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1 week ago

Huawei P9 with Leica optics finally debuts in India for ₹39,999

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Four months after its international debut, the Huawei P9 has made its way to India. The phone will be available in Titanium Grey, Mystic Silver, and Prestige Gold color options, and will go up for sale starting later today for ₹39,999 ($600).

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1 week ago

Honor 8 is the affordable Huawei P9, coming to the U.S. for $399

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The Honor 8 is coming to the U.S. and Europe next month.

Honor, Huawei's subbrand, announced that the Honor 8 is set to come to the U.S. next month (as well as to Europe, though details will be finalized at a launch event on August 24).

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1 week ago

Honor 8 hands-on preview: Way better than you expect

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The Honor 8 introduces the U.S. to one of the world's best-kept phone secrets.

A year ago, our Alex Dobie called the Honor 7 "a well-built, premium handset and a quick performer, [with] camera capabilities that stand out in the mid-range space." At the time, I had barely heard of the Honor line, but was impressed by the brand's slow encroachment into the Western market, which combined the aspirational hardware design of Huawei's high-end phones with a much more accessible name and price.

Now, with the Honor 8, the brand comes barrelling back into to the U.S. after a soft launch in 2015 with the Honor 5X, nominally sidestepping the continued reluctance of American carriers to accept anything with the Huawei name. But the Honor 8 is more than merely a reintroduction to a new market (it is also launching in Europe later this month): it is a statement of purpose, and a powerful one at that.

Honor 8 Specs

Category Features Display 5.2-inch IPS LCD
1920x1080 Processor HiSilicon Kirin 950 octa-core
4xA72 @ 2.3Ghz + 4xA53 @ 1.8Ghz
Mali-T880MP4 GPU Storage 32GB / 64GB RAM 4GB LPDDR4 OS Android 6.0 with EMUI 4.1 Rear cameras Dual 12MP (monochrome + color), f/2.2
1.25-micron pixel equivalent Front camera 8MP, f/2.4 Connection USB Type-C SIM/MicroSD Dual SIM in Asia
Single SIM with microSD (256GB) in Europe/U.S. Battery 3000mAh
Quick Charge 2.0 Security Fingerprint Other Infrared, bottom mono speaker, VoLTE (T-Mobile only) Waterproofing No LTE Bands LTE FDD: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B20 Dimensions 145.5 x 71 x 7.5 mm Weight 153 grams Colors Pearl White, Sapphire Blue, Midnight Black Price $399 (32GB) / $449 (64GB)

Honor 8 The fundamentals

At its core, the Honor 8 is based off the impressive Huawei P9, and shares much of that phone's architecture, including its 5.2-inch 1080p display, dual 12MP sensors, and Android 6.0-based EMUI 4.1 software. But the Honor is a more youthful product, shipping in one of three reflective colors (Pearl White, Sapphire Blue, Midnight Black) whose hues shimmer and dance behind two panes of Gorilla Glass 3. The version I received, Sapphire Blue, instantly become my favorite thing ever, shifting in the sun's variability from dark to light and a thousand blue hues in between.

The extra gigabyte of memory gives the Honor 8 a bounce to its step that was lacking in the Huawei P9

As Alex mentioned in his preview, the Honor 8 looks like a cross between an Honor 6 and a Galaxy S7, both of which are great devices. Clad in a color-matched metal frame, the device feels both airy and robust, though like all glass phones it is extremely slippery. More than once I woke up to the phone on the floor after it gingerly slid off my purportedly-flat night table. No worse for the wear, though, the Honor 8 only needs a couple wipes with a microfiber cloth each day to remove the myriad fingerprints that inevitably plant themselves all over the front and back glass.

Inside, the HiSilicon Kirin 950 chip pairs with 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage to fashion a hardware base that is more than capable of driving the Honor 8's excellent (and bright!) 1080p IPS display. On the one hand, the Kirin 950 is a regression from the 955 inside the Huawei P9 — its four 2.3Ghz Cortex-A72 chips are clocked 200Mhz slower — but the extra gigabyte of memory gives the Honor 8 a proverbial bounce to its step that was, according to our Phil Nickinson, lacking in its Huawei counterpart.

In my testing, the Honor 8 handled everything I threw at it with aplomb, easily standing up to the Exynos 8890 chip in the international Galaxy S7. HiSilicon's Kirin processors have improved immensely over the last two years, and the Kirin 950 is decidedly modern, built on a 16nm FinFET process and featuring eight 64-bit cores in a big.LITTLE array that resembles the best from Samsung (and to some extent Qualcomm).

Without getting too into the weeds, the introduction of another processor competitor to Samsung and Qualcomm in the U.S. is significant, especially given that the latter company practically monopolizes the mobile baseband market. Like Samsung, HiSilicon has built its own LTE modem into the Kirin 950, and while at maximum speeds of 300Mbps it is not quite as advanced as the competition, it stands to reason that the Huawei subsidiary will only continue to improve as it iterates.

Like the P9, the Honor 8 features a rear fingerprint sensor that is one of the fastest I've ever used. I place either of my index fingers on the back of the phone and the screen turns on. It's wonderful. Add to that a number of intuitive, why-didn't-anyone-else-think-of-that gestures such as swiping vertically to bring down the notification shade and it becomes more than a biometric tool.

The fingerprint sensor is also a button, adding even more gesture possibilities

The sensor — or the area around it — is also a button, adding even more possibilities. Though it does not replace the home button, double-pressing the the so-called Smart Key can be configured to open the camera app, or quickly turn on the flashlight. It all has the potential to become a bit complicated, and therefore a burden, but Honor has wisely made all of these features opt-in.

On the phone's bottom, you'll find a USB Type-C port flanked by a headphone jack and single speaker port. The speaker is, like most in its class, adequate but underwhelming, and doesn't come close to matching the front-facing stereo prowess of the ZTE Axon 7 or HTC 10. But this is also a very thin, minimal phone, and there wouldn't have been space on the face to sandwich in such hardware.

Longtime fans of the Honor series will be happy to know that the top of the phone features an IR blaster that pairs with the popular Smart Controller app. I was able to get my Yamaha receiver and Samsung television configured in about five minutes.

Honor 8 Software

In the past, you couldn't talk about Huawei or Honor without mentioning the divisive and often-frustrating software experience. While there are elements of that legacy on the EMUI 4.1 software of the Honor 8, most of the biggest issues have been corrected, including the garish and unusable icon sets that gave previous versions of the so-called Emotion UI a cartoonish feeling.

This launcher is a far cry from what you'll find on practically any Android phone shipping today

That's not to say Honor has rid itself of all its excess; as mentioned previously, there are plenty of settings and modes to tweak and toggle to make the phone feel decidedly yours, and the phone's launcher and notification shade constantly remind you that you're living a world away from Nexus, or even Samsung.

Specifically, the launcher has no app drawer, resembling — nay, mimicking — the iPhone homescreen. Sure, the home screens support widgets, but this is a far cry from what you'll find on practically any Android phone shipping today. That's fine, and easy enough to work around with a third-party launcher, but the notification shade is considerably more difficult to overlook, and forgive.

Honor heavily customizes the way notifications function, pinging you with requests to allow new apps to send notifications and a system to punish apps that use too much energy. It's certainly not unusable, and I quickly grew used to its idiosyncrasies, but it's something to keep in mind when buying this phone, and any handset from the Chinese manufacturer.

Honor has also bundled a number of apps, including Shazam and News Republic, along with a bevy of first-party utilities that, while useful, were quickly relegated to a folder (another reality it shares with the iPhone). Huawei is in the Samsung-circa-2014 era of app design, still determined to give its apps a unique visual flair, with no accordance to Google's Material Design guidelines. Its SMS app, for instance, has no onscreen back button, forcing you to use the titular navigation key — not a huge problem, but outside the bounds of a well-designed Android app.

Honor 8 software

I can't, and won't, bang on this drum too hard, and though I still take issue with some aspects of it, I quickly grew to enjoy using the Honor 8's software, quirks and all. And while this is my first real experience with EMUI, I understand from others that this is as clean, thoughtful and performant as it's ever been. Thank goodness for that.

Honor 8 Camera

The Honor 8 has a unique dual-camera setup, borrowed from the P9 (though without the price-inflating Leica branding): a 12MP color sensor, and an identical monochrome equivalent. Together, they are meant to create sharper, more vibrant photos, with better results in low light, even without optical image stabilization. While the daylight results are some of the best I've seen, the phone's lack of physical stabilization does impact its after-hours capabilities, though not as badly as devices with only one sensor.

The dual lenses are tack-sharp and focus instantly, buoyed by a camera app that makes capturing great photos easy

The f/2.2 lens(es) are tack-sharp and focus instantly, buoyed by a camera app that makes capturing great photos easy. Another benefit of the second sensor is the now-rote addition of manual refocus, since the second sensor captures depth information when the accompanying feature is enabled. As with rival Samsung there is no shortage of image modes, from Pro photo to Panorama to the aptly-named "Good food," which didn't seem to make my quick lunch of nachos and salsa any more photogenic. Like the Galaxy Note 7, this camera app is gesture-friendly — though it's a little sensitive, which means even the slightest of horizontal or vertical flourishes will activate one of the many menus or mode selectors.

While the Honor 8 lacks 4K video capture, it can do 1080p at 120fps, which is good enough for my internet sharing abilities. More than that, though, the phone manages to do a great job capturing beautiful photos in almost any condition.

Honor 8 Final Thoughts

I didn't expect to be as impressed by the Honor 8 as I am. While I haven't been able to do sufficient battery testing to determine whether the 3000mAh battery lives up to the competition, the phone has shown promise, refusing to drop below 20% in any of the days I've used the phone.

More than that, the Honor 8 consistently performs well, has a great screen, and captures fantastic photos, at a price that is sure to be significantly lower than the phone it is gunning for — the Galaxy S7.

It may not have the carrier support of its South Korean counterparts, but if this first salvo is any indication, and the price of previous Honor flagships a factor, it's going to do very well when it debuts at Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, B&H Photo, and Honor's online store in early September.

See at Honor

Honor 8

Honor 8

Amazon HonorBest BuyNeweggB&H

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1 week ago

Honor 8 specs

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The Honor 8 is here, and it's fantastic.

A compact phone with plenty of great specs, including a Kirin 950 SoC and 4GB of RAM, the Honor 8 is powerhouse starting at $399. Coming in either 32GB or 64GB variants, the phone arrives with dual 12MP cameras, an ultra-fast rear fingerprint sensor, and plenty of software customizations through Huawei's EMUI 4.1 running Android 6.0.

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1 week ago

Intel all set to build 10nm ARM SoCs, starting with LG

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Intel is finally starting to flex its fab muscle.

Intel has failed to make a mark in the mobile SoC market with its Atom lineup of processors, but the chip vendor has announced plans to manufacture ARM-based designs on its 10nm FinFET manufacturing process. Intel also said that it will partner with LG to fabricate a "world-class mobile platform" based on the 10nm node.

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1 week ago

Enter this giveaway for a free Note 7 from Android Central!

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review is out, and the phone will be available to purchase starting August 19. This phone offers some new features and a freshly refined design. More internal storage, an improved S Pen, some fresh software and the oft-rumored iris scanner allow the Note 7 to differentiate itself from the Galaxy Note 5.

We know many of you are anxious to get your hands on this phone, and we're here to help! One of you will be taking home a FREE Galaxy Note 7 at the end of this contest. Read on for all the details.

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1 week ago

How to set up and use Google Duo

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Do you duo?

A simple cross-platform mobile video chat that actually works!

Duo is Google's latest foray into video calling, and rather than basing it on your Google account or your email, it's tied to your phone number, making it easier for you to chat with the contacts that are already in your phone. Google launched Duo on Google Play and on iOS so you can chat with friends on Android and Apple. The keyword for Duo is simplicity, and here's how simple the app is to use.

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1 week ago

With phones like this, who needs a tablet? Watch MrMobile's Galaxy Note 7 review!

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The first Galaxy Note was a remarkable smartphone when it hit store shelves in 2011. It was the first widely-adopted mobile to offer an oversized display, the first to give the stylus a proper resurrection, and the first to prove that marketing an overpowered "phablet" to hardcore users could also pay off in the mainstream.

With the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung steers the Note family even further toward those everyday users: it boasts a gorgeous design, water resistance, a streamlined S Pen experience – and it brings back the MicroSD card whose absence on the Note 5 cost Samsung some consumer goodwill. But in an age of solid $399 flagships, does the Galaxy Note 7 bring enough to justify its $850 price tag? Watch MrMobile's Galaxy Note 7 review to find out!

Excited for the Galaxy Note 7? Make sure you also check out:

Don't forget to socialize!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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1 week ago

Android 7.0: Better performance, longer battery life

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By addressing specific things that affect performance and power efficiency, Android 7.0 Nougat should make our phones run better and longer between charges.

Every time the software on our phones receives a big update, we hear how it will perform better and use less of our battery. While it's often true, the ideas and how they are implemented need plenty of fine-tuning to meet expectations. Android 7.0 improves on two existing features to help them live up to their full potential: Projects Doze, and Project Svelte.

The goals are simple — find ways to make the phone less power hungry when you're not using it, and better management of background processes. All software is built with an emphasis on performance and efficiency, and an operating system so much more so. We'll take a look at the changes and see how they could have an impact.

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1 week ago

Watch our Galaxy Note 7 video review!

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See what we have to say about the Note 7 in a fresh format.

In case you missed it while reading our comprehensive written review of the Galaxy Note 7, we've worked up a full video review for your enjoyment as well. Nice scenery, beautiful shots of the Galaxy Note 7, and some insightful analysis — what's not to like? This is the complete package.

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1 week ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Biggest and best

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung takes the spirit of the Note down to the Galaxy S line, and it's a hit.

The quick take

Even though the Note 7 doesn't immediately strike you as an altogether stand-out device like its predecessors, it's still an amazing phone that stands atop others available today. The Note 7 takes the Galaxy S7's formula of minimizing gimmicks in order to offer a fantastic core smartphone experience, and does so with very few, if any, missteps. It checks all of the boxes, and goes above and beyond expectations in just about every way. It's the best Galaxy Note to date.

The Good

  • Beautiful hardware
  • Industry-leading display
  • Great camera
  • Unique S Pen features

The Bad

  • Still too big for some hands
  • Very expensive
  • Carrier bloatware still horrible
  • No U.S. unlocked model

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1 week ago

We unbox the Galaxy Note 7!

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The first thing you'll see if you buy a Galaxy Note 7.

Want to see what everything is like inside a brand new Galaxy Note 7's box? Well, we have just the video for you. Overall things aren't so different from the Galaxy S7 edge box, but materials have changed a bit, and of course the USB-C port on the Note 7 necessitated some cable and adapter changes inside.

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1 week ago

Google's new video chat app Duo is available now in Google Play

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And its companion app Allo is nowhere to be seen.

Almost exactly three months after announcing Duo back at Google I/O, Google has subtly put up a blog post stating that the new standalone video chat app is hitting the Play Store and rolling out worldwide.

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1 week ago

Best tempered glass screen protectors for OnePlus One

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Best tempered glass screen protectors for OnePlus One

What's the best way to protect the screen on my OnePlus One?

The OnePlus brand is all about beautifully designed products using the best build materials. It even has an aspirational motto, Never Settle. But even the best built phone have glass screens that need an extra layer of protection from the scratches, falls, and everything else life throws your way.

Your best bet for saving your screen is a tempered glass screen protector for the OnePlus One, so let's get to it.

Note: This post is about the OnePlus One, not the OnePlus 3. We have your OnePlus 3 accessories, too!

Orzly OnePlus ONE Premium 0.24mm tempered glass screen protector

Orzly® OnePlus ONE Premium Tempered Glass 0.24mm

With a thickness of 0.24mm, this offering from Orzly is the thinnest tempered glass screen protector you will find for your OnePlus One. Featuring an industry-standard 9H hardness rating, it should easily withstand scratching if you put your phone in the same pocket as your keys. Orzly also included an oleophobic coating to ensure your screen stays fingerprint and smudge-free and rounded edges to prevent chipping and improve the in-hand feel of your phone.

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amFilm OnePlus One tempered glass screen protector

amFilm OnePlus One tempered glass screen protector

Claiming to offer 99.9% transparency, you may well forget you've installed amFilm's tempered glass screen protector on your OnePlus One. One thing that separates this option from the competitors is the decision to cut out around the sensors and earpiece speaker instead of leaving a slim bridge of tempered glass that's susceptible to cracking. It still covers the front-facing camera, but due to that transparency, you shouldn't notice any effects on your selfies. Package includes the screen protector, Micro-Fiber Cleaning Cloth, Plastic Squeeze Card, Installation and User Guide, and a lifetime replacement warranty.

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iFlash three-pack of OnePlus One tempered glass screen protectors

iFlash three-pack of OnePlus One tempered glass screen protectors

We use tempered glass protectors to take the brunt of the daily abuse our phones endure. As such, if a nasty fall occurs it's the screen protector's job to shatter first. iFlash offers the best value here with a three-pack of tempered glass screen protectors — featuring the hardness and oleophobic coating you'd want — so if you smash one up you don't have to live with a cracked screen protector. It's like an insurance policy on your insurance policy. Package includes three complete sets for installation: screen protector, alcohol cleaning wipe, microfiber cloth, bubble removal card, and a dust-removal adhesive strip. iFlash also offers a one-year manufacturer replacement warranty.

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PThink 2.5D Round Edge 0.3mm Ultra-thin tempered glass screen protector for OnePlus One

PThink 2.5D Round Edge 0.3mm Ultra-thin tempered glass screen protector for OnePlus One

PThink offers another reliable, quick-to-install option for protecting your OnePlus One screen. At 0.3mm, it's thin enough to be barely noticeable, with rounded edges offering a precise fit and avoid chipping. If and when this screen protector gets damaged, the nano glass cracks behind a film to prevent the glass edges from being exposed, which allows you to continue safely using the screen protector even when cracked. Package includes a cleaning kit to prepare your screen ahead of installation. Hammer and disembodied hand sold separately.

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Nillkin Anti-burst tempered glass screen protector for OnePlus One

Nillkin Anti-burst tempered glass screen protector for OnePlus One

Another outstanding option for protecting your OnePlus One screen is this offering from Nillkin. Made of AGC glass material rated to the standard 9H hardness rating and featuring HARVES nano-technology to repel water and grease, your phone will be well protected. Along with the screen protector itself, the package includes a wet wipe, electrostatic dust film, de-dusting cleaning film and a professional screen wipe cloth to make installation a breeze.

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What do you use?

Have you had any experiences with the screen protectors we've recommended? Let us know in the comments!

OnePlus One

OnePlus

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 now available for pre-order in the UK

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Galaxy Note 7

Major networks and retailers put Samsung's new Note up for pre-order.

Today's Samsung Galaxy Note 7 pre-order day in the UK, and that means Brits can finally secure their handsets ahead of the Sept. 2 UK launch date.

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