Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and S6 edge+ shown off in leaked press images

Earlier this month, some blurry photos claimed to give us a sneak peek at the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. That was all well and good at the time, but today we’re getting a new leak that offers a much better look at both phones.

Some press renders of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ have found their way online courtesy of @evleaks. Both images look legit, and just as past leaks have suggested, the Galaxy Note 5 appears to borrow from the design of the Galaxy S6. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S6 edge+ looks pretty much like a bigger Galaxy S6 edge.

Samsung is holding an event on August 13, and based on past rumors and the timing of this leak, it’s looking likely that the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ will both be revealed there. The question is, do you prefer the Galaxy Note 5’s flat display and included S Pen or the Galaxy S6 edge+’s dual curved edge screen?



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Hands on with Belkin’s new line of mobile accessories

In April, Belkin announced and began releasing a whole line of products specifically aimed to make your Samsung Galaxy S6 experience more awesome. We already reviewed Belkin’s new Qi Wireless Charging Pad, which was a part of this new collection. Today we’re sharing the rest of the accessories we were sent for review. Even though these products are marketed with the Galaxy S6 in mind, only the Grip Candy SE case is S6-specific. All the other accessories will work great with any other Android device out there. I used them with a Galaxy S6 and Nexus 6 with typical every day uses. Do they stand out from the saturated mobile accessory crowd? Let’s find out…

Grip Candy SE

Belkin Grip Candy SE 7 Belkin Grip Candy SE 1 Belkin Grip Candy SE 2 Belkin Grip Candy SE 3 Belkin Grip Candy SE 4 Belkin Grip Candy SE 5 Belkin Grip Candy SE 6

The S6 I have been using with this Belkin Grip Candy SE is my wife’s personal device. True story, one of the main reasons she went with a Galaxy S6 when she got a new phone was because the Galaxy series phones get cute cases. Right when she got it she bought a $40 Kate Spade case, and she was pretty happy with it. When I removed the Kate Spade case and put on the Grip Candy SE case, I thought as soon as I was done checking it out and taking pictures with it, the Kate Spade case would go straight back on. But it didn’t. The wife realized how thick the Kate Spade case was and how much she enjoyed how small the Grip Candy SE made the S6 feel. The case feels so nice that it’s still on the phone.

So short story long, the Grip Candy SE is a pretty slim case. It’s not the grippiest, nor do I think it will absorb as much energy in a fall as your typical Amzer or Cruzerlite TPU case, but it’s better than nothing. The case comes in two colors combos: Clear/Backtop and Petal Pink/Pinot. At the time of writing this, Clear/Backtop doesn’t look like it’s available from Belkin’s website. Regardless, it is very expensive for a phone case at $29.99. That said, The holes are the right places and the buttons are easy to to find and access. It’s a very minimal impact case.

Is it worth $30? I’m not sure. I’m a huge cheapskate and don’t like using cases in the first place. Price aside, I would for sure recommend this case. But $30 feels steep.

You can pick up the Belkin Grip Candy SE on Belkin’s website or stores that carry Belkin now.

MIXIT↑™ Metallic Car Charger and Micro-USB Cable

Belkin MIXIT 5 Belkin MIXIT 1 Belkin MIXIT 2 Belkin MIXIT 3 Belkin MIXIT 4

With the Belkin MIXIT Metallic Car Charger and USB cable, I’m mostly going to talk about the feel, construction and look of the mobile accessories. With these, I feel like I need to start off with the price. The car charger will set you back $29.99 and the micro-USB cable, $24.99. There are highly-rated car chargers and cables out there with equivalent or better specs for a fraction of the price, so the only reason I can think of to explain why you would want to buy these MIXIT Metallic accessories at those prices is if you’re super into looks and being matchy-matchy. My wife is way into her gold Galaxy S6 and was stoked to have matching gold charging accessories. If you really really care, the gold of the MIXIT Metallic series is a little more rose gold than the S6, but you’ll still look *so* fancy. If you’re into that sort of thing, these are pretty awesome.

Other than the cool metallic looks, I will say that the car charger and cable feel high quality. The cases for the USB and micro-USB plugs are metal. There’s no play in the plugs. You’re not buying a $3 eBay special.

As for specs, the MIXIT Car Charger is a 2.4 Amp car charger, so it will charge your phone or tablet relatively quickly in the car. It only has one USB port, so only one device can be charged at a time. Belkin claims the charger will take an iPad from no charge to fully charged in 6.2 hours. I did not test this. I don’t have an iPad, nor do I want to leave my car running for 6.2 hours.

When it comes to price, one thing that may attribute to the higher price tag is that the MIXIT charger has intelligent circuitry that Belkin claims wI’ll measure voltage and automatically adjust power output, ensuring that your device stays safe in the event of an unexpected power surge. “The charger is also protected by a Belkin Connected Equipment Warranty. If your device is damaged by an electrical charge while properly connected to the charger, Belkin will repair or replace it up to a value of $2,500.” So, sorry Vertu Signature Touch owners, you’re not fully covered.

The MIXIT Metallic micro-USB cable is available in metallic black, pearl white, gold, silver, and gray. They have matching matte metallic finishes for the car charger and braided cable jackets. Unlike most micro-USB cables, the Belkin MIXIT Metallic cable has aluminum shells to help protect it. You’ll notice it quickly because it feels colder when touching it than your typical plastic cables. Or hotter if it’s left in the sun, I suppose.

The MIXIT cable is also a sync cable. So in addition to sending your device charge, you can connect it to your computer or car and transfer data or music.

Lastly, the cable is 4 feet long, so it should reach anywhere reasonable in your car while charging.

You can purchase the Belkin MIXIT Metallic Car Charger here and micro-usb cable here.

Vent Mount

Belkin Vent Mount 1 Belkin Vent Mount 2 Belkin Vent Mount 3 Belkin Vent Mount 4 Belkin Vent Mount 5

Out of all the accessories Belkin sent me, this one surprised me the most. Ease of use isn’t great, and I’m on the fence with how safe a vent mount is for your car’s vents, but I REALLY like the position of a vent mount in my vehicles. In my state of residence, California, there are certain places you can legally attach devices to your windshield. So a vent mount provides a nice alternative that is probably within arm’s length and within a normal field of view when operating your vehicle.

The Belkin Vent Mount has a few features that make it work. For starters, it has two different size grips, so Belkin claims it can be used with any vehicle. Once inserted into vents, it can be rotated a full 360 degrees so that you can easily orient your phone to your liking. Additionally, there are cable holders behind the Vent Mount to help with cable management and prevent you from having to search for your charging cable whenever you get in your car. Lastly, the brackets on the mount extend and are forced back together by a spring to securely hold your device. Belkin claims it will fit phones up to 3.3 inches wide. It fit my Nexus just fine.

Now, a few thoughts on the Belkin Vent Mount, some good and some bad:

  1. I get nervous about breaking my vents every time I install the Vent Mount. This beef is more for vent mounts in general, not just the Belkin Vent Mount.
  2. It fit and worked great with my newer vehicle. However, I took the Vent Mount on a trip home and tried it with my parents’ old truck, and it was not as convenient with the truck’s old floppy vents. Traveling with the Belkin Vent Mount was great because of its small size, but if your vehicle has floppy vents, be wary that a vent mount may be difficult to use.
  3. The Belkin Vent Mount was very difficult to install the phone one-handed. Maybe my difficulties stem from trying to install my giant Nexus 6, but there are easier mounts out there for installation. However, phone removal is a piece of cake.
  4. The $24.99 price tag feels a little steep. There are very similar vent mounts out there for less. Keep in mind that Belkin is a well-established and trusted brand that provides warranties on their devices.

You can check out and purchase the Belkin Vent Mount here.

Summary

If I could sum up my thoughts on these Belkin mobile accessories, I would say they’re good quality but more expensive than I would like. However, the Mixit Metallic series accessories do come in some pretty cool colors and may be worth the scrilla for the looks. But your opinion is what really matters. What do you think? Do you have your eye on any of these products? Do you already have any of these accesories and think they’re awesome? Think they’re overpriced? Let us know your thoughts and questions by commenting below.



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Sony leak shows big Xperia C5 Ultra with thin side bezels, Xperia M5 with 21.5MP camera

How would you like to start your weekend with a leak of a couple of unannounced Android phones? Good, because that’s what we’ve got for you!

Several images of the Sony Xperia C5 Ultra and Xperia M5 have made their way online. The Xperia C5 Ultra is the larger of the pair, boasting a 6-inch 1080p display with crazy-thin side bezels that reportedly measure just 0.8mm thick. The full Xperia C5 Ultra spec list is said to look like this:

  • 6-inch 1920×1080 display
  • 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6752 processor
  • 13-megapixel front and rear cameras, front and rear flashes
  • 16GB of storage
  • microSD slot
  • 2GB of RAM
  • NFC
  • Dual SIM support
  • 2930mAh battery

While the Xperia C5 Ultra is unquestionably a large phone because of its 6-inch display, its super-thin side bezels ought to make it a bit easier to handle than you might expect. Combine that big screen with the C5 Ultra’s 13-megapixel cameras and a price that’s reportedly going to be around 21,000 or 22,000 Rubles ($340 to $356 USD) and the C5 Ultra could be an interesting option in the affordable smartphone market.

xperiac5ultrahandson xperiac5ultrarearleak sonyxperiam5leak xperiam5rearleak

Moving on to the smaller phone of the pair, the Xperia M5 will reportedly offer the following specs:

  • 5-inch 1920×1080 screen
  • 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 processor
  • 21.5-megapixel rear, 13-megapixel front cameras
  • 16GB of storage
  • microSD slot
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 2600mAh battery
  • IP65/68 rated for resistance to dust and water

The Xperia M5 will reportedly cost 24,000 to 25,000 Rubles ($389 to $405 USD), which makes since because it’s slightly higher-specced than the Xperia C5 Ultra. And while its design may not be quite as notable since it doesn’t have the C5 Ultra’s super-thin bezels, the Xperia M5 does have a dust and water-resistant body and beefy front and rear cameras.



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Top 10 Android app updates this week: Snowball, HipChat

Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most frequently upgraded apps for the week. We’ve found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to find the ones that are actually being updated by the developers rather than selecting the apps with the most installs. As in the past, we’re going to filter out minor updates for the super-popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but we’ll make exceptions for apps that have had significant updates. We hope you enjoy this weekly feature and that you discover some apps that end up being useful.

Microsoft Groove - Version 3.0.50729

Microsoft Groove

What’s new in this version:

  • Offline playback is now supported for many new devices
  • You no longer need Groove Music Pass to use the app! (Certain features still require it)
  • New app name and design
  • Music in your OneDrive music folder now appears as part of your collection
  • In addition to playlists, you can now download individual songs and albums for offline use

 

3DMark - Version 1.5.3263

3DMark

What’s new in this version:

  • New Sling Shot tests for OpenGL ES 3.1+3.0
  • New hardware monitoring charts
  • Android TV support
  • Russian localization

 

Google Translate - Version 4.0.0

Google Translate

What’s new in this version:

  • Smoother conversation in 40 languages. Improved accessibility support.
  • Instantly translate printed text in 20 new languages with your camera:
  • TO/FROM English: Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian FROM English to: Hindi, Thai

 

Rhapsody Music Player - Version 5.0.0.219

Rhapsody Music

What’s new in this version:

  • Rhapsody has a brand new look!
  • New mini player: updated design, swipe to change tracks, favorite right from the mini player
  • New full screen player: new design, simplified experience
  • New overall look
  • Several bug fixes

 

Motorola FM Radio - Version 02.00.0045

Motorola FM Radio

What’s new in this version:

  • Material Design, Sleep timer, Recording, tuner usability improvements and user settings enhancements

 

PrayerMate - Version 4.0.1

PrayerMate

What’s new in this version:

  • Adds automatic sync via Dropbox (under “Advanced settings” menu)
  • New “Take Words With You” scriptural prayer builder

 

CloudPlayer by doubleTwist - Version 1.0.4

CloudPlayer

What’s new in this version:

  • Added setting to turn Cellular Data use on or off. When off, streaming is WiFi-only.
  • Added full FLAC support (including 24bit 192KHz). We no longer rely on Android’s FLAC (which is buggy on Samsung devices).
  • Added support for WMA (Windows Media Audio) files in Cloud Storage.
  • Improved handling of mp3 files that contain corrupt frames (which was causing playback to skip to next track).

 

HipChat - Version 3.1.0

HipChat

What’s new in this version:

  • Landscape support! It’s back! We hear you, Android Tablet users! Stay tuned for more!
  • Reply to mentions and one on one messages from your WRIST! (Android Wear *required*)
  • Avatars. Avatars Everywhere.
  • Files will upload in the background. So what? Well you can keep chatting while you are uploading that giant GIF.
  • An all new Share To HipChat dialog shows you the conversations you *want* to see. We think. Maybe. If not, you can now search from it too!

 

Chrome Browser - Version 44.0.0

Chrome

What’s new in this version:

  • Bug fixes and speedy performance improvements.

 

Snowball – Version 2.0.3

Snowball

What’s new in this version:

  • Allow users to disable “Sent from Snowball” signature in settings
  • Fix crash with Samsung music player
  • Various other fixes

 



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NVIDIA now upgrading SHIELD tablet to Android 5.1.1 with optimizations and more

Early on Friday, July 31, NVIDIA officially announced that some SHIELD tablet units were being recalled, due to a potentially serious fire hazard tied to the battery within the device. Fortunately for some SHIELD tablet owners, not every unit was recalled. And for those that weren’t being called upon to send their unit back, the company has seen fit to release a brand new software update to the devices out in the wild.

NVIDIA’s calling it OTA 3.1, and with the new software — which should be rolling out now — SHIELD tablet owners will receive Android 5.1.1 on their devices. As NVIDIA points out in the official forum posting, this update is meant to address issues behind the scenes and doesn’t really offer any forward-facing upgrades. With Android 5.1.1 on board, SHIELD tablet owners should expect to hopefully see some performance enhancements, while other optimizations will hopefully make the overall experience better in day-to-day use.

Android 5.1.1 is rolling out now to the SHIELD tablet, so if you own one keep an eye out for the new software.



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Deal Alert: Sticky Password Premium Lifetime Subscription for just $29.99

Sticky Password Premium Lifetime SubscriptionIf you are struggling to remember each and every password, then the ‘Sticky Password‘ must be software you need to install which take cares of your passwords, bank details and many more. It works almost on every device Windows, iOS, Android, and Mac. We have a deal running on the Premium version of Sticky Password, which costs only $30 instead of $60. This lifetime Sticky Password Premium subscription protects your online identity by providing strong encrypted passwords for all your accounts, managed by a single master password known by you, and only you. Features • Strong, unique passwords, whenever and wherever you need them
• Automatically log-in to recognized sites
• Created by the team behind AVG Antivirus
• Choose between cloud-based or local storage
• Fill out forms instantly
• Unbeatable security
• Support for all your devices
• Intuitive interface
• Does not interfere with/interrupt day-to-day activity unless needed The lower price is for limited time, so make this Sticky Password Premium for just $30 (50% off).…


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The YotaPhone 2 won’t be coming to the U.S. after all

While the YotaPhone 2 was still being hyped, it was revealed that the U.S.-based launch would only happen if an Indiegogo campaign was successful. Turns out, despite that successful campaign, it’s not going to happen anyway.

According to a report published by The Verge that cites an email sent to Indiegogo backers by Yota Devices, the reason behind canceling the YotaPhone 2′s U.S. launch has to do with issues connected to its manufacturing partners. That includes unforeseen delays in both “production and delivery of the North American variant of YotaPhone 2 from our manufacturer.” As such, the email adds that “the logistics were insurmountable and the device would simply arrive too late.” Interestingly enough, the delay was so significant that Yota Devices says the shipments to U.S. customers of the YotaPhone 2 would actually conflict with their plans for 2016, and U.S. customers would be receiving the YotaPhone 2 while other regions were already receiving better YotaPhones.

As a result of the change in plans, Yota Devices says there are two options:

  • For those who are avid fans of our hardware and innovation, we offer you the option to receive an International version of YotaPhone 2 (YD201) in Black only. For those backers living outside of North America, this is the exact phone we already planned to send you. For those living in the US, this phone will work with major GSM carriers including AT&T and T-Mobile. The unfortunate situation is that it will remain locked to HSPA+ (3G/3G+) bands and will not be active on 4G/LTE.
  • For those of you who are not interested in the International YotaPhone 2, you’ll have the option to request a refund. We’re still figuring out the logistics for this, but the refunds will not be charged back to your credit card. We will instead send a reimbursement to you directly.

At this point, Yota Devices is partnering with a new manufacturer, and its plans for the future will include the United States, too. Unfortunately that won’t include the YotaPhone 2, but some unknown handset(s) at some later date.

Did you back the YotaPhone 2 as a U.S.-based customer?



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Android M Developer Preview 3 has been delayed

At the tail-end of May, Google released the first developer preview for Android M, the company’s next iteration of its not-so-mobile-anymore operating system. It would take over a month before the second developer preview would find its way to developers, and it’s looking like the wait for the third installment might be even longer.

As noted in the Android M Developer Preview Google+ community by moderator Wojtek KaliciƄski, the third developer preview for Android M has been delayed for an unknown amount of time as the company prepares it for release. The post indicates that Google wants this release to be the “near final” build for Android M, so that developers have it to test on before the public launch later this year, and to get that level of completeness they need more time:

We want this to be a near final release to test your apps on, but we need a little more time to get it out to you. Please be patient and refrain from posting speculations about the release date in the community. We will announce the Preview 3 availability here and on +Android Developers as soon as it’s ready.

The post adds that a release date for Preview 3 will be made public via the +Android Developers page whenever it’s ready to go live, but just when that will be is anyone’s guess at this point.

Have you been trying out the Android M preview so far?



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NVIDIA announces SHIELD tablet recall, says some versions pose a fire risk

NVIDIA has announced a voluntary recall of the SHIELD tablet due to concerns that the battery in certain models could overheat and pose a fire risk. If you’ve got an NVIDIA SHIELD tablet, grab it and follow these steps to see if your device is affected:

  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Select About tablet.
  • Select Status.
  • In the Battery category, you’ll see either “Y01” or “B01”.
  • If you see “B01,” your device is not affected by the recall.
  • If you see “Y01,” your device is affected and will need to be replaced.

If you’ve got a “Y01” model, tap that number to launch the recall application. You’ll be shown your device’s serial number, which you need to enter along with your contact information into the NVIDIA recall website.

NVIDIA is replacing all of the affected SHIELD tablet units, so if you’ve got a Y01 model, you should make sure that your data is backed up and then leave the device alone. NVIDIA will send you a new tablet, and once it’s turned on, your original unit will be deactivated and made unusable.

This is a pretty serious issue that NVIDIA has found with certain SHIELD tablet models, but at least the company appears to be making the recall process simple with a clear website and built-in recall app. If you’ve got an NVIDIA SHIELD tablet, grab that thing now and check to see if its got a bad battery.



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Dell Launched Entry-Level Tablet Venue 7 3741 for Rs. 7,999

Dell Venue 7 3741 Tablet launchedDell launched a new entry level tablet ‘Venue 7 3741′ in India with 3G and voice calling features. The tablet comes with single SIM option and priced at Rs. 7,999. Dell recently launched its first rugged tablet in the US. It runs Windows platform and got IP-65 Certified which makes it both water and dust resistance device. During the launch, P. Krishnakumar, VP of Consumer and Small Business, Dell India said, “The Venue 7 3741 tablet is for those who are looking to consume information at ease, with a high level of performance. With the goal to further expand our reach to a larger consumer base across India and increase access to connectivity, the Venue 7 3741 offers an affordable solution to consumers looking for access to content on the go.” It sports a 6.95-inch HD (1024×600) display with a pixel density of 170ppi and powered by an Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core processor clocked at 1.8Ghz with 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM. It has 8GB of internal storage out of which about 3.3GB is actually available to the end user; the tablet also come equipped with a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 64GB. The tablet runs on Android 4.4 KitKat and comes with a 4,100mAh Li-ion battery.…


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ZTE Launched Three Variants of V3 – Youth, Energy, Extreme with Fingerprint Sensor

ZTE V3 youth, extreme, energy smartphonesZTE this month launched quite a few device, firstly it launched new Axon branded smartphone in the US and brought the same device to its home country. It also launched Axon Mini, a new smartwatch called Axon Watch and also a smart professor SPro2. Even with many such launches, the company hasn’t neglected the budget-friendly devices. ZTE unveiled three new Android smartphones in China which includes ZTE V3 Youth, ZTE V3 Energy and ZTE V3 Extreme. All the three variants sports the same design and specifications; the only changes made to are the connectivity options. The Launch came after Meizu launched the world’s most affordable smartphone to have a fingerprint sensor, the Meizu M2. It is priced at 899 Yuan (approx $145) and sports almost same features as on ZTE V3 devices but has a plastic build body. Coming to the specifications, all the three devices comes with 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display and are powered by 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor along with 2GB of RAM. It also has 16GB of internal storage with a microSD card support (up to 128GB). There is a 13MP rear camera with f/2.2 aperture and dual LED flash, on the front it has a 5MP camera front selfies and video calls.…


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