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2 days ago

Best Small Android Phone

Best Overall

Google Pixel 2

See at Verizon See at Google Store

For two years, the Pixel has been the quintessential Google phone, and the HTC-made Pixel 2 is our top recommendation for shoppers in need of a small phone.

The Pixel 2 wields the same Snapdragon 835 processor as almost every other 2017 flagship, but sits in a class of its own when it comes to performance. It's comfortable to hold thanks to a relatively small 5" 1080p display, and features front-facing speakers, water resistance, and one of the best cameras on the market. Despite a seemingly small 2700 mAh battery, it even manages impressive battery life.

Bottom line: For the Google purist in search of a small phone, the Pixel 2 is the pretty much the complete package.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 lacks a headphone jack and wireless charging, though it does include a USB-C audio dongle in the box.

Why the Google Pixel 2 is the best

It's Kinda Just Clearly the best Android phone money can buy.

There's no better way to experience Android the way Google intends it than with a Pixel phone. The Pixel 2 dispells the notion that small phones can't offer a flagship experience, with the same specsheet and performance as the larger Pixel 2 XL — without its various known issues.

The Pixel 2 is the first Google-branded phone with IP67 water resistance, and the first to offer front-facing speakers since the Nexus 6P. It also takes some of the best photos we've ever seen from a phone with its 12.2 MP primary camera, and the front-facing camera can capture great-looking selfies, even offering Portrait Mode by making use of machine learning. Google also sweetens the deal by including free unlimited backups on Google Photos for Pixel 2 owners.

You can buy the Pixel 2 in one of three attractive colors (Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White), and two storage options (64GB or 128GB), though there's no microSD expandability so choose wisely.

Best for camera buffs

Huawei P10

See at Amazon

Not feeling what Samsung and Google have to offer? Try the Huawei P10 instead. This 5.1-inch device comes packed with a whole host of goodies, including 64GB of storage, Android 7.0, and a dual camera that's made in partnership with Leica. The P10 also boasts Portrait Mode, which works a lot like what you see produced by your friends who utilize it on the iPhone X, and it's equipped with optical image stabilization, too. All this runs on Huawei's own Kirin 960 processor and 3200mAh of all-day battery.

Bottom-line: The Huawei P10 is a worthy choice if a good camera and all-day battery life are you main concern.

One more thing: The Huawei P10 will only work with GSM carriers. Verizon and Sprint are not compatible with this phone.

Best affordable phone

Moto G5 Plus

See at Amazon

The Moto G5 Plus is one of the best smartphone deals today. It's compact but not tiny, with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, and it packs a lot for that metal chassis, including a Snapdragon 625 processor and an excellent 12MP rear camera. The 3000mAh battery lasts a while, and the ultra-simple Nougat-based software is about as good as you'll get for the price.

Bottom-line: The Moto G5 Plus is an excellent choice if you're looking for an affordable unlocked phone in a compact size.

One more thing: If you want to save a bit of money, you can go with the Amazon Prime Exclusive version.

Best "really tiny" phone

Xperia XZ1 Compact

See at Amazon

Sony's Compact line has always offered flagship-tier specs and features in small phones, and the Xperia XZ1 Compact is no exception. With a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and a 2700mAh battery, its spec sheet is identical to the larger Xperia XZ1. Its display is only 720p, but at 4.6" it still has a respectable 319 ppi. The XZ1 Compact has an excellent 19MP camera with a physical shutter button, IP68 water resistance, microSD expandability, and Quick Charge 3.0. Even better, the XZ1 Compact is one of the few devices available right now with Android 8.0.

Bottom-line: You won't find another sub-5" phone with such high-end specs, and it's made even better with Android 8.0 Oreo on board.

One more thing: The fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button is excellent, but it's disabled by the U.S. firmware.

Conclusion

The Pixel 2 is simply the best compact Android experience around. You get pure Google software, a best-in-class camera, water resistance, front-facing speakers, and top-end specs, all in a small form factor that can easily fit in your hand or pocket. As always, it can be a bit difficult to find certain configurations in stock, but once you get your hands on one, the Pixel 2 leaves little to be desired — except maybe a headphone jack and wireless charging.

Best Overall

Google Pixel 2

See at Verizon See at Google Store

For two years, the Pixel has been the quintessential Google phone, and the HTC-made Pixel 2 is our top recommendation for shoppers in need of a small phone.

The Pixel 2 wields the same Snapdragon 835 processor as almost every other 2017 flagship, but sits in a class of its own when it comes to performance. It's comfortable to hold thanks to a relatively small 5" 1080p display, and features front-facing speakers, water resistance, and one of the best cameras on the market. Despite a seemingly small 2700 mAh battery, it even manages impressive battery life.

Bottom line: For the Google purist in search of a small phone, the Pixel 2 is the pretty much the complete package.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 lacks a headphone jack and wireless charging, though it does include a USB-C audio dongle in the box.

Update, November 2017: This post has been refreshed with the most up-to-date information. We've replaced the Google Pixel and Xperia X Compact with the Pixel 2 and Xperia XZ1 Compact, respectively.

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2 days ago

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL: Tips, problems, specs and more!

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Everything you need to know about the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL!

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are finally here, and there's a lot to unpack.

While these devices resemble the original Pixel and Pixel XL, there are many changes both internally and externally that make them worth talking about.

Let's dive in.

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL review!

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are incredible phones — probably the best Android phones out there right now. Despite their different sizes, they are nearly identical where it counts, in their cameras, their performance, their build quality, and their software experience. While the Pixel 2 XL has slimmer bezels and a slightly more washed-out pOLED display, the smaller Pixel 2 contends with a more dated-looking form factor and a smaller battery. Oh, and a smaller price tag to boot.

Which one should you buy? Read the full review below!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL review: The new standard for Android

Pixel 2 second opinion: Close to perfect

Pixel 2 XL OLED problems

Before we dive into the phones themselves, it's worth pointing out that the Pixel 2 XL has a few display issues you should know about. The quality of the panel itself is fairly low compared to equivalent Samsung models, featuring discoloration when viewed off-center; graininess and muddiness, especially at low brightness; poor backlight uniformity (similar to the LG V30); and in some cases, burn-in.

Burn-in consists of a permanent marking on the screen after an unmoving image has been there for some time. It's a hallmark of OLED displays, and can be found on panels of both high and low quality. Generally, the higher the quality the longer burn-in takes to show.

In a post on its community forums, Google addressed the issue, saying that it found the burn-in, or "differential aging," characteristics of the OLED panel on the Pixel 2 XL to be no worse than other flagships using screens of the same technology.

Extensive testing of the Pixel 2 XL display show that its decay characteristics are comparable to OLED panels used in other premium smartphones. The differential aging should not affect the user experience of the phone, as it's not visible under normal use of your Pixel 2 XL.

An update issued in early November added a "Saturated" mode to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL's screens, and dramatically improved the color quality of the 2 XL. While blue shift is still a problem, washed-out colors are not, and Google now fades the navigation bar after a few seconds to mitigate burn-in.

More: Google Pixel 2 XL adds new display profiles, UI changes to address burn-in

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL specs

For months, we've had an idea of what the Pixel 2 series would have inside, and most of those rumors have proven true: two phones of different screen sizes, screen-to-body ratios and aspect ratios, but otherwise nearly identical internal components.

Without knowing beforehand, you wouldn't be able to tell that the Pixel 2 was made by HTC and the Pixel 2 XL by LG — they're that similar. But when you dig a little deeper, the lineages are clear: the Pixel 2's AMOLED display (which is actually made by Samsung) is clearly better than the washed-out, problematic LG-made pOLED display on the Pixel 2 XL.

Both phones have Snapdragon 835s, 4GB of RAM and between 64GB and 128GB storage standard, along with single rear 12MP cameras — this year with OIS. They're waterproof (yay!) but don't have headphone jacks (boo!). There'so no wireless charging, but the sides can be squeezed to activate Google Assistant. And though it ships with Android 8.0, not 8.1, there's a lot new here — including an embedded eSIM to connect to Project Fi even without a SIM card.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL specs

How do they compare to other phones?

Of course, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL don't exist in a vacuum; they are in an industry overwhelmed by choice. It's pretty hard to buy a bad phone at this point in time, so how do the Pixel 2s stand out? We investigate in a number of comparisons with the top-of-the-line phones on the market right now.

Google Pixel 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy S8: Let's argue about bezels

Google Pixel 2 XL vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Big phones, big prices

Google Pixel 2 XL vs. LG V30: The perfect pair for right now

Google Pixel 2 vs. iPhone 8: Do these bezels make my phone look fat?

Which color should you buy?

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are available in three color options and two color options, respectively.

The Kinda Blue model is only on the smaller Pixel 2, but the Pixel 2 XL has the "chocolate-dipped" Black and White version, which we're excited about.

Oh, and about that orange power button...

Which color Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL should you buy?

Which storage size should you buy?

Last year, it was possible to buy the Pixel or Pixel XL in either 32GB or 128GB varieties; the former was too little for many people, the latter too much.

This year, the proposition seems a bit simpler because Google made it an easier choice: 64GB or 128GB.

Google Pixel 2: Which storage size should you buy?

Should you upgrade from the Pixel or Nexus lineup?

The Pixels, when they launched in October 2016, were no slouches. Featuring specs that still hold up today, including some of the best cameras on the market, it's interesting to see how far Google came with the Pixel 2 series — especially on the larger Pixel 2 XL.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL vs. Google Pixel and Pixel XL: Specs comparison

So the question is — should you upgrade from last year's models? That's a difficult question to answer, but it's one a lot of people will be considering.

Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel: Should you upgrade?

Google Pixel 2 XL vs. Pixel XL: Should you upgrade?

Then there are the 2015 models, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Those are a bit older, and definitely don't have the same quality of experience. It's easy enough to suggest upgrading from to the Pixel 2 from the Nexus 5X — the prime jump is significant, though — but it's a less obvious move from the Nexus 6P to the Pixel 2 XL.

Is it worth upgrading to the Google Pixel 2 XL from the Nexus 6P?

Is it worth upgrading to the Google Pixel 2 from the Nexus 5X?

Google is doubling down on the single camera

Something amazing happened this year: Google didn't add a second camera to either the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. The move says something in an industry where practically every other major manufacturer, from Samsung to Apple to Huawei, has taken steps to differentiate themselves with an additional camera sensor, and lots of added functionality as a result.

With the Pixel 2, Google is doubling down on the single camera

Google built its own custom imaging chip to make the Pixel 2's camera even better

Google may only be using one camera in the Pixel 2, but it's got a trick up its sleeve — in the form of a new custom chip designed in-house called the Pixel Visual Core. The chip itself isn't even enabled yet — that's coming in a future update — but it gives third-party developers a direct line to the immense amount of data captured by the Pixel 2's camera sensor.

At first, the Visual Core will allow developers to tap into Google's incredible HDR+ mode, which improves low-light performance while preserving detail in difficult lighting conditions. Then who knows — this is Google's first foray into custom silicon, and it has huge potential for the future of the Pixel lineup.

The Pixel 2 camera's secret weapon: A Google-designed SoC, the 'Pixel Visual Core'

Pixel 2 is water resistant

This is the first Pixel that's water resistant, with an IP67 rating, so you'll be able to dunk your phone in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes at a time without a worry.

🏊

It also has no headphone jack

Yeah, these are the first phones from Google not to ship with a headphone jack, but the company is including a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter in the box (and is selling a $20 dongle if you want an extra) should you want to pair with traditional wired headphones.

If you want to go wireless, the Pixel 2 supports Bluetooth 5.0, and Google selling its own pair of wireless headphones called the Pixel Buds, and is partnering with companies like Libratone and others to market Google-certified headphones.

The best wireless headphones for the Pixel 2

It has an embedded eSIM

A what?

The Pixel 2 has this cool thing called an eSIM, or electronic SIM card, that allows you to connect to a network — in this case, Project Fi — with no physical SIM card.

Of course, the Pixel still supports that physical piece of plastic and bits, but you don't need it to connect to Project Fi, and that little detail heralds the future of mobile connectivity — whenever the carriers decide to catch up. In the meantime, if you're in the U.S., you can buy a Pixel 2 and activate Project Fi whenever you want, even if you didn't order it directly them from.

Google Pixel 2 doesn't need a SIM card, as long as you use Project Fi

Should you use the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL on Project Fi?

So it has an embedded eSIM card in the phone, and you don't need to buy it from Project Fi to use it on the service. But should you use it with Google's MVNO, which cycles between T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular in the U.S.?

Should you use your Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL on Project Fi?

The Pixel 2 series will get Android R 😱

It's true — Google is giving the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL three years of guaranteed software updates, which means that when it launches with Android Oreo, it will get Android P in 2018, Android Q in 2019 and, miraculously, Android R in 2020.

Will people even use phones in 2020? We'll find out!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL come with 3 years of guaranteed platform updates

The launcher has some nice improvements

While the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL ships with Android 8.0 — the same version that's currently available on the Pixels and Nexus 5X/6P — there are some nice changes to the launcher, including a new "At a glance" widget and a new location for the popular Google search bar.

What's new with the Pixel 2 launcher

Here's what you should do first

The Pixels are pretty easy to set up, but our experts know what you should dive into first. If you want the best out of your Pixel 2 experience, check out our list of the first six things you should do with your new phone.

The first 6 things to do with your Google Pixel 2 or 2 XL

Where to buy the Pixel 2

The Pixel 2 is now available to order at the Google Store in most launch markets — that's Australia, Canada, Germany, India, UK, and the U.S. It's actually shipping in Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, United States right now, with Australia and India to come in the next few weeks.

For carrier availability and a country-wide breakdown on pricing, hit up the link below.

Where to buy the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Which carriers can you buy it from in the U.S.?

Verizon. In addition to the Google Store and Project Fi, Verizon is once again the exclusive U.S. carrier for the 2017 Pixel lineup. While the Verizon model comes unlocked, and can be used on other carriers, it's updated through Verizon, not Google, and has carrier-specific optimizations.

See at Verizon

There have been some issues with trade-ins

Google offers up to $410 for users to trade in their previous Pixels or other high-end phones, but the system has been marred in delays and other problems that have kept people from receiving their credits for the new Pixel 2 phones.

Fortunately, the issues have been sorted (according to Google), and those who didn't receive a credit, or had their phone denied, should be fine now.

Google says it has fixed Pixel and Nexus trade-in issues

What about cases and accessories?

With the Pixel 2, Google has implemented a new 'Made for Google' program where accessory makers can build products that are guaranteed to work really well with the company's new phones. If you're looking for the right case, or maybe just a new pair of headphones, we've got you covered.

The best Pixel 2 accessories

The best Pixel 2 cases

The best Pixel 2 XL cases

Here's every Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL case we could find

The new Daydream VR headset is fantastic

Just because Google (and everyone else) is excited about its new phones, that doesn't mean the company has forgotten about its plans for VR. Alongside the Pixel 2 and 2 XL comes a new Daydream VR headset with improved materials, better lenses, and more comfortable straps that make using it for longer periods considerably easier.

Daydream View 2017 review: Mostly successful refinement

Should you worry about some of the issues you're hearing about?

From a problematic display on the Pixel 2 XL to clicking sounds from the top speaker to poor sound quality when capturing video, the Pixel 2 line hasn't been without its fair share of problems.

Oh, and some units are shipping with software that won't boot, while others are reporting Bluetooth issues when connecting to headphones and other music players.

The good news is that Google is working on fixing all of them, and some have already started rolling out with the Android 8.1 Developer Previews, while more are coming in the next few weeks.

If you're concerned about the Pixel 2's problems, we may suggest holding off purchasing one until these upcoming software patches have been rolled out. If you already have one of the two phones, though, just enjoy it — none of these problems is a dealbreaker, and the phones are so good that it's pretty easy to overlook them.

How to fix common Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL problems

Anything else?

There were lots of other things announced at Google's hardware event on October 4. Take a look at the video above to take a look, and read our other coverage on the Home Mini, Home Max, new Daydream VR headset, Google Buds headphones, and more!

Update, November 15: This article has been updated to reflect all of the latest Pixel 2 developments, including color fixes for the Pixel 2 XL in the November patch.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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2 days ago

Best Phone Under ₹10,000 in India

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Best overall

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

See at Flipkart

The Redmi Note 4 is the phone to beat in the budget segment. It features a 5.5-inch Full HD display with 2.5D curved glass, a premium design with an all-metal chassis and contoured edges, and class-leading battery life.

And with Xiaomi issuing a permanent price cut, the Redmi Note 4 is much more pocket-friendly. The variant with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage is now selling for ₹9,999, making it the best deal in the budget segment. If you need more memory and storage, Xiaomi is offering the model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage for ₹11,999.

The phone is now receiving the stable build of MIUI 9, which is based on Android 7.0 Nougat. If you're new to the MIUI ecosystem, there's plenty to look forward to: the custom ROM comes with a slew of useful features, and you can alter the look of the interface through a varied selection of themes from the store.

The camera has received a sizeable upgrade as well, and it now takes great images in daylight conditions. Overall, you're getting a phone that offers an incredible amount of features for not a whole lot of money.

Bottom line: A premium aluminum design, great battery life, decent camera, and attractive pricing make the Redmi Note 4 the standout device in this category. For its price, there really isn't another device that gives you more.

One more thing: The Redmi Note 4 is available online and from thousands of retail stores across the country.

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2 days ago

Google Home and Home Mini discounted in the UK from Nov 15-29

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The Google Home and Home Mini will be available for £79 and £34, respectively.

There are a lot of great tech gadgets to choose from when shopping for your favorite techie this holiday season, but two items that'll likely be on a lot of people's list are the Google Home and Google Home Mini.

Both the Home and Home Mini are already priced quite reasonably considering what they offer, but Google recently announced savings that buyers in the UK will be able to take advantage of this month.

Through November 15 until the 29th, you'll be able to purchase a Google Home for £79 and Home Mini for £34, each regularly costing £129 and £49, respectively.

These lower prices will be available not only from the Google Store, but also at Currys PC World, John Lewis, Argos, and Maplin.

As for buyers in the U.S., don't forget about Target's Black Friday deal that will let you pick up a Google Home Mini for just $29 in addition to a free $10 gift card that can be used that same day.

See at Google Store

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2 days ago

Google Assistant gains a load of new features and supports more languages

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The Assistant can send content from Google home to your phone, send out push notifications, help you find new apps, and much more.

Google is continually working to make its Assistant AI as smart as can be, and in the latest move to do just this, the company announced a host of new tools that developers will soon have access to.

One of the biggest announcements is that apps for Google Assistant can now be created in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Indian English. Consumers won't necessarily be able to take advantage of this right away, but we imagine that developers will work on getting their apps to support these new additions ASAP.

Also announced is a new API that will allow Google Home to send content to a phone that also has the Google Assistant on it. For example, if you're ordering a sandwich from Panera Bread by talking to Google Home, the speaker will be able to send you a receipt to your phone so you can complete the purchase.

Google Assistant has been pretty great for carrying on natural conversations for a while now, but that point's about to become even stronger with a feature that Google is calling "implicit discovery."

Implicit Discovery allows users to say more natural-sounding commands to perform actions within apps without having to specifically mention said app by name. For example, you could say "Ok, Google, track my flight" without having to specifically call out the KAYAK app by name. It's a simple change, but one that should make using Assistant apps a lot more second-nature.

As for user-facing features, Google is revamping the interface on your phone for finding new apps that are compatible with Assistant. "What's new" and "what's trending" categories will be added so you can quickly find the best apps that are currently available, and these will be joined by subcategories within the app directory so you can pinpoint the exact type of app you'd like to find.

In addition to these bigger changes, Google is also letting users say "cancel" to quickly end a conversation that they're having with an Assistant app, applications can show suggestion chips that allow users to sign up for daily updates from it, Assistant apps can finally tap into push notifications, and more.

Ecobee thermostats pick up Google Assistant

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2 days ago

Deal: Save big at T-Mobile on the LG V30 and LG G6!

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For a limited time, new and existing T-Mobile customers can get up to $500 back (via rebate) when buying two LG V30s or get a free LG G6 (via rebate) when buying an LG G6. This is a great way to get two new devices for use on T-Mobile without breaking the bank — plus you'll get a free tablet to go along for the ride!

New and existing customers can take advantage of this deal by purchasing both phones on the Equipment Installment Plan and activating them on T-Mobile ONE Unlimited plans. The big money payback on this deal comes when you submit a rebate online. You'll get up to $500 rebate on a prepaid MasterCard to help offset the cost of the new devices. Hit up the links below to start shopping!

LG V30 at T-Mobile

LG G6 at T-Mobile

There are taxes on any device you go with and you'll have to pay that up front regardless of the plan or phone. If you cancel your wireless service, remaining device balances will become due. The LG G Pad X2 is free after 24 monthly bill credits. If you cancel wireless service prior to 24 months, the credits will stop and you will owe remaining balance. Rebate on the second device will take up to 8 weeks so be sure to fill out your rebate form as soon as you activate your new phone!

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2 days ago

Today Weather: A beautiful weather app and a must-have for OLED displays

There are many weather apps on Android that all tell the weather but very few do it in a way that looks as good as Today Weather.

Today Weather is a great weather app that puts the information you need to know right in front of you in a clear and easy to understand way. What makes Today Weather stand out are the vibrant colors and, in particular, the black background that makes everything pop.

There is an easy to use slide-in menu to easily access the weather at your location and also various pre-set locations to get an idea, for example, of what the weather is like at your next vacation destination. There is also a 7-day forecast so you'll be sure to not get caught out when planning your days out.

Today Weather provides many data sources: Accuweather.com, Weather.com, Weather Wunderground, Dark Sky.

The app looks great on the phone with AMOLED displays because of the black background and display on the device, but the app is just very well designed so would look great across the board.

The app looks great on the phone with AMOLED displays because of the black background and display on the device, but the app is just very well designed so would look great across the board.

Download Today Weather (free)

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2 days ago

Arena of Valor brings top-notch MOBA action to Android

7

From the company that now owns League of Legends comes a mobile MOBA that looks a lot like it.

Tencent isn't a company that you may be too familiar with, but it's a name is increasingly cropping up in the West. China's largest internet company is a big deal and naturally has its fingers in many pies.

Though not currently (officially) available in North America, Arena of Valor is Tencent's newest mobile hit. Despite over a million downloads in the Play Store I'd never heard of it until picking up a Razer Phone, on which it is preloaded.

It's a mobile MOBA, it's free to play and looks suspiciously like the most popular game on the planet: League of Legends. But that's OK since Tencent owns that, too. It's also a lot of fun.

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2 days ago

How to Cast Audio from your Daydream

Now that Daydream can cast to your TV it should have opened up a lot of fun to be had with friends. Unfortunately, audio is still not available on all games and isn't even set as on by default which. When you cast your Daydream view to show people the awesome game you've been playing, or an amazing 360 video of Paul McCartney, of course, you want it to have audio!

For now, it seems that not all apps have audio capabilities, which is a bummer. However, even with those that do support audio, you'll need to turn the feature on. Here's how to do it!

Read more at VRHeads

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2 days ago

These are the 8 thinnest cases we could find for Galaxy S8

18

What's the thinnest Galaxy S8 case?

You wanna protect your Galaxy S8 a bit, but cases make it look a li'l plump. Here are the thinnest cases we could find!

1. Impossibly thin

Impossible? Yeah! "Air Skin"? Like pudding skin? Sure, we'll bite. You can find it for around $10.

2. Awwww mSnap!

Give your S8 a "Maxboost" (see what I did there?) with this thin'un. Only $10.

3. Thinness out the Ying yang

"Crystal" might be pushing it as far as clarity's considered, but this one's about as thin as they come and only $7.

4. Straight from the horse's mouth

At 0.8mm thick, Samsung knows what's up for thin cases for its phone. Check these out starting at $11.

5. Yihailu: Go ahead, we'll wait while you try to pronounce it too

Yee... High loo? Meh. Thin case is thin and $12.

6. Because nudity rules!

When it comes to phones. Put your pants back on, Steve. Check these out for around $30.

7. Highway to the Geekzone

That girl in the photo is crying tears of joy. Don't worry; be happy. These are only $5!

8. Looking for thin cases? We have the Anccer for only $12!

GET IT? ANCCER???!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Love me.

Find anything thinner?

Sound off in the comments below!

Updated November 2017: These are still the thinnest cases you can get for Galaxy S8.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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

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2 days ago

Vinci 2.0 are standalone sports headphones with Alexa built in

2

Vinci 2.0 are wireless workout headphones that can access Alexa, Spotify, and more – all without needing your phone.

Last year, you might have caught Mr. Mobile's hands-on look at the Vinci 1.5. Vinci 1.5 was a set of wireless over-the-ear headphones, but it managed to stand out with a built-in display and support for a wide array of apps – including Alexa, Spotify, Google Play Music, and plenty more. Since then, Inspreo Inc. is ready to tackle the idea of standalone headphones once more with the Vinci 2.0.

So, what's different between the Vinci 2.0 and last year's 1.5? For starters, the design has received a drastic overhaul. The over-the-ear design is gone in favor of a neckbud one – not unlike LG's Tone headphones. However, the difference between Vinci 2.0 and any LG Tone accessory is that the Vinci is a completely standalone device that doesn't require a smartphone to function.

There are two displays on the Vinci 2.0 (one on either side), and each one will allow you to interact with the UI and see information for what's taking place on the headphones. Additionally, you can perform an array of gestures by moving your hand over the Vinci 2.0 to change the volume, skip to the next song, or pause/play whatever you're listening to.

The whole system is powered by a quad-core Cortex A7 processor, and this is combined with support for Wi-Fi, 3G cellular, and Bluetooth connectivity options. Amazon's Alexa is also built-into Vinci 2.0, and when you combine the above tech with it, you can make phone calls, listen to songs on Spotify, call an Uber, track your workouts, catch up on the latest news, and so much more – all without ever having to pair your phone.

Vinci 2.0 is trying to be the perfect workout compain for people that hate running with their phone.

Vinci 2.0 can track an array of different workout activities, including hiking, jogging, weight lifting, and others, and the built-in heart-rate sensor allows you to get a more precise reading on how much you're actually pushing yourself.

The Vinci 2.0 is available now on Kickstarter, and you'll be able to choose between the Vinci 2.0 Lite, Pro, and Super. The Lite model lacks the display and noise-canceling features found on the Pro and Super models, and the Super takes the lead over the Pro by offering double the storage (32GB versus 16GB) and swaps out a dual-mic array for a bone conducting one.

The final retail price for the Lite, Pro, and Super will be $149, $289, and $399, respectively, but if you act fast during the Kickstarter campagin, you'll be able to save as much as 55%.

See at Kickstarter

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2 days ago

Most Secure Android Phone

Best overall

Google Pixel 2

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel 2 is the most secure Android phone you can buy, and one of the most secure phones of any available today.

Without disabling any security protections, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are updated to keep you protected against known public security exploits and remote installations are monitored by Google's scanning software which blocks potential malicious content. While security and privacy are two very different things, when you decide you want private things to stay private you need to make sure your phone is secure to keep them that way.

Bottom line: The open-source nature of Android and the dedicated Android security team work in tandem to make the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL the best phones when it comes to security and privacy.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also show us that a secure phone that's great to use is a reality.

Why the Google Pixel 2 is the best

A phone you want to use can also keep your data safe — and it comes in two sizes to fit everyone.

Every device that can connect to the internet has exploits available that break the default security configuration. If your phone isn't getting timely updates to combat them, you're simply not secure. We keep a vast amount of private — and priceless — data on our phones, and we all should care about keeping it safe from outside attacks. After you read all the agreements and decide what you're willing to give away, you should expect the remainder to stay private.

Pixel 2 phones are updated directly from Google with the latest version of Android. Outside of any new features that may come with, the device security model has been updated and strengthened by a dedicated team who regularly audits and enhances the code used to build Android. On top of this, Google releases updates to the security model at the beginning of every month for the people who build Android phones to apply to its software. These are important. More important than any other update.

Equally important, but often overlooked, is transparency. You shouldn't have to trust a company when it says something is secure or updated, and the Android code for both the platform version and all updates is available for anyone to take a look at. Plenty of people do, and despite any opinions to the contrary, Android, as written, has proven to be a very secure platform. A phone like a Pixel 2 is the embodiment of this.

Most important of all is that both Pixel phones are not only secure but are also phones that you'll want to use. No compromise is needed and the 5-inch Pixel 2 and 6-inch Pixel 2 XL both share the same fast processor and other internal components. A great — and secure — experience is available for fans of both sizes.

Best for typing

BlackBerry KEYone

See at BlackBerry Mobile

BlackBerry is legendary when it comes to mobile device management and security, and follows that trend when using Android to power its phones. With the KEYone, you also get the keyboard experience that only BlackBerry can offer. The KEYone is a great way to enjoy Android for people who still want a physical keyboard on their phone, and peace of mind that knowing a company is concerned about security.

Bottom line: BlackBerry continues its reputation for excellent mobile security and having a great keyboard with the KEYone.

One more thing: The BlackBerry is usually the first phone to get the monthly Android Security update — often hours before Google releases the bulletin itself!

Best for simplicity

BlackBerry Motion

See at Bell See at SaskTel See at TELUS See at Koodo

The BlackBerry Motion resembles the KEYone at first glance, if you were to remove the keyboard.

This 5.5-inch phone has the bells and whistles — IP67 water resistance, a fast fingerprint scanner, a great camera, etc. — that you expect and BlackBerry's reputation of security in a more traditional smartphone package. The Snapdragon 625 with 4GB of RAM means it can handle both work and play, and Android 7.1 with BlackBerry's enhancements will keep you secure while doing any of it

Bottom line:The BlackBerry Motion brings the security you want in a modern and familiar package.

One more thing: The Motion's 4,000 mAh battery will keep you up and running all day plus!

Conclusion

Media outlets like to give Android a bad reputation when it comes to security, and it's difficult to blame them. Old, outdated software from manufacturers with no real concern for your security or privacy are the norm when it comes to phones running Android. But it doesn't have to be this way.

The Google Pixel 2 delivers a great smartphone experience that ticks all the boxes for reviewers and users alike, and with no modifications, your personal data is very safe. A team of security professionals and engineers are dedicated to keeping it that way. Any of the phones on our list will do a great job when it comes to security, but the overall experience makes the Google Pixel 2 the best.

Best overall

Google Pixel 2

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel 2 is the most secure Android phone you can buy, and one of the most secure phones of any available today.

Without disabling any security protections, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are updated to keep you protected against known public security exploits and remote installations are monitored by Google's scanning software which blocks potential malicious content. While security and privacy are two very different things, when you decide you want private things to stay private you need to make sure your phone is secure to keep them that way.

Bottom line: The open-source nature of Android and the dedicated Android security team work in tandem to make the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL the best phones when it comes to security and privacy.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL also show us that a secure phone that's great to use is a reality.

Update November 2017: The Google Pixel 2 takes over from the Pixel as our top pick, with the BlackBerry KEYone and BB Motion rounding out the list.

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3 days ago

Cricket Wireless Buyer's Guide: Everything you need to know

15

Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T MVNO.

Cricket Wireless is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) or "alternative carrier". MVNOs lease coverage from the Big Four networks (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon) and sell it to customers for less. The benefit of an MVNO is that you experience the same level of service as a customer on one of the larger networks, but you can often find talk, text, and data plans for a fraction of the cost.

Cricket is owned by and leases coverage from AT&T. If you sign up with Cricket, that means you get AT&T's 4G LTE coverage, as well as unlimited plans.

Cricket Wireless coverage map

If you like AT&T's coverage, but you'd prefer a cheaper bill every month, then consider signing up with an MVNO. Here's what you need to know about Cricket Wireless.

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Individual plans

Cricket offers fairly straightforward unlimited talk and text plans with varying allotments of 4G LTE data. All plan prices are flat fees, with taxes and fees included. So you will only pay $30/month if you opt for the $30 plan, for example. All plans, except the $25/month Talk & Text plan, come with unlimited talk, text, and 2G data. Pricing varies depending on how much 4G LTE data you opt for.


The base plan is $25/month and includes only unlimited calling and texting, with no data access or multimedia messaging. $30/month gets you 2GB of 4G LTE data (max 8Mbps) ; $40/month gets you 5GB of 4G LTE and the plan is eligible for the $5/month Auto Pay discount (max 8Mbps); $55/month gets you 22GB of data (max 3Mbps); and $60/month gets you 22GB of 4G LTE up to 8Mbps.

Note: If you want tethering (mobile hotspot), you can get it with the $55 or $60 unlimited plans, but both of them limit high-speed tethering to 8GB of usage.

Learn more

Family plans

Cricket calls its family plans "Group Save Discounts". In order to receive the discount, each line of up to 5 lines must be on the $40/month 4GB plan or better. You save more with each line you add, for lines 2 to 5.

You save $10 off the second line, $20 off the third, $30 off the fourth, and $40 off the fifth, so if you have 5 lines, you can save $100 per month. The $5/month Auto Pay credit is not available when you use the Group Save Discount.

Learn more

Best Cricket Wireless phones

Since Cricket Wireless operates on AT&T's network, you can bring your own phone, and it can be just about any GSM device. Before you decide, however, you should check compatibility.

If you don't have a phone of your own to bring or want to update, these are the ones you should consider.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Arguably the best Android smartphone available, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a gorgeous phone with all the bells and whistles you could want in an Android device. It features a lightning-fast fingerprint sensor, as well as facial recognition and iris scanning to unlock it. The infinity display packs even more screen into a smaller form factor, helping to keep it just this side of "phablet" territory. The best part is that, if you join Cricket, you can get it for $699.99, which is $50 less than what AT&T is selling it for! If that price tag is too high, the Galaxy S7 is still holding up remarkably well.

Learn more

ZTE Blade X Max

A big phone at a small phone price, the ZTE Blade X Max is incredible value at $99.99. Exclusive to Cricket Wireless, the ZTE Blade X Max features a massive 6-inch HD display, a 1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 435 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 13MP rear camera, and a 3400mAh battery, all running Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Learn more

How to cancel Cricket Wireless

Cricket might just be the easiest service to cancel in the world. This is a direct quote from its website:

We don't want to see you go! But if you need to cancel your service, just stop paying.

Yeah. That's it. If you haven't paid within 60 days of your last Cricket pay date, your account will be canceled. Just be aware that once it's canceled, that's it: your number is made unavailable, your account is closed, and any remaining balance is removed.

If you have an account with more than one line, you'll have to give Cricket a call at 1-800-274-2538 (1-800-CRICKET) or dial 611 on your Cricket Wireless phone. You can also chat on the Cricket site.

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How to unlock a Cricket Wireless phone

All you have to do is call 1-800-CRICKET (274-2538) and request an unlock code. You do, however, have to meet the following requirements:

  • The device you want to unlock has to have been active for at least 6 months or you're on an unlimited plan.
  • The device hasn't been reported as lost or stolen.
  • The phone is actually locked to Cricket's network.
  • The device isn't associated with a fraudulent account.

Basically, if you've been a customer in good standing for at least 6 months, you just have to ask.

Learn more

Finding another MVNO

If you like AT&T's coverage and are considering Cricket Wireless but want other options, then you may want to consider another MVNO that uses AT&T's network or another that uses multiple networks.

There are more than 15 MVNOs that use AT&T's network, so you have many to choose from, and some may work better in your area than others.

Learn more

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

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3 days ago

Browse the internet privately for life for just $43

Protecting our information and identity online is paramount in our world where online activity is become more and more prevalent as time goes on. Whether that information is a credit card number, banking information, or even your search history, you don't want anyone being able to track your browsing habits — both for safety and simple privacy. But the normal internet connection you get from your service provider isn't as secure as some people would like.

A VPN is your solution to keeping your online habits private. Using a "virtual private network," you get the functionality, security, and management that the VPN service provides in order to keep safe and discreet online. VPNs aren't just for privacy; you can use local VPNs in order to get resident online pricing for things like flights, hotels, and more.

VPN Unlimited is one such VPN provider that can help you access the web safely and securely. A lifetime subscription generally retails for $499.99, but at Android Central Digital Offers, you can get yours for $42.50. All you have to do is use code GIFTSHOP15 and you'll get 15% off our already discounted price of $49.99.

VPN Unlimited gives you secure access to public Wi-Fi networks, unlimited bandwidth, an unlimited high-speed connection, a growing selection of global services in over 50 countries, fast server switching, as well as ad blocking, malware protection, and tracker blocking. If you value your online privacy and flexibility, then subscribe to a VPN. And why not pick up a lifetime subscription for $42.50. Just make sure you use code GIFTSHOP15 at check out!

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3 days ago

Best Accessories for the BlackBerry KEYone

5

What are the best accessories for the BlackBerry KEYone?

The physical keyboard is back, baby! The BlackBerry KEYone was a surprising return to form for BlackBerry Mobile in 2017. It's a unique phone that you'll want to enhance and keep protected with the right accessories.

Here are the best accessories for the BlackBerry KEYone.

BlackBerry KEYone Pocket Sleeve

For those who don't like the idea of covering the KEYone's design in a case, BlackBerry offers the elegant pocket sleeve for your phone to keep your phone protected and accessible while you're on the go.

Always a popular option with the BlackBerry crowds, this pocket case features a matte leather finish for a premium look and feel with a window cut out near the top of the screen so you can see the time, date, and your phone notifications at a glance and keep talking the phone is protected. It also features a built-in card slot for storing your ID, credit card or some emergency cash. Get yours for just $32.56.

See at Amazon

BlackBerry KEYone Flip Case

Made by TCL Communication, the BlackBerry Flip Case is a precise accessory for your KEYone. The soft TPU cover secures itself via magnets to the back of the rigid shell when open and features a window so you can see the time and date and your notifications.

The power button on the left edge of the phone is covered but still functional through the soft cover material, and the Convenience key and volume controls are left open on the right. It's an elegant and professional case solution that matches the design of the KEYone perfectly and is yours for $39 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Incipio DualPro KEYone Case

Incipio offers its rugged line of DualPro cases for all the top phones including the KEYone. This case offers two layers of defense against nasty drops and other wear and tear, with a soft TPU inner core and an outer shell made of rigid polycarbonate.

Available in three color options, this opaque case will cover up the unique metal accents around the body of the phone, but it does preserve the overall design of the phone. The lip around the front offers protection for the screen and keyboard while the camera cutout offers ample protection as well. With a soft touch finish, this case will feel nice in your hand while keeping your KEYone protected. Get it for $29.99 from Amazon.

See at Amazon

Amzer BlackBerry KEYone Soft Gel Back Cover [2-pack]

Do you struggle with picking between a clear case and a classic black case? Why choose?

Amzer's cases have emerged as a fan favorite amongst KEYone users. It's a slim one-piece case that's made of soft TPU which is great for absorbing the shock of a drop or impact. But it's the attention to detail that folks love the most — the precise design that includes cutouts around the edge of the keyboard. There's also a raised bezel around the screen so you can put your phone face down on a table without worrying about scratches.

You can get the black and clear cases separately for just $10, or get 'em both with this two-pack for just $19.99, because it's always nice to swap between case styles, right?

See at Amazon

Lexar Professional 1000x microSDXC

This card was specifically recommended by VictorRight in the CrackBerry KEYone forums and receives top marks for being one of the fastest cards you'll find. It uses UHS-II speeds for reads and writes which means you'll see no slowdown using the card with your KEYone.

There are four sizes available — the 64GB is your best value at around $50. You can go BIG with a 256GB card, but you'll also pay $260, basically a dollar per GB.

See at Amazon

Feitenn KEYone Tempered Glass Screen Protector

A screen protector is an essential accessory for some because — let's face it — accidents happen and screens break. A tempered glass screen protector is your best bet to take the full brunt of a nasty drop so your KEYone doesn't.

Looking through the CrackBerry KEYone forums, there's been some debate over which screen protector is best, but we'll recommend this curved tempered glass screen protector by Feitenn. It features a black border around the edge of the screen as well as the home navigation buttons which can be used for lining things up during installation.

Reviews have been somewhat mixed, and your experience will likely depend on getting a perfect installation the first time. Get some peace of mind for just $10 from Amazon.

See at Amazon

Spigen Style Ring

The Spigen Style ring is popular accessory around these parts. I gave it high marks in my review and of course CrackBerry Kevin is a huge fan. It easily attaches to the back of the phone or your case and will ensure that you never drop your phone — simply slip your finger in the ring and your phone isn't going anywhere.

But it's an especially handy accessory for the KEYone. Since you won't need to maintain a vice-like grip with a Style ring installed, you hands relaxed with your phone in hand and that makes typing so much easier. On a phone like the KEYone, that's a huge advantage.

It also works as a kickstand for hands-free videos and also includes a minimalist mounting hook for your car. You can see what all the hype is about for yourself for just $14.

See at Amazon


What are your go-to accessories for the KEYone?

Got any opinions on must-have accessories for the KEYone? Thoughts on the one we've listed here? Let us know in the comments!

BlackBerry KEYone

Amazon Best Buy BlackBerry Mobile

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