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2 weeks ago

Cricket Wireless launches $70 unlimited plan, offers $100 bill credit to T-Mobile customers

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AT&T's no-contract subsidiary Cricket Wireless is launching a new plan on Sunday, April 17. It offers unlimited talk, text and data for one smartphone line for $70 a month.

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2 weeks ago

Sprint rolls out LTE Plus in New York City to bring you supercharged speeds

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Sprint has rolled out LTE Plus in New York City. The newly added location joins 190 other markets across the U.S. who already enjoy the network's improved LTE speeds. The company has revealed that speed and capacity of more than 900 cell sites across the New York metropolitan area have been doubled.

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2 weeks ago

Huawei hops on the VR headset wagon with advanced 360-degree sound

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Huawei is hopping onto the virtual reality train, which appears to be full steam ahead as we move on through 2016. Engadget notes the company is working on the Huawei VR, a headset that will be made available in three colors and will be compatible with the new P9 flagship smartphones, as well as the Mate 8. What Huawei will hope will set the company apart from the likes of Samsung Gear VR is the inclusion of 360-degree audio support.

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2 weeks ago

Grab an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S5 for $159 at Amazon

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Amazon's Deal of the Day scores you some sweet savings on a refurbished unlocked 16GB Galaxy S5. If you act today, you can grab it in either black or white for just $160, a huge savings from its original price. Whether you are looking for a backup to have around that is waterproof, or your kids first phone, you won't want to miss out on this deal.

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2 weeks ago

Vivo Y51L review — a decidedly average Android

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The Quick Take

One of the major smartphone makers in China, Vivo started its international expansion in 2014, and made way to India amongst a slew of Chinese brands heading towards one of the biggest and fastest growing smartphones markets in the world.

During the period, Vivo launched a few premium smartphones in India, although the recently launched Y51L is targeted towards the budget segment.

The company is gearing towards extensive expansion in India and started its first manufacturing unit in the country in December last year. It also bagged the title rights of Indian Premier League 2016, the popular Twenty20 cricket league, as part of a major brand building exercise.

The Good

  • Great design, and build quality
  • Decent performance
  • Battery life

The Bad

  • Inconsistent camera
  • Average specifications compared to the competition

Vivo Y51L specifications

Category Vivo Y51L Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop with FunTouch OS 2.5 Display 5-inch qHD (960 x 540) IPS display Processor 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 RAM 2GB RAM Storage 16GB internal memory, expandable up to 128GB via microSD card Rear Camera 8MP Front Camera 5MP Dimensions 143.8 x 71.7 x 7.52 mm Weight 157 grams Battery 2350mAh

About this review

I used the Indian retail variant of the Vivo Y51L that comes with IPL (Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 cricket league) branding on the box. Out of the box, the Y51L ran Funtouch OS 2.5 running on top of Android 5.0. For most of the time, I used it with an Airtel 4G SIM in Delhi NCR.

Vivo Y51L full review

Vivo Y51L design

The Vivo Y51L is a pretty good looking smartphone. Sure, there's the iPhone hangover, but the slim plastic body with laser etched metallic frame on the side and rounded corners stand out amongst the slew of budget smartphones in the market. The glossy finish at the back gives an illusion of glass, which attracts a few smudges here and there, but looks stylish. The soft-touch navigation buttons on the front offer decent feedback, but aren't backlit, which is a shame.

Vivo Y51L display

Once you've gushed over the design and aesthetics, it's disappointment as soon as you power it on. The Y51L sports a modest 5-inch qHD display, inexcusable at the price at which HD, and often Full HD display, has become the norm.

It's not a terrible display, mind you. The colors are crisp and the display is sharp, and casual users might not even realize the low resolution. Also, the viewing angles are good and you can read well in direct sunlight too.

Vivo Y51L hardware

Again, on the hardware front, the Y51L offers decent set of specifications for a budget smartphone that manage to perform well. However, the competition in the segment is cut-throat, and several smartphones in the same price bracket offer better specs.

The experience though is great for the most part – during multitasking or playing graphics-intensive games. Surprisingly for a budget smartphone, there were no heating issues with the Y51L.

On the battery front, the Vivo Y51L comes with a non-removable 2350mAh battery that can easily last for over a day on moderate usage.

Vivo Y51L software

The Y51L sports Funtouch OS, the company's proprietary customization over Android 5.0. The software experience is quite snappy, although it will take a few days to get comfortable with unique UX elements – true for most Android skins.

Once you get a hang of it, and you will, there are some nifty features like the programmable volume down key allowing you to wake up any app that you prefer or long screenshot option that allows you to take the screenshot of a scrollable page.

Vivo Y51L camera

The Y51L packs in an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP front camera. The rear camera manages to take decent pictures in daylight with good color reproduction. In low light conditions though, the lack of sharpness and details is evident and the pictures are grainy. Overall, the camera is inconsistent, sometimes clicking blurry pictures when you don't expect it to. The front camera with f/2.4 lens aperture is surprisingly a better performer and takes pretty good selfies.

The camera app packs in several modes like HDR, Panorama, Night, Action et al. There's also Face Beauty feature to jazz up your selfies. There's a handy watermark feature that lets you add text to your images before sharing it on Web.

Vivo Y51L The bottom line

The Vivo Y51L looks very stylish, but fares up average on the specifications sheet. In real usage though, it performs great although the camera is just about okay. The qHD display is a major letdown and would have users look at other options on the table – and there are several of them in the Indian market, some of whom have almost revamped the budget segment of smartphones.

Should you buy it? Probably

At a price of ₹11,980 ($180) in India, a fantastic design and good performance are the only two things that are going in favor of the Vivo Y51L. If camera isn't a trade-off you'd like to make or the low-resolution display irks you, you might want to skip it. If you're looking for nothing fancy when it comes to internals, the good looking Y51L is a fine phone to flaunt in your hand.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Google Drive for Mac and PC now offers granular choice of which folders to sync locally

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More robust selective syncing is now available for Google Drive on Mac and PC, allowing users to save space by choosing what folders they'd like to sync locally.

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2 weeks ago

AirPlay support comes to older HTC flagships courtesy of HTC Connect

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The HTC Connect app is set to bring one of the HTC 10's most interesting features to the flagship's older siblings: native AirPlay support.

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2 weeks ago

Podcasts may come to Google Play Music on April 18

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We've known for a while podcasts are on their way to Google Play Music, but we may now have a date to look forward to: April 18. Oddly, the date comes from an email that NPR sent out to members (via Android Police), which notes the network's podcasts will be available on Google Play Music when the service launches on April 18:

Google will launch podcasts on Android and other platforms next Monday, April 18, inside of Google Play Music, a streaming service similar to Apple Music. Please note: this information is embargoed and should not be shared or promoted externally until Monday. NPR has worked with Google to ensure that public radio is represented in the Google Play environment. Learn more about adding your station's podcasts to this new platform.

Google originally announced that podcasts were on their way to Google Play Music way back in October, but they have yet to officially arrive in the app. While support could very well arrive on April 18 as NPR says, it should be noted that podcaster Bill Simmons previously indicated podcasts would arrive sometime in February — which obviously turned out not to be true.

As always, nothing is official until Google says so.

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2 weeks ago

Verizon offers up to 2GB of extra data when you use Android Pay

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Verizon customers who use Android Pay are in for a bit of a treat. The carrier is offering up to 2GB of free data when you use Android Pay in stores with your Verizon phone. That data will be available to you for two billing cycles.

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2 weeks ago

Android Central 283: The HTC 10 special edition podcast!

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Audio-only stream below

The HTC 10 is here! And with it comes an hour on the HTC 10, the full HTC 10, and nothing but the HTC 10.

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2 weeks ago

TD's new money management app chides you for buying those shoes

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TD Canada Trust has released a new money management app, MySpend, gleaned from its partnership with U.S.-based Moven.

Announced late last year, the idea behind MySpend is to allow users to easily track and eventually alter spending habits by separating debit and credit expenditures into categories.

By default, the app logs into your TD account through the same credentials as the core app (with the same security measures), giving it access to chequing and savings accounts, along with any credit products you may have. By going through previous months' spending habits, MySpend determines whether you're on track to spend more or less in this month.

It also groups spending into categories, and filters based on what it determines are "Want" and "Need" expenditures.

While the app doesn't get an detailed as, say, Mint, which has been available to Canadians for many years, it is a relatively easy way for TD customers to see their spending habits in a different format than usual. The app is also light on advice right now, but TD says it plans to iterate often on the app's core competencies.

The company says that MySpend is the only bank-released app of its kind in North America, and that by focusing on mobile users first it is reaching out to a younger crowd that deals less with branches and more with online-only banking.

The app, available today for Android and rolling out to iOS in the near future, ties into the core TD app, but operates on its own as well.

See TD MySpend at Google Play

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2 weeks ago

Instagram beefs up Explore tab with video channels

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Instagram is looking to make it easier to find videos you might like thanks to an overhauled Explore tab that now features video channels.

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2 weeks ago

A generation without colorful phones

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We get it, these colors are working for Apple. Stop it anyway.

We've reached the middle of April, which means all of the big names in the smartphone world that aren't based in Cupertino have unveiled their big offerings for the year. They all seem really impressive, too. Samsung's refined design language almost comes off as a piece of jewelry, LG has jumped on the all metal train, and it looks like HTC is actually going to show up and be interesting this year with the 10. Across the pond we saw Huawei drop some dual-camera love in an impressive new body, giving folks in the U.S. some serious fear of missing out.

There's another thing all of these phones have in common, and it sucks. All of these phones come in nothing more than some variant of black, silver, and gold.

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2 weeks ago

BlackBerry Priv begins sales in Mexico on Amazon

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The reach of the BlackBerry Priv smartphone continues to expand. The latest country to offer sales of the Android-based phone is Mexico.

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2 weeks ago

You can get a $30 gift card for signing up and using Samsung Pay from April 15 to May 10

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Samsung is making yet another effort to get new customers for its Samsung Pay service. From Friday, April 15 to May 10, anyone in the U.S. who has already signed up for Samsung Pay and makes their first three purchases will receive a free $30 gift card.

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