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2 weeks ago

Google aims for transparency with updated user data rules on the Chrome Web Store

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Google is moving to make sure that users are completely aware of what data is collected from apps and extensions on the Chrome Web Store.

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2 weeks ago

Rogers now offers add-on data when you're close to your monthly limit

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Rogers has begun reaching out to customers on the verge of exceeding their monthly data buckets, asking over SMS whether they'd like to add a one-time data add-on to their monthly plan.

At 90% usage, users will get the option of adding 200MB for $5, 400MB for $9, or 600MB for $12, which extrapolates roughly to the standard 1GB / $20 rate that carriers charge these days.

Because Rogers charges overage fees of $0.05 per MB, or $50 per gigabyte, the add-on options, while pricey in isolation, are good hedges against excessive overage fees. And that they are easy to apply — merely reply using a pre-determined number, and have the charge added to an account — adds a convenience factor.

What do you think about these add-ons? Are they useful, or just greedy? Let us know in the comments!

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2 weeks ago

Do you want a free pass to SDC 2016? Enter now and you could win one!

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With 10 categories and 70+ sessions to choose from, SDC has something for everyone!

The Samsung Developer Conference is the premier event for Samsung platform news and information, and it's just a couple of weeks away! The event spans 2 days, over 150 speakers and 100 sessions. It's designed for developers, for creators, for builders. For the curious. For you. Samsung and partners will showcase the technology and solutions that will disrupt the future and change the way we live – from healthcare to virtual reality to wearables and IoT. Check out the latest gadgets and tools at SDC 2016.

Sounds awesome, right? Well, it's about to get more awesome, because we've secured free passes for 10 people!

The prize: 10 people are going to get a FREE pass to the conference. This is a full conference pass providing access to everything happening on April 27 and 28, in San Francisco, CA. Please note, if you win you are responsible for all travel and accommodations.

To enter: Head to the widget below and enter! There are multiple methods, and if you complete them all you'll have the maximum chance of winning. Since the event is approaching pretty quickly, we're going to keep it short and end it Monday. Winners will be posted here and notified via email with instructions for redeeming their pass. Good luck everyone!

Enter to win a free pass to the Samsung Developer Conference!

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2 weeks ago

Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are $50 off at the Google Store through May 6

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If you still haven't picked up a Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P, and have been waiting for them to go on sale again, here is your chance. The Google Store is again offering $50 off the purchase of either phone now through May 6. This means that you can pick up the Nexus 5X starting at $299, or the Nexus 6P for $450.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S7 versus Nexus 5X: Same size, different audiences

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Samsung Galaxy S7 versus Nexus 5X

When it comes to getting a 'compact' phone, your options are a bit limited. These phones do it, but for very different prices.

A good number of smartphone fans were excited to see that with the latest generation of Galaxy S phones, Samsung decided to keep its flagship a very modest size. The Galaxy S7 has just a 5.1-inch screen, which is pretty small for today's standards and is even notably smaller than its sibling devices the Galaxy S7 edge.

Much the same story played out late last year with Google's Nexus device release, where it resurrected the spirit of the Nexus 5 in the brand new Nexus 5X. The screen size jumped just a tad, but this is very much a "smaller" phone at 5.2-inches diagonal screen size and generally with small dimensions compared to the big 'ol Nexus 6P.

But even though both of these phones have the same appeal to those who want something a bit more compact to carry around every day, they each target different audiences beyond that. Right off the start pricing is a huge differentiator, and the phones have divergent takes on hardware and software. Despite the differences, we want to see how these two phones compare head-to-head. Here's a look at the Galaxy S7 and the Nexus 5X.

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2 weeks ago

Pebble Time priced at just $90 for today only at Meh.com

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If you have been wanting to get a Pebble Time smartwatch but didn't want to spend a lot of money, you might want to jump on today's sale on Meh.com. The site currently has priced the Pebble Time down to just $90.

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2 weeks ago

Be sure to check out our LG G5 video review!

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We've got a plethora of new and awesome Android phones available — or soon to be available. And that means we're knee deep in reviews for all sorts of things.

One of our more recent reviews is the LG G5. As you've no doubt heard by now — from us as well as others — is that it's an unconventional phone. That's not to say it's a bad one. But different doesn't always work. There are some things about the G5 that are spot on and are excellent reasons for picking one up. And there are some things about it that are a cause for concern — or are at least a reason to do some serious thinking before parting with your hard-earned cash.

There's a lot going on with this phone, and we've got the broad strokes in our official LG G5 video review. And when you're done with that, be sure to check out our full written LG G5 review as well.

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2 weeks ago

LG G5 second opinion — at least the camera is nice?

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LG G5

A stellar camera and capable processor aren't enough to make me recommend this phone to most people.

LG has had a fascinating journey over the last couple of G-series releases. Their phones have a tendency to stick out as uniquely LG, but those hardware decisions don't usually add or take away from just how good the phones are. This year things are a little different. LG has made the shift to metal with the G5, but made sure to keep the removable battery and expandable storage that helped the G4 stand out last year. Unfortunately that transition comes off a clumsy and awkward, with a host of fairly bland accessories standing almost as an attempt to distract from what LG has assembled.

We've already written a full review of the LG G5, and Phil's thoughts on this experience do a great job focusing on the whole picture LG is trying to assemble this year. As someone who only has the G5, and who isn't really interested the "Friends" that dock in the bottom of this phone, the picture is a lot smaller. It's also not quite as clear as what LG has offered in the past, making the overall experience less than great.

But, hey, at least the camera is nice.

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2 weeks ago

Gear S2 Classic in rose gold and platinum arrives at Samsung Experience Stores in Canada

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The Samsung Gear S2 Classic in both rose gold and platinum is now available at Samsung Experience Stores in Canada. These stores are located in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto, and this version of the watch starts retailing at $549.99.

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2 weeks ago

HTC's new Boost+ app is one of the least useful things they've ever made

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HTC. Stop. What are you doing?

HTC has made their Boost+ app available for everyone today. It's also a pre-installed application on the HTC 10. And it's something they never should have spent time to make, and that you should never use.

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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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