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2 weeks ago

Lenovo PHAB 2 family specs

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Wondering what the difference between the various PHAB 2 models are that Lenovo recently announced? All of the models come with a rather massive 6.4-inch display, but internally there are some differences that set them apart. Each screen has a different number of pixels per inch, each gains more memory as you move up the line, and much more.

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2 weeks ago

Lenovo announces the PHAB 2 family of phones

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Lenovo has announced the PHAB 2 family of phones, which consists of three different models for you to decide between. The entry model is the PHAB 2, which comes with a 6.4-inch IPS display, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. With the PHAB 2 Plus the memory bumps up to 3GB, and an 8MP front-facing camera instead of 5MP in the base model.

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2 weeks ago

Lenovo shows off insanely flexible phone and tablet concepts

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On stage at Lenovo Tech World today, Lenovo gave a quick demonstration of some prototype flexible tech that it is working on.

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2 weeks ago

Facebook now lets you upload and share 360-degree photos

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Facebook is now allowing the many users of its social networking service to upload 360 degree photos to their accounts and to share them with others.

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2 weeks ago

Lenovo Tech World and Moto Z liveblog — live at 10 a.m. PT June 9!

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Lenovo Tech World logos

Join us to see the latest in Lenovo and Motorola hardware.

This is the first time we'll be extensively covering Lenovo Tech World, but for good reason — now that Motorola is completely integrated into the company, this is shaping up to be a big product launch. We expect to see the blockbuster unveiling of the new Moto X (or Moto Z, we guess) and all of its yet-to-be-known stellar features, and we're expecting some other big announcements as well.

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2 weeks ago

Uber begins Scheduled Rides rollout in Seattle, more cities coming soon

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Uber has started rolling out its new Scheduled Rides feature, starting in Seattle, for its business customers. It will allow those users to schedule a pickup date from the shared ride service from 30 minutes to 30 days in advance.

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2 weeks ago

Nearby is a new way for Google to show you relevant information based on your surroundings

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Google has announced a new way to discover things around you called Nearby. Don't confuse this with the feature that the company unveiled last year that let you share things easily with those around you, as this is different. Whether you are at a museum or in an airport, Nearby will push things to you that could be useful.

Google lists some examples of how it will work, including:

  • Print photos directly from your phone at CVS Pharmacy.
  • Explore historical landmarks at the University of Notre Dame.
  • Download the audio tour when you're at The Broad in LA.
  • Skip the customs line at select airports with Mobile Passport.
  • Download the United Airlines app for free in-flight entertainment while you wait at the gate, before you board your flight.

This will be made available as part of an upcoming Google Play Services release, and will work on phones running Android 4.4 and above.

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2 weeks ago

Making your Android look and feel like a Nexus

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Theming is about customization and creativity; it's about making things different.

Despite the overwhelming urge to be "not the same" a great amount of time, tech, and talent goes into making 'stock' themes. And many a loving Android nerd proudly rock 'stock' or 'pure' setups. These adjectives aren't quite accurate, so we're not going to use them for the rest of the article. The look we're aiming for in this guide emulates Android as Google intended, so we shall call it Nexus, after the devices that come with this experience out of the box.

It's not hard to understand why Google's visual approach to Android is a popular one, as it's a cohesive look and it's got a wonderful simplicity to it without straying into bland vanilla. The Nexus look has evolved over the years, but now that we've settled into the Material Design era, it's gotten easier and easier to achieve the Nexus look on other devices. Here's how we do it.

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2 weeks ago

Pre-register for Nexon's upcoming Heroes of Incredible Tales on Google Play Store

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Nexon is taking pre-registrations for its upcoming hack-and-slash fantasy RPG Heroes of Incredible Tales (HIT) on the Google Play Store.

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2 weeks ago

How to buy an unlocked Android phone in Canada

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Moto G4 Plus

There are many reasons to buy an unlocked smartphone, and some reasons not to.

Unlocked phones are all the rage, but what does the term mean, and when is the right time to make the investment?

What is an unlocked phone?

An unlocked phone is one that has no restrictions on which carrier it can be used. Most Canadian carriers, in exchange for providing a handsome subsidy, sell handsets that are locked to their networks, making it more likely that you will purchase, and continue using, their service. Popping a SIM card from, say, Bell into a Rogers-locked device will throw an error and won't connect. Put a Rogers SIM card back in that phone, and it starts working again.

When a phone is unlocked, you are free to shop around for the best monthly plan — one that is not tied to the sale of a handset. Most carriers, in fact, offer monthly discounts for bringing an unlocked phone to their network, since they don't have to sell a subsidized phone — money that comes out of their bottom line — to sell a service plan.

Should you buy an unlocked phone?

These days, you hear a lot about "buying unlocked" and how it's so much better. But, like all things, it's not that simple. Whether you should buy an unlocked depends on a lot of things, but thankfully it's easier than ever to make that decision; the number of ways to obtain one has risen dramatically over the past few years.

But should you? There are several reasons to buy an unlocked phone:

  • Carriers often give meaningful discounts to customers who buy an unlocked phone beforehand and purchase service.
  • Unlocked phones are often less encumbered with carrier-related software, often known as bloatware.
  • Unlocked devices can be used on any carrier whose wireless bands are supported on the handset. These days, most unlocked phones sold throughout the world work on the major Canadian carriers.
  • Unlocked devices can be used internationally, with local SIM cards, that avoid often-expensive roaming plans.
  • Unlocked phones are not beholden to carriers' often-slow update schedules. They are usually updated directly from the manufacturer, which means they arrive more often and more quickly.

Are there any downsides to buying an unlocked phone?

They are typically more expensive, since they are purchased at their full retail price, with no carrier subsidy. Fortunately, there are dozens of unlocked Android smartphones in the $200 to $500 price range that are worth considering. Devices like the Moto G4 Plus, ZTE Axon 7, OnePlus 3, and many others, are primarily sold unlocked, and rival many hero devices like the HTC 10 that are nearly double the cost.

Where to get one?

Many Canadian retailers, both land and virtual, sell unlocked phones, namely Staples, Newegg, Canada Computers, NCIX, London Drugs, and many others.

Some Android OEMs sell their devices directly to consumers, too: HTC sells the One A9 and HTC 10 from its web store; Alcatel sells the Idol 3 4.7" (and soon its successor, the Idol 4 and 4S) on its website; and Google sells the Nexus 5X and 6P from the Google Store.

If you're looking to buy a second-hand unlocked phone, make sure that its IMEI — a unique identifier that differentiates one phone for another — has not been blacklisted by the CWTA. Before buying a used phone, make sure to ask the seller the IMEI and run the number through the database, which is shared with other agencies throughout the world. If the IMEI is blacklisted, the phone may be stolen, and will likely not work on any Canadian carrier.

Unlocking an existing phone

It's fairly easy to unlock an existing phone, if you want to go that route. To do so, you'll need to come at the problem in one of two ways:

  • If you purchased it directly from your carrier, call them and pay a fee for them to unlock it. That fee is usually $35 to $50, depending on the provider, and may only be possible when the device is fully paid off, or the account is in good standing.
  • If you purchased it from someone else (who presumably got it from a carrier), websites like cellunlocker.net have proven reliable and inexpensive.

Will an unlocked phone work on your carrier?

I can't answer that for you specifically, but chances are, yes. Handsets sold in the last couple of years usually have some, if not all, the requisite hardware to support most Canadian carriers.

If you're looking to purchase an unlocked phone, make sure it has at least one of the following compatible LTE bands. (Not sure what a "band" is? Read up on our Guide to LTE in Canada.)

  • Band 4 (All carriers)
  • Band 7 (Bell / Rogers)
  • Band 12/17 (All carriers)
  • Band 13 (All carriers)
  • Band 2 (Bell / Telus)
  • Band 5 (Bell / Telus)

More: The best unlocked Android phones in Canada

Was there anything we forgot? Let us know in the comments.

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2 weeks ago

Best Verizon prepaid phones

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Best Verizon prepaid phones

Not one for contracts? Go prepaid with Verizon and pick the right phone.

If you're going prepaid, you can certainly try to bring your own device to Verizon, but it's pretty strict about which phones it'll allow (many unlocked phones aren't even compatible with the network).

Otherwise, Verizon has a selection of prepaid phones that you can purchase directly, which may make for less of a headache in the long run. Here are a few that you should consider first.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is Verizon's best prepaid option. You have the option of 32GB for $696 or 64GB for $792. In the Note 5 you have a BIG phone that's easy to hold, thanks to its curved edges, and its glass and metal design is both functional and gorgeous.

If you yearn for the days when hand-writing was a thing, then you'll find solace in the Note 5's S Pen, which lets you write notes by hand and converts them to text for you, a feature made sweeter by a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screen that offers a resolution of 2560x1440.

You've also got the Exynos 7420 octa-core processor, which makes for a phone that's nimble and responsive and quite powerful for a prepaid option. The battery is a whopping 3,000 mAh, which will probably last you at least a full day, depending on your habits.

If your battery is running low, you have the advantage of wireless fast-charging, which can bring your phone from 0 to 100% up to 50 minutes faster than standard charging. Verizon's Note 5 comes only in Black Sapphire, but it will pair well with any case you choose!

The one downside is the Note 5 lacks a microSD card slot, so you're limited to the 32GB or 64GB.

This is definitely the best prepaid phone you can get from Verizon, so if you can afford it, do it up.

For more information on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, you can check out our review!

See at Verizon

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

In Silver Gold, the HTC One M9 isn't just a pretty face. You've got a 5-inch 1920x1080 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 under the hood, 32GB of storage, and a microSD card that allows for up to 128GB of expansion.

If you're someone who likes to fill their phone with photos and videos, then expandable storage is a godsend, especially since you'll be using the M9's camera all the time.

The front-facing camera is 4MP, while the rear-facing camera offers a whopping 20MP and the ability to shoot 4K video. The HTC One M9's rear-facing camera using HTC's "Ultrapixel" technology, which is a five dollar term for larger pixels. That does mean, however, that each pixel is able to let in more light, making for more vivid and accurate photos.

Quick-charge 2.0 will have your 2,840 mAh battery up and running in no time, and it'll probably last you all day, depending on your usage. You can customize your Home screen with tons of great themes, so your HTC One experience can be truly unique.

Keep in mind that this phone is a generation old at this point, and the newer HTC 10 is a massive improvement, but if you're stuck with prepaid, then the M9 will do fine.

Check out our review for more!

See at Verizon

LG G4

LG G4

LG's 2015 flagship redefined LG smartphones and brought together a beautiful, 5.5-inch Quad HD display, a large, 3,000 mAh battery, and a great camera, which made it one of the best Android phones of 2015. You almost can't do better for a prepaid phone, and LG G4 is well-worth the $456 from Verizon.

Unfortunately, you don't get the beautiful leather-backed edition from Verizon, so you will have to settle for a Metallic Gray plastic back. This phone isn't much to look at, but it more than makes up for it in performance.

32GB of internal storage is expandable, thanks to the G4's microSD slot, which allows for up to 2TB (even though the biggest microSD card on the market is only 200GB). You can fill this puppy up with photos, videos, apps, and more without worrying about running out of space any time soon.

If you're after a powerful phone with a great camera and virtually endless expandable storage, then pick up the LG G4 for your prepaid plan.

Though the G4 is a generation old and nowhere near the phone that the LG G5 is, it'll do just nicely is Verizon prepaid is your only option.

Check out our review for more!

See at Verizon

iPhone SE

iPhone SE

Of course, you can always go the iPhone route with Verizon's prepaid plans, and you can actually get the newest iPhone, the SE. At 16GB and with no expandable memory, this is for those of you that want a simple iPhone to be used for no more than making calls and texts, playing games, and taking the odd photo. Otherwise, you'll have to be backing your photos up constantly, since 16GB fills up quite rapidly.

That being said, the iPhone SE offers the same A9 processor that's available in the 6s, but in a compact 4-inch package. Yup, 4 inches. Remember when phones were that small 2 years ago? Me neither.

Along with that rockin' processor, you still have Apple's great fingerprint sensor, which allows you to easily secure your iPhone SE and truly personalize it. Verizon's also generous in terms of look for the SE, since the Space Gray, Rose Gold, and silver options are all available to you, for $400 each.

Running on the latest version of iOS also means you'll be up-to-date, so all of your Apple devices will work together in perfect harmony.

If you want a phone that's compact and easy to use on the go, then consider the iPhone SE. It may be small, but it's powerful and more than capable to handle your day-to-day.

Check out iMore's review for more!

See at Verizon

Bring your own device

Verizon does have a fairly limited selection of phones that you can bring to the prepaid fold, but there are a couple rules:

  1. The phone must be a Verizon phone.
  2. The phone must be compatible. You can check compatibility here.

If it's compatible, you can just order the SIM activation kit and away you go.

If you do not find your Verizon phone in the list, then you may want to give them a call and they'll tell you whether or not you can use it with their prepaid plans.

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2 weeks ago

Grab a 32GB Nexus 5X for just $270 at DailySteals

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DailySteals is currently selling the black 32GB version of Google's Nexus 5X for just $269.99, well below its normal price of $399.

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2 weeks ago

Don't buy a Chromebook right now (in June 2016)

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Android apps on Chromebooks will be cool, but don't get caught up and spend money you wish you didn't.

Yes, you read that title correctly. I'm telling you not to go out and buy a Chromebook right now. Sounds crazy, right? But hear me out.

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2 weeks ago

HTC Vive Business Edition lets companies buy in bulk

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One Vive is great, but what happens when the boss asks you to order 20?

HTC has found tremendous success with the Vive headset already. Consumers are struggling to get their hands on one, even after HTC dramatically reduced shipping times and partnered with Microsoft to sell through their stores as well. It's a great problem to have, but there's a curious hiccup for companies that want more than one headset. Until today, HTC has limited direct purchase of the Vive headset to one per person. To address the growing need for enterprise customers to acquire more than one headset, the HTC Vive Business Edition, or HTC Vive BE, has been announced.

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2 weeks ago

Alphabet CEO Larry Page reportedly wants to help launch a flying car

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Google's co-founder and current Alphabet CEO Larry Page has reportedly been secretly funding two startups, Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk, that are trying to create flying cars.

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