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1 week ago

Samsung now has 500,000 new Note 7s in the U.S. waiting to be exchanged

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Last week, coinciding with the official U.S. CPSC recall, Samsung claimed it would have replacement Note 7s available by Sept 21.

Samsung now says that a whopping 500,000 brand new Note 7s have arrived in the U.S. and have been distributed to various carriers and retailers, ready to be swapped out for the recalled phones that are still out in the wild. Getting beyond what must have been a logistical nightmare of distributing the phones, this should relieve some of the frustration Note 7 owners have been experiencing trying to exchange their phone only to be greeted by a lack of available new stock.

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1 week ago

PS4 vs PS4 Slim vs PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?

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Which PlayStation 4 should I buy?

By the time family members roll into stores to buy their loved ones a PlayStation 4 this holiday season, there will be three options that look very similar. You've got the original PlayStation 4, the new slimmer PlayStation 4 with the exact same branding on the box, and the soon to be released PlayStation 4 Pro. It's confusing by anyone's standards, so your best bet is to know what you need before you head into the store.

What's the difference?

Sony has a history of releasing a "slim" version of the PlayStation a couple of years after its initial release. In the past, those consoles have been labeled a little differently at launch to make it easier to tell the new version apart from the old one. These slimmer versions typically offer more a physical difference than a functionality difference, and this year is no different. The significant feature and performance difference comes with the PlayStation 4 Pro, and even then the difference isn't huge.

Category PlayStation 4 (2013) PlayStation 4 (2016) PlayStation 4 Pro Price $349 $299 $399 Dimensions 10.83in x 12.01in x 2.08in 10.43in x 11.34in x 1.54in 11.61in x 12.87in x 2.17in CPU AMD Jaguar 8-core (x86-64) AMD Jaguar 8-core (x86-64) AMD Jaguar 8-core (x86-64) GPU AMD Radeon (1.84 TFLOP) AMD Radeon (1.84 TFLOP) AMD Radeon (4.2 TFLOP) Storage 500GB / 1TB 500GB / 1TB 1TB Optical out Yes No Yes AV out AV/HDMI 1.4 HDMI 1.4 HDMI 2.0 Power consumption 250w max 165w max 310w max 4K Streaming No No Yes USB USB 3.0 (x2) USB 3.0 (x2 ) USB 3.0 (x3) PSVR support Yes Yes Yes (Enhanced)

The biggest functional difference between the original PS4 and the new slimmer PS4 is power consumption. Sony claims the new PS4 has a max power draw of 165 watts, which sounds impressive next to the original 250w max of the first PS4 until you see most benchmarks. The original PlayStation 4 had an average power draw of 150w during its heaviest gameplay sessions, and never pushed anywhere near that 250w max. It is slightly smaller though, so there's that.

As you can see, Sony is using the same CPU and a GPU that's a little more than twice the performance in the new PlayStation 4 Pro. There's also an updated version of the HDMI standard in the PS4 Pro, but there's no immediate difference in performance out of the box for video output. PlayStation 4 Pro exists to offer 4K video streaming and enhanced graphics on supported titles. Game developers will have the option to offer higher quality graphics to PlayStation 4 Pro gamers, but it's not yet clear how many will take advantage of this or how significant those differences will be.

Bundles and sales

The default pricing for these consoles can and frequently are augmented by sales and bundles. Each of the PlayStation 4 consoles comes with a single game, usually marked with a giant photo on the packaging, so you have everything you need to get started. Many retailers have already placed the original PlayStation 4 on sale, so it's just under the $299 slim PlayStation 4 in order to help get rid of the older stock. The $399 PlayStation 4 Pro will of course also come with a game.

Is the PlayStation 4 Pro $100 better than the PlayStation 4 or its slimmer brother? Only if you have a 4K television or are planning to purchase one soon. If you're happy with your existing television and have no plans to upgrade, you aren't going to see any significant difference between the PlayStations 4.

Many retailers like to create their own bundles as we get closer to the holiday season, combining extra gamepads or recently discounted games to the package to help you feel like you're buying everything you need. A big part of this year's offering will no doubt include PlayStation VR. There are plenty of people who already own a PlayStation 4, but if you're looking to go all in for the first time and get everything you need, expect those same retail stores to have everything you need to get going.

Which should I buy?

Now that you know everything you need to know about the differences between these consoles, lets break it down!

  • PlayStation 4 — This is the PS4 most likely to be included in some kind of extra bundle with more accessories and games. This is also the only PlayStation 4 that comes in white right now. If you're looking for a PS4 and price is a big point of concern, you probably want to stick with the original.

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  • Slim PlayStation 4 — This is the PS4 you will see the most of on shelves this year, and it's the nicer looking of the three. If you care about that sort of thing, or you're just rushing in to grab a PS4 and nothing else, this is the version you want.

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  • PlayStation 4 Pro — If you own a 4K television, or you plan to own one before long, this is the PlayStation 4 you want. It'll last the longest, and be able to offer the most over time.

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1 week ago

Best Accessories For Galaxy S7 And Galaxy S7 edge

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Best accessories for your Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge

There's a ridiculous amount of choice out there when it comes to Galaxy S7 and S7 edge accessories — let us offer a few top picks.

Samsung's best-selling phones of the year, the Galaxy S line, always command attention from accessory makers. Samsung itself has stepped up its game in first-party accessories as well, with lots of great Galaxy S7 and S7 edge options. From batteries to cases to car mounts, we have narrowed things down to a solid handful of accessories that you should consider for your phone.

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1 week ago

Go Time! Episode 10: The big repeat

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Episode 10 of Go Time! has arrived!

In Episode ten of Go Time Jen, Russell and Thom are here to rep their respective teams.

This week, the awesome Thom Obarski joins to represent Team Mystic. The group chats about Pokémon buddies, Pikachu's easter eggs, and the Pokémon that Thom is used to seeing. But what they really wanted to talk about is how they would play the game differently if they were to start over today. Plus, the best strategies, and how newer players might have a leg up as they make the climb to level 20.

Join us weekly for the awesomeness of Pokémon Go!

You can also join our Facebook page to keep up on all things Pokémon Go. See you in the world!

Pokémon Go

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1 week ago

Spigen Style Ring Review: The ultimate phone accessory

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Spigen's Style Ring is a multipurpose minimalist phone accessory you may just fall in love with.

So many smartphone accessories claim themselves to be a must-have accessory, but rarely do they actually live up to the advertised hype. More often than not, they end up in some drawer after a month or two for one reason or another — you've upgraded to a new phone that's not compatible with it, or you just got bored with using it.

The Spigen Style Ring may just be able to buck that trend. By incorporating so many handy features into one universal smartphone accessory, it basically become more and more essential the longer you use it.

And if you're also among the millions of folks swept up in Pokémon Go mania, you've spent countless hours running through your city trying to catch 'em all. During our own hunting adventures, we've come to realize the Style Ring is also the perfect Pokémon Go accessory.

No more death-gripping your phone

If you've own a smartphone for long enough, drop damage is inevitable. If you're lucky, it falls the "right way" and doesn't cause any permanent scuffs or cracks. With the Style Ring, you get an added layer of security when your phone is in hand. Slip your finger in the ring and you really don't have to worry about dropping your phone.

For Pokémon, the idea of not having to death grip your phone as you weave your way down streets and through parks tracking an elusive Pokémon is pretty novel. The Style Ring gives you the confidence and freedom to take off running when you hear someone yell about a wild Vaporeon — without ever having to worry about dropping your phone.

Perfectly car compatible

Another simple accessory included with every Style Ring is the Hook Mount, a little rubberized-plastic nub with mounting tape on the back. Wipe down a spot on your car's dashboard, adhere the Hook Mount, and you just installed one of the most minimalist car mounts for your phone on the market.

To mount your phone, you simply extend the ring, hook it on the mount, and push until you feel it pop into place. BAM! Your phone is secure and accessible to you as you drive. Perfect for controlling your music on the go, following along with turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps, or a quick swipe if you're near a PokéStop at a red light.

For Pokémon players who love to play while being driven around, the Style Ring lets you confidently lean out the window like a dog and really stretch your phone to get into range of distant PokéStop. As long as you've got the Style Ring on your finger, your phone is secure. We're definitely not recommending such behavior, we've just seen people doing it and it's only a matter of time before someone's phone slips and shatters on the pavement below.

Also works great on bike

If you're more of a Pokémon purist, maybe you prefer to bike around as you hatch and catch. With the Style Ring, you're able to maintain much better control of your bike while still managing to keep your phone literally on hand. This allows you to conveniently swipe PokéStops as you bike past, or pop off your bike at a moment's notice when you feel that vibration informing you a Pokémon is around.

This goes without saying, but as the game warns on load up, always be careful and alert when you're out and about. Heed the words of Professor Oak who frequently scolded you — there are time and places where you simply shouldn't be on your bike. Be considerate to your fellow trainers!

Better range for one-handed Pokéball throws

So we've talked about how the Style Ring can help you keep a better grip on your phone, but let's talk about how the Style Ring might help with some Pokémon Go fundamentals: catching Pokémon!

Spigen highlights how the Style Ring grants you a wider reach across larger smartphones. This added range will give you more control over your Poké Ball throws.

Once you're on that XP grind to to level up your trainer, every little addition helps. That means maximizing every Pokémon catch with a throw bonus. One of the coolest (and often frustrating) techniques is the curveball throw. It nets you an extra 10 XP, which should become automatic when you get the curveball down pat.

If you need to work on your curveball throws, we've got a guide for that!

And it's got other uses beyond Pokémon Go, too

On top of everything previously mentioned, the Style Ring also doubles as a kickstand, which is awesome. With the ability to tilt and swivel the ring 180 and 360 degrees respectively, you have the freedom to set up your phone any which way you want. Prop it up in portrait orientation on your work desk, or flip it to landscape for watching YouTube videos or Netflix.

There are many other clever uses for the Style Ring — you just need to use your imagination. Mobile Nation's own Kevin Michaluk is a huge fan of the Style Ring. On top of all the awesome functionality of the Style Ring mentioned above, he enjoys using it as a spin-the-phone game for determining who's going to pick up the cheque when out for dinner with friends.

Because of how the Style Ring secures to the back of your phone, removing it does takes some elbow grease. Best practise is to wedge something thin such as a guitar pick under a corner then slowly peel it back. But you can swap the Style Ring to another phone, which is great. Take care of your Style Ring and it may just outlive your device.

Oh, and if you're wondering, it doesn't quite work as a beer bottle opener. We tried.

Get it to match your phone

Spigen offers the Style Ring in five familiar colors — Space grey, Champagne Gold, Black, and White — so you should be able to find the right color to match your phone.

If only they came in Valor red, Mystic blue and Instinct yellow. (Psst! Spigen, you listening?)

An essential accessory, for average phone user, or the ultimate Pokémon Go fan!

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1 week ago

Huawei's best mid-range phone is coming to Canada in October

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The Huawei Nova series is an interesting product line. Half flagship, half midrange, it embodies the shifting nature of the Android market away from expensive, highly-subsidized phones.

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1 week ago

Best Cases For Honor 8

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What are the best cases you can buy today for the Honor 8?

The Honor 8, as made by Huawei, is one of the most attractive budget smartphones available right now. Take care of it by housing it in one of these recommended cases.

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1 week ago

Grab this five-pack of Micro-USB cables for just $3!

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Right now you can pick up a five-pack of Aukey's Micro-USB cables for just $3 at Amazon with coupon code AU5CABLE. The cables come in a variety of sizes, including (2) 1-foot and (3) 3.3-foot cables. Whether you need some extra cables for the car, your office, or just to have around, this deal makes it extremely affordable to take them everywhere you could imagine. And thanks to its durable TPE coating these cables should be able to withstand some use and abuse.

Remember, you'll need coupon code AU5CABLE for the full savings on these cables. Picking some up? Let us know in the comments!

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1 week ago

We're giving away a ZTE Warp 7 to three Android Central readers!

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Surf, stream and get more done with the ZTE Warp 7. Powered by a super-fast, power-saving quad-core processor and Android 6.0 Marshmallow, this phone won't miss a beat. Watch your favorite videos on the large 5.5-inch HD screen covered with Gorilla Glass, snap high-quality photos with a sharp 13MP rear camera, and use the 5MP front-facing camera for perfect selfies.

Sound interesting? We've got three ZTE Warp 7 devices to give away this week, so read on to see how to get yourself entered to win one!

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1 week ago

How to get the most from your Chromebook touchpad

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It may only be one big button, but the multi-touch touchpad on your Chromebook can do just about anything you would ask of it.

Your Chromebook's touchpad is simple to set up and use, and a couple of handy features make it more than just a way to move the mouse pointer. With multi-touch gestures, you'll be able to navigate web pages and apps easier as well as see everything you're working on at a glance. And yes, you can move the mouse pointer, too.

The touchpad on current Chromebooks is a one piece unit missing the buttons you might be used to with other laptops. Instead, the touchpad itself is a button, and multi-touch — being able to register multiple actions at once — takes care of the rest. Because you might be used to having buttons for right and left clicking, we'll start with the basics. To begin, have a look at the settings page, and you'll find where you can adjust the pointer speed and a section for touchpad settings where you can enable tap to click, swapping your primary mouse button and using Australian scrolling.

  • Tap to click, is a setting that lets you tap your finger on the touchpad to do the same thing as a click would do on a regular button. If you want to use gestures you'll want to keep this enabled.
  • Swap your primary mouse button, does the same thing it would do with a mouse or a trackpad with actual buttons. It switches actions that need a left click into actions that need a right click, and vice versa.
  • Australian scrolling, is having the screen scroll the opposite direction your fingers are moving on the touchpad. Traditional scrolling moves your view up the page when you scroll up, and Australian scrolling moves your view down the page when you scroll up.

When you're done adjusting your settings, click OK to save them.

Next, we'll cover the basics of pointing, clicking and navigating. If you're used to using a mouse, these will take a bit of time to get used to. Alternatively, you can use a mouse with your Chromebook if you would rather. It's still worth learning how to use the touchpad for those times when your mouse batteries are dead and that drawer in the kitchen with a fresh or charged set seems miles away.

  • To move the pointer, move one finger across the trackpad in the direction you want the pointer to move.
  • To click on something, tap or press down on the lower half (the half closest to your body) of the touchpad with one finger.
  • To right click, tap or press down on any spot of the touchpad with two fingers.You can also right-click by pressing the Alt key then tapping or clicking with one finger.
  • To middle click, tap or press anywhere on the touchpad with three fingers.
  • To drag and drop, tap or press the thing you want to drag with one finger and move the pointer while holding down. Let go when your pointer is where you want to drop it. You can also press and hold with one finger then move the pointer with a second finger.

Gestures are that little extra which can make an experience better. Some apps may have their own gestures, but there are three common ones that work with everything you do on your Chromebook.

  • To scroll, drag two fingers on the touchpad.
  • Scrolling right and left, acts as forwards and back buttons. The faster you swipe the faster you will navigate. This setting is universal and works anywhere you can move horizontally.
  • Scrolling up and down, moves the window content up and down. See Australian scrolling above for an option.
  • To see all open windows. swipe up or down with three fingers on the touchpad. If you have Australian scrolling enabled, swipe up. Otherwise, swipe down.

Most of these are along the lines for features you find in any laptop with a good touchpad or trackpad, with or without buttons. They're not too revolutionary. They do make working with the touchpad on your Chromebook as easy as using a mouse!

Chromebooks

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1 week ago

HTC Ocean: Could 'Sense Touch' feature come to the HTC 11?

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HTC Ocean

Concept video from HTC designer shows dual-camera phone with touch-sensitive frame.

It's not often we get an early look at a phone maker prototyping features for an upcoming handset, but that, it seems, what we have here. First spotted by Evan Blass, the personal site of HTC motion designer Danelle Vermeulen was recently updated with a sizzle reel showing "HTC Ocean," a phone with dual rear cameras that looks like a cross between an HTC 10 and a Google Pixel. The focus of the video: A new feature called "Sense Touch," which apparently lets you use touch-sensitive areas of the outer frame to perform certain actions in apps.

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1 week ago

Download every wallpaper from the 'made by Google' Pixel website

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Every wallpaper from the 'made by Google' Pixel website

Keep the Pixel hype going with these wallpapers from Google.

Google's announcement of an upcoming phone launch on October 4 was scant on details. But an accompanying website, https://madeby.google.com/, added a bit of weight to the thought that we may be in for a cool treat of a new wallpaper switching app that launches with the phone.

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1 week ago

How to restore your apps and settings to a new Android phone

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Got a new phone? Awesome! Here's how you can restore your apps and settings from your previous device.

Google has always synced calendar events, contacts, Drive documents, Gmail settings and other account-related information across devices, and since Android 5.0 Lollipop the company started offering the ability to restore apps to a new device. With Marshmallow, the feature was expanded to include app data as well as system settings, with all the information stored in the cloud.

If you're using the Google Now Launcher, your home screen background, icon and widget layout as well as folder structure is now saved to the cloud, allowing you to restore your settings to a new handset and retain your home screen layout.

Where does all this data get stored? Google is backing up the app data to Drive, allocating 25MB for each app. Data used by the backup system doesn't count toward your storage quota. Meanwhile, developers can choose to select what app data gets stored in the cloud.

Here's how you can restore your apps and settings when moving to a new Android phone.

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1 week ago

Morning brief: What does your Pixelated heart Desire?

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Google is all set to announce new phones on October 4, Samsung starts exchanging Note 7 units in Australia, and HTC launches new phones in the Desire lineup.

Welcome to a terrific Tuesday! Google has confirmed that it will announce new phones on October 4. Based on the latest leaks of the purported Pixel and Pixel XL, it looks like we'll be treated to great designs (once again) from HTC.

Speaking of HTC, the company has launched the Desire 10 Lifestyle and Desire 10 Pro. The mid-tier phones are still made out of plastic, but now come with a more upmarket design. With HTC unable to make a dent in the high-end segment, the brand is relying on the Desire series to turn things around, especially in emerging markets.

Samsung is all set to roll out replacement units of the Note 7 to Australian customers starting tomorrow. The South Korean company is also testing Nougat on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, although we don't know when it'll be available on retail units. Here's what's making the rounds today.

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1 week ago

HTC Desire 10 preview: Flashy outside, ordinary within

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HTC Desire 10

HTC's new Desire 10 comes in two varieties, but chances are only one — the higher-end Desire 10 Pro — is worth your time.

HTC's Desire family has seen it experiment with many polycarbonate-based styles over the past few years — from two-tone plastic to quirky micro-splash patterns more recently. Now it's time for Desire to get a bit more extravagant, with a duo of new Desires borrowing their name from HTC's flagship, and their look from the art deco style.

Meet the HTC Desire 10 Pro and Desire 10 Lifestyle — two new phones HTC hopes will bolster its mid-range brand.

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