of activity each week, and track the number and type of workouts you finish each week. You can even pick a trainer, which means you'll get messages from that trainer, along with their workout videos, and help from them in creating your schedule of workouts each week.

Fitnet is fantastic for those who don't want to leave the house to get a good workout. The videos mean that you can easily see proper form for each exercise, and the trainers definitely bring the feel of the gym to your phone. Each video is short enough that you can easily fit them into a busy schedule, or take the time to work through an entire series each day. The app itself is free, but there are some in-app purchases available for special workouts: the current set Learn and Burn includes 5 days of workouts for $0.99. If you're looking for the feel of the gym, and it's expertise without leaving the house, Fitnet is definitely the app for you.

Fitnet Personal Fitness Video (Free)

Sworkit Lite

Sworkit brings you circuit training in bite sized pieces. Sworkit is designed to fit into your schedule, which means that you can set how long you'd like to workout—whether you've got a full hour to spare, or just 5 minutes. They have pre-made workouts in 4 main categories: Strength, Cardio, Yoga and Stretching. You also have the ability to build your own personalized workout from dozens of exercises, or copy a popular workout from one of their lists. There are over 160 exercises to choose and build with, and over a dozen workouts you can copy and customize. If you choose from the Sworkit workouts you have several options like what part of the body to focus on, and how long you'll be going for. During the workout you'll get a video of each exercise to help ensure you have proper form.

Sworkit Lite is the free version of the app, and is fantastic in it's own right. You can also pick up Sworkit Pro for $2.99 which gives you more exercises, the ability to save more custom workouts, adjustable interval lengths between exercises, a complete workout history, and the ability to sync with MyFitnessPal or Google Fit. This app is fantastic for anyone with a busy schedule, since it's designed to get you workouts in just five minutes. If you're just getting started, this is a great place to get moving with.

Sworkit Lite (Free)

Fitness definitely doesn't have to be difficult when it comes to keeping track of things, or getting started. You're supposed to sweat while working out, not beforehand! Hopefully these apps can help to track your fitness, and help you to meet all of your goals whether you're just getting started, or you're well on your way. So what do you think, did we hit the nail on the head or are we missing a few? Let us know in the comments.

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2 weeks ago

Top eight features of MIUI 8

13

Here's what you need to know about MIUI 8.

MIUI 8 is the largest update to Xiaomi's operating system in several years, introducing much-needed visual flair in the form of a bold color palette and a host of new features. The operating system has over 200 million users globally, and with Xiaomi soliciting feedback from its community for new features, it is a continually evolving platform.

This update rolled out earlier this year for several devices, including the Mi 5, Redmi Note 3, Mi Max, and others, and with most Xiaomi phones now making their way to Marshmallow, it's time to take a look at some of the new features on offer.

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