Recent Articles | Android Central

Order Samsung Galaxy S8: AT&T | Verizon | T-Mobile | Sprint | Unlocked

Headlines

1 month ago

128GB OnePlus 3T goes out of stock as OnePlus 5 teasers emerge [Update]

40

OnePlus shifts focus to its 2017 flagship.

The 128GB version of the OnePlus 3T is seeing supply shortages globally, and according to Dutch publication Tweakers, it is because the variant is discontinued by the Chinese manufacturer. The reasoning behind the move could be a simple one: Samsung ended production of the 128GB UFS 2.0 storage module used in the device, prompting OnePlus to discontinue the model.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Deals for June 2017

37

Where is the best place to buy a Galaxy S8 right now? Let's find out!

Updated June, 2017: Samsung is running an awesome BOGO offer on T-Mobile versions.

Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are the company's latest smartphones to hit the market, and they've been the center of attention since. If you're the type that likes to stay on the breaking edge of technology, you're probably looking to get your order in sooner than later, so that you can have one to show off to everyone. Whether the smaller one is what interests you, or the larger display that pushes the limits even further speaks to you, the last thing you want to do is not find the best deal to buy one.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Your favorite deals?

Have you come across any deals that aren't listed here? If so, be sure to drop a note in the comments with a link to the deal so others can check it out as well!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Main

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Galaxy S8 gets red screen fix in the UK

9
GS8 red screen

426MB update likely contains other minor fixes.

After Canada and the U.S., Samsung's "fix" for the red screen tint issue affecting some Galaxy S8 owners is now rolling out to unlocked handsets in the UK. The update to software version G950FOXM1AQDG and G955FOXM1AQDG, for the S8 and S8+ respectively, started rolling out on unlocked S8 models this morning. The update weighs in at 426MB, so it's likely Samsung has bundled other minor fixes into the OTA.

According to Samsung's official changelog, the update brings "improved color optimization and convenient color adjustment" — which translates to a fix for whatever was causing some S8 displays to show a reddish hue, and an easier way to tweak the overall color balance in the Display Settings menu.

For what it's worth, the Android security patch level remains unchanged on 1 April 2017 — no sign of that May security patch yet.

And it's worth remembering that carrier-branded Galaxy S8 phones will likely lag behind today's unlocked rollout by a few days or weeks.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Main

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Samsung is selling the Galaxy C7 Pro for ₹25,990 for Amazon Prime members

0

Prime subscribers in India can pick up the Galaxy C7 Pro for a ₹2,000 discount.

Samsung is aggressively promoting its latest mid-range device in India, the Galaxy C7 Pro. The phone made its debut in the country last month for ₹27,990, with availability exclusive to Amazon India. Samsung is now rolling out an offer where Amazon Prime members can get the phone for ₹25,990, a discount of ₹2,000 from its launch price.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Best Xiaomi Phones

Xiaomi Mi 6

The manufacturer you may have rarely heard of is making some great devices.

Updated May, 2017: Added the Mi 6 and Redmi Note 4.

Xiaomi is a smartphone manufacturer that is growing in stature day-by-day, despite having virtually no physical presence outside of Asia. Sales of its phones in territories including India and its native China have propelled the relatively young company into the top five smartphone manufacturers in the world. Impressive, certainly, and it seems Xiaomi is set to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Apple and Samsung in the higher reaches of the smartphone market.

And yet while so many may have heard the name, the phones are still relatively alien to many in the West. Xiaomi has a reputation for building devices that are an extremely good value without cutting corners. If you're interested in picking up a Xiaomi phone or just interested in the brand, these are the phones you'll need to know about.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Qualcomm goes all-in on all-day battery with new Snapdragon 630 and 660 platforms

13

Qualcomm is going to make budget phone buyers very happy.

Qualcomm is back with two new 600-series chips to power the next generation of mid-range phones. The company has announced the Snapdragon 630, a successor to the wildly popular Snapdragon 625 (and little-used 626), along with the Snapdragon 660, a completely revamped and more-efficient sequel to the Snapdragon 650 (and 653).

Let's start with the basics.

Snapdragon 630

The Snapdragon 630 is the more minor of the updates, keeping much about what made the popular Snapdragon 625, which quickly became a battery darling in phones like the Moto Z Play and Huawei Nova Plus (and the upcoming BlackBerry KEYone). It maintains the eight-core Cortex-A53 breakdown of four high-speed cores and four lower-clocked cores, though they are up to 30% faster across the board. And while the graphics chip has also been updated from the Adreno 506 in the Snapdragon 625 to a faster Adreno 508, the fundamental architecture hasn't changed — both are still built on a 14nm process — and improved performance isn't the priority.

Instead, the Snapdragon 630 brings the platform into 2017, with support for LTE speeds up to 600Mhz with 3x carrier aggregation; Bluetooth 5.0, Quick Charge 4.0, and USB 3.1 with USB-C; and a better camera experience with the new Spectra 160 image signal processor.

The Snapdragon 630 will be powering mid-range devices starting in Q3 of this year, and it's definitely going to help devices in the $300 to $400 range reach their potential — aside from the older CPU architecture and anemic GPU, most of the improvements in the platform come directly from the Snapdragon 820 and 835 line.

Snapdragon 660

The Snapdragon 660 is the biggest announcement of the day, making massive improvements over the current Snapdragon 650, 652 and 653. The most important takeaway is the additional battery savings from the switch to a 14nm manufacturing process from the aging and inefficient 28nm process that reached maturity in 2013. That, coupled with the move to Qualcomm's Kryo cluster, based on the custom CPU design that debuted with the Qualcomm 820 last year, means that the Snapdragon 660 should be one of the most-coveted upper-midrange chips on the market.

Coming to devices as early as June — expect the first announcement within the next few weeks — the Snapdragon 660 has eight Kryo cores, four performance cores at 2.2GHz and four at 1.8GHz, and promises a 30% improvement in speeds over the Snapdragon 653. There's also a new Adreno 512 GPU, which is a nice bump over the 510 in the previous generation, and support for Qualcomm's 2016-era X12 baseband, which includes 3x carrier aggregation for speeds up to 600Mbps. Quick Charge 4.0, Bluetooth 5 and USB 3.1 are also included, too.

Aside from the new features, Qualcomm is making perhaps the biggest noise about the improved camera experience inside the Snapdragon 660. While it has the same Spectra 160 ISP as the Snapdragon 630, better support for 4K capture and the same electronic image stabilization that was popularized in high-end phones from 2016 has filtered down to this mid-range line.

Finally, the battery savings that people saw in the Snapdragon 625 are also included in the 660, which is promising; Qualcomm says that users will see an average of two additional hours when moving to a Snapdragon 660 from a 653 using the same hardware (which obviously won't happen, but they're looking for an apples-to-apples comparison).

The takeaway

These chips are going to be very interesting, especially given the success of the Snapdragon 625 and the relative failure of the 650 lineup. For the 630, this is very much an evolution, sticking with what works while shoring up on auxiliary features like cellular speed and camera performance.

The Snapdragon 660 is revelatory, largely because it will bring most of the Snapdragon 835's best features to the $400 to $500 range, and will allow manufacturers to get away with offering a mid-range chip for their flagships.

What do you think of these new chips? Will you be holding out for one or the other? Let us know in the comments!

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Complete list of AT&T MVNOs

Complete list of AT&T MVNOs

If you're thinking of leaving AT&T's prices behind but still like its coverage, then check out these alternative carriers.

A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is an "alternative carrier" that leases network coverage from one of the "Big Four" carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile). This leased coverage is resold to you for less, so you still get Big Four-level coverage for cheaper.

AT&T has quite a few MVNOs using its network, since it offers pretty wide coverage for 4G LTE data as well as calling. You have many choices, but the good news is that if you're bring your own unlocked phone over, it should work in most cases. If you're interested in an AT&T MVNO, check your phone's compatibility first.

You need to make sure that your phone has the following bands to work with an AT&T-powered alternative carrier:

  • 3G: 850Mhz (Band 5), 1900Mhz (Band 2)
  • LTE: 700Mhz (Band 12), 1700/2100Mhz (Band 4), 1900Mhz (Band 2)

Here are the MVNOs powered by AT&T.

AirVoice Wireless

AirVoice is a prepaid wireless service that only uses AT&T's network for coverage. Sign up is simple in that you purchase an AirVoice SIM, activate it, and choose from one of three types of plans: pay as you go, unlimited, or 30-day.

$30 gets you 30 days of unlimited calling, texting, multimedia messaging, international texting, and 1GB of 4G LTE data.

Learn more

Black Wireless

Black Wireless is an MVNO that simply aims to save you money. It offers unlimited monthly data plans, which give you an allotment of 4G LTE data, and then you get unlimited data at 2G speeds with some plans.

$15/month gets you 200 minutes or texts (or a combination of both), 200 international minutes with calling to landlines in 72 countries, and 500MB of 4G LTE data, with unlimited 2G data at 128Kbps.

$40/month gets you 2GB of 4G LTE with unlimited 2G data, unlimited talk and text, and unlimited international calling to 72 countries (you can actually only dial up to 10 unique international phone numbers during a 30-day period).

Learn more

Boom Mobile

Boom Mobile only operates on AT&T's network for business customers. For personal plans, it operates on the other three biggies.

Business plans start at $29.99/month, which gets you unlimited talk and text and 1GB of 4G LTE. Each additional line on these plans shares that 1GB of data, so you can up it to 3GB, 7GB, or 10GB, which can be shared among lines.

Learn more

campusSIMs

campusSIMs is an interesting MVNO in that it uses Puretalk USA's network, which uses AT&T's. It's designed purely for international students and has plans specifically tailored to their needs.

Every plan comes with free international inbound calling so that students can stay in touch, and campusSIMs even provides customer support in English, Spanish, and Mandarin.

The base plan is $25/month and gets you 1000 minutes (U.S. only), unlimited texting, and 500MB of 4G LTE. $30/month gets you 1GB of 4G LTE. You can ship your SIM card to your home country or university campus.

Learn more

Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular is relatively run-of-the-mill when it comes to MVNOs: its aim is to save you money on your monthly phone bill. But it's been recognized twice by J.D. Power and Associates for its excellent customer service.

Plans are broken up into "Talk" plans and "Connect" plans. Talk plans start at $10/month and you're billed based on the minutes you use. $15/month gets you 250 minutes. To add texting and data, you need a connect plan, which start at $2.50/month for 300 texts and 30MB of 4G LTE. $10/month gets you 500MB of 4G LTE and unlimited texting, which is pretty competitive.

Learn more

Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless is pretty much the biggest player in terms of MVNOs that use AT&T's network. It has excellent plans, and that's due in no small part to the fact that it's owned by AT&T.

Cricket offers big discounts for multi-line plans — you can save up to $100/month. Plans starts at $30/month for 1GB of 4G LTE and unlimited calling and texting. $40/month gets you 3GB of 4G LTE and you're then eligible for the group save discount. You'll save $10 off the second line, $20 off the third, $30 off the fourth, and $40 off the fifth for a total savings of $100/month (you basically get that fifth line for free).

Learn more

EasyGO Wireless

EasyGO is actually powered by H2O Wireless, another AT&T MVNO. EasyGO, however, focuses on international calling and texting.

For $30/month, you get unlimited domestic talk, text, and multimedia messaging, 200MB of 4G LTE, unlimited international text, unlimited international calling to over 70 countries, and 200 any time minutes to mobile numbers in the Dominican Republic and mobile numbers and landlines in Guatemala.

If you need more data, it's an extra $10/500MB. Any data you don't use in the month will roll over and won't expire as long as your number remains active.

Learn more

good2GO Mobile

goog2GO Mobile uses AT&T's GSM network and Sprint's CDMA network to give you full coverage in the U.S. You can bring just about any device, but you'll want to be sure of your Sprint phone's eligibility first.

Plans starts at $30/month for 500MB of 4G LTE and unlimited talk and text ($25/month with Auto Pay discount).

Learn more

H2O Wireless

H2O offers a very competitive starting plan, which is $30/month for 3GB of 4G LTE data (unlimited 2G data thereafter), unlimited nationwide talk and text, unlimited international calling to landlines in over 50 countries (select countries include calling to cell phones), unlimited international texting, and a free $10 international talk credit (for the countries that aren't covered).

You'll even save $3/month if you sign up for Auto Recharge. That's $27/month for more than you get from most carriers.

Learn more

Jolt Mobile

Jolt Mobile has been in business since 1995 and uses AT&T and T-Mobile's networks. Its plans are far from competitive, offering a $25 base data plan, which includes unlimited domestic calling, unlimited global texting, but only 100MB or 3G or 4G LTE data. You have to jump up to $40 to get 1GB, and even then, it's unclear as to whether or not you're getting 3G or 4G speeds.

Unless coverage is amazing in your area, you can probably steer clear of this one.

Learn more

Net10 Wireless

Net10, owned by TracFone, uses all of the Big Four's towers to help with coverage, which means you get solid coverage for a little less than you'd spend going with one of the biggies. The nice thing is that, because Net10 uses everyone, you get to bring pretty much any phone you have.

All smartphone plans come with unlimited talk, text, and 2G data. $35/month gets you 500MB of 4G LTE, but an extra $5/month gets you 3GB, and you can save $4/month if you sign up for Auto-Refill.

Learn more

Pix Wireless

Pix Wireless is an MVNO that focuses on transparency, offering plans with no contracts, not activation fees, and no hidden costs. Up until now, Pix only used Sprint's CDMA network, but according to its website, it's presently upgrading and will start using AT&T's GSM network soon.

There are no plan details available for the AT&T side of things, but monthly CDMA plans start at $15 for 100MB of 4G LTE, 500 minutes, and unlimited texting. $30/month gets you unlimited talk and text and 1.5GB — a pretty standard MVNO plan.

Learn more

Puretalk USA

Puretalk is an MVNO focused on making your mobile plan easy. There are senior plans starting at $10/month and you can even save up to 20% with "Friends & Family" discounts.

For $29/month, you can get 1.5GB of 4G LTE, unlimited talk and text, and unlimited MMS. Family plans let you add up to three extra lines (four in total), and you'll save 10% off your total bill for the second line, 15% off your total bill for three lines, and 20% off your total bill for four lines.

Learn more

Red Pocket Mobile

Red Pocket uses all of the big carriers and has two basic plans to choose from. The first plan is $10/month and gets you 500 minutes, 500 texts, and 100MB of 4G LTE. You can then buy extra texts, minutes, and LTE. The second plan is $19/month and gets you unlimited talk and text, with 100MB of 4G LTE. You can upgrade to unlimited 2G data with 500MB, 1GB, 3GB, or 5GB of 4G LTE for $6 to $41/month.

Learn more

Straight Talk

Straight Talk is owned by TracFone and is that cell phone section you see at Walmart. It features the latest phones and lets you bring your own device, since it uses all four of the big networks for coverage.

Plans start at $30/month for 1500 minutes, unlimited texts, and 100MB of data. $45/month gets you 5GB of 4G LTE and unlimited talk and text, as well as unlimited 2G data.

Learn more

TracFone

TracFone has been around since 1996 and owns multiple MVNOs, which it operates on various networks.

Its cheapest data plan with a gig or more is $17.50/month for 1GB of 4G LTE, 750 minutes, and 1000 text, BUT you have to sign up for a 60-day term, so that 1GB has to last you 2 months. An extra gig of data is $10, which expires at the end of your term.

TracFone is perfect for folks who constantly travel to the U.S. and don't want to buy a local SIM or pay outrageous roaming fees.

Learn more

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Our first Galaxy S8 smashed after just five days: How to avoid the same fate

73

It's pretty much the worst nightmare of any new phone owner. Just days after you've picked up your shiny new, expensive, state-of-the-art handset, it slides/slips/drops/pinwheels/fumbles its way out of your hands, out of your pocket, off some surface and onto the floor. You look on, dismayed, distraught, in disbelief — grief and terror gripping you as you see the telltale spider-leg pattern in the glass.

RIP new phone.

That's what happened to Windows Central contributor Matt Brown just five days into his Galaxy S8+ ownership experience. Here's what happened, how it might've been avoided, and what your options are should you become as unlucky as Matt. Behold, our first smashed Samsung Galaxy S8, the victim of a drop off a three-foot wall.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Moto Z2 Play leak suggests the phone's battery will be downgraded

30

Lenovo is decreasing battery size to make the Moto Z2 Play thinner.

We're due for an update to the Moto Z Play, and a recent leak out of VentureBeat gives us a look at what's coming with the Moto Z2 Play. The render image shows off a design that is reminiscent of the Moto G5 Plus, with a rounded fingerprint sensor up front and magnetic pins at the back for Moto Mods.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Telus and Bell rolling out Galaxy S8 and S8+ 'red tint' fix

6

The Great White North gets less red.

Telus and Bell, two of Canada's biggest network providers, have announced that they are rolling out the so-called "red tint" fix for the Galaxy S8 and S8+, which began hitting European and U.S. devices over the past week or so.

Shortly after the Galaxy S8 series was launched, some users found their Super AMOLED screens were redder than they should be, which Samsung said was a calibration misalignment that could be solved using software. An update adds new settings to the phone's white balance options, along with manual controls for those who want to more specifically control the way colors appear on the phone's screen.

No word on whether other Canadian carriers will launch the same update this week. Has your Galaxy S8 seen this issue?

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Main

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Best MetroPCS phones

35
Best MetroPCS Phones

MetroPCS offers some great phones to go along with its affordable plans, including the latest flagship phone from Samsung.

MetroPCS gives you the opportunity to save some money when buying a phone without a contract, though most of its phones are mid- to low-end when considering specs. You don't have to aim low, however: MetroPCS does offer some high-end devices, two of which are featured on this list. Coupled with their affordable plans, you might not be able to pass them up.

Advertisement

We'll be updating this list regularly to keep current with new phones!

Samsung Galaxy S8

You don't have to settle for less. The Galaxy S8 is the latest flagship from Samsung and it comes chock full of great stuff, like a 5.8-inch nearly bezel-less Quad HD Super AMOLED display and the latest Snapdragon 835 processor. It also has a capable 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, a stellar 8-megapixel autofocus front-facing camera, and 64GB of internal memory plus an expansion slot, so you can shoot as many selfies as your heart desires. And if you're worried about the lasting lifespan of the Galaxy S8, fear not: it's IP68-rated, which means it's both water and dust resistant.

MetroPCS only offers the Arctic Silver variant.

If you're thinking about going with the Galaxy S8 but want to learn more, check out our review:

More: Samsung Galaxy S8 review

See at MetroPCS

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

MetroPCS also offers Samsung's last great phone, the Galaxy S7. And sure, it's a year old by now, but if you're looking for near-flagship specifications at a discounted price, you can't beat this 2016 powerhouse. Its Snapdragon 820 processor is still plenty capable, not to mention it sports a great 5.1-inch Quad HD display. If you're looking for a smaller phone with an ample screen, this is it.

Color options are limited with MetroPCS: the Galaxy S7 comes in Onyx Black only.

If you're thinking about going with the Galaxy S7 but want to learn more, check out our review:

More: Samsung Galaxy S7 review

See at MetroPCS

 

Advertisement

LG Aristo

It's not LG's latest flagship, but the Aristo does offer some compelling features. For one, the Aristo comes with Android 7.0 Nougat right out of the box. Its 5-inch display is also smaller than Samsung's offerings, which might be enticing for those of you who miss the days of the pocketable smartphone.

The LG Aristo is also equipped with a 13-megapixel camera with auto focus, as well as a removable 2410 mAh battery. And though it is a low-end phone with its Snapdragon 425 processor, it can still run simple games like Candy Crush Saga just fine and help you binge watch through your YouTube subscriptions.

See at MetroPCS

 

Advertisement

Bring your own device

If you don't want to shell out the money for a Galaxy S8 or S7 and don't want to settle for a lesser phone, MetroPCS allows you to bring your own phone to their service. Before you pull the trigger have a look at MetroPCS's restrictions when it comes to using your own device with their service.

Advertisement

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Galaxy S8: These are the 5 worst things about Samsung's new phone

71

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is probably the most important Android phone of the year. It's also really, really good. The S8+ is my daily driver right now, and I love the enormous display, the phenomenal design and the whole direction Samsung's taken its software.

But like any phone, after you've been using it for a while, there are things that start to grate. Some small things, some not so small things, that just make the whole experience less enjoyable.

So with a couple of weeks of use under our belts, it's time to take a look at few of them: These are our five least favorite things about the new best Android smartphone.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Galaxy S8+ vs. Pixel XL camera comparison: The best travel companions

29

Two phones, one epic vacation. Which one is better at documenting it all? That's what we aim to find out.

Hauling around a full-size kit of lenses for a DSLR is not exactly the ideal way to travel. Unless you're an avid photographer and you enjoy the immersive experience of shooting and editing, the vast majority are generally fine documenting leisure time with the camera that's already in their pocket. Shooting in unpredictable circumstances is also a fantastic way to gauge how effective a camera is in varying situations, which is why I wanted to share some of my findings from a recent trip to Iceland I took with the Galaxy S8+ and Pixel XL in tow.

Outdoor and everywhere

Overcast weather is difficult to shoot in, no matter the hardware you're shooting with. But I was repeatedly impressed at how able both the Pixel XL and Galaxy S8+ were at adjusting to some especially blase conditions. Both the Pixel XL and Galaxy S8+ were particularly apt at capturing minor details of the scenery at hand, like white-painted houses in the background and a neighboring row of pine trees. You can also easily discern the majestic mountaintop in the background in both compositions, as well as the varying layers of clouds covering it.

Pixel XL scenery

Scenery shot with the Pixel XL (left) and Galaxy S8+ (right).

What's most noticeable in this first shot is that there's a major difference in post-processing between the Pixel XL and Galaxy S8+. Samsung's photo editing algorithm is automatic; I avoided using the available manual mode for most of the trip, because I didn't have much time to adjust it at each location. But since I shot everything in automatic mode — with HDR turned on — each photo was automatically contrasted and saturated. It's not always obvious, but in this particularly scenery, you can tell that the blonde grass had been made brown, and it's almost as if the overcast weather is more prominent compared to the Pixel XL's end result.

pixel xl geysergalaxy s8 geyser

More scenery shot with the Pixel XL (left) and Galaxy S8+ (right).

pixel xl mountainsgalaxy s8 mountains

In the below examples, you'll see that sometimes, the Galaxy S8+'s post-processing algorithm can sometimes add a bit of "oomph" to an otherwise dull photo.

If you like particularly contrasted photography and you want your blues to stick out and your reds to pop, the Galaxy S8+'s camera produces just that. It also has the propensity to deepen colors and shadows, however, in a way that it sort of darkens a photo more on an already dreary day. But in some instances, having deeper shadows and hues can add more oomph to a photo, too.

There's a major difference in post-processing between the Pixel XL and Galaxy S8+.

The Pixel XL's end result, on the other hand, not only appears to be less processed, but it also seems to retain more detail. A quick zoom into the photo in Adobe Lightroom revealed that trees in the background are more discernible on the Pixel XL, though that wasn't always the case across the board. In the final waterfall photo shown above, the Pixel XL failed to focus on the background, so you can barely see the mountain tops as well as you can on the Galaxy S8+'s result. It's also a great anecdote of the issues that arise when you're quickly pointing and shooting at a scene rather than taking the time to compose it.

The Galaxy S8+ can produce some stunning up-close shots with the aid of Selective focus and its built-in manual mode.

When it came to focusing photos and achieving the "up close" effect, the Galaxy S8+ produced more favorable results. If I needed additional help, I could use the GS8+'s built-in manual mode (which also allows you to show in RAW — though I did not utilize that ability on my trip) or the selective focus mode.

A selfie taken with the Pixel XL

A selfie taken with the Pixel XL.

Your selfies will appear phenomenal regardless of the hardware you're shooting with, too. On the Galaxy S8+, you're equipped with 8 megapixels with auto focus and an f/1.7 lens. You'll get decent low light photos just as you would with the rear-facing camera, and with the aid of auto focus, the GS8+ will have a simpler time attempting keeping the faces in focus. It's one of the few phones available with auto focus on the front.

The GS8+ has a little more to offer, particularly when it comes to software.

On the Pixel XL, you're equipped with 8 megapixels and an f/2.4 lens. It's not as capable in low light situations as Samsung's hardware, but it's still just as capable at taking front-facing photos. The GS8+ has a little more to offer, however, particularly when it comes to software capabilities. For instance, I could choose to take a wide-angle selfie if I needed to fit in a few more people at a time into a photo. One word of caution, however: I took a couple of pictures with the varying beauty modes set to more than half their capacity and the photos came out slightly silly. If your goal is to take shots of yourself with stunning scenery in the background, keep it simple.

Panoramas

Pixel XL panorama

Taken with the Pixel XL.

Galaxy S8+ panorama

Taken with the Galaxy S8+.

Admittedly, I didn't take too many panoramas on my trip, despite the incredibly illustrious scenery. Part of the reason is that I never found them to be a particularly good archiving the moment. And in this instance, it felt like even though the Pixel XL offered more options for capturing the scene — like Photosphere, which you can use to upload your own journeys to share with others through Google Maps — the Galaxy S8+ was more successful at stitching images.

Video

Shot in 1080p with the Pixel XL.

Shot in 1080p with the Galaxy S8+.

With video stabilization activated, the Pixel XL and Galaxy S8+ both appear to employ a bit of the "strafing" effect. The Pixel XL is not very good at picking up audio, however; I found the Galaxy S8+ to be better at picking up my voice despite the harsh wind, whereas the Pixel sounded drowned out. The Galaxy S8+ also has extra software features I found helpful to use, like an easy editing video feature, which made it so that I could record long shots and still be able to choose snippets to share on social media without downloading another app.

Which one is the better travel companion?

Galaxy S8+ vs Pixel XL

I was already impressed by the Pixel XL's abilities on my last adventure, and it was just as consistent this time around. I found its photos to be the best composed and the color profile of each retained enough dynamic range so that I could adjust the exposure and put a filter over it after the fact. The Galaxy S8+'s end results were just as compelling, however, even with some photos appearing overly processed. If it bothers you, there are enough options you can enable to forfeit all that and go manual. I was also really impressed by the Galaxy S8+'s ability to shoot video, particularly when it came to recording sound.

But in the end, even with all the fancy features baked into the Galaxy S8+, I still stuck with the Pixel XL as my main shooter, simply because it's the only other phone at present that offers unlimited backup to Google Photos.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Main

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

How to clean and disinfect your Android smartphone

37

Regardless of the Android phone you're carrying, make sure it's clean enough for you — and your loved ones, too.

You've seen the statistics, but have you seen the evidence? Awhile back, Buzzfeed kept a lively bunch of Petri dishes colonized with the same bacteria found on the smartphones of several colleagues. The unfortunate discovery was that there were actual pathogens found on the phones; essentially, potentially disease-causing strains of bacteria.

Whether you're a germaphobe, or someone who doesn't mind a bit of rolling around in the dirt, surely we can all agree that anything that can potentially cause disease is bad news. There are some quick things you can do to keep your Android devices clean and disinfected, however, and free of what could be harmful to your health.

Make a cleaning kit

The necessities for cleaning your Android smartphone are actually quite basic.

You have a kit for all your various USB charging cables and gadgets that plug into your Android device, so why not make a kit for cleaning your smartphone? At home, stock up on 70 percent or higher rubbing alcohol, finely pointed cotton swabs, and a barrel of toothpicks. You should also consider stocking up on a pack of microfiber cloths, as well as a few cans of compressed air. Most of them come in packs of two or three anyway.

Why not make a kit for cleaning your smartphone?

You'll also want some sort of cleaning solution that will disinfect the phone. I've built my only little collection of pre-mixed spritzers based on whatever I'd find on sale at Amazon, though the Whoosh! brand cleaner was suggested by one of our iMore brethren, and it's a good deal since it comes with a travel spritzer and microfiber cleaning cloth.

You could also make your own cleaning solution with 8 ounces of rubbing alcohol and 8 ounces of distilled water inside a spray bottle. A 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and distilled water also works if you're into keeping things relatively organic and don't mind the intense smell of the vinegar.

How to clean your Android phone

Every Android phone is different — a special, individual flower, if you will. But cleaning it is generally the same as cleaning any other mobile phone. There are ports, buttons, a screen, and an entire chassis that could all use a bit of a rubdown with some grime-cleaning solution.

Be careful not to puncture any speakers or wriggle any ports.

Grab a large, clean microfiber cloth or soft towel and lay it out. Or, you can quickly wipe over a substantial bit of table area with a winged out soapy sponge or towel. Just making sure the "operating" area is clean. Then, lay the phone down. Grab the can of compressed air and start blowing out the charging port, ensuring that whatever little particles are in there are flying up and out. (If you have trouble seeing, use the aid of a desk lamp and take off the shade for more light.) You can pump air into the rear speakers to clear them out, as dirt and gross particles also collect there.

If you see that there's too much grossness to clear out with just the compressed air, grab a fine toothpick and carefully dig out the grime that's causing you stress. Be careful not to puncture any speakers or wriggle any ports. If you see debris collecting elsewhere on the phone — like in the cracks around the frame, and in the top speaker grill — you can clear those out with a toothpick, too.

Cotton swabs can be helpful on the edges, but don't use them inside ports or speaker grilles.

Spray your microfiber cloth with cleaning solution and wipe it down — as often as you possibly can.

Now that you've primed the device for disinfecting, grab your alcohol- or vinegar-based cleaner. Spray it on the microfiber cloth and wipe it down. Then, take a cotton swab and dip it inside the bottle of rubbing alcohol. Trace it around the edges, the buttons, and any other crevices of the chassis that require cleaning, but take heed not to use them inside ports or speaker grilles. Wipe it all off with the microfiber cloth when you're finished.

Cleaning on the go

For a quicker cleaning experience, a pre-moistened cleaning cloth is just as apt at cleaning your smartphone as the multi-tool cleaning process. Grab a brand like these Wireless Wipes, which smell nice and clean your device. Sephora also offers a batch of stylishly-packed screen cleansing towelettes for those who like a little flair with their cleaning supplies. Or, just get into the habit of cleaning your phone once a week at home — maybe even designate a night of the week as phone cleaning night. Make it excited by adding music.

A pre-moistened cleaning cloth is just as apt at cleaning your smartphone.

Also, consider using hand sanitizer between meals and before touching your phone. A little can go a long way, and I've often found that something as simple as a travel bottle of Purell hand sanitizer can work miracles at removing dirt from the fingers.

Your methods

What are your methods for keeping your phone and other gadgets clean and germ-free? Let us know!

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

AT&T Buyer's Guide: Everything you need to know

Find out what AT&T has to offer.

AT&T is the second-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. with over 100 million subscribers across the country. It offers nationwide Voice and LTE data coverage on its network, using GSM and LTE technology for both voice and data, primarily on 700, 850, 1700 and 1900MHz spectrm.

AT&T offers unlimited talk and text wireless plans for individuals and families and have deals on the latest phones including the Samsung Galaxy S8. If you're a loyal AT&T customer for other services, you'll be happy to know that there are benefits to bundling your services together, but if you're strictly looking for a wireless plan, AT&T's base offerings are definitely on the pricier side — though they do offer affordable prepaid plans and the option to save by bringing your own device.

Read on to learn more about what AT&T has to offer, and find the best plan and phone deal for you!

Advertisement

Best Individual Plans

AT&T offers a range of mobile service options for individuals. We'll start off with their standard talk, text, and data plans available when you're buying a new phone through AT&T, then look at AT&T's prepaid no-contract options, and finally your options for bringing your own device to the AT&T Network.

Talk, Text and Data plans

AT&T offers two base talk, text, and data plans for individual lines — the AT&T Unlimited Choice plan, and the Unlimited Plus plan.

The Unlimited Choice plan starts at $65 a month and includes unlimited talk, text, and data with standard definition video streaming and data speeds that max out at 3Mbps. It's a great option if you don't want to worry about managing monthly quotas and don't mind the slower data speeds for video.

The Unlimited Plus plan is significantly more expensive at $95 a month, but includes high definition video streaming and 10GB of mobile hotspot all delivered at the fastest speeds available on AT&T's nationwide 4G LTE network. It also includes an HBO subscription, which lets you watch all your favorite HBO shows on all of your devices.

Keep in mind the cost of these plans do not include payments towards a new phone. If you're trying to budget getting a new phone on contract with AT&T, add an extra $25 to get a closer estimation of what your monthly bill might look like. However, there are ways to bring that bill down a bit. You can save $5 a month by signing up for AutoPay, and an additional $5 a month for signing up to receive paperless bills. And all DirectTV customers (existing and new) save an additional $25 when bundled with wireless service.

AT&T offers a number of bundles that include DirectTV alongside its other services, so if you're looking for a total home package through one carrier you may lock down a pretty good deal that includes TV, home phone, internet and wireless all through AT&T.

To find the pricing offered in your area, you'll want to go to AT&T's website and enter your ZIP code.

Learn more

AT&T Prepaid

Not interested in locking yourself into a long-term contract with AT&T? You may be interested in a prepaid plan instead. AT&T offers GoPhone plans for those looking for cheap and functional wireless services without the hassle of dealing with overage fees and or paying for features you don't end up using.

Monthly GoPhone plans start at $30 for unlimited talk and text, and it also offer decent pay-as-you-go plans which start as low as $2 a day for unlimited minutes and texts. With pay-as-you-go, you're not charged on days that you don't place or receive a call or send a text.

Learn more

Advertisement

Bring your own device to AT&T

If you're switching over to AT&T from another carrier, you may be able to bring your current phone over to the network. You'll want to make sure that your device has been unlocked by your previous carrier and then check its eligibility on AT&T's network. You're also able to connect laptops, tablets and mobile hotspots to an AT&T wireless plan, which you can learn more about in store.

Learn More

Best Family Plans

AT&T offers shared data plans for families with unlimited domestic talk and text and worry-free data — you won't receive overage charges when you've reached your data allotment.

Add up to 10 lines to your plan and find the monthly data amount that meets your family's needs. Starting at $80 for 10GB of shared data, your best value for a data-hungry family is the 30GB plan for $135. Spread across a family of four, that averages to 7.5GB per phone, which is more than enough to support regular streaming of audio and video, along with everything else your family uses their phones for.

Since AT&T offers much more than just wireless service, you have the option to add a plethora of features to your plan. First, you can add more devices such as LTE-enabled tablets and wearables for a monthly access charge, as well as laptops and mobile hotspot devices.

More importantly for families, you can add both home phone and internet to your plant for only $30. AT&T also offers cable bundles if you're interested in cable TV packages.

Learn more

Best Phones

Looking to buy a brand new phone through AT&T? It can offer you the latest and greatest devices — for both Android and iOS — including:

You have two options for buying phones through AT&T — you can buy them outright, or pay no money down with AT&T Next, a payment plan service that links the cost of the phone to your wireless contract, as you pay for the phone in monthly installments with an option to upgrade to a new device in two years. You may choose put a down payment on the device to bring the monthly payment down, or consider trading in an older phone to put cash towards your new one.

Learn more

Best Deals on AT&T

Right now, AT&T is pushing a couple great deals for unlimited data plans.

AT&T's Unlimited Plus plan is jam-packed with awesome features for heavy mobile users and fans of HBO. You get 22GB of high speed data before AT&T may slow your speeds and 10GB of mobile hotspot per line per month. Stream high definition video on the go with unlimited domestic talk and text including Canada and Mexico all for just $90 a month for one line, or $145 for two.

Learn more

AT&T is also offering a free Galaxy S8 when you buy a Galaxy S8 using the AT&T Next upgrade program. There are some limitations, but it's a pretty good deal if you and another person on the same account plan to upgrade every year and a half.

Learn more

How to cancel AT&T

If you're considering signing a multi-year contract with AT&T, you need to know the details and processes for canceling your service. This is where reading the fine print of your contract ahead of time comes in handy. Depending on your wireless plan, you may have to pay an Early Termination Fee or the outstanding balance of an installment agreement like AT&T Next plans.

You have two options for canceling your services with AT&T:

  • Call 1-800-331-0500 or 611 from an AT&T wireless phone, and then follow the call prompts to cancel your service.
  • Cancel in-person at an AT&T store near you.

If you've decided to cancel your service within 14 days of activation, you'll want to know about AT&T's equipment return policies.

Learn more

How to unlock an AT&T phone

If you plan on buying a phone through AT&T, you may want to know the process for unlocking your phone. AT&T has complete instructions on their support website, and the whole process should take no more than three days to process.

The first step is determining whether your device is eligible to be unlocked, and of course AT&T has a site for that. Unlocking your AT&T phone is a fairly painless process, requiring you to fill out some forms with your AT&T credentials and your device's IMEI number. Once your request has been processed, you are free to connect your device to another wireless carrier.

Learn more

Finding an alternative carrier that uses AT&T's network

If you want to use the AT&T network but are looking for plans that offer a better deal, you might be interested in a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). MVNOs are often referred to as alternative carriers, and they work by partnering with the big four carriers to piggyback on their networks. That means they can offer better deals to consumers without needing to worry about infrastructure upkeep.

They've become increasingly reliable over the years and offer the cheapest plans in the mobile industry. There are currently 12 MVNOs that operate on AT&T, including Cricket Wireless, Straight Talk, and H20 Wireless.

Learn More

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages