Order the Google Pixel 2: Verizon | Best Buy | Shop: Black Friday 2017

Headlines

1 day ago

Get a free Chromecast and Moto X4 when referring people to Project Fi

4

The promotion is running through December 17.

Despite its hardware restrictions and potentially expensive data charges, Project Fi is still one of the most unique service providers around. Google's been continually adding new features and services since its debut in 2015, and a new promotion lets you grab a free Chromecast and Moto X4 for referring others to join.

Google launched a referral system for Project Fi last December that allowed you to get credits on your bill when new customers signed up with your referral code, and between now and December 17, you can use that same system for grabbing some new tech.

Making two successful referrals will allow you to get a free Chromecast, but making five more for a total of seven will grant you with a Moto X4. That's the Android One version of the Moto X4 that comes with a stock build of Android and fast software updates, and considering that it normally costs $399, this is a fantastic promotion if you're a Fi customer.

In addition to this, Project Fi is also donating $50,000 to the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center to help provide some relief for areas affected by this year's devastating hurricanes and other storms.

Moto X4 review: A mid-range phone done right

Read more and comment

 
1 day ago

Anker's Black Friday deals start today, with sales on chargers, speakers, and more

0

A one-stop shop for whatever you need.

Anker is dropping prices on... well, everything. Today includes deals on chargers, cables, speakers, and a whole bunch of other things. Whatever gear you need, pretty sure you can get a nice chunk off the price today. All Anker products are covered by an 18-month warranty.

Cables

Cases

Chargers

Headphones

Home

Speakers

Wireless Mouse

Read more and comment

 
1 day ago

Cheap Fitness Trackers You've Never Heard Of

5

Don't spend your money on a high-end fitness tracker right off the bat, try out one of these cheap ones instead!

When it comes to fitness trackers, big names like Fitbit, Garmin, and Jawbone have a real grip on the market. While Fitbit has been in the game a long time and makes a great product, the best Fitbit products cost a lot of money, same goes for big brands like Garmin and Jawbone.

If you're looking to try a fitness tracker for the first time, spending hundreds of dollars on a Fitbit or other big brand name may not be the wisest choice. Try before you buy isn't always realistic; however, if you buy a cheap fitness tracker first, you can see if it will be worth to upgrading to a more expensive brand later. Here are our favorite cheap fitness trackers that you've probably never heard about.

Wesoo K1 fitness watch

For only $30, the Wesoo K1 offers lots of features that you'll find on higher-end fitness trackers for a fraction of the price.

Counting calories, steps per day, and distance traveled are all par for the course on any fitness tracker, but the addition of automatic sleep monitoring, silent vibrating alarms, and sedentary alerts makes the $30 price tag even sweeter.

One of the coolest features of the Wesoo K1 is its ability to charge without a cable. That's right: when you take the Wesoo K1 out of the band, there's a built-in USB plug on the tracker so you just have to plug it into your computer, wall outlet, or even a power bank to charge it.

You can buy the Wesoo K1 fitness watch with an extra band in either purple or blue.

See at Amazon

FitOn

FitOn is a relatively ambitious Kickstarter campaign, that looks promising and has already reached its funding goal.

On top of tracking all your important fitness metrics — steps per day, calories burned, distance, traveled, etc. — FitOn is promising an IP68 water resistance rating meaning you can swim with this tracker on all you want without damaging it.

The FitOn promo video also describes an oxygen meter that's meant to help you gauge your blood oxygen levels during intense workouts or swims. Using this data with the included heart rate monitor will give you a better statistics when it comes to your personal training.

Now since this is a Kickstarter campaign there is a little bit of risk in backing it up; however, it's already over its funding goal so that risk should be limited. You can back this campaign and receive a FitOn when they start shipping for only $49.

See at Kickstarter

LEMFO fitness tracker

If you're going to be wearing something on your wrist all day, why not make it stand out a little? The LEMFO fitness tracker has a bold design that will is bound to get noticed while packing in important fitness tracker features.

The automatic sleep monitoring will kick in when you decide to lay your weary head down for a rest, and the active heart rate monitor will help you track your pulse through even the most intense workouts.

The LEMFO fitness tracker has an IP67 rating, meaning you can take it for a quick swim or out in the rain with no problem and even supports messages and call notifications to keep you up to date.

For only $35, LEMFO fitness tracker is a great way to see if you enjoy using a fitness tracker or not.

See at Amazon

X-CHENG fitness tracker

If you like the idea of having a fitness tracker that embraces the smart side of things, the X-CHENG fitness tracker may be your best bet.

While its big display and bold design may not be your style, the X-CHENG fitness tracker checks all the boxes. IP67 water resistance rating, automatic sleep monitoring, heart rate monitor, calorie counter, step counter, and all the other essential fitness tracking abilities are present.

Not only can this thing receive your calls and texts, it also can hook up to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social apps and send all your important notifications right to your wrist! Plus, even with the huge display, the battery should still last you a whole week between charges, meaning you don't have to worry about it dying in the middle of your workouts as often.

You can pick up the X-CHENG fitness tracker for $45.

See at Amazon

MyKronoz ZeFit4

The MyKronoz ZeFit4 features a full-color screen, heart rate monitor, and tracks all the basic data that you want in a fitness tracker for only $40.

The free app works seamlessly with the MyKronoz ZeFit4 so you can keep your eyes on your calories burned, steps per day, workouts, and sleep all in one place. Plus, it comes with an IP67 rating, meaning you can get it wet without a problem.

You'll get about five days of battery life with the ZeFit4 and it only takes about 90 minutes to charge from dead to full, meaning you'll never have to be without the tracker on your wrist for long.

See at Amazon

Don't trust these unrecognizable brands?

If you don't mind spending a little more money for a brand name you can trust, companies like Fitbit, Xiaomi, Jawbone, and Misfit have some pretty great trackers for under $50.

Read: Best Fitness Trackers Under $50

Do you have any suggestions?

Do you know of any fitness trackers that nobody has heard about? We want to hear from you. Leave us a comment down below!

Read more and comment

 
1 day ago

Google will fix hissing sound on Pixel 2 in "the coming weeks"

12

Your Pixel 2 will soon be free of both clicking and hissing.

Since its release, a number of users of the smaller Pixel 2 have reported a faint hissing sound that can be heard when the phone is placed near your ear during a phone call. My device doesn't appear to be affected, but those that are experiencing the issue should be relieved to know that a software update will soon be available that eliminates it for good.

This announcement came from a community manager of Google's Pixel User Community, and it's said that the update will be available "in the coming weeks." We certainly would have liked a more solid ETA, but having a light at the end of the tunnel is still great nonetheless.

Google recently fixed the clicking noise also found with the Pixel 2 in the November security patch, and that was discovered to be a bug with the phone's NFC chip. It's unclear exactly what's causing the hissing, but I suppose that won't matter in a few weeks.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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

Read more and comment

 
1 day ago

Gboard gets built-in stickers and 40 more languages with latest update

11

Gboard now features built-in stickers and supports more than 120 different languages.

Although your options for virtual keyboards on Android are endless, Google's Gboard remains as one of the best around. Gboard recently received a new update, and it brings support for built-in stickers and 40 additional languages.

Starting first with the new languages, the biggest addition is that of Japanese. Google has offered a Google Japanese Input app for a while that allows users to type in the language, but it's nice to finally see it integrated into the full Gboard application. If you're currently using Google Japanese Input, you'll need to manually download Gboard and configure it for Japanese typing in order to get the new experience.

As for the built-in stickers, you'll now see four sticker packs in Gboard when tapping on the stickers icon. Stickers could previously be used with Gboard, but doing so required you to download Allo and grab them through it rather than directly through Gboard. It was a pretty clunky process, so we're grateful to see that there's no longer a reliance on Allo to make the sticker magic happen.

The latest update for Gboard is live on the Play Store now, but if you're not seeing it for whatever reason, you can download the APK file here.

Emogi for Gboard brings thousands of animated stickers to Android

Read more and comment

 
1 day ago

The best VR experiences to share with family this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving means family, and that means showing off your VR headset to all of them.

November is halfway over, and that means it's only a few weeks until the big Turkeyfest. We're talking about Thanksgiving, a holiday about food, family, football, and spending the day with relatives you may not have seen since last Christmas. To help while away the hours between arriving and sitting down to devour dinner, bringing your Gear VR or Daydream along to show off what VR can do is an awesome idea.

So we've put together a list of the best apps to share with everyone this Thanksgiving. From Football to space, there's a little bit of everything here.

Read more at VRHeads

Read more and comment

 
1 day ago

Best zombie games for Android

2

Prepare for the pending zombie apocalypse with these games

Few moments in gaming are as satisfying as mowing down a gnashing horde of zombies with a machine gun. Or as exhilarating as outrunning a swarm of the living dead.

Zombies have a special place in our hearts as one of the best video game baddies of all time, and nothing beats a good zombie game. Whether you're the type to go in guns a-blazing, or opt for a more stealthy and strategic approach, there's a zombie game for Android that's right up your alley.

Just remember: Don't get bitten!

Death Road to Canada

Death Road to Canada is a $10 game — I want to open with that just to get the sticker shock out of the way before I talk about how freaking awesome this game is.

Facing a zombie apocalypse, you must lead a scrappy squad of diverse characters on a deadly mission from Florida to the relative safety of Canada. Along the way, you'll need to explore and loot places for supplies, while also managing your team's health and morale.

Everything within Death Road to Canada is randomly generated, making every play-through a unique experience in this dynamic road trip action-RPG. You can randomly generate your character and buddy or custom design your starting characters with different attributes to help them stay alive, but you probably don't want to get too attached unless you're a really good shot.

The controls admittedly take some getting used to, and there's a pretty steep learning curve as you learn which weapons are most effective and what times it's better to fight or run. And you will die, early and often, although that's part of the fun of a zombie apocalypse, right?

There's a ridiculous amount of depth in this game, including 10 different game modes to unlock. The price might seem a little steep, but if you're a fan of rogue-like zombie games, it's well worth the investment!

Download: Death Road to Canada ($9.99)

Telltale Games: The Walking Dead

How could we not include one of the most popular zombie franchises out there? Telltale games hit it out of the park with its series of games based on AMC's "The Walking Dead."

The game follows Lee Everett, a convicted criminal, in his efforts to protect an orphaned girl. Telltale Games have a unique storytelling method where the decisions you make throughout the game, including any conversations with other characters, have a major impact how the story plays out. This allows for some variety in multiple play-throughs.

You get the first episode in the series for free when you download the app, with the remaining five episodes available via in-app purchases.

Download: The Walking Dead Season One (Free w/IAPs)

Advertisement


Dead Trigger 2

Dead Trigger 2 continues to be the quintessential zombie-shooting experience on mobile. The graphics are amazing, though the game hardly takes itself seriously — there are lots of tongue-in-cheek references and over-the-top baddies to mow down. This version is a little different in that players now have their own hideout and a crew that can build stuff for them. The controls have also been streamlined for touch; all you have to do is move the crosshairs over a zombie, and if you're in range, you'll automatically start shooting.

There are many missions to enjoy, and the in-app purchases have been scaled back with the removal of the premium currency — now you can buy and build everything yourself without spending a cent.

Download: Dead Trigger 2 (Free)

Into the Dead 2

Into the Dead 2 is a first-person game that puts you in the role of a survivor in a post-zombie-apocalyptic world. You must run for your life to stay alive, occasionally finding weapons to help you fight back.

There's a surprising amount of variety in this game with a story that spans over 60 stages with multiple endings. Unlock and upgrade your weapons and even play with a canine companion as you explore military bases and survivor campsites looking for other survivors.

On top of the unique gameplay, this game also looks gorgeous. It's the perfect game to play with the lights off.

Download: Into the Dead 2 (Free w/ ads, IAPs)

Plants vs Zombies 2

Plants Vs. Zombies is one of those classic game franchises that's just so fun to play. I can still remember beating the first one after marathon sessions in University while I was supposed to be studying.

Plants Vs. Zombies 2 continues with that winning formula, offering a new campaign that spans over 11 unique worlds spanning all of space and time — from Ancient Egypt to outer space. Collect and choose your favorite plants as you battle against swarm after swarm of brain-hungry zombies.

It's just classic a classic strategy action game with a splash of zombie fun that's fun and accessible for the whole family. Not your "traditional" zombie game compared to the other entries on the list, but a great game nonetheless and certainly worthy of its spot here.

Download: Plants vs Zombies 2 (Free)

Advertisement


Zombie Gunship Survival

Zombie Gunship has always offered a unique zombie gaming experiences on mobile. Rather than compete with the flashy first-person shooters or more challenging strategy games, Zombie Gunship Survival has you take to the skies as you offer support to ground troops looking to push back the hordes.

The graphics are outstanding as it's got a very authentic look and feel during gameplay. As you complete missions you can upgrade and your weapons and start building out your remote airfield as your base of operations. Like so many other games, your basic duties are to survive and save other survivors.

Check out Zombie Gunship Survival if you're looking for a fresh take on the zombie survival genre.

Download: Zombie Gunship Survival (Free w/ ads, IAPs)

Zombies, Run!

Part fitness tracker, part audio drama, Zombies, Run! is the perfect app for those of us who really need to be motivated to keep running. Developed by Six to Start, this app has been around for quite some time, but it's always a fun recommendation to throw out there for anyone looking to start a running routine. Simply load up the game on your phone, pop in your favorite workout headphones and head out on your adventure.

You fill the role of Runner 5, a survivor of an ongoing zombie apocalypse that must venture out into the infected lands to collect supplies and find new survivors. You're able to listen to your own music with the story cutting in between songs. If you start slowing down, you might begin to hear zombies following you — a not-so-subtle reminder to pick up the pace.

The base app is free, but you can pay a monthly or yearly subscription to unlock all the missions and content at once. If you've never tried it before, it's definitely worth checking out.

Download: Zombies, Run! (Free w/ optional subscription available)

Advertisement


How do you like to slay zombies?

There are our picks, but did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

[custom:android-gaming]

Read more and comment

 
2 days ago

Amazon discounting multiple Prime Exclusive Phones ahead of Black Friday

15

Devices include the Moto X4, Moto E4 Plus, LG G6+, and LG Q6.

Updated 11/20/17 – We originally published this article as a deal post for the Moto X4, but we've since updated it to reflect all of the Prime Exclusive Phones that have discounted prices.

Buying unlocked phones typically helps to save money in the long-haul as opposed to getting them on installment plans, but the upfront cost of these can sometimes be tough to swallow. Amazon helps to cushion this blow with its Prime Exclusive Phones, featuring discounted prices on a variety of handsets at the expense of lock screen ads and the company's pre-installed applications.

Prime Exclusive Phones already feature more than reasonable prices, but in preparation for Black Friday, Amazon is discounting a few of them even more.

Of the nine Prime Exclusive Phones that Amazon sells, four of them are currently being offered with moderate discounts. These aren't the greatest savings we've ever seen, but when you add them on top of the already lower price tags, you end up with some really great deals.

Here are the phones to keep an eye out for:

The sale is live now and will be active through November 27.

See at Amazon

Read more and comment

 
2 days ago

Save £30 on the Amazon Echo Plus and get a free Philips Hue bulb (UK)

0

Save £30 on the Amazon Echo Plus and get a free Philips Hue bulb!

When it comes to creating a smart home, there are few ways that make the process easier than the Amazon Echo Plus, a connected speaker that can connect with various devices and allow you to manage them all through the power of voice. For a limited time only, the online retail giant is offering £30 off the Echo Plus in the UK and is bundling a Philips Hue bulb to get started.

Read more and comment

 
2 days ago

OnePlus 5T review: Come for the value, not the excitement

40
OnePlus 5T

This company never stops moving, and that means we get a fresh look at the latest hardware twice a year.

OnePlus isn't interested in holding back on specs, features or capabilities to make a big reveal of a new phone just once a year. The scrappy company has settled in on a refresh cycle every six months, with a big release followed by a mid-cycle bump to bring in the latest things it's been working on. The OnePlus 5T isn't meant to be an innovative leap of technology that blows your socks off — and honestly, none of its predecessors have been particularly groundbreaking, either.

Nope, the 5T is still about value, simplicity and being tuned for what the Android enthusiast crowd craves from its phones. At $479 there wasn't much about the OnePlus 5 you could find a flaw with. Now six months later with a bigger screen, new secondary camera, neat Face Unlock feature and a $20 price bump, it's a pretty easy equation to figure out.

But while the OnePlus 5T hasn't changed much from its six-month-old predecessor, the rest of the phone market has continued to evolve. Here's how well the OnePlus 5T holds its ground against an ever-changing Android market in price brackets both above and below.

See at OnePlus

About this review

I'm writing this review after one week with the OnePlus 5T. It's a Midnight Black model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, being used on the T-Mobile network both in New York, NY and Seattle, WA. After an initial software update to version 43_171110 it was not updated over the course of the review. The phone was provided to Android Central for review by OnePlus.

In motion

OnePlus 5T Video review

Seeing a phone in action is a great way to get a feeling for it as a complete product. For an overview of the OnePlus 5T, be sure to watch our full video review above. After the video, read on for our full take with all of the details!

OnePlus 5T

Rapid iteration

OnePlus 5T Hardware, display and specs

The best way to describe OnePlus hardware design is "generic, with a little extra." There's nothing particularly wonderful, awe-inspiring, attention-grabbing or special about the OnePlus 5T, but the execution of the design is oh-so-good.

There's nothing awe-inspiring about this hardware, but the materials and execution are excellent.

The slab-like bar of aluminum is pieced together with fantastic tolerance levels, and everything set into the body — buttons, switches, speakers, ports, glass — comes together exactly as you want. This may not be expensive fine-tuned design, but it sure is painstakingly great build quality. The new taller display, smaller bezels and rear-mounted fingerprint sensor just feel a bit more modern as well, befitting a late-2017 phone — even if the one casualty of the move is the removal of capacitive buttons below the screen.

OnePlus 5T specs

The only complaint to be had here is just how slippery the body is, which is just a little worse than the OnePlus 5 because it's slightly taller and heavier. It's flat across the back with very little texture in the metal, and the edge of the transition to the flat sides isn't stark enough to get your fingers on. Thankfully OnePlus makes a handful of great thin cases for the 5T, but running this thing naked can be an unsettling experience — it reminds me very much of using an iPhone 6 or 7.

A few corners are cut to hit $499, but none of them are major — plus, you keep a headphone jack.

I still love the physical Alert Slider switch to toggle between three different notification modes, despite the fact that I've come to terms with using the software DND modes on my Google Pixel 2. I also like having the 3.5 mm headphone jack, even as I use Bluetooth headphones more and more every month. OnePlus still isn't willing to pony up the cost of adding a proper water resistance rating to the 5T, which is very unfortunate as we see other cheaper phones, like the Moto X4, include the feature. The same sort of disappointment surrounds the speaker, which is a single down-firing unit that just doesn't sound great compared to what you get on true flagship phones. It's these sort of fringe shortcomings that remind you that cost had to be shaved somewhere to get this thing down to $499 retail.

At the same time, OnePlus continues to overdeliver in the spec sheet. A Snapdragon 835 in a sub-$700 phone is still great, and the default configuration of 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage is plenty for now and into the future. Nobody needs to spend the extra $60 to get 8GB of RAM (the highest average RAM usage I saw was 5.1GB), but the extra money is worth it for some people just for the bump to 128GB of storage considering the lack of SD card slot. Then again, with the expedience of the upgrade cycle of the typical OnePlus buyer, maybe you're fine with 64GB considering you plan on moving to a new model in six or 12 months.

This is a display that outperforms the price point.

That processor and RAM becomes even more powerful when you consider that the OnePlus 5T is only pushing a 1080p display. Though the 6-inch 2:1 aspect ratio (2160x1080 resolution) screen is a different size and shape, it looks near-identical to the 5.5-incher on the OnePlus 5. This is still an "Optic AMOLED" screen, which is made by Samsung, and OnePlus isn't really making any claims of improvement over the predecessor. That's totally fine with me, particularly at a sub-$500 price point. This display is crisp, colorful and has pretty minimal off-axis color shifting. While it's not up to the level of the displays in the Galaxy S8+ and Note 8, it wouldn't look out of place on any $700+ phone.

The one thing I find it's missing is visibility in direct sunlight, where it lacks the high-contrast mode that kicks in on some other phones for a short period. I also find it reluctant to ramp up the brightness above about 25% when indoors, even when there's enough ambient light to warrant more from the display. On the other end of the spectrum the display does impress me with how dim it gets in dark rooms — when I move that brightness slider all the way down, it's very comfortable for my eyes at night (especially when paired with Night Mode).

OnePlus 5T

More of the same

OnePlus 5T Software, battery life and cameras

This section, where we typically dive deep into the quality of the software and the performance of the phone, is going to be a short one. That's because as we know the OnePlus 5T is identical internally to the OnePlus 5, and the Android 7.1.2 Nougat software has changed only marginally from its predecessor as well.

So in the name of brevity, please allow me to pull a quote from my OnePlus 5 review:

Instead of changing the basic interface paradigm of Android, OnePlus continues to add value by giving you customization options and just a handful of neat features. Offering simple things like themes, a customizable status bar, new gestures and a couple tweaks throughout the interface all enhance the experience without taking away from Google's vision of Android in any way. Most importantly, you can ignore them entirely and just use the phone as it comes out of the box, too.

OnePlus 5 review: Keep doing what you do best

OxygenOS is one of my favorite manufacturer "customizations" of Android — and I put that in quotes because OnePlus hasn't exactly added as much as it's just tweaked things. There are just some visual, transition and color changes throughout the system, plus a few nice features like Reading Mode, and then some typically unseen customization options throughout the interface. I'm not in love with its choice to go with a primarily white status bar, and its ambient lock screen needs some work, but the most important part about OxygenOS is I can't find anything that's annoying or in my way — that definitely isn't the case on every phone I've used this year.

OnePlus 5T OxygenOS softwareOnePlus 5T OxygenOS softwareOnePlus 5T OxygenOS softwareOnePlus 5T OxygenOS softwareOnePlus 5T OxygenOS softwareOnePlus 5T OxygenOS software

Exactly as was the case with the OnePlus 3T in 2016, this review comes out in the shadow of a big impending software update. We know OnePlus [already has an Android 8.0 Oreo build for OnePlus 3 and 3T owners, and that beta program will open up to the 5 and 5T by the end of 2017. Unfortunately, that means we're still looking at "early 2018" for a stable Oreo release. And while it'll certainly be released ahead of most manufacturers, OnePlus definitely won't be the first with Oreo and it's a bit disappointing as other companies like Sony, HTC, Samsung and Essential either have phones already with Oreo or in open beta testing.

OnePlus 5T Face Unlock

Face Unlock

This isn't Face ID, and it sure isn't high security, but damn it works well.

The only exciting software addition on the OnePlus 5T is Face Unlock. Unlike more advanced versions of this feature, Face Unlock on the 5T simply uses a little software and the regular 16MP front-facing camera (the same unit as the OnePlus 5). After a quick scan of your face, the software identifies 100 data points that make your face unique and each time the screen turns on it attempts to match those up with whoever is holding the phone. This is absolutely the fastest implementation of a front-facing camera-based unlocking method, easily beating what Samsung and Google have on their latest phones. It unlocks the phone before you have a chance to think about unlocking the phone — it's great. Even with the fingerprint sensor being in a very comfortable place to reach, Face Unlock is so fast it can easily open your phone before your finger can get back there.

The system is obviously far less secure than what Apple is doing with Face ID, and definitely less secure than the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. I certainly wouldn't use this method if you're traveling or in other situations where your phone could be easily stolen. But it's secure enough for most people in most situations, and because it's so lightning quick I expect more than a few people will turn it on and stick with it most of the time.

Performance

OxygenOS flies on the OnePlus 5T ... but then the same software flies on the OnePlus 3T as well. It's very clear that this software isn't exactly taxing the Snapdragon 835 and 6 (or 8, in my case) gigabytes of RAM. Jumping between apps all day doesn't produce a single hiccup, and app performance has been great as well. I haven't noticed any excessive amount of background apps being killed off, nor have I had any unusual crashes or hangs from apps or the operating system itself.

The way OxygenOS does its transitional animations you can feel like things are a tad slower than, say, a Pixel 2 — but they're simply slow on purpose. If you're the type of person that cares about transition animation speed, you can freely change it in the developer settings — but it's more of just an acquired taste than an actual problem with the system.

OnePlus 5T Dash Charger

Battery life

Battery life remains unchanged from what I saw in the OnePlus 5. A 3300mAh battery is right on average with what we'd expect to see for a phone with a 6-inch display run by a Snapdragon 835 processor, and with the slim OxygenOS software it all equates to solid — but not spectacular — battery life. A typical full weekday left me with about 20% battery in the tank when heading to bed after 17 hours with 3-4 hours of "screen on" time. That's nearly on par with what I get out of the Pixel 2 XL, though I have found the OnePlus 5T hitting "Battery saver" (15%) in the evenings of some heavier usage days more frequently than Google's phone.

You'll get through a full day, and probably have a bit left in the tank when you're done.

The OnePlus 5T does a darn good job at conserving power when it's just sitting there with the screen off, which is once again a testament to OxygenOS being relatively light and simple. I can only imagine that the Oreo update will help further.

Dash Charge remains a fantastically quick charging solution, provided you buy another wall charger and perhaps a car charger to complete your set and know you have the fast charging everywhere you go. It's still a bit annoying that OnePlus hasn't managed to get this technology into its own mobile battery packs, or get some cross-compatibility with Qualcomm Quick Charge, but if you plan to stick with OnePlus it's worth getting its proprietary chargers.

OnePlus 5T camera viewfinder

Cameras

Not a single thing about the main 16MP camera on the OnePlus 5T has changed from the 5. But OnePlus knows what it can get out of it, and thought it was good enough to hold onto — to counteract that, it put its effort into switching up the secondary camera. The new 20MP sensor sits behind the same focal length and f/1.7 aperture as the main camera now, putting a quick end to the telephoto lens idea from before.

The camera is one part of the experience befitting the 5T's price.

Camera performance is the one area where the OnePlus 5T feels spot on with its price: better than the cheap phones out there, but not as good as the top-tier flagships. In decent-to-good lighting, the 5T exhibits all of the same characteristics we've seen before: solid but unspectacular dynamic range, accurate colors and some areas where details get a bit over-smoothed by the image processing. The 5T tends to be accurate rather than punchy, which is fine with most of us, but when that's paired with questionable metering, weak dynamic range and an HDR mode that doesn't feel like it adds enough to the scene it leads to some photos coming out bland.

In anything resembling good lighting I never got a bad shot, and I even got a few great ones that could convince you they were from an $800+ phone, but the average shot out of the 5T is just ... well, average by flagship standards. They didn't "wow" me in the same way that the Pixel 2 XL does with just about every photo I take.

If you would like to download the original full-resolution versions of these camera samples, you can do so with this Dropbox link!

Why bother with this secondary camera if the main camera so often does a better job with low light photos?

Now let's talk about low-light photos. OnePlus tuned this secondary camera for very low light (under 10 lux, which is quite dark), and so the camera only engages automatically in those situations — you can't switch to it manually. I found it really hard to take a photo that was dark enough to engage that secondary camera, which honestly makes sense. A 20MP sensor with 1-micron pixels and no OIS supporting the lens just isn't a recipe for success in bad lighting, even if you do some processing that combines adjacent pixels to cut down on grain. And so, many of the photos both I and our own Daniel Bader caught with that second sensor were as bad as we expected them to be. Grainy, with some odd colors and weird artifacts where the software attempted to smooth things out. I actually took some solid low-light shots with the main camera — in fact, none of the camera samples above were taken with the secondary camera, because each time I took a shot with it I chose to reposition a bit for some more light and take it with the main camera instead for a better result.

It begs the question — why would OnePlus bother with this secondary camera at all if the main camera so often does a better job with low light photos? Some 90% of the shots you take with this phone will make no use of the secondary lens, turning it into this vestigial thing hanging around reminding you that its inclusion took away from potential improvements to the main camera. Yes, it enables a Portrait Mode — which doesn't seem to have improved since its introduction, and is worse than the Pixel 2 XL's — but I don't think that this software-based bokeh and what end up being relatively poor low-light shots are worth what we had to give up in the main camera. If the removal of those two features could free up resources to make any improvement in photos from the main camera thanks to a larger sensor or OIS, it'd be immediately worth it.

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

Should you buy it?

OnePlus 5T Bottom line

With a few price increases, OnePlus has worked itself up into a somewhat odd price level. At $499 the OnePlus 5T sits about $200 above the "budget" phones people so often look at when they're trying to save some money, but also $2-300 underneath the true flagship phones of the same size. It seems unlikely that someone considering buying a Moto G5 Plus for $299 outright will all of a sudden choose to spend $200 more for a OnePlus 5T; so the market instead consists of potential flagship phone buyers who are enticed by the call of a top-of-the-line phone for hundreds of dollars less.

The OnePlus 5T offers an exceptional value at $499, or even at $559 for the top-end model.

For this potential buyer, the OnePlus 5T delivers just as its predecessors did. It has the same type of hardware, build, form factor and screen quality as the top-end phones today, and a slate of specs to match. Sure it doesn't have the nice-to-have whizz-bang hardware features or extras like waterproofing or great speakers, but something had to be trimmed somewhere and these are great non-critical areas to cut costs. The camera won't blow you away, but it's good enough for this money and it's capable of a fantastic shot now and then. And even at this lower price, you get excellent software that's in many ways better than what Samsung, LG, HTC and Huawei are doing — and it all flows at a breakneck pace.

The OnePlus 5T isn't an industry-leading phone with the latest features that other companies will have to scramble to match. But it's still an exceptional value in an Android market that's getting surprisingly expensive at the top-end. The OnePlus 5T is a wonderful phone at $499, or even at $559 for the higher-spec model. At that price you can look past a couple hardware shortcomings and less-than-stellar cameras, because you just saved $200, $300 or even $400 off of leading phones from the "big name" companies while getting what is mostly the same — or in a couple cases, a better — daily experience.

See at OnePlus

Read more and comment

 
2 days ago

Make your wall outlets more useful by adding two USB ports for just $15

3

Make your outlets work better for you!

Is this deal for me?

Right now you can grab this 15-Amp USB Wall Receptacle for just $14.64 at Amazon, which happens to be a new all-time low for this product. It normally sells for closer to $22, and has only ever dropped as low as $17 in the past. Best Buy has a 3.6-Amp option from Insignia (meaning far less power output) for just $9.99.

Gone are the days of searching for a power brick to plug into the cable that's in your hands. Replace outlets around your house and office with some of these so that you can just simply plug those cables right into the wall for a seamless experience.

  • Highest power device on the market
  • Two vertical high powered USB Ports
  • 3.6A charging capacity
  • Smart chip-powered USB ports recognize the requirements of attached device and optimize charge accordingly
  • Back and side wired for easy installation

TL;DR

  • What makes this deal worth considering? - This is a new all-time low for this product, but the biggest thing here is convenience. These outlets allow you to still plug in things that don't use USB cables while using the USB ports. An outlet that used to just charge two devices can now charge four.
  • Things to know before you buy! - Installation on these is pretty easy, but you'll want to proceed with caution. Be sure the power is turned off, and you do a little research before making the change. Consult a local electrician if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself.

See at Amazon

Read more and comment

 
2 days ago

Best Android Video Camera

Best overall

LG V30

See at AT&T See at Verizon See at Sprint See at T-Mobile

LG's V series has always been great for video, and the V30 carries on the tradition. Dual lenses backed up by solid sensors handle the basics, but it's the advanced shooting modes that really let the V30 shine.

Not only do you have advanced control over colors with the Cine Log mode, but you also have extra tweaks and features that pull off pro-like shots even if you don't know the mechanics of how to do it manually. You also get a full manual shooting mode if you need to do something specific.

Bottom line: For the most video features and tools, look no further than the V30.

One more thing: The V30 is still plenty capable when shooting in any of the automatic modes, too.

Why the LG V30 is the best

LG has positioned all of its V-series phones as being tuned for "content creation," and the V30 keeps up with that perfectly. We know it's quite capable for still photos, but its advanced video tools really make it shine.

Manual control and tons of shooting modes rule the roost here.

The core of the V30's video capabilities starts with its dual cameras, one with a standard focal length lens and another with a super wide-angle lens. It lets you shoot with one or the other, but also seamlessly "zoom" from the wide lens into the tighter one for a dramatic effect. That's paired up with all of the standard shooting modes, including 4K resolution and slow motion.

But then LG goes wild with additional software. You get a complete manual shooting mode where you can tweak every parameter, including your audio recording. And then you get extra features like "Cine Log" that lets you shoot in a new format that can be tweaked later, or use a dramatic "Point Zoom" for a smooth zoom in on a subject.

In our LG V30 review, Alex Dobie breaks down the power of Cine Log mode:

[LG Cine Log] lets you capture footage that, on the surface, might appear more washed-out than regular video shot in Auto mode, but it's captured a way that lets you bring out more shadow or highlight detail when you process it later. There's also an array of presets in Cine Log mode that lets you give your footage a particular kind of look — like warm tones for an action movie, cooler hues for a more romantic look, or sepia tones for an old-timey vibe.

Really, you get all the tools you could expect in something the size of a smartphone. When paired with a tripod and some time, the V30 can produce some great videos.

Best stabilization

Google Pixel 2 (and 2 XL)

See at Verizon See at Best Buy See at Google Store

Like its predecessor, the Google Pixel 2 has absolutely fantastic video stabilization that's just unrivaled in smartphones. The new phone adds OIS to the already fantastic EIS to create buttery smooth video whether you're riding along in a car or train, or just walking down the street with the phone in your hand.

Google uses some pretty advanced software to process the video and smooth it out, and it does so without much of the jarring "jelly" effect that you sometimes see when adding stabilization after the fact in video editors. The camera app doesn't offer other advanced features, but it absolutely nails the stabilization.

Bottom line: If all you want to do is shoot stable video on the move and don't need any other advanced features, the Pixel 2 is the one to get.

One more thing: For the exact same video experience in a larger size (with a higher price), consider the 6-inch Pixel 2 XL.

Best telephoto

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

See at Verizon See at AT&T See at T-Mobile See at Sprint See at Best Buy See at Amazon

For those who don't need the super-advanced video features of the V30, you'll find the Galaxy Note 8 is a great alternative. It also offers dual cameras, but in this case the second is a "telephoto" lens that helps you zoom in without reducing resolution.

The Note 8 is plenty capable with 4K, 1080p 60 fps and 720p 240 fps slow motion, and the ability to switch on the fly between the two lenses with ease. It has OIS and EIS, but it isn't the same kind of amazing stabilization as what the Pixel 2 offers.

The Galaxy Note 8 also offers just a downright bigger screen to use as a viewfinder, which you may find useful.

Bottom line: For a huge screen and the ability to shoot with a telephoto lens, this is a great choice.

One more thing: You're going to pay more for the Note 8 than any of the phones on this list.

Conclusion

The V30 is the best Android phone for video thanks to its dual cameras, great core features and advanced shooting modes that help anyone take great shots.

Best overall

LG V30

See at AT&T See at Verizon See at Sprint See at T-Mobile

LG's V-series has always been great for video, and the V30 carries on the tradition. Dual lenses backed up by solid sensors handle the basics, but it's the advanced shooting modes that really let the V30 shine.

Not only do you have advanced control over colors with the Cine Log mode, but you also have extra tweaks and features that pull off pro-like shots even if you don't know the mechanics of how to do it manually. You also get a full manual shooting mode if you need to do something specific.

Bottom line: For the most video features and tools, look no further than the V30.

One more thing: The V30 is still plenty capable when shooting in any of the automatic modes, too.

Update November 2017: The list has been revamped, with the V30, Pixel 2 and Galaxy Note 8 taking over from the V20, Pixel and Galaxy S8.

Read more and comment

 
2 days ago

What email app are you using?

63

There are a lot of email apps to choose from, but these are the top ones our forum users recommend.

As popular as instant messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are, there will always be a time and place in which old-school email rains supreme. Email still has its place for both personal and professional use, and over the years we've seen a lot of really great email clients hit the scene.

One of our forum users recently announced that they were unsure of which one to download after moving from iOS to Android, and these are a few of the options that were recommended.

*/
mschmiechen 11-19-2017 10:35 AM “

I use BlackBerry HUB.

Reply
*/
raqball 11-19-2017 10:55 AM “

I just use the gmail app and add my external accounts there. Works great.

Reply
*/
bhatech 11-19-2017 11:11 AM “

I use Inbox for my personal gmail account and Outlook app for work office 365 email.

Reply
*/
bkrickles 11-19-2017 02:23 PM “

I have all 4 of my email accounts run through BlueMail and definitely no battery drain. All 4 pushing email with 1 account an exchange account. Very customizable and smooth. Definitely recommend

Reply

Now, we pass the question on to you – What's your favorite email app?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Read more and comment

 
2 days ago

Xiaomi to invest heavily in India, new 'i' device launching shortly

1

Xiaomi is ramping up its efforts in India.

Xiaomi has launched seven devices in India this year, but it looks like the company isn't done yet. In a recent tweet, Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain hinted at a new device that's set to make its way to the country soon. No details were provided, but the stylized "i" with the Indian tricolor dots above the letter suggest the device will be tailored to the Indian market.

Read more and comment

 
2 days ago

Find My Device: The ultimate guide to finding your lost phone

55
Find My Device

Find My Device lets you remotely track, lock, and erase the data on a lost or stolen phone.

Android Device Manager has been rebranded to Find My Device earlier this year, and while the app's functionality hasn't changed, it picked up a much-needed visual refresh. Find My Device easily lets you remotely track, lock, and erase the data on a lost or stolen phone. You can also see the battery life remaining on your phone and the Wi-Fi network it is connected to.

With the rebranding, Find My Device is now a part of Google Play Protect, a suite of services designed to protect your phone from malicious content. Google is leveraging its machine learning expertise to scan and verify the apps installed on your phone, and while the Verify Apps feature has existed since the Jelly Bean era, Google is making the process much more visible to users.

Here's what you need to know about Find My Device, and how you can set it up on your phone.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages