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2 months ago

HTC U rumored to ditch headphone jack, pick up IP57 water resistance

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HTC logo

HTC's first global flagship with water resistance.

HTC's next flagship phone will follow in the footsteps of last year's Bolt in a couple of significant areas. According to seasoned HTC tipster @LlabTooFeR on Twitter, the phone will carry an IP57 rating for water and dust resistance, while also doing away with the 3.5mm headphone jack.

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2 months ago

Can Samsung's DeX Station succeed where others have failed?

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Will Samsung's market dominance make DeX a thing people actually use?

Samsung is one of those companies that likes to try things. Because it will put things out there and keep working on them we have technology like AMOLED screens that don't suck and devices that have ginormous displays. Heck, Samsung even brought back the stylus and made it sexy. Even when its ideas get universally panned (T-Mobile actually dropped the original Note just before its release date because it thought nobody wanted that thing), Samsung keeps making adjustments and improvements until it is satisfied. Then the good stuff is kept and the bad stuff goes away.

Samsung has a knack for turning an oddball idea into something great.

Samsungs also not afraid to build on ideas from others and it has both successes (Gear VR is a response to Cardboard and the Oculus Rift) and failures (S-Voice) to show for it. It's at it again with the coming DeX Station and the question is whether it will be another Gear VR or an S-Voice.

In case you haven't been paying attention, the DeX Station is a dock for your Galaxy S8 that connects to a monitor and peripherals like a mouse and keyboard to build a desktop computer that's not labeled as a desktop or a computer. We're still unsure how or if it will handle regular Android apps that you've installed to your phone, but specially built apps from Samsung as well as Microsoft and Adobe are designed to use the bigger screen while it's plugged in. If you've been an Android junkie for a while you're probably thinking that sounds like something Motorola tried a few years back. And you would be right.

I don't see Facebook or WhatsApp here.

There are some differences. The Galaxy S8 is far more capable than the Motorola Atrix or Droid Bionic was. This means companies can write software that does a lot more. We've heard VMWare has something planned for DeX as does Citrix. In 2017 and beyond, supporting software and apps is a requirement for success. Being good is no longer enough; just ask Microsoft. Out of the box, I expect Samsung to offer more software for DeX than Motorola did. The real problem is supporting apps from other companies, including your must-haves.

It takes more than good apps, though. If that were the only ingredient we would all be using Ubuntu phones and carrying monitors around. Apt-get all the things. I think the biggest hurdle is hardware.

A DeX station is portable but the things you need to actually use it aren't going to fit into your carry-on.

DeX is a mixed bag in this respect. The Station itself looks great: USB 3.0, HDMI, cooling fans and an active charger while the phone is docked covers everything and then some. But it stops there. Without a display and input devices plugged in, DeX is just a changer with a noisy fan. That means it's something you can only use where you have an extra monitor, mouse, and keyboard laying around or you need to find a way to squeeze them all into your carry-on. Samsung isn't saying it, but this basically means that DeX is designed to be a desktop computer, one that's about the same price as a desktop computer with better hardware, more storage and Windows 10.

The portability issue is easily fixed, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a Samsung clamshell that your S8 can slip into over the holidays if the DeX Station sells well. But as it stands, there is zero reason for an early adopter to buy a DeX dock outside of the novelty factor. A mini PC will run better, do more, and use the programs you want for the same price. It can even charge your phone through the USB port while you're using it. If early adopters (who tend to be tech savvy and know things like a mini-wintel PC or Chromebox exist) aren't interested, Samsung might have a problem.

There is no reason for an early adopter to choose a DeX station over existing products that do everything better.

All in one operating systems are coming. Microsoft, Apple, and Google are working on software built for every screen so it's logical for Samsung to try and get in front of it. DeX will survive in some form because it has to. Samsung isn't saying a lot about DeX outside of showcasing its own apps (a logical choice for a product launch) so maybe there is more than we know right now. Or maybe this DeX is the OG Note version that evolves into that thing everyone loves. We have to wait and see, but that won't stop us from talking about it.

As for myself, I'm itching to give it a try and test its limits. And I can't wait to see the next version and the ones after that. Use the comments to share what you think and ways you might use a DeX Station today or in the future.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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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

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2 months ago

This is how our Google Pixels are holding up [Roundtable]

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A six-month check-in to see how well the Pixel has fared from people who use it every day.

Most of your Android Central staff uses a Google Pixel or Pixel XL on a daily basis. We need to be able to see what Google has going on with Android so it's something we use for our jobs, and we all agree it's a great phone in either size. In either case, it's a phone we carry around and do all the things you can do with an Android phone and we've been doing it for six months.

We already know Russell Holly's Pixel XL is trashed on the outside but still going strong despite the scratches and scars. How it got there is something that Google needs to think about: we want our phones to work well and not look like they just came back from a war zone. Or maybe Russell just needs to try something different.

Anyhoo, since we wanted to know how your Pixel was faring, we need to tell you how ours are doing. Let's go around the table and see!

This is why we can't have nice things.

Alex Dobie

My Pixel XL has aged about as badly as any smartphone I've ever wielded. Granted, it's seen a fair amount of use in the four months that it was my daily driver. (I got it in mid-October, and switched to an LG G6 in mid-February.)

It's worn poorly.

But still, it seems like this phone has picked up an unusual amount of wear and tear compared to other Samsung, LG and even other HTC-built phones I've used in years past. The oleophobic coating on the screen is just about gone. The back glass is scratched to hell. Even the display glass has managed to pick up a few gnarly scratches. And the anodized paint job seems to attract scuffs more than most competitors. That's not usual for me after just four months.

Maybe it's just unlucky, but I've spoken to many other journalists who've used Pixels since the beginning — sometimes in a case with minimal use — and theirs have worn equally poorly.

Jen Karner

It went right into a case.

My Pixel XL is still in pretty decent shape after months of use. It's got a few small scratches, but they're mostly near the fingerprint scanner, and the camera. Even those are small and not really visible unless I'm looking for them.

This is probably because as soon as I got it, I threw on a sturdy Incipio case to keep it safe. Especially because I have a tendency to kill phones by dropping them. The scratches that are on the back of the phone all tend to be where the case cut-out is, and I'm comfortable with trading a bulkier case for as few scratches as possible.

Daniel Bader

I have both a white Pixel review unit and personal Pixel XL unit and both look immaculate. I was worried, after reading about my coworkers' brushes with scratches and coatings, that the same would befall my XL, but so far, so good.

What can I say? It's a well-made phone, Brent.

Marc Lagace

It has a few scuffs.

I've been using the Pixel as my daily driver since day one, and I still regret not slapping a case on it right out of the box. I'm a huge klutz when it comes to phones, so my phone has a few scuffs around the corners from accidentally falling off a table or out of my pocket

I've been rolled with a slim clear case on my Pixel ever since, which lets me show off the unique look of the phone while drawing attention away from the scuffed corners. This phone has held up wonderfully to the daily wear and tear I can put phones through — including the glass panel on the back which appears to have only picked up a few microabrasions in the top-right corner.

Jerry Hildenbrand

Looks good to these eyes.

My Pixel and Pixel XL both look pretty good. I'm not saying there are zero scratches on the glass but there aren't any to be seen at a glance and even holding them at funky angles under the light doesn't show anything. Maybe it's my eyes.

I think I know why. I always have my phone in my pocket by itself or on the desk/table face down. Being in a pocket without keys or garden tools or anything else that goes in pockets keeps it from getting scratched. My reasoning for always putting it face down when it's not in my pocket? You can still use a screen with a few scratches, but if you gouge that camera lens you're going to have a bad time.

Florence Ion

These are all the cases I own for the Pixel XL.

I swap them out depending on how I'm feeling at the beginning of each day. And if I'm traveling with the Pixel XL, I wrap it up in an Otterbox Defender case. This is to ensure the device stays pristine and still retains some resale value. You never know when you're going to need to offload a smartphone.

So cases, being careful and lucky magic keeps our Pixel's mostly in good shape. Take a minute and use the comments to tell us about yours, and anything special you might do to keep your Pixel looking good!

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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2 months ago

Galaxy S8 Active is (unsurprisingly) heading to AT&T later this year

21

Samsung is working on a ruggedized version of the Galaxy S8.

Samsung has released rugged variants of its flagships exclusively on AT&T for a few years, and it looks like the company will continue that trend with the Galaxy S8. According to the folks over at SamMobile, Samsung is working on the Galaxy S8 Active with a model number SM-G892A codenamed Cruiser that's destined for AT&T.

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2 months ago

Unboxing the gorgeous Midnight Black OnePlus 3T!

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The OnePlus 3T is one of the most exciting smartphones of the past six months, and it's squaring up against the coming 2017 flagships with a fresh coat of paint. The exclusive, limited edition "midnight black" 3T comes with 128GB of storage, packaged in a luxurious matte black box, with all the essentials you'd expect from OnePlus — a Dash Charger, SIM tool, case, screen protector and even a welcome message from the company's co-founder.

Check out our unboxing video for a quick first look at the hottest color for one of our favorite affordable flagships.

OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3

OnePlus Amazon

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2 months ago

Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be making their debut in India on April 19

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Samsung is bringing its 2017 flagships to India next week.

Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in India on April 19. The phones are up for pre-registration, and the brand confirmed the launch date in a now-deleted tweet. For now, Samsung is just stating that the phones will debut sometime next week, but it's looking very likely that we'll see the manufacturer's 2017 flagships make their debut next Wednesday.

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2 months ago

How to properly secure your Android phone

69

Know how to use the tools you're given to keep your phone and your data secure.

Update, April 2017: In light of the recent round of celebrity phone hacks, we have refreshed this page with up-to-date information.

Google, Apple, and Microsoft have great tools for managing your online security. Some implementations may be technically better than others, but you can be reasonably sure that your data — both on the phone and in the cloud — is safe. If you need more reassurance or have different needs, third-party companies are available that with the big three to provide enterprise-grade security assurances. No method is 100% secure, and ways to get around it are found regularly; then patched quickly so the cycle can repeat. But these methods are usually complicated and very time-consuming and rarely widespread.

This means you are the weakest link in any chain of security. If you want to keep your data — or your company's — secured you need to force someone to use these complicated time-consuming methods if they wanted to get into your phone. Secure data needs to be difficult to obtain and difficult to decipher if someone does get hold of it.With Android, there are several things you can do to make someone work really hard to get your data — hopefully so hard that they don't bother trying.

Use a secure lock screen

Having a secure lock screen is the easiest way to limit access to the data on your phone or the cloud. Whether you just left your phone on your desk while you had to walk away for a moment or two or if you've lost your phone or had it stolen a lock screen that can't be simple to bypass is the best way to limit that access.

The first step is to lock the front door.

If your company issued you a phone or you work for someone with a BYOD policy there's a good chance your phone is forced by a security policy to have password protection and your IT department may have assigned you a username and password to unlock it.

Any method that locks your phone is better than none, but generally, a random six-digit PIN is enough to require someone have special knowledge and tools to bypass it without triggering any self-destruct settings. Longer randomized alpha-numeric passwords mean they will need the right tools and a lot of time. Entering a long complex password on a phone is inconvenient for you and we tend not to use things that inconvenience us so alternatives have been thought up that use patterns, pictures, voiceprints and a host of other things easier to do than typing a long password. Read the instructions and overview for each and decide which works best for you. Just make sure you're using one.

Encryption and two-factor authentication

Encrypt all of your local data and protect your data in the cloud with two-factor authentication on your account logins.

Recent versions of Android come encrypted by default. Android 7 uses file-level encryption for faster access and granular control. Your corporate data may have another level of security to reinforce this. Don't do anything to try and lessen it. A phone that needs to be unlocked to decrypt the data is one that only someone dedicated is going to try to crack.

Online accounts all need to use a strong password and two-factor authentication if offered. Don't use the same password across multiple sites and use a password manager to keep track of them. A centralized spot with all your account credentials is worth risking if it means you'll actually use good passwords.

Know what you're tapping on

Never open a link or message from someone you don't know. Let those people email you if they need to make the first contact, and offer them the same courtesy and use email instead of a DM or a text message to get in touch with them the first time. And never click a random web link from someone you don't trust. I trust the Wall Street Journal's Twitter account, so I'll click obscured Twitter links. But I won't for someone I don't trust as much.

Trust is a major part of security at every level.

The reason isn't paranoia. Malformed videos were able to cause an Android phone to freeze up and had the potential to allow elevated permissions to your file system where a script could silently install malware. A JPG or PDF file was shown to do the same on the iPhone. Both instances were quickly patched, but it's certain that another similar exploit will be found now that the "right" people for the job know where to look. Files sent through email will have been scanned and links in the email body are easy to spot. The same can't be said for a text message or a Facebook DM.

Only install trusted applications

For most, that means Google Play. If an app or link directs you to install it from somewhere else, decline. This means you won't need to enable the "unknown sources" setting required to install apps that didn't originate from a Google server in the Play Store. Only installing apps from the Play Store means Google is monitoring their behavior, not you. They are better at it than we are.

If you need to install apps from another source you need to make sure you trust the source itself. Actual malware that probes and exploits the software on your phone can only happen if you approved the installation. And as soon as you're finished installing or updating an app this way, turn the Unknown sources setting back on as a way to combat trickery and social engineering to get you to install an app manually.

None of this will make your phone 100% secure. 100% security isn't the goal here and never is. The key is to make any data that's valuable to someone else difficult to get. The higher the level of difficulty, the more valuable the data has to be in order to make getting it worthwhile.

Some data is more valuable that others, but all of it is worth protecting.

Pictures of my dogs or maps to the best trout streams in the Blue Ridge Mountains won't require the same level of protection because they aren't of value to anyone but me. Quarterly reports or customer data stored in your corporate email may be worth the trouble to get and need extra layers.

Luckily, even low-value data is easy to keep secure using the tools provided and these few tips.

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2 months ago

HTC One X10 is official with 4,000mAh battery and metal body

19

Coming to Russia for the equivalent of $355.

HTC has announced the latest in its mid-tier "One X" family, the HTC One X10. Drawing from both old and new HTC design elements, the X10 packs a 5.5-inch 1080p display into a metal body, with an enormous 4,000mAh battery which the company claims can deliver up to two-day longevity.

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2 months ago

Is the Galaxy S8 too tall for its own good?

94

How tall is too tall, and does the Galaxy S8 breach that invisible divide?

"This porridge is too hot!" she exclaimed. So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.

"This porridge is too cold," she said. So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.

"Ahhh, this porridge is just right," she said happily and she ate it all up.

Sometimes it feels like there's no perfect phone out there for you. After each announcement, you weigh the pros and cons and figure out whether that new hot device is the right height or width, the perfect weight, the proper size, and the ideal feel.

That's what many of you are doing right now with the Galaxy S8 after demoing them in various carrier or retail stores before general availability on April 21. Some people are worried that the Galaxy S8, and especially the larger Galaxy S8+ — which is proving surprisingly popular, according to the company — are too tall for most people, and may be poorly proportioned. Many are saying that LG made the right choice with its 18:9, or 2:1, screen, which is exactly twice as tall as it is wide. Here's what one forum member had to say:

#mn_oembed_c:before { display: none; } #mn_oembed_c { display: table; width: 100%; max-width: 700px; box-sizing: border-box; cursor: pointer; position: relative; background: #dee9eb; padding: 35px; left: 35px; margin: 0 auto 0 auto; border-radius: 4px; border: 1px solid #dbe1e4; font-family: 'Fira Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 1.5; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; text-decoration: none; } #mn_oembed_i { padding: 0 13px 0 23px; font-size: 18px; display: table; width: 100%; box-sizing: border-box; } #mn_oembed_a { position: absolute; width 65px; height: 65px; left: -33px; top: 20px; border-radius: 50%; border: 2px solid #dbe1e4; } #mn_oembed_un { color: #ff5200; text-decoration: none; } #mn_oembed_t { color: #858b8e; font-size: 12px; } #mn_oembed_q { float: left; font-family: 'PT Mono', monospace; font-size: 100px; margin: -5px 0 0 -10px; color: #858b8e; } #mn_oembed_p { margin: 20px 0 0 50px; padding: 0; color: #07080a; font-weight: 300; } #mn_oembed_b { margin: 20px 0 0 0; font-size: 16px; float: right; cursor: pointer; background-color: #fff; color: #ff5200; border-radius: 4px; padding: 0 20px; line-height: 38px; text-transform: uppercase; box-sizing: border-box; display: inline-block; text-decoration: none; transition: all ease-in .2s; } #mn_oembed_b:hover { color: #fff; background: #6ab2be; } @media (max-width: 767px) { #mn_oembed_c { margin: 0 auto; } #mn_oembed_a { margin: 0 20px 0 0; float: left; position: relative; height: 65px; left: 0; top: 0; border-radius: 50%; border: 2px solid #dbe1e4; } #mn_oembed_i { padding: 0; } #mn_oembed_u { height: 69px; } #mn_oembed_un { padding: 12px 0 0 0; } #mn_oembed_q { display: none; } #mn_oembed_p { margin: 20px 0 0 0; } }

donm527 04-12-2017 08:13 PM “

Third trip to BB to get more handle time while I wait for full reviews on them come away with more to think about and still undecided which way to go and due to the ratio. Last visit I was leaning toward the smaller S but today the S+ but both feel a compromise... Initially I thought I don't want to go too big so the height in the S for me is perfect but the phone is as wide as my iPhone 6...

Reply

But this seems to be the direction manufacturers are going, with companies like OnePlus and Huawei likely following suit later this year. Tall, thin phones have a number of usability advantages in that they allow for narrower bodies that can more easily be gripped in one hand without sacrificing overall screen real estate.

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fatboy97 04-12-2017 06:58 AM “

It's going to be the trend everybody is going to do. By this time next year anyone that does not have something close to that aspect ratio will be out of date.

Reply

Would it have been better, though, if Samsung had chosen the same aspect ratio as LG? Or do you think there are advantages in going even taller? And, perhaps most importantly, where does the madness end? How tall can we actually go?

Climb up the beanstalk with us in the forums!

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

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2 months ago

Huawei sells 5 million Mate 9s in four months

33
Huawei Mate 9

Sales up 36% from Mate 8, manufacturer says.

Huawei's big-screened Mate 9 was well received by critics, with overhauled software, a gigantic battery and a new dual-camera system. And it looks like the company's best "phablet" yet has apparently translated that into strong sales. Gizchina reports that at a Chinese press conference, Huawei noted that 5 million Mate 9s had been sold in the first four months of availability, up 36% from its predecessor, the Mate 8, during the same period the previous year.

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2 months ago

HTC 10 review 2017: The forgotten classic

55

When I first reviewed the HTC 10, I called it "the best Android smartphone you're not buying." A year after its release, both of those assertions continue to hold water: the HTC 10 is still a really solid phone ... but it's still not selling well enough to stave off the regular flow of bad news.

Maybe that's because even a "really solid phone" isn't good enough to capture the public's imagination in the current climate of curved-screen contraptions, or maybe it's because the HTC 10 is still priced pretty high compared to similarly-specced competitors like the OnePlus 3T. Whatever the reason, an HTC 10 review for 2017 seemed appropriate before the company launched its next big flagship ... so an HTC 10 review for 2017 is just what you're gonna get. Click the video above for the latest Review Re-Do from MrMobile!

Still on the fence? Take a glance at Android Central's original review and all of their coverage of the HTC 10!

Featured Products

Stay social, my friends

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2 months ago

Galaxy S8 Impressions: 5 things you probably didn't know!

46

In the weeks since the announcement, we've all had a chance to form our opinions on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. And there's a lot to get to grips with: a wealth of new features, gigantic screens and an even bigger price tag.

Nevertheless, many areas of the new phones remain misunderstood or under-appreciated, and so I've rounded up the top five misunderstood Galaxy S8 features — things you might not know about. (Or things you might even be wrong about!) Does Bixby suck? Will the Galaxy S8 have worse battery life than the S7? Is the camera the same as last year? How bad is that rear-mounted fingerprint scanner? And will the extra-large Galaxy S8+ mean there's no need for a new Note this year?

Check out my thoughts above, and be sure to subscribe so you don't miss our full Galaxy S8 video review in the near future!

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

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2 months ago

What was your first phone? Taking a walk down cell phone memory lane

290

Forget the smart little powerhouses we have in our hands today. We're throwing it back to the olden days, before unlimited anything.

I've officially reached the point in my life that I can now look back nostalgically at my technology past. And since we've been talking about escapism, I thought it would be fun to start off the week with a trip down memory lane.

Lately, I've been thinking about my first cell phone, the Motorola StarTac. It was a dull, clunky flip phone with a retractable antenna. (I'm chuckling as I'm recalling it.) I tried desperately to cover it in stickers and make it look cool, but it was still relatively utilitarian-looking. I remember it was marketed more towards business folk and contractors rather than socially awkward teenagers like me. I needed something hip to fit in with the masses, like a Nokia 3310, but it wasn't offered by Verizon at the time. And anyway, the StarTac was a hand-me-down that was initially meant as a tracking device.

Via DeviantArt user Redfield-1982.

Each minute of talk cost a whopping 30 cents.

Per my parents, the StarTac was only to be used to call for a ride home. I wasn't allowed to text anyone or make phone calls without permission because the phone was on a severely limited plan. Any time I spent on the phone had to be carefully counted because each minute of talk cost a whopping 30 cents.

Eventually, I lobbied for a better deal. Rather than spend $3 for 10 minutes of talking, I argued, why not switch the plan so that I'm primarily texting instead? It's quieter for everyone at home, it's cheaper, and it was the cool new way to communicate with friends. My parents agreed to this, and it felt like the path had cleared for my ever-so-slightly burgeoning social life.

My friend's Motorola T900 2-Way Pager.

I spent a few months texting back and forth with one friend in particular. She was on a text-only device: the Motorola T900 2-Way Pager, which came with a miniature QWERTY keyboard. She was not only more thorough in her replies, but she sent longer messages, too, which counted against my allowance. I would reply to her the next day, in person, because I didn't want to scare her away with the realities of my messaging limitations. Or rather, I didn't want it to get out that was all my parents would pay for.

By my 16th birthday, I was better equipped for socializing in high school. My parents used an upgrade on their account and allowed me to pick out the phone. It was the Motorola T720 and it was the cutest little thing. It could download apps, play games, and go on the internet, in addition to making phone calls and sending text messages — and it did all this on a color display! I didn't have to cover it in stickers to make it look decent, either. Instead, I bought translucent neon face plates for it from a kiosk at the mall, like the rest of my friends did with their Nokia 3310s.

An original advertisement from 2001 for the Motorola T720.

What was your first cell phone?

For fun, I put out this question on Twitter to see what the replies might be like. I've pasted a few below, though you can view the whole thread here. Unsurprisingly, I received many replies about a Nokia cell phone being the first mobile device.

Alright, I've told you my story and a few others have told you theirs. Now it's your turn: What was your first mobile device? Tell us about it in the comments! We'll showcase some of your answers in a post later this week.

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2 months ago

Wi-Fi calling is coming soon to Pixel, Pixel XL on India's Jio

2

Wi-Fi calling is coming with Android 7.1.2 Nougat to the Pixel and Pixel XL on Jio.

Google added VoLTE support for the Pixel and Pixel XL on Jio back in December, and will soon offer Wi-Fi calling via an upcoming Nougat update. The update will make it easier for customers to make calls using Wi-Fi in situations where they don't have great cellular coverage in their homes. The call will be routed through your phone number, but instead of mobile data like VoLTE, it uses your Wi-Fi connection.

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2 months ago

Watch our video review of the billionaire's phone

3

For most of us, it can be tough to justify the cost of buying a brand new high-end smartphone outright, especially with so many great affordable options. But at the other end of the spectrum — far removed from your standard $700 Android flagship — there are the luxury phones, like the Vertu Constellation.

The Constellation starts at a whopping $6000 (which in the grand scheme of Vertu phones is decidedly entry-level), and for that money you'll get standard mid-2016 smartphone internals packed in extremely luxurious materials. But the price tag also gets your own Vertu concierge — as in an actual person — who's ready to assist you whenever you press the ruby button on the phone's outer frame. (And yes, being a Vertu, that's a real, actual ruby.) Whether you need to round up a Hollywood make-up artist for your music video, or just find a nice steakhouse in downtown Manhattan, Concierge can take care of things.

Check out our video review for a closer look at the Android phone for movie stars, oil barons and royalty.

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