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2 weeks ago

This is (probably) the LG V30

104

Surprise: On the outside, it's pretty much a bigger, curvier G6.

LG looks set to follow up the well-received G6 with a new member of the big-screened V series, and noted leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka @onleaks on Twitter) has teamed up with MySmartprice to reveal a full 3D render of the device, based on CAD specs given to accessory manufacturers.

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2 weeks ago

Xiaomi's supersized Mi Max 2 is launching in India on July 18

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Xiaomi's largest phone will be debuting in India next week.

Xiaomi will launch the Mi Max 2 in India on July 18. The first-generation Mi Max turned out to be one of the manufacturer's best devices last year, and its successor has a larger 5300mAh battery while retaining the 6.44-inch screen size.

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2 weeks ago

Xiaomi allegedly readying a new smartphone lineup to go after OPPO and Vivo

3

Xiaomi is rolling out a third sub-brand targeted at the offline segment.

Late last year, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun outlined his vision for the brand in 2017, which included increasing its focus on the offline market. While Xiaomi's online-only business model has worked in the past, the likes of OPPO and Vivo have made huge strides by focusing on the lucrative offline segment by creating a robust distribution network in tier 2 and tier 3 cities in China and India.

And it looks like Xiaomi is doing exactly that. According to Chinese publication MyDrivers, Xiaomi is launching a new smartphone lineup that will be aimed at the offline segment, with the company taking on OPPO and Vivo. The manufacturer has 137 Mi Home stores throughout China, and launching a device that will primarily be sold offline gives it a better chance to compete in this segment.

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2 weeks ago

LG Q6 launches as affordable mid-range sibling of the G6

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LG's ready to round out the lineup with some G6 style.

After a handful of rumors pointing to a "Lite" or "Mini" version of the LG G6 launching, LG has announced the new device as the LG Q6. The whole goal of the Q6 is to offer many of the design traits and features of the G6 at a lower price, hoping to capitalize on what has clearly been a successful flagship launch for LG.

The LG Q6 offers the same style of "FullVision" 18:9 display as the G6 with small bezels to carry on the flagship phone's looks. It's slightly smaller at 5.5-inches diagonally and has bumped down to 2160x1080 resolution — an expected drop for a phone landing beneath the LG G6. The metal frame is still made out of 7000 series aluminum to be particularly robust and LG says it's still subjected to "demanding" battery tests.

Capitalizing on the G6's style while cutting back on the specs.

Internally, things are run by a Snapdragon 435 processor, and there's a 3000mAh battery to coincide with its smaller overall size. The overall capabilities expectedly take a step back as well, with the Wi-Fi maxing out at 802.11 n and the Bluetooth at 4.2 — obviously considerable drops from the LG G6's specs. LG moved to a single 13MP camera on the back, but left a 100-degree wide 5MP camera on the front. It also dropped a fingerprint sensor.

But of course because we're talking about LG, the Q6 is actually a "family" of devices subdivided into the LG Q6+, Q6 and Q6α (that'd be "alpha" to you and me). Each one offers a different level of specs in the same body, hoping to hit an even wider potential market with the "same" phone.

The Q6+ has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, actually matching the G6 (or beating it, in some regions), the main Q6 has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and the Q6α has 2GB of RAM and 16GB storage. The colors available on each model also slightly differ, with each one getting a different color option in addition to black and platinum.

LG will start selling the Q6 family in "key markets" throughout Asia in August, followed by an expansion to Europe, Latin America and North America thereafter. Specifics on which Q6 model will hit each area isn't yet known, along with pricing — considering the specs, we can expect something pretty competitive.

LG G6

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Press release:

LG Q6 BRINGS FULLVISION DISPLAY TO NEW SMARTPHONE LINEUP

LG's Newest Q Series Brings the Essential Features of LG's Premium Devices and Elegant Design to a Mid-Range Portfolio

SEOUL, July 11, 2017 ― LG (Electronics) today announced that the LG Q6, part of its new Q series, will be the first smartphone to offer the FullVision display following the LG G6. The Q series offers many of LG's most sought-out premium features at a competitive price.

LG's Q series is the company's latest line of powerful, mid-range smartphones boasting the essential features of LG premium phones at exceptional price points. As the first in the Q series to be announced, the LG Q6 features some of the most desired innovations from LG's premium G6 smartphone and packages them in a sleek, stunning body highlighted by its FullVision display with minimized bezels. The Q6 family consists of the Q6+, Q6 and Q6α. The three variants cater to different user groups in terms of memory and storage: the Q6+ comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM, the base Q6 delivers 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and the most affordably-priced Q6α comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB of ROM.

At a time when minimized bezels are an emerging trend in premium smartphones, the Q6 is the first smartphone in the mid-price category to bring this feature to the masses. The unique 5.5-inch FHD+ FullVision display in the LG Q6 with its 18:9 aspect ratio makes video browsing, gaming and multi-tasking more immersive. The smartphone's "bezel-less" form factor was designed to maximize the screen while still preventing accidental touching of the screen when being held.

And the LG Q6 looks good with its minimalist and sleek design. With no unsightly camera bump and sleek appearance, the Q6 features attractive curves with rounded corners of the body matching the corners of the display. Packaged in a stylish metallic frame, the Q6 manages to be both lightweight and sturdy for a more durable day-to-day usage experience.

And not only does the Q6 look good, it is extremely easy to use. Benefiting from ergonomic research during the development of the LG G6, the Q6 is also comfortable to hold and use with one hand. In another nod to user convenience, LG's proprietary Face Recognition feature allows owners to unlock the Q6 faster and with less hassle than other facial recognition technologies currently available.

As expected, the LG Q6 carries on LG's heritage of excellence in optics. The smartphone incorporates a 100-degree wide angle selfie camera that allows shutterbugs to include a large group of friends and family in the shot without effort. The camera's improved LG UX 6.0 takes full advantage of the 18:9 aspect ratio of the FullVision display. Square Camera Mode makes it easy to "share your squares" or create photo collages using multiple square images.

The LG Q6 is also quite durable. The metal frame surrounding the Q6 is constructed of ultra-strong 7000 series aluminum, one of the highest strength aluminum alloys available and used extensively in industries such as aerospace. The device is subjected to LG's demanding regimen of over 20 battery tests which include heat, penetration and shock, conditions more stringent than international testing protocols.

"The LG Q6 is a blend of premium features, great performance and attractive pricing, a combination that is extremely important to us as we look at the way consumers are using smartphones around the world," said Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "The Q series is our way of getting the superb experiences with the essence of the LG's premium line-ups to more consumers' hands and pockets."

The LG G6 will go on sale in key markets in Asia starting next month to be followed by availability in Europe, Latin America and North America onward.

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2 weeks ago

Have you had trouble with the $200 Galaxy S8 trade-in deal?

25

Earlier this summer, Samsung offered a $200 trade-in deal with the Galaxy S8. But it turns out not everything was as clear-cut as it appeared.

Back in May, Samsung started selling an unlocked version of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ on its e-commerce portal, and with it offered $200 towards the phone with a valid trade-in. The beauty of the deal was that Samsung didn't (at least not on the surface) put a limit on what phones could be considered for the trade-in; any device, as long as it was in good working order, would be valid.

See at Samsung

But soon after the program began, and people started shipping their older phones to Samsung, they received rejection emails telling them that phones they thought would be eligible for the program weren't, and they would be charged $175 and wouldn't get the traded phone back — even phones deemed ineligible for the program are worth $25.

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msp1518 07-02-2017 02:34 PM “

This deserves its own thread. I am really stunned that they could be so incredibly stupid. Yeah, some people would try to take advantage of the 200 trade in offer on the S8's and some did. Loudly so. But rejecting phones that actually do qualify is a bad bad move. People who sent in good condition, working iPhone 4's, Galaxy S6's, Note 5's ,etc. were rejected and then charged $175. Some...

Reply

The issue mainly stems, according to people in our forum and on Reddit, from the inconsistent application of Samsung's trade-in terms and conditions, which states that all units submitted to the program must be of good working order, and must have a functioning display, no cracks or breaks, not be on a carrier blacklist, not have any reactivation locks, and must have clean, factory-reset software.

These things all seem obvious, but some people have received emails that stated their seemingly "good working order" phones were ineligible for the deal, and because Samsung has the last word on the decision (and keeps the phones) many users have been frustrated by the opaqueness of the proposition (which is now over, for what it's worth).

Some, however, have fared better:

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clownin72 07-03-2017 06:39 AM “

I did this promo about 3 weeks ago on the at&t variant and was really skeptical about it. After reading everywhere and a chat with Samsung support I sent in an old old HTC phone. Got an email last week saying it was accepted. I guess I was a lucky one.

Reply

Many people decided, perhaps justifiably, to sit the deal out, despite its tantalizing proposition:

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trucksmoveamerica#AC 07-02-2017 06:30 PM “

I stated in another post that this is a disaster in the making, I was told that any phone is OK so it won't be an issue. I stand by my initial post, this has disaster written all over it, anything that involves Samsung directly is a disaster coming. I won't deal with Samsung directly ever again, the last $99 promo for the S8 sucked, I got my promo, but it was a rough ride and a lot got...

Reply

What about you? Have you experienced a problem with this deal?

Join the conversation in the forums!

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2 weeks ago

Best Motorola Phones

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Motorola continues to make compelling phones in a few different categories

The last year has been one of quiet overhaul for Lenovo-owned Motorola, bringing all of its disparate product lines, from the inexpensive Moto E to the premium Moto Z, into a familiar aesthetic. While the Moto Z2 Play, the newest member of the family, continues the tradition of Mods compatibility, it's the completely redesigned Moto G and E series that is worth considering if you're in the market for a budget phone.

And with new phones like the Moto Z2 Force and potentially a new entry into the Moto X lineup, there's plenty of reasons to be excited about Motorola in 2017 and beyond.

Moto Z2 Play

Released June 2017 Motorola followed up the Moto Z Play pretty quickly, and the Moto Z2 Play is a worthy sequel that tries to bridge the gap between the more affordable Play and the regular "Z" flagship from last year. The phone features a much sleeker design than its predecessor, shaving a full millimeter of thickness, but doing so cuts down on the battery by 15%.

Aside from the improved, all-metal chassis, the Z2 Play sports a much-improved 12MP camera with a wider aperture and Dual Pixel Focus technology, as well as a newer version of the oft-lauded Moto Display feature that we've grown to love so much.

Of course, the Z2 Play also supports Moto Mods, and was announced alongside three new add-ons that are also compatible with older versions.

Moto Z2 Play review

See at Motorola

Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus

Released June 2017 As with the company's Moto G lineup, the Moto E series has received a big revamp for 2017. Aligning with the visual flair (or lack thereof) of the more expensive Moto Gs, the Moto E4 and E4 Plus are aimed at the budget market while retaining many of the company's best qualities, including excellent software with worthy additions to Android 7.1.1, along with better-than-their-price cameras and battery capacities. In fact, the Moto E4 Plus has a 5,000mAh battery that should last two full days on a charge.

Moto E4 review

See at Amazon

Moto C and Moto C Plus

Released May 2017 The Moto C and C Plus are entry-level Android phones that Motorola introduced back in May to satiate the need for high-quality, affordable handsets in parts of Europe, Asia and South America.

While they won't be coming to North America anytime soon, the Moto C and C Plus feature bare-bones specs — MediaTek chips, between 1GB and 2GB of RAM, and the choice of 3G or LTE models depending on the region — for as little as €89. They retain Motorola's signature look and feel, as well as its excellent Android 7.0-based software, but they're for people who don't want to spend a fortune on what is perhaps their first, or backup, smartphone.

More details on the Moto C and C Plus

See at Motorola

Moto G5 and G5 Plus

Released March 2017 The newest version of Motorola's most popular product line, the Moto G series, features two models of differing size, capability, and price. The Moto G5, which is not officially available in the U.S., cuts costs by sticking with plastic and only a splash of metal, while the G5 Plus goes decidedly mid-range with its Snapdragon 625 chip and up to 4GB of RAM. Both models feature improved cameras and batteries, but the G5 Plus manages to compete with devices twice the price thanks to a large-pixel sensor and a wide-open lens.

The Moto G5 and G5 Plus also reinforce a recognizable design language that began in 2016 with the Moto Z and Z Force. A wider, easier-to-use fingerprint sensor (now on the cheaper model, too), rounded sides and a circular camera module maintain visual continuity with the Moto Z line, and the metal makes both phones feel very good.

Moto G5 Plus review

See at Amazon

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Moto Z

Released July 2016 Motorola brings its own take on a modular design with the Moto Z and Moto Z Force. The first flagship devices to be launched since Lenovo bought the Motorola brand, the Z family uses detachable backplates called Moto Mods to add more functionality.

While the Moto Z launched as a Droid Edition on Verizon, it has since expanded to be sold unlocked from Motorola directly, compatible with carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile.

Motorola's take on a modular system looks to be a novel approach. With no disassembly required, your baseline Moto Z can transform into a battery beast or a mini home stereo just by switching the backplate. Though the early examples of Moto Mods are quite successful, the real potential is what hardware entrepreneurs can cook up.

The Moto Z Force continues to be a Verizon exclusive, much to our chagrin, because its ShatterShield technology and 21MP camera are truly impressive, as is its bigger battery.

Moto Z review

See at Motorola

Moto Z Play

Released September 2016: Like the Moto Z, the Play began its life as a Verizon-exclusive Droid Edition, but expanded to be sold unlocked directly from Motorola.

A little portlier than its Moto Z counterpart, the Play has a massive two-day battery, and cuts down on costs with a slower Snapdragon 625 chip, 3GB of RAM and a lower-resolution 1080p display. The 16MP rear camera also lacks OIS, but otherwise this phone is nearly identical to the Z line, right down to the support for Moto Mods.

Moto Z Play review

See at Motorola

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2 weeks ago

OnePlus 5 review: A second opinion

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OnePlus 5

OnePlus's latest is the fastest phone out there right now. And despite some reservations around its highly finicky camera setup, it's hard not to recommend for the price.

Contrary to its marketing mantra, picking up a OnePlus phone has always involved "settling" in some way or other. When the very highest of the high-end sell for almost twice the price of the company's latest, something's got to give.

What's more important is the question of whether the OnePlus makes the right compromises: Whether corners are cut and savings are made in a way that makes sense, or whether vanity specs are pushed at the expense of the day-to-day user experience.

The OnePlus 5 is a mix of both good and bad compromises. It's not a home run, and there's still room for improvement on the software side, particularly when it comes to the (somewhat controversial) camera setup. Overall, though, this is still a fantastic phone, and one I'm going to be sticking with for a while.

Read on to find out why.

OnePlus 5

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2 weeks ago

Best cases for Moto E4 right now

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The Moto E4 may be cheap, but it still needs to be protected. Here are the best cases you can buy right now.

The Moto E4 is pretty new and, cheap as it might be, there are still clumsy people out there who will need to protect its robust plastic exterior with a case (I am one of them!)

A word of warning before you venture out into that good e-night: there are two variants of the Moto E4, and they are different enough that cases from one won't fit on another. The North American version lacks a rear speaker and is a slightly thinner than the international model. Headphone jack and microphone placements also differ. Read this before you make the wrong decision.

With that, let's get to some of our top picks right now for the Moto E4.

Dretal Ultra-thin Armor

Dretal isn't a particularly well-known name in the case world, but the version it's made for the Moto E4 has some pretty great reviews, and is available in four fun (well, three fun and one black) colors!

It's a wrap-around variety made from soft-touch, flexible TPU plastic, and according to recent buyers the back, despite appearing to be textured and grippy, is quite slippery. Still, it's got a no-nonsense design that doesn't add much bulk, and for $8.98 you can't really go wrong.

See at Amazon

Cimo Premium Slim

Cimo is a well-known and respected brand in the case manufacturing world, and the Moto E4 version is about as simple as it gets. Featuring a flexible TPU material, similar to the Dretal, Cimo's version is slightly less bulky, and has a raised lip that prevents the screen from being damaged should the phone find its way to the floor through absolutely no fault of your own. Of course not.

At $5 (and $3 shipping), the case is only currently available in one (rather fetching) color, Matte Smoke, but by the end of July, it will be joined by Matte Pink, Matte Blue, and Matte Black.

Matte all the things!

See at Amazon

CircleMalls 2-Piece Hybrid

I'll admit to having less than 100% confidence in a company called CircleMalls, but this two-piece case comes with a free stylus and screen protector for just $9. Can't really go wrong.

Available in three colors — black, blue, and rose gold — like many other cases on the market this one sports an inner silicon lining and an outer reinforced plastic to absorb shocks. It's a bit bulkier than the average single-piece case, but if you're prone to dropping your phone a lot, this may be the one to get.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Everything you need to know about the T-Mobile ONE unlimited plan

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A complete breakdown of T-Mobile's ONE plan and everything else you can get when you sign up for service from Big Magenta.

In the United States, there are a lot of companies that can get you and your phone online, but most people use one of the four biggest: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Choosing between them can be difficult. Your first priority should be what service works best in the places you spend your time. It's not worth saving $10 a month if the service is bad. Once you have that sorted, you can look at what each company has to offer and the prices they charge for it.

More: Which unlimited plan should you buy?

Let's take a look at T-Mobile to see what they can give you and what it will cost.

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T-Mobile ONE plan details

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data with 200MB of roaming data
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico
  • One hour of free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi and unlimited texting on enabled flights
  • Unlimited data and texting in over 140 locations at 2x speed
  • 10GB 3G-speed mobile hotspot use

T-Mobile's definition of Unlimited Data means that after you use 28 GB in a single month, your service can be slowed down if you're in a congested area. You'll hear the word throttled used here but you need to know that it's only a temporary deprioritization of your data connection when you're in a busy area. It may not happen at all depending on how many other customers are using the same towers.

You can use any phone that's compatible with T-Mobile's network. If you bring your own phone you'll pay a $20 one-time fee for a SIM starter kit. You can also finance a phone through T-Mobile and the monthly cost will vary depending on which phone you choose. T-Mobile ONE plans also include tax and all the other assorted fees in the price. Your monthly bill will be exactly what the plan costs.

Additional lines can be added to a T-Mobile ONE plan. Every line has the same benefits outlined above and the $20 SIM starter kit fee applies to each, though they go on sale regularly and it's not unheard of to get the starter kit fees waived if you talk to a representative. Here is a pricing breakdown.

  • One line of service on a T-Mobile ONE plan is $70
  • Two lines of service for $100
  • Three lines of service for $140
  • Four lines is $160

Each additional line adds $20 to the total.

T-Mobile ONE Plan add-ons

You can add a tablet to your T-Mobile ONE plan for the standard $20 monthly fee. You can add a wearable to your T-Mobile ONE plan for $5 a month. Wearable devices are limited to 512kbps data speeds.

T-Mobile also offers two Plus add-ons for people who want a few extras:

The $10 monthly T-Mobile ONE Plus add-on includes everything from the standard ONE plan plus the following:

  • Unlimited HD video streaming
  • 10GB of high-speed data tethering per month
  • Unlimited in-flight data on all Gogo-enabled flights
  • T-Mobile Visual Voicemail
  • T-Mobile Name ID

The $25 T-Mobile ONE Plus International add-on includes everything from the ONE Plus plan and adds the following:

  • Unlimited international calling to landlines in over 70 countries and mobile numbers in more than 30 countries
  • Unlimited high-speed mobile hotspot

You do not have to pay for the $5 Plus add-on if you're buying the $25 Plus add-on. These prices are per line.

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Secondary perks

T-Mobile also offers other special promotions on top of what you're paying for. These vary from free applications that support their services to free devices (through bill credits) after a certain amount of monthly payments. Some of these perks can change regularly.

T-Mobile also has long-standing extras, including apps for Visual Voicemail, T-Mobile content transfer, T-Mobile's DIGITS, and an excellent account management application. You can find all of T-Mobile's apps on Google Play.

Last but not least is T-Mobile Tuesdays. Each week you can get things like food or movie tickets for free and have a chance to win "top-shelf prizes and epic experiences from the coolest brands around" without buying anything. T-Mobile Tuesdays is a very popular promotion and it is available for any T-Mobile customer.

Updated July 2017 with the latest pricing and details for T-mobile's plans.

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2 weeks ago

Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Deals for July 2017

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

Updated July, 2017: Removed expired offers

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+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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2 weeks ago

Best Straight Talk Wireless Phones

Going with Straight Talk? Here's the best phones they offer.

Considering switching your wireless service over to Straight Talk, but don't know what phones they offer? We're here to help!

Straight Talk's website requires you to enter your zip code to find out which devices are best-suited for the services available in your area. Having said that, we've generally found the same list of devices should be available just about everywhere.

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We've broken down the best devices available to buy through Straight Talk. Make sure to check out our reviews and news sections to learn more about each of these, and when you're ready to take the plunge, we've included links to buy directly from Straight Talk Wireless.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Whether you're on a top-end postpaid plan or a super-cheap prepaid plan, you can have the same great phone experience with the Galaxy S8 or larger Galaxy S8+. You've surely heard about the Galaxy S8 by now, with its sleek and slim body, big bright display and top-notch internal specs. It has one of the best cameras available, and all of Samsung's core features like waterproofing and wireless charging.

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The Galaxy S8 can do just about anything you'd want right out of the box, which is exactly what most people are looking for. Just be willing to pay for it — the Galaxy S8 is $659 at Straight Talk, while the larger Galaxy S8+ is $759.

Want an in-depth breakdown? Be sure to read our full review.

Samsung Galaxy S8 review

See at Straight Talk

Samsung Galaxy J7 Sky Pro

It isn't the sexy high-end Galaxy S8, but the Galaxy J series has always managed to bring a little bit of that Galaxy flair to a super-low price point. The Galaxy J7 Sky Pro is just a Straight Talk specific model of the more general Galaxy J7, and it is going to get the job done without breaking the bank.

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You get a 5.5-inch HD display, an 8MP camera, 16GB of storage and a body that has the looks of many other Samsung phones at a fraction of the cost. A 3300mAh battery inside is actually bigger than the Galaxy S8, meaning it should offer great battery life considering its lower resolution display.

See at Straight Talk

Bring your own device

Straight Talk may not offer a phone that fits your budget or feature desires, and if that's the case you can consider bringing a phone to the carrier instead. Before ou do, you'll have to confirm whether your device is compatible with Straight Talk — most GSM/LTE phones are compatible.

For some good phone choices, you can check out our list of best unlocked Android phones!

Update July 2017: The list has been updated with the latest phones from Straight Talk, with the Galaxy S8 coming in at the top and a very affordable Galaxy J7 Sky Pro at the bottom.

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2 weeks ago

Which unlimited plan should you buy: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon?

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All four major carriers in the U.S. offer unlimited data plans. But which is the best?

With Verizon bringing back an unlimited data plan, the big four networks in the United States (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) all carry an unlimited data plan now. That's important for power users as well as anyone who uses their mobile broadband internet as their sole way to stay in touch or for entertainment. The cost of data overages means that unlimited data is a must for many of us.

But just because everyone offers unlimited data doesn't mean that all plans are equal. Pricing is important as are "extras" like tethering and the hidden data cap that pushes you back to slower 3G speeds when you reach it. And of course, zero-rating means we have to pay attention to what unlimited means when it comes to the quality of streaming media as well as the source.

We took a look at what each carrier has to offer so we can decide who delivers the very best unlimited data package. Let's start with a look at the details for each carrier.

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AT&T

Unlimited Plus

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • 10 GB mobile hotspot (tethering)
  • Unlimited talk and text to Canada and Mexico
  • Advanced messaging between compatible phones on the AT&T network
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico with free Roam North America Feature (if more than 50% of use is outside the U.S. the plan can be terminated)
  • Unlimited music and video streaming with optional Stream Saver for less data use
  • $25 monthly credit for DirecTV services
  • One line of service on an AT&T Unlimited Plus plan is $90
  • Two lines of service for $145
  • Up to eight additional lines (includes any phone, LTE tablets, LTE hotspots and connected cars) for $20 per line
  • Add a wearable for $10 per month

Unlimited Choice

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Data speeds capped at 3Mbps
  • Standard definition video streaming
  • One line of service on an AT&T Unlimited Choice plan is $60
  • Two lines of service for $115
  • Up to eight additional lines (includes any phone, LTE tablets, LTE hotspots and connected cars) for $20 per line
  • Add a wearable for $10 per month

Everything you need to know about AT&T's unlimited plans

Sprint Unlimited Freedom plan

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data (with certain restrictions)
  • Unlimited data for streaming video up to 1080p
  • Unlimited data for gaming up to 8Mbps
  • Unlimited data for streaming music up to 1.5Mbps
  • 10GB high-speed mobile hotspot with VPN and P2P support
  • Add a tablet with unlimited data for $25 per month
  • One line of service is $50
  • Two lines of service is $90
  • Three lines of service is $90
  • Four lines of service is $90

Sprint's pricing is scheduled to change June 30, 2018. The "free" third and fourth lines are a current promotion and will probably go away.

Everything you neeed to know about Sprint's Unlimited Freedom Plan

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T-Mobile

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data with 200MB of roaming data
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico
  • One hour of free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi and unlimited texting on enabled flights
  • Unlimited data and texting in over 140 locations at 2x speed (264kbps) (limited time offer)
  • 10GB 3G mobile hotspot use
  • One line of service on a T-Mobile ONE plan is $70 (including taxes and fees)
  • Two lines of service for $100 (including taxes and fees)
  • Three lines of service for $140 (including taxes and fees)
  • Four lines is $160 and each additional line adds $20 to the total (including taxes and fees)

T-Mobile's One plan has some limitations. Streaming video is compressed and delivered at 480p and tethering is limited to 3G speeds. You can add One Plus to any plan for an extra $10 per month per line and enable 1080p HD video streaming and 10GB of high-speed 4G LTE tethering. The One Plus International offers unlimited 4G LTE tethering for an extra $25/mo per line.

Everything you need to know about T-Mobile's unlimited plans

Verizon

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Unlimited HD streaming video (see Verizon's Video Optimization Deployment page)
  • 10GB high-speed mobile hotspot
  • Add a tablet with unlimited data for $20 per month
  • Add a connected device for $5 per month
  • Unlimited calling and texting to and from Canada and Mexico
  • $80 for one line of service
  • $70 per line for two
  • $54 per line for three
  • $45 per line for four

Everything you need to know about Verizon's unlimited plan

The best unlimited data plan

The best plan is the one that works where you need it to work, not the one that's the cheapest. And we can't tell you which that one is, because it's different for each of us. Paying more than you need to for phone service is a bad idea, but so is paying for service that doesn't work.

Generally, if you live outside of a metropolitan area that means Verizon. You pay a little more for the first or second lines when compared to T-Mobile (especially once taxes and fees are applied) but chances are Verizon will have the best coverage if you're in a rural area. There are exceptions, so be sure to investigate before you give any company your money.

If you're part of the 90% of the U.S. population who lives in a large town or city, your choices are expanded. T-Mobile can be a great choice for a single line or two lines, as even with the One Plus add-on fee of $10 per month you'll still save money because they include taxes and fees in the cost. If you need more than two lines, Verizon is actually cheaper once you factor in the $10 per line for One Plus, but you still have the taxes and fees to contend with on Verizon. Alternatively, if you're fine with 480p video and 3G tethering speeds, you can forego the One Plus add-on and come in a few dollars cheaper.

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Of course none of this includes any customer-loyalty offerings or legacy plans you might be using. In those cases, you might want to stick with the carrier you have now instead of switching because of new pricing or new promotions.

We can't tell you which carrier will be the best for you. But we can tell you what to look for and where to start. Talk to your friends and see what service they are using and how well it's working, and call each company to see exactly what they have to offer. Most carriers have plans they don't advertise and one may fit your needs better than the default unlimited plans.

We just want you to enjoy the service you're paying for!

See plans at AT&T

See plans at Sprint

See plans at T-Mobile

See plans at Verizon

Your turn

What carrier do you subscribe to? Are you happy or are you looking for something new? Add your experience to the comments and help sort this mess out!

Update July 7, 2017: This post has been completely rewritten with new information about all the carriers' unlimited plans, and a new conclusion based on current information.

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2 weeks ago

People are taking the OnePlus 5 'jelly' problem a bit too seriously [Update]

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Don't look too hard.

Update: The offending Tweet has been deleted, and a OnePlus representative confirmed to Android Central that "the Twitter post does not reflect our official stance and has since been deleted." You can see the original below, but as I made very clear, I think the issue is being terribly overblown and this post was not meant to be taken too seriously.

I feel for OnePlus these days, despite the opaqueness with which it is approaching the latest not-scandal involving the OnePlus 5. Almost immediately after launching in late June, some people began noticing a "jelly" effect on the phone's Optic AMOLED display while quickly scrolling through the phone's various screens, such as on a web page or a Twitter feed.

OnePlus acknowledged the visual curiosity, but said in a quote to Android Central and other outlets that all was functioning normally:

The OnePlus 5 uses the same level of high-quality components as all OnePlus devices, including the AMOLED display. We've received feedback from a small number of users saying that at times they notice a subtle visual effect when scrolling. This is natural and there's no variance in screens between devices.

XDA-Developers, for its part, began perpetuating a theory that due to a lack of space near the top of the phone's housing, thanks to its newly-installed dual camera system, the AMOLED display was actually inverted, which causes this "jelly" effect. OnePlus denies that this is a problem, and has instructed its customer service representatives to reinforce that claim at every opportunity.

This is one typical response:

In a now-deleted tweet (text below), one OnePlus CSR gave a bit of a different angle to the story.

https://twitter.com/OnePlus_Support/status/883047144021798912

Indeed, what the person is implying is that it is not the screen, but our perception of the screen — nay, our physiological makeup entirely! — that is to blame here. In other words, you better get used to "seeing" the OnePlus 5 with your eyes closed. 😂

(Or, more likely, it is a poor translation and we shouldn't take it, or this post, seriously. Just use your OnePlus 5 and love it, k?)

I am by no means suggesting that if the 'jelly' effect bothers you, you shouldn't take it seriously, but to imply, as some people are, that the issue completely ruins the phone experience — well, I think that's taking things a little too far.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus

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2 weeks ago

Top 8 things to love about the BlackBerry KEYone

27

The BlackBerry KEYone is a workhorse, and it's proving more popular than even we thought it would be. Here's why.

Listen, I know you're tired of hearing this over and over again, but there's a reason so many people are excited about BlackBerry Mobile's new phone, the KEYone. Yes, the keyboard is obviously the main selling feature, but it's just part of what makes the phone so interesting. And after years of mediocre BlackBerry hardware, I'm truly excited about the future of the brand, even if it is under the supervision of another company entirely.

Here's why.

The software is as clean as it gets

OnePlus and BlackBerry are the two companies developing Android software that mainly gets out of its own way and just lets Google's vision for the operating system shine through. Better yet, the changes they do decide to make are thoughtful and congruent with their phones' particular advantages.

The KEYone's excellent Nougat software wouldn't have been possible without the excellent work BlackBerry did with the Priv and the DTEK series, and BlackBerry proper — the Canadian company — is still in charge of building and maintaining the software for the KEYone. That's good news for a bunch of reasons, especially when you think about the other parts of the software experience that the company contributes.

The included apps are actually great

BlackBerry Hub. Calendar. Contacts. Tasks. Boring apps done well. The truth is that BlackBerry needed to build out its own suite of productivity apps because it wanted compatibility and continuity with many of its existing backend services, and while these are very much Android apps, they'll be familiar to anyone who's used a BlackBerry device in the past.

I've said it many times before: BlackBerry is one of the few companies that puts care into the Android software it builds, and even though you may no longer use BBM, you'll find yourself happy to spend some time in the company's other apps.

The launcher is thoughtful

Icon packs and swipe-up widgets may be taken directly from one of our favorite third-party launchers, but I have to give BlackBerry credit where it's due: it's appealing to its core enthusiast user base over here. Not only that, but the launcher is extremely smooth, and it's actually available through the Play Store, making it, like Hub, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and others, upgradeable over time. And BlackBerry has improved the launcher since its inception.

The BlackBerry Launcher also supports one of the most BlackBerry things of all: the classic red star symbol on an icon to indicate when there's a waiting notification. It's a subtle change and one that Google is implementing more cohesively in Android O, but BlackBerry's version is robust and works really well.

The camera is better than I expected

I didn't really think the KEYone would, for its price, have a flagship-level camera, but that's exactly what you get. While it lacks the HDR+ mode of the Google Pixel, it shares the same Sony sensor, and it performs extremely well in almost every lighting condition. For a phone with a keyboard, you may think the camera would play second fiddle in importance, but even if you get the KEYone for its most notable feature, the excellent camera is a wonderful bonus.

The keyboard really is amazing

I had an opportunity to type on a large number of older BlackBerry devices for a TV segment recently and found the KEYone's hardware keyboard to stand up pretty well. It's not quite as perfectly sized and shaped as the Bold 9900 or the Classic, but it's close, and easily the best on Android.

In fact, I thought I wouldn't even want to type on a hardware keyboard again, but after a few days of using the KEYone as my primary device, touch typing became, once again, second nature.

More than that, though, the keyboard is smart, and even if you're not really into the idea of typing on a physical keyboard, its other features, like flick typing for autocorrect and home screen shortcuts accessed by holding down one of the keys to launch an app or a shortcut. The whole system works really well, especially when you combine it with the flexible launcher. I didn't think I'd use the shortcuts on a daily basis, but here we are months later and I have all of my favorites memorized and ready to go.

Battery life is ridiculous

This has come up again and again with this phone: the KEYone lasts seemingly forever. It's not just get-you-through-the-day battery life either; it's "I don't have to think about my battery", which is pretty astounding on a device that you use all day, every day.

Part of that is owed to the Snapdragon 625 in the phone, but other areas, like the seemingly well-optimized software (the stability and performance of which has improved immensely through a series of software updates) and the relatively low-resolution LCD screen, contribute to the lengthy uptime. And yes, the Snapdragon 625 may not be the most powerful chip on the market, but it has proven, at least on the devices on which I've used it — the KEYone, the Moto Z Play, the Huawei Nova Plus — to be more than capable of running your life.

It's built like a tank

Yes, Zach from JerryRigEverything was able to dislodge the display from the casing pretty easily, but from what I've seen, that issue doesn't affect the overall durability of this metal-clad workhorse. I've dropped this thing many times, by accident and on purpose, and it's come through the abuse relatively unscathed. More than that, the soft-touch rubberized back has worn extremely well compared to many of the metal- or glass-backed phones I've used in recent memory, and I think BlackBerry Mobile made the right decision bucking the trend in this case. The phone may be a bit thick, but thanks to its relative narrowness, it's still quite usable in one hand.

It's just... different

Here's, I think, one of the more divisive parts of the KEYone: it's just different from anything else you'll use in the smartphone space right now. If you're tired of the same ol' rectangle, moving to a more unconventional design will get you noticed — for better or worse — when you're using this thing. And based on how difficult it is to find a KEYone right now, on either Amazon or Best Buy, where the company sells the phone unlocked for $549.99 USD, I'd say that the "distinctly different" tagline is working.

See at Amazon


BlackBerry KEYone

Amazon Best Buy BlackBerry Mobile

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2 weeks ago

Galaxy S8+ with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is getting a much-needed price cut in India

12

Samsung is rolling out its first price cut to the Galaxy S8+ variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage.

Samsung introduced the Galaxy S8+ variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage last month in India, and the company is now offering a 5% discount to those looking to pick up the phone. The device launched at ₹74,900 ($1,155), and is now available for ₹70,900 ($1,090).

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