Recent Articles | Android Central

Order Google Pixel: Google Store | Verizon Shop Chromebooks: Asus Flip | Acer 14 | Dell 13

Headlines

3 weeks ago

Great Gadget Gifts at $50, $100, and $200

7

Get your tech-centric pal or loved one something new to play with.

Life is full of little gadgets that make life more interesting, so why not help out a friend or family member? We put together a list of neat tech that quickly automates your home or adds a bit of flair to your smartphone. There are great choices at $50, $100, and $200 price points!

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

Google Play Newsstand gets redesigned home screen, bottom toolbar

8

Google Play Newsstand is now better than ever.

Google has released a new version of Play Newsstand, its one-stop shop for news, magazines and other written content, with an updated home screen design and a bottom tab bar that replaces the left-side hamburger menu.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

Which Pixel OTA or factory image to flash? It's now a little easier to figure out

18
Pixel XL

There are different builds for the European, U.S. and Verizon Pixels.

Google dropped three new Android 7.1 builds for the Pixel and Pixel XL recently, complete with the November 2016 security patches. But it wasn't immediately clear which of the three builds posted update-hungry Pixel owners should apply to their devices.

In the past day or so, Google has refreshed its factory images page (but curiously, not its OTA images page) with a small but important update — specifically, which Pixel variant each build is for. Here's how it breaks down:

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

Best Android Camera

Best Android Camera

If you're looking for the best all-around Android camera that is simple to use but also extremely powerful, look no further than the Google Pixel.

Andrew Martonik Andrew has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at Android Central since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at andrew.martonik@androidcentral.com or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.

*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Best overall

Google Pixel

Google pixel

See at Verizon See at Google

Google's new Pixel phone comes out on top when you look at photo quality, overall performance and simplicity of shooting. Interestingly, it does it with what would normally be considered middle-of-the-road camera specs. You get a 12MP sensor and f/2.0 lens without the support OIS (optical image stabilization), but that isn't an issue for the Pixel.

It also has a simple camera interface that doesn't have a ton of features, but makes up for it in terms of overall quality. Just point and shoot, and you're going to get a great photo every single time. Daylight shots are crisp and bright with just the right amount of extra saturation, and low-light shots are surprisingly smooth and lack the extra noise that other phones often introduce.

Add in the extra perk that the Pixel includes unlimited full-resolution photo backup with Google Photos, and it's a truly great smartphone camera.

Bottom line: For the best possible photos from every type of situation, the Pixel is your best choice.

One more thing: For the same camera experience in a larger size with a bigger battery, consider the (more expensive) Google Pixel XL.

Why the Google Pixel is the best

After years of Nexuses with hit-or-miss cameras, Google finally delivered on its promise with the Pixel — and it's doing it with a similar formula we first saw in the Nexus 6P and 5X. You don't get OIS (optical image stabilization), but instead a 12MP sensor with really large pixels that can take in extra light and HDR+ software that does the extra work to bring multiple exposures together.

The results are absolutely fantastic, no matter the shooting situation. As Alex Dobie said in our Pixel review:

Captures are quick, there's plenty of fine detail in a wide variety of lighting conditions, and Google's Auto-HDR+ trickery produces photos with excellent dynamic range in situations where many rivals stumble. Colors are punchy, but not excessively saturated. And even in challenging lighting conditions, such as dark restaurants at night, a good amount of fine detail and color detail is preserved.

The Pixel doesn't offer a ton of shooting modes or lots of tweaking options in the camera interface, but that doesn't really matter — the end result when you press the shutter key matches or beats the competition, and offers amazing consistency from shot to shot. Photos are crisp with just the right amount of punchy color, and when the light is at a minimum it manages to still take smooth shots anyway. It's incredibly impressive what Google was able to do in the Pixel, and the results are to your benefit every time you open the camera.

Best runner-up

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

See at AT&T See at Sprint See at T-Mobile See at Verizon

Samsung launched the Galaxy S7 back in March 2016, and until the Pixel arrived it was the best camera out there. The 12MP resolution gives you plenty of pixels to work with, and the OIS keeps everything clear whether you're taking low-light shots or shooting video on the move.

Just as important as the photo output is how quickly the camera operates. Two presses of the home button launch the camera in less than a second, and photos are taken instantaneously even when shooting in HDR or a tough lighting situation. The camera interface is simple but also powerful if you choose to move to the full Manual mode, which can enable great shots if you want to tweak and use a tripod.

Bottom line: For a nearly compromise-free experience, the Galaxy S7 has a fantastic camera and it's connected to a great phone too.

One more thing: The Galaxy S7 has a 5.1-inch display, but if you want something larger with the same camera, you can consider the 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 edge.

Best for tweaking

LG V20

LG V20

See at T-Mobile See at AT&T

The new LG V20 borrows the same dual-camera setup from the LG G5, but that's not a bad thing. The main 16MP rear camera is capable of taking crisp, well-balanced shots with the support of a bright f/1.8 lens and OIS. Where the V20 looks to stand out is its second rear camera, which is an 8MP sensor with a super wide-angle lens. The wide-angle shooter can be toggled to quickly for awesome and unique shots you don't get on other phones, though the sensor itself is unfortunately just not as good as the main 16MP offering.

Its camera interface isn't quite as simple or fast as Samsung's, but it's not far off. And what you give up in simplicity you gain in manual controls and tweaks. The Manual mode is comprehensive and powerful, and if you're into recording video there's even a Manual video mode that incorporates high-quality microphones for audio and new electronic image stabilization to keep things steady.

Bottom line: For a great camera that has a few extra options to play with, the V20 is worth considering over the Galaxy S7.

One more thing: The V20 is only on sale in some regions right now, with U.S. availability coming soon. If you want one in the States, you'll have to wait a bit longer.

Best on a budget

OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3

See at OnePlus

Everyone wants a great camera in their smartphone, but not everyone can spend the kind of money it takes to get a Galaxy S7 or LG V20. For a much more reasonable $399, the OnePlus 3 has a really solid shooter that's better than the price would suggest. When we compared the OnePlus 3's camera to the Galaxy S7 edge's (which is the same as the GS7), we found the OnePlus 3 to match it in quality in many situations.

You get plenty of resolution here at 16MP, but smaller 1.12-micron pixels that aren't as great in low-light scenes — though the inclusion of a relatively quick f/2.0 lens and OIS help, as does the camera app's HDR processing. The camera app isn't great and can still be a little slow, and you don't get full manual controls, but for a camera that can get the job done and won't break the bank, this is a great choice.

Bottom line: For a really solid camera in a phone that won't break the bank, the OnePlus 3 is a great choice.

One more thing: Remember that the OnePlus 3 is only designed to work on GSM networks, like T-Mobile, AT&T and their MVNO partners.

Conclusion

2016 has produced some great smartphone cameras, and you have a few great choices here. But if you're looking for the absolute best camera across the board, you're going to want the Google Pixel. The Galaxy S7 is a close second, the LG V20 offers tons of options and the OnePlus 3 does well on a budget.

Best overall

Google Pixel

Google pixel

See at Verizon See at Google

Google's new Pixel phone comes out on top when you look at photo quality, overall performance and simplicity of shooting. Interestingly, it does it with what would normally be considered middle-of-the-road camera specs. You get a 12MP sensor and f/2.0 lens without the support OIS (optical image stabilization), but that isn't an issue for the Pixel.

It also has a simple camera interface that doesn't have a ton of features, but makes up for it in terms of overall quality. Just point and shoot, and you're going to get a great photo every single time. Daylight shots are crisp and bright with just the right amount of extra saturation, and low-light shots are surprisingly smooth and lack the extra noise that other phones often introduce.

Add in the extra perk that the Pixel includes unlimited full-resolution photo backup with Google Photos, and it's a truly great smartphone camera.

Bottom line: For the best possible photos from every type of situation, the Pixel is your best choice.

One more thing: For the same camera experience in a larger size with a bigger battery, consider the (more expensive) Google Pixel XL.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

Digital Offers: Become a Linux pro for just $69

0

You're probably quite familiar with Windows or Mac OS X — chances are you're visiting us from a computer running one of them right now. However, Linux and UNIX are two operating systems that any self-respecting programmer needs to know. Both are powerful, flexible operating systems in use by many big companies, and are common OS choices for programmers.

If you've been interested in learning how to code and use Linux and UNIX, you might be at a loss as to where to start. But it's a great set of skills to know, especially if you're maybe looking to transition into a new career. Considering many leading tech and data-driven companies use Linux, this is an excellent foundation for any aspiring professional programmer.

But taking the time out to go back to school, or participate in a Linux coding boot camp just might not be feasible either for your budget or your schedule. There is a way to learn everything you need to know about Linux at your own pace, and for a very reasonable price at that!

Android Central is happy to offer The Complete Linux System Administrator Bundle for a one-time payment of $69. This bundle includes over 100 hours of training materials and would typically cost well over $2000 for all that is included here.

This bundle is broken up into seven courses, which each focus on a different aspect of Linux. From Comprehensive Training in Linux and Unix Fundamentals to Bash Scripting in Linux, these courses will guide you from knowing next to nothing about Linux, to putting you in a position to not only become a competent Linux administrator, but also potentially giving you a leg up on your competition.

All told, this bundle offers over 600 lessons to work through at your own pace, since you get lifetime online access to all the course materials. And with a 96% discount off the regular price, if you've been considering learning Linux, there's no better time than now. This is a limited time offer, so act now!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

OnePlus 3 will get a taste of Nougat this month, stable OTA coming by end of 2016

15

Nougat beta community build coming this month, stable OTA by the end of the year.

Samsung, LG, and Sony announced their Nougat plans this week, and now OnePlus has shared details on when it will roll out the latest version of Android to the OnePlus 3.

Speaking to Engadget, OnePlus' head of software Brian Yoon revealed that a Nougat beta community build will be rolled out later this month, with an OTA update rolling out to all OnePlus 3 devices by the end of the year.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

Top off your phone's battery on the go with these discounted Kmashi power banks

6

It's time to stock up on Kmashi's power banks.

Right now you can score some sweet savings on Kmashi's portable battery packs at Amazon with a coupon code. For as little as $6 you can grab a 5000mAh power bank to charge your favorite gadgets while on the go without tethering yourself to a wall. The 5000mAh model has one port and a perfectly pocketable design for charging on the go while the two-port 15000mAh model has two ports and a slim design for stashing in your gear bag or purse.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

Samsung is bringing the Gear S3 to the UK on Nov 18

9

The Gear S3 Frontier and Classic are coming to the UK next week.

Samsung has kicked off sales of the Gear S3 in South Korea, and the smartwatch will make its debut in the UK on November 18. Both the Frontier and Classic editions of the watch will be available for purchase.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

I dropped my LG V20 and you'll never guess what happened next...

106
3 weeks ago

How to enable two-step verification on WhatsApp

4

It's time to secure your WhatsApp account.

WhatsApp rolled out two-step verification on its platform, giving users the ability to secure their accounts with a passcode. The service relies on an SMS confirmation whenever you set it up on a new phone, and the new measure provides an added layer of security. Given the relative ease with which you can set it up and the added security benefits, there's no reason not to create a passcode for your WhatsApp account.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

HTC Bolt hands-on preview: A solid phone that struggles to move the needle

53
HTC Bolt

The Bolt is a fine phone, but it isn't going to move the needle for HTC or Sprint.

HTC has had a rough couple of years in terms of smartphone releases. Though it has put out a few compelling products, its high-end phones seem to come up just short while its mid-range phones are often too expensive for what they offer. Now with a partnership that tapped it to build the Pixel phones for Google, HTC is leaning back toward its roots as an ODM making phones in tight concert with other companies.

Just like the good old days, HTC has struck an exclusive deal with Sprint to make the Bolt — a one-off phone that has ties to the HTC 10, while differing in a few ways and integrating tightly with Sprint's network technology and software. Even though Sprint carries both the HTC 10 and One A9, the Bolt is the new top-end device for the carrier to be pushed through the holidays and hopefully give a little bump to the HTC brand. After a couple days with the phone, here's an early look at what you can expect from the HTC Bolt.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

Sprint-exclusive HTC Bolt unveiled: 5.5-inch screen, USB-C audio and the fastest LTE speeds

25
HTC Bolt

A bigger, lower-specced yet still intriguing version of the HTC 10 is coming exclusively to Sprint.

After a good amount of leaking, Sprint and HTC have unveiled the carrier-exclusive Bolt, a new phone that borrows much from the HTC 10 but ups the ante a bit with a larger screen, new software and deep integration with Sprint's latest network technologies. Sprint is selling the Bolt based on a headline feature of its network capabilities, where it supports Sprint's 3x CA (carrier aggregation) LTE for the highest possible speeds of any phone from the carrier.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

HTC Bolt specs: Snapdragon 810, 3GB RAM, 3200 mAh battery, IP57 resistance

28
HTC Bolt

HTC's latest high-end phone is Sprint exclusive and has an interesting combination of specs.

The Bolt doesn't necessarily swing for the fences with all of the top-end specs, but rather has a mixture of the latest line items along with some (somewhat puzzling) last-gen components. The biggest head scratcher is the older Snapdragon 810 processor and just 3GB of RAM, which both fall short of the modern standard for late 2016. On the other end you get a great, big, high-resolution display, high-end camera specs and IP57 water resistance, together with BoomSound speakers and extra audio tuning through the USB-C port.

Here's the complete spec sheet for the HTC Bolt.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

Logitech's ZeroTouch is now the best, most expensive Android Auto car mount you can buy

17

A super sleek (and expensive) accessory for Android Auto.

Logitech's in-car phone mount originally launched as the ZeroTouch now has a second version dubbed the "SmartCar" mount and is being stocked by the Google Store. The new version aligns with its change to being designed for Android Auto's standalone phone mode, as the mount will auto-launch the Android Auto app instead of Logitech's own ZeroTouch app.

Read more and comment

 
3 weeks ago

Vampire giraffe pie? Even more emoji possibilities to come in Unicode 10

7

We're almost at a loss for words at this point.

Emoji use is on the rise, and the Unicode Consortium is spending an increasing amount of time designing new emoji to reflect an even more diverse set of pictographs for all kinds of situations. 51 new emoji are up for consideration for inclusion in Unicode 10, with some of the headliners being "bearded man," "milkshake," "breastfeeding," "zebra," "vampire" and "pie."

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages