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1 month ago

Xiaomi Mi 6 photo samples prove it can compete with the best cameras today

Xiaomi Mi 6 camera

The dual-camera configuration in the Mi 6 is a step up from previous generations.

The Xiaomi Mi 6 is going to be a noteworthy phone in Asian markets. Imaging prowess is an area that Xiaomi's rivals have banked on for several generations — OPPO brands its phones as Selfie Experts and Vivo calls its devices Camera Phones — and with the Mi 6, Xiaomi is catching up.

The Mi 6 has a dual camera setup that's similar to that of the iPhone 7 Plus, with a wide-angle 12MP imaging sensor augmented by a secondary 12MP telephoto lens with 2x lossless zoom. Xiaomi managed to cram the sensors in a smaller frame — the Mi 6 has a 5.15-inch screen whereas the iPhone 7 Plus comes with a 5.5-inch display — and the manufacturer also figured out a way to eliminate the camera bump at the back.

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1 month ago

Honor 6X is getting an interface makeover with its Nougat update


The latest software rollout includes all the features of Android 7.0 Nougat, as well as the revamped EMUI 5.0.

Just because you didn't pay a ton for your smartphone doesn't mean it shouldn't run the latest software. Honor has announced its now pushing out the update to Android Nougat and EMUI 5.0 to the Honor 6X this month.

EMUI 5.0 for the Honor 6X was in the process of being beta tested for the last two months. You can expect to see the update hit your phone between now and late-May.

Here's some of what you can expect from the update, per an email from Honor:

Simpler user interface: a brand new user interface design with a blue and white color scheme inspired by the Aegean Sea; a simplified interface system with an easy three-step-operation for over 90% of the time

Stronger functionality: smoother system run enables quicker browsing from massive pictures to web pages and search queries

A more secure system: strengthened security over user privacy, mobile payment and communication, and APP usage

The Honor 6X's EMUI 5.0 also offers a remodeled task manager, the ability to use two user account profiles within an application, and an app drawer, which EMUI 4 users have been clamoring about for quite some time. The device will also have many of the same features of the latest version of Android, including multi-window support, direct reply for notifications, and under-the-hood battery saving features.

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1 month ago

Galaxy S8 red tint fix is now rolling out to T-Mobile customers


Galaxy S8's red tint fix is now rolling out in the U.S.

Samsung is now rolling out the OTA update to fix the Galaxy S8 and S8+ red tint issue for T-Mobile customers. The South Korean manufacturer said last week that it would issue an update to automatically fix color calibration of the Galaxy S8 after a few users reported that their devices had a red tint on their displays.

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1 month ago

Replace your busted phone with a 64GB Moto G Plus for just $200


Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on the unlocked Moto G Plus!

Is your current phone aging poorly but you don't have a ton of cash to drop on a new one? If so, you'll want to check out B&H's Deal Zone today for a sweet offer on the 4th-gen Moto G Plus, dropping the price to just $199.99. This is a $100 savings on the unlocked phone and brings it to its lowest price yet. Featuring a 5.5-inch display, the Moto G Plus also offers 64GB of internal storage, 4GB of RAM, a 16MP rear-facing camera and much more. It is also water repellent so it can withstand minor splashes and spills without any issue. The phone is available in both black and white.

This deal is only good for today, May 2, so you won't want to wait too long to get your order in. Remember, B&H Photo doesn't charge sales tax at the time of purchase on orders shipping outside of NJ or NY, and you'll also get free standard shipping.

See at B&H Photo

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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1 month ago

Top 6 things to know about the Xiaomi Mi 6

Xiaomi Mi 6

There's plenty to like in the Xiaomi Mi 6.

From the Full HD display to the Snapdragon 835 chipset and dual rear cameras, the Xiaomi Mi 6 has a lot going for it. The best part about the phone is that it is available for the equivalent of $420, making it an enticing proposition in this segment.

If you're interested in learning more about the Mi 6 or are eyeing the device as a possible replacement for your current phone, here's what you need to know about Xiaomi's 2017 flagship.

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1 month ago

Meet the BlackBerry KEYone this month at CrackBerry Meetups across Canada!


The CrackBerry Meetup Tour is coming back, and it's starting in Canada this month!

This isn't an Android thing — at least not directly — but our friends over at CrackBerry will be touring parts of Canada to meet up with BlackBerry fans who want to try the KEYone prior to its release on May 31.

The meetups will take place in Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal (they already did Toronto!) throughout the month, and, if you're in the neighborhood, we'd love it if you registered!

RSVP for KEYone!

Calgary - Friday, May 5th

Vancouver - Saturday, May 6th

Ottawa - Saturday, May 13th

Montreal - Monday, May 15th

Every attendee gets entered for a chance to win a KEYone, so make sure you go if you're around!

Sign up for future CrackBerry meetups

If you haven't yet, be sure to visit our global CrackBerry Meetup Groups page, where you can sign up for your city. If an official CrackBerry Meetup is coming your way, we'll be sure to let you know.

Register for a CrackBerry Meetup Group In Your City

Visit the CrackBerry Meetup Groups Forum

BlackBerry KEYone

Amazon Best Buy BlackBerry Mobile

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1 month ago

Galaxy S8 and S8+ update to fix red tint issue is now rolling out in India and Europe


Samsung's OTA update to fix the Galaxy S8 red tint is now live in two markets.

Samsung is now rolling out an OTA update that fixes the red tint issue on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The update kicked off in Korea last week, and is now available for Indian and European units. The fix is going out to S8 and S8+ units in the UK, Germany, and Turkey, and should be rolling out to additional countries in the region shortly.

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1 month ago

Latest ZTE Axon 7 update brings a blue light filter, support for 256GB microSD cards


ZTE continues to improve the Axon 7's functionality.

ZTE is rolling out an update to the Axon 7 that introduces several new features. Build B25 offers a Night Mode setting that acts as a blue light filter to prevent eye strain while viewing the screen at night. The latest build also includes fixes for Wi-Fi calling, as well as performance improvements, stability fixes, and support for 256GB microSD cards.

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1 month ago

Leaked specs of the HTC U 11 reveal Snapdragon 835 and 6GB RAM


HTC U 11 will be available with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage.

The HTC U 11 is slated to make its debut in just over two weeks, and we've already seen what the device will look like. Earlier rumors hinted at a Snapdragon 835 SoC along with a 12MP camera, as well as a squeezable frame that lets you perform various actions by squeezing the sides of the phone. Today's leak out of Gear India gives us a detailed spec sheet of HTC's upcoming flagship, which includes Bluetooth 5.0, IP57 certifcation, and much more.

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1 month ago

Bixby voice arrives on Korean Galaxy S8 today

Galaxy S8 Bixby

Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners in Samsung's home market are the first to get a fully baked Bixby experience.

Bixby, Samsung's new AI service on the Galaxy S8, was missing its most important feature at launch. Bixby's voice commands — a central reason for the service having its own dedicated hardware button — wasn't operational out of the box. However from today, Korean Galaxy S8 owners can get acquainted with Samsung's AI-based trickery. ZDNet reports that Samsung flipped the switch on Bixby voice at 1pm KST on Monday (11pm EST Sunday).

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1 month ago

AT&T's '5G Evolution' network isn't a brand (new) problem


AT&T told us it would be rolling out its 5G lie back in February. At the time, no one cared. Here's why we still shouldn't care.

In February, AT&T announced that it would launch something called a 5G Evolution network in Austin later in the year. At the time, no one paid the announcement much attention because it was filtered in with a larger, seemingly more-important pronouncement: that AT&T was moving towards real 5G trials, also in Austin where it has extensive research facilities. With the impending hardening of the official 5G standard, America's second-biggest wireless carrier was on its way towards an honest-to-goodness leg up in the next generation of wireless.

Moving from LTE to 5G is like going from 1080p to 4K — it's a big difference, but you need the right equipment to see it.

Last week, AT&T launched said 5G Evolution network in Austin, and the world, including us, took umbrage at the naming convention. But we should have seen this coming — AT&T made it plain three months ago that it would be adulterating the idea of 5G for its own branding advantages. At the core of the disdain towards AT&T was the apparent flagrancy of its convention-breaking, the idea that what the industry, or a standards body, decides is 3G or 4G or 5G must be followed to the letter by the companies that famously make billions of dollars each year distorting or exaggerating the truth. (AT&T has defended its use of the 5G Evolution name, telling FierceWireless that "AT&T's 5G Evolution lays the foundation for 5G while the standards are being finalized.")

When I first read that AT&T was launching a 5G Evolution network, I got just as worked up as everyone else (though I didn't swear in my title). I said the company was ruining 5G for the rest of the industry, an admittedly hyperbolic refrain that now, days later, I regret. AT&T hasn't ruined 5G because 5G isn't ruinable. It's not a thing yet. 5G is a mishmash of ideas and best practices and existing technologies, buoyed by dozens — likely hundreds — of organizations each with a vested interest of advancing their minor constituent towards the center of the enormous game board. To further the board game analogy, the main problem with the ruthless advancement of 5G is that no one is waiting their turn to play; everyone is merely using the resources at hand to advance their pieces as quickly as possible.

It's within this climate that AT&T decided to make the first public move, and stood to face the most ire as a result. But here's the thing to note about this unilateral move: it's really not a big deal. And even though, in principle, AT&T probably shouldn't mislead customers by calling what is clearly still a 4G LTE-based network '5G Evolution', it's not nearly as objectionable as when, back in 2011, AT&T balked at Verizon's early launch of true 4G LTE and renamed its decidedly third-generation network '4G'.

5G promises to be a big upgrade over 4G LTE, but it's also a much more complex beast to tackle.

But as the difference between 720p and 1080p was enormous, and the advantages obvious to the naked eye, so too was the variation in speed between "faux-G" and real 4G, which was, as it is today, based on the LTE standard. AT&T and T-Mobile, doubling down on HSPA+ and DC-HSPA, which were certainly improvements over existing 3G speeds, especially for downloads, began referring to their networks as 4G-capable so it didn't fall behind what was a yawning technological divide between Verizon at the time. Sprint, with its doomed WiMAX standard, did the same, much to its detriment.

But 4G LTE isn't just faster than 3G in terms of speed; it's more efficient, with the ability to push more megabits over much narrower airwaves; and it offers considerably lower latency, which is becoming increasingly important as the mobile web transitions to consuming more video than anything else.

5G promises to be a big upgrade over 4G LTE, but it's also a much more complex beast to tackle. It's more like moving from 1080p to 4K — better, but you need a much bigger TV to see the difference.

Part of the 5G standard uses very high-frequency airwaves that approach the same signals used by microwaves, which hold enormous capacity for throughput but due to physics can't travel long distances. On the other side of the spectrum (literally), 5G plans to achieve sub-one millisecond response times for mission-critical services, and be the vehicle for the Internet of Things products to send billions of tiny packets to one another so that everything, not just phones and lightbulbs, are somehow connected to the Internet. It's a huge, daunting and potentially society-changing project, but even when the first stages of the new standard begin to show up in consumer products in the last year of this decade, it will still be many years until 5G takes on its final form, just as LTE has taken the better part of this decade to reach maturity.

At the same time, though, the average smartphone user isn't going to see massive advantages in terms of wireless speed, latency and coverage when those first 5G-compatible phones roll off the line sometime in 2019 or 2020. Part of Qualcomm's recent marketing push is to explain that gigabit LTE, which can be achieved using its X16 solution found inside the Snapdragon 835 (which is only in the Galaxy S8 right now), lays the foundations for 5G because it incorporates the same fundamental OFDM-based technologies that will eventually migrate to the next generation: MIMO, carrier aggregation, 256QAM (and higher) and the use of unlicensed spectrum. AT&T tells us that its 5G Evolution network uses all of these things; T-Mobile has been using them since September of 2016.

But regardless of what you call these achievements — LTE Advanced Pro, 5G Evolution, 7G Eventual — it's unlikely to completely change your life and blow your mind the way that moving from "faux G" to real 4G did a few years ago.

In the meantime, you can make fun of AT&T for jumping the gun, but really — and unfortunately — if it didn't do it, another company was going to.

A few more notes from this week:

  • The more time I spend with the Samsung Galaxy S8, the more its flaws are revealed to me, and the less I care. This is one solid phone, quirks and all.
  • Good to see Samsung not waiting for the carriers to roll out emergency fixes for its latest phone. More of this, please.
  • It was interesting watching and reading Phil's take on the S8, since he's no longer inundated with new phone releases like he used to be. I agree with some of his points, but I do think the S8 stands on its own, and would have made just as much of an impact had the Note 7 stayed on store shelves.
  • Our most popular post last week was, unsurprisingly, Andrew's essay on how it's still stupidly difficult to buy a Google Pixel. It's a vivid retelling of a very poorly-planned product launch. Not only does the Pixel XL now feel comically oversized next to the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, but I know more than a few people who forwent buying one after waiting for stock replenish, finally giving up and buying an S8.
  • You'll be seeing more about the BlackBerry KEYone this week, and I'm excited to say that, even though a hardware keyboard isn't really for me — at least not as my main device — the phone is solid, well-designed, and pretty damn fun to use.

That's it for now! See y'all on the flippity-flip.


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1 month ago

How the Galaxy S8 is holding up after a week [Roundtable]


See what the AC staff thinks after using the Galaxy S8 for a week.

It's been a week since the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ were released. You've read the reviews, watched the videos and no doubt had some thoughts of your own by now. Chances are you came away from it all thinking that this is a pretty great phone.

A week later, and everyone has time to settle down and take a breath or two after the madness that is a Samsung Galaxy launch. A week isn't enough time to know every little thing about a phone, but it's perfect for extended first impressions. Have a read and see what we think after using the Galaxy S8 for a week.

Daniel Bader

There's nothing like being genuinely surprised by a phone. I thought I knew what it would be like to use the Galaxy S8 after spending some time with it in New York during the announcement, but actually having it in hand, in pocket and in use is a completely different story.

First, I put a case on it. Yes, I know, hiding the beautiful design, except that it doesn't, at least not from my perspective. I use a thin, minimal case that only covers the back, but does the job of accentuating the enormous, vivid display. And what a display. This is not a small phone, but I constantly find myself being able to accomplish things in one hand, through a combination of swipe typing and enabling Samsung's excellent one-handed mode, which is accessible through a simple triple-tap of the home button.

The Galaxy S8 was genuinely surprising in the right ways.

Not only have I found the phone to be free of slowdown after I got over the uselessness of Bixby (and the annoying placement of the Bixby button, which I always mistake for the down volume key) I've settled into a great routine with the phone. Battery life has been exemplary for a device with a 3,000mAh battery, and I can only say good things about the camera, even if it isn't substantially better than last year's Galaxy S7 edge. Even the placement of the fingerprint sensor, which I considered during my review to be a major point of frustration, has been easily overcome with the use of face unlock and Google's own Smart Lock.

Finally, I got rid of TouchWIZ Home for Nova Launcher and haven't looked back. In fact, I think that this has easily become the best Android experience I've had since the Pixel, which is a serious compliment if you ask me. The phone has its faults, and more than a few quirks, but let's not forget that it's early days, and even the Pixel had its problems at the beginning.

Alex Dobie

After almost two months on the LG G6, stepping up to the Galaxy S8+ has been a pretty major adjustment. Between, its smaller size, more angular corners and thicker frame, the G6 was easy to one-hand. The S8+? Not so much. I've manhandled similar Samsung phablets like the Galaxy S6 edge+ in the past, so it's not a wholly new experience for me, but I am just a little bit paranoid of dropping or damaging it, as is to be expected when you're just a week or so into a new phone.

I'm a big fan of Samsung's new software design and its elegant and minimal touches.

Nevertheless, the S8 is the best-looking phone on the market right now by a significant margin. Say what you like about its potential fragility — a trait of many glass-clad smartphones — Samsung has outdone everyone here, emerging as a champion of smartphone design.

I'm a big fan of Samsung's new software design, which takes everything that was great about the Galaxy S7 on Nougat and adds elegant, minimalist sci-fi touches.

My only real downers right now? The fingerprint sensor is awkward to the point of being borderline unusable on the larger S8+. (I'm using Smart Lock to bypass that whole mess.) Bixby is equally useless, for mostly obvious reasons. And I'm missing faster charging options that are available in some rivals phones from OnePlus and Huawei.

Russell Holly

I'm using the smaller Galaxy S8, after using both for a couple of days. The S8+ is a little too tall for my liking, so I go back to gripping the bottom of the phone with my pinky finger when trying to use it with one hand. I'm currently using the Galaxy S8 without a case, because Samsung's 2Piece Cover is on backorder. Yes, I ordered one on purpose.

So far, I'm very happy with the experience. I haven't felt a compelling need to replace the launcher once I disabled those silly app badge counter things. I wasn't ever going to use the fingerprint or retina scanners outside of seeing how they work, so the placement next to the camera doesn't bother much. The display continues to blow me away, and the camera is exactly as good as I expect from a top-tier Samsung phone.

I'm digging the phone and the Gear VR enhancements.

There isn't much here to surprise or wow me, but that doesn't make this any less of an exceptional phone. I'm digging the enhancements made to the Gear VR and the new Controller, I forgot how much I enjoyed having wireless charging, and black is the only color I would ever buy this phone in. Which is a shame, because I usually love colorful phones.

My only real complaints with the Galaxy S8 so far are that Bixby isn't better, that Daydream isn't supported, and that I can't just long press or double tap on the pressure sensitive home button to access the camera. Bixby will probably get better quickly, Daydream was never going to, work easily on this phone, and hopefully Samsung considers doing more with the home button soon.

Harish Jonnalagadda

I went with the larger Galaxy S8+ for the extra battery capacity, and the tall display isn't as unwieldy as I initially thought it would be. The panel itself is stunning, with excellent contrast, brightness, and viewing angles. The battery life is great too — I'm easily getting a full day's worth of usage with some room to spare.

I love the full-day battery and there's even room to spare.

That said, the most frustrating part about the phone is the location of the fingerprint sensor. My hand doesn't reach all the way to where it is located, so I have to adjust my grip during one-handed use to unlock the phone. Thankfully, iris scanning works well enough that I don't have to rely on the fingerprint scanner as much.

Andrew Martonik

For the most part, a week using the Galaxy S8 has reaffirmed what I first experienced in a brief period using the phone prior to its launch. The hardware is absolutely gorgeous to look at and excellent to hold, and the display is wonderful in every way. I don't have any issues reaching across the screen, but perhaps that's because I've been training up on tall phones with the LG G6.

Performance has been expectedly great, even when running the GS8 at its full screen resolution, and the battery has made it through the day each day I've had it. The camera is also really good, though I'm definitely missing the wide-angle camera on my LG G6.

The Galaxy S8 is a fantastic phone but it's not perfect.

I have to say the honeymoon period with Samsung's software has worn off, as it does with each flagship it releases. There's so much good stuff in here — I'm even using the stock launcher still! — but Samsung still has way too much happening throughout. Too many settings, too much bloatware and far too many duplicate apps and services. It's still a burden that makes me yearn for my Pixel XL every day.

Then, of course, there's this unlocking situation. Face unlock has been horrible for me, so I turned it off. Iris scanning is surprisingly fast and reliable (much better than the Note 7), but still struggles in weak lighting. Which leaves me with the fingerprint sensor … I've gotten more used to it, but it's still odd to find blindly and involves plenty of smudges on my camera. This calamitous combination has to be the biggest weakness of the Galaxy S8.

After a week I'm glad that the Galaxy S8 still holds up as a fantastic phone overall, but more time with it has also reinforced that it isn't perfect — there are still plenty of places Samsung can improve for the next generation.

Ara Wagoner

My Galaxy S8 arrived at noon yesterday, and after 24 hours with the device, I can say that there's a lot I like, and a few things I still very, very very much despise. I believe the fingerprint sensor has been covered ad nauseum by now, but I'll say that a case does help you aim for it a little better. There's still no way to use it effortlessly unless you have a basketballer's hands or a pianist's fingers. This phone needs a double-tap to wake that works on the whole screen, not just the home button

I'm surprised how much i like the layout of a tall display.

I was worried using a phone this tall was going to be awkward, but apart from a few letterboxed apps, things have actually been pretty good. I'm actually kind of surprised how much I like laying out home screen themes on a tall display; I've got more rows on the home screen to play with and I can fit more widgets on the screen without things feeling cramped. Samsung Themes still make me wanna tear my hair out a little, but the theme store has come a long, long way in the last few years and things are quite usable.

An aspect of this phone I look forward to exploring and savoring in depth is the audio options. You can play audio to two different bluetooth devices at once, which excites a lot of people. You can also choose to play audio on your device instead of a connected Bluetooth device, which is very exciting for me since that functionality was stripped out of Google Play Music months ago.

Your thoughts?

Have you enjoyed time with the Galaxy S8? Or are you this close to pulling the trigger and picking one up? Take a minute and let us know what you're thinking in the comments below.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+


Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked


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.


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

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1 month ago

HTC squeezes a lot of stuff in this teaser video for the HTC U 11


HTC wants you to squeeze its upcoming phone.

HTC is all set to unveil its next flagship, the HTC U 11, on May 16. Ahead of the launch event, the Taiwanese manufacturer is teasing the phone's marquee feature in a short video where people are squeezing stuff. You should just see the video:

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1 month ago

Midnight Black OnePlus 3T is already sold out in most countries


The limited edition Midnight Black OnePlus 3T is nearly sold out a month after its launch.

Still interested in buying the Midnight Black variant of the OnePlus 3T? You'll have to act fast, as the limited edition model is sold out in most countries. In a tweet, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei revealed that the Midnight Black edition is up for sale in just two markets, Hong Kong and the UK, and that it is likely to be sold out in a few days' time.

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1 month ago

Pixel and Pixel XL will get guaranteed updates until Oct. 2018, security patches through Oct. 2019


Pixels will receive at least two platform updates.

Last year, Google provided a timeline for when the Nexus 6P and 5X will stop receiving guaranteed updates. The company is now doing the same for the Pixel and Pixel XL. Like the Nexus devices, the Pixels will pick up guaranteed platform updates until October 2018, which will be two years from their release date. The phones will continue to receive software patches through October 2019.

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